Residential Estate & Letting Agents in Bournemouth
Bournemouth Office: 01202 789699
Winton Office: 01202 512520

Clifftons Estate Agents: Latest News on our Blog

10 years of Buy to Let

2006-11-22 13:24:27

Buying a property to rent out has become one of the most popular investment choices for the average person.

Buy to let started in 1996 and ten years on has now grown to a multi-billion pound industry. According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, lending has soared from 3.9 billion in 2000 to 12 billion in 2002 and 24.5 billion in 2005. Mortgage lenders spotted the need to adapt their products and the first dedicated residential investment mortgage was launched by Mortgage Express in 1996. The first products typically were two to four percent above the Bank of England base rate with strict requirements. Today mortgage deals offer loans of up to 85 per cent loan to value with no proof of income.

Buy to let has replaced the traditional saving plans and many people have used buy to let as a vehicle for their retirement. The attraction is monthly income from rent and capital growth from price increases.

James Scollard, director at CLIFFTONS comments “The property market is still very active with buy to let investors, according to a recent report, 83 per cent of landlords plan to expand or maintain their portfolios in the next six months; 85 per cent of landlords say rent is the same or higher than a year ago and 19 per cent of landlords earn more than £50,000 per annum from their portfolios. We actively provide guidance for professional and novice landlords and our lettings department is still extremely busy coming into the winter months.”

One in ten households (approximately two million) is now in privately rented accommodation, according to the Department of Communities and Local Government and is expected to grow by 3 per cent over the next ten years.



Property Prices in Bournemouth increase by 17.4% in 2006

2006-11-21 13:33:51

As 2006 draws to a close, house prices in the South West have increased by 17.4%, while the National annual house price has increased by 12.4% according to Rightmove’s house price index. (Rightmove’s house price index takes a sample from 75% of the UK’s property, more accurate than Halifax and Nationwide house price index that are seasonally adjusted).

One of the main reasons for the increases is a shortage of supply and the buoyant buy to let market pushing property prices above market expectations.

First time buyers are being pushed out of the market as the average age for first time buyers is now thirty two years and therefore have to rent fuelling the buy to let market.

As house prices increase, paying stamp duty is now the norm rather than for the privileged few and a third of properties are marketed over £250,000, where at least £7,500 has to be set aside for tax. For properties above £500,000, stamp duty is currently 4%, at least £20,000 in stamp duty tax. The growing tax burden on property transactions is not just limited to stamp duty tax. Over 25% of properties are now priced above the inheritance tax threshold of £285,000. Stamp duty tax is charged between one and four percent, whist inheritance tax is levied at 40%, although only on anything above the £285,000 threshold.

James Scollard from Clifftons Estate Agents comments “The increases look set to rise further, despite the recent rise in interest rates to 5%. In October, the amount of properties for sale per estate agent is at their lowest levels this year causing an under supply and higher demand.”



Tenancy Deposit Scheme & Deposit Protection

2006-10-11 13:50:11

The new Mandatory Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) will come into effect on 6th April 2007.

The purpose of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme is to address the unfair practices of Landlords and Agents regarding tenant’s deposits in residential tenancies.

Hundreds of thousands of private tenants feel cheated out of millions of pounds by rogue landlords who refuse to pay back rent deposits when they move out, according to figures released (11 May 2004) by national charities Citizens Advice and Shelter.

The Housing Minister, Baroness Andrews said “We are determined to ensure that the proposed Tenancy Deposit Schemes do the job that they were intended to do; that is to protect nearly 1.5 million assured shorthold tenants and an estimated £768m of tenancy deposits currently held in England and Wales”.

Under Part 6 of the Housing Act 2004, landlords or agents can only take a deposit from a tenant if that deposit is protected by a TDS.

The two types of scheme being introduced are:

• a custodial scheme, whereby the deposit is held by the scheme during the tenancy and during any legal dispute
• an insurance-based scheme where the landlord or agent keeps the deposit, but the deposit is insured in case of any dispute and thus protected for the tenant.

Either scheme must repay all or part of a deposit, within 10 days of notification, once a tenancy has ended or a dispute has been resolved.

A landlord will not be able to take a deposit in respect of an assured shorthold tenancy unless it is to be covered by a TDS.

A landlord will have to:

– deal with a deposit in accordance with an authorised scheme,

– comply with the initial requirements of a scheme within 14 days and

– give the tenant the appropriate information relating to the deposit within 14 days of receiving the deposit.

Until this is done, the landlord will be unable to regain possession of the property using the usual ‘notice only grounds’ for possession. Under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 a landlord can obtain an order for possession of an assured shorthold tenancy at any point after the first six months of the tenancy providing any fixed term has expired and they give the tenant at least two months written notice.
Preventing a landlord from being able to use this ground will provide the tenant with a much greater security of tenure and will act as an incentive for landlords to ensure deposits are safeguarded by a TDS.

The penalty for landlords that fail to comply with the new rules is an amount equivalent to three times the deposit, to be paid within 10 days.

Clifftons based on Old Christchurch Road, in Bournemouth are an Independent Agent specialising in both Sales & Lettings. If you are thinking about renting your property out and are looking for competent and successful letting agents contact Kim Bartlett MARLA (Residential Lettings Manager) today on 01202 789699 or email: [email protected]


Buy to Let Property

2006-09-14 14:20:34

There are two aspects to buy-to-let property investments, rental yield and capital growth. The gross rental yield is a rough calculation to compare one property to another. This is calculated by working out the annual rent (e.g. £900 per month x 12 months) divided by the cost of the property (e.g. £180,000) multiple by 100 equals the gross rental yield (in this case 6%). The gross yield is a rough calculation. The actual return you will receive would be very different, so you should still carry out a full profit and loss for each property.

Rents over time will increase, the amount you pay stays the same, so over time the gross yield should increase.

Capital growth is the increase in the properties value over time and in what makes property investment so attractive.

So far this year 2006, from January to August, property prices have increased by 9%, so if you bought a property for £200,000 in January, eight months later the property should have increased by £18,000.

Another reason property investment is so attractive is being able to use other peoples money (gearing), mainly buy to let mortgages.

An initial deposit this year in January, say 15% or in the above example £30,000, would produce a return on your investment of 60%. Far better than any bank.

Over the years, when the property market falls, rental demand increases and in turn rental yields increase. Long term, the population is increasing, wages will increase therefore rents will increase.

Property investment is for the long term and will go down as well as up. For the property investor there is advantages in both markets.


Largest Price rise for over 4 years!

2006-07-17 14:47:19

Prices have risen by 10.6% so far this year, with the biggest increase in June being 2.9%, according to Rightmove House Price Index.

The previous record monthly increase was set back in April 2002 when interest rates were 4% and falling, and the average price was £136,969. Now, in spite of markedly worse affordability ratios due to increases in both interest rates (up to 4.5%) and average prices (up by 58% to £217,173) the market is seeing rises of over £1,500 per week.

James Scollard from CLIFFTONS Estate Agents comments “The property market locally is very strong at the moment, especially in the upper end of the market. Southbourne, Westbourne and along the coastal areas, we have seen many of the larger detached houses being replaced with apartments and we’re expecting significant price increases over the next few years for substantial freehold houses as they become in short supply.”

James continues “Generally, the market cools over the summer months, however, this year we have not seen a fall in the number of buyers and consequently there is a lack of supply fueling the price increases.”

Buyer confidence has been enhanced by staple interest rates and a strong economy. This confidence combined with the ready availability of flexible funding from lenders, means that many of those who aspire to buy houses can still find the means to do so. These increases are demoralizing news for those constrained by affordability, especially those who do not have access to additional funds from sources such as bonuses, parental assistance or inheritance.

Miles Shipside, Director of Rightmove comments, “In addition to growing demand from affluent buyers there are increasing numbers of households being formed. The lack of supply of suitable property on the market, exacerbated by the shortage of new build, means that buyers are faced with paying record prices. These are now set to defy all expectations for 2006. However, buyers are also being canny by insulating themselves from possible interest rate rises, with over 70% taking out fixed rate loans”.

CLIFFTONS can offer free independent mortgage advice and access to one of the UK’s largest mortgage clubs that place circ. 36 Billion pounds per year. With this enormous buying power they have exclusive rates on offer. Call 01202 789699 or call into the office 227a – 229 Old Christchurch Road.

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Sea shore right by your door

2006-07-07 14:57:38

Published in July 2006, Property Plus Magazine

If you have a hankering to be beside the seaside, breathing in the salty air and hearing the cries of sea gulls then Bournemouth is a wonderful town to live. In fact ask most people to describe their ideal home and they usually imagine living next to the sea.

Bournemouth developed originally as a heath resort and many of its therapeutic values can still be experienced today. There’s no doubt a walk along the beach, enjoying the restful rhythms of the waves and enjoying the sun set with a glass of red wine is relaxing and good for stress, body and mind.

James Scollard from CLIFFTONS comments “I grew up next to the sea – sailing, scuba diving, swimming and wind surfing. People tend to find that, if they move away, they miss being close to the water and move back again.

CLIFFTONS specialise in sea view properties and have buyers directed by our web site www.seaviewproperties.co.uk to www.clifftons.com.

CLIFFTONS is based in Bournemouth Town Centre and is the only agent in Bournemouth that advertises every property on the Evening Standard and Daily Mail web site attracting buyers from London and Home counties.”
Bournemouth is one of the most popular holiday resorts in the UK, to be able to live here and enjoy the all year round benefits from this vibrant town and seaside location is fantastic.

For further details on available local properties, call James at CLIFFTONS on 01202 789699 or call into the office at 227a – 229 Old Christchurch Road.

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Report warns against Home Information Packs

2006-06-29 15:02:58


Leading anti-home information pack (HIP) campaign group, SPLINTA, has welcomed the publication of an independent report into the potential economic impact following the proposed introduction of the pack in June 2007.

The report, commissioned from the highly respected ‘Oxford Economic Forecasting’ by GMAC-RFC, a leading mortgage lender, predicts the effect on the UK economy if 10% or 25% less property sales transactions take place in the years following 2007. The reduction in sales may come about as a result of sellers being unwilling to accept the liability to pay for a HIP (costing between £700 and £1000) before their properties are put up for sale. Industry experts warn that the reduction could actually be as high as 30%.

If there are 10% less transactions post-HIP the government will find itself facing a 2.3 BILLION pound shortfall in its revenues in 2009 and a shortfall of 3.2 BILLION pounds by 2016. If 25% less properties are sold the hole in the budget will grow to over 5.6 BILLION pounds. In both scenarios unemployment rates may rise.

Nick Salmon, head of SPLINTA said: “Experts in the property industry have been warning the government for years that the unintended consequences of HIPs could be disastrous. Not only will the pack fail to materially improve the home buying process, now we can see that the entire economy may suffer as a result of the government’s blind arrogance in pushing this measure through. The government and the HIP providers will attempt to spin their way out of the report findings but considering that Oxford Economic Forecasting is a highly respected independent body that does economic modelling for the Treasury, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund their findings cannot be easily dismissed. It is time for Secretary of State, Ruth Kelly, to call the whole HIPs scheme in for a full review.”



Land Values in Bournemouth

2006-04-08 15:21:18

Land Values likely to drop by 20%

The government has insisted that it remains committed to introducing a Planning Gain Supplement (PGS) likely to come into force during 2008 which will effectively mean owners of land passed for development will be subjected to 20% tax on the uplift in value.

James Scollard from CLIFFTONS comments “The new stealth tax will certainly hit the housing market if introduced. The landowners will want to pass the cost of the tax to the developer, but the developer can only offer a set price to make a scheme work and the PGS will not replace the Section 106 agreements that developers are already burdened with.

Affluent landowners, and there are plenty of them, will be inclined to leave their asset for the foreseeable future. If less development land comes on to the market, it will place further pressure on the lack of new homes being built and in turn result in possible house prices increases.

Also there is no inter relationship between Planning-Gain Supplement and other taxes such as Capital Gains Tax, which would still be levied at the current rate. The introduction of the Supplement is going to cause a great deal of work for land related professions.”

A significant majority of PGS revenues would go back to the local level to help local communities share the benefits of growth and manage its impacts, with the remainder used to finance regional and strategic infrastructure to promote growth.

PGS would apply UK-wide, on both residential and non-residential developments and would not become payable until development started on the site.

The PGS will not apply to home improvements, such as minor extensions or loft conversions and to sites where there is no increase in value once planning permission is granted.

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EXCLUSIVE Rightmove signs 8,000th branch … Clifftons Estate Agents

2005-11-24 16:02:35


Rightmove can exclusively reveal they have just signed up their 8,000th member! Clifftons Estate Agents was today celebrating this latest news with Rightmoves Area Sales Manager, Sandy Messias! Clifftons joins Rightmove to help position themselves as a leading agent in the Bournemouth area. With 76% of homemovers viewing a property they saw on rightmove.co.uk*, Clifftons felt advertising on the internet should be an integral part of their marketing strategy.

Clifftons joins the 7,999 branches who have already taken advantage of the nationwide exposure that advertising on a property portal offers. Clifftons partnership with Rightmove comes just in time to benefit from their 8th national TV advertising campaign which is expected to drive even more homemovers to the site. The campaign kicks off in December running through to February and will be a fantastic proposition for their customers!

Cliftons Estate Agents are part of a growing number of independent agents who are already reaping the benefits of advertising on Rightmove. The site already has double the independent agents of any other property portal and this trend looks set to continue with the number of new tools and services planned for 2006!

Miles Shipside, Commercial Director of Rightmove comments “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Cliftons to our membership. Home hunters looking for property in Bournemouth can now benefit from even more property to view!”



Clifftons reap rewards of national TV advertising

2005-11-22 16:08:59


Clifftons Estate Agents was today celebrating being the 8,000th member to join forces with rightmove.co.uk! This latest news was certainly a cause for celebration with Rightmoves Area Sales Manager, Sandy Messias paying a personal visit to congratulate the branch!

This move on-line represents Clifftons strategy to come onboard with national internet trends in marketing of properties. Latest research from a National Homemovers Survey shows that 76% of successful homemovers who use the internet visit rightmove.co.uk*.

Clifftons partnership with Rightmove comes just in time to benefit from their 8th national TV advertising campaign which is expected to drive even more homemovers to the site. Buyers and tenants will be drawn to the campaign which will be aired on well known television stations such as ITV and Channel 4 from the 30th December through to 20th February! Those selling and renting properties through Clifftons will benefit from the surge of homemovers logging on to the site pre and post television campaign.

James Scollard of Cliffons comments “Our partnership with Rightmove will bring invaluable benefits to our customers. We can offer our customers national coverage of their property, increasing the likelihood of a faster sale/let at the best price. By combining our local marketing expertise with the huge marketing power of the internet we are able offer our customer’s unparalleled exposure to the largest home moving audience”.

Clifftons will also benefit from the suite of valuable management information reports which allow them to track levels of interest shown in each of their properties. This market intelligence coupled with their local market knowledge further adds to the unrivalled level of service and professionalism they offer their vendors and landlords.

Miles Shipside, Commercial Director of Rightmove comments “With 10 million visits from homemovers to our site each month, Clifftons will greatly benefit from the national exposure our website can offer their vendors. We are delighted to welcome Clifftons to our membership and look forward to a beneficial partnership”.

Cliffons can be contacted on 01202 789699 and all their properties can be viewed on www.clifftons.com or www.rightmove.co.uk

* Rightmove Home movers Survey 2005