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Here you will find the latest Hudson Moody Wass and property news.

House price inflation at 12-year high in large regional cities

City level residential property price growth gained momentum in the first quarter of the year, rising by 3.5%, led by large regional cities such as Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle, according to the latest Hometrack UK cities house price index, which tracks price movements across the UK’s 20 biggest cities.

Manchester remains the fastest growing city with an annual growth rate of 8.8%, followed by Birmingham at 8%, as attractive housing affordability together with record low mortgages rates and an improving economic outlook continues to support demand for housing in cities outside southern England.

Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle are recording levels of house price increases not seen since mid-2005, offsetting weaker growth in southern cities like London, Oxford and Cambridge, where affordability pressures are having a negative impact on demand for housing.

According to the index, the annual rate of growth for the UK cities analysed is running at an average of 6.4%.

Richard Donnell, insight director at Hometrack, said: “Buyers outside the south of England appear to be shrugging off concerns over Brexit and a squeeze on real incomes to take advantage of low mortgage rates. 

“This is shifting the dynamics of the housing market. Cities that have been driving house price growth over the last 2-3 years, such as London and Cambridge, are now seeing a significant slowdown while large regional cities continue to register robust and sustained levels of house price growth.”

Theresa May’s decision to call a snap general election for June 8 may create some short-term uncertainty in the housing market, but when comparing the profile of sales volumes between election years and non-election years there is no material difference, according to Donnell.

He added: “Compared to the level of uncertainty over Brexit, it is debateable whether the election will really make a material difference to buyers’ decision in the next two months.

“In our view the current market trends appear well set for the rest of 2017 where above average growth in regional cities offsets weak, single digit increases in southern cities.” 


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Where are rents rising fastest in England and Wales?

Across the whole of England and Wales the average rent in the PRS stood at £800 in March, up £2 compared with the previous month, but down sharply from the £811 recorded at the end of last year, new figures show.

According to the latest Your Move England & Wales Buy to Let Index, rents increased in six of the 10 regions analysed in March compared with the previous month, led by gains in the East of England. Prices here have increased by 1.6% in the last month and are now 7.4% higher than in March last year.

“In previous months we have seen rents in the South East rise as people looked to move beyond the capital, but it is the East of England which appears to be seeing the benefit as rents here have risen 7.4% in the last year,” said Valerie Bannister, letting director at Your Move.

In contrast, rents in London continued to fall, with the capital seeing rents decline on both a monthly and yearly basis.

The average rental property in the capital let for £1,203pcm during March 2017, down 6% month-on-month. But the city unsurprisingly remains home to the country’s most expensive properties.

“Rents in London have declined in the last 12 months, falling from £1,297 a year ago to £1,203 in March 2017,” Bannister added. 

London was not the only area to see rents decline in both the last month and last year. In the North East, prices now average £525pcm after falling 3.7% since last month and 3.1% versus March 2016. It remains the cheapest place to rent a property in this survey.

The typical yield across England and Wales was 4.5% in March, Your Move found. This is down on the 5% recorded a year earlier.

Places with higher house prices continue to have the smallest yields, and so it is perhaps unsurprising to find that the average yield in London was just 3.2% last month, the same as the previous month, and lower than any other part of the country.

At the other end of the scale, properties located in the North East enjoyed the biggest yields. In this region the average return was 5.2% last month, while in the North West it was 5% - although both were down on the same point in 2016. These were the only two areas to see yields above the 5% mark in March. 


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Top tips to improve your property’s EPC rating

From the 1st April 2018, it will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), unless there is an applicable exemption.

But when it comes to improving the energy efficiency of their properties, a concerning 49% of landlords recently surveyed by E.ON said that they do not feel adequately informed about how to do so.

Not only does this mean they may struggle to get their property compliant with the minimum EPC rating regulations, but they also might miss out on other benefits for making a property more energy efficient.

Thankfully, Mike Feely from E.ON has provided a number of tips for landlords looking to improve their properties’ EPC ratings:

 + Don’t underestimate the importance of insulation in making a property more energy efficient. If the property was built before or around 1920, it most likely has solid walls. Solid wall insulation can be installed from either the inside or the outside. If the property was built after 1920 it’s likely to have cavity walls. These have a double external wall with a small gap between which can be filled with insulation.

+ Make a play of your energy savings standards – don’t just think of improving energy efficiency as something for meeting regulations, it’s a commercial decision too. Given most tenants are responsible for paying energy bills, some may be willing to pay more for properties that are energy efficient, so make sure you’re making the most of this as a selling point.

+ Without properly insulated windows, the property could be losing up to 10% of its heat. Double glazed windows make a big difference when it comes to lowering energy bills as well as reducing condensation and noise. Instead of double glazing you could install secondary glazing which involves fitting a pane of plastic or glass inside the existing window recess to create an insulating layer of air. Though not as effective as double glazing, secondary glazing still saves a significant amount of energy and allows you to maintain good kerb appeal by keeping original features such as sash windows.

+ EPC ratings look only at permanent improvements to the fabric of the building so think about long-term upgrades that will help to reduce heat and energy use. Simple things – sausage dog draught excluders and the like – will help keep heat in, but for the EPC you need to find permanent ways to fill the gaps to stop heat escaping through windows, doors, letterboxes and even keyholes. 

+ For those looking to bring their properties completely up to date, consider renewable technologies such as solar panels with an at-home battery to store electricity for use even when the sun goes down. Be aware these will contribute to your rating only if they’re helping to heat the house, rather than providing electricity for other uses.


Article courtesy of Landlord Today | Sign up for Landlord Today newsletter | Get this news on YOUR site!



UK housing supply falls to record-low for March

The supply of available housing dropped to the lowest level ever for March, according to the latest figures from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA Propertymark).

The number of properties available per NAEA branch fell to 39 last month, the lowest recorded for the month of March since records began in December 2002.

On an annual basis, supply is down 28% as agents had 54 properties available to market last March.

The report also found that demand for housing is falling with an average of 397 house hunters registered per branch, compared to 425 in February.

In March last year, there were 417 prospective buyers registered per branch, meaning demand has fallen by 5% year-on-year.

Mark Hayward, chief executive at the NAEA Propertymark, said: “There are currently ten house-hunters chasing each available property, and with supply at the lowest level for March since records began, building more homes to satisfy demand needs to be a priority. In line with this, while sales to first-time buyers rose slightly in March, they’re still much lower than the levels seen in the last three months of 2016 which is cause for concern.”

The survey also revealed that a year on since the higher rates of stamp duty for additional properties was introduced, two thirds - 64% - of agents have seen demand for properties from buy-to-let investors fall.

Almost two-fifths of agents - 37% - have seen home prices rise as a direct result of the stamp duty reforms.

“The upcoming general election is a good opportunity for each party to outline their plans for tackling the housing crisis – we hope to see it prioritised so we can make the market a better place once and for all,” Hayward added.


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Rental prices increase across Scotland

The rental market in Scotland continues to flourish, with all regions north of the border seeing rents rise in March compared with the previous month, the latest figures from Your Move Scotland has revealed.

The average property in Scotland now rents for £565 per calendar month, which is up 3.8% year-on-year, led by gains in the Highlands and Islands region, where rents grew 0.8% between February and March. This was ahead of the south of Scotland region where rents increased by 0.5% in the same period.

Growth in rents in both areas was fuelled mainly by increased demand and insufficient supply of family properties, with three- and four-bedroom properties particularity in demand in the Dumfries and Highlands areas, Your Move Scotland found.

“March saw a stellar performance across Scotland as every single region recorded higher rents than the previous month,” said Brian Moran, letting director, Your Move Scotland. “Demand is increasing in segments of the market such as family homes, showing there is room for expansion of the rental sector.”

“This increased demand is being seen in areas such as the Highlands and Dumfries, suggesting the rental sector is extending beyond the big cities,” he added.

But it was a mixed picture for other parts of the country. While East of Scotland (2.4%) and Edinburgh and Lothians (2.3%) both saw rents rise compared to March 2016; Glasgow and Clyde (-3%) and Highlands and Islands (-1.9%) experienced falls in rentals, particularly in certain towns, where for various economic reasons they have seen significant drops.

The most expensive region of Scotland continued to be the Edinburgh and Lothians area. The market in the capital city remains strong due to high demand from tenants, especially given the strong student population. The average rental property here let for £651 in March 2017, with no other area recording rents over the £700 mark.

At the other end of the scale, the East of Scotland is the cheapest place to rent a property in the country with an average cost of £536 a month.

Moran continued: “Yield levels have actually increased this month, bucking the trend seen in the rest of the UK. This shows Scotland remains a great place to invest, as well as a great place to live.”


Article courtesy of Landlord Today | Sign up for Landlord Today newsletter | Get this news on YOUR site!



Rental prices increase across Scotland

The rental market in Scotland continues to flourish, with all regions north of the border seeing rents rise in March compared with the previous month, the latest figures from Your Move Scotland has revealed.

The average property in Scotland now rents for £565 per calendar month, which is up 3.8% year-on-year, led by gains in the Highlands and Islands region, where rents grew 0.8% between February and March. This was ahead of the south of Scotland region where rents increased by 0.5% in the same period.

Growth in rents in both areas was fuelled mainly by increased demand and insufficient supply of family properties, with three- and four-bedroom properties particularity in demand in the Dumfries and Highlands areas, Your Move Scotland found.

“March saw a stellar performance across Scotland as every single region recorded higher rents than the previous month,” said Brian Moran, letting director, Your Move Scotland. “Demand is increasing in segments of the market such as family homes, showing there is room for expansion of the rental sector.”

“This increased demand is being seen in areas such as the Highlands and Dumfries, suggesting the rental sector is extending beyond the big cities,” he added.

But it was a mixed picture for other parts of the country. While East of Scotland (2.4%) and Edinburgh and Lothians (2.3%) both saw rents rise compared to March 2016; Glasgow and Clyde (-3%) and Highlands and Islands (-1.9%) experienced falls in rentals, particularly in certain towns, where for various economic reasons they have seen significant drops.

The most expensive region of Scotland continued to be the Edinburgh and Lothians area. The market in the capital city remains strong due to high demand from tenants, especially given the strong student population. The average rental property here let for £651 in March 2017, with no other area recording rents over the £700 mark.

At the other end of the scale, the East of Scotland is the cheapest place to rent a property in the country with an average cost of £536 a month.

Moran continued: “Yield levels have actually increased this month, bucking the trend seen in the rest of the UK. This shows Scotland remains a great place to invest, as well as a great place to live.”


Article courtesy of Landlord Today | Sign up for Landlord Today newsletter | Get this news on YOUR site!



Plans approved for Reading FC’s £500m Royal Elm Park scheme

Reading Football Club’s property arm has been given the go-ahead to build a major convention centre, hotel, hundreds of new homes, along with a mix of retail and leisure facilities on land adjacent to its stadium.

The centrepiece of the 15.5 ha £500m Royal Elm Park scheme, which was yesterday approved by Reading Borough Council, subject to conditions, will be a new landmark 28,000sq m convention centre, intended to provide a powerful attraction for future inward investment. 

Known as The International, the centre will play host to a wide range of events, concerts, conferences, leisure pursuits and community uses, and will become the largest dedicated conference venue in the south of England.

Royal Elm Park will also deliver more than 600 new homes, including a mix of one- two- and three-bedroom homes, more than 18,000sq m of new public open space, a new public square, as well as over 2,000sqm of new retail, leisure and restaurant facilities.

Royal Elm Park is set to deliver a significant stimulus to the region, further supporting Reading’s position as one of the UK’s fastest-growing cities, with the city widely considered to be one of Europe’s fastest growing investment destinations. 

Nigel Howe, chief executive of Reading FC, said: “This is a huge boost for Reading, and will deliver a step change in the city’s ability to host international, large-scale conferences and events, which the business community here has long sought. But the scheme delivers more than that.  It delivers a new and reinvigorated destination for businesses and the Reading community, and will significantly enhance the match-day experience for our supporters, the driving force behind the Club’s success. 

“Royal Elm Park is emblematic of the city’s vision for the future, and will play a significant role in driving new and enhanced inward investment, which will underpin the regional economy going forward.”

Construction on the scheme is set to get underway in early 2018, with The International operational in 2020.  Final completion is expected in 2023.


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Property auction dates for May 2017

Here are details of the UK property auctions taking place in May 2017.


02/05/2017        Clive Emson Kent & South East London  Kent


03/05/2017         SVA Property Auctions Ltd           Lanarkshire

03/05/2017         Clive Emson Essex, North & East London               Essex

03/05/2017         Auction House Hull & East Yorkshire        North Humberside

03/05/2017         East Yorkshire Property Auction - IAM Sold          North Humberside

03/05/2017         Pattinson Property Auctions       Nottinghamshire

03/05/2017         Great North Property Auction - IAM Sold              County Durham

03/05/2017         Network Auctions           London


04/05/2017         John Goodwin - Ledbury              Herefordshire

04/05/2017         SDL Auctions Bigwood   West Midlands

04/05/2017         Cobb Amos         Herefordshire

04/05/2017         Clive Emson West Country           Cornwall

04/05/2017         Blundells              South Yorkshire

04/05/2017         SDL Auctions Graham Penny (Nottingham)          Nottinghamshire

04/05/2017         Northern Lincolnshire Property Auction - IAM Sold          South Humberside

04/05/2017         McHugh & Co    London


05/05/2017         Halls Barker St (Shrewsbury)       Shropshire

05/05/2017         Halls Ellesmere  Shropshire

05/05/2017         Halls Shrewsbury - Head Office  Shropshire

05/05/2017         Webbers             Devon

05/05/2017         Clive Emson Hampshire & Isle of Wight  Hampshire


08/05/2017         Butters John Bee             Staffordshire

08/05/2017         Lambert Smith Hampton (National)         London

08/05/2017         Clive Emson Sussex & Surrey      East Sussex

08/05/2017         Jones Peckover                Gwynedd


09/05/2017         Stags Tiverton   Devon

09/05/2017         Stags Wellington              Devon

09/05/2017         Savills (London - National)            London

09/05/2017         Bury & Hilton     Staffordshire

09/05/2017         Andrew Grant   Worcestershire

09/05/2017         Sharpes                West Yorkshire

09/05/2017         Richard Turner & Son     Lancashire

09/05/2017         Stags Truro         Cornwall


10/05/2017         Shonki Brothers (Narborough Road)       Leicestershire

10/05/2017         Lansdowne Property Auctions   London

10/05/2017         Barnett Ross      London

10/05/2017         Pennycuick Collins           West Midlands

10/05/2017         Durrants              Suffolk

10/05/2017         Hair & Son           Essex

10/05/2017         The County Property Auction     Lincolnshire

10/05/2017         Auction House Staffordshire       Staffordshire

10/05/2017         MAC Property Auctions                Lincolnshire

10/05/2017         John Francis       Dyfed


11/05/2017         Mon Properties                Gwynedd

11/05/2017         Auction House Scotland                Lanarkshire

11/05/2017         Fox & Sons (Southampton)         Hampshire

11/05/2017         North West Property Auction - IAM Sold               Lancashire

11/05/2017         TW Gaze              Norfolk

11/05/2017         Feather Smailes & Scales              North Yorkshire

11/05/2017         Harrison Coward              Cumbria

11/05/2017         Wilsons (Scotland)           Ayrshire

11/05/2017         Boultons Harrisons Ltd   West Yorkshire

11/05/2017         Shobrook & Co Ltd          Devon

11/05/2017         Strakers               Wiltshire

11/05/2017         Barnes  Nottinghamshire


12/05/2017         Astleys West Glamorgan


15/05/2017         Halls Shrewsbury - Head Office  Shropshire


16/05/2017         Auction House Manchester         Lancashire

16/05/2017         BRG Gibson        County Antrim

16/05/2017         Eadon Lockwood & Riddle            Derbyshire

16/05/2017         Barnard Marcus                London

16/05/2017         Howkins & Harrison - Atherstone             Derbyshire

16/05/2017         William H Brown (Leeds)               West Yorkshire

16/05/2017         John Earle & Son              West Midlands

16/05/2017         Seel & Co             South Glamorgan

16/05/2017         Mark Jenkinson & Son   South Yorkshire


17/05/2017         Stephen & Co    Avon

17/05/2017         Auction House West Yorkshire   West Yorkshire

17/05/2017         Athawes Son & Co           London

17/05/2017         Auction House South Wales        South Glamorgan

17/05/2017         Romans                Berkshire

17/05/2017         Venmore Auctions          Merseyside

17/05/2017         Goldings              Suffolk


18/05/2017         Thompson Wilson Estate Agents and Auctioneers            Buckinghamshire

18/05/2017         Auction House North West          Lancashire

18/05/2017         Auction House Leicestershire     Leicestershire

18/05/2017         Auction House Bristol & West     Bristol

18/05/2017         Auction House Sussex   East Sussex

18/05/2017         Pughs    Herefordshire


22/05/2017         Strettons             London

22/05/2017         Jones Peckover                Clwyd

22/05/2017         Bagshaws Bakewell         Derbyshire

22/05/2017         Bagshaws Leek Staffordshire


23/05/2017         Cooper & Tanner Auctions           Somerset

23/05/2017         Allsop Commercial           London

23/05/2017         David Plaister Ltd             Avon

23/05/2017         Moore Allen & Innocent               Gloucestershire

23/05/2017         Fisher German  Worcestershire

23/05/2017         Herbert R Thomas           South Glamorgan

24/05/2017         Phillip Arnold Auctions   London

24/05/2017         Auction Estates Nottinghamshire

24/05/2017         Auction House Hertfordshire & West Essex         Hertfordshire

24/05/2017         Steve Gooch      Gloucester

24/05/2017         Auction House Pearsons               Hampshire

24/05/2017         Auction House East Anglia            Suffolk

24/05/2017         SDL Auctions Stoke         Staffordshire

24/05/2017         Lambert & Foster             Kent

24/05/2017         Hollis Morgan    Avon

24/05/2017         Auction House Copelands            Derbyshire


25/05/2017         Besley Hill            Avon

25/05/2017         Sutton Kersh Auctions   Merseyside

25/05/2017         Loveitts                West Midlands

25/05/2017         Morgan Evans   Gwynedd

25/05/2017         Acuitus London

25/05/2017         Allsop Residential            London

25/05/2017         Auction House South Yorkshire South Yorkshire

25/05/2017         Nesbits Hampshire

25/05/2017         Wilsons (Northern Ireland)          County Antrim

25/05/2017         Auction House East Anglia            Norfolk

25/05/2017         Auction House Cheshire               Cheshire


26/05/2017         Symonds & Sampson LLP              Dorset

26/05/2017         Phillips Smith & Dunn Braunton Devon

26/05/2017         Wilsons (Scotland)           Ayrshire

26/05/2017         Auction House East Anglia            Norfolk


30/05/2017         Pattinson Property Auctions       Tyne and Wear


31/05/2017         Wallace Jones    Nottinghamshire

31/05/2017         Pattinson Property Auctions       Lancashire

31/05/2017         Agents Property Auction              Tyne and Wear


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Top tips to improve your property’s EPC rating

From the 1st April 2018, it will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), unless there is an applicable exemption.

But when it comes to improving the energy efficiency of their properties, a concerning 49% of landlords recently surveyed by E.ON said that they do not feel adequately informed about how to do so.

Not only does this mean they may struggle to get their property compliant with the minimum EPC rating regulations, but they also might miss out on other benefits for making a property more energy efficient.

Thankfully, Mike Feely from E.ON has provided a number of tips for landlords looking to improve their properties’ EPC ratings:

 + Don’t underestimate the importance of insulation in making a property more energy efficient. If the property was built before or around 1920, it most likely has solid walls. Solid wall insulation can be installed from either the inside or the outside. If the property was built after 1920 it’s likely to have cavity walls. These have a double external wall with a small gap between which can be filled with insulation.

+Make a play of your energy savings standards – don’t just think of improving energy efficiency as something for meeting regulations, it’s a commercial decision too. Given most tenants are responsible for paying energy bills, some may be willing to pay more for properties that are energy efficient, so make sure you’re making the most of this as a selling point.

+ Without properly insulated windows, the property could be losing up to 10% of its heat. Double glazed windows make a big difference when it comes to lowering energy bills as well as reducing condensation and noise. Instead of double glazing you could install secondary glazing which involves fitting a pane of plastic or glass inside the existing window recess to create an insulating layer of air. Though not as effective as double glazing, secondary glazing still saves a significant amount of energy and allows you to maintain good kerb appeal by keeping original features such as sash windows.

+ EPC ratings look only at permanent improvements to the fabric of the building so think about long-term upgrades that will help to reduce heat and energy use. Simple things – sausage dog draught excluders and the like – will help keep heat in, but for the EPC you need to find permanent ways to fill the gaps to stop heat escaping through windows, doors, letterboxes and even keyholes. 

+ For those looking to bring their properties completely up to date, consider renewable technologies such as solar panels with an at-home battery to store electricity for use even when the sun goes down. Be aware these will contribute to your rating only if they’re helping to heat the house, rather than providing electricity for other uses.


Article courtesy of Landlord Today | Sign up for Landlord Today newsletter | Get this news on YOUR site!



Leeds launches record low five-year BTL rate

Leeds Building Society has launched a five-year fixed rate buy-to-let mortgage at a market-leading rate of 3.1%, subject to a £199 fee and a free valuation.

Leeds has also refreshed its wider buy-to-let range, including the addition of a new purchase-only two-year fixed rate at 1.99% up to 60% LTV.

The fixed rate period is followed by a 1% discount for the following three years and the mortgage comes with a free valuation.

Jaedon Green, Leeds Building Society’s director of product and distribution, commented: “Buy-to-let remortgage activity is highest at this LTV level and landlords appear to have been acting to minimise their costs and manage profitability as the Government’s tax changes began to affect this market.

“Five-year fixed rate products remain the choice for borrowers looking for longer-term security over their monthly repayments, making it easier to budget, which can be particularly useful when managing a privately rented property.”


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