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Estate Agents & Letting Agents in Leeds

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

Where in the world are house prices growing fastest?

Global house prices rose 5.5% on average in the 12 months to September 2016, with Turkey, New Zealand and Iceland recording the biggest increases over the past year, a new global survey has revealed.  

Once again, Turkey topped Knight Frank’s Global House Price Index, outperforming other countries for the fifth consecutive quarter, with prices increasing 13.9% year-on-year in Q3.

But compared with the second quarter, the average price in Turkey only increased 3.5%. The slower pace is likely to cost that country the top spot next quarter, giving way to New Zealand or Iceland, with annual growth of 13.5% and 12.9% respectively.

“Political and economic volatility, partly due to currency and security concerns, have cooled investor interest in Turkey,” said Knight Frank’s Kate Everett-Allen, the author of the report.

In Q3, 9% of the 55 countries monitored recorded double-digit annual price growth, including Turkey (13.9%), New Zealand (13.5%), Iceland (12.9%), Canada (11.7%) and Lithuania (10%).

The property markets in the U.S. and U.K. have remained broadly resilient, despite greater political and economic uncertainties following the Presidential and Brexit votes.

The expected slowdown in US house prices in the run-up to the Presidential election failed to materialise. The rise in September of 0.8% month-on-month was the largest monthly rise since August 2013 contributing to an annual increase of 5.5%. September also marked a new high for nominal US house prices which have now exceeded their previous peak recorded in July 2006.

UK house prices have remained firm, posting an annual increase of 5.5%, underpinned by a lack of supply and ultra-low mortgage rates.

Here are the world’s best and worst performing housing markets

Top 10

Turkey 13.9%

New Zealand 13.5%

Iceland 12.9%

Canada 11.7%

Lithuania

Austria 9.5%

Chile 9.4%

China 9.3%

Malta 8.8%

Sweden 8.7%

Bottom 10

Ukraine -9.9%

Taiwan -8.9%

Hong Kong -5.5%

Singapore -2.0%

Cyprus -1.7%

Greece -1.5%

Italy -1.4%

Morocco -1.2%

Brazil -0.5%

Finland -0.5% 


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Buy-to-let purchases plummet following government’s ‘war on landlords’

There has been a sharp decline in the volume of buy-to-let transactions following the government’s outright assault on buy-to-let landlords, according to a new report.

 

Fresh research from haart, one of the UK’s largest independent estate agents, shows that the number of buy-to-let transactions across England and Wales has dropped by 63.7% over the past 12 months, following the introduction of a raft of measures that have deterred many people from investing in the private rented sector.

 

The signs are that the volume of buy-to-let transactions, which have fallen 8.2% in the past month alone, are unlikely to increase any time soon, not unless the government reverses recent tax increases and unnecessary regulation in the buy-to-let sector.

 

Paul Smith, CEO of haart, commented: “The scale of decline in buy to let in just twelve months is deeply worrying - landlords have clearly pulled out of the market and are unlikely to return any time soon. However this is entirely the result of government policy, with Theresa May now picking up George Osborne’s baton and proceeding to bash landlords with renewed vigour.”

 

From a landlord’s perspective, it has been a difficult year. Aside from more stringent lending conditions, the 3% stamp duty surcharge was introduced in April, while the 10% ‘wear and tear’ tax relief for landlords who rent out furnished homes has been abolished, leaving them free to only claim for the amount that they have spent. What’s more, mortgage tax relief is set to be phased out from April 2017. 

“The government’s attack on investors adds up to a ‘war on landlords’ and a buy-to-let market crippled by tax hikes and unnecessary regulation,” Smith added. “The effect has been to more than halve the number of buy to let sales in England and Wales, and the inevitable consequence will be fewer properties available to renters next year and higher rents.” 

 

Rather than punish buy-to-let landlords for a residential property market that is not working for first-time buyers or Generation Rent, Smith wants to see the government channel more investment into housebuilding and increasing the supply of much needed rental properties.

 

He continued: “Tenants are stuck in an intensely competitive market where rents are often more expensive than mortgages, because there are simply not enough properties available for lettings, and many landlords now have no choice but to pass the extra costs on to tenants.

 

“It is time for the government to end this damaging ‘war on landlords’ and instead create a market that genuinely works for everyone. The government is casting landlords as the pantomime villains of the property market, but we need a more grown-up and serious approach to policy-making, as well as a recognition of the contribution that landlords make.”


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New buyer demand in the UK falls by a fifth

Demand from homebuyers in the UK continued to fall in November and is now down by more than a fifth year-over-year, fresh figures show.

haart's latest National Housing Market Monitor shows new buyer demand for homes fell by 6.3% in November, and continues to be down significantly on the year, by 21.3% annually, placing downward pressure on the volume of homes coming onto the market.

According to haart, the number of residential properties that came onto the market in November fell by 5.5% on the month and by 8.4% compared with the corresponding period last year. The fall in housing stock means that the number of buyers chasing each property has increased marginally, as there are now nine purchasers for every new property on the market across England and Wales.

The low supply of homes on the market helped to push up property prices across England and Wales in November by 0.5% on the month, however they are down by 1.7% on the year. The average house price now sits at £228,635. 

The average purchase price for first-time-buyers dropped last month by 2.8%, and is down by 5.9% annually. This comes as the rate at which first-time-buyers entered the market fell by 6% on the month and by a massive 30.9% on the year.

Despite a drop in the average purchase price, the amount first-time-buyers are paying for a deposit has risen by 1.6% on the month and by 1.1% on the year.

The average property price in London rose again last month, by 6.2%, pushing up annual growth to 9.4%.

However, price increases in London came as demand for properties fell on the month by 6.7%, and was down 38.9% on the year.

At the same time, the number of properties for sale decreased by 7.9% on the month, and a huge 28.7% on the year, which largely explains why sale transactions have fallen by almost a quarter over the past 12 months. 


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Buy-to-let tax changes pose ‘real risks for tenants’

Tenant evictions could rise sharply in the coming months amid reports that many buy-to-let landlords plan to increase rents next year to offset tax hikes from April 2017, according to a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee.

Dame Kate Barker, who authored an independent review of UK housing supply for the government, issued the warning to the Treasury Select Committee on Wednesday.

As many of you know, the existing rules that permit landlords to offset all of their mortgage interest against tax will, from April 2017, be phased out, restricting the amount of mortgage interest landlords can offset against tax on their property investments.

By April 2020, once they have been withdrawn altogether, the disastrous consequences of Section 24 will mean that it is likely that higher-rate tax payers will only receive 50% of the relief that they currently get, with various experts having already warned that landlords will be left with little alternative but to pass higher costs on to tenants.

With many landlords likely to face the prospect of having their profits unjustly wiped out, the majority of landlords will have no option but to recoup their losses through higher rents, with tenants ultimately paying the price of the government’s unfair tax-grab.

When pressed about the impact of recent tax changes affecting landlords, Dame Barker warned that many long-term tenants could find themselves facing steep rent increases or being forced to move “because the buy-to-let landlord no longer finds the yield acceptable or can’t afford it”.  

Responding to the new report and Dame Barker’s comments, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) is now calling for protections for tenants already in rented housing by applying the mortgage interest relief changes only to new borrowing rather than to existing holdings.

Alan Ward, chairman of the RLA, said: “Dame Kate’s warning is a sober reminder of the potential social consequences of forthcoming changes to mortgage interest relief.

“These changes pose real risks for tenants where their landlord is simply unable to afford the extra costs being imposed on them and has no option other than to sell a property.

“Even at this late stage we would call on the government to apply the changes only to new borrowing.”


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Geoff Hurst among thousands of investors reclaiming Spanish property losses

World Cup legend Sir Geoff Hurst is among thousands of Britons offered fresh hope of retrieving money feared lost following the Spanish property crash almost a decade ago.

Hurst, famous for scoring a hat trick that helped England win the 1966 football World Cup, believed he would never see again the £250,000 deposit he made on a Marbella property investment in 2004.

The developer, DUJA, promised to hand over his new house in Marbella’s ‘Aloha Royal’ resort by 2007. But when the Spanish housing bubble burst in 2008, the developer failed to meet bank loan repayments and went bust, taking Hurst’s deposit with it.

The bank failed to protect Hurst’s down payment – a practice that became routine once banks sensed the impending crash – leaving Hurst, 74, to write off his loss.

But then he heard of successful claims made by Spanish residents who also did not have bank guarantees, and has now appointed Spanish legal firm Bufete Salmeron to retrieve his lost deposit.

Fernando Salmerón, director of Bufete Salmerón, was the first lawyer in Spain to achieve a ruling obliging Spanish banks to return deposits to victims of the off-plan property crisis.

The historic verdict, which was awarded in December 2013 in Seville on behalf of two separate clients, was reinforced by the Spanish Supreme Court in December 2015.

“Now three years on from the 2013 cases and one year on from the Supreme Court ruling,” said Salmerón, who is currently handling almost €3m (£2.6m) worth of claims in Spain on behalf of British clients.

He added: “There are still thousands of Brits who are unaware that they can get their money – as well as interest and legal fees – back. Those who are aware might be wary of entering into overseas legal battles or may doubt that they can win their case against big banks.” 


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Sir Geoff Hurst among thousands of property investors reclaiming losses from Spanish banks

World Cup legend Sir Geoff Hurst is among thousands of Britons offered fresh hope of retrieving money feared lost following the Spanish property crash almost a decade ago.

Hurst, famous for scoring a hat trick that helped England win the 1966 football World Cup, believed he would never see again the £250,000 deposit he made on a Marbella property investment in 2004.

The developer, DUJA, promised to hand over his new house in Marbella’s ‘Aloha Royal’ resort by 2007. But when the Spanish housing bubble burst in 2008, the developer failed to meet bank loan repayments and went bust, taking Hurst’s deposit with it.

The bank failed to protect Hurst’s down payment – a practice that became routine once banks sensed the impending crash – leaving Hurst, 74, to write off his loss.

But then he heard of successful claims made by Spanish residents who also did not have bank guarantees, and has now appointed Spanish legal firm Bufete Salmeron to retrieve his lost deposit.

Fernando Salmerón, director of Bufete Salmerón, was the first lawyer in Spain to achieve a ruling obliging Spanish banks to return deposits to victims of the off-plan property crisis.

The historic verdict, which was awarded in December 2013 in Seville on behalf of two separate clients, was reinforced by the Spanish Supreme Court in December 2015.

“Now three years on from the 2013 cases and one year on from the Supreme Court ruling,” said Salmerón, who is currently handling almost €3m (£2.6m) worth of claims in Spain on behalf of British clients.

He added: “There are still thousands of Brits who are unaware that they can get their money – as well as interest and legal fees – back. Those who are aware might be wary of entering into overseas legal battles or may doubt that they can win their case against big banks.” 


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Over 2,000 landlords at risk of prosecution

Barnet Council has issued a stark warning to the 2,000 landlords without correct licences across the north London borough.

The council says that it is looking to clampdown on buy-to-let landlords failing to obtain a licence or manage their properties correctly, and will take appropriate enforcement action where necessary.

More than 2,000 landlords across the borough of Barnet could be at risk of prosecution by Barnet Council for illegally letting out properties, including those who let out HMOs but have so far failed to apply for an additional licence following changes to the law covering certain HMOs in the borough introduced earlier this year.

Leader of Barnet Council, councillor Richard Cornelius, said: “Targeted enforcement action has already begun in relation to certain properties and I urge landlords to submit their application now as a priority.”

A total of eight successful prosecutions have already taken place in the last 18 months together resulting in fines of more than £200,000.

Cornelius added: “It’s our job to protect tenants’ safety and we will take appropriate enforcement action if landlords fail to obtain a licence or manage their properties.” 


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Property auction calendar – 12th-18th December

Property auctions are a good place for investors to pick up a bargain, and every week these events are taking place at venues across the UK, offering a wide range of properties for sale. Here are details of the property auctions taking place next week. 

Here is the full list of property auction dates for December 2016.


12/12/2016         The Agents Property Auction     Tyne and Wear

12/12/2016         Savills (London - National)            London

12/12/2016         Pattinson Property Auctions       Nottinghamshire

12/12/2016         Butters John Bee             Staffordshire

12/12/2016         Clive Emson Kent & South East London  Kent

12/12/2016         Woolley & Wallis              Wiltshire


13/12/2016         Allsop Ireland   

13/12/2016         Auction House Gloucestershire Gloucestershire

13/12/2016         Clive Emson Essex, North & East London               Essex

13/12/2016         Strettons             London

13/12/2016         Sharpes                West Yorkshire

13/12/2016         Auction Estates Nottinghamshire

13/12/2016         Brown & Co        Norfolk

13/12/2016         North West Property Auction - iam-sold                Lancashire

13/12/2016         Auction House Manchester         Lancashire

13/12/2016         Countrywide Property Auctions                South Yorkshire


14/12/2016         Tayler & Fletcher Chipping Norton           Gloucestershire

14/12/2016         Auction House Copelands            Derbyshire

14/12/2016         Venmore Auctions          Merseyside

14/12/2016         Auction House Hull & East Yorkshire        North Humberside

14/12/2016         Hair & Son           Essex

14/12/2016         Auction House London  London

14/12/2016         SDL Graham Penny Nottingham                Nottinghamshire

14/12/2016         Shonki Brothers (Narborough Road)       Leicestershire

14/12/2016         Pennycuick Collins           West Midlands

14/12/2016         Clive Emson Sussex & Surrey      East Sussex

14/12/2016         Barnett Ross      London

14/12/2016         Auction House Devon & Cornwall             Cornwall

14/12/2016         Pattinson Property Auctions       Lancashire

14/12/2016         Romans                Berkshire

14/12/2016         Auction House South Yorkshire South Yorkshire

14/12/2016         Andrews & Robertson   London

14/12/2016         Auction House South Wales        South Glamorgan

14/12/2016         Cumbrian Properties - The Agents Property Auction        Cumbria

14/12/2016         Auction House Bristol & Somerset North               Bristol

14/12/2016         Auction House West Yorkshire   West Yorkshire


15/12/2016         Auction House North West          Lancashire

15/12/2016         Clive Emson Hampshire & Isle of Wight  Hampshire

15/12/2016         Savills (Nottingham)       Nottinghamshire

15/12/2016         Allsop Residential            London

15/12/2016         Sutton Kersh Auctions   Merseyside

15/12/2016         Countrywide Property Auctions                Devon

15/12/2016         North West Property Auction - iam-sold                Lancashire

15/12/2016         REA Munster Auction     County Limerick

15/12/2016         Auction House Beds & Bucks      Buckinghamshire


16/12/2016         Clive Emson West Country           Cornwall

16/12/2016         O'Donnellan & Joyce     


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UK house price growth picks up pace, says Halifax

UK house prices rose at their fastest pace for eight months in November, fresh property price data has revealed.

The Halifax, part of Lloyds Banking Group, said residential property prices had increased by 6% compared with a year ago, taking the cost of a typical home to £218,002.

Despite the pick-up, Halifax said that house price growth may slow in the coming months amid property tax changes as well as greater political and economic uncertainty.

“We’re seeing positive signs that house prices are stabilising despite a softening in annual growth due to concerns over affordability and demand from investors,” said Rob Weaver, director of investments at property crowdfunding platform Property Partner.

 

“The dominant narrative for the housing market is still Brexit-related uncertainty but the past three months have shown steady upward movements,” he added.

 

With every passing month, the property market’s post-Brexit tumble is getting “steadily smaller in the rear view mirror”, according to Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders.

 

He commented: “Prices are picking up speed slowly and steadily. This time there’s no reckless acceleration, but rather a smooth and cautious progression though the gears.”

 

Hopper believes that the Halifax’s market confidence tracker illustrates perfectly the “business as usual stoicism”.  

 


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Major £775m scheme in Paddington gets go-ahead

Plans for the regeneration of London’s Paddington Quarter was approved by the local council yesterday, which means the retail precinct around the historic Grade I-listed Paddington railway station and neighbouring Royal Mail will be completely transformed.

The regeneration project, which will cost in the region of £750m, is expected to create around 4,000 jobs once completed, while the quarter is set plough about £350m into the economy annually.

Councillor Robert Davis, the deputy leader of Westminster Council, described the new project as a “game-changer for Paddington”.

Reflecting on the scheme, Great Western Developments and Sellar Paddington Ltd (SPL), the developers of Paddington Quarter, said in a statement: “We are delighted with yesterday's decision which, after many months of assessment and public consultation, acknowledges the many benefits the scheme will provide to those living and working in Paddington as well as providing an international gateway to the capital.”

SPL chairman Irvine Sella believes that Paddington Quarter will be “a catalyst to create a thriving neighbourhood – for retail, leisure and business”, which will undoubtedly appeal to property investors planning to invest in the local area.

“Our £775m development will bring a range of quality shops and restaurants to the area that we believe will make Paddington Quarter a fantastic place to work and visit. The scheme will breathe new life into this under invested area and create a truly global gateway,” said Sella.

Work on the new project is scheduled to get underway in early 2017.


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