5 Ways the Election Will Impact your Next House Move

The 7th May 2015 – the day of the General Election and possibly the most important day of the year for the UK as we decide who will shape the nation for the next five years. One topic that’s drawing a lot of attention is the housing market.

“How could first-time buyers be affected?”

“Will the new policies actually be implemented and when?”

“What are the impacts if I plan on renting?”

Property for saleThese are all good questions that you, the voters might be asking and the next government (whether that’s a coalition or minority government, which both seem quite likely) will have to address. Here are 5 ways we believe the upcoming election could impact your next house move.

 

All information stated is what has been promised by each party thus far and may be subject to change in the future.

 1. The Price of a Home for a First-Time Buyer

Just getting on the property ladder is tough, so all the main parties are proposing action. Whether or not it is enough remains to be seen, but the attempt by the Conservatives to re-introduce right-to-buy is a bold move. Both The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats are offering first-time buyers a Help to Buy ISA whilst the Lib Dems and Labour are proposing to build over a million houses to fulfill demand and keep prices down.

Whatever happens in the election, our verdict is that it will still remain tough for first-time buyers although things may get a little easier over time.

2. Keeping Rent Costs Down

To let signs

If purchasing a house is not for you, then renting has its benefits, but the upcoming election is unlikely to make a huge impact. Only Labour and the Greens are looking to put a cap on rent or increases. Proposals to build more houses may increase availability and keep prices down but one million new houses won’t get built overnight!

3. Renting: For How Long? 

A short term rental agreement can be a worry when you don’t know where you will live in 6 months time. Both Labour, Lib Dems and the Green party have proposals to address this with policies for longer term tenancy agreements.

4. Caring for your environment, in beautiful surroundings

Nottingham - Second house price riser

If you care for the environment and your surroundings, there are policies to please! The Labour Party and Lib Dems both have proposals for ‘Garden Cities’, whilst the Green Party and UKIP also have interesting policies around the protection of Green belt land. 

This doesn’t guarantee there will be more houses in beautiful surroundings but more ‘Garden cities’ and protection of Green belt land all helps to make Britain a beautiful place to live!

5. The Economy

Once the election is over, it could get complicated in terms of who will be in government. Initial uncertainty could have a short term impact on the economy while a minority government with little power will struggle to get its policies adopted unless they are appealing to other supporting parties. This could also be a good thing as policies need to appease a wider audience on not just the rich or the poor.

The next election could also impact interest rates on which mortgage rates are based. We aren’t going to make any predictions on how the economy could be impacted but suffice to say it could be interesting!

 

Below is a table with some of the key policies we uncovered during our research:

 

What They’re Promising…
Conservative
Labour
Lib Dem
Green
UKIP
To Build
200,000
1 million
1.5 million
500,000
-
For First-Time Buyers
Help to Buy ISA and
20% discount to first-time buyers under 40
Give priority to local first-time buyers in new housing areas
Help to Buy ISA
-
-
In the Rental Market
-
Long term tenancy agreements in the private sector and Cap on rent increases
Rent to Own policy and Ban landlords letting out poorly insulated homes
Cap rent and introduce longer tenancies
-
To Introduce
-
Capital investment in housing
and local authorities given “use it or lose it” powers

New Towns and Garden Cities.

Right to Grow given to communities.
New homes advertised in the UK before overseas.
At least 10 new Garden Cities and
30,000 Rent to Own homes a year by 2020
Bring empty homes back into use
Brownfield agency for grants and loans.
 
Protection of green belt land and
Referendums on major planning decisions.
 
New homes exempt from stamp duty on first sale and
Social housing prioritised for locals

 

Sections with a dash ( – ) are those which have not been announced
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Choosing the Perfect Property Location for a Better Lifestyle

The perfect location?

The location of your new home can have a huge impact on your lifestyle and there is plenty to consider. Do you want to live in the beautiful countryside that is quiet and peaceful or in a busy vibrant town with plenty to do? How close should you be to family and relatives and how will your new location impact your children? These are important questions to consider when choosing your property location, which we address below.

Country versus Town

A place in the country?

A home in the country offers the ideal setting with amazing views, the possibility of a good sized driveway and bigger garden – and not to mention a quieter more peaceful way of life. But it does have its limitations.

Or in town?

 

If you are a city or town person you will appreciate the convenience of being close to shops and restaurants, the gym, GP surgery, train station… and much more! The disparity in high speed internet access is still considerable for many living in a rural setting.

In an ideal world a mixture of rural and town would be perfect but is very hard to achieve and ultimately, you need to decide how much you value peace and quiet versus access to a wider range of services that comes with living near a town or city.

Home is Where the Heart is

Do you want to be near those you love?Being far from loved ones is less-than-ideal for many, especially when children are involved (or as parents get much older). But this has to be balanced against the need to commute to work. Living close to family may not always be ideal if it involves long daily commutes which can be stressful and expensive in the long run.

Distance from work may be less of an issue if you live close to a train station although this will incur higher travel costs. If you need assistance figuring out a route, the Commute Search on our main website will help.

The Kids are Alright

Is it right for the kids?

If you have children (or plan to!) then the quality and access to nearby schools is important. Towns tend to have more choice of schools whereas schools in the country tend to have small class sizes, providing a more personal learning experience.

The rural versus city question is once again an important topic when it comes to kids. While there may be sports centres and play-areas in urban locations so the kids don’t get bored, a rural home is likely to be larger and have garden space, possibly nearby fields to be active in.

Does the perfect location exist?

To cut straight to the answer, for many people it’s no. There is always a trade-off to be made but this doesn’t mean that decisions over location should be ignored.

When moving house, don’t just think about the house itself and it’s interior. Property location can have a HUGE impact on your lifestyle in terms of family, friends, work and activities that you love to do.

With this taken into account, you’re ready to start searching for your new home. Why not use our search engines to find that perfect location?

 

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Six in 10 home buyers over 60 yet to buy their dream home

  • More than a third (38%) of young first time buyers would look to move again within two years

London, 18 November 2014 – Almost six in 10 (58%) homeowners over the age of 60, and approaching retirement, have yet to own their dream property, according to a survey carried out by property search engine Placebuzz.com. Home ownership is an aspiration for many Britons, and we all dream of buying that perfect property and putting down roots. But the gap between the dream and reality has never been wider as UK property prices have skyrocketed over the past 15 years.

Although more than three quarters (78%) of those homeowners polled said they aspired to own their dream property, two thirds (66%) of homeowners said they have never been in a position to, with affordability cited as the main reason.

For the younger generation, that first home is not about finding their dream property, but more about simply getting onto the property ladder, whatever it takes. And more than a quarter (27%) of those young first time buyers polled, aged between 21-30, admitted that once they got their foot on the ladder, they planned to move again within two years.

They were willing to be flexible on the location, condition and type of property to achieve their objective. It shows that for many first time buyers their first property purchase is a practical rather than an aspirational purchase.

Competition between buyers remains a major stumbling block when it comes to a property purchase, and with intense competition for the best properties in many parts of the country, people are willing to go to any lengths, well almost any, in order to avoid missing out on a property.

Almost half (47%) of respondents said they’d be happy to take part in a sealed bid process while a third (32%) admitted they had or would make an offer after only one viewing. Almost three quarters (72%) said they would go back to renting or live with family members to ensure they were chain-free when they started the buying process.

Andy Hatoum, co-founder of Placebuzz.com, comments: “Home ownership will always be an emotive subject for the British public. Property is more than just bricks and mortar.

“Most of us dream of owning that perfect property one day, whether a quaint cottage in the country, a city centre pad or a family house down by the coast, but the booming UK property market, has dashed the hopes and dreams of many people.

“It’s fair to say that many homeowners are now probably resigned to the fact that their dream home may always be out of reach.”

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Hull has more stamp duty exempt properties than anywhere else in the country

Hull

London, 27th October, 2014 — Hull is revealed as the most first-time buyer friendly city in the UK, as new figures show that the city has the highest percentage of properties for sale under the £125,000 zero percent stamp duty threshold, according to research carried out by property search engine Placebuzz.com.

With 738 out of 1175 properties currently for sale in Hull being marketed at £125,000 or less, that’s almost two thirds (63%) of all available property stock in the city that is not liable to a stamp duty charge. Properties above £125,000 automatically incur a stamp duty charge of at least 1% of the purchase price.

With recent figures showing an 11% rise in first time buyers, Placebuzz.com looked at the number of properties currently for sale at or under £125,000 in 40 of the major towns and cities across the UK, and ranked them as a percentage of the total number of properties being marketed.

The data revealed that eight of the top 10 towns and cities with the largest percentage of zero percent stamp duty properties were in the north of England. Apart from Hull, more than 50% of properties in Bradford and Barnsley, and more than 40% in Sheffield, Wigan, Middlesbrough, Bolton and Liverpool, were on sale for £125,000 or less. Predictably, London fared the worst with less than half a percent – just 69 properties out of almost 27,000 across the capital – falling into the zero percent stamp duty bracket.

Several of the country’s oldest university towns are decidedly first time buyer unfriendly. Cambridge and Oxford came third and fourth respectively in the list of towns/cities with the lowest percentage of zero percent stamp duty properties, each with less than 1% of all properties for sale. While, Edinburgh fared little better at sixth, with just 4% of homes for sale in the lower price bracket.

The figures also highlighted a gulf within certain regions of the country. York and Leeds are separated by a mere 14 miles as the crow flies, yet in terms of being first-time buyer friendly, they’re worlds apart, with less than one in 20 properties for sale in York at £125,000 or less, compared to one in three in Leeds.

The following table shows the towns or cities with the highest percentage of properties for sale at £125,000 or less:

PropertiesUnder125k

The following table shows the towns or cities with the lowest percentage of properties for sale at £125,000 or less:

PropertiesAt125k

Andy Hatoum, co-founder of Placebuzz.com, comments: “Our research highlights the reason why campaigns calling for an overhaul of stamp duty charges are gaining traction in the run up to next year’s general election.

“Properties falling within the stamp duty exemption bracket are now at dangerously low levels in many areas, particularly in the south and midlands.

“Unsurprisingly, first-time buyers or those looking for a bargain, have greater options in the north of the country, with higher numbers of properties for sale that are unencumbered by the added financial burden of stamp duty costs.

“More needs to be done to help first-time buyers. Although numbers are rising, getting onto the property ladder is still out of reach for many.”

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Fill out our survey and Win!

SurveyScreenMacbook

We’d like to take 2 minutes of your time to complete our online survey to help us understand our users and build a better site.

To make it worth your while, we will automatically enter you into our competition for a chance to win a £100 or £50 IKEA voucher.

Terms & Conditions:

– The prize is a prize of a £100 IKEA Gift Card for the best entry and a £50 IKEA Gift Card for the runner-up.
– Entrants must be a resident of the UK.
– Entrants must be at least 18 years of age to enter.
– One entry is allowed per person.
– Only the winning entrant can be a recipient of the voucher.
– The winners will be selected from all valid survey entries, tweets and Facebook comments.

- The competition will run from 9/09/2014 until 31/10/2014 and the winner will be announced on 04/11/2014
– If a winner does not respond within 7 days of the winner announcement, the prize will be allocated to another entrant.
– This competition is not open to employees of Placebuzz or any associated companies or their immediate families.
– This competition is run independently by Placebuzz on their chosen social networking platforms and is not endorsed by, associated with or sponsored by Twitter, Facebook or IKEA.
– Placebuzz reserves the right to close the competition early.
– Placebuzz can duplicate any entries into the competition on any of their hosting platforms i.e. website or social media accounts.

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#PointlessPropertyPurchase Competition: Win a £100 or £50 IKEA Gift Card

PointlessPropertyPurchase_Competition

Move over summer, it’s Back to School time! Students will be flocking to the UK from all over the world, going on manic shopping sprees to find various items for their new digs; be it cutlery, crockery, bed linen or even a poster or two…

What we’d like to know is whether you’ve ever bought something for a new place with loads of ideas for what you’re going to do with it…

And then when you finally move in… NOTHING comes of it. It could be that smoothie maker  you dreamed of getting your 5-a-day with or that bedside cabinet you thought would really improve the feng shui. We like to call this a #PointlessPropertyPurchase.

We’re so intrigued by your Pointless Property Purchases, in fact, that we’re offering a prize for the best ones in a competition; we have a first prize of a £100 IKEA Gift Card up for grabs and a runner-up prize of a £50 IKEA Gift Card to make up for that pointless purchase of yours!

There are two ways to enter:

Twitter:

1. Follow us on Twitter (@placebuzz)
2. Tweet us your #PointlessPropertyPurchase, making sure you include the hashtag (and a photo if possible!)

Facebook:

1. ‘Like’ us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/placebuzz
2. ‘Like’ the competition post and comment with your #PointlessPropertyPurchase
(and a photo if possible!)

We’re looking forward to reading (and seeing) them!

Terms & Conditions:

– The prize is a prize of a £100 IKEA Gift Card for the best entry and a £50 IKEA Gift Card for the runner-up.
– Entrants must be a resident of the UK.
– Entrants must be at least 18 years of age to enter.
– One entry is allowed per person.
– Only the winning entrant can be a recipient of the voucher.
– The winners will be selected from all valid tweets and Facebook comments.

- The competition will run from 9/09/2014 until 17/10/2014 and the winner will be announced on 20/10/2014
– If a winner does not respond within 7 days of the winner announcement, the prize will be allocated to another entrant.
– This competition is not open to employees of Placebuzz or any associated companies or their immediate families.
– This competition is run independently by Placebuzz on their chosen social networking platforms and is not endorsed by, associated with or sponsored by Twitter, Facebook or IKEA.
– Placebuzz reserves the right to close the competition early & to change the T&C’s at any point during the competition.
– Placebuzz can duplicate any entries into the competition on any of their hosting platforms i.e. website or social media accounts.

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Swansea is most affordable place in the UK for second steppers looking to buy first family house

0019-HAMMERSMITH-CHISWICK-PLACEBUZZ

  • Edinburgh is least affordable for second steppers, with average price difference of 124.7% between flat and first house
  • London – price difference between flat and first house for second steppers is £463,580
  • Four Scottish cities; Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Glasgow, appear in list of least affordable places for second steppers
  • Two east England locations; Norwich and Ipswich, rank in the top three most affordable locations to be a second stepper

London, 20th August, 2014 — Swansea is the most affordable place in the UK for second stepper couples looking to buy their first family home, with the average price of a house only 9.6% more than the average price of a flat, according to research carried out by property search engine, Placebuzz.com.

Figures show that homeowners on the first rung of the property ladder in Swansea have the smallest percentage jump to the second rung. The average price of a one to two bedroom flat in Swansea is £133,561, compared to £146,448 for a terraced or semi-detached house. That’s a price difference of just £12,887, which is around 57% of the average annual salary in Swansea, which stands at £22,829
The problem of second stepping has forced couples across the UK to stay in their first properties, which are often flats, much longer than they would like. Placebuzz.com figures reveal towns and cities around the UK where the second step, from flat to a terraced or semi-detached house, is the largest and smallest. Only major towns and cities have been considered for this research.

The east of England came out as the most affordable region of the country for second stepper couples, with Norwich and Ipswich featuring in the top three places for most affordable second stepper towns or cities. The average percentage price difference between a terraced/semi-detached house compared to a flat in Norwich and Ipswich is 18.4% and 19.5% respectively.

This compares with Edinburgh, which came out as being the least affordable place in the UK for second steppers based on the percentage difference between the price of a house versus a flat. Couples in Edinburgh looking to buy their first family home face a mammoth 124.7% extra or £180,285 more to purchase an average terraced/semi-detached house (£324,874), compared to a one to two bedroom flat (£144,589). With the average salary in Edinburgh around £31,040, that extra cost to step up is 581% more than the average wage.

Predictably, London is the least affordable city when you look at the actual amount of money required to jump from the first rung to the second rung of the ladder, with couples facing the prospect of having to find an extra £463,580 to move from a flat to their first house. That’s a staggering 1079% of the annual central London salary of £42,970, which explains why many couples have to move out of the capital to second step.

Placebuzz.com figures reveal that Scotland actually has the two least affordable places for second steppers, with Edinburgh closely followed by Dundee, where couples looking to buy their first family home are looking at an average additional cost of £79,089 to do so. Aberdeen and Glasgow also feature high up on the list, with average second steps of £101,718 and £53,040 respectively.
The following table shows the most affordable towns or cities for second steppers looking at the price difference of an average 1-2 bedroom flat compared to a terraced or semi-detached house:

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 12.29.53

The following table shows the least affordable towns or cities for second steppers, looking at the price difference of an average 1-2 bedroom flat compared to a terraced or semi-detached house:

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 12.30.41

Andy Hatoum, co-founder of Placebuzz.com, comments: “These figures show that the gap between the first and second rung of the property ladder in many areas of the UK remains too wide for many couples to consider buying their first family house.

“The second step is the often the hardest step to take on the property ladder. But it’s also the most important for many couples, as this is the property they stay in for years to raise a family. It’s not just the price differential between a flat and a house, there’s also the additional costs of purchase such as stamp duty, extra mortgage and furnishing costs that need to be met.

“Many couples have to put off moving, and accept they might to have to raise a family in cramped conditions and in areas not necessarily suited to bringing up children. Inevitably, relocation becomes a topic of conversation around the dinner table, but this is not always an option if work or family commitments mean they have to stay local or face horrendous commuter journeys.”

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Summer Competition: WIN a £50 Amazon Gift Card

Placebuzz CompNothing goes better with summer than shopping, so we thought this was a great time for a competition. Our prize is a £50 Amazon Gift Card that can be used to get some pretty cool summer essentials!

There are two ways to enter:

1. Follow us on Twitter and RT this tweet: http://ow.ly/z7vZg

2. ‘LIKE’ our Facebook Page

Good Luck!

Placebuzz competitions have the following Terms and Conditions:

-The prize on offer in this competition is 1 x £50 Amazon Gift Card
-There is only one entry per username
-Users can enter via Twitter & Facebook
-Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and must be a resident of the UK
-The competition is not open to employees associated with Placebuzz, and their associated companies or their immediate families.
-Prizes may not be transferred to any other person and there are no cash alternatives or alternative prizes available
-Winners will be randomly selected from all valid tweets, retweets and Facebook Page ‘Likes’
-The competition winners selected must respond within 7 days of confirmation to claim prize
-Placebuzz competitions are not endorced or sponsored by Facebook or Twitter.
-Competition end date is Thursday 31st July 2014 & the Winner will be announced on Friday 1st of August 2014
-Placebuzz reserves the right to close the competition early.

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Want to live on ‘Prince George Street’? Properties command a royal price tag

royal-baby-cartoon-1

  • Properties on a street bearing the name of Prince George are on average 16% more expensive than the local average
  • Buyers can expect to pay a premium of £110,187 for the privilege – 63% higher than the UK average house price 
  • In London, properties with the regal address are a third (33%) more expensive than the average house price in the capital 

Buy property on a street bearing the name of Prince George and you can expect to pay almost a fifth (16%) above the average for that postcode, according to new data by leading property search engine, Placebuzz.com [1].

The research, coinciding with Prince George’s 1st birthday on July 22, also reveals that a property with the little prince’s moniker costs on average £110,187 more (63%), than the average UK house price[2].

According to Placebuzz.com figures, properties on Prince George streets in London are 26% more expensive than average property prices in the same postcode, and a third (33%) pricier than the average London property[3].

For example, buyers purchasing property on Prince George Road in London’s trendy Stoke Newington will pay £599,464, which is almost 50% more than the average house price in the N16 postcode.

And, in south-west London, the trend continues. Buying a property on Prince George’s Road in Wimbledon costs £725,491, 28% more than the average SW19 home.

This gulf in price is not unique to London. In Portsmouth, houses on Prince George Street are on average £223,920, over a quarter more (26%) than the cost of a home with a P01 postcode (£177,860).

The following table shows a sample of Prince George streets across the UK:

Street City Average price of a house on a ‘Prince George’ road (£) Average price of a house in the same postcode (£) % Difference compared to average house in same postcode % Difference compared to UK average
Prince Georges Road, SW19 London £725,491 £567,430 + 28% + 322%
Prince George Road, N16 London £599,464 £404,611 + 48% + 248%
Prince George Avenue, N14 London £509,111 £378,652 + 34% + 196%
Prince George Street, PO1 Portsmouth £223,920 £177,860 + 26% + 30%
Prince George Drive, DE22 Derby £179,786 £169,654 + 6% + 5%
Prince George Street, ST10 Stoke onTrent £179,495 £160,566 + 12% + 5%
Prince George Avenue, SR6 Sunderland £173,000 £163,751 + 6% + 1%
Overall Average £281,222 16% 63%

Andy Hatoum, co-founder of Placebuzz.com, says: “By George! Clearly, buyers have to fork out a lot more for the privilege of living on a road steeped in royal history. The inflated price tag associated with living on a road named after the latest addition to the royal family is almost double in Portsmouth. The baby Prince is already boosting sales of baby clothes – does his regal influence extend to the property market too? It would seem so.”

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New mortgage rules: Advice for borrowers

mortgage agreement

New mortgage rules have been introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FSA) on the 26th of April that require mortgage lenders perform a full affordability check on applicants to ensure that they can afford their mortgage now and in the future.

There are a number of actions you can take to improve your chances of getting a mortgage and minimise delays:

Review and keep hold of your payslip and bank statements

Applicants will be required to supply a number of documents that prove income and expenditure which include 3 to 6 months payslips, bank statements and detailed outgoing figures. Self employed applicants will be required to provide track records going back up to 3 years and evidence of work in the future.

Avoid gambling, going overdrawn and using payday loans as they are viewed negatively by lenders.

Create a budget plan

Lenders use affordability calculators that take account of all spending. They will access if you can afford to pay for your repayments now and in the future. Ensure you have sufficient disposable income for all your outgoings and the new mortgage. Also take into account surprises such as a rise in interest rates. Make sure you include any payments that will no longer exist after a new mortgage is taken out and avoid taking out any new debt.

Ensure you’re on the electoral role

This will help lenders identify you. If you are not already on there you can apply to get on the electoral register for free on GOV.UK.

Check you credit report

Lenders use credit agencies to determine your affordability and risk. You can obtain a copy of your credit report from credit agencies such as Experian and Equifax for a statutory price of £2. Make sure that all the details on your report are correct. Contact and try to resolve any issues with the companies in question directly.

Where can I afford to live in London? | Find a property for Sale

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