Author: Jonathan Hyde

Tour for Tokyo: Raising funds for Paralympic cyclist Colin Lynch

Colin resides in Marple and has represented Ireland in both London 2012 and Rio 2016, winning a silver medal in the time trial in 2016. 

Now he’s working towards Tokyo 2020 but needs your help to raise funds for training, racing and equipment. The full story about why he needs your help and what the funds are for can be found here: Colin Lynch, Paralympian.

Along with the staff of Julian Wadden Estate Agents in Marple, he is organising this ride to help raise funds that will go directly towards his qualification campaign. We hope you’ll join him on the ride and follow his journey all the way to Tokyo.

If you don’t want to join the ride, you can donate directly to his fundraising campaign here: GoFundMe.

If you are interested in reading more about Colin, check out his blog here: https://racing4time.blogspot.com or view a quick video here: YouTube.

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sk6 property market review 2016

Well 2016 certainly hasn’t been a boring year. There have been major headlines throughout 2016 with many of our cultural icons passing on, political turbulence with Brexit and across the pond. You could say 2016 has been a difficult year but the great British Bake Off is back, Andy Murray won at Wimbledon and is the property market getting stronger?

I think many homeowners and buyers across the UK and more locally in SK6 will all have a similar opinion on what the market is doing, “Where are all the houses!!” And you would be right. The market has seen a lot fewer properties come available across the UK with 31% fewer houses in SK6 in comparison to 2015, which was a colossal 271 houses.

Many of our clients have experienced the dilemma of “need to move” but “nowhere to go to” and when new properties come available they tend to sell very quickly. This issue has mainly been the result of additional stamp duty charges coming into place, the European referendum and low mortgage rates. The property market was given an injection of pace at the start of the year with the rush to buy before additional stamp duty was put into place in April. This saw many buyers and BTL investors purchase a property quicker than they would have done before and in many cases something they would not have considered if the higher stamp duty wasn’t coming in, an element of panic buying. This set the tone of the market from January, and other than June, we saw an extremely strong year for properties selling, with nearly 8 out of 10 houses going under offer in comparison to only 6 out of 10 in 2015 in SK6.

As mortgage rates have been at an all-time low throughout the year, this has seen buyers realise that it is cheaper to pay a mortgage than to rent as rents continue to rise with no sign of slowing down. This has only fuelled the rise in the market locally with more able buyers now able to buy at all price brackets, creating fierce competition and pushing prices up across the board. The other issue buyers have experienced is high demand. SK6 has continued to grow in demand over the last five years but it has been more evident this year, due to the lack of new properties available. Our outstanding schools, picturesque location and short train journeys to Manchester continue to attract new families to the area. In many properties we have dealt with we have seen viewing numbers in double figures, with multiple offers and breaking the ceiling value of the street.

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it’s official – letting agents save landlords an average £1,910 per year

A new survey suggests that a letting agent saves a landlord an estimated £1,910 a year.

The result of an investigation into 500 landlords by insurance firm Endsleigh suggests that there are widespread misconceptions among landlords about the value for money offered by letting agents.

Of those landlords suggesting that they could save money by not using agents, the average sum ‘saved’ on fees was £159 per month. However, a new survey suggests that a letting agent saves a landlord an estimated £1,910 a year.

The result of an investigation into 500 landlords by insurance firm Endsleigh suggests that there are widespread misconceptions among landlords about the value for money offered by letting agents.

Of those landlords suggesting that they could save money by not using agents, the average sum ‘saved’ on fees was £159 per month.

However, comparative analysis of the rental income and void periods for those landlords with, and those without, agents suggested that in fact agents saved their clients an average of almost £2,000 each.

Most of the savings for landlords are created by agents minimising void periods when compared to landlords who go it alone marketing their property.

Some 76 per cent of respondents to the survey reported that their agent helped them pro-actively find tenants, as well as providing other services such as help with legal and financial matters and so contributing to a reduction in overall costs.

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sales in SK6 by quarters

It is the time of year when we can reflect on how the last four quarters have performed. The adjacent chart splits the total number of sales for all property types into quarters. Not surprisingly, last quarter of 2015 was the strongest quarter with 256 sales (32.4%) in SK6. The first quarter of 2016 saw 242 sales, which equates to 30.6%.

 

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tenure patterns in marple

In SK6 the most common property tenure is owning with a mortgage (23,333 households which is equal to around 46%). This figure also includes shared ownership. The next more common tenure is those lucky people who own their home outright, accounting for 17,400 households or 35%.

 

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SK6 flat and house prices

The last 18 months have seen a seismic shift in the underlying dynamics of the UK economy. While the long term effects of Brexit on property prices remain to be seen, price levels in SK6 remain robust, as the adjoining chart shows. Prices for flats have increased 10.3% since April 2016 and house prices have increased 11.7% since December 2015.

 

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what impact does a good primary school have on SK6?

A property’s desirability is often a popular subject when we are talking to homeowners and local investors. Sure, you will find that Kirsty and Phil are right, and it is all about “location, location, location”, but the savvy property hunter has something else on their minds these days, and that is “education, education, education”.

More and more people searching for a home are looking at a property’s proximity to a good school before signing on the dotted line. If you already have children, the importance of this cannot be taken lightly, while it is also something to think about for those who are planning on starting a family in the near future.

Ofsted report and rank all schools in the UK, with their results having a huge effect on how desirable a school is. Consequently, this has a knock-on effect on demand for nearby housing.

If you look at the league tables, you will see that Ludworth Primary School is one of the best local primary schools in SK6.

The figures don’t lie: in the last academic year, 96% of year six students hit the nationally expected target of level four and higher in the key areas of reading, writing and maths. It was also found that 47% of pupils hit the “above national average” level five. You can’t argue with a low pupil to teacher ratio either. Ludworth Primary School has an average class size of 21.6, which means more teacher attention for each pupil and a greater chance of child progression.

These excellent results have impacted both local schools and property prices. The 500m zone around Ludworth Primary School has an average sold property price of £275,100 in the third quarter of 2016, whereas 5km away the average sold property price was £234,000, a 15.0% premium

.ludworth-school

It is not quite the same story for secondary schools but there are good reasons for this. Your average secondary school is large, much larger than a primary school, so it takes in more pupils every year. This means that its catchment zone spans further than primary school’s catchment zones. Parents do not need to live so close to a secondary school to be assured a place for their child.

The other issue is that according to the London School of Economics, the difference between the top and bottom 25% of secondary schools is not quite as dramatic as the top and bottom 25% of primary schools. A good primary school in SK6 is potentially going to have far more of an impact on a child than a good secondary school.

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marple landlords and tenants : what does the tenant fee banning order mean for you?

• Tenant Fees set to banned within 12 to 18 months
• Rents due to rise as those fees passed to Landlords
• Landlords won’t be worse off – and neither will tenants or agents

With our new Chancellor of the Exchequer revealing a ban on tenant fees in his first Autumn Statement on Wednesday what does this actually mean for Marple tenants and Marple landlords?

The private rental sector in Marple forms an important part of the Marple housing market and the engagement from the chancellor in Wednesday’s Autumn Statement is a welcome sign that it is recognised as such. I have long supported the regulation of lettings agents which will ensconce and cement best practice across the rental industry and, I believe that measures to improve the situation of tenants should be introduced in a way that supports the growing professionalism of the sector. Over the last few years, there has been an increasing number of regulations and legislation governing private renting and it is important that the role of qualified, well trained and regulated lettings agents is understood.

Great News for Marple Tenants

So, let’s look at tenants … this is great news for them, isn’t it? Well before you all crack open the Prosecco, read this …

Although I can see prohibiting letting agent fees being welcomed by Marple tenants, at least in the short term, they won’t realise that it will rebound back on them.

First up, it will take between 12 and 18 months to ban fees, as consultation needs to take place, then it will take an Act of Parliament to implement the change. A prohibition on agent fees may preclude tenants from receiving an invoice at the start of the tenancy, but the unescapable outcome will be an increase in the proportion of costs which will be met by landlords, which in turn will be passed on to tenants through higher rents.

Published at the same time as the Autumn Statement, hidden in the Office for Budget Responsibility’s Economic and Fiscal Outlook on the Autumn Statement (The Office for Budget Responsibility being created by Government in 2010 to provide independent and authoritative analysis of the UK’s public finances), it said on Wednesday …

“The Government has also announced its intention to ban additional fees charged by private letting agents. Specific details about timing and implementation remain outstanding, so we have not adjusted our forecast. Nevertheless, it is possible that a ban on fees would be passed through to higher private rents”

The charity Shelter and Scotland

Scotland banned Letting Fees in 2012. The charity Shelter have been a big voice in persuading and lobbying the Government since it managed to persuade the Scottish Parliament to ban fees in 2012. On all the TV and radio shows at the moment, they keep talking about their Independent Research, which they said showed that,

“renters, landlords and the industry as a whole had benefited from banning fees to renters in Scotland. It found that any negative side-effects of clarifying the ban on fees to renters in Scotland have been minimal for letting agencies, landlords and renters, and the sector remains healthy.”

Going on,

“Many industry insiders had predicted that abolishing fees would impact on rents for tenants, but our research show that this hasn’t been the case. The evidence showed that landlords in Scotland were no more likely to have increased rents since 2012 than landlords elsewhere in the UK. It found that where rents had risen more in Scotland than in other comparable parts of the UK in 2013, it was explained by economic factors and not related to the clarification of the law on letting fees”

.. yet the devil is in the detail….

Only yesterday Shelter were quoting this Research from December 2013 to say rents never went up following the tenant fee ban in Q4 2012. I have read that research and I agree with that research, but it was published three years ago, only 12 months after the ban was put into place.

I find it strange they don’t seem to mention what has happened to rents in Scotland in 2014, 2015 and 2016…because that tells us a completely different story!

What really happened in Scotland to rents?

I have carried out my research up to the end of Q3 2016 and this is the evidence I have found;

In Scotland, rents have risen, according the CityLets Index
by 15.3% between Q4 2012 and today

(CityLets being the equivalent of Rightmove North of the Border – so they know their stuff and have plenty of comparable evidence to back up their numbers).

When I compared the same time frame, using Office of National Statistics figures for the English Regions between 2012 and 2016, this is what has happened to rents

• North East 2.17% increase
• North West 2.43% increase
• Yorkshire and The Humber 3.21% increase
• East Midlands 5.92% increase
• West Midlands 5.52% increase
• East of England 7.07% increase
• South West 5.82% increase
• South East 8.26% increase

• London 10.55% increase

….and let me remind you about Scotland … 15.3% increase.

fees-graph

Are you really telling me the Scottish economy has outstripped London’s over the last 4 years? Is anyone suggesting Scottish wages and the Scottish Economy have boomed to such an extent in the last 4 years they are now the Powerhouse of the UK? Because if they had, Nicola Sturgeon would have driven down the A1 within a blink of an eye, to demand immediate Independence.

So what will happen in the Marple Rental Market in the Short term?

Well nothing will happen in the next 12 to 18 months … its business as usual!

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winter wonderland

The festivities extend in to Marple Bridge with the annual Winter Wonderland taking place on Saturday 3rd December 1-4pm.

Organised by the Marple Bridge Association there is sure to be plenty of activities to keep both the adults and Children amused! There will be an array of stalls offering local, handmade gifts and refreshments including Mulled wine! There will also be a band, rides and a tombola. The Marple Bridge Association are looking for tombola prizes to be donated, these can be dropped off at Marple Bridge Post Office.

Please note Town Street will be closed to all vehicles from 11am-5pm.

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