Streetwise Property Alert 25th October 2013

Welcome to today’s email…

Buying Signals

Some property investors just keep investing, boom or bust, whilst others wait for signs that a market has bottomed out and is rising…then they wait for more signs to be absolutely sure…and a few more to be absolutely certain and then, damn, it’s too late as they’ve missed the growth. Better wait for next time!

If you want a sign that the UK property market is back and on the rise, it comes with the news this week that more and more investment trusts are buying into property. JP Morgan’s Mercantile Investment Trust has six UK housebuilders amongst their top ten holdings – Persimmon (PSN), Bovis Homes (BVS), Barratt Developments (BDEV), Taylor Wimpey (TW.), Berkeley (BKG) and Bellway (BWY).

Neil Hermon, manager of the Henderson Smaller Companies Investment Trust, is another enthusiast. ‘It’s an attractive investment proposition; you certainly would not have thought so in 2009 – how things have changed. If you own a house, the 2 per cent rise in prices since last year and the currently low mortgage rates allow you to sleep at night and dream how you will redo the bathroom.’ Mr Hermon draws attention to Taylor Wimpey and Bellway and LSL Property Services (LSL).

New Bridging Products

Precise Mortgages, the intermediary lender, has a new set of limited edition bridging products. Quoting the press release, the products are available to all registered brokers and the lender’s Premier Panel of packagers and have rates starting from as little as 0.65 per cent per month.

Highlights are: All standard and light refurbishment rates have been cut; Minimum loan £250,000; Maximum £1m; Available until end of December; Some rates cut by as much as 0.30 per cent per month; Standard procuration fees apply. As ever, talk to your broker.

Council Tax Reminder

We’ve been sent a newspaper clipping which reminds us that we have not issued the council tax valuation reminder lately. The clipping is from Stroud and reads, ‘Another wave of a council tax rebates scam has prompted a second warning (from the local council). Householders should be wary of companies offering to gain them council tax refunds.’

‘In April, residents were first alerted about paying a fee to someone who said they would help them cut their tax. Genuine council tax reductions could be obtained free through the Valuation Office, the council said. “Over the past week we have been made aware of a company which is writing to residents in the district, quoting incorrect information on property bands and implying that neighbours have already benefited from a change in their council tax band and a large refund.” It’s easy to do it yourself – the article reminds us that ‘Householders can contact the Valuation Office on 03000 501501.’

London News

Estate agents Craysons offers a market intelligence report for various London W postcodes; we are arranging for members looking at these postcodes to receive the report early next week. Meantime, the agents offer a heads-up on what is happening there. ‘To avoid the potential cost of purchasing and owning an investment property at above £2 million, many are instead choosing to make multiple investments at below the £2 million stamp duty threshold.’

‘With agents keen to get stock on to their books, over valuing of properties continues to be a problem. Some 29 per cent of properties currently for sale in our area have been reduced in price since initial marketing. At Crayson we have reduced the price on only two of the properties we have sold so far this year. The vast majority of properties sold by us have been agreed at or above the original guide price.’ Food for thought if you see a property just coming up for sale for the first time.

All for now, see you soon.

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