The latest news from Winkworth

The latest news from Winkworth




10 virtual tours of the world’s most famous landmarks

They’re closed for now but you can still take an interactive online tour of 10 of the world’s most famous landmarks as pulled together here by The Guardian; the perfect opportunity to gaze over the edge of Machu Picchu or marvel at the Pyramids from every angle, all whilst being sat at home.

Click here to read 10 virtual tours of the world’s most famous landmarks.



<span style="font-size: 18px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica;">Are you asking these key questions when you buy or sell?</span>

A recent study has revealed the 'most dreaded' and unusual questions buyers have asked about a property before putting in an offer.

With a small minority asking whether the pets come included in the sale, it’s fair to say that not all of the responses are winners.

However, the report by Hillarys has shed light on just how many Brits lack proper preparation during the home buying process.

Up to two-thirds will not plan their questions ahead of a house viewing, meaning they are not getting the full value out of the experience, as well as potentially wasting an opportunity to find out all of the property’s pros and cons earlier on.
 
The most dreaded questions from buyers:
 
Has it dropped in value?  54%
What local plans could affect us?  42%
What’s the lowest price we could get it for?  33%
Is the seller in a chain? 21%
 
 
To help you make the most of your viewings the next time you decide to buy or sell, we thought we'd share practical suggestions for you to consider.
 
 

What are some of the more serious questions you should be asking?

Whether you're instructing an agent or viewing a property, how prepared you are will determine how quickly you're able to move.

Are you asking these key questions:

1. Exactly what is included in the sale? Whilst it's safe to assume most sellers will want to keep their pets, it's important to outline what content might be included, such as fixtures, fittings and garden furniture.

2. How long has it been on the market and how many offers have they received so far?

3. When are the sellers looking to move out? Knowing whether they've already found another home or they're still in the midst of looking will help you to determine how long the process may take and how much room for uncertainty there is.

4. Have there been recent renovations or any difficulties with boilers, drains and guttering?

5. How did the agent decide on an asking price? Good agents will be able to provide justifications for the value of a property, so you'll know whether it's listed at the right amount or if it's overpriced.
 
 

What to ask when selling:

1. How will you market my property? Are they regularly contacting a database of suitable applicants to give you greater market exposure, or does their strategy start and end with a basic Rightmove listing?

2. What are your success metrics and how do they compare to other agents? In other words, what's their experience selling a home like yours at a price like yours?

3. How much will you charge? Choosing the agent who offers the lowest fees won't guarantee you reach asking price and you may lose time and money on the market, be savvy when you instruct representation for your property investments.

4. What are the contract terms? Before beginning any contractual relationship, know exactly what it is you should expect from them.

If you're thinking of selling and want to find out the value of your home, contact us.
 
 
 
 



<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica; font-size: 18px;">The eviction ban extension for tenants and landlords</span>

 
In a move that was intended to “support renters over winter”, Housing Secretary – Robert Jenrick – announced key changes to regulations surrounding tenancy evictions.

The ban on evictions, which has now been extended until the 20th of September, will mark a six-month period in which no tenant has been legally evicted at the height of the pandemic.

From September 21st, it will be a requirement for landlords to provide information on a renter’s financial circumstances in relation to the coronavirus when making possession claims regarding rent arrears.

Alongside this, landlords will now need to provide a notice period of six months when seeking possession of their property. This will apply up to March 2021.

With courts prioritising hearings based on the severity of each individual case, coming to an agreed solution with your tenants would be the preferred approach to take, where rent payments are not being met.

Of course, exceptions have been outlined for the following instances:

• Anti-social behaviour – four weeks’ notice
• Domestic violence – two weeks’ notice
• Rent arrears totalling six months – four weeks’ notice
 
 

Could there be a better solution?

Given that the vast majority of private landlords (94%) are renting just one or two properties, this could have significant consequences on income revenue for these individuals.

In a recent letter to the Prime Minister, the National Residential Landlords Association have called for reconsiderations to be made to protect the private rented sector and enable landlords to keep offering accommodation to UK renters.

They wrote that: “failure to provide any direct financial support for the sector during the pandemic means that many landlords will be forced to seek money claims against renters building arrears. This would leave tenants' credit scores in tatters.”

The NRLA put forward the argument that the only way to untangle the conflict with COVID-19 related rent arrears is to offer interest-free, government-guaranteed hardship loans to tenants.

As this has already been introduced in Wales, the NRLA argue that it would be the best solution to “sustain tenancies and remove any risk of eviction as furlough is removed”.

We're doing our utmost to protect and support our landlords and tenants at this time, contact us for more information on how we can help you.
 
 



<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica; font-size: 18px;">Property market surges post-lockdown</span>

Ever since its announcement, the government’s stamp duty holiday has sparked a surge in activity across the country’s property market.

Now, as we head into a new season, we’re seeing 61% increased demand compared to the same time last year – according to Rightmove.

The South East and East of England are the UK’s highest market performers, each up by 70% individually, but across all regions growth in demand is said to be outstripping supply.

Whilst this puts homeowners in an advantageous position with their next sale, it’s not expected to last for much longer, with new listings gradually climbing up as well.

Areas along the southern commuter belt have seen new properties double when compared to the same six-week period in 2019, including for Harlow in Essex, Hertford, Wickford, St Albans and East Grinstead.

An interesting development post-lockdown is the effect of changing buyer priorities on the market, with Zoopla reporting that larger homes are being snapped up the fastest.

Four and five-bed homes are selling in record time at 27 days, which is 31% lower than the same period last year and an obvious response to Brits needing more space coming out of lockdown.

Three-bed properties continue to be the market’s fastest selling property type, taking just over three weeks, on average.

Commenting on these market findings, Rightmove property expert – Miles Shipside – says: “We always knew that the stamp duty holiday was going to be a big incentive for people to get moving this year, and it’s certainly sparked a home-moving frenzy.

“Thousands of sellers are being tempted to come to market for a number of reasons. Firstly, lots of buyers stand to make pretty sizeable savings thanks to the stamp duty holiday – particularly in the southern commuter belt – so now seems as good a time as any to press ahead with home-moving plans.

“We’re also seeing a growing trend of people looking to move out of urban areas and into smaller towns, with homeowners in built-up areas reassessing their housing needs and looking for places with more outside space.

“Lastly, proximity to a station doesn’t seem to be as important as it once was, meaning sellers in these commuter towns are looking to move a little further afield as working from home becomes a more permanent way of life.”

If you’re looking to sell or buy in 2020, book your market valuation to get started.
 
 
 



<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica; font-size: 18px;">The changing landscape for city office spaces</span>

Fewer than 8% of Brits had experience working remotely at the start of 2020.

Within a matter of weeks, this figure rose considerably as businesses scrambled to meet new demands and challenges, with 46.6% of the country’s professional workforce ‘clocking in’ from home across April and May – rising to 57% in London.

This month, the government will be encouraging more and more firms to return to their offices, addressing a very real concern about the economic toll remote working has had on city centres.

High streets up and down the UK are all but empty of foot traffic, meaning that small businesses will continue to struggle to stay in business over the coming months.

Whilst acknowledging the merits of home working, Dame Carolyn comments on the role the UK’s offices play as “vital drivers” of the economy, suggesting that:

"The costs of office closure are becoming clearer by the day. Some of our busiest city centres resemble ghost towns, missing the usual bustle of passing trade.”
 
 

Is remote working here to stay?

It’s estimated that those working from home have racked up an extra 28 hours of monthly overtime during lockdown, which adds up to almost four days’ additional work.

The chief reason for this being that 86% feel it’s a necessity to prove their value to their employers and ultimately keep their jobs.

Although remote working has put a strain on the country’s commercial hubs, with employees equally feeling more workload pressure, there’s an evident shift in mindset amongst professional workers towards flexible opportunities.

Of those asked, only 7% would opt to work full time without any element of remote working.

Compared to 93% who would want at least one day a week from home.

Whether you’re in need of a new home with dedicated office space, or you’d like to find out what commercial properties are available, talk to us.