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-family: Arial, Helvetica;">UK property market set to grow 4% in 2021</span>

As we come into the new year, the housing market is forecast to continue its positive state, according to Rightmove.
 
House prices are set to grow an average of four per cent, despite the stamp duty holiday ending soon.

The market has seen a great increase in demand since the first lockdown, with larger houses proving to be the most popular property type, which is largely attributed to a change in routine and the rapid adoption of remote working across the country.
 
In July, Chancellor Rishi Sunak introduced a stamp duty holiday allowing houses purchased for under £500,000 to benefit from a tax break.
 
Although this scheme is due to end on March 31st, many people within the sector are calling for an extension, so that buyers and investors may continue to benefit from additional support and to speed up economic recovery.

Mortgage lender Halifax recently reported that over the last five months, the house price increase has reached its highest record since 2004. 
 
Seasonal trends suggest that January is a popular time for buyers and sellers. This year, that demand is off the charts, with homeowners rushing to reach completion and see stamp duty savings.
 
Rightmove expect the market to remain resilient despite the pandemic and Brexit.
 
They claim that the uncertainties of COVID-19 and Brexit have been around for long enough to not deter Brits from buying and selling.
 
If you’re looking to buy or sell, get in touch with our local market advisors for more information on what to expect in 2021.
 
 
 



<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica;">Positive property market developments from 2020</span>

Looking back on 2020, it’s easy to focus on the negatives. However, the impact last year had on the property market was definitely overall positive.
 
What is in store for the sector this year?

Government schemes

2020’s COVID crisis gave rise to the stamp duty and mortgage holiday to support property homeowners and landlords through their financial hardship.
 
The stamp duty holiday began on July 8th and will remain in place until March 31st this year, giving buyers and investors the opportunity to see savings of up to £15,000.
 
Due to the scheme, house sales rose by a huge 21.3% in September.*
 
Whilst it's been reported that an impressive 140,000 more people are waiting to complete on their house purchase since this time last year.**

Similarly, the mortgage holiday was initially introduced in March 2020 and has been extended various times with a current end date of July 2021.
 
This scheme was announced to help households who had been financially impacted by the pandemic and can be taken for up to six months.

For more information, please speak to your lender directly on whether a payment holiday is the right solution for you.

House price surges

With property priorities changing to favour gardens, large living spaces, rural locations, home offices and dining rooms, prices for these properties has increased massively.
 
Similarly, with the aid of the stamp duty holiday, many buyers have been able to push themselves financially and purchase a larger property than they first thought possible.

With so many positive elements to take away from 2020, and a bright future for the property market ahead, now is a great time to evaluate your options.
 
If you’re thinking of buying, selling or letting this year, contact us.

Contact us here

*GOV.UK
**Property Wire
 
 



<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica;">The updated 'how to rent' guide for tenants and landlords</span>

As a landlord, there are a number of legal requirements to be complied with prior to letting out a property.

One of these is to provide a copy of the Government issued 'How to Rent' checklist to all tenants when entering into and renewing an assured shorthold tenancy, which is the most common type of contractual letting agreement.

The Government has recently released an updated How to Rent guide, which can be found here.


The guide is designed to help tenants understand their rights and responsibilities under an assured shorthold tenancy both before the tenancy starts and during the term of the agreement.


What additions or changes have the government made to the guide?

There are some noticeable differences with the latest version, which now provides answers to tenants' frequently asked questions, including the level of deposit and its protection, necessary documentation and length of term.

Another important addition is the reference to a landlord's obligations regarding mandatory electrical testing, and a review of the permitted fees under the Tenant Fees Act, which was introduced in 2019.

The Government's latest guide also sets out the information that must be provided by a landlord to tenants, as well as a summary of what each party must and should do during the tenancy.

Importantly, it gives advice to tenants on what to do if things go wrong, whilst clearly setting out what should happen at the end of the tenancy.


Why is it so important landlords provide this guide to their tenants?

Landlords need to bear in mind that giving tenants the How to Rent guide is a legal requirement.

Without doing this, it hinders your ability to later serve a valid Section 21 notice and regain possession of your property, if required to do so.

This is due to the fact that the How to Rent guide is one of the statutory pre-conditions for serving a Section 21 notice.

We will always ensure on behalf of our landlord clients that their tenants are provided with a copy of this guide and that all other landlord requirements on the grant of an assured shorthold tenancy are complied with.

If you want any further information about the How to Rent guide or landlord and tenant requirements on the grant of an assured shorthold tenancy, please call our lettings team who will be happy to help.
 



<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica;">Your property investment checklist</span>

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on many aspects of our lives over the past 12 months, but the property investment sector has stayed somewhat consistent.
 
With the property market healthy and prosperous, now is a great time to invest, following these simple considerations.
 

1) Does your property have remote working potential?

With many workers continuing to work from home in 2021, property priorities are changing.

When picking your investment property, whether your intention is to rent or sell, you should be looking for areas where an in-home office could be set up.
 

2) Is your property energy efficient?

Older properties can sometimes have issues with not being very energy efficient, whether it's due to older windows or wooden flooring and poor insulation.
 
As it costs more to keep the property warm in winter, tenants and buyers are typically wary of energy-inefficient homes.
 
Thick carpets and double-glazed windows are key instalments for a buy-to-let or buy-to-sell project.
 
Other aspects to look into are the boiler and the wall insulation, as investing in these areas will lower energy bills for years to come but raise the value of your property.


3) Are you selling or renting?

When you are looking for an investment property, it’s important to know how you’re going to proceed after it has been purchased.
 
For example, a property that is up for rent may need to be furnished and decorated to suit tenant needs, whereas buyers often prefer a blank canvas.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to sell the property on, you should consider looking into mortgage lenders to ensure that the property will be accepted for a mortgage to help reach its full potential.
 
This will also allow for a quicker sale so that you can progress onto your next investment project.
 

4) Have you researched the local area?

With current priorities having changed in the past year, both potential buyers and renters are all looking for properties close to green space rather than being in busier areas.
 
Due to this, properties near parks or possessing a garden are more popular than ever and will be sure to attract the most attention.


As your trusted local agents, we are here to help you every step of your investment journey. To get started today, browse our properties.