May 27, 2016
Property gossip August 2016

According to the latest research from Mortgages, dodgy home repairs, tiny rooms and poor lighting are just some of the things that would send a prospective buyer running for the hills – but what is the biggest turn off?

The survey conducted by Gocompare found that damp was the biggest area of concern for house-hunters with 71% of those asked saying that evidence of damp patches on walls or ceilings would put a stop to them buying a property. 65% said they would avoid homes that had been poorly maintained.  Odious odours were also cited as deal breakers with 61% saying that bad smells from pets, damp or cigarette smoke would turn-them off a property.

Matt Sanders, mortgages spokesperson for said, “Moving home is a big undertaking for sellers who want to attract the best price for their property and buyers who, in the main, want well maintained properties.

Our survey suggests that many homebuyers want a home that’s ready to move into and are put off by properties requiring repairs or maintenance work.

Damp is a particular area of concern – a musty smell, black mould, stained ceilings or crumbling plasterwork are all warning signs of problems which, depending on the cause, can be costly to remedy.

Interestingly, while many buyers are put off by poor maintenance and bad DIY, only a quarter would shy away from properties which have outdated kitchens or bathrooms – two of the most expensive rooms in a home to update.

Our survey also revealed that many buyers are simply put off by grubby, cluttered homes with out-of-control gardens.  When viewing a property, buyers try to imagine themselves living there – which may be hard to envisage if the kitchen has a grimy sink full of washing-up or if they have to step over dirty clothes strewn over the bedroom floor.

So if you’re thinking of selling your house, one of the easiest and most cost effective things you can do is clean and tidy your home – both inside and out – before putting it on the market.”

Top 20 property turn-offs

Damp patches and/or stains on walls or ceilings 71%
Property being in poor state of repair e.g. rotten windows, etc. 65%
Bad smells including pet smells, damp, cigarettes, etc. 61%
No parking space 59%
No garden 57%
Unfinished building work 55%
Poor natural light and/or dark rooms 50%
Outdated electrics 50%
Small, poky rooms 48%
An old, inefficient boiler or central heating system 45%
Bad DIY 43%
A small kitchen 40%
General untidiness and/or dirtiness 28%
Wooden windows 27%
Stone cladding, render of pebble dash on the outside of the property 27%
An outdated kitchen 25%
An outdated bathroom 25%
An overgrown garden 19%
Artex or textured ceilings 18%
Cluttered rooms 16%

Top tips for easy and inexpensive ways to get your home ready to sell

  1. Spring clean: Freshen-up your home by giving it a good clean – top to bottom and inside and out, and remember to air the rooms.  Cleaning the windows will also help increase the natural light into rooms.  Banish nasty smells by having the carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned and, if you have a cat, before a potential buyer views your home make sure the litter box is clean.
  2. De-clutter: You can make your home appear more spacious by de-cluttering rooms.  It will also make it easier for potential buyers to view your property if they don’t have to pick their way through piles of shoes in the hallway or toys in the lounge.  Pack away rarely used or out-of-season items, including clothes and footwear.  Thin out piles of books, magazines and DVDs.  Collect toys together and store in baskets or boxes.
  3. Repairs and DIY:  Carry out minor repairs such as fixing a dripping tap, filling holes or dents in walls or woodwork or fixing fences and gates.  Complete any outstanding DIY jobs.
  4. Tidy the garden: Cutting the grass, weeding the flowerbeds, trimming hedges and removing any litter from your garden, especially the front garden, will make your property look more inviting to potential buyers and improve its kerb-appeal.
  5. A fresh lick of paint: Repainting tired or worn décor can give a room a lift and, depending on the colour chosen, help make it look lighter or larger.

Research from Legal & General and Cebr indicates that ‘The Bank of Mum and Dad’ is set to lend over £5bn in 2016, which would make the top 10 when compared with mortgage lenders.

The research revealed that family and friends will be involved in a quarter of all UK property transactions during 2016, providing deposits for over 300,000 mortgages.

The average financial contribution is £17,500 or 7% of the average purchase price. 57% of contributions are gifts, 18% are loans with no interest and 5% are loans with interest.

What tops the home improvement wish list?

14% of homeowners are considering making improvements to their home, with 5% opting for an extension rather than setting up home elsewhere. This is according to a new report from Money and

1 A new kitchen 36%
2 Build an extension 34%
3 Install a new bathroom 33%
4 A garden make-over 24%
5 Convert the attic into an extra room 19%
6 Install a new boiler or central heating system 17%
7 Knock through rooms to create an open plan space 16%
8 Fit double glazing 10%
9 Add an extra bedroom 10%
10 Install solar panels 7%

Average rents rise again – but are they slowing?

According to the latest Buy-to-Let Index from Your Move and Reeds Rains, the average rent across England & Wales sits at £791 per month, showing a year on year rise of 3%.

In third place, London with an annual increase of 4.6%. At the top of the table – East Midlands with a whopping annual increase of 8.5%.

Twenty years of stamp duty changes

July 1997 – New higher stamp duty bands introduced

March 1998 – Higher rate brackets increase again

March 1999 – Third year running of higher band increases

March 2000 – Final consecutive higher band rate increase

April 2005 – Base rate threshold doubles to £120,000

March 2006 – Base rate threshold increases to £125,000

September 2008 – Stamp duty ‘holiday’ for the bottom end of the market, lasting until 31st December 2009

March 2010 – Temporary £250,000 base threshold for first-time-buyers introduced

April 2011 – New 5pc rate for £1m properties

January 2012 – Temporary base threshold for first-time-buyers ends

March 2012 – New 7pc rate for properties over £2m

December 2014 – Overhauled stamp duty structure, move to blended rate

April 2016 – Second home surcharge introduced

Full article here