House prices continue to rise – south west up 6.4% annually

Pockets of the UK are continuing to experience mini house price booms despite transactions falling in all regions in the year since the Brexit vote.

Figures from the Land Registry show that UK house prices in August rose 5%, up from 4.5% in July, to £225,956.

On a monthly basis values were up just 0.5%.

Regionally, many parts of the UK are seeing annual growth above the average, although most are struggling to get above the average monthly growth rate of 0.5%.

The north west leads the annual growth tables, up 6.5% to £159,865 during August, and also has the largest monthly growth among the English regions at 2.3%.

Prices in the east of England during August were up 6.4% annually, although flat on a monthly basis, to £288,440.

The east midlands had the same rate of annual growth and was up just 0.3% since July to £183,762.

Similarly, the south west was up 6.4% annually to £188,447, up 0.6% on a monthly basis.

Prices in London were up by the least annually at 2.6% and down 1% on a monthly basis to £484,362.

House prices may still be rising annually, but the Land Registry data gives the first official snapshot of transactions in the 12 months since the Brexit vote and shows a different story.

In June 2017, the latest figures available, the number of property transactions completed in the UK decreased by 6.7% year-on-year to 85,528 sales, the Land Registry said.

Much of this decline was due to an 11% drop in England to 66,082 sales, with the rest of the UK experiencing increases.

Transactions in Scotland were up 19.3% to 10,473 on an annually basis, 5% in Northern Ireland to 5,106 and 1.4% in Wales to 3,867.

Further analysis of the Land Registry data shows sales volumes have fallen across all English regions during those 12 months.

London had the steepest decline in the 12 months to June 2017, falling 20% to 6,768, while the South-West and East England saw 14% drops to 7,928 and 7,795 respectively.

The street names that put off buyers…

House buyers have a wish list when they view a property and the name of the street probably won’t be on that list. However, research  reveals that a controversial, rude, extreme, or silly street name could put off potential buyers, with the number of house sales up to four times lower than on neighbouring streets with more neutral names.

Researchers looked at the number of house sales over the past 20 years on some of the UK’s more unusually named streets; such as Backside Lane, Stalin Road and Spanker Lane, and compared with the number of house sales on adjoining streets with more conventional names, that aren’t likely to make people chuckle or cringe.

Take Dumbwomans Lane, in Rye – a street name likely to raise quite a few eyebrows. Not surprisingly, house sales have been few and far between since 1997, with four times fewer house sales (-333%) than on neighbouring Station Road.

Spiders Lane (-308%), which is likely to tap into many peoples’ phobias, and Lickers Lane (-306%), possibly too embarrassing for many buyers, have also had four times fewer property sales than on neighbouring streets Lime Grove and Parkwood Road.

Devils Lane and Stalin Road may not sit comfortably with many buyers, and that’s possibly reflected in the number of house sales over the past two decades on these streets. Neighbouring Chiltley Lane has had more than three times (243%) more house sales than on Devils Lane. And Stalin Road, sharing its name with the Soviet Union dictator, has had 70% fewer house sales than nearby Barn Hall Avenue.

While, Rats Lane has had just five sales since 1997 and Loveless Gardens only four sales.

The following table lists some of the more unusual, controversial and extreme street names in the UK, and compares the number of house sales over the past 20 years with sales on neighbouring streets.

Unusual Street name Neighbouring street Town, Postcode % lower/higher house sales on unusual streets since 1997
Dumbwomans Lane Station Road Rye, TN31 6 -333%
Spiders Lane Lime Grove Exmouth, EX8 5 -308%
Lickers Lane Parkwood Road Prescott, L35 3 -306%
Loveless Gardens Henderson Gardens Gateshead, NE10 8 -275%
Devils Lane Chiltley Lane Liphook, GU30 7 -243%
Cockshot Road Chart Lane Reigate, RH2 7 -163%
Cock-A-Dobby Sylvan Ridge Sandhurst, GU47 8 -114%
Spanker Lane Shop Lane Nether Heage, DE56 2 -70%
Stalin Road Barn Hall Avenue Colchester, CO2 8 -67%
Rats Lane Manor Road Loughton, IG10 4 -60%
Snakes Lane Western Approaches Southend-on-Sea,

SS2 6

-31%
Backside Lane Glebe Street Warmsworth, DN4 9 -20%
Chicken Road High View North Wallsend, NE28 9 -19%
Adolf Street Amulf Street London SE6 3 -5%
Crotch Crescent Derwent Avenue Marston, OX3 15%
Titty Ho Wellington Road Wellingborough, NN9 6 34%

Surprisingly, on two of the streets  researched, the number of sales were actually higher on the more unusually named street. Possibly tapping into the British sense of humour, Crotch Crescent and Titty Ho, have likely raised a few chuckles over the years. But they also seem to have boosted house sales, with sales on Crotch Crescent 15% higher than nearby Derwent Avenue and 34% higher on Titty Ho than on neighbouring Wellington Road.

Average room price is double average UK salary: ONS

The latest ONS statistics for house price per square meter and per room has revealed that the average room price the UK is £57,065 – double the average UK annual salary.

Between 2004 and 2016 the price per habitable room in England and Wales has risen by around 45%.

The highest house price per square metre (which includes both houses and flats) is in London with an average cost of over £6,500 for each square metre.

Between 2004 and 2016, price per area in London nearly doubled (98%) with the East of England and the South East both increasing by around 55% over the period.

The borough of Kensington and Chelsea is the most expensive area to buy a house, with an average price of £19,400 per metre squared, around eight times the England and Wales average.

At the lower end you would pay £777 per metre squared in Blaenau Gwent, a third of the England and Wales average and less than 5% of the prices in Kensington and Chelsea.

Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, commented: “Today’s figures crudely highlight the extent of the affordability crisis that is hindering the dream of home ownership for millions. To put today’s figures into context, the average price per room in the UK is £57,065, double the average UK annual salary.

“While these figures highlight a widening North/South divide, the issue of making property more affordable remains a nationwide one.

“Our research shows that England will reach a housing shortfall of a million homes by 2020. With Theresa May’s pledge for affordable housing only expected to fund 25,000 additional homes, it is clear government’s current appetite for intervention will not bring the dream of homeownership back to reality.

“The industry must act now to address this shortfall to stop the cost of homes for everyday people reaching premium and prime levels.”

18m Brits set to inherit a property – most will not live in it

New research among 2,000 UK adults by bridging lender MFS has revealed the intentions of those expecting to inherit a property.

The survey found that 36% of people across the country will be inheriting a property – equivalent to 18.64 million people.

According to the findings, of those in line to inherit a property:

• The expected market value of the property they are due to inherit all or part of is £347,500

• 67% will not choose to live in the property they are inheriting, totalling 12.49 million UK adults

• 55% will sell the property as soon as possible so they can re-invest the money in a different asset of their choosing – equivalent to 10.25 million people across the country

• 32% will be refurbishing their inherited property so that it is in a better condition to sell or rent·

• 25% do not know what to do once they inherit a property and will require advice

At a time when those aged 55 and over own more than £1.5 trillion worth of property in the UK alone, new research by bridging lender MFS reveals the intentions of those set to inherit homes from family or friends.

Based on an independent, nationally-representative survey of more than 2,000 UK adults, MFS found that more than a third of UK adults (36%) will be inheriting property in some form – equivalent to 18.64 million people. Furthermore, the expected market value of the property they are due to inherit all or part of is £347,500. The findings coincide with research from Royal London, which estimates that £400 billion worth of property will be passed from grandparents to younger generations in the coming decade.

When asked what they intend to do with the house they will be inheriting, 67% of respondents said they have no intention of living in it. Faced with the future prospect of unintentionally owning a property, the research found that over half (55%) of respondents will be looking to sell as soon as possible so that they can re-invest the money in a different asset or property of their choosing – amounting to 10.25 million UK adults. However, nearly a third (32%) are looking to take advantage of the long-term returns on offer by undertaking some form of refurbishment so that the house is in a better condition to sell or place on the rental market.

While a significant number of adults already know what they are planning to do with the property they are inheriting, MFS’ research also revealed that one in four (25%, or 4.66 million adults) still have no idea what to do with the real estate being passed down to them. For millennials, this number jumps from 25% to 39%, with nearly two fifths of 18-34 year olds requiring advice to help decide what to do with their inherited property.

What are the top things which will devalue your property?

Moving house is an exciting time, and the first step is getting your property valued. However, there are several things which homeowners are sometimes surprised to hear have devalued their home, rather than made it more desirable.

Installing solar panels

While solar panels may save you money on energy bills in the short-term, and they’re environmentally friendly, they might not actually add any value to your home. The problem with technology is that it ages quickly, and it can be expensive to upgrade. The same applies to built-in kitchen appliances, which are great to start with, but within five years are out of date. Solar panels can also appear as unsightly and unattractive, and those more concerned with aesthetics than the environment don’t usually want them stuck on the side of their roof.

Over personalisation

Of course when it comes to decorating your house, you should design it to suit your personal taste. However, if your taste is particularly colourful or bold, it’s might be worth re-decorating before you start to market your home. Typically, modestly decorated homes are most desirable, as homeowners can easily see how their own belongings would fit into the space, and how they could make it their home.

Swimming pools

Although great fun for a weekend or two in the summer, swimming pools in Britain aren’t usually considered an attractive house feature. They’re expensive to maintain, use up a lot of space, and the great British weather means you can’t actually use them very often – often making them a lot more fuss than they’re worth.

Planning permission and building regulations

If you have had any works carried out while you’ve been living in the property, such as extensions or conversions, make sure you obtained appropriate planning permission and building regulations, and have access to these documents.

Darkened rooms

If you have two identical properties, and one is bright and airy while the other is dark and dingy, nine times out of the ten, the brighter one will be worth more, because it’s more desirable. Foliage around windows, and large trees should be cut back before marketing your property to give the impression of a light and spacious home.

Japanese Knotweed

The infamous weed, Japanese Knotweed, is more common than you think – and it can damage the foundations of your home and significantly devalue it if it’s at risk of subsidence as a result. If you think you can see any in your garden, call a professional to excavate is as soon as possible.