Great communicators. Nothing was too much trouble.

When there was a problem with the buyer, it was sorted. Chamberlains- Michelle and James at Newton Abbot were always so positive and helpful. They chased up the buyers and got me the best price. Great advice on solicitor too. I would use Ison Harrison for any property buying or selling. Helen and Max at the Teignmouth office were also in constant communication with me regarding the sale,of another property, even when I was in France.
I would use this estate agent over anyone else after they got the deal I wanted and were pleasant ,helpful and effective. I am Impressed!!

Fantastic service, Quick sale at the right time!

We were only looking into the option of selling our property that we were renting out and spoke to Chamberlains about a valuation on the property which was more than we thought. They also had buyers ready to view the property. With the increase in stamp duty, Chamberlains managed to get an inflated sale price and the sale and exchange of the property on the a specific date which we needed.

They kept great communication along the whole process and were actually more helpful than our solicitors!

Overall they gave us a quick sale at a good price and managed the sale extremely well with difficult buyers.

Would recommend to anyone!

Newton Abbot office

The initial interview was professional, helpful and the manager was informative. The two negotiators we had working on our behalf were very happy to answer all my queries, nothing was too much trouble. They kept me informed through the whole process, making the sale as easy as possible.
I would not hesitate to recommend Chamberlains to anyone.
I have now instructed them to act as agent for my Mothers property.

Significant increase in older people living alone

According to a new report from the International Longevity Centre, despite significant increases in the numbers of older people living alone, half of all older people with care needs haven’t made adaptations to their homes to make it easier to live in.

Whilst specialist retirement housing can offer more adaptations and play a part in supporting downsizing, new analysis from the think tank finds that the retirement housing supply gap is set to worsen.

The State of the Nation’s Housing is published today by the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK), and supported by FirstPort, the UK’s largest residential property manager. The report paints a picture of increased under-occupancy and declining average household size:

• Since 2005 there has been a significant increase in the number of 45-64 year olds living alone (500,000) as well as the number of 65-74 year olds living alone (300,000).
• The average household size was 2.9 people in 1971. Today there are on average 2.3 people per household.
• Over 16 million people – mainly owner occupied, middle aged and older households – live in under-occupied housing. 6 million live in houses with 2 or more excess bedrooms.
• The 50 to 64 age group has the highest number of people in under-occupied homes (4.5 million), while the 65-79 age group has the highest proportion.
• Nearly 9 in 10 of the 65-79 age group live in under-occupied housing – over 50% live in homes with two or more excess bedrooms.

But millions of over 50s with care needs haven’t adapted their housing

Population ageing is leading to rising care needs, but these needs are not being met. Since 2008-9 the numbers of older people (aged over 65) receiving care has fallen by 30%, while it has fallen by around 26% for those aged 18-64. As a result there are now half a million fewer people receiving care services than there were in 2008-9.

In 2012/13, there were 1.86 million people over the age of 50 in England who had unmet needs – an increase of 120,000 people (or 7%) since 2006/7. This means that around 1 in 10 people aged over 50 in England has an unmet care need. Less than half of those over 50s with a limitation in an Activity of Daily Living (ADL) live in homes with any health-related adaptations.

Specialist retirement housing could be a solution for some, but new analysis by the ILC-UK projects a shortage of 160,000 retirement housing by 2030

• Those in retirement housing are significantly more likely to be living in homes with adaptations than those who do not. Approximately 87% of those in retirement housing have home adaptations, by comparison to around 60% of other housing.

• The rate of construction of new housing for older people has varied over the years. It peaked in 1989 at 30,000 units but has since fallen back dramatically – averaging around 7,000 new units a year over the last decade.

• There are around 515,000 specialist retirement and extra care homes in England. However, this means that there is only enough specialist housing to accommodate 5% of the over-65 population.

• According to our calculations, there could be a retirement housing gap of 160,000 retirement housing by 2030 if current trends continue. By 2050, the gap could grow to 376,000.

• Among those over 50 who reported having problems with their homes, the most common noise (around 25%) and being too cold in the winter (around 20%).

Making sense of the property market

It has only been a month since the Brexit vote but it actually feels like closer to a year. So much has happened – and in the case of Bank Base Rate cuts, hasn’t happened (yet) – in the last four weeks that you might legitimately feel that the world has been turned upside down, turned back up, and is currently deciding on which axis it should tilt on now.

Just in terms of a political upheaval, you would be hard-pressed to come up with another period in time where so much has changed in so short a time. We all felt the referendum was a seismic moment in UK politics, but I think most deep down felt the ‘status quo’ would triumph in the end. How wrong we were. Since those votes were cast, we’ve seen more comings and goings than a revolving door convention and one gets the sense that there is much more to come, particularly if you’re a member of the Labour Party.

Those of us working within the property market have been trying to make sense of what it means for us, our clients, and our businesses, and the honest truth is that it’s incredibly difficult to say at the moment. We’re in danger of turning the phrase, ‘a period of uncertainty’ into something of a cliché but this is undoubtedly what we’re living through.

The property market is of course reacting and agents will know that better than anyone what that means, whether it’s vendors dropping asking prices, potential purchasers pulling out, or others who pre-referendum were on the verge of making their move now deciding it would be better to take a ‘wait and see’ attitude. One suspects, and I’m hearing this anecdotally, that the purchase market is not reaching dizzy heights at the moment, and with the summer holiday season upon us one must think that this isn’t going to change for a number of months.

 
 

Politically however there may be some positives to hold onto. They come from the first utterances on housing by the new Prime Minister, Theresa May. In her pre-appointment speech in Birmingham she spoke of the need to get more houses built and to get more first-time buyers onto the housing ladder. She said the same in her first speech outside Number 10 – a Government not for the ‘privileged few’ we were told, but for those who wanted to own their own homes. Now, of course, we’ve been here before, for some time now, and the undersupply of new homes in the UK is still huge but will the new PM be able to turn this around and will first-timers benefit the most.

Certainly, the focus on helping first-timers – at the expense of buy-to-let landlords no doubt – which began under David Cameron and George Osborne, does look likely to continue under Theresa May/Philip Hammond. What this actually means in practice however is still vague. Undoubtedly the Help to Buy Scheme – in all its forms – has been viewed as a real success, particularly HTB1 which covers off new builds. That part of the scheme has already been extended until the end of the decade, and it appears likely it will become a permanent part of the housing furniture.

Help to Buy 2 however – the mortgage guarantee element – is due to finish this year, but given everything else on the Government’s plate will it also be extended? I think it might especially as it will need little effort to do so and indeed will at least guaranteed some continued supply of high LTV mortgages, which of course are greatly wanted and needed by first-time buyers.

Other first-time buyer focused policies that might see the light of day include no stamp duty for first-timers at all, Help to Buy housing developments only available to first-time buyers, and more generous support within the Help to Buy ISA. However, the overarching issue – as it has been for so long – is housing supply and until we can have some serious movement here, I suspect we will be playing catch-up for many years to come.

That said, agents should be aware that this could be a much more welcoming marketplace for first-timers and that developers and builders are going to be encouraged to keep building for this demographic. That being the case, it is younger buyers who could be leading the market, and therefore agents might do well to put some serious resources into this sector.

Rents continue to rise in June

The rental market remains resilient in the face of the various economic and political headwinds the sector has faced recently

The index, the most comprehensive data available on the UK’s private rental market, shows that rents agreed on new tenancies across the UK (excluding London) over the three months to the end of June were up by 3.5%, compared to the same period in 2015. In the capital, meanwhile, rents were 3.9% higher.

By contrast, the UK-wide figure for May was 4.4% (6.2% in London). The more modest rental increases seen in June are a continuation of a trend that has developed throughout the first half of the year, with rents rising across much of the UK each month, but at a slower pace than was the case throughout most of 2015; last June, rents were rising at an annual rate of 7.8% (10.1% in London).

The data suggests the private rental sector has responded to the needs and concerns of landlords and tenants alike during the first half of the year. Landlords were hit by higher stamp duty charges on purchases of new property in April, which led to a rush to complete transactions before then – and a spike in the supply of rental property thereafter.

Meanwhile, tenant demand for property has remained strong, particularly given rising house prices and squeezed mortgage availability, and projected growth in the UK’s population suggests this will continue; official projections suggesting this growth will come from both the British-born population and net migration. Nevertheless, the slowing in the pace of rental increases may reflect landlords’ recognition that an affordability ceiling is approaching.

The outlook for the sector will depend in part on the fall-out from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union in June’s referendum. Some economists expect the referendum result to act as a brake on construction in the housing sector, which could exacerbate the current imbalance between demand and supply in the rental market. It is also possible that demand may increase as would-be house buyers opt to wait and see how house prices are affected over the next 12 months and beyond.

HomeLet’s data also suggests that the average length of a tenancy – as measured by how long tenants had occupied their previous rental property – has begun to come down over the past three months. The figures underline the important role that the private rental sector plays in providing a wide range of housing options to those who have not purchased a property.

The June 2016 HomeLet Rental Index reveals that rents continue to rise in almost every area of the country, with 10 out of the 12 regions surveyed seeing an increase over the three months to the end of May.