Our PRS Denmark Hill development is almost ready…

The 10 month wait is almost over.  Our new development in a gated mews along Denmark Hill in the heart of Camberwell, South East London is almost ready.

This quality development of  PRS (private rental sector) housing will be ready for occupation from April.  The project comprising 1 & 2 bed flats plus a very special 2 bed eco-house will all be furnished in a contemporary style, with quality walk-in shower rooms, fully fitted bedrooms, kitchens with Bosch appliances, video entry phones and pre-wired for Sky TV.

The development is less than 5 minutes’ walk from the highly acclaimed King’s College and Maudsley Hospitals.

Denmark Hill has excellent connectivity with both the West End and City via the nearby Overground rail station.

Rentals will start at circa £1,525 pcm for the 1 bed flats, £1,850 pcm for the 2 bed flats and £2,000 pcm for the 2 bed house.

LuxuryDigs Managing Director, Sanjeev Patel, says “there has long been demand from professionals for quality, secure residential units in Camberwell but there is a distinct lack of supply. With rapid gentrification, this imbalance is growing. We are pleased to offer these units, developed with our sister companies, GroupSP and The CNG Family of Companies, for this under-served location.”

Please call us on 0800 083 9374 for further details.

Sky Rocketing London House Prices force out Middle Class

 

 

Soaring house prices are locking large swathes of professional middle class people out of London, leaving room for only “uber-middle” households or international buyers.  This is not just for luxury accommodation but rather, across the board.

The Financial Times mentions that in 1995 architects, engineers and academics earning £47,300 after tax were able to live in areas like the Borough of Camden or Hammersmith.  Now, with house prices having soared, unlike incomes, these people are now only able to afford areas like Redbridge in North East London.

By 2012, several district including the City of London, Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea were totally unaffordable to families taking home £45,000 PA after tax, far more than the national average.  The same group of people are now also being squeezed out of neighbourhoods, like St Albans, just onside London too.

Central London has very much become an investment location for the international rich who view the London homes as merely another asset class to diversify into.

This change in property prices has ramifications on schooling and other services as middle class people are priced out of an area and find new places to buy, perhaps further out from London, such as Oxford.  And then the process starts again as prices rise there.

Some families have realised that another alternative to buying a home is to rent one, and while this does go against mainstream convention, it does mean one can live in an area which may not be affordable to buy in.  Many single people who are without family commitments, and thus not tied to school catchment areas, benefit from living in Central London in particular, as annual rents can be about 3% of the purchase price. This means inventors are not buying properties for gross rental returns, but rather are buying for other reasons.  The most logical reason is that investors are counting on price appreciation so are willing to put up with very low cash returns on the hope their asset appreciates further.

On the flipside, most properties in central London, especially now that purchase prices have risen so much, are more luxurious and finished to a higher standard. LuxuryDigs specialises in this rental sector of the market providing high quality rental accommodation to international students and professionals alike.  We sometimes have short term rentals too.

For further information, please visit our website to see our current stock. We regularly collect names of people who are interested in our properties so they can be pre-advised when one of them will becomes available to rent again.

London House Prices Rocket

London house prices have now hit a new record at more than 20% above their pre-crisis peak!

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that annual house prices in London rose by 12.3% in December to hit an average of £450,000.  This is more than twice the 5.5% rate of increase seen across the rest of the UK where the average house price is now £217,000.

Only in London, the South East and East are prices above their 2008 peaks, by 20.3%, 1.9% and 1.4% respectively.

The Bank of England is conscious of rising property prices in London and keen to ensure this doesn’t become a bubble that bursts.  It is expected that the BoE will try to dampen this apparent over-exuberance.

 

 

Telecom users can now switch without penalty

From 23rd January, new rules from OfCom, the telecoms regulator mean that customers on mobile phone, landline or broadband contracts who are told by their supplier about a mid-term price increase can now switch supplier without penalty.  The same rules also apply where TV is included a part of the package, and customers are also protected where their provider reduces the number of minutes or the amount of data provided, rather than actually increasing the charges.

Providers must also give customers 30 days’ notice of such price changes.

Ofcom found that 10 companies, including Virgin Media, Sky and BT had put their prices up having originally promised a fixed-price deal when the customers took out the contract.

It should be noted though that suppliers can still stipulate in their contracts that prices may rise, even though the contract is for a fixed period.

Our sister company, CNG Business Services, can help both residential and business customers to save costs plus only have a 30 day rolling agreement for maximum flexibility.  For further details, click on http://www.cngbs.co.uk/cost_reduction/business-telephone-calls/ for business users and http://www.cngbs.co.uk/cost_reduction/residential-telephone-calls/ for residential users.

New baby Shard to be built for luxury flats

 

London’s inconic Shard building, and also Western Europe’s tallest building, is to be joined by a smaller, junior Shard next door.

The second Shard tower, also to be designed by Shard architect, Renzo Piano, will be 27 stories high and contain 150 flats plus retail space.  A formal planning application will be made for this development shortly.

Numerous high-end residential projects have got underway in the past year due London residential prices having risen by almost 11.6% according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

 

Homeserve face record file for mis-selling

Homeserve, the emergency repair company, has been fined a record £34.5million by the City regulator for mis-selling of home protection insurance which covers the cost of domestic emergencies such as unblocking drains or boiler repairs.

Homeserve insures 2million people in the UK.

 

 

Number of first time buyers surges

The number of first-time buyers grew at the fastest rate in a decade.

There were 265,000 first time buyers in 2013, a 22% increase on 2012 according to data from Halifax.

Low interest rates, government-backed schemes such as Help to Buy and the availability of high loan-to-value mortgages requiring less than 15% deposits have all boosted confidence and enticed more first-time buyers on to the housing ladder.

More first-time buyers are expected in 2014 but it is likely they will number far less than the average number from 2003-2007.

The average deposit for first time buyers in 2013 was £30,943, considerably higher than the £17,499 in 2007. And 65% of first time buyers now need help in raising funds for their deposit.

While there has been a surge of demand in London, the pattern of demand has not been uniform outside the South East.  In fact, there are concerns of a bubble in house prices in London where prices have soared by almost 15% over the past year.

It is hoped that the Help to Buy scheme will help to diminish the disparity between London and elsewhere. While 44% of mortgage debt is for property in the South East, three quarters of the 6,000 purchases made so far are outside the South East.

Greater overseas demand has exacerbated the London trend recently but more even performance across the UK is hoped for in 2014.

Source: Financial Times

Loan approvals at 5-year high

The number of loan approvals for house purchases rose to 70,758 in November – a 5 year high – as confidence in the housing market increased.

The average number of approvals in the previous six months was 62,999.

Separate data shows that the number of high loan-to-value mortgages doubled in November doubtless aided by the Help to Buy scheme.

Source: Financial Times

House prices rise 5.8%

The annual rate of UK house price inflation has reached 5.8% in October – the largest annual jump since July 2010.

Nationwide say the price of the average house rose by 1% in October, coming on the back of a 0.9% increase in September.

House prices are still 6.6% below the record high reached in October 2007 though.

Source: Financial Times

 

Foreign second-home owners to face tax

 

London’s high end property market has been fuelled over the past few years by foreign buyers.

It is rumoured that the chancellor, George Osborne, may use his autumn statement to announce that Capital Gains Tax will apply to non-resident second home owners.

Some fear this will reduce the attractiveness of properties in London, but this tax would be in-line with similar taxes that foreign owners pay in other European cities.

Foreign buyers are currently subject to  higher stamp duty rates if they buy properties through overseas structures.

Let’s see if this will have any impact on the galloping prime central London property market.  What remains clear is that London is a safe, stable market which foreign buyers are currently happy to invest in.

Source: Financial Times

 

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