Archive for March, 2010

Houses with History: Properties famous for producing Cider

Two issues seem to have dominated this week’s budget: the scrapping of stamp duty for properties under £250k, and the ten per cent tax hike on cider.

Well, we’d be here forever if we were to pick just five of the former, so we thought we’d plump for cider houses instead.

Several regions in England are famed for the production of this fine tipple, most notably the West Country and Herefordshire, which are home to two of the world’s cider-making giants, The Gaymer Company and Bulmers, respectively.

Many of the homes around these areas have had connections with the long-standing tradition of cider making, whether it be growing the apples, fermenting the liquid, or simply serving up the finished product.

Here are five properties with current or prior cider house credentials:

(Click on pics for more images & full property details)











March 26, 2010 at 8:14 PM 1 comment

Online Property Auctions: Reasons for successful growth

We were recently asked by property magazine Property Week to respond to:

Why property auctions are shifting online and away from the ballroom model

This is what we said:

Our recent launch of weekly online property auctions is, we think, one of the most exciting developments in the UK property investment market for years. And following the success of our first two events in February, we very much see live online bidding as the future of property auctions in the UK.

With over 150,000 visitors to our auction site in February, it would appear that the UK is set to follow the trend in the US, where our partner REDC, the world’s largest property auctioneer, has rapidly transitioned over half their sales online over the past two years with their online auction events now accounting for sales of over £50 million monthly.

Online auctions offer a number of benefits over the traditional ballroom model for both buyers and sellers. For buyers, it offers the ease and convenience of viewing properties online up to 30 days prior to the start of an event and bidding from one’s own home or office over a 4-day period. For sellers, the online model provides significantly greater and faster exposure for their properties and opens up the process to a new and growing audience not constrained by space, geography, availability and who typically might not attend physical auctions.

Property is somewhat different to other asset auctions where physical attendance often involves inspecting the asset on the day. With the ability to generate exposure online the same day as opposed to producing and distributing a catalogue and being able to hold weekly events without limitation versus the typical model of quarterly events, it appears to call into question the physical ballroom auction model other than for the ‘theatrical’ value. online auction events are held weekly with bidding starting Thursdays at noon and closing on Sundays at 6pm.


For more information on our new and innovative auction platform visit: launches new live online property auctions in UK

Online property auction success signals shift from ballrooms to living rooms

March 26, 2010 at 12:09 PM Leave a comment

2010 Budget Review: 5% Stamp Duty to Affect London and SE worst.

£12,000,000 – 6 bedroom terraced house for sale Chester Square, London

In today’s budget, Chancellor Alistair Darling raised the stamp duty threshold to £250,000 for first time buyers for this year and the next, which was widely predicted / leaked, but what was less predictable was that this ‘election giveaway’ will be funded by an increase from 4% to 5% on properties worth more that £1m.

Taxing the rich makes a good headline, but it won’t raise much money for the government’s fiscal black hole. Only around 4100 homes sold above the £1m mark in the last year. With the total stamp duty tax take reaching almost £3bn last year, this measure will contribute only roughly 2% extra tax, a pretty tiny amount. Raising stamp duty on £1 million homes has been billed as a cynical move by the government to tax home buyers who tend not to be their core voters.

According to our research the burden will fall overwhelmingly on London and the South East with approximately 57% of all UK homes worth over £1 million located in London and 81% of all million pound homes can be found in London and the South East.

Areas with highest proportion of property millionaires

Area Average Property Value Properties Valued at over £1m
Kensington (W8) £1,566,549 48.1%
South Kensington (SW7) £1,258,986 39.1%
Chelsea (SW3) £1,263,156 37.0%
Barnes (SW13) £867,640 29.5%
West Brompton (SW10) £974,445 27.9%
Virginia Water, Surrey (GU25) £909,340 27.5%
Notting Hill (W11) £1,062,531 27.0%
Belgravia & Pimlico (SW1) £889,794 21.8%
Westminster (W1) £834,318 21.3%
St. John’s Wood (NW8 £850,472 20.7%


March 24, 2010 at 5:00 PM Leave a comment

BUDGET 2010: Stamp Duty – 75% of homes valued under £250,000

As widely predicted, Chancellor Alistair Darling has raised the stamp duty threshold to £250,000 for first time buyers for this year and the next (although how will this be defined?) which will be funded by an increase from 4% to 5% on properties worth more that £1m.

Almost 78% of homes sold in in 2009 changed hands for less that £250,000 according to our research with 75% of all UK homes currently valued below the new threshold.

At a regional level only average property values for London and the South East fall above the stamp duty threshold – see full table below.

The changes to the stamp duty threshold will finally lift the average UK home right out of the stamp duty net altogether, making most of the UK the first-time buyer’s oyster. Even in London, first-time buyers now have a fairer crack at the market.

Targeting this at first-time buyers is where it can do most good without costing the earth.

But the big question is how you define a first-time buyer and how would HMRC check whether a buyer qualified for the tax break. For example, someone who has been out of the market, even for a few days after selling their home, could complete a new house purchase and legitimately appear to be a first timer…we await the small print…

Average value of UK homes by region: March 2010

Region Average Value
Yorkshire & The Humber £141,888
Wales £150,309
Scotland £152,010
North West England £154,222
North East England £156,567
East Midlands £157,253
West Midlands £168,645
UK £210,155
South West England £216,671
England £217,203
East of England £225,133
South East England £269,131
London £392,322


March 24, 2010 at 2:33 PM 1 comment

Five To View: Equestrian Properties

We’ve been chomping at the bit to do a horsey-house-themed Five to View, and with the Cheltenham Festival off and running this week, now seems like a good bet.

The world famous festival isn’t only about horse racing, of course: it’s also a four-day extravaganza of dining and drinking, dressing to impress, and frolicking al fresco.

But there’s no escaping its equestrian core, and it’s with that in mind that we invite you to come for a canter around our fine equine properties.

Here are five homes for humans and for horses:

(Click on pics for more images & full property details)










£555,000 OIEO

March 18, 2010 at 8:04 PM Leave a comment

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