The April edition of the FindaProperty.com Rental Index has hit the virtual shelves, with the headline:
“Two-Tier Rental Market Emerges: Houses Begin Recovery Whilst Flats Continue To Suffer”
Alternatively if you prefer a more soundbite-friendly experience, see (and hear!) Andrew Smith – our head of Research – emerge from the jungle and talk about the latest index and what it means for YOU the renter and YOU the lettings agent:
The Property Rich List, Zoopla’s definitive guide to Britain’s most expensive places to live, was published this week.
Kensington Palace Gardens in London W8 is still by far the most exclusive address in the country with an average home value of £22 million, although prices there have fallen byover £4M in the last 12 months. The most expensive areas are led by Kensington, Chelsea and Knightsbridge – and outside London it’s leafy Virginia Water, Beaconsfield and Cobham leading the pack.
It’s not just about London and the South East though. We’ve had some great coverage, nationally and regionally – especially in Scotland and Wales – for this story, and it is well worth checking out the Rich List for your area.
Visit our press section for the full press release and a selection of coverage. And please comment below if you’ve spotted any interesting golden nuggets in your neighbourhood.
Here’s a handy visual representation of figures recently published by Moneyextra.com about mortgage availability.
It shows that in the first quarter of 2009 people with a 25 per cent deposit had access to the largest number of mortgage products: 797.
In Q1 2008 there were still plenty of deals at 90 per cent LTV (401) but this had plummeted to a mere 67 by Q1 2009.
It will be interesting to see if the Budget announcement on mortgage backed securitisation produces a shift in loan-to-value ratios – high deposits are currently a big obstacle for many buyers.
However, not everyone believes this is the key to a market recovery – David Lawrenson over at Letting Focus recently argued that many people overestimate the impact of mortgage access on the future direction of house prices.
Why? Because, in his own words:
“Over 40 per cent of people have no mortgage so don’t give a stuff about mortgage rates; and if they are not buying for themselves they will be giving their lucky offspring at least some of the money for a deposit and for the hefty mortgage fees which are now the norm.”
That’s a fair point, and well made. But let’s hope LTV levels do improve so that all those people who can’t make a withdrawal from the Bank of Mum & Dad get a chance to buy a place of their own.
Great story on Sky News about a motel manager in New Zealand who’s banned an entire town from staying in his holiday complex of studio apartments and villas.
The town in question is Wainuiomata, population circa 17,000 – none of whom are now welcome at the Supreme Motor Lodge in Palmerston North, NZ.
The reason for this all-out ban? Well, it seems the town’s sports teams – regular visitors until recently – are somewhat lacking in manners, leave rubbish strewn around and have scant regard for fellow residents.
When their last stay resulted in all night music and rudeness towards staff, manager Malcolm Glen, who goes by the nickname Basil Fawlty, deemed it the final straw and issued his blanket ban.
Even the MP for Wainuiomata is barred: when he phoned to test the ruling, using the old “don’t you know who I am” trick, he was promptly informed by Mr Glen that it mattered not a jot, particularly as he was a Scotsman and therefore didn’t have a vote anyway.
Fair play to the man, I say. And could this be a canny wee marketing campaign, too? It certainly enticed me to sneak a peek at the motel’s website, and sure enough, it states on the homepage:
“Just to add some extra character to our offering, we have Malcolm (better known as Basil Fawlty) at the helm.”
Sadly, there’s no mention of a Sybil. Boo.
Our top tips on how to manage your finances to survive and thrive, even in a property market downturn.
1. Get on top of your mortgage payments
- With interest rates at historical lows, check that you are on the best deal.
- If your current deal is up, remortgage at a good rate. Get a free mortgage quote.
- If you get behind with payments, speak to your bank immediately.
2. Review your monthly expenses
- Do you really need that 3 pound gourmet coffee every morning?
- Eat in more often – and have fun and get healthy from cooking from scratch.
- Get a better deal on your home insurance by shopping around? Get quote.
- Reduce monthly electricity and gas bills by switching providers. Save money.
3. Consolidate or sort out your debts
- Try to create and stick to a schedule so you can pay debts off little and often.
- Avoid credit card – it’s usually very expensive compared with a bank loan.
- Consider an IVA or Debt management solution. Get free, no obligation advice.
4. Consider downsizing or equity release
- You could reduce your mortgage by selling and moving to a smaller home.
- Relocate to a great value area like Shropshire, Dorset or Norfolk.
- Consider releasing equity in your home through a secured loan. Get loan quote.
5. Be smart about renting or buying
- Rental activity has grown recently as people fear losing capital as prices fall.
- However, buying at the bottom, if you can time it right, can make you money.
- If buying in a down market, look for price reductions and don’t overpay.
- Search thousands of Zoopla homes to rent in England, Scotland or Wales.