Posts tagged ‘selling’

Meet Central Square – the development that’s selling cool

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

Cool stuff sells, especially when there’s not too much of it available. That’s one of the lessons of Mount Anvil’s chic Central Square development in hip and happening Clerkenwell, EC1.

A room with a view: The city skyline as seen from the penthouse balcony at Central Square

There are just 35 apartments left for sale out of a total of 170 and it’s not difficult to understand why.

Firstly, Mount Anvil has been smart about the marketing – they’ve released the apartments in stages to keep the tension between supply and demand. There’s also a massive shortage of homes in this part of central London and a lot of people who want to live here.

Clean and cool: Central Square’s penthouse apartment

That’s all because Central Square’s allure straddles two worlds – the creative coolness of Clerkenwell and the money of the The City. It’s just a 12 minute trot to the heart of St Paul’s and residents can be at Bank in under 20. Stroll in the other direction and they’ll be sucking on Coronas at the hip bars of Exmouth Market or tucking into the latest fusion cuisine at the agenda-setting restaurant The Modern Pantry in under ten minutes.

Manicured lawns: The internal communal garden at Central Square

There’s no doubt the scheme has been incredibly successful – possibly the fastest selling central London development of the year. Brian De’ath, Mount Anvil sales director, says about 60% of those who’ve already handed over their cash for a slice of Central Square are owner occupiers, 35% are investors and 5% will use their bolthole as a pied-a-terre.

There’s a big overseas contingent too – De’ath says about 15% of buyers are non-domiciled in the UK, while a large proportion of buyers who are UK based also originally hail from abroad. Add to this a small, but significant, number of downsizers who’ve bought into the scheme – presumably attracted by the shiny newness of it all.

Every apartment has a balcony at Central Square

After all, this is a classic Mount Anvil development: it’s got super duper quality kitchens and bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows, every apartment has a balcony or outdoor space, the communal gardens are manicured and inviting, plus there’s a 24 hour concierge and underground parking.

There are also knock-out panoramic views of the City from the new three-bedroom interior-designed penthouse, which went on the market yesterday for £2 million.

And that’s the other side to this development – the distinct lack of first-time buyers. But with two bedroom apartments starting at £610,000 it’s a simple case of price point exclusion and Mount Anvil are the first to admit their target market isn’t the scrimping and saving first-timers, who are so well served by other developers further east and north. Having said that, there are 104 affordable homes available through the One Housing Group

Of course, if you do have a spare couple of million pounds kicking around, you could do a lot worse than the penthouse. Although those that are easily distracted should be warned – you may never tear yourself away from that view.

May 24, 2012 at 2:54 PM 1 comment

Mortgages: Whats your Story?

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

For homeowners, paying the mortgage is one of life’s true constants. So it’s no surprise our ears prick up when we hear chat about them on radio, TV, or even in the supermarket queue.

That’s because mortgages can be complicated, but go hand in hand with buying a home. How do we know whether to opt for a base rate tracker, a standard variable rate or a fixed rate? And if we do opt for a fixed rate – how long should we sign up for?  Is five years better than three years? And how do we remortgage?

The Bank of England has held interest rates at their historic low of 0.5% since March 2009. Despite this, some homeowners are facing higher repayments as lenders raise rates on some mortgages to recoup their costs

The encouraging news is that despite record low bank rates, which have pushed down the interest rates on home loans, there’s also been an increase in the quality and quantity of mortgage market reporting, commentary and help. Many of us will need to call on that assistance in the coming months as we take the decision to remortgage or notice our repayments increasing as a result of rate increases.

Some people are already feeling the effects. Halifax, the Co-operative Bank and Yorkshire Bank made headlines last month when they raised their standard variable rate (SVR) in a move that is estimated to cost the average mortgage holder an extra £40 a month.

This rise was not tied to the Bank of England base rate which remains at an historic low of 0.5 per cent – where it’s been for the past three years – but has more to do with the costs incurred by the banks when they borrow the money from savers to fund their lending in the first place.

This rate rise, which only applies to those on an SVR mortgage, has been criticised by consumer group Which? whose chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith blamed the rise on a lack of competition in the mortgage market and the failure of the government to take action to promote competition.

But the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) have said it’s wrong to assume banks borrow money to lend out in mortgages at the same rate as the bank of England’s base rate. Instead, the cost to the lender is much higher – and the banks need to make sure their own balance sheets tally and account for these costs.

The mortgage market is a constantly evolving beast that does not have a one size fits all solution. Tracker mortgages – where the interest rate tracks the Bank of England base rate – and fixed rate mortgages – where homeowners sign onto a particular rate for a certain period of time – can end up being safer for some homeowners, but aren’t appropriate for others.

Whatever your mortgage story, the key is to make sure you keep pricking up your ears about mortgages and ensure you get the information you need – after all, we’re all responsible for our own mortgage story.

May 22, 2012 at 11:42 AM Leave a comment

What’s your neighbours value? Would you pay for a good neighbour?

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

We’d shell out more for a home if it had an extra bedroom, study or bathroom, but it turns out nearly half of us would also pay extra for a property with a good neighbour – £15,321 to be exact.

What’s your neighbour worth?

As long working hours and technology force many of us to spend more time out of sight and in front of screens, new research from FindaProperty reveals 9.5 million of us, or 19%, say they’d like a better relationship with their neighbours.

It’s not so surprising. One of the things people want most from a home is to feel safe, comfortable and welcome, and this is almost entirely dependent on the people who live close to us.  It’s not just tangible factors like transport links and square footage that contribute to property prices – the strength of the local community can be a powerful selling point for many buyers too.

Despite the fact that just 39% of us would call our neighbour a friend, we clearly value them. Forty per cent of us say we’d pay more for a home – to the tune of 7% of the cost of the property or £15,321 – if we knew the person living next door would be a trustworthy neighbour.  And that’s a lot of extra money for simply making friends across the garden fence or at the front door.

May 8, 2012 at 11:30 AM Leave a comment

Half as many homes sold on Friday the 13th

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

Property buyers are a superstitious lot with almost half as many buying a property on Friday the 13th as they do on a regular Friday, according to new research by FindaProperty.com.

Is superstition keeping almost half as many buyers away from completing on Friday the 13th?

To mark today’s Friday the 13th , we looked at the number of homes bought and sold on each Friday the 13th  going back to 2005 and compared our findings to the number of properties sold on a regular Friday during the same month.

Whether it was a black cat sighting or a stray ladder that caused the unease, the results show that Friday the 13th has proved to be a particularly unlucky day for sellers and an unpopular day for buyers.

On average there have been 43 per cent fewer property transactions on the 12 separate Friday the 13ths since 2005. The worst performing Friday the 13th was in May 2011 when there were 51 per cent fewer transactions than a regular Friday, while the best was in May 2007 when there were 31 per cent less transactions.

The bad news is, there are three Friday the 13ths in 2012. The good news is there’s only one more to come – on Friday the 13th of July. Oh, and we probably should mention that today is the 13th Friday the 13th since 2005 so you’d be well advised to stay away from any precariously positioned mirrors and whatever you do, don’t open an umbrella inside.

April 13, 2012 at 6:00 AM Leave a comment

A quarter of Brits don’t know their neighbour’s name

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

Perhaps the Queen had an inkling of how bad things were when she used her historic speech to Parliament last month to call on the nation to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee by being a good neighbour.

Noise tops the list of the UKs top neighbour complaint, while Wales is our most neighbourly region

Turns out 13 million of us (or 26 per cent) don’t know the name of the person who lives next door, 22 per cent don’t know what they do for a living, 7 per cent have absolutely no idea who they are and 3 per cent feel threatened by them, according to new research by FindaProperty.com.

But the days of borrowing a cup of sugar might not be completely behind us, as the survey reveals that a fifth of us (or 19 per cent) say they would actually like to have a better relationship with their neighbours.

Part of the reason we now feel more isolated from our neighbours is down to the fact that we move home more frequently. As renting a home continues to loose its stigma and becomes the norm for increasing numbers of us, we’re staying put for the length of our tenancy agreements, rather than the longer stretches traditionally associated with buying a home.

Have you thought about holding a street party to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee? They’re considered a great way to get to know your neighbours

Add to this changes in the way we engage with each other through the rise of social media and the result is that we’re increasingly staying in our living rooms with our eyes trained down on laptops, phones and tablets. Many of us would rather tweet our local knowledge questions than knock on the door of the person at number 2 to ask about the best local locksmith or curry house.

But are we missing a trick with our “unneighbourly” attitudes? Knowing the person next door can improve security and quality of life. We all want to feel safe and comfortable in our homes and the strength of our relationships with the people who live nearby affect this.

Of course, not everyone can get on with their neighbours. According to the figures, 11 million (22%) people in the UK have fallen out with the person next door  in the past five years. Although the majority of these disagreements were verbal, 744,000 Brits admit to having had a physical fight or scuffle with their neighbour over the same period and a million say the disagreement resulted in damage to property. Unable to resolve these disputes, 1.1 million people were forced to call the police and just over half a million (646,000) resorted to legal action.

Noise was the most common cause of disputes between neighbours as cited by 37% of those who said they’d had a disagreement. Parking (15%), pets (13%) and children (12%) also appear high on the list.

But bear in mind, if you do fall out, it could make things difficult when the time comes to sell your property as sellers have an obligation to disclose details of any complaints made against their neighbours to future buyers. Oh, and tenancy references often ask whether you’ve ever had an issue with a neighbour too.

Food for thought for the next time you cross paths with your own neighbour.

April 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM Leave a comment

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