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Four homes for sale near Prince Charles’ bolthole in Wales

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You may not have heard of this small Welsh market town and its surrounding countryside, but it holds a special place in the heart of the Prince of Wales.

Llandovery, in Carmarthenshire, is much loved by Prince Charles, as he has a simple but stunning £1.2million home there just outside of the nearby village of Myddfai – where he went to privately mourn the loss of his father Prince Philip

So what attracts the Prince to the area? We spoke to some local estate agents and they highlighted its beautiful countryside and clean air, ideal for long walks. Interest in homes in the area is on the rise and many offer plenty of space and land.

Pictured: Llwynywermod is the Welsh home of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in the village of Myddfai, near Llandovery

Pictured: Llwynywermod is the Welsh home of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in the village of Myddfai, near Llandovery 

Bought in 2007 by the Duchy of Cornwall, the farmhouse was refurbished using local materials and the skills of Welsh craftsmen and women

Bought in 2007 by the Duchy of Cornwall, the farmhouse was refurbished using local materials and the skills of Welsh craftsmen and women

Mick Gough, of Clee Tompkinson & Francis estate agents, said: ‘The Llandovery area is becoming very sought after, the major appeal being the unspoilt countryside, lower crime levels and lack of traffic congestion and pollution. 

‘I am told by many purchasers who have moved into the area that they also enjoy the tremendous community spirit, where everyone knows each other and get together to put on the village show. A fantastic local hospital and GP practice have also proved themselves beyond measure.’

And Lisa-Marie Moores, of John Francis estate agents, added: ‘It is a beautiful, countryside location, which is on the edge of the Brecon Beacons, and has royal connections as Prince Charles and Camilla have a cottage just outside the town.’

We take a look at some properties for sale in the area…

1. Four-bed house in Cilycwm, Llandovery, £795,000

This four-bedroom house for sale comes with outbuildings and 17 acres of land. The house needs updating, but it could be transformed into a modern and comfortable family home.

The property is on the market via Clee Tompkinson & Francis estate agents, with an asking price of £795,000. 

This four-bedroom property on the market via Clee Tompkinson & Francis estate agents, with an asking price of £795,000

This four-bedroom property on the market via Clee Tompkinson & Francis estate agents, with an asking price of £795,000

The house is in  he village of Cilycwm and needs updating, but it could be transformed into a modern and comfortable family home

The house is in  he village of Cilycwm and needs updating, but it could be transformed into a modern and comfortable family home

A renovation project? The countryside property is being sold with several large outbuildings as well as 17 acres of land

A renovation project? The countryside property is being sold with several large outbuildings as well as 17 acres of land

To the rear of the former storage shed is a patio and seating area, an ideal location for al fresco dining and entertaining

To the rear of the former storage shed is a patio and seating area, an ideal location for al fresco dining and entertaining

2. Four-bed house in Llandovery, £750,000

This renovated house just outside the market town of Llandovery comes with 19 acres of land.

It also has some stone outbuildings that are currently used as workshops and garages. The land leads to 320 metres of fishing rights on the River Tywi. The property is for sale for £750,000 via Clee Tompkinson & Francis.

The perfect pandemic retreat? This renovated property in Llandovery is on the market for £750,000 via Clee Tompkinson & Francis

The perfect pandemic retreat? This renovated property in Llandovery is on the market for £750,000 via Clee Tompkinson & Francis

What an entrance! The house has some stunning features, including a beautifully renovated hallway with a Victorian quarry tiled floor

What an entrance! The house has some stunning features, including a beautifully renovated hallway with a Victorian quarry tiled floor

No renovation work required: The kitchen includes a Leisure Cookmaster five ring ceramic hob, with a double oven

No renovation work required: The kitchen includes a Leisure Cookmaster five ring ceramic hob, with a double oven

Holiday fishing? The rural property sits in 19 acres of level pasture land with the boundary fronting the River Tywi

Holiday fishing? The rural property sits in 19 acres of level pasture land with the boundary fronting the River Tywi

3. Six-bed house in Cilycwm, Llandovery, £750,000

Henllys Manor House is a Grade II listed property set in 3.4 acres, with fishing rights on the River Tywi. It is on the market for £750,000, via Clee Tompkinson & Francis.

The property was owned from the early sixteenth century by the Lewis family of Morgan Gwal Y Ci. Between 1788 and 1815, it was occupied by Colonel David Williams of the East India Company whose wife is said to have buried her jewels within the grounds of the estate – and to this day, they have never been found.

The estate has since been owned by several other families and was finally split in 2015. 

Henllys Manor House in Cilycwm, Llandovery, is a Grade II listed property set in 3.4 acres with fishing rights on the River Tywi

Henllys Manor House in Cilycwm, Llandovery, is a Grade II listed property set in 3.4 acres with fishing rights on the River Tywi

The property is just two miles outside of Llandovery and is on the market for £750,000 via Clee Tompkinson & Francis

The property is just two miles outside of Llandovery and is on the market for £750,000 via Clee Tompkinson & Francis

The imposing entrance hall at the property has a beautiful Georgian staircase, some dark oak flooring and feature archways

The imposing entrance hall at the property has a beautiful Georgian staircase, some dark oak flooring and feature archways

Income potential via a bed & breakfast? The property has a two-bedroom cottage that is currently used as a holiday let

Income potential via a bed & breakfast? The property has a two-bedroom cottage that is currently used as a holiday let

4. Three-bed house in Llandovery, £359,950

This three-bedroom house in Llandovery is on the market for £359,950, via estate agents John Francis

It has some good-sized mature gardens including lawned areas, a wildlife pond, a vegetable garden with raised beds, and a garage. 

Live near royalty: This three-bedroom house in Llandovery is on the market for £359,950 via estate agents John Francis

Live near royalty: This three-bedroom house in Llandovery is on the market for £359,950 via estate agents John Francis

Some extra money may be required to update parts of the property internally, including this dated - but large - kitchen

Some extra money may be required to update parts of the property internally, including this dated – but large – kitchen

The property has a large family bathroom with a white bathroom suite and wallpaper with a bright and colourful design

The property has a large family bathroom with a white bathroom suite and wallpaper with a bright and colourful design

Outside, the good-sized garden includes a lawned area, a wildlife pond, and a vegetable garden with raised beds

Outside, the good-sized garden includes a lawned area, a wildlife pond, and a vegetable garden with raised beds

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Could equity release be used to help more younger homebuyers?

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Younger first-time buyers could be given more financial help from the Bank of Grandma and Grandad, through the use of improved equity release products, a new report suggests.

The document written by Tom McPhail, of consultancy The Lang Cat, claimed that younger buyers are missing out because older members of their family are unable to satisfactorily tap into their property wealth.

Mr McPhail said: ‘Releasing some of the equity in a property means older homeowners can choose when and how they share their wealth with younger generations.

‘An equity release by grandparents of say £20,000 now, could be transformational for a 20 something struggling to raise a deposit and get on the housing ladder but would make only a very modest dent to the value of the grandparent’s house.’

Releasing some of the equity in a property means older homeowners can choose when and how they share their wealth with younger generations, says new report

Releasing some of the equity in a property means older homeowners can choose when and how they share their wealth with younger generations, says new report

The report acknowledged that equity release has endured a poor reputation in the past after customers suffered ‘severe’ financial knocks.

The sector has been criticised for encouraging people to take on debt, particularly later on in life.

There has also been other concerns about equity release, such as customers falling into negative equity where the value of a property is less than the loan taken out against it when house prices fall.

The report suggested that while the equity release sector has since begun to put ‘its house in order’, it is ‘still not perfect’ and some regulatory safeguards need to be strengthened.

It called for several issues to be looked at, including early redemption charges on equity release products.

It said that most providers apply a simple sliding scale of charges, for example 10 per cent in year on to 1 per cent in year 10.

However, it claimed that some providers apply an early redemption charge based on prevailing gilt rates at that time, putting customers at an ‘unfair disadvantage’.

This is because the fees are not transparent as there is no way a customer can know in advance whether they’d be liable for a charge and if so, how much. 

In the past, customers have also fallen foul of the small print on their equity release loans when it comes to early-redemption penalties – such as couples who must pay an exit fee unless both of them need to go into care.

The report also raised questions about interest rates on equity release products. It said providers should be consistent with their lending criteria and not move the goalposts after customers have taken out a loan, as this can make it harder for them to access a top-up loan in the future, potentially forcing them to remortgage. 

Equity release products could help people access their property wealth to help younger members of their family onto the property ladder

Equity release products could help people access their property wealth to help younger members of their family onto the property ladder

The report argued that equity release products could help people access their property wealth to help younger members of their family onto the property ladder.

Mr McPhail added: ‘Raising a deposit has become an increasingly significant barrier to getting on the housing ladder, with increasing numbers of first-time buyers having to rely on financial help from older generations.

‘Releasing some of the equity in a property allows older homeowners to choose when and how they share their wealth with the younger generation.

‘This more targeted approach gives them greater control to use their assets to the maximum benefit at the point of need.’

Raising a deposit is a barrier to getting on the housing ladder, with increasing numbers of first-time buyers having to rely on financial help from older generations, says the report's author Tom McPhail

Raising a deposit is a barrier to getting on the housing ladder, with increasing numbers of first-time buyers having to rely on financial help from older generations, says the report’s author Tom McPhail

Equity release: How it works and advice

To help readers considering equity release, This is Money has partnered with Age Partnership+, independent advisers who specialise in retirement mortgages and equity release. 

Age Partnership+ compares deals across the whole of the market and their advisers can help you work out whether equity release is right for you – or whether there are better options, such as downsizing. 

Age Partnership+ advisers can also see if those with existing equity release deals can save money by switching. 

You can compare equity release rates and work out how much you could potentially borrow with This is Money’s new calculator powered by broker Age Partnership+.* 

 * Partner link

Jonathan Harris, of mortgage broker Forensic Property Finance, said: ‘Equity release has historically been viewed as a ‘murky’, high-risk sector, fuelled by minimal regulation, poorly-qualified advisers, only a handful of lenders and extortionately high interest rates.

‘Fast forward to today and we see a dramatically transformed sector, benefiting from strict regulation, highly-qualified advisers, multiple lenders and access to very competitive interest rates. 

‘Not surprisingly, equity release is now a viable and growing market for older borrowers looking to utilise the gains seen on property prices to bolster lifestyles, as well as pass on wealth to children when they need it.

‘Those considering equity release should make sure they understand the implications and involve family in any decision-making. It is always important to seek advice from suitably-qualified advisers.’

It comes as a separate report by Legal & General suggested that one in every £90 spent by retired Britons is funded by equity release.

It said that equity release funded an estimated £3billion in retirement spending last year, although it didn’t mentioned the money going to younger generations towards buying a property.

Instead, the report’s survey of 2,000 homeowners found that those with equity release have most frequently used the product to finance home improvements, at 26 per cent.

It said equity release is also being used to support costs such as medical expenses at 17 per cent, maintaining living standards in retirement at 16 per cent, and paying off personal debt at 16 per cent, for example paying off interest-only mortgages. 

It suggested that equity release is likely to play an increasingly important role in financing care-related expenses, with 19 per cent of prospective homeowners citing it as a consideration.

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Allianz Real Estate buys prime office building in Rome (IT)

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Allianz Real Estate, advised by Dils, has acquired an office property in the centre of Rome. The transaction, worth circa €175m, is one of the most important to have been carried out on the real estate market in Rome in recent years.

 

The building, consisting of eleven storeys, comprising nine above-ground and two underground, has a gross lettable area of circa 22,000m² and has undergone a major refurbishment, offering the highest environmental sustainability and energy efficiency standards (LEED Gold Certification). The strategic location, between the CBD and Termini Station, is enjoying great success, especially among corporate occupiers. 

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NCC sells Valby office scheme (DK)

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NCC is selling Kontorværket 1 office project in Valby, Copenhagen to Industriens Pension. The building will become biotech company Genmab’s new headquarters and will meet high environmental standards for both the building and the area. The transaction will be conducted as a company divestment, based on an underlying property value of approximately €81.9m (SEK875m). Transfer of the project and payment of the purchase consideration is expected to result in a positive earnings effect in the NCC Property Development business area in the first quarter of 2023.

 

“We are now selling Kontorværket 1, the first phase of our development project in Valby in the central parts of Copenhagen. Here we have developed property with an optimal infrastructure and appealing architecture, and I am pleased that Industriens Pension is now taking over,” said Joachim Holmberg, Business Area Manager, NCC Property Development.

 

Kontorværket 1 encompasses 16,000m² of lettable area and also includes a basement featuring a parking garage next to the building, with space for 280 vehicles and facilities for parking bicycles.

 

“This is an attractive and future-proof office property, located in an area with very good infrastructure, a motorway, a nearby metro and S-train station. The 15-year lease with Genmab fits well with our strategy as a long-term owner, and we expect the property to contribute a stable return for our members for many years to come. We look forward to welcoming Genmab’s experts in biotechnology,” said Soren Tang Kristensen, Head of Real Estate Investments, Industriens Pension.

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