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‘Full house’ as property asking prices increase in all regions of UK in October

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Every region of Britain saw house asking price records broken in October, as the national average jumped nearly £5,000. 

It was the first time that every region broke asking price records since March 2007, according to Rightmove’s monthly house price index.

The property portal said this ‘full house’ of price increases was an ‘extremely rare event’.

The typical asking price for a home has jumped in all regions of Britain, and now sits at a national average of £344,445. This is according to Rightmove's house price index

The typical asking price for a home has jumped in all regions of Britain, and now sits at a national average of £344,445. This is according to Rightmove’s house price index 

The typical price of a property coming to market jumped by 1.8 per cent or £5,983 compared to the previous month, the biggest rise at this time of year since October 2015.

Asking prices are now at an average of £344,445, an increase of 6.5 per cent compared to October 2020. 

The North West and Wales both saw especially strong increases in asking prices amounting to 2.3 per cent. They reached £232,639 and £237,830 respectively. 

The South West and London both saw a 1.9 per cent monthly change, with prices reaching £359,906 and £650,683.  

The number of sales being agreed was up more than 15 per cent, compared to the same time in 2019.

Prices also increased in all property market sectors. First-time buyers saw asking prices up 0.8 oer cent to £210,672, while second steppers saw an increase of 1.4 per cent to £315,486 and those at the top of the ladder saw a 1.7 per cent rise to £630,819. Those figures exclude Central London, however. 

Rightmove put the increase down to buyers wanting to secure their new homes ahead of a potential base rate rise, which is being predicted by some for the end of the year. 

If interest rates increase, mortgage rates will go up from their current record lows.

This is already happening in some cases as lenders move to pre-empt the rise. 

The North West and Wales saw the biggest asking price rises. They increased 2.3% in a month

The North West and Wales saw the biggest asking price rises. They increased 2.3% in a month

Ups and downs: Asking price increases for the whole of the UK in the past five years

Ups and downs: Asking price increases for the whole of the UK in the past five years

The stamp duty holiday had previously been driving activity and house prices, but this expired at the end of September.

The continued price rises offer an opportunity for those who are downsizing, or do not need to buy another property, to sell up to cash out.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said: ‘Competition for property for sale remains hot this autumn, with average prices jumping by almost £6,000 in the month. 

‘Although more properties are coming to market, the level is still not enough to replenish the stock that’s being snapped up. 

‘Consequently, new price records have been set across the board, with every region of Great Britain and all of the three market sectors of first-time buyer, second-stepper and top of the ladder hitting all-time highs.’

Asking prices reached new highs for buyers at both ends of the market ¿ and in the middle

Asking prices reached new highs for buyers at both ends of the market – and in the middle

Also driving up house prices is the lack of new housing stock coming to the market, though Rightmove said the situation was slowly improving.

Its latest weekly snapshot showed that the number of new sellers coming to market was down on the same period in 2019, but only by 3.2 per cent.

Bannister added: ‘This ‘full house’ is an extremely rare event, happening for the first time since March 2007. 

‘The stock shortages started after the first lockdown, and they look set to continue with the underlying housing market fundamentals remaining strong, and an additional incentive to buy and fix your mortgage interest rate before a widely expected rate rise.’

In these ‘full house’ market conditions, with many homes being snapped up quickly and sellers having a choice of competing buyers, those buyers who have already sold their own property subject to contract or have nothing to sell are being favoured.

This has led some to put their own home on the market before they have identified a new property.  

Bannister said: ‘2021 has been the year of the power buyer, with those in the most powerful position to proceed quickly and with most certainty ruling the roost over other buyers who have to sell but have yet to come to market. 

‘One agent’s analysis that 87 per cent of their sales agreed were snapped up by buyers who were already in a position to proceed is fairly typical of reports from many agents.’ 

Despite the hot market, most homes still sell below the asking price. 

According to the latest Halifax house price index, the typical sale price is £267,587

Director of estate agent Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, added:  ‘With the market remaining particularly buoyant, those entering with a property to sell are pricing high and this has caused yet further growth where asking prices are concerned.

‘While initial asking price expectations are perhaps a little over-optimistic, to say the least, a lack of stock to satisfy demand means that homes are selling fast and for a very good price.’ 

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How can I ensure my listed home’s kitchen extension has right approvals? 

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I’m buying a listed property and want to make sure a recent kitchen extension was done with the right approvals. 

How do I check this and protect myself on this front? LP

Before buying a period property, check for the correct consents if any renovation work was carried out

Before buying a period property, check for the correct consents if any renovation work was carried out

MailOnline Property expert Myra Butterworth replies: Before buying a period property with a recent kitchen extension, you will need to check that the relevant consents were sought.

This is because you will inherit the liability for any unauthorised work undertaken by the vendor.

Ultimately, this risk can be removed completely by reversing the works carried out – if that is possible – or by applying retrospectively for consent for the kitchen extension.

There are compromises that can be made, including looking at an indemnity insurance that will cover you and bank against the cost of rectifying unauthorised alterations.

And if you are a cash buyer, then you can decide to proceed on the basis that you will accept the risk for the lack of consent.

Vanessa Rhodes, of law firm Kingsley Napley, said: If you’re looking to buy a house that is listed, it is likely to be a unique and interesting property full of character. You are right that being listed means there are additional controls over any works to the property.

The National Heritage List for England protects buildings of special architectural or historical interest, which are considered to be of national importance. It means listed building consent is required for all works of demolition, alteration or extension to a listed building.

Local planning authorities provide approval for works to listed buildings. Where the works have an impact on the external appearance of the building, planning permission may also be required and should be applied for at the same time. 

For example, this may include building an extension or installing new windows and doors. 

Below, Vanessa covers what you need to know: 

How do I check necessary consents were obtained?

Make sure that you instruct a specialist heritage surveyor to review the property and all the planning and listed building consents for the property to verify the corrects consents were obtained.

This can be in addition to having a regular building survey carried out or some surveyors will do both in one survey. 

The heritage survey should make clear whether the kitchen extension was approved, and what to do if it isn’t. 

You can get heritage surveyors that will do both in one survey and charge the same as a standard building survey but frequently, clients will instruct one in addition to the building surveyor and they are usually slightly cheaper.

Heritage surveys also provide historic building and heritage conservation advice to assist buyers who will be responsible for the practical care of historic buildings.

Your solicitor will review the results of the local authority search for the property, which reveals all the permissions obtained from the local planning authority for the property. 

They will also raise enquiries with the seller to find out if the right consents have been obtained and check that any conditions on the listed building consents have been discharged or, if there are on-going conditions that they are being complied with.

Your solicitor and heritage surveyor will also check to see if the work was done before the building was listed. If this is the case, there will be no issue as no listed building consent will have been needed.

Why is checking important?

It is essential to check if the previous owners obtained the relevant consents because you will inherit the liability for any unauthorised work they undertook.

Given there is no time limit on enforcement action, you may be required to reverse the alteration at any time in the future. In effect, therefore you may potentially have to ‘undo’ or alter the kitchen extension if it lacked approval. 

This could be costly and may reduce the value and your enjoyment of the property, so should be carefully considered before proceeding with the purchase.

It is also a criminal offence not to seek listed building consent when it is required. 

The maximum penalty is two years’ imprisonment or an unlimited fine. Not knowing a building is listed, or claiming the works were carried out by a previous owner are not defences to any criminal proceedings.

Your options as a buyer

As the buyer, you need to consider the extent of any liability you might take on before proceeding with the purchase. 

If you find that works have been carried out to the property without the appropriate consents or the listed building consent conditions have been breached, you will need to consider the extent of the breach. 

The heritage surveyor will normally guide you as to whether you will be able to obtain retrospective listed building consent for the breach and which breaches could be problematic.

If the kitchen extension was not approved, there are various things that you can do as part of the conveyancing process to alleviate any stress or anxiety about the consent, and ultimately protect yourself.

The way to remove the risk completely is to reverse the alteration – if possible – or for you or the seller to apply retrospectively for consent for the kitchen extension. 

You may elect to negotiate a conditional contract with the seller, which stipulates that you will only complete the purchase of the property when the seller has obtained retrospective consent for the kitchen extension if it was unapproved.

Most sellers will be reluctant to agree to this approach because if they apply for retrospective consent and are unsuccessful, then it draws the issue to the attention of the local planning authority who are then likely to serve an enforcement notice on the seller in relation to the alterations.

Alternatives include negotiating a price reduction to cover the costs and hassle of obtaining retrospective consent for the extension after completion. 

Any price negotiation should include recognition of the fact that the buyer will be accepting the risk for the lack of consent, and any liability that comes with it.

If you are a cash buyer, then you can decide to proceed on the basis that you will accept the risk for the lack of consent. 

However, if you are using a mortgage, the bank will require you to obtain indemnity insurance, which will cover you and the bank against the cost of rectifying unauthorised alterations. 

You will need to discuss the indemnity insurance policy with your solicitor though as they often include provisions that invalidate the policy if you approach the local planning authority for consent for any works in the future.

For example, if you want to carry out alterations to another part of the property and apply for consent then this could invalidate the policy. 

There are some more bespoke indemnity policies available that might get round this problem but these policies can be costly or have a high excess.

Another factor to bear in mind is that if the kitchen extension was carried out without proper consent, then you, in turn, will have to deal with this problem as part of any future sale of the property unless you and the seller can resolve the issue now, either by removing or adapting the alterations or by obtaining retrospective consent.

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Irish shoppers set to splash €40m on Black Friday spree

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The impact of Brexit, tax changes and global supply chain issues have presented Irish retailers with a chance to win new customers and ensure more spending stays local over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period according to retail groups.

Close to €40 million will be spent by Irish consumers on Friday alone, according to research from AIB, with this weekend now marking the start of the Christmas season for many shops and shoppers.

While deep discounting at the end of November is being resisted by some smaller operations, others have embraced it and are hoping it will be a launchpad for a solid Christmas.

“I think the general view out there is that this first big weekend of the Christmas period and in these more difficult times it is being used as a footfall driver,” said Retail Excellence chief executive Duncan Graham.

He said he understood why some smaller independent retailers continued to resist going into sale so close to Christmas but added that for others it had become an inevitability.

“There have been mixed views,” he said. “In some cases it can be a case of wanting to hold the margins for as long as possible otherwise it ends up being a short season.”

He noted that an air of optimism he had seen across the retail sector at the start of the month had diminished in recent weeks as the trajectory of Covid-19 grew more concerning.

“There is a little bit of unease and anxiety at what might happen in retail and so much will depend on the path of the virus,” he said.

Buy Irish

Bríd O’Connell of Guaranteed Irish said Black Friday should be considered an opportunity for retailers to push more locally sourced products.

“We are asking all shops to stock more Irish suppliers,” she said. “The support for local shops only goes so far if everything the shop stocks comes from China.”

She called on consumers to look towards Irish-made products this weekend. “If you are buying a candle, I really would like to see people buy an Irish luxury candle . . . and if we could all spend an extra €20 or €50 on an Irish product this year that money will stay in the country and make a big difference to the local economy.”

Joann (SIC) Mahon is going all in on Black Friday this year. She owns two retail outlets in Kildare and has an increasingly large digital footprint.

“A lot of people spend a lot of time researching ahead of time and I think that there are more eyes on your business as a result,” she said.

“I embraced Black Friday early and I could really see the impact,” she continued. “Every year it has grown and it can generate long term custom if it done right but most people won’t come back again unless they are properly encouraged to do so.”

She said that since the start of the pandemic she had noticed a bounce in business as more people shopped locally and it had kept going this year. “I haven’t seen the drop off from last year from April of last year. People want to support Irish and that has been boosted by Brexit.”



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This £30m mega-pad set in 40 acres of rolling land comes with a royal neighbour 

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The OTHER Windsor castle! It might not be to everyone’s taste… but this £30m mega-pad set in 40 acres of rolling land comes with a royal neighbour

  • Harford Manor in Berkshire is worth around £30m and is one of most expensive properties outside London
  • It boasts nine bedrooms, a library, indoor pool and sauna, chef’s kitchen, gym and 23,000sqm of living space
  • Heating, lighting and music controlled by wall-mounted tablet computers, while TV room boasts nine screens

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With the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge rumoured to be keen on a move to Windsor, this luxury property could be just the ticket.

Set in 40 acres a sceptre’s throw from Windsor Castle, it certainly seems fit for a future king.

Boasting a 1,000-bottle wine cellar and a master suite with an impressive 16 wardrobes, Harford Manor is valued at around £30million, making it one of the most expensive properties outside London.

The mansion has nine bedrooms, a double-height galleried entrance hall, five fireplaces, a grand piano, library, indoor pool and sauna, an office overlooking the third-of-a-mile driveway, boot room, chef’s kitchen and gym within its 23,000 sq ft of living space. 

Fit for a king: The stunning nine-bedroom Harford Manor is set in 40 acres just outside Holyport, Berkshire

Fit for a king: The stunning nine-bedroom Harford Manor is set in 40 acres just outside Holyport, Berkshire

His and hers: The spacious en-suite off the principal bedroom boasts marble flooring and a terrace

His and hers: The spacious en-suite off the principal bedroom boasts marble flooring and a terrace 

Who needs the cinema when nine screens can be viewed as one in the cosy TV room

Who needs the cinema when nine screens can be viewed as one in the cosy TV room

Somewhere to store the Krug: Captivating wine cellar can hold 1,000 bottles

Somewhere to store the Krug: Captivating wine cellar can hold 1,000 bottles

Water, water everywhere: The sleek indoor swimming pool with a waterfall feature is flooded by natural light thanks to a wall of folding glass doors

Water, water everywhere: The sleek indoor swimming pool with a waterfall feature is flooded by natural light thanks to a wall of folding glass doors

Situated outside Holyport, Berkshire, Harford Manor is a 20-minute drive from Eton College and a sceptre's throw away from Windsor Castle (pictured)

Situated outside Holyport, Berkshire, Harford Manor is a 20-minute drive from Eton College and a sceptre’s throw away from Windsor Castle (pictured)

The ‘principal suite’ has his and hers en-suite rooms and a sunken marble bath with views over the landscaped garden and fields beyond.

Heating, lighting and music is controlled by wall-mounted tablet computers, while the TV room boasts nine screens which can be watched individually or synchronised to become one giant video wall.

Situated outside Holyport, Berkshire, it is a 20-minute drive from Eton College and is handily placed for Ascot racecourse and the Royal Berkshire polo club. 

The part white-washed, part brick and part cedar-clad house has stables, groom’s quarters, an indoor riding arena, a tennis court, garaging for eight cars and a helipad.

It is on the market with luxury property agency Fine & Country, which says it will work with other estate agents to sell the property and offer them 1 per cent of the sale price – meaning a potential £300,000 windfall for one lucky agency. 

For a video tour of the property, head to YouTube. Interested parties should contact Damion Merry at Fine and Country on 01628200511 or 07369211735.

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