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Has the property slowdown already started? Estate agents see the signs

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A slowdown in the property market has already started despite house price data showing values continuing to rise, some housing experts have suggested.

The warnings that a ‘gradual slowdown’ has already kicked in contrast with the latest round of figures about the growth of the property market, which show another annual double-digit rise.

Nationwide Building Society said house prices grew by 11 per cent in the year to July, up from 10.7 annual growth in June.

But estate agents say that these backward-looking figures don’t reflect the reality in the current property market, where interest rate rises that have led to a jump in mortgage costs and the inflation pain being felt by households, are already taking effect. 

Nationwide Building Society revealed that house prices grew by 11 per cent in the year to July

Nationwide Building Society revealed that house prices grew by 11 per cent in the year to July

Some property experts highlighted the mismatch between the house price report figures and what is happening on the shop floor.

North London estate agent Jeremy Leaf said: ‘The only surprise in these figures is why it is taking so long for the slowdown we have noticed in our offices over the past few months to be reflected in the numbers.

‘But don’t get me wrong – we are seeing a reduction in growth, not a major correction as prices continue to be supported by lack of choice and a strong labour market.

‘However, still-rising interest rates and cost-of-living pressures are likely to have an increasing impact in the next few months.’

Some estate agents have suggested that the property market has begun to slow

Some estate agents have suggested that the property market has begun to slow

Another estate agent – Savills – also highlighted the gap, explaining that the Nationwide figures represent a different time period to what is happening now.

Lawrence Bowles, of Savills, said: ‘That rising figure is due more to what was going on last year than what’s happening now.’

He explained: ‘This year monthly growth was 0.1 per cent. While that represents stronger growth than the price falls the same time last year, it’s still a continued deceleration from 0.2 per cent growth the previous month and 0.9 per cent the month before.’

However, he went to say that he remained positive due to recent changes to how much buyers can borrow.

He said: ‘Changes to mortgage affordability criteria could mean there’s more capacity for price growth further down the line. We’ve raised our five year price forecast from 12.9 per cent to 17.4 per cent, despite the headwinds currently faced by the UK economy.’

A rapid escalation in mortgage rates has added potentially hundreds of pounds per month to the cost of buying the same property as a year ago.

Financial data provider Moneyfacts said that in July the average two-year fixed rate mortgage was at 3.74 per cent, whereas a year earlier it was 2.25 per cent. 

The Bank of England this week announced that it will no longer require lenders to carry out so-called affordability ‘stress tests’.

This is where lenders are required to calculate whether borrowers can still afford their monthly payments if interest rates rise 3 per cent above their lender’s standard variable rate (SVR).

The test was introduced following the financial crisis to help protect borrowers from the risk of defaulting on their home loans.

However, it is considered unlikely to have a major impact on most mortgages and other borrowing restrictions remain, with lenders having to ensure that across their lending no more than 15 per cent of borrowers take on more than 4.5 times their salary.

Mortgage restrictions mean most borrowers still not able to borrow more than 4.5 times their salary

Mortgage restrictions mean most borrowers still not able to borrow more than 4.5 times their salary

Tomer Aboody, of property lender MT Finance, said: ‘Although we are seeing a slight slowdown in growth and transaction levels, buyers are still buoyant and pushing through purchases, although at a more realistic market level.

‘With higher mortgage costs, there are fewer buyers meaning sales on the whole are being transacted at around asking prices rather than multiple offers above, as we

A slowdown is coming, due to inflation and higher interest rates, but this is likely to be very gradual 

‘A slowdown is coming, due to inflation and higher interest rates, but this is likely to be very gradual.’

Nationwide said the growth in annual house prices was in double digits for the ninth month in a row.

However, the monthly rate has slowed slightly, meaning the average price of a home in Britain has dropped marginally from £271,613 in June to £271,209 in July.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: ‘The housing market has retained a surprising degree of momentum given the mounting pressures on household budgets from high inflation, which has already driven consumer confidence to all-time lows.

‘While there are tentative signs of a slowdown in activity, with a dip in the number of mortgage approvals for house purchases in June, this has yet to feed through to price growth.

‘We continue to expect the market to slow as pressure on household budgets intensifies in the coming quarters, with inflation set to reach double digits towards the end of the year. Moreover, the Bank of England is widely expected to raise interest rates further, which will also exert a cooling impact on the market if this feeds through to mortgage rates.

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Six houseboats for sale starting from £30,000

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Houseboats are often perceived as a cheaper alternative to owning a property on land.

But they come with their own challenges and plenty of hands-on maintenance. And of course, there is the regular job of emptying your toilet.

You’ll either have to continuously cruise or pay for a residential mooring if you live on the boat full-time.

We take a look inside six different type of houseboats that are currently for sale and ask which one would you buy - ranging from one costing just shy of £30,000 (pictured - scroll down for more details) to one that costs £2.5m

We take a look inside six different type of houseboats that are currently for sale and ask which one would you buy – ranging from one costing just shy of £30,000 (pictured – scroll down for more details) to one that costs £2.5m

Houseboats come in various shapes and sizes, including narrowboats – typically 6ft 10 in wide and up to 72 long – and Dutch barges, which are former commercial vessels that can be up to 120ft in length and 20ft wide.

They also come with various price tags and so can accommodate all types of different budgets.

Below, we take a look at six various types, ranging in price from just shy of £30,000 and a more eye-watering £2.5milion.

Daniel Copley, of Zoopla, said: ‘Investing in a home on the water may not float everyone’s boat but for those who do take the plunge, it offers both affordability and freedom to up anchor and move to different areas.

‘With luxurious amenities and spacious living areas, houseboats are a popular choice particularly in and around London.’

1. One-bed houseboat, Glasgow, £29,500

This boat is currently moored at Applecross Wharf, in Glasgow, and was converted by the current owners from a former lifeboat escape pod

This boat is currently moored at Applecross Wharf, in Glasgow, and was converted by the current owners from a former lifeboat escape pod

The houseboat is now a home with a brightly-coloured kitchen, and is currently for sale for £29,500 via Home West estate agents

The houseboat is now a home with a brightly-coloured kitchen, and is currently for sale for £29,500 via Home West estate agents

There is one bedroom on the houseboat that is separate from the main living area and it includes some storage space

There is one bedroom on the houseboat that is separate from the main living area and it includes some storage space

This boat is currently moored at Applecross Wharf, in Glasgow, and was converted by the current owners from a former lifeboat escape pod.

It has a brightly coloured kitchen with wood flooring, and one bedroom. It is being sold for £29,500 via Home West estate agents.

2. One-bed houseboat, Brentford, £100,000

This one-bedroom houseboat is currently moored in Brentford, West London, and includes a comfortable living area

This one-bedroom houseboat is currently moored in Brentford, West London, and includes a comfortable living area 

The houseboat is on the market with a price tag of £100,000 and the sale is being handled by Strike estate agents

The houseboat is on the market with a price tag of £100,000 and the sale is being handled by Strike estate agents

The boat is a Dutch barge that has been completely renovated, and includes solar panels as well as a woodburner

The boat is a Dutch barge that has been completely renovated, and includes solar panels as well as a woodburner

This one-bedroom houseboat is currently moored in Brentford, West London, and the £100,000 price tag includes both the purchase of the boat and the rental mooring.

The mooring is in a quiet location and is within walking distance to Brentford high street.

The boat is a Dutch barge that has been completely renovated, and includes solar panels and hot water supplied by an immersion heater. It is being sold by Strike estate agents.

3. Three-bed houseboat, London, £408,000

This stunning Thames barge was built in 1929 and is moored at St Katherines Dock in central London on a leisure mooring where it has been for the past 23 years

This stunning Thames barge was built in 1929 and is moored at St Katherines Dock in central London on a leisure mooring where it has been for the past 23 years

The interior has been converted to include a large living area that has an extensive library and a TV area

 The interior has been converted to include a large living area that has an extensive library and a TV area

The houseboat spreads across 1350 sq ft of space and features three attractive bedrooms - including one with an en suite

The houseboat spreads across 1350 sq ft of space and features three attractive bedrooms – including one with an en suite

The well-presented houseboat has a price tag of £408,000 and it is currently on the market via the Unique Property Company

The well-presented houseboat has a price tag of £408,000 and it is currently on the market via the Unique Property Company

There is a large separate bathroom with a roll top bath and wood on the walls and ceiling, as well as on the floor

There is a large separate bathroom with a roll top bath and wood on the walls and ceiling, as well as on the floor

This stunning Thames barge was built in 1929 and has been converted into a three-bedroom home with central heating and a wood-burning stove.

It is moored at St Katherines Dock in central London on a leisure mooring where it has been for the past 23 years. The mooring costs £12,870 a year.

The boat has a price tag of £408,000 and it is being sold via the Unique Property Company.

4. Two-bed houseboat, West Sussex, £175,000

This marina boat is currently moored in Chichester Habour, which is just four miles from Chichester city centre

This marina boat is currently moored in Chichester Habour, which is just four miles from Chichester city centre

The property has a modern living area and is currently on the market for sale for £175,000 via H2O Homes estate agents

 The property has a modern living area and is currently on the market for sale for £175,000 via H2O Homes estate agents

The smart property boasts two bedrooms with modern coloured lighting, including this one that also features a TV on the wall

The smart property boasts two bedrooms with modern coloured lighting, including this one that also features a TV on the wall

There is a kitchen with white cabinets, a modern worktop and wood effect flooring to complete the monochrome look

There is a kitchen with white cabinets, a modern worktop and wood effect flooring to complete the monochrome look

This marina boat is currently in Chichester Habour and is for sale for £175,000 via H2O Homes.

It boasts two bedrooms and a bespoke awning allowing use of the deck come rain or shine.

5. Five-bed houseboat, London, £2.5m

This houseboat is currently moored at the prestigious St Katharine Docks, which is London's premier luxury yacht marina

This houseboat is currently moored at the prestigious St Katharine Docks, which is London’s premier luxury yacht marina

This 1930s steel boat for sale has an eye-watering price tag of £2.5million and is being sold by RiverHomes

This 1930s steel boat for sale has an eye-watering price tag of £2.5million and is being sold by RiverHomes

It has been converted into a luxury home with a central atrium stairway to a lower deck, which has five bedrooms as well as access to a jet ski platform

It has been converted into a luxury home with a central atrium stairway to a lower deck, which has five bedrooms as well as access to a jet ski platform

The large living area includes a kitchen with a breakfast bar, as well as a separate dining area with plenty of space to entertain

The large living area includes a kitchen with a breakfast bar, as well as a separate dining area with plenty of space to entertain

One of the more unusual features of the houseboat is a sauna (pictured), which adds a luxurious touch to the property

One of the more unusual features of the houseboat is a sauna (pictured), which adds a luxurious touch to the property

This 1930s steel boat for sale has an eye-watering price tag of £2.5million and is being sold by RiverHomes.

It has been converted into a luxury home with a central atrium stairway to a lower deck, which has five bedrooms as well as access to a jet ski platform.

6. Three-bed houseboat, Hampton, £500,000

This three-bedroom floating home is in Hampton, in the London borough of Richmond upon Thames

This three-bedroom floating home is in Hampton, in the London borough of Richmond upon Thames

It is on a desirable private island located in the middle of the River Thames and is for sale for £500,000 via Water Side Residential estate agents.

It is on a desirable private island located in the middle of the River Thames and is for sale for £500,000 via Water Side Residential estate agents.

The kitchen is well equipped and includes colour coordinated tiles on the walls and a white porcelain sink

The kitchen is well equipped and includes colour coordinated tiles on the walls and a white porcelain sink

This spacious bedroom includes plenty of storage on one wall as well as a good-sized window with a view of the River Thames

This spacious bedroom includes plenty of storage on one wall as well as a good-sized window with a view of the River Thames

This three-bedroom floating home is in Hampton, in the London borough of Richmond upon Thames.

It is on a desirable private island located in the middle of the River Thames and is for sale for £500,000 via Water Side Residential estate agents.

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Abrdn acquires Waddinxveen warehouse scheme (NL)

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abrdn European Logistics Income has signed the purchase agreement for the acquisition of the recently completed warehouse extension at Waddinxveen, the Netherlands, for a total net purchase price of €4.9m. The company exercised its right of refusal over this development located directly adjacent to the existing warehouse bought in 2018. This land, owned by and developed with our tenant Combilo, has provided an additional circa 2,400m² of cooled warehouse space and 157m² of office space. The extension will allow Combilo to service its growing client base, including a Swedish supermarket chain. The lease runs concurrent with the original, with over 11 years remaining, and will generate additional rent of €250,000 per annum, reflecting a yield of 5%. The extension complies with the latest energy neutrality standards in the Netherlands and includes 16 rooftop solar panels, resulting in an A+++ energy rating.

 

In addition, the company has agreed a new 5 year lease with ADER at Unit 3, part of Phase II at its Gavilanes site, Madrid. ADER provides distribution services to companies in the freight and logistics sector and is consolidating its operations in the Gavilanes area with the leasing of this second, 7,375m² building. The annual contracted rent of almost €470,000 per annum is fully CPI indexed and in line with expectations.

 

Evert Castelein, Fund Manager for ASLI, commented: “Supporting our tenants as they expand is a key part of our strategy. This is another example of how flexibility and the option to extend buildings within our portfolio can create additional value over the medium term. The new lease with ADER not only improves the portfolio’s income characteristics, but also underscores the desirability of the Gavilanes assets, which offer access to c. six million people across the wider Madrid area.”

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Garden offices and orangeries are increasing in popularity among homebuyers says Rightmove

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Garden offices, bi-fold doors and orangeries are among popular features that homebuyers are searching for, new research has revealed.

Rightmove looked at the home features that have grown the most in popularity, based on the number of agents advertising them as a key selling point on its website.

It found that garden offices top the list, with the proportion of property listings that mention them now 11 times higher than a decade ago, up 1046 per cent.

The proportion of property listings that mention garden offices is up 1046 per cent in the past 10 years, according to Rightmove

The proportion of property listings that mention garden offices is up 1046 per cent in the past 10 years, according to Rightmove

Rightmove looked at the home features that have grown the most in popularity

Rightmove looked at the home features that have grown the most in popularity

Bi-fold doors are second on the list, up 589 per cent compared to ten years ago, followed by orangeries, which are up 173 per cent during the same period.

Also in the list is summer houses, which have increased in popularity by 90 per cent, while greenhouses appear to be on the way out, down by 46 per cent.

Meanwhile, Rightmove said concerns about the environment are rising in priority, with the number of new property listings now mentioning an electric car charging point having increased six times, up 495 per cent, compared with a year ago.

The findings suggested that homeowners could be ditching separate dining rooms for more modern open plan options, with mentions of dining rooms in property adverts down by 28 per cent, and mentions of open-plan rooms up 74 per cent.

Rightmove suggested that the decline of the popularity of dining rooms may also be down to more people converting this room into a home office.

Other features dropping in popularity in the agent listings include conservatories, down 52 per cent, greenhouses, down 46 per cent and fitted wardrobes, down 29 per cent.

House hunters are seeking outdoor spaces and better use of these garden spaces

House hunters are seeking outdoor spaces and better use of these garden spaces 

Rightmove’s Tim Bannister said: ‘Agents and developers have their finger on the pulse when it comes to the home features that will attract suitable buyers.

‘Where dining rooms and fitted wardrobes may not be as important to some potential buyers compared with ten years ago, other features like an outdoor office space have soared as working patterns have changed, and the findings indicate a move towards greener features too.

‘With outside space coming at such a premium, it may be that homeowners are ensuring what they build outside can be used in a number of different ways.

‘For example, summer houses and orangeries are likely to have fewer or smaller windows than conservatories, and so can more suitably double up as home offices during the week and entertaining spaces at the weekend.’

The proportion of property listings that mention bi-fold doors has increased 589 per cent compared to ten years ago

The proportion of property listings that mention bi-fold doors has increased 589 per cent compared to ten years ago

James Holmear, of developer Redrow, said: ‘These findings flow from the demand for more space at home which can accommodate blended personal and professional lives.

‘Home offices have been increasing in popularity as many people continue to work from home on a more permanent basis.

‘Bifold doors are also highly sought after as they enable people to use space flexibly and extend their living space seamlessly into the outdoors. Sustainable features such as EV chargers, solar panels, water butts and eco waste bins are all rising up the priority list.’

Steve Rule, of Cala Homes, said: ‘Over the last couple of years there has been a real shift in what home-hunters are looking for.

‘Buyers are considering in much more detail what they really want and need from their home, and on truly optimising their space, especially as many are spending more time there through home or hybrid working.

Adrienne Minster, of Rated People, added: ‘Homeowners want to reduce their impact on the planet and cut the cost of bills by making their homes more environmentally friendly – in fact, the number one reason for making eco improvements is to lower their bills.

‘So, with the rising cost of living and increasing awareness of the importance of living sustainably, it’s no surprise to see that more homeowners are choosing to make greener swaps and invest in the likes of underfloor heating.’

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