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Where can you buy a home in Britain for under £150,000?

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The number of places in Britain where it is possible to buy a property for less than £150,000 has dropped by 28 per cent, according to new research. 

The areas accessible to buyers with such a budget has dropped significantly during the pandemic, Savills says.

It comes amid soaring house prices during the pandemic with house buyers reassessing their housing needs.

This four-bedroom house is in Great Yarmouth and is for sale for £150,000 via estate agents William H Brown

This four-bedroom house is in Great Yarmouth and is for sale for £150,000 via estate agents William H Brown

Using data from the Land Registry, the estate agent looked at average values in wards across Britain.

A ward is a subdivision of a local authority used for electoral purposes. There are 8,694 electoral wards in Britain, with 7,026 in England.

It found that in the year to September last year, only 10 per cent of these total wards had an average house price below £150,000. 

This is based on 873 out of a total of 8,694 wards where there were at least 10 sales in the year.  

Only five remain in the South of England, down from 17 last year. These five wards are all in Great Yarmouth, East Suffolk and Cambridgeshire’s Fenland. 

There were no qualifying areas in London, the South East or the South West.

In the North East of England, the proportion of wards where the average house price is below £150,000 has fallen below 50 per cent for the first time. However, it stands at 48 per cent, which is still the highest of any region.

The 28 per cent drop in wards with an average house price below £150,000 is based on the year to March 2020 compared to the year to September 2021.

The research looked at sales over a 12 month period as otherwise there would not have been enough transactions to get a reliable average, Savills said.

This three-bedroom semi-detached house in March - part of the Fens - is for sale for £150,000 via estate agents William H Brown

This three-bedroom semi-detached house in March – part of the Fens – is for sale for £150,000 via estate agents William H Brown

At the end of the scale, the number of wards where average values are more than £500,000 is up 38 per cent, from 889 to 1,224 compared to the 12 months to the end of March 2020.

This included a 19 per cent increase in London where the average sale price was more than £500,000 in 63 per cent of its 635 local markets.

Outside of London, the number of wards with an average sale price of more £500k increased by a much greater 48 per cent, with a 34 per cent increase in number across the South East. It means that one in three locations across the region saw the average sale price exceed this benchmark.

At the same time, the South West experienced a 146 per cent increase in the number of wards where the average house price exceeded £500,000. They accounted for more than 10 per cent of 1,013 wards in the region.

This growth was led by Devon, Somerset – including Bath – and Gloucestershire, particularly in locations favoured by those moving out of urban settings during the pandemic.

Between them, these three counties saw 47 more wards join the £500,000-plus group with strong growth in numbers across the Cotswolds, the Mendips and coastal Devon.

This three-bedroom house in East Suffolk's Lowestoft is on the market for £150,000 via estate agents William H Brown

This three-bedroom house in East Suffolk’s Lowestoft is on the market for £150,000 via estate agents William H Brown

Lucian Cook, of Savills, said: ‘While the recent burst of house price growth which was kick-started by the stamp duty holiday, continued momentum in the market has been fundamentally underpinned by low-interest rates and people’s reassessment of their housing needs.

‘In some parts of the UK, this resulted in a significant widening of house prices. Typically the areas that have seen the biggest growth reflect how more affluent households locational preferences have changed.

‘But the mini-boom in the housing market also means the range of locations accessible to a household with a more limited budget of £150,000 has shrunk substantially. 

‘This is likely to come more sharply into focus as interest rates start to creep upwards. 

‘With that in mind, the Bank of England’s future stance on mortgage regulation is key. 

The mini-boom in the housing market also means the range of locations accessible to a household with a more limited budget of £150,000 has shrunk substantially.

‘If it is relaxed this would provide more headroom for future price growth in the medium term, but it would also reduce the protection it currently affords against a future downturn.’

House prices rose by 10.4 per cent in the year to December, to an average of £254,822, according to Nationwide Building Society.

The mortgage giant said that the rise means 2021 was the strongest calendar performance since 2006.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: ‘The price of a typical UK home is now at a record high of £254,822, up £23,902 over the year – the largest rise we’ve seen in a single year in cash terms. Prices are now 16 per cent higher than before the pandemic struck in early 2020.

‘Demand has remained strong in recent months, despite the end of the stamp duty holiday at the end of September. 

‘Mortgage approvals for house purchase have continued to run above pre-pandemic levels, despite the surge in activity seen earlier in the year. 

‘Indeed, in the first 11 months of 2021 the total number of property transactions was almost 30 per cent higher than over the same period of 2019.

‘At the same time, the stock of homes on the market has remained extremely low throughout the year, which has contributed to the robust pace of price growth.’

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Barings provides €72m loan for social housing portfolio (GB)

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Barings has provided a €71.9m (£62.9m), 15-year loan to finance the acquisition of a social housing portfolio in England by Domus Social Housing Ltd (Domus). Provided under its separate account with investor Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, it is Barings’ first real estate debt exposure to affordable housing in Europe. 

 

Domus and Fiera Infrastructure Inc, were advised by Excellion Capital on the milestone transaction in which Domus acquired the portfolio, consisting of 54 properties in London, the midlands and the northwest of England with more than 850 beds in the underlying units. The assets are let to UK housing providers that specialise in managing homes for residents with a range of needs, including those experiencing homelessness and domestic abuse. There are over 320,000 people estimated to be sleeping rough, in homeless shelters or in other temporary housing in the UK, according to analysis from Shelter in 2018.

 

Chris Bates, Head of Europe Real Estate Debt Origination at Barings, said: “Having been actively lending against UK and European residential property for some time now, we were keen to explore opportunities in the affordable housing sector and believe this portfolio is a substantially attractive one to launch us into the market. We are increasingly seeking out opportunities to invest in residential property, given that it provides a long-duration, reliable income that hedges against rising inflation, and are interested in a range of asset classes such as affordable housing, student accommodation, build-to-rent and the private rental sector.”

 

Sam Mellor, Managing Director and Head of Europe & Asia – Pacific Real Estate Debt at Barings, said: “Increasing our exposure in affordable housing is the right thing to do from both a social impact and a financial investment perspective, reflecting both Barings’ values as a company and our investors’ priorities. With a housing crisis in the UK, as across much of the world, the social case is crystal clear. Barings has significant expertise and experience in the affordable housing sector in the U.S., upon which we’ve drawn for this investment, and we’re eager to continue to combine our global research capabilities with our on-the-ground knowledge to seek to secure returns for our investors.”

 

Prabjot Mann, Head of Property at Phoenix Group, said: “Phoenix is delighted to have provided €71.9m (£62.9m) for Barings’ first loan supporting affordable housing projects in Europe. Phoenix Group is committed to investments that have a clear social benefit and this loan forms part of our growing portfolio of investments in affordable, supported and social housing. This funding will provide housing to those most in need, and is fully aligned with our approach to responsible investment.”

 

Alina Osorio, President of Fiera Infrastructure, said: “Domus is a new social infrastructure platform focused on providing critical shelter and support to the most vulnerable members of the community. The investment addresses the social housing supply imbalance in the UK by providing quality accommodations in the areas most at need. We plan to grow our footprint through additional acquisitions, which have been identified and secured in areas experiencing housing supply shortages. We are pleased to have worked with Barings on this milestone financing and look forward to witnessing its significant and measurable social impact on the individuals and communities in which Domus operates.”

 

Gareth Taylor, Director at Excellion Capital, said: “We are delighted to support Domus Social Housing with its acquisition by working with Barings to provide funding of socially responsible and much needed supported housing across the UK. These properties give the unhoused and most vulnerable individuals in our society the accommodation and the specialist care they require.”

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How to sell your home in 2023: Ten top tips

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Energy price worries, double-digit inflation, strikes, war and a new government — there’s a lot going on right now, and it’s all beginning to sap the confidence of sellers and buyers.

The market is still robust, with Halifax this month reporting that house prices are 11.5 per cent higher than a year ago, and the typical home now costs a record £294,260. 

But some potential sellers aren’t convinced and believe it’s better to wait until spring to see if buyer confidence returns.

Holding off: The housing market remains robust, but some potential sellers aren't convinced, and believe it's better to wait until spring to see if buyer confidence returns

Holding off: The housing market remains robust, but some potential sellers aren’t convinced, and believe it’s better to wait until spring to see if buyer confidence returns

Of course, the cuts to stamp duty that Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng have announced may change a few minds.

But research by savings website VoucherCodes suggests that rising costs have forced 11 per cent of all potential buyers to delay by at least a year.

And a separate study by Nationwide Building Society says seven in ten would-be first-time buyers are putting their plans on ice for some months at least.

So if you’re looking to sell and prevent your home from languishing on the market for months on end, it may be best to spend the next six months getting into pole position for the market in 2023. 

Here are our ten top tips…

1. Take top-quality photos

Choose your estate agent now and make sure they take photographs of your home as soon as possible, while the weather is still relatively good. 

Then it will look its best regardless of when you decide to list it — and you can choose to start marketing at short notice if the conditions are right.

2. Help your buyer

‘Create a pack including everything you can to reassure buyers and cut delays,’ says Clare Coode, an agent with Stacks Property Search, a buying agency.

‘This should include, for example, a certificate for your wood burner, up-to-date electrical certificates, planning permissions, building regulation sign-offs, information about ownership of boundary walls and documents related to access and rights of way.’

3. Fix a mortgage deal

With interest rates rising, and likely to increase for another 18 months according to commentators, securing a competitive multi-year, fixed-rate mortgage in principle now makes sense. 

But many of these deals have to be acted upon within a few months, so ensure you’re in a position to buy before the deadline expires.

4. Boost energy efficiency

This is a key issue for buyers, even after Liz Truss introduced a financial package to ease the burden of increased energy costs.

‘Double glazing, improved insulation or a new boiler could be achieved in a few months, and would likely boost both the appeal and asking price of your home,’ says Location, Location, Location star Phil Spencer. 

‘There are also solar panels, but these won’t add enough value to recover their cost in the short term.’

5. Update the kitchen

Consumer group the HomeOwners Alliance says the kitchen is worth more per square foot than any other room in the house, so it’s worth making it look tip-top.

Spend autumn and winter refacing the cabinets and smartening up the walls and floor. 

But don’t fit a new kitchen — you won’t recover the cost if you sell soon and an installation hitch could derail plans.

6. Be competitive

Try not to pay too much attention to any one house price index, but look at the overall trend and be prepared to set a competitive asking price in the New Year.

Many estate agents say an asking price at the lower end of your expectations will encourage rival buyers to bid against each other — good news for any seller. 

And an overly ambitious price may see the home stuck on the market, especially during a cost of living crisis.

7. Try a neutral restyle

Declutter, of course — but do more than that. ‘If your interior is looking a little dated in style, then redecorate in line with current trends,’ says Alex Lyle, director of estate agency Antony Roberts, based in West London.

‘But try not to be too ‘out there’ as this may put off some potential buyers. Likewise, if carpets are looking a little tired, think about replacing them or switching to wooden flooring.’

8. Spruce up the garden

‘Assess how badly the garden suffered from the drought,’ says Josephine Ashby of John Bray Estates, an estate agent based in North Cornwall.

‘Something planted in the autumn should be thriving by spring. Outside space is important, so doing anything to spruce it up will be rewarded. 

Fresh gravel, a trellis to hide eyesores, dramatic pots and cleaned-up furniture with pretty cushions are all easy fixes.’

9. Remember the lights

‘Swap old halogen lights for LED fittings,’ says Emma Barkes of Stacks Property Search. ‘These use 80 per cent less energy to produce the same amount of light.

‘Make the change early so you can demonstrate lower winter bills and also to give you time to paint the ceilings, as the fittings will almost certainly be a different size.’

10. Finish old projects 

There’s no excuse for outstanding repairs if you have six months to deal with them, but remember that it can take longer than you think to get a tradesman in.

Maintenance firm HelpmeFix says it typically takes four weeks to get a bricklayer or roofer, and at least a week to get a plumber to do a routine boiler check.

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CBRE IM acquires two logistics assets in Madrid (ES)

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CBRE Investment Management has acquired two new logistics assets in Madrid, Spain, owned by DWS, with a total gross lettable area of 67,859m².

 

The first asset, located in Meco, was completed in Q2 2020 and offers 51,969m² of gross lettable space with a LEED Silver rating. The second, in Torrejon, was completed in Q4 2019 and provides 15,890m² of gross lettable space with a LEED Gold rating. Both properties are already leased under triple net leases to leading tenants including a German automotive component manufacturer, a national kitchen equipment distributor and an international sustainable energy company. They both also have EPC ratings of A.

 

Both assets boast excellent locations with easy access to the A-2 and R-2 highways, and good connection with the M-50, Madrid’s outermost ring road. A driving distance of just 30 minutes to Madrid’s city centre means the assets are well positioned to accommodate, amongst others, tenants with a last-mile approach. The assets have been delivered to high technical and environmental specifications, and also benefit from the increased penetration of e-commerce in Spain and the lack of grade A logistics properties in the area.

 

Antonio Roncero, Head of Transactions for Iberia at CBRE Investment Management, said: “This acquisition was a rare opportunity to secure an income-producing grade A logistics portfolio through an off-market process. The Madrid logistics sector is attractive due to the potential growth of occupier demand versus an acute shortage of supply. Despite current economic headwinds, well located, high-quality and sustainable assets such as these are well placed to take advantage of ongoing rental growth in the logistics sector.”

 

Manuel Ibanez, Head of Real Estate Iberia at DWS, pointed out: “In 2017 at DWS we bet on the logistics sector and structured a forward purchase agreement with ICC, which culminated in the purchase of the two newly developed warehouses in 2019 and 2020. Following the leasing of both assets, we decided to divest, closing the circle of this deal, which will be profitable for our investors and is part of DWS’s value add strategy. We will continue working to find investment opportunities in key locations and strategic sectors such as logistics, residential and offices, strengthening our presence in Spain”.

 

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