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Do homes sell better in Spring? We separate property fact from fiction

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There’s no shortage of advice on how buyers, sellers, renters and landlords can get the best out of the housing market.

Conversations about property at dinner parties (remember those?) and programmes like Homes Under The Hammer and Location, Location, Location have made us all experts, or so we think.

But are some of our certainties just old wives’ tales? We asked the real experts . . .

Conversations about property at dinner parties and programmes like Homes Under The Hammer and Location, Location, Location have made us all experts, or so we think

Conversations about property at dinner parties and programmes like Homes Under The Hammer and Location, Location, Location have made us all experts, or so we think

YOUR HOME WILL SELL FAST

Verdict: Fiction.

Estate agents may tell the owner that their home will sell quickly in order to win the instruction to market the property.

‘Until you’ve had viewings there’s no way of knowing. Many properties will sell at the right price, but to get to that may take a little longer than anticipated,’ says Chris Mullin, of estate agency Hamptons.

ONLINE AGENTS ARE CHEAPER

Verdict: Fiction.

Although you’ll pay less in charges to an online agent, you are likely to get a lower price for your property, which more than outweighs the saving in fees. 

Property information service The Advisory, calculates that bricks and mortar firms typically achieve a 5 per cent higher price.

BUYERS DECIDE QUICKLY

Verdict: Fact.

Studies show buyers make an in-principle decision to bid for, or reject, a property fast – often within 30 minutes or less. That’s why a smart exterior can set the tone for a successful viewing.

COFFEE AROMA WOOS BUYERS

Verdict: Fiction.

Quick decisions on purchases tend to be based on visual impressions, not smells. ‘Not everyone warms to them. 

In Covid times, fresh air wins hands down. And at this time of year, if you have a fire, light it,’ says Sarah Cull, of Strutt & Parker.

ODD NUMBERS SELL FOR MORE

Verdict: Fact.

Many agents report more people want odd numbers, especially traditionally ‘lucky’ three and seven, outweighing unpopular 13. 

Higher demand pushes up prices, and comparison website GetAgent says analysis shows odd-number homes sell on average for 2 per cent more.

MY STREET STARRED IN A FILM

Verdict: Fiction.

‘People are so switched on, they’re unlikely to pay more for a property that’s been on the large or small screen,’ says James Greenwood, of Stacks Property Search. ‘A property linked with horrific events may make it harder to sell.’

FLAT CONVERSIONS ARE TINY 

Verdict: Fact.

Minimum government space standards don’t apply to many homes converted from old offices. ‘A 13 sq m flat – the area of a typical double bedroom – is not uncommon. Some are even smaller,’ warns a HomeOwners Alliance spokesman.

REJECT THE FIRST OFFER

Verdict: Fiction.

‘If they offer the asking price and are in a great position – no chain and finances in place – then don’t look a gift horse in the mouth,’ advises Paula Higgins, HomeOwners Alliance chief executive.

PRICES ALWAYS RISE

Verdict: Fiction.

House prices dropped about 20 per cent between 1989 and 1993, and during the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 they fell almost as much. 

However, the average UK house price in late 1980 was almost £21,000 when 40 years later it hit £245,000 – nearly 12 times the amount.

HOUSES SELL WELL IN SPRING

Verdict: Fact.

The Advisory calculates that a home put on the market in March will take 57 days on average before the seller accepts an offer. The typical time on market rises to a peak in October of 79 days on average.

STAMP DUTY USED TO BE HIGH

Verdict: Fiction.

Stamp Duty was only 1 per cent and applied only to homes costing over £60,000 until 1997. It’s been rising ever since and before the current stamp duty holiday (until the end of June), buyers of some properties had to pay 18 per cent Stamp Duty.

On the market… solid investments 

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Hotel Indigo debuts in Austria

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Hotel Indigo opened its first hotel in Austria, Hotel Indigo Vienna – Naschmarkt. Located a short walk from the city’s historic center, the hotel offers 158 guest rooms, a rooftop garden resembling an urban jungle, a restaurant, and a lobby bar.

 

Taking inspiration from a famed local architect, Otto Wagner, a key member of the Secessionist movement, guests will find touches of gold used throughout the fixtures in the bathrooms as well as intricate patterns, made famous by Otto, woven into the carpet design in the hallway, and the tiles behind reception. Otto’s love for gold, Art Nouveau design, and ornate patterns can also be seen at famous local buildings such as the Majolikahaus, a short walk from the hotel. From ground level, the building looks innocuous, but as guests look skywards, they will see the top floors are decorated with exquisitely sumptuous floral motifs in brightly colored porcelain and gold leaf, a hallmark of the new style.

 

Stefanie Augustin, General Manager, Hotel Indigo Vienna – Naschmarkt, commented: “We are pleased to open our doors and accept our first guests into the first Hotel Indigo in Austria. We sit in the heart of the surrounding neighbourhood and strive to make all the locals proud, by helping to bring a bit of that external story in so guests can truly experience what Vienna has to offer.”

 

 

 

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Tolent secures Newcastle resi project (GB)

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Tolent will put up 135 ‘ultra-modern’ system-build homes, with designs selected from an architectural competition. Sunderland’s new Vaux neighborhood, being built on the site of an old brewery, will eventually have 1,000 homes, according to the plans, as part of a drive to double the number of people living in the city centre. The homes will stand alongside The Beam and City Hall – the latest development to rise from the ground at Riverside Sunderland. Construction work on the scheme is expected to start within weeks, forming the first of the new distinct neighbourhoods that will create city centre housing for up to 2,500 residents.

 

The properties are based on the winning designs in the Homes of 2030 competition, which was launched in March 2020, and managed by the Royal Institute of British Architects, to encourage the design of environmentally-friendly homes that support people in leading independent, fulfilling lives as society ages.? Construction work on the development is due to start this summer and the first tranche of homes should be completed by the end of 2023.

 

Sunderland City Council leader Graeme Miller said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have taken this final step to get work started on our flagship residential scheme at Riverside Sunderland. The housing developments on Riverside Sunderland will be world-class, and Tolent is an ideal partner to deliver them, based locally and capable of building these aspirational homes.”

 

Tolent chief executive Paul Webster said: “Vaux neighbourhood is an amazing project that showcases the strides being taken in Sunderland to modernise the city centre. The world-class houses being built will provide a community fit for the future and an archetype for sustainable housing. As a truly local business, we are proud to be involved in the project and to showcase our ability to meet and exceed the capabilities of national contractors on a local level. The project will complement a number of local landmarks that we have constructed including The Beam, Beacon of Light and Echo Building. We have been working closely with the entire team since being appointed preferred bidder back in September and we can’t wait to get started.”

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BlackRock acquires Dagenham urban logistics development (GB)

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A joint venture (JV) between Chancerygatea fund managed by Credit Suisse Asset Management, and Hines has forward sold a 172,000ft² urban logistics development in Dagenham to a fund managed by BlackRock for an undisclosed sum. Dagenham Council has approved plans to speculatively build 15 Grade A urban logistics and industrial units at the development which is called Zephyr Park. The units range from 5,490ft² to 34,670ft² and are available leasehold and freehold. Construction is due to commence in August this year. The six-acre site was previously owned by wholesale electrical distributor Rexel UKSituated on Rainham Road between the A12 and A13, Zephyr Park is located less than half a mile from Hackman Capital Partners and Dagenham Council’s proposed €348.5m (£300m) film and TV studios.

 

Chancerygate managing director, Richard Bains, said: “Zephyr Park will be an outstanding urban logistics development which will generate continued investment and job creation for Dagenham. Forward selling Zephyr Park to BlackRock shows the strength in urban logistics as an asset class. It is also a testament to the high specification, a sustainable product we build as it attracts businesses to locate to our developments ensuring they are best placed to continue to grow. We look forward to working with Hines and BlackRock to deliver Zephyr Park and expect to achieve practical completion in summer 2023.”

 

Greg Cooper, Hines managing director, industrial and logistics, added: “We are pleased to have executed this opportunity to recycle this asset, with the value generated illustrating the unabating demand for high-quality logistics developments. It is an asset class which remains a key focus for Hines in the UK, and we are continuing to explore opportunities to grow our portfolio of both big box and urban facilities.”

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