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Hottest property markets revealed by Rightmove and Newquay is top

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The fastest places to sell a property in Britain have been revealed and it is perhaps no surprise after the latest lockdown that a coastal town in Cornwall tops the list.

With its sandy beaches, easy access to green open spaces and offer of a holiday without going abroad, Newquay has proved popular among homebuyers since the beginning of the year, according to property website Rightmove.  

It analysed 300,000 homes that have been put on the market during that time and identified the locations where the most properties were sold.

The best places to be selling a property in Britain have been revealed by property website Rightmove

The best places to be selling a property in Britain have been revealed by property website Rightmove

This four-bedroom house in Newquay, Cornwall, is for sale for £340,000 via David Ball estate agents

This four-bedroom house in Newquay, Cornwall, is for sale for £340,000 via David Ball estate agents

It said four in five homes in the town on the north coast of Cornwall have been snapped up since the start of the year, the highest percentage anywhere in Britain. 

It is followed by Newton-Le-Willows in Merseyside, where just under 82 per cent of properties have sold subject to contract, followed by Plymstock in Devon at 81 per cent.

Rightmove said that all areas of the top 10 hottest seller markets have seen asking prices hit records since the market reopened in May 2020, with seven of the 10 hitting a price record this year.

With its sandy beaches and easy access to green open spaces, Newquay has proved popular among homebuyers this year

With its sandy beaches and easy access to green open spaces, Newquay has proved popular among homebuyers this year 

By contrast, there are a number of city centres where just one in five properties are marked as sold.

In Birmingham city centre, this is the case for 18 per cent of properties, while in Liverpool city centre, the figure stands at 22 per cent.

Other areas outside of city centres in the top 10 include the more expensive locations of Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire where average asking prices are more than £1million, and Sunbury-on-Thames which has an average asking price of more than £500,000.

This three-bedroom house in Newton-Le-Willows is on the market for £185,000 via Think estate agents

This three-bedroom house in Newton-Le-Willows is on the market for £185,000 via Think estate agents

This three-bedroom house in Plymstock is for sale for £250,000 via Cross Keys estate agents

This three-bedroom house in Plymstock is for sale for £250,000 via Cross Keys estate agents

It comes as housing stock has decreased, down 26 per cent on this time last year, although the market was closed in April 2020.

New properties coming up for sale improved in March and were 51 per cent higher than in February, but demand is still outstripping supply in a number of areas, Rightmove said.

Market momentum has been building in recent months. So far this year Rightmove has recorded 20 of its busiest ever days for visits to the site, with a new record set last Wednesday on April 7 when there were more than 9.3 million visits.

RIGHTMOVE’S TOP 10 BUYER’S MARKET AREAS IN BRITAIN
Location % of properties that are Sold Subject to Contract (SSTC) Average asking price 2021
Birmingham City Centre 18.4% £218,072
Liverpool City Centre 22% £165,912
Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire 29% £1,087,372
Manchester City Centre 31% £235,859
Sunbury-On-Thames, Surrey 31.4% £503,375
Langley, Berkshire 31.5% £440,846
Bushey, Hertfordshire 31.8% £564,683
Norwich City Centre 32.5% £230,186
Witney, Oxfordshire 33.2% £338,748
Southampton City Centre 33.3% £210,095
Source: Rightmove     

Tim Bannister, of Rightmove, said: ‘Areas around the North and South West are the stand-out seller’s markets right now, and places in Cornwall and Devon are continuing the trend of a desire to move to the seaside and countryside.

‘Suburbs are also faring well as some people move further out from the centre of cities. 

‘Both sale and rental properties in city centres have been suffering over the past year as the usual appeal to live there has temporarily been taken away, leading to more stock than usual being available, but we may see these start to shift more quickly over the next few months as lockdown restrictions continue to be removed.’

This three-bedroom house in Hailsham, East Sussex, is for sale for £295,000 via Crane & Co estate agents

This three-bedroom house in Hailsham, East Sussex, is for sale for £295,000 via Crane & Co estate agents

Bradley Start, of Start & Co estate agents in Newquay, said: ‘The stock shortage is the worst I’ve seen in thirty years and there’s just seemingly endless demand.

‘We’re getting requests for viewings within minutes of a property going on Rightmove and many properties are going to best and final offers due to the competition, something that usually we would only see a few times a year.

‘It’s a mix of locals moving, people buying holiday homes and those relocating completely, which is leading to more out-of-town buyers than we would normally see.

‘Those who are choosing to relocate are, understandably, looking for a home right by the sea, which is pushing up demand even more for those homes with the all-coveted sea view. 

‘The lack of stock is mostly down to the fact that sellers are unsure that they will be able to find a replacement property to buy, but if more sellers decided to come to market this would help across the whole chain.’

RIGHTMOVE’S TOP TEN SELLER’S MARKETS IN BRITAIN
Location  % of properties that are Sold Subject to Contract (SSTC)  Average asking price 2021
Newquay, Cornwall 82% £351,398
Newton-Le-Willows, Merseyside 81.8% £182,280
Plymstock, Devon 81.2% £268,980
Hailsham, East Sussex 81.1% £310,642
Canvey Island, Essex 80.5% £302,769
Atherton, Manchester 80.3% £153,540
Quedgeley, Gloucestershire 80.1% £237,007
Willingdon, East Sussex 79.2% £326,338
Whitchurch, Bristol 78.2% £293,021
Melksham, Wiltshire 77.9% £276,096
Source: Rightmove     

And Simon Shepherd, Ashtons in Newton-Le-Willows, said: ‘The train station and high street have had a lot of development over the past few years which had already been increasing activity here, but the past year has just been crazy.

‘First-time buyers are queuing up for starter homes, and many of those moving from starter homes are looking for four-bed detached homes which are few and far between so when one comes up for sale it’s snapped up immediately, especially those that are within walking distance to the high street.

‘Some people are selling up their smaller houses closer into Liverpool and moving out here as well, which has pushed up prices to an all-time high. 

‘Right now I’ve had to rip up the rule book because the demand means it’s hard to predict what a home is going to sell for, as in many cases we’re achieving over the asking price.’

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VGP acquires French logistics development

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VGP NV and VALGO signed an agreement to purchase 32 hectares of land that housed the former Petroplus refining units in Petit-Couronne, near Rouen. This brownfield rehabilitation project is fully in line with VGP’s core expertise and strategy. Thanks to the six years ownership of the site by VALGO and its expertise in asbestos removal, soil and water table decontamination, in-situ waste treatment and development, this area has now become a suitable site for the development of new industries and business activities.

 

On the banks of the river Seine and close to the A13 highway, the 32-hectare area of land offers its future users a highly strategic location. Following the extensive depollution work carried out by VALGO, the site is now ready for redevelopment. VGP expanded into France only a few months ago and is delighted to start its French business activities in the dynamic Rouen Normandy metropolis area, via this major project. In total, around 150,000m² of land are set to be redeveloped to accommodate industrial and logistics projects, with work due to begin in 2023.

 

Jan Van Geet, CEO VGP, said: “VGP is delighted to begin its business activities in France on a site as exceptional as this one, with strong economic and environmental ambitions that are shared by both our partner, VALGO, and the local authorities. As the rehabilitation of brownfield sites is at the heart of our business, this project is a great opportunity for us to deploy our industrial and logistical know-how. The uncertain geopolitical situation and the rise in transport prices mean that companies are increasingly looking for local support to start their business. In this context, we strongly believe in the relevance of our integrated model with a long-term vision. We are now eager to get to work and bring all the expertise of the Group to the project.”

 

Francois Bouche, CEO VALGO, commented: “We are delighted that this huge piece of land has been sold to a major investor with experience in redeveloping brownfields in Europe. However, I would first like to celebrate the work of the men and women who worked so hard to make this colossal project a success. It took more than 1 million hours and over €60m in investment by VALGO to turn the page on over 80 years of refining on this site, which already employs 600 people.”

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Selling your home? Here’s how to make sure it has kerb appeal by sprucing up outside space

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As anyone who has indulged in the brutal ‘swipe left’ culture of internet dating will testify, you don’t often get a second chance to make a first impression. And the same is true when trying to sell your property.

That’s why what lies at the front of your house — be it lawn, gravel or flagstones — can play a major role in making a sale.

Indeed, having a pleasing ‘shop front’ to snag potential buyers scrolling through listings or even walking past outside can offer leverage to boost the asking price, says Colby Short, CEO of estate agent comparison site getagent.co.uk.

Dress to impress: Colourful flower beds transform the look of a cottage in East Lothian, Scotland

Dress to impress: Colourful flower beds transform the look of a cottage in East Lothian, Scotland

‘Homes that offer a front garden carry a 4 per cent property price premium versus those without, and that equates to more than £11,000 in the current market,’ he says.

So what changes can you make to the patch in front of your house to help improve the saleability of the property?

Some alterations are simple, entry-level innovations. For example, even the smallest swatch of grass should be mown and rubbish-free. 

In fact, bins and recycling boxes are often the first thing you see in a front garden, as well as the detritus left by squirrels who have curated bits of dinner from your bags of rubbish. But it’s easy to hide bins away in a box unit.

‘If you’re trying to hide ugly bins, how about building a bin store with a planter on the top, then you can have some gorgeous outdoor succulents and flowering alpines?’ says QVC UK’s gardening expert Michael Perry. 

You can also buy wooden bin stores from outdoor furniture suppliers such as Wayfair (from £125.99).

Meanwhile, hanging baskets outside your front door help to break up a harsh brick wall, says Sean Lade, of Easy Garden Irrigation.

‘Hanging baskets are an excellent choice for adding colour and scent to your front garden and soften the front of your house. They should be installed at eye level —about 5 ft off the ground.’

Hanging baskets add colour and scent to a front garden and soften the front of a house

Hanging baskets add colour and scent to a front garden and soften the front of a house

And think about replacing tired fencing or dilapidated brick walls with natural borders, such as Boxwood hedging, which will add visual interest and is also easy to prune throughout the year.

‘If you prefer a cottage garden appearance, then why not train climbing plants to create natural archways around your front door, porch or gate?’ says Deborah Cobb, product manager at builders’ merchants MKM.

‘Raised flower beds are also a clever way to add some natural foliage. If you fill them with evergreen shrubs, then they are an easy-to-look-after and low-maintenance option that will look good all year round.’

In terms of what plants to go for, Nicola Bird, founder of seed subscription service The Floral Project, suggests some annual flowers are perfect for planting at the front of your house if you’re looking to sell. 

‘They include varieties such as cosmos, phlox, zinnias and sweet peas — not only to bring a bright splash of colour to your front garden, but also serve as a great conversation starter with your potential buyers.’

Even if you don’t have a patch of grass in front of your home, there are other fundamentals which will help with the sale, says Jonathan Rolande, professional property buyer at housebuyfast.co.uk.

This includes jet-washing your path. And just before a visit from potential buyers, remove any vehicles, where possible, to help to create an impression of space.

‘Clean the windows, frames and front doors — and clean the house number,’ he says. ‘If the garden is mostly given over to parking, soften the look with pots and planters filled with bright flowers and attractive shrubs.’

 You may think your garden gnomes are cute, but to a prospective buyer, they can be just plain creepy

He adds that if you don’t have a lawn, terracotta planters on the front sills look great with fragrant plants such as lavender and rosemary appealing to the sense of smell, too.

If your front garden is really small, use decorative gravel such as pea shingle or slate chippings, suggests Thomas Goodman, property expert at homeowner and tradesman connection website myjobquote.co.uk.

‘This will give you an attractive, low-maintenance base for topping with a few nice plant pots.

‘Fix anything that’s broken, including gates, fences and walls. These detract from any nice planting and give the impression of a home that’s not properly maintained and is going to need work.’

Colby Short says some items in your garden should be permanently jettisoned to improve the chances of a sale.

‘You may think your garden gnomes are cute, but to a prospective buyer, they can be just plain creepy. The same goes for any large statues or display items, particularly if they are of a political, religious or risque nature.

‘When it comes to potential buyers, you want to present a blank canvas. But that doesn’t mean this canvas can’t look good and add appeal in its own right.’

On the market… with kerb appeal 

Buckinghamshire: This four bedroom semi-detached cottage is on the edge of Denham Village. The bedrooms are spacious overlooking front and rear gardens. Struttandparker.com, 01753 481 781, £800,000

Buckinghamshire: This four bedroom semi-detached cottage is on the edge of Denham Village. The bedrooms are spacious overlooking front and rear gardens. Struttandparker.com, 01753 481 781, £800,000

Suffolk: There are four bedrooms in this detached house in Old Newton. The property dates from the 16th century and has a thatched roof and mature gardens. Fineandcountry.com, 01379 646 020. £1.2m

Suffolk: There are four bedrooms in this detached house in Old Newton. The property dates from the 16th century and has a thatched roof and mature gardens. Fineandcountry.com, 01379 646 020. £1.2m

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Elephant Park expands its retail offer (GB)

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Lendlease has announced the openings of two new spaces at Elephant Park: all-day kitchen and bar RAREBIT; and community garden store The Nunhead Gardener.

 

RAREBIT – the all-day kitchen and evening dining, bar, and grocery store – has opened its first brick-and-mortar location on Elephant Park’s casual dining hub, Sayer Street. The brand-new concept has a menu focusing on British favorites including the Welsh ‘rarebit’, and its grocery stocks a range of independent wines, craft beers, and coffee from East London coffee shop, Climpson & Sons. This selection is complemented by cheeses from Neal’s Yard Dairy, charcuterie from London Smoke & Cure, and produce from Natoora.

 

The Nunhead Gardener is the latest brand to move from one of Lendlease’s meanwhile units into a permanent space at Elephant Park, following the likes of Dima Beautiful, Beza Ethiopian Vegan, and bar and bottle shop The Tap In. The 900ft² unit on Sayer Street stocks a selection of indoor and outdoor plants, as well as specialty gardening tools, seeds, and seasonal scented candles.

 

Guy Thomas, Head of Place Assets at Lendlease, commented: “Both of these openings speak to our core values at Elephant Park, with a commitment to providing our local community with uses that are independent, sustainability-oriented, and unique. The arrival of RAREBIT adds a new cuisine to casual dining hub Sayer Street, and The Nunhead Gardener’s revamped permanent space has created a plant haven that we know local people will love.”

 

Mark Angell and Will Nias, Co-Founders of RAREBIT, said: “RAREBIT is about bringing a modern, fresh concept to people who want top-quality food and drink. Whether that be for grocery shopping or sit-down dining, we are so excited to be welcoming customers through our doors at Elephant Park. It is such a buzzing area, and we are proud to introduce RAREBIT to this diverse and vibrant environment.”

 

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