Monthly Archives: December 2009

Government announces new planning policy statement 4 (PPS4) for the urban and rural economies.

This planning policy document is aimed at protecting independent in town retailers and assisting in the control of the development of out of town retail developments. The new policy will include an impact statement which will look at a number of issues that will be created by out of town developments, such as the environmental / green development needs, the impact on consumer choice, consumer spending jobs, and the impact on the local high street.
This new policy if used correctly could breathe new life into the zoned town centers and protect them during the commercial property recovery. It should stop the ?ghost town?, impact that badly planned out of town developments have been accused of creating in the past.

Home owners in the UK pay off ?4.9 billion of mortgage debt in the three months up to September

This estimate prepared by the Bank of England shows that over the past sixteen quarters the UK public have reduced the net mortgage lending.
This shows we have entered a new dawn where for the first time in 11 years the UK public have chosen to reduce the money they owe own on their homes, rather than withdraw equity and increase borrowings. It is also interesting to note that the UK public chooses to invest 2% of their net post tax income into their properties.
Economists have estimated that since the second quarter of 2008 the net amount of equity injected in to UK property has topped the ?30 billion pounds mark.

Increases in Boxing Day footfalls, retailer?s takings, and commercial property values?

Many UK shopping centers have reported greatly increased foot traffic through their doors in the recent few days of the post Christmas traditional high street sales. It is estimated that over half a million shoppers passed through the doors of the Bullring. It seems that the green shoots of the UK economy are inching ever higher. It appears that optimism has turned into positive sentiment in turn that?s has become consumer confidence which will, given time flower into retailers profits and ultimately increased rental yields and increased capital values for commercial property.
It seems that those brave and canny investors that started to ?call the bottom?, of the commercial property market will look forward to healthy returns to reward their wise judgment. Will this blog be reporting the same of residential property investors in the short term?

UK Government allocates ?311 million pot of cash to the Midlands and North Housing Market Renewal

The government has announced that it is injecting 311 million pounds into the 12 pathfinder areas, the funding will be allocated to renovating 6,500 homes across the Midlands and the North in the Pathfinder areas. The funds will be allocated through the Homes and community Agency and is thought to protect and generate 1,000 jobs and apprenticeships within the construction industry.
The announcement made by the Housing Minister John Healy is in addition to the announcement of ?1.7 billion pounds of funding for the building of new affordable homes that was announced in the summer. The scheme is said to benefit around 1500 people many of which live in areas blighted by abandoned homes. The funding forms part of the housing market renewal scheme, and they have already allocated 36 million pounds to North Staffordshire. The pathfinder initiative has already been responsible for transforming a number of areas and assisting in bring vacant properties back into use.
Stoke-on-Trent has employed an empty home officer, tasked with tracing absent landlords and brings empty and derelict properties back into use. There are strong rumors amongst many Midlands property professionals that areas such as Stoke-on-Trent and the market towns that surround it, like Leek in Staffordshire Moorlands will become property hot spots as this funding is pumped into the areas.

Home Renovation Ideas for 2010

The New Year is rolling in and most home owners are thinking about resolutions. Some peoples resolutions revolve around themselves whether it?s personal like giving up smoking or going on a diet, some people will be thinking about their working environment and what changes they want to see in the year. Many other people look to their homes and start planning to improve the appearance by decorating certain rooms or even extend and renovate for more living space. More and more people are working from home so are now looking at turning their garage into an office with a Garage Conversion.
Whatever your plans are this year, if they involve property refurbishments make sure you get a quote from us. You won?t be disappointed with our service, we are NOT cowboys and work to a very high standard. In fact you will thank your lucky stars you came across us.

Recovery in the UK economy tied to recovery in UK property market

There is no doubt that the UK public has a long love affair with home ownership, much higher than that of their European counterparts. The issue for the UK has been the close link between the UK property market and the UK economy.
The chancellor now has the unenviable task of balancing the needs of the wider economy with the needs of the UK property market which is so closely linked to the UK economy and interest rates. With interest rates at such historic lows there is a danger of runaway inflation, but making things a little easier for Mr. Darling or his replacement is the tight lending criteria. This should have the effect of keeping house price inflation to a slower and more stainable level during a more organic UK property market recovery.

Best property development profits could be right now?

There has been much speculation particular amongst property professionals that now could be one of the historic low points in the property cycle, and therefore one of the best times to make a profit from property development.
With property developers now able to pick up some great bargains, could now be the best time for many to launch into their new dream profession of full time property developers. The biggest challenge for many first time property developers is obtaining suitable finance. The much tighter lending criteria has meant a rationing of development lending with the available funds going to those developers with good deposits and a proven track record of success.
As always with developments the key to success is by at the right price and keep a keen eye on costs, it is essential to find the right contractor with the right experience.

Landlords expected to cover retailer?s mistakes?

The British Retail Consortium has been critical of commercial landlords for not being more flexible though the recent period of financial instability. Many retailers have requested to switch terms that they have previously agreed. So many in the commercial property world are frustrated by the criticism of Landlords for not accepting what many see as a new set of rules of the game.
It is most unfortunate that more cannot be done to assist struggling retailers, but many landlords are faced with equally challenging business issues. The days of re-financing your problems always are just a pleasant memory, and as most landlords are directly responsible to investors, shareholders, and bankers most are unable to help even if it made commercial sense.
In fact without the intervention of many landlords the high street would have lost a few more big names. The difficulty is that many believe landlords ?rake in the money?, but fail to understand that most of their income is swiftly dispatched to investors, shareholders, and bankers. This leaves many landlords simply trading increasingly narrow margins.

Information lacking for the future of home information packs

The future of the Home information pack the ?HIP? is uncertain as the conservatives have vowed to scrap the HIP, but whatever replaces it must still contain the energy performance certificate. So will the conservative?s replacement be a simple version of the HIP and if so can any of the conveyance solicitors suggest a better alternative?
There has been much speculation that at the next election there may well be a change of government and therefore the current HIP may well end. The fact that there does not seem to be any clear outlines for the HIP?s replacement leaves a fragile recovery to the UK housing market again at the mercy of political change. There is a clear need for some re-working of the current arrangement but which party will step up to the challenge with some feasible suggestions, and in turn win over some support form those of us involved in the property sector?