Monthly Archives: February 2010

Building plots for sale in the midlands

There are many ways to find building plots in the midlands but many developers do not like to look at site that have been on the market for some time. The reason for this is that they believe that if the site or plot was a great deal one of their competitors would have already snapped up the site. The same applies for many vendors, those who own potential residential or commercial redevelopment sites often prefer to sell ?off market?. There are various reasons for this but many spend time and money negotiating with potential purchasers who cannot actually buy the land or they will switch terms at a late stage in the land deal.
Many plot sellers prefer to deal with a broker or joint venture partner who they know is more likely to close the deal and deliver the profits. So many potential residential redevelopment sites are sold ?off market?, through a closed network of established developers, main contractors and joint property development partners. Established main contractors have the experience and credibility that is required to obtain the essential property development or bank finance, so they offer an excellent opportunity for site owners who wish to share in the property development profits. They can also provide option agreements where the vendor allows the developer to arrange the planning application. This is often structured so that in exchange for a period of exclusivity in which the developer can purchase the site they arrange for the planning permission and there for secure the planning gain.

Property prices show first falls since house price revival

Recent figures have shown that the average UK house price has dropped for the first time in recent months, missing the double digit inflation predicted by many. This falter comes after the end of the stamp duty holiday so there is evidence to suggest that the missing sales and higher offers have all been used up before the stamp duty holiday ended. The bank lending criteria has loosened but with the chance of an increase in interest rates, 2010 looks to be a great year for predictions with one thing for sure some of the pundits will be left with egg on their faces.

What is the future for HIP?s home information packs?

The shadow housing minister is thought to be planning to scrap HIP?s home information packs as soon as possible after coming to power. Many estate agents, property traders and developers see the removal of the HIP?s as an integral part of a housing market recovery.
The EPC or energy performance certificate is thought to be safe and has proved more popular with home buyers and home sellers. The energy certificate does make sellers give more thought to their properties green credentials. For over ten years since the HIP home information pack first became a proposal of the Labor manifesto it has been surrounded by controversy. The first signs of the HIP?s replacement are just starting to gather credibility. It looks like the ?exchange ready packs? of ERP?s will be the replacement for the HIP?s, this pack is aimed purely at speeding up completion after exchange. These pack would reduce the average exchange time period by well over half, they will include local authority searches, drainage water searches, a property information questionnaire completed by the seller and answers to standard questions from the buyer?s solicitor. The biggest advantage of these changes is that these packs will not need to be provided for the first 30days of marketing which will be a vast improvement from the HIP?s which are required for day one.
The other good news for the housing market is that a conservative government has pledged to scrap stamp duty on properties that sell below ?250.00.

How can we make planning gains and build houses for profit with further development planning application controls?

The property planning system could be faced with further radical changes if we have a conservative government after the next election. Many property professionals have been long awaiting this green paper which aims to give the local community more influence over their local planning applications. The paper will almost defiantly see the use of Section 106 agreements decline if not see it scrapped completely. The Section 106 agreement is thought to deliver in the region of 40% of the affordable housing at this level.
The levels of speculative development and new house building sites are at their lowest levels for decades. With the availability of speculative property development funding also at its lowest levels for a very long time, is now really the best time to start tinkering with the planning system?

How to set up a joint venture property development

Joint venture property development are becoming increasingly popular as those who are looking to off load potential residential developments sites are finding it increasingly challenging to achieve their desired asking prices.
So land owners are looking to set up joint ventures with those that have the knowledge experience and track record of delivering past projects. The advantage of a joint venture is that you have a builder on board who is looking to save costs and push the project to completion to gain their share of the developer?s profit. The industry standard for this type of venture is often a 50 / 50 profit share with the land owner putting up the land as security and the developer or main contractor doing the construction or build phase of the project at cost. This helps with the project borrowing and banks are always keen to see an experienced developer or main contractor on the team. The days when banks were happy to fund first time developers are long behind us, and with the property developer funders having a choice of various deals to back, land and site owners are pleased to do a joint venture rather than see their site sold below market value.

Opportunities in Commercial property Investment

A recent report has outlined the situation of empty shops in various city centres. Wolverhampton, Bradford, and Sheffield were named among places where there is more than the normal concern. The 2008 / 2009 recession may be one factor to blame as part of the reason for shop closures/ empty shops, but it has also to be considered what affect our shopping patterns that we all now undertake may have on the shops that are now closed.
In Peterborough a fairly large modern enclosed shopping centre known as Queensgate exists, and has been in existence for some years and therefore the long term presence of such can be considered on the area. Queensgate is not only close to the city centre but is also just outside the train station with connections to the North / South / Lincolnshire / the Anglia Region and the Midlands. Queensgate also houses the bus station providing bus services locally, and apart from a good road network in and around Peterborough the city is also close to the A1 Road providing major road access to Peterborough. Queensgate and shopping centres like it and the recession is bound to have an effect on surrounding properties / shops, and part of the solution may be action as outlined for Stoke on Trent below.
The Stoke on Trent area suffered in the second half of the 20th century with the decline of the potteries and coal mining but more recently has seen regeneration, including small but nevertheless valuable property improvements and development schemes including developing empty shops into projects to fit local demands as for example a hairdressing salon with flats being provided above. These projects thus providing much wanted rented accommodation, and providing a mixed use asset for landlords and tenants. No doubt this kind of approach does and can help everyone in many a village, town and city that have vacant and run- down buildings and makes full use of valuable space.
Now with building developments generally in Britain progressing at a less hectic pace than say in 2006/7 it may be a good time to grab the opportunity to carry out work on empty shops/ pubs etc in a village, town, or city near to you to utilise the space by providing flats and commercial premises to meet present day needs. You may be interested in a developing a site/ building in your locality and local people are probably best to choose the right kind of development for site concerned for the area they know well.

Selling my house in spring

Spring is the traditional time when the daffodil bulbs start to pop up in people?s front gardens along side with the usual estate agents boards. Spring is always a positive time, and as the sun starts to steam in through the windows, soon X5?s and other traditional signs of the estate agents coming out of their winter hibernation will be clearly evident. Soon the suburbs of most towns and cities will be back as the traditional hunting ground of well dressed men and women carrying blackberries and laser measurers. Using that unique calling sound of, double aspect, light and airy, well presented, and an opportunity to view this desirable family residence.

Estate agents spring back into action and sale away with profits?

Investors making money in property development as commercial property yields are compressed

Private investors are looking to various property backed investments such as speculative mezzanine funding to give them greater returns and higher yields. Many believe that the commercial property market has hit the bottom as investors return to sensible attitudes to the balance of risk and return.
The recent gains in capital values for commercial property are attributed to the market simple reflecting more sensible levels of yield buying from various private investors and instructional commercial property investors.

Heavy hitters in buy-to-let return to the ring

Some of the so called heavy hitters including ex-boxer Andreas Panayiotou are starting their first major residential property purchases for years. Many of the ?clever players? sold out in late 2006 early 2007 when they grew increasingly concerned with the very low yields being achieved from both commercial and residential property investments.
There is always a demand for buy to let as many use this investment vehicle to provide a passive income for their retirement. Interestingly there is increasing speculation that some large instructional investors are looking to residential investment property to supply them with higher yielding investments.

Difficulty paying your mortgage?

Your not the only one, the Council of Mortgage Lending expects that for the next seven years the UK public will struggle to cope with the years of excessive boom. The final results will depend on several variables including the usual suspects of interest rates, unemployment, and the general condition of the economy.
The Council of Mortgage Lending is predicting that the number of mortgagees in arrears will top the 200,000 market this year. With many of the most respected property and banking pundits expecting to see interest rates rise in the short to medium term, the recent gains in property prices may soon be eliminated.