Monthly Archives: October 2010

Property development planning policies welcomed by property sector

Announcements of details of new planning regulations have received a broadly positive reception from property professionals. The use of new property development funding streams are welcomed, some of the schemes allow local authorities to assist in funding new developments, by borrowing against future increases in local business rates. Further details have been released on Local Enterprise Partnerships and the new regional growth fund. The use of tax incremental funding will simply make more commercial property developments stack up. In turn leading to new construction jobs, long term jobs as well as more local services and increased revenues for the local authority.
The only concerns for many within the industry is the release of the new neighborhood plans, some are starting to ask just what a neighborhood consists of?

Bank funding for development and mortgage lending still in short supply

House prices have continued to drop as lending criteria remains tight with first time buyers needing nearly 40,000 pounds deposit to buy the average starter home. This in turn means the average age of a first time home buyer unassisted by their family is 37. It is no wonder there is an increased demand in rental properties, which is bound to lead to an increase in rents.

Houses in Multiple Occupation planning applications scrapped

With the change of government, there has been a change of heart on planning requirements for houses in multiple occupation. The government announced earlier this year that all new houses in multiple occupation would require planning permission. This was in an attempted to control high levels of students lets in some university towns, however this has now been reversed by the current government. This will not only please student landlords who are now free to increase their property portfolios unhindered but also the planners. This would have created lots of planning applications for local planning enforcement officers and taken their time and attention away from more critical planning issues.

Great time to plan for a new home extension

If you are planning a new home extension now would be a great time to move forward with your house extension project. If your house extension requires planning permission now is the ideal time to get your home extension planning application drawings completed. If you get the design work and home extension drawings complete now that will put you in a great position to start your home extension in the new year. That way you can spend some time at Christmas choosing the finishing touches to your new house extension. Just think this could be your last Christmas short of living space, so why not treat your partner to the ultimate gift, a bigger house!

Property developers and investors set to profit from cuts in social housing budget?

Builders will face some level of disappointment as the chancellor has slashed the budget for social housing from just short of eight and a half billion to less than five billion. So what will this mean for everybody? Well again it is not the best of news for the UK?s battered house building and construction industries. Strangely one man?s problem is always another man?s profit and it looks to be the private rented sector who will be one of the winners from these cuts. The cuts will be funded in part by changes to the way social housing is let, there will be an end to the tenancy for life. There will also be huge reductions in the subsidies given towards rents, this could lead to rent increases for some social housing by up to eighty percent in some areas. In turn this will have a positive effect on private rent inflation which in turn will be good news for the many battered landlords who have suffered capital depreciation in recent years.

Kitchen extensions in Derby

Kitchens are one of the most extended rooms in the home, the reason Kitchen extensions are so popular is because even a small house extension can transform your kitchen into a far more impressive room. Many people chose to extend their houses and kitchens to transform their kitchen to a kitchen dinner, adding a table to your kitchen will really make it the centre of your home.
We spend a lot of our time in our kitchens and often when we look at a new kitchen we realise that we lack the space for extra appliances, tables, range cookers, American fridges etc. So the best option is a kitchen extension, with the changes in planning policies not all extensions require planning permission, but it is always best to confirm that with your local authority.
Building a kitchen extension will increase the value of your home and give you the extra space you need to give you that dream kitchen. With an increasing number of people unable to sell their houses or get a suitable mortgage to move up the property ladder, more and more are choosing to add a home extension. Their first choice is often a kitchen extension, you have the option of a single story kitchen extension or going double height and adding a two story house extension. With a two story home extension you have the option to add and extra bedroom or bathroom. More and more people are now working from home and need a home office so they will add a new extension or convert their garage. Garage conversions offer a great value way to add valuable space to your home, starting at around ?6,000 they are cheaper than a home extension but make a great home office or guest room space.

Planning a home extension

Always start with the end design in mind, stay focused on why you want to extend your home, get some basic sketches and pictures together to help your architect or builder to easily understand how your home extension will work.
The next stage is the design stage, there are two main options you can either retain an architect or commercial surveyor to design and project manage your house extension. Or the second option, employ a building company who offer a full design and build package. The second option is becoming increasingly popular as home owners realise that there is no doubling with one company taking full responsibility for both the design and construction phase of the home extension project.
Make sure you prepare for the initial site meeting get a list of questions and mark out the basic area which you want to extend, even if you just use plant pots or other items from the garden. This will save any ambiguity and will make sure that the provisional building design drawings capture your requirements.
Once your design team have completed the initial building drawing arrange another meeting to review the drawings and make sure you are happy with window positions, etc and that nothing interferes with your plans for furniture and the way you intend to use your home extension. Check that the look of the exterior of your new home extension is as you intended.
When you are happy with the basic design the next step is to file a planning application, some extensions may be exempt from planning under ?permitted development rights?. However make sure you check because some areas are built without permitted development rights or PDR as they are often called. Once your planning application for your home extension has been submitted it usually takes around twelve weeks to have the application approved.
The other permission that will need to be satisfied is building regulation approval, this is a separate application with its own separate drawings. These are the building regulation drawings or the construction drawing as they are sometimes called. These drawings show the construction detail, they are designed to show that a new build is structurally sound and meets the various building regulations for thermal efficiency, fire safety and other important considerations.
The other items that needs to be checked is if your home is a listed building or in a conservation area if it is, the conservation officer for your area will need to check that the proposed design is in keeping with your home and the other buildings in the area.
The advantage of choosing a company that can offer a full design and build service is that as issues arise during the design stage they are aware of them prior to starting the build phase. This give your design and building contractor time to plan solutions that meet with building control, planning control or the conservation officers approval without compromising your preferred home extension design.
For advice on choosing a good building contractor read some of our other blogs on how to find a builder.
Good luck and enjoy your project!

Fallout from the US mortgage market continues

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae the American mortgage agencies could face the prospect of injecting double the cash that they initial reserved for the US mortgage market. These organizations were taken under government control during 2008. Now they estimate that they could need more than 350 billion US dollars to guarantee the mortgage market.

Residential rents soar as first time buyers struggle to buy property

Data shows that landlords have increased rents for eight months running, as they take advantage of increased demand from first time buyers unable to get their foot on the property ladder. That leaves the average residential rent at just short of ?700 per month. The sharp increase in rents has not only been driven by increased demand but a lack of fresh supply of rental property has also cause rents to rise.

How to cut build costs

Many builders are finding themselves increasingly busy as domestic and commercial customers are looking to save the VAT before the increase next year. The VAT on larger building projects can run into thousands of pounds, so it is easy to understand why people with building projects are keen to get their building projects complete before that extra VAT bites.