How Dense is Your Neighbour(hood)?

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Looking at the revised West Oxfordshire Local Plan and the requirement to deliver 660 new homes per annum until 2031, I thought it might be worth considering what these new developments might look like. How do the more recent, strategic developments stack up and what’s changing? Over the years housing densities have changed as new developments seemingly cram an ever-increasing number of properties into the available space. Looking at the biggest differences then you might be surprised to note that the average dwelling size is pretty consistent, it’s just the number of people within the given space which has rocketed. It’s time to get friendly with the (very close) neighbours!

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Looking at the bigger picture, the most densely populated District in England (population per km2) is Islington at 15,670 and the least is Eden (Cumbria) at 24! Across Oxfordshire, the picture is more mixed. Oxford City comes in at 3,537, Cherwell is next at 248, followed by VoWH at 222, then South Oxfordshire at 203. West Oxfordshire is the least densely populated and at 152 people per km2 it’s the second least densely populated District in the South-East.

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Where do tenants move from?

Finding data on the profile of tenants and actual rents paid (not just asking rents) has been like hunting for the Holy Grail in the property world, which is why we are delighted to announce that we have a new, large and reliable source, integrated into our databank and we will be digging deep in the coming months to explore trends and reveal insights.

For instance, we have been surprised by the short distances tenants generally move for a rental property. Over a quarter of tenants in England and Wales starting new tenancies in the last 12 months moved less than a mile from their previous home.

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Looking ahead – Predictions for the West Oxfordshire Property Market in 2018

IMG_2346Supply & Demand – Population

Local government forecasts predict a 29% increase in the population of the Witney area over the next 10 years. Coupled with the exceptionally low rate at which we are building new homes and sales volumes (the number of properties sold) dropped by 19% in 2017 (compared with 2016) and the market fundamentals remain out of balance. Continue reading Looking ahead – Predictions for the West Oxfordshire Property Market in 2018

Witney and West Oxon Property Forecast…..Where are we now and what is next..

Blanket Hall SketchOn 9th November 2017, four professionals from some of Oxfordshire’s local businesses gathered together to present at the historic Witney Blanket Hall on investing in Oxfordshire property.

If you missed the presentation or in the absence of the Great British Bake Off you’d like to watch a video of the presentation then this is available on our facebook page which can be accessed here FB.

If you would like to download the slides from the presentation, you can do so here – http://bit.ly/seminarslides

 

Rose Tinted Spectacles? Looking back at the crash…10 years on

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Ten years on from the housing crash and it’s worth taking stock and looking back. Counter-intuitively, in 58% of wards, residential properties are selling for less now, after accounting for inflation, than they were in 2007. Continue reading Rose Tinted Spectacles? Looking back at the crash…10 years on

How Much?! UK Average Property Prices £/m2

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The ONS has just released average house price data per square metre for properties across England. At a regional level, a buyer in London should expect to pay around £6,639 per square metre (£617 per square foot). More locally, we’ve identified the cost in £/ metre and feet – depending on your vintage! Continue reading How Much?! UK Average Property Prices £/m2

West Oxfordshire Property Event

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Would you like to know more about investing in local property? Whether you’re a seasoned landlord, just dipping your toe in the water or on a fact finding mission then this event is essential to get all the latest facts, tips and critical information to get the very best advice about investing in property in West Oxfordshire. Our panel of experts from local, Witney businesses are on hand to dispense free advice at 6pm on Thursday 9th November at the historic Witney Blanket Hall. Experts from Everyman Legal (solicitors), M Group (accountants), Martin & Co (local property experts) and London & Country (mortgages) will be on hand after the 1 hour presentation to answer any further queries you may have. We’ll even provide something to eat and drink!

Please register now for your free tickets as spaces are limited: witneypropertynews.com or look on Facebook for Martin & Co Witney for more details

BOOK TICKETS HERE

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How Affordability has Changed over the Previous Decade – Millenials Spend 3 x More then their Grandparents on Housing

Research by the Resolution Foundation think tank has found that young people are spending three times more on housing than their grandparents did.At the age of 30 millennials spend 23% of their annual income on housing costs, compared to those born 1926–1945 who, aged 30, spent just 7%.

The post war baby boomers now benefit from record levels of outright ownership, but there are now as many young families (aged 25–34) living in the private rented sector as owning a home or living in the social rented sector combined (36%).

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While the number of mortgage loans issued to first-time buyers over the past year is at its highest level since pre the financial crisis, the average age of a first time buyer looks set to continue to rise over the coming years.

It’s therefore cold comfort to those of us in the South-East that homes across more than half of the UK are more affordable now than before the financial crisis according to new research by the Yorkshire Building Society who analysed changes in local house prices and earnings since 2007.

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The gap between the least and most affordable parts of Britain has doubled over the last decade, with housing affordability having fallen across all of London’s 32 boroughs.

Homes in cities including Birmingham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Leeds, Harrogate, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Cardiff and Exeter are now more affordable than they were 10 years ago, while across Cambridge, Oxford, Bristol, Manchester, Nottingham and York property price rises have outstripped wage growth.

With the communities secretary announcing a new methodology for new build development based on household projections and affordability criteria, local authorities with high affordability ratios could be expected to build up to 40% more than their current targets. Perhaps the West Oxfordshire Local Plan will be examined further?

5 Top Things to Consider BEFORE You Make Your Next Property Investment

1. LoMap_West_Oxoncation. Is it in an area of high tenant demand? Cheap does not necessarily provide you with the best return on your investment.
2. Target tenants. Consider who your ideal tenants will be BEFORE you purchase, and search accordingly.
3. Refurbishment. What work needs done to make the property attractive to your target market and how much will this cost?
4. Management. How will you find your ideal tenants and how will you ensure they will look after your property and that you are paid on time.
5. Exit strategy. Often overlooked, how long do you intend keeping the property for and what are the tax implications on disposal?

If you are considering your next investment purchase please give us a call. We can discuss your options and help you find, refurbish and manage your property to ensure you achieve the best return on your investment.

We happy to provide expert advice without commitment or ‘hard sell.’
Please call Brendan on 01993 708638 to find out more.

It’s Official – West Oxfordshire best in England!

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  • Research for BBC’s Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour has named the English local authority of West Oxfordshire as the best place to live in England if you are a woman.

Continue reading It’s Official – West Oxfordshire best in England!

How do schools affect house prices?

As the new school year gets underway, it seems timely to revisit the well-oiled notion that schools are an instrumental driver of local house prices.

If a property is located within a popular local school catchment, this is often one of the first attributes to be included on agents’ sales particulars, even before how many bedrooms the property has. But, how much more are home buyers prepared to pay to live close to an outstanding school? What impact does that Ofsted rating really have on local house prices?

Our analysis uses Land Registry data for property sales completed in 2016 and 2017 (to present), which totals over 860,000 transactions. Meanwhile, the DfE secondary school database has been cross referenced with Ofsted which totals over 3,200 schools. Average house prices have been calculated for bandings of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 miles from each school dependent on whether or not the latest Ofsted report for the school was graded outstanding. On this occasion, we have excluded London from this analysis since the closer proximity of schools together means that the distance bandings tend to overlap and affect the analysis.

The results of our analysis reveal that there is a definite price premium associated to homes close to outstanding schools. Properties located within one mile of an outstanding secondary school since the beginning of 2016 have sold for, on average, 20% more than properties within one mile of other schools across England, excluding London. This equates to an average premium of almost £47,000.

We have broken the analysis down by property type and the highest premiums paid to live closest to outstanding schools are for detached houses. Since the beginning of 2016, buyers have paid, on average, 28% more to live in a detached house within one mile of an outstanding school compared to within one mile of a non-outstanding school. This means buyers have had to find an extra £88,000.

Overall, the price premium drops off after one mile except for detached and semi-detached houses. Buyers of these homes are still prepared to pay a premium to live within one to two miles of an outstanding school. For detached homes this equates to 10% or an additional £35,000 and for semi-detached homes the premium is 7% or just under £14,000.

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Buyers in the East of England pay the highest premiums overall for living close to outstanding schools. Since the beginning of 2016, properties within one mile of an outstanding school have sold, on average, for 46% more than those within one mile of other schools, a price premium of almost £117,000.

So, with applications for next year’s students set to close before Christmas, home owners living close to an outstanding school but whose children have flown the nest may find it a lucrative time to sell.

Witney has one outstanding primary school – The Batt CofE Primary School although we’re blessed with a plethora ofn ‘good’ rated primary schools. Ar secondary level, the nearest outstanding school is Bartholemew in Eynsham although bith Henry Box and Wood Green are ‘good.’

What Property Makes the BEST Investment in West Oxfordshire?

I was recently asked by WODC to put together a brief paper on the local Private Rented Sector (PRS) to help inform a cabinet level debate. Having done the legwork I thought I’d share my findings with you as some light reading. The aim of this is to help any potential buy-to-let investors make an informed decision about the type of property to purchase. Continue reading What Property Makes the BEST Investment in West Oxfordshire?

How to Beat the Tax Changes – More Rules for Landlords

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Landlords who own four or more mortgaged buy-to-let properties can soon expect lenders to look across their whole portfolio if they want to apply for a mortgage on a new property.

Continue reading How to Beat the Tax Changes – More Rules for Landlords

What next for West Oxfordshire property values?

The interesting times in which we live continue; political uncertainty, continued ultra-low interest rates and the creeping rise of inflation are all having an impact on local property prices. Focussing on Witney and Carterton and specifically looking at houses (excluding new builds) sold over the last 5 years, it’s interesting to note that there has been a see-saw effect: Continue reading What next for West Oxfordshire property values?

The growing market – the impact of migration and the retirement generation on West Oxfordshire property prices

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In their election rhetoric all the political parties informed us that the UK is experiencing a ‘housing crisis’, with all promising to deliver an additional million homes by the end of 2022. But what homes are needed and for whom? Here we look at one specific and growing market, the retirement generation.

Continue reading The growing market – the impact of migration and the retirement generation on West Oxfordshire property prices

Supply of Witney Rental Property Hits Record Levels

The supply of certain types of privately rented properties in Witney is currently well above average and, in some cases, hitting record levels. This is particularly true of 2-bedroom flats and 3-bedroom houses although there has also been a spike in 2-bedroom houses. Continue reading Supply of Witney Rental Property Hits Record Levels

What is Happening with the West Oxfordshire Rental Market?

20160303-img_5080Interestingly, we’ve seen a surge in the availability of rental properties being offered in the local market. This is particularly acute in relation to 2-bedroom properties in Witney, there are now 48 listed TO LET of which 31 are flats. Once we ‘zoom out’ slightly, the picture is less worrying, with only nine 2-bed properties listed in Carterton, this is below the usual norm. Interestingly, supply currently exceeds demand for 3-bedroom houses too, but this should rebalance as families aim to move during the school holidays. Here’s the latest availability for properties in Witney to rent: Continue reading What is Happening with the West Oxfordshire Rental Market?

Are We Building Enough New Homes?

Since the 1970s, housing starts and completions across England and Wales have largely been on a downward trajectory.

The long-run average (over the last 50 years) for starts and completions has been around 190,000 per annum but after the global financial crisis lows of 93,000 (starts) per annum and 113,000 per annum (completions) had been reached.

Enough New Homes Continue reading Are We Building Enough New Homes?