First-time buyers accelerating sales

Buyers new to the property market made up 36% of all sales in 2018 and have been rising in numbers since 2010.

It appears that buyers all over the country are now taking a longer-term approach and are buying properties that are suitable to stay in for quite some time, instead of purchasing the cheapest property on the market. It is estimated that to buy a 2 to 3 bedroom house, a households typical income would need to be £35,000 – £75,000. Those looking to buy have been squeezed since the financial crisis as wages have grown slower than inflation however Help to Buy has been a massive factor in the increase and it is estimated that in 2018, 14% of all first time buyer purchases used Help to Buy.

With uncertainty over Brexit, buyers have been able to take advantage of competitive price reductions and are expected to remain the largest buyer group in 2019. Fortitudo has a growing portfolio and many developments available with Help to Buy, to take a look, visit fortitudoproperty.com.

The positives of a new-build property

It is easy to see why buyers are choosing new-build properties – the ease of moving in makes ones busy lifestyle that much easier!

Firstly, once your financials are in place, there is no waiting around for others, you’re able to complete and move in as soon as the building is finished. When moving in you can also guarantee that the building is clean, tidy and a blank canvas. In a recent report, 76% of people stated that they would not make an offer on a property because of cracks, marks and stains on the walls.

Secondly, the building will be low maintenance and without repairs for a little while. All new-builds come with 10-year warranties to put your mind at ease. Also, because new properties are built to the latest specifications you’re most probably going to save money on energy bills!

Thirdly, if you are struggling to get onto the property ladder, the government offers incentives to help buyers purchase a new-build. At Fortitudo, we offer a government Help to Buy equity loan on all of our developments to help first-time buyers get onto the ladder. To view Fortitudo’s latest properties visit fortitudoproperty.com.

How to fast track onto the property ladder

It’s often a misconception that millennials are unable to get onto the ladder but with some savvy saving and know-how, there are ways to purchase your first home.

  1. The government now offer many funded schemes to help first-time buyers get onto the property ladder. The Help to Buy equity loan has been hailed a blessing to thousands. So long as you are purchasing a new-build, the government will provide buyers with 20% of the purchase price, providing they have a 5% deposit and the rest is mortgaged. This 20% loan will then be interest-free for 5 years, which gives you time to save 20% of the property value to repay it or to re-mortgage. 
  2. When you’re earning under £25,000 it can seem difficult to save, however, break it down, work out your end goal, then figure out how much you will need to put by per month. For example, if you want to purchase a £165,000 apartment, you will need a 5% deposit of £8,250 using an equity loan. To save for this over 3 years means you would only need to save £230 a month.
  3. To achieve that monthly saving, ensure you are paying the best rates when it comes to bills, such as gas and electricity and any other household bills. It’s also worth trying to find a cheaper alternative if you eat out a lot or have a favourite brand of food – the money will soon add up.
  4. Consider getting a second job doing what you love. If you spend a lot of time in the gym or at a bar, work there and you could get paid to do what you love! It also means when it comes to things like membership costs, you will more than likely get a discounted rate.
  5. Rather than having a fancy car on finance, purchase a suitable car that gets you from A to B. Having a monthly payment for a car will hinderance the amount you could save and when it comes to signing up for a mortgage its also a fee the bank will take into consideration.

Fortitudo offers Help to Buy on every development enabling first-time buyers purchase their first home. To see what is currently available visit fortitudoproperty.com

Seaside property hot spots

If you’ve dreamed of relocating or buying a holiday home by the sea, now is the perfect time to purchase on the South Coast. With Poole and Christchurch being pinpointed as one of the top 10 emerging prime coastal locations, there is a promise of future price growth for those that buy now.

Christchurch is a historic market town which adjoins with Bournemouth. Picturesque with plenty of shops, bars and restaurants, the idyllic hotspot is doorstep to Mudeford Bay and the New Forest. Home to a train station, it is perfect for commuting to London and the line makes getting to Bournemouth and Poole quick and easy. The average property price currently sits at £377,894 which has risen 8% since 2016.

Poole has an even bigger potential for house growth with a current average of £365,052 for a property. During the last year, sold prices in Poole have risen 4%. Typically a retirement location, Poole offers the best beaches in the country. It is home to the world-famous, Sandbanks peninsula and Poole Quay, plus Poole high street has plans in place for a brand-new multiplex cinema. Only two hours from London it’s great for those that need to visit London a couple of times a week and has bus and train links to Parkstone, Bournemouth and Christchurch.

Fortitudo is currently offering apartments in Ashley Cross, a popular suburb on the outskirts of Poole. Surrounded by shops, bars and restaurants and only a two-minute walk to the train station, its location is one of a kind. To find out more about The Cross visit fortitudoproperty.com.

Top 10 tips for moving home

At Fortitudo we provide many first-time buyers and families with a new property however, moving house is a challenging task, but with careful planning, it can be simpler. Here are some tips for a stress-free move:

  1. Start now, as soon as you know you’re moving, plan what needs to be done and make a start ahead of time. Aim not to leave everything to the last minute.
  2. Don’t compromise on removals depending on your budget and the scale of your move, there are different removal options available. Get at least three different quotes and go with the one best suited to your move, rather than the cheapest. Check the insurance too, just in case anything goes wrong or is broken in transit.
  3. Start packing early, break packing down into achievable parts in good time and it will seem a lot less daunting. Alternatively, pay extra and get the removals company to do it all for you.
  4. Ikea bags are strong holding and are perfect for any odds and sods that are unnecessary to box up. Zipped laundry bags are good for moving linens, clothes and coats, shoes and other non-breakables.
  5. Label your boxes so it is easier to sort through the content, especially if some items are going into storage
  6. Check your furniture will fit through doors. Misjudging the size of entrances and turning room is a classic moving problem. Let the removals company know if you need a window removed or take a door off its hinges, and check they are insured to do it.
  7. Create a ‘room plan’ for your new home by drawing up a sketch of where the furniture will be placed in each room. You can always move it once in place but it saves time deliberating on the day.
  8. Keep wires organised if you have a multitude of wires going into one device, use sticky coloured tape or number each part to match to another.
  9. Pack an ‘essentials’ box with items in such as a kettle, tea, coffee, milk so you can unpack it first. Keep remote controls, phones, mobile phones chargers and any other essential items you are likely to lose in the same box so you know for sure where they are. Keep real valuables and important papers separately somewhere safe.
  10. Make your bed as soon as possible as you’ll appreciate it at the end of the day when you don’t have to do that ‘one more thing’ before you can sleep.

If you’re interested in the types of properties Fortitudo has to offer then visit our website at fortitudoproperty.com.

Housing and rental prices in England to increase by 2020

The National Housing Federation reports that 3.7 million young people will be forced to live with their parents as housebuilding and wages fall behind, failing to keep up with the rising population. House prices in England will rise by 42% by 2020 and rental properties will rise further, National Housing Federation  warns of the ‘colossal strain’ facing the generation born in the 1990s.

By 2020, the price of a first-time buyer’s home will increase by 42%. Although wages for 22 to 29-year-olds are likely to increase by 36% by 2020, this poses a significant challenge for those wishing to be homeowners. Low-earning young people would have to spend 16 times their average wage to buy their first home reports the National Housing Federation. National Housing Federation research shows that private rents are likely to be broadly stable, but could increase sharply, by about 6% a year, as interest rates and house prices rise. In 2020, rents are expected to be 46% higher than in 2013. However, when the new flood of young adults born in the noughties starts university or a new job, they could push rents even higher in a country already chronically short of decent housing.

The National Housing Federation figures chime with research by estate agency Savills, which last week revised its forecast for house price growth in the UK over the long term. It predicted that house prices would rise by a further 18% by 2019, compared with its forecast for 11.5% growth just nine months ago, as the turnaround in the property market has gathered pace faster than previously expected.

An additional report from housing charity, Shelter blames the situation on the chronic shortage of housebuilding in the UK. It suggests the solution should be a massive programme of garden cities and new towns across the south of England. ‘We should be building 250,000 homes per year just to meet newly arising need, let alone start tackling the backlog, but in England, we’re currently delivering less than half that amount each year,’ said Shelter’s head of policy and research, Roger Harding. Despite the Help to Buy scheme announced in the budget earlier this year, Shelter warns that the amount of cash set aside for affordable housing is shrinking. Shelter said short-term measures by the government could help boost housebuilding by 50,000 units a year, but says that over the long term Britain has to establish more new towns and garden cities to provide another 43,000 homes a year.

The National Housing Federation, which represents housing associations, said that current policy measures had the potential to make matters worse for potential young buyers, ‘making mortgage deposits cheaper to aspirant homeowners without increasing housing supply doesn’t tackle the root of the problem. It simply risks creating another housing bubble where prices are pushed up. These sticking-plaster answers will not heal our critically injured housing market’.

Fortitudo is proud to be able to offer various high specification apartments to first-time buyers available with the governments Help to Buy scheme. For more information, visit our website at fortitudoproperty.com.

Limited family homes in Britain

Although many in Britain want to downsize or begin to think about retirement, older homeowners are staying put because of the uncertainty within Britain’s property market, and like many others, are finding it too expensive and feel they have limited options.

Homeowners aged 55 to 64 have typically been in their current property for 17 years, according to Nationwide. That means most will now have empty bedrooms and are under-occupied what with their children moving out. The halt in property movement is causing a rupture and unlike before, non-movers are not freeing up homes with a substantial amount of bedrooms for families. The YouGov survey talked to younger people, and found that 60% believed that the UK needs more ‘later homes’, and not just starter homes.

Activity among first-time buyers has returned to levels seen before the financial crisis. However, people are tending to buy a little later in life and family homes are very much in demand. Fortitudo has recognised this, and have begun construction on 8, three and four-bedroom houses in Kingsworthy, a suburb on the outskirts of Winchester. Help to Buy will be available on the properties, meaning those already in Help to Buy homes can transfer the loan if they need to upscale or first-time buyers are eligible. For more information visit fortitudoproperty.com.

Securing a mortgage if you are self-employed

It is often a misconception that if you are a small business owner, freelancer or contractor it is harder to get a mortgage. However, this may not be the case with a more organised approach towards a mortgage application.

 

Lenders are interested in your ability to repay and if you want to be able to choose from a full range of mortgage lenders and mortgage deals, you’ll need to have three years’ worth of HM Revenue & Customs tax returns. Unfortunately, if you have been trading for less than a year, and haven’t done your first tax return you may find it difficult to provide the evidence needed but you could consider making an initial application to get a mortgage in principle based on what you think your income will be. Having less than three years’ worth of evidence is a common problem amongst the self-employed and it will limit the range of lenders available to you, but it doesn’t stop you getting a mortgage.

 

A lender will want to see your SA302 form that shows your tax breakdown, some lenders might accept tax calculations provided by software. They will also need to see proof of income which can be in the form of invoices or bank statements. In some cases this may need to be approved by an accountant. Expenditure will also be considered when determining an application and a proof of deposit will be required.

 

The key thing is to understand exactly what all of the evidence is telling you. The sooner you get your accounts in order, the better! The best way to do this is to get an accountant however you don’t want to be overly reliant as you also need to know what goes on with the money inside your business. Another way to go about organising your accounts is to use accounting software to bring your money all into one place.

 

Other factors that may help you secure your mortgage are a track record of regular work and repeat business, and proof of any steady work in the future. Having a good size deposit will also work in your favour and having a good credit history, not only for you but for your business. Ensure you pay off any outstanding bills before you begin an application.

 

If you are looking for your first property Fortitudo offers various affordable developments that do not compromise on luxury and are built with extremely high specification. For more information visit fortitudoproperty.com.

Financial tips for first-time buyers

If you haven’t yet taken that leap onto the property ladder, the thought of the process to get there can seem daunting and extremely expensive. Here are some top tips regarding your finances to think about before you take the plunge.

  1. Consider your current assets such as savings, income and how much money is going out. This can include expenses such as food, clothing, travel, socialising, membership, phone bills, holidays, credit card payments and finance agreements etc.
  2. If you’re a first-time buyer in England or Northern Ireland, you will pay no Stamp Duty on properties worth up to £300,000. This means if you are a first-time buyer, you will save up to £5,000. For properties costing up to £500,000, you will pay no Stamp Duty on the first £300,000.
  3. You should factor in costs such as having a mortgage advisor, any charges associated with the mortgage, solicitors fees and possibly having to pay for a surveyor.
  4. Always think ahead to make sure you can afford the bills once you are in the property. Likely monthly bills are the mortgage payment, building and content insurance, utility bills, broadband and TV license. If you’re buying an apartment you will most likely be expected to pay a yearly service charge and ground rent.
  5. Remember, that anything can go wrong whether that’s during the buying process or after. It’s a good idea to have a little spare in case of emergencies.

If you are struggling to save for a deposit, the governments Help to Buy scheme may be able to help. Providing you have 5% of the purchase price in deposit money, the government will lend you up to 20% of the purchase price, meaning you only have to get a mortgage on the other 75%.

Fortitudo has many apartments available with Help to Buy in Poole, Bournemouth and Havant, helping people get onto the property ladder. For more information visit fortitudoproperty.com.

Buy-to-let properties are still soaring

Buy-to-let investors are still very much at the top of the property game with a 5% rise in landlords in the last tax year.

Investors continue to see residential property as a strong investment, despite the current uncertainty within the housing market. A decrease in transactions has seen price fluctuations in certain areas and this has contributed to a ‘buyer’s market’ presenting good opportunities for new landlords.

In the UK, the number of investors has increased to a record high of 2.5 million even with the 3% stamp duty levy introduced by the government, new stress tests for home loans and the end of mortgage interest tax relief.

Despite government funding and the Help to Buy scheme assisting first-time buyers to take an initial step onto the property ladder, the rental market is still as prominent as ever as millennials struggle to save. London-focused estate agent Ludlow Thompson says, ‘The long-term picture for the buy-to-let market remains strong’.

Fortitudo is currently offering apartments to investors in Ashley Cross, Poole. A location that is popular with young professions which has great transport links locally and a direct service to London Waterloo. The apartments, named ‘The Cross’, also benefit from shops, bars and restaurants on the doorstep. To find out more visit fortitudoproperty.com.