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festive opening

Festive opening times at Capital Conveyancing

The sprouts are peeled. The turkey has been well and truly stuffed. There’s just one more thing you need to do and that’s to call Capital Conveyancing to get your property purchase or sale conveyancing underway.

We know that the property market stops for no one, not even Father Christmas. So our expert team will be on duty over the festive period, tinsel and all, ready to help you.

Open for business

Capital Conveyancing’s holiday opening hours are:

  • Monday, December 23, 9 am until 6 pm
  • Christmas Eve, closed
  • Christmas Day, closed
  • Boxing Day, closed
  • Friday, December 27, 10 am until 6 pm
  • Saturday, December 28, 10 am until 4 pm
  • Sunday, December 29, 10 am until 4 pm
  • Monday, December 30, 10 am until 6 pm
  • New Year’s Eve, 10 am until 4 pm
  • New Year’s Day, closed
  • Thursday, January 2, 9 am until 8 pm (normal opening hours resume)
general election

What’s on offer on housing in the general election

The issue of housing affordability has never been more pressing for Londoners. And it’s an issue many voters want to see addressed by political parties in next week’s general election.

The UK goes to the polls on Thursday, December 12 to elect a new government.

Much of the public debate has been around Brexit and when or if the UK eventually does leave the European Union.

Housing, however, is an issue affecting people of all ages and incomes. The matter is particularly acute in London where house prices have risen faster and more steeply than anywhere else in the UK. Rents are also much more expensive while average salaries have stagnated or fallen back.

So, what solutions are the major parties offering in the 2019 general election?

We took a look through the manifestos of the three main parties – Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat – to find out what they intend to do about housing and the property market in England.

Conservatives: Expanding Help to Buy

Having been in government since 2010 in coalition and alone, the Conservatives have already implemented housing policies such as Help to Buy and first-time buyer exemptions on stamp duty.

Their 2019 general election manifesto also promises:

  • To build 29k new homes with market rate discounts of 30 percent for local people who can’t afford to buy in their own neighbourhood.
  • Encouraging more long-term, fixed-rate mortgages that require only a 5 percent deposit.
  • Imposing an extra 3 percent stamp duty on overseas buyers.
  • More leasehold reform, including a ban on the sale of new-builds as leasehold and peppercorn ground rents.
  • Change planning rules to ensure infrastructure such as roads, schools and GP surgeries are built before new homes.

Labour: Change the property market

The 2019 Labour general election manifesto focuses more on private renters than on homeowners, first-time buyers and social renters.

However, the party does promise changes in how the property market operates. Its manifesto pledges include:

  • Building 50,000 homes for key workers aged 45 and under to be sold at a discount of 20-50 percent on market prices compared to local incomes.
  • Changing the focus of Help to Buy to favour first-time buyers on ordinary incomes and impose a higher threshold of earnings for those eligible for the scheme.
  • Impose higher taxers on homes bought by overseas companies and homes deliberately left empty.
  • Spent £250 billion on energy efficiency upgrades to almost 27 million homes by the 2030s.
  • Reform leasehold by stopping the sale of new-builds as leasehold, abolishing unfair fees and conditions.
  • Give leaseholders the right to buy their freehold at an affordable price.

Liberal Democrats: Focus on energy

There is no commitment in the Liberal Democrats‘ 2019 general election manifesto to any change to Help to Buy or reform of leasehold.

Instead the party’s commitments are on improving the energy efficiency of existing properties and ensuring new-builds are zero carbon.

The LibDems have also promised to:

  • Build 300k new homes a year by 2024, including 100k council and housing association homes.
  • Introduce a Rent to Own scheme so social tenants can increase their stake in a property until they own it outright.
  • Allow councils to raise council tax up to 500 percent on second homes.
  • Impose extra stamp duty on overseas buyers purchasing property in England.

Polling opens in the general election at 7 am on Thursday, December 12 and closes at 10 pm.

Will home reservation agreements bring more certainty to England’s property sales?

Home reservations agreements could bring an end to gazumping and gazundering in England’s property market.

The Government is to trial the legally binding agreements across England early next year.

The move aims to make property transactions more secure and stop the current third of all sales that fall through every year.

Right now any property sale in England hangs on a knife edge until contracts are exchanged, which could be weeks after an offer has been accepted.

That leaves both sides vulnerable to the other pulling out altogether, the buyer attempting to cut the price (gazundering) or the seller accepting a higher offer (gazumping).

Reduce number of failed transactions

In Scotland, neither gazumping nor gazundering are common because an offer, verbal or in writing, is binding on both sides once accepted.

Introducing home reservation agreements in England and Wales would have a similar effect in reducing the number of sales that fall through because one party pulls out.

It would also bring the sale of most property into line with the way new-builds are now sold. Developers insist on a reservation agreement and deposit that protects them when a buyer changes their mind.

Commit both sides to deal

Both buyer and seller would commit to the sale by signing the home reservation agreement and placing the deposit in an escrow account held by their conveyancing solicitors.

If one side pulls out and the other considers their reasons for doing so to be unreasonable, they could lose their deposit.

House price growth a reason for London property sellers to be cheerful

Home sellers in London have had some good news with new house price data showing the first year-on-year price growth in the capital since 2017.

Rightmove’s monthly house price index has revealed several reasons to be cheerful for those looking to sell up in London.

Annual rise a boost

The price of property coming on to the market is up by 1.3 percent on the same month a year ago, the first time since August 2017 there has been an annual rise.

With the summer months usually seeing a flattening of asking prices, this marks a positive change for those keen to secure a sale before the autumn.

Meanwhile, the number of sales agreed in London is also up by 5.2 percent on the same period a year ago.

Increased market activity

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst, said: “Some potential buyers have sat back and watched the price of property coming to the market in the capital falling year-on-year for the last couple of years, giving many of them little incentive to do anything but sit on the sidelines.

“It’s always hard to spot the bottom of a market, especially in a massive place like London with its myriad of local markets.

“However, new seller asking prices are now 1.3 percent higher than at this time last year, and if that trend continues, buyers might decide to stop sitting it out before prices rise further.

“That could happen if we have more certainty on our Brexit outcome, and this annual price rise may be an indicator of more market activity to come.”

Buyers not inhibited

Chris Osmond, sales director at London-based Johns&Co, told Rightmove that his company has registered more buyers in the first seven months of 2019 than in the whole of 2018, suggesting that those keen to move are no longer inhibited by the prospect of Brexit.

He added: “It’s not surprising; it’s been three years since the vote and Brexit fatigue has kicked in.

“After all, life goes on and you can only put plans on hold for so long.

“We’ve also seen the number of vendors wanting to cash in on long-held investments increase, and there are plenty of canny investors on the periphery looking for good deals, so overall we expect the summer season surge to linger on into autumn.”

Easter opening hours at Capital Conveyancing

Stop your hunt for Easter eggs this weekend and start your hunt for high-quality conveyancing services at Capital Conveyancing.

We’re open right across the bank holiday weekend and can answer any queries you have about sale or purchase conveyancing and provide you with a no-obligation quote for no-completion, no-fee conveyancing.

Capital Conveyancing’s Easter weekend opening hours are:

  • Good Friday, April 19, 9 am until 4 pm
  • Easter Saturday, April 20, 9 am until 4 pm
  • Easter Sunday, April 21, 9 am until 4 pm
  • Easter Monday, April 22, 9 am until 4 pm

Home buyers caught out by extra expenses for moving

Best do your sums properly if you plan to move home this year. New research has revealed that buyers will have to find almost £4,000 to pay all the bills associated with moving.

That total covers the cost of conveyancing services, instructing a building survey and other costs of moving, including hiring a removal firm.

Unprepared for costs

Online lender MYJAR quizzed 2,000 people who have moved home in the last 10 years.

Their research showed that buyers now pay on average £230,776 for a home across the UK, but on top of that they will pay out £3,823.88 on additional costs.

More than a third (40 percent) said they were not prepared for that extra expense, while a third ended up borrowing money to settle their bills.

The biggest expense was legal fees, on average more than £1,600. Buying new furniture and furnishings was the next biggest outlay.

Important to plan ahead

Those taking part in the survey were asked for their money-saving moving tips with a third (30 percent) suggesting doing your own removal as the best way of keeping cash in your pocket.

Tom Newwould of MYJAR said: “Every pound adds up, resulting in what is clearly an unanticipated extra amount for homeowners to pay, showing perhaps a lack of knowledge around the true cost of moving.

“Not every buyer will find this extra cost easy to fund so it’s important to plan ahead and ensure you’re not left in a difficult position moneywise. Finances always need careful consideration and planning.”

No-completion, no-fee guarantee

Don’t be caught out by unexpected expenses. At Capital Conveyancing, we offer low-cost, high-quality conveyancing services with no hidden extras or unexpected fees tucked away.

Working with an expert property panel, we can get your house purchase or sale underway in minutes with a no-obligation quote. And with our no-completion, no-fee guarantee, you won’t lose a penny if for any reason your transaction fails to complete.

Call the Capital Conveyancing team now on 0207 406 5880 or get an instant online conveyancing quote now.

London mayor’s £200m extra funding for housing associations

Outer London Boroughs Overtake the City in Property Demand

London housing associations are to receive an extra £200 million from the city’s mayor to ensure they can still subsidise new affordable homes in the capital.

The extra funding is to be used to offset the impact of any uncertainty caused by Brexit.

Mayor Sadiq Khan is offering the finance to housing associations across London but has called on the Government to protect those providers from any negative impact of the UK’s departure from the European Union.

Financing the future

Housing associations use the money they bring in from selling affordable homes to finance those they rent at social or intermediate rent levels.

However, a slowdown in London’s property market, partly prompted by the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit, means some bodies are not making as much money from sales as they had anticipated, meaning they have less to invest in producing new properties.

With little or no income from central government, that scenario is putting pressure on the finances of many housing associations.

The mayor’s deal means associations will be able to take some of the properties they cannot currently sell off the market and switch them to rental properties. With guaranteed rental income, they are then in a position to cement their future construction plans.

Building homes Londoners need

Mr Khan said: “At City Hall, we are building record numbers of new social rented and other genuinely affordable homes. That’s why it is right we push our funding to its very limit to keep housing associations building more affordable housing through the ongoing uncertainty.

“Whatever happens with Brexit, Ministers must at the very least match my support and ensure we can keep building the homes Londoners need over the coming years.”

London’s sky-high future with rise of the tall building

London’s future is sky-high. A new survey has revealed that a record 76 new skyscrapers will be completed in 2019 alone, reshaping the capital’s skyline.

The London Tall Buildings Survey says this year will see three times as many buildings of 20 storeys or more erected than last year.

The highest concentration will be in Tower Hamlets, which includes the famed East End districts of Mile End, Whitechapel and Bethnal Green. There 18 new tall buildings will now stand where rows of terraced brick homes once did.

Skyscraper numbers at record high

In Lambeth, 11 tall buildings are expected to be completed by developers in 2019, while the boroughs of Camden, Barnet and Hounslow will see their first-ever skycrapers open for business this year.

The survey findings are compiled annually by New London Architecture and GL Hearn. The number of skyscrapers hit a record high of 541 in 2018. The latest survey reveals that there are 121 tall buildings currently being constructed across the capital with 76 expected to be ready for use by the end of the year.

Stuart Baillie, head of planning in London and the south-east for GL Hearn, said: “The projected completion of 76 tall buildings during 2019 is quite staggering compared to previous years’ completions being less than 30 per annum.”

Capital Conveyancing’s holiday opening hours


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The festive season is upon us, but at Homeward Legal, we know the hunt for a new home or the urge to sell your property doesn’t wane with the holidays!

So we’re open over the holidays, meaning you can kickstart your conveyancing and ensure your sale or purchase is underway.

Here are our opening hours over the next two weeks:

Friday, December 21, 9 am until 6pm

Saturday, December 22, 10 am until 4pm

Sunday, December 23-Wednesday, December 26, closed

Thursday, December 27, 10 am until 4pm

Friday, December 28, 10 am until 4pm

Saturday, December 29, 10 am until 4pm

Sunday, December 30, 10 am until 4pm

Monday, December 31, 10 am until 4pm

Tuesday, January 1, closed

Wednesday, January 2, normal hours resume.

We wish all Capital Conveyancing clients, old and new, the compliments of the season.

The £2m London apartment that’s a prize draw

South Ken

You could become the proud owner of a £2 million London apartment in a prize draw that costs just a tenner a ticket.

Gatsby Property is raffling off a luxury renovated flat on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, with entries expected to close in June 2019.

The two founders of Gatsby Property – Harry Dee and Jonny Jackson – have been developing properties in London for five years.

Gap in the market

With sales in the capital starting to stutter thanks to a glut of properties on the market and affordability issues for potential buyers, the duo decided to take a different approach to offloading their latest project.

Jonny Jackson told the Evening Standard: “We felt like there was a real gap in the market at the top end, and our aim was to put our money where our mouth is and raffle off one of our own newly refurbished apartments in one of the capital’s most sought-after locations.”

Tickets are expected to go on sale imminently on Gatsby Property‘s dedicated payment platform Cadivus, priced at £10.

High-end refurbishment

The property itself is located opposite the Science Museum in South Kensington, close to Hyde Park and the V&A.

Having been completely refurbished from top to toe, the apartment has an open-plan living/cooking/dining space with a modern, en-suite master bedroom. The fixtures and fittings are from high end manufacturers and designers such as Camerich, Fired Earth, Lefroy Brooks and Buster & Punch.

Legal costs covered

In the prize draw, the developers will pay both stamp duty and legal fees, along with the first year of the service charge. The property is leasehold with 964 years remaining on the lease.

Once the draw is closed on a date yet to be decided, the winner will be drawn at random by compliance service Promo Veritas.

A minimum of 300,000 tickets need to be sold for the draw to go ahead. If that number is not reached, the winner will receive a cash prize instead.

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