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Loft Style Properties - January Blog!

published on 08/01/2018  

Crossrail Delays Impacting On London Property Market
There are many factors that impact on the property market and if you are looking to make the most informed decision, it makes sense to be aware of the issues that can shape the market. One of the biggest issues that influence the market is the availability of transport. In London, this has been seen clearly through the Crossrail development and while many people have benefitted from this situation, will delays in the Crossrail 2 project cause problems in the market?
First of all, the positive impact that Crossrail has had on property prices cannot be overlooked. Crossrail is set to be fully operational from December 2019 and analysis of the 40 stations that span the 60 mile service indicate that all of the areas around the stations have seen property prices rise by at least 41% in the past decade.

A long term investment can pay off in the London property market
The forthcoming landmark dates for Crossrail are:
  • May of 2018 – The service is set to open between Paddington and Heathrow
  • December of 2018 – The Elizabeth line opens
  • May of 2019 – Direct services will operate from Paddington to Shenfield and to Abbey Wood
  • December of 2019 – The Elizabeth line to be fully opened, running from Reading and Heathrow  through to Shenfield and Abbey Wood
This reinforces the fact that train services have a positive impact on property prices, but this is why some people will be concerned about potential delays to the Crossrail 2 line. This line, which is said to cost more than £30 billion and which will connect Surrey, the heart of London and Hertfordshire is likely to face delays in its opening. Some sources say that the line may be delayed by as much 10 years due to a shortfall in the funding of the line.

Some areas already experienced a spike in demand thanks to Crossrail 2
Given that Crossrail 2 was announced in 2013, many people would have invested in stations close to the stated train stations. The north and north west sections of the line, with areas like Broxbourne in line to benefit, experienced a significant increase in interest and demand for property.
With the earliest the service is likely to be delivered is 2033, clearly the early investors have taken a flyer in the hope of gaining the biggest return. However, given the impact that the initial Crossrail had on property prices, you cannot blame people for wanting to get involved in this market. There is also the fact that many people who failed to buy in time to really benefit will have had remorse over their decision, leading to them deciding to take action as soon as another opportunity arose.
At this point, those who can afford to wait may still be confident of a good return on their Crossrail 2 related investment but for those who can’t afford to wait an additional decade, there may be a need to make a difficult decision.
 When it comes to making the best decision, it makes sense to be as informed as possible. If you’re looking for guidance and advice, come and speak to Loft Style Properties and we will do our best to ensure you receive the help and support you need in the London property market.


2018 Resolutions: Get Out And About In North West London
Have you made any New Year Resolutions? Are they still going? We know it can be tough to maintain New Year Resolutions but this is why it makes sense to get help from experts and specialists. If you intend to move home this year, we can help, but we know that most people have New Year Resolutions which centre on their health and fitness. Thankfully, you’ll find plenty of places where you can get out and about in North West London.
In recent times, there has been an uptake in the number of affordable gyms to choose from. These budget gyms are usually open around the clock, allowing a great deal of flexibility to members. There may not be a lot of additional features and services that you receive in some more expensive gyms but if all you are looking for is equipment and a place to work out, you’ll find that these gyms are a great option. Close to our Kentish Town office, you can enjoy PureGym London Highgate which is found at 53-79 Highgate Rd.

You can get fitter while saving money
The Energie Fitness Gym, also located on Highgate Rd is a similar option to the PureGym but is perhaps not as big a brand or as much of a chain. This isn’t a 24 hours a day gym but it is an option that is worth considering.
If you are looking for an option that provides you with more variety or perhaps a location you can take the whole family, Kentish Town Sports Centre is a good option. There are three pools on offer, a large gym and plenty of classes. With martial arts and female only sessions on offer, you should find that you can find an enjoyable way to be active when you head to this fitness option.

Find the activity and support that works best for you
It is important to remember that the right fitness activity for you is the one that works and that you enjoy. When you enjoy a session, it is more likely that you will remain active, so this is something to bear in mind. There is a good selection of yoga and Pilates classes on offer in North West London, so if this is something that you have an interest in, there will be places where you can go. Close to our Kentish Town office is the cheekily named Good For Your Bum Pilates class and let’s face it, what is good for your bum is likely to be good for you.
Then again, you don’t need to join a gym to lead an active lifestyle. One of the best things about North West London is that there is a good selection of parks and open spaces. You can lose lbs without spending pounds if you head to one of the parks.  Hampstead Heath is a fairly large park and open area that lends itself perfectly to open air exercising. Whether you are looking to run, jog, walk, stretch or any combination of these, you will be able to do so with ease. Regent’s Park and the parkland adjacent to Kentish Town West station are also areas where you can be active, ensuring you maintain your New Year Resolutions in 2018.
If you are looking to get out and about, you’ll find you have plenty of options in maintaining your 2018 New Year Resolutions in North West London. However, if your focus is on making a move in the North West London property market in 2018, make sure you get in touch with Loft Style Properties. We are North West London property specialists and we are keen to help you make the right move in the year ahead.


Landlords: Don't Forget Student Accommodation
The choice of tenant is an important issue for landlords. If you are looking to plan ahead and make sure you provide the best standard of service to your tenant, it makes sense to know what they are looking for. Different people require different services and when you know what your ideal tenant is looking for, you will find it easier to provide them with the services they need. There are many different types of tenant to choose from but the matter of student accommodation is a topic that splits opinion amongst landlords.
It would be fair to say that not every landlord is keen to provide accommodation for students. A recent study undertaken by SPCE, which is an app aimed at facilitating student letting, indicated that 7 out of 10 landlords said they would prefer not to let their accommodation to students. There was also a study undertaken by the National Landlords Association, the NLA, and they found that only 17% of members let to students.

Some Landlords would prefer to not let to students
There is no denying that many landlords would prefer not to let to students but there will be professionals who will view this as an opportunity. There is clearly a huge demand for student accommodation and by providing accommodation to this group, a landlord will find that they have the chance to reach out to a market that needs support. There are obviously challenges associated with student lets but a landlord that obtains support from a leading property management service provider should be able to deal with these difficulties with a minimum of fuss and effort.
Any landlord looking for encouragement that student accommodation is a viable option should consider the findings in a recent study undertaken by Cushman & Wakefield. They state that there were over 600,000 rents to students in 2017 and that this was a figure which was more than double the 2014 figures. It is also expected that the 2018 figures will rise. There was also an increase in rents, by close to 3% between the academic years of 2016/17 and of 2017/18. The highest average en-suite rent in the country is in London, with this average rent coming in at £195 per week.

There is a high level of demand for student accommodation 
The demand for student accommodation and the strong return on offer from this style of accommodation will likely entice some landlords. There is a need to approach all deals and agreements in a business-like manner and for many landlords, the increasing pressure and stress of their work may lead to them considering offering student accommodation.
This would clearly be a big step but help is at hand. Any landlord who needs advice or guidance about the next step they should take will find that Loft Style Properties is on hand to help. We are here to provide assistance and help to any landlord looking to try something new. Given the high level of demand and return for student accommodation, it may be what some landlords require in 2018 and beyond.


Mortgage Lender Enters Equity Release Market
When it comes to mortgages, there is a need to stay in touch with the latest announcements and news. There are many changes in the mortgage market and if you want to make sure that you find the best deal for yourself, being informed makes sense. There has been a big change in the mortgage sector of late, not just because of the increase in interest rates, and some homeowners may find that they have a lot more options at their disposal.
If you want to make sure that you are fully informed when it comes to mortgages, get in touch with Loft Style Properties. We are pleased to say that we are here to keep you updated and no matter what you are looking to do in the property market, you will find that we can provide you with the guidance you need.

The FCA is looking for more options in the mortgage market
Changes in the equity release sector of the market will likely be of interest to some people, although not to everyone. The equity release market is primarily aimed at people aged 55 years and older. It is said that there is over £2 trillion worth tied up in equity in homes of people aged 55 years and older, and the Financial Conduct Authority, the FCA, would like to see more options being made available to this market.
This is why news that the Nationwide is entering the equity release market will make many people sit up and take notice. Up until recently, the equity release market has been served by specialist brokers and insurance companies but the entry of a major lender is likely to make a big difference. Homeowners will hold a greater level of confidence in seeing a trusted name provide this service and if Nationwide achieves success with their activities in the market, other major mortgage lenders will likely get involved. This will bring about a wider range of options in the market, which is going to be of benefit to most people.

Make sure you are informed before making a decision
An equity release isn’t for everyone, even people who meet the age criteria. However, with people living longer these days and concerns about the cost of living, it is only natural that there will be people looking for more money for their golden years. It could be that a person would rather provide some form of inheritance to their loved ones while they can see the benefits as opposed to waiting until they pass away.
An equity release is a major decision, like any form of mortgage, and it is not something to rush into. There are pros and cons to this style of action and it makes sense to speak about this style of mortgage with an expert. If you have any mortgage queries that you would like to discuss, you will find that Loft Style Properties is a company you can trust. We are property market specialists and we are always on hand to ensure you receive the best guidance and support, no matter what needs you have.


London House Prices 14.5 Times Average Earnings
When it comes to the housing market, there are many things which catch people’s eye, but it is natural that the price of property is a key factor. Over recent years and decades, the price of property in London has grown considerably, and this has caused many problems. There are many people who are unable to afford to rent or buy in the capital and the unaffordable nature of property in London was the focus of a recent study by Hometrack.
It seems as though house prices in the English capital are now 14.5 times the average earnings of a London resident. This is the highest ratio on record, which means that while some people say that house prices are slowing or falling in London, these homes are becoming less affordable.

The Ratio is increasing
In 2016, the ratio stood at 14 times, which was a record in itself, which indicates that even with the issues facing the property market, homes are becoming unaffordable. House prices in London are close to 60% higher than they were in 2007 but for many people, the declining nature of real wages is the key factor to consider. When you add in the fact that mortgage rates have fallen over this period of time, which has had the effect of increasing a household’s buying power, you can see why many people are struggling to keep up with the market.
Savills have also undertaken a study in this area recently and they believe that each year, 100,000 people are unable to afford to rent or buy. This is chiefly found in London and the south of England. Savills have called on the Government to provide more affordable housing to provide a solution to this problem. There has been a promise by the Government recently to introduce 300,000 homes per year but if these don’t include affordable homes, it will have no impact on the problems that people face these days.

Other parts of the country are experiencing this issue too
It would be wrong to suggest that this is only an issue in London. Cambridge had a ratio of house prices being higher than the average income by 14.3 times and in Oxford, the ratio was 12.6 times. Even Bournemouth had a very high ratio, with the average price of homes coming in at 10.1 times the average level of income. Obviously there are parts of the country which has a more affordable balance, with Glasgow, Liverpool and Newcastle all cited, but given the demand for property in and around London, this is clearly an issue that has to be dealt with.
At Loft Style Properties, we are property market specialists and we are always here to offer guidance and advice. We know that some people find it difficult to get on to the property ladder, but we are here to help. You can be sure that when you come and speak to the local property experts, you will receive all of the support and assistance you need to get you on to the property ladder or to help you take your next step.

Tags: New Year, Crossrail, Property, Market, 2018, Resolution, London, North West, Mortgage, Prices, Gym,