Buy-To-Lets vs First-time buyers

Buy to Let Buy To Lets vs First time buyers






Last year saw a rise from 4.4% to 18.2% in the proportion of buy-to-let mortgage enquiries of the total mortgage marketplace. Ironically for George Osborne, this had a direct impact on first time buyer enquiries as they fell by 3.7% annually to 23.5%.

It would seem for now at least, that the buy-to-let market has “gained a chokehold” over first-time buyers, as many struggle to get out of rented accommodation and on to the housing ladder.

With the Stamp Duty deadline looming, buy-to-let enquiries as a total percentage of the market have increased considerably from the start of this year, with year on year growth of over 16% and a 62% increase compared to December.

The main reason why the BTL market remains strong, especially in London and the conurbations, is because it is one of the few ways that solid yield and capital growth can be secured whilst interest rates remain so low. Anyone reading my post on bank deposits will already know about this.

I would also argue that The Chancellor continues to not think his policies through properly. Offering Pension Freedoms last year only provided the flames to the already dry tinder box. This policy facilitated pension fund values to be used to acquire buy-to-let properties.

Good UK property stock is limited, and whilst it remains so, its premium, subject to location, is strong.

Over the past 20 years I have seen spiralling property values move out of the price range of first-time buyers earning good combined salaries. This has meant that lenders have had to be more flexible with their lending multiples. This is not a good thing as it encourages borrowers to borrow to their maximum level of affordability, and to expose them to future inevitable interest rate rises.

With the introduction of The Mortgage Market Review last year, this lending strategy has been reined in. But this is to the cost of the first-time buyer.

It will be interesting to see what happens after April 1st.

I am predicting that the damage has now been done to the property market by George Osborne’s Pension Freedoms decision. Only building affordable homes will improve things for the first-time buyer now as investors will just ‘price in’ the increase in Stamp Duty and the reduction in tax relief on mortgage payments.

High yielding properties offering solid capital growth will continue to be appealing to the retired whilst interest rates are low and uncertainty remains in the Global equity markets as to where to make a solid and reliable profit with minimal risk.

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Rowena ChowdreyPhotographer at Depth of Vision



Find a house close to your college or university

university of oxford Find a house close to your college or universityWe have recently added the ability to find out how far from your university or college of choice,  the house you are looking to rent / purchase will be.

We have long included schools to make those family choices a little easier, but as houseswift also specialises in student lets, and rooms and lodgings, we didn’t want to leave any one out.

Don’t forget if you use the map search, you can also show various points of interest such as gyms, supermarkets, tube lines and train stations., We will soon also be upgrading this functionality further, to show you how affluent the area you are looking to live in really is, and what amenities will be available before you have to scope the surrounding areas manually.

Please if you have liked our site, we encourage you to share it to your friends via word of mouth, facebook or other social media sites, we offer our functionality for free, and rely on you to help us grow.

Property For Sale By Owner

For thousands of people the start of the new year is the beginning of the house-hunting season.

It is also time to ponder one of life’s unanswered questions: How do estate agents have the cheek to charge a king’s ransom for selling a house?

If that is your view, have you thought of trying to sell it yourself?

for sale by owner Property For Sale By Owner

This year that should become easier, as the government has changed the rules on selling houses over the internet.

Private sale websites such as that help you find a buyer for your property will be given new freedom to operate.

As a result, sellers could save thousands of pounds. But is it really a good idea, or could   you end up wasting, rather than saving, money?

How does it work?

Selling your house DIY style means exactly that.

When you sign up with a private sale website, they will send you a “For Sale” sign with your phone number on it to erect outside your house.

Get used to the graft of banging the sign into the ground, because from now on the task is only going to get harder.

You take the photographs, you show potential buyers round the property, you organise Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s), and above all, you negotiate on price with any potential buyer.

In return for the website posting your photos, and matching you with buyers, you will pay upward to £600 with self sell property sites, we advise you to look around for whats right for you, however housewift have always aimed to provide maximum exposure for the best value on the internet, thats why we started the site, to bring the price involved to sell down to a extremely competative price for the seller .

Some of our sellers are ecstatic at the potential savings on offer.

Have you ever thought?

“I think that an estate agent is a service that I can do. And I think it’s a really great opportunity to get the house out to as many people as possible. And essentially, to save a lot of money,”

For example selling a property yourself valued at  £265,000 a local estate agent will quote a fee of around £4,800, including VAT.

Even if you take Houseswifts top of the range Gold Sell Service you will save yourself £4750, imagine the uses you could put that towards on your new property…

Since the laws changed Estate Agencies are having to defend their reputations like never before.

Things to consider as a self property seller:

Estate agents include price negotiations in their charges

They point out that selling a house is only a small part of the service they offer.

“Selling the house is the easy bit,” says Mark Hayward, of the National Association of Estate Agents.

“Much more difficult is dealing with the offer, checking the chain, and talking to lawyers,” he says.

Many estate agents will try and establish whether potential buyers are who they say they are, and whether they can really afford to buy your house.

In particular they say price negotiation is a skill that many people think they have, but in reality do not.

Peter Bolton King, of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), says private sale websites offer a totally different level of service to that of an estate agent.

“There is a huge difference between paying a nominal just to put the property on to the internet, compared with all of the services that should be provided, and the security that should be offered, by the good traditional local estate agent,” , however its certainly not beyond the ability of the Self Seller with a little organisation, Check our FAQ’s to prepare yourself.

Estate agents are also members of the Property Ombudsman scheme, which provides for financial compensation should things go wrong.

In the United States it is thought around 10% of house sales are carried out through private sale websites.

RICS estimates that the equivalent figure for the UK is currently around 5%, which suggests that de-regulation could make a significant difference.
for sale sign DIY house selling includes erecting your own for sale sign


Of course ther is a  danger for sellers is that they may pay a nominal fee upfront, but still fail to find a buyer. If they then resort to an estate agent, they will have spent more money, not less, as a self seller you have to weigh up to the benefits gained for that fee make it “worth having a go”, we at houseswift certainly think so, or else we wouldnt be spending our time making your property visable to so many portals and search engines.

Maybe do a web search in the area, and see which property site comes up first and compare the prices for getting that result, please bare in mind most people will look through the first 4 pages of results when looking for a property.

Or consider a private sale alongside an estate agent sale, generally as a self sell you are not breaching a sole agent agreement, as you are not a agent, but its always worth negotiating any such terms in a contract or advise that you wish to also market privately for no penalty if successful, you are the customer after all, its your right to request this.

“If you get the contract right, if you’re absolutely up front with both sides, you could advertise privately, but then you can also work through an estate agent as well,” advises Kate Faulkner of the website Propertychecklists.

“But you need to get the contract absolutely watertight to make sure you don’t end up paying both fees.”

Even if most house-sellers fail to embrace the new websites, the forthcoming deregulation could still end up changing the market.

Some believe that estate agents may be forced to introduce fixed fees for their services, rather than taking an average 1.5% commission.

That could be particularly advantageous for those with larger properties, who historically have faced steeper bills from estate agents.

Housing market is losing momentum, Nationwide says

housing market1 Housing market is losing momentum, Nationwide saysNationwide said house price inflation slowed to 9.0% in October on an annual basis, down from 9.4% in September

House price growth is continuing to show signs of slowing down, according to the UK’s second biggest mortgage lender.

Nationwide said house price inflation slowed to 9.0% in October on an annual basis, down from 9.4% in September.

Indicators suggest the market has “lost momentum”, it said.

The trend may continue in the near term, especially in London, Nationwide added.

Monthly house prices rose by 0.5% in October, taking the average house price up to £189,333.

However, Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said: “A variety of indicators suggest that the market has lost momentum.

“The number of mortgages approved for house purchase in September was almost 20% below the level prevailing at the start of the year,” he said.

Despite the gradual slowdown in house price growth, the broader economic outlook remains positive, Nationwide said.

‘Irrational Exuberance’

The figures are the third piece of evidence this week which suggest a cooling of the UK housing market.

Yesterday the Bank of England said that the number of mortgages being approved had fallen to its lowest level in 14 months.

The Land Registry said that house prices in England and Wales had fallen during September, for the first time in nearly a year.

The Land Registry figures include cash sales, which can be a third of the market.

The Nationwide said tougher mortgage lending rules which began in April may be one reason for the slow-down; a fear of higher mortgage rates next year another.

Jonathan Samuels, chief executive of Dragonfly Property Finance, said the “irrational exuberance” in the market appeared to have subsided.

“The new lending rules introduced earlier in the year clearly triggered a slowdown, but since then I suspect some good old-fashioned common sense has also played a role,” he added.

Original Article Posted by the BBC

Bang for your Buck

We are ever striving to offer you more when it comes to selling your house for nothing, so this month there have been some big additions.

We have been rolling out during the course of September the ability to advertise your property anywhere in the world, to enable this we have made some major changes, here are just a  few of our improvements.

  • Completely rewritten our location algorithms to auto locate your property location anywhere in the world by postcode.
  • Drop a pin, international map property placement.
  • Dynamic tagging to allow your property’s to be found by international searches on all the major search engine.
  • Extra features to your property pages and searches to allow you to search by if a property has a pool for example
  • Advertise a property to rent as a holiday let with weekly pricing and multi – currency
  • Holiday Let Search

forsaleforrent 300x99 Bang for your Buck

We have many more development enhancements coming your way, including a Brand New IPhone Property app, redesigned from the ground up, and multi language support for international sellers, with dynamic translation for your property adverts.

If you like the site, we are fully independent and are growing by word of mouth, we would appreciate you spreading the word to your friends, facebook “liking” our pages, linking on your twitters, the more the word is spread, the more your property’s get “out there”.

Thank you for your custom, and visiting the site.

Andrew Hughes
Owner –


Agent’s anger over Rightmove’s questioning of ‘applicant’ J. Peasemold Gruntfuttock

Rightmove Using Underhand Tactics? – We found the following article recently that we thought worthy of a repost.


 An estate agent who registered himself as one of his own customers using a fictitious name on Rightmove was astonished when his alter ego received an email from the portal asking about his experiences with the agent.

Trevor Kent used the name J Peasemold Gruntfuttock after the character played by Kenneth Williams and said to be the world’s dirtiest old man (think peeping Tom) in the radio series Round the Horne.

In a curious twist, it has emerged that while Kent was doing due diligence on Rightmove, Rightmove was doing much the same of Kent.

Kent said: “I registered J Peasemold Gruntfuttock as an applicant to make sure Rightmove was working well.

“They now want information from him on what he thought of his treatment by Trevor Kent & Co – nearly two months after Mr Gruntfuttock’s original inquiry.

“For what purpose are they questioning my applicants? Who do they think they are – allAgents? Is this any way to treat their fee-paying customers?

“What are they intending to do with the information and are they really going to give Trevor Kent & Co feedback on what Mr Gruntfuttock thinks of them?”

The email invites the applicant to click to complete a survey, with the chance of winning a £50 voucher.

The email says: “Your feedback will help us to improve our services and offer valuable information to the agent about their inquiry handling and customer service.”

Rightmove then followed up with another email to the fictitious Mr Gruntfuttock advising him about Rightmove’s removals service.

Eye asked Rightmove about their contact with agents’ customers.

A spokesperson said: “This is something we have been running for a number of years.

“Our account managers use it as a feedback tool with their customers if they want to see how consumers have rated them.”

However, Kent said he was unimpressed: “I am not sure that I have seen any feedback about me from applicants via Rightmove.

“I would like to know if other agents know their applicants are being deeply questioned without their permission, because I certainly didn’t.”


Original post & Owner

Advertise and Search Internationally For Free

With our new international functionality, during the launch period you can advertise properties internationally for free , no matter where in the world your property is, houseswift will help you sell it. We are the cheapest international property portal in the world right now, with premium functionality at none of the cost.

international 300x191 Advertise and Search Internationally For Free

With our new international functionality, during the launch period you can advertise properties internationally for free , no matter where in the world your property is, houseswift will help you sell it. We are the cheapest international property portal in the world right now, with premium functionality at none of the cost.

Why are we so cheap?  Well we are providing you with the media to get your property out there to the world, we have also provided you all the tools, but you still have to do the rest of the work, but by self selling you can save yourself not hundreds, but thousands of pounds.

Our FAQ section lists what you need to sell a house in the UK, and we are in the process of compiling documentation to help all self sellers the world over.

We cater for agents too with lots of UK agents already coming to join us, and at a fraction of the costs you currently pay through other portals.   Our search engine exposure is the key to our success, we are getting thousands of hits every week, through natural results and by actively following and adapting to the major search engine algorithms. If we used TV we would achieve similar results, but we prefer hard word, to maintain long term results, this allows us to keep our costs down whilst maintaining active exposure.

So no matter how you wish to advertise you can guarantee your property will be found the world over.

Each paid property advert is submitted to over 20 search engines and property portals every day, so if you “want it found”, Houseswift is one of the best ways to get it “out there”

Owner of first £1 council funded home gets keys

Jayalal Madde Owner of first £1 council funded home gets keys


Owner of first £1 home gets keys The key for the first £1 home have been given to their new owner in a scheme to get more people on the property ladder

The keys for the first £1 home have been handed over to their new owners as part of a scheme to help people buy their first home.

Jayalal Madde, a self employed taxi driver, is the first of 20 people to receive a £1 home in Liverpool as part of a bid to revive disused buildings in the city.

Mr Madde, 48, will now start refurbishing the terraced house in Granby for him and his wife and their two daughters, aged 10 and 11.

The project is part of the city council’s commitment to bring 1,000 empty properties back into use.

Mr Madde is one of ten people who will be contacted this week to tell them they have been successful in getting a £1 property. He confirmed he now has the finance in place to start refurbishment works on the house and hopes he and his family will be able to move in within 12 months.


Joe Andersen, the Mayor of Liverpool, handed over the keys. He said: “We’ve had an amazing response to this scheme and have been absolutely inundated with applications, so to already be in a position to allocate the first 10 homes is fantastic.

“Everything we are doing is about building a sustainable future for our neighbourhoods – and we’ve placed that at the heart of the decisions we’ve made when looking at the applications.

“We are only looking for people who have a genuine commitment to bringing these properties back to life and turning them into a home they are proud to live in.

“We’re confident that Mr Madde is one such individual.”

More than 1,000 people applied for one of the houses in the Granby Four Streets, Arnside Road and Webster Triangle East areas of the city.

Mr Andersen said it should not be forgotten that bringing the homes up to standard would be a “real challenge.”

He added: “Properties in these areas have lain empty for too long – but in tough economic times, we need to be creative and look at doing things differently.”

As part of the scheme applicants for the homes had to live or work in Liverpool and be a first time buyer. They also had to be employed and agree to live in the property for a minimum of five years and not sub-let it within that time.

Live Next Door To A Prince Of England

For ardent monarchists, it’s hard to imagine what could be better than living next door to the future king of Britain.
Ashworth House ext 2674120b1 Live Next Door To A Prince Of England
Buy Ashworth House near Tetbury in Gloucestershire and you could live the dream – the stone property, on sale for £1.95m, neighbours Highgrove, the Prince of Wales’s official country residence.
Ashworth Houseloun 2674129c Live Next Door To A Prince Of England
Tthe two properties share a boundary fence between their adjoining fields and owner Kelly Luchford, CEO of of PR company Luchford APM, claims the Prince and his family are often glimpsed around the pretty Cotswolds area – though they’ve never popped round to borrow a cup of sugar.
highgrove 1880586c Live Next Door To A Prince Of England
Luchford bought the property, which sits opposite the Beaufort Polo Club, five years ago. “Prince Charles discreetly drives around Tetbury and his sons play charity polo matches opposite and on occasion drink at the Cat and Custard Pot,” she says.
Ashworth House Cot 2674131c Live Next Door To A Prince Of England
“We were told when we bought Ashworth that the princes often ride past the back of our stables on their way to polo – but I I think this was probably a sales pitch from the former owner!”

The house, which has undergone extensive modernisation under Luchford’s ownership, offers four large bedrooms and a spacious kitchen/breakfast room which opens onto an orangery with views of the garden. In the grounds, there is a small cottage which offers two further bedrooms and equestrian facilities including stables and a manège – perfect for budding polo players.

The house is not the only home with a royal connection currently on the market. The modest north Wales farmhouse rented by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for three years is soon to be available to new tenants, as the couple move into lavish apartments at Kensington Palace with their new baby.

Ashworth House is on sale through Chesterton Humberts for £1.95m