A Year of Two Halves

Another new year has arrived, so what will the property market do in 2014? Forecasters, they’re the ones with the crystal ball, suggest that it will be a good year for property prices, but that will depend on which side of the fence you are. As a first time buyer do you...


Just Batty or passionate about protecting wildlife?

It may depend on what you are trying to achieve, but the law is clear. You could face prosecution if you demolish a building which is a roosting site for bats, even though you may have been ordered to remove it for contravening planning law. You are well and truly between a rock...


Winter Wonderhome

When you decide to sell your home it is not always possible to choose the perfect time, if indeed there is one. Unlike nature, our lives are not regulated by the seasons. It’s more complicated than that. So now that the nights have drawn in,  here are some thoughts...


The real meaning of two emotive words

In the property market, there are very few words more threatening to a buyer or devastating to a seller than Gazumping and Gazundering.  So what exactly are the “real world” definitions of these two emotive words? Gazumping is a situation that occurs when a...


Help to Buy second phase up and running

Martyn R Cox & Co have been looking forward to the second phase of the Help to Buy scheme and predict that a large number of hopeful buyers will utilise the taxpayer-backed mortgage indemnity scheme.  Mortgage applications can be made from now under the scheme, but the...


50% of Homebuyers hit by punitive levels of stamp duty

We make no apology for talking about stamp duty again because of the difficulties it creates in the property market at certain levels. By 2018 more than 281,590 homes will be subject to levies of at least £7,500 as the property recovers, up from 183,000 last year. ...


Not to contradict Isaac Newton too much

According to Isaac Newton, what goes up must come down. Fortunately, in the property market at least, what goes down must also come up. Anyhow that is what happened in the 70s, the 80s and the 90s after periods of recession. Now it looks as if history is repeating itself. Estate...


Stamp duty threshold seen as unfair and counter productive

There is a call for a new 2% tier of Stamp Duty to be introduced to cut taxes for purchasers of properties between £250,000 and £375,000. Currently Stamp Duty Land Tax triples from 1% to 3% at purchases of £250,000. New calculations say that more than a...


From next year, first and second time buyers will be offered government guarantees which should allow them to obtain competitive mortgages even if they have relatively small deposits.  The £130 billion scheme has been heralded as a flagship measure which should help...


Congratulations to the Royal couple on the birth of their son. Prince George of Cambridge, is third in line to the thrown, pushing Prince Harry back to fourth. For the first time in 120 years, there are three living members of the Royal family who are in direct line and heirs to...


 Britain’s most hated tax is about to be overhauled – although only if you live in Scotland. However, there are hopes that the replacement of stamp duty north of the border, which will see the end of the hugely unpopular system of “highest rate of tax on...


The gentle tweeting of birds from the back garden can be enough to lift anyone’s mood, but new research suggests it may also be a sign that your house will be worth more too.  A new study in the US has shown that houses in areas rich with bird life sell for an average...


Around 4,000 people have reserved a new home using the Help to Buy scheme in the two months since it was launched. Help to Buy currently offers purchasers of new-build homes access to 95% mortgages, with taxpayers funding a 20% share. According to the Home Builders Federation...


 The average size of a new build one-bedroom home in Britain is now no bigger than an underground train carriage, it was recently revealed. Developers faced with sky-high land prices are cramming a lounge, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom into just 46 square metres.  That...


 The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said the government's Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) and the Help to Buy initiative announced in the budget were responsible for a strong pick-up in demand for residential property that was not yet being matched by an...


 Apparently, properties located in streets beginning with “U” tend to be worth more than those starting with any other letter of the alphabet, a recent study has found.  Homes on roads which start with the letter U are typically worth £251,307, which...


 Home owners are expecting house prices to rise by 4.5% over the next six months, according to new research from Zoopla. This latest information is based on replies from 4,116 people, the majority of whom were home owners, in the last week of March. The proportion who think...


There are no plans to reform the house buying process in England and Wales according to Housing Minister Mark Prisk –a former chartered surveyor – who dismissed any idea that he considered the Scottish system superior.   Under the Scottish system, a legally...


A think tank is predicting that housing transactions will pick up this year to a million. Ernst & Young’s Item Club is forecasting a 7.5% rise in house sales this year, with a further 7.8% rise next year, to take transactions to 1.08m. Although HMRC has reported a...


Official figures now point out that the housing market hit a three-year high in March. But we didn’t really need official figures to tell us that.  The level of activity has increased significantly.  The higher number of viewings, offers and sales is there for all...


Mortgage lending fell for a second successive month in February, the Bank of England has confirmed. Its figures back earlier data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the British Bankers Association. The Bank of England figures show that 51,653 house purchase mortgages were...