It was a year of political upheaval, as Theresa May then Boris Johnson struggled to get their respective Brexit deals though parliament, leading to a Conservative leadership contest and the first December general election in nearly a century.

property market review of 2019

This continued instability had its effect on the housing market, with buyers and seller biding their time and an average 1.6% fall in house prices over the year to October.

The festive election saw a decisive win by the Conservatives – and a narrow victory in pro-remain Wimbledon – giving Mr Johnson his mandate to ‘get Brexit done’. According to commentators, this new-found stability is already having an impact on the housing market as we approach 2020.

To find out more about the Wimbledon property market in 2019, read our review of the year, month by month.



From swimming pools to Japanese Knotweed, what to avoid if you’re looking to sell


If you think that hosting pool parties in your garden sounds the ultimate status symbol, think again. Swimming pools are up there with Japanese Knotweed as the things most likely to affect the value of your home, say estate agents.

According to NAEA Propertymark, the professional body for estate agents, outdoor swimming pools make a property hard to sell as viewers fear they will be costly and difficult to maintain. A pool will also take up valuable garden space while, thanks to the British climate, being rarely used. Agents advise sellers to fill in pools or put their home on the market in summer, when outdoor swimming feels a lot more appealing.

Invasive Japanese Knotweed can damage the foundations of your home creating a risk of subsidence. Any hint of the virulent Asian plant is likely to put off buyers, as it can affect resale value and make it difficult to get a mortgage. The advice to anyone with Japanese Knotweed is to have it treated by a professional company as soon as possible.

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Consultation on extra 1% stamp duty for non-UK investors

Wimbledon Property

The Treasury has launched consultation on an additional property tax for non-UK residents buying in England and Northern Ireland.

The prosed 1% stamp duty surcharge was announced by the Prime Minister, Theresa May, last year and confirmed by the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, in his Autumn 2018 Budget.

Proceeds of the surcharge would be used to tackle homelessness, as part of a government pledge to ending rough sleeping by 2027.

Devolved parliaments in Scotland and Wales will decide whether to introduce a similar property tax in their countries.

According to Mel Stride, Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General, the move followed evidence that non-UK resident buyers could be affecting the housing market.

He said: “The UK is and will remain an open and dynamic economy, but some evidence shows that non-UK resident buyers of UK property could be inflating house prices.

“A 1% surcharge could help more people own their own homes in the future, and its proceeds will go towards tackling rough sleeping, boosting our plan to halve the numbers of rough sleepers by 2022.”

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Buy-to-let is a better investment than gold or fine art

buy to let

While changes to stamp duty and mortgage tax relief have hit buy-to-let landlords, rental property remains a good option for non-professional investors, according to a new report.

The research, by lettings inventory and property compliance company VeriSmart, examined the return on investment from different sectors over a decade. Buy-to-let was found to bring higher returns that investing in gold, cash or fine art.

The report looked at the annual gain in house prices and the increase in rental yields, to demonstrate that an investment in property made 10 years ago would have brought a 92% return today.

Investing in gold over the same period would have brought a 60% return while a cash investment would have seen a 16% increase.

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Insider tips for finding a great letting agent

Phoning a friend, looking local and checking out industry credentials are three of the best ways of choosing a letting agent, according to industry body ARLA Propertymark.

Whether you’re a first-time landlord or you’re looking to move agents in the near future, the company you choose could make or break or letting experience and ARLA has a few top tips you might find useful.

1 Ask around

Hit the phones for recommendations from friends and family members who have used letting agents in the past and had a positive experience to help you pull together a shortlist. If you have tenants already, get their view of any letting agents they’ve had dealings with too.

2 Check out their industry credentials

Currently, letting agents in England are unregulated – meaning they can set up in business without joining a recognised industry body. However, it’s a good idea to look for voluntary membership of a professional association such as ARLA Propertymark or National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) or the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors RICS.

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Buyers pay a premium for homes near green spaces

Buyers pay a premium for homes near green spaces

It may be a fair assumption that living close to a public green space will boost your property’s value, but now it’s official. Homes close to parks, playing fields, golf courses and allotments attract higher prices, according to a report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The same is also true for properties with a riverside view.

The ONS analysed a million property sales in towns and cities across England and Wales over a seven-year period. It found that houses and flats within 100 meters of green space cost 1.1% more than similar properties further away. On average, living next to green spaces boosted the price of an urban property by £2,500.

Being within 100 metres of a public green space attracted the highest premium for detached homes, where it added 1.9% to the price, the research found.

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About the author

Nicolas Holmes

Nick joined Robert Holmes to inject fresh ideas and help grow the New Homes department of Robert Holmes as well as helping to inject technology into the business and to grow its client base. Together with one of the Directors Nick is in charge of all Development opportunities that Robert Holmes deals with along with sales. Aged 40, he provides succession together with the two existing directors. Nick has always been focused on building client relationships and sales. He built up his own gallery in Chelsea, where he had a loyal following of customers and artists.


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