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PPA : Spinnaker Tower
PPA : Spinnaker Tower

2011 Annual Charity Dinner

The great and the good of Portsmouth’s
Property Industry turned out in force for the 2011 PPA Annual Charity Dinner
held at the Guildhall in support of the City’s Beneficial Foundation. 

The event, sponsored by developer Warings,
attracted some 200 property professionals and their guests from throughout the
region to celebrate an interesting 2010 and to belatedly welcome with optimism,
a more prosperous 2011.  We were
delighted to welcome The Lord Mayor Councillor Paula Riches who was able to tell
us of her recent experiences meeting with the Associations chosen charity and
the great work they carry out,  providing education,
training and rehabilitation to adults of all ages who are in need. 

In his welcoming speech, Chairman Roger Sherliker, was positive of the ongoing
role of the property industry, as a driving force in the city, commenting that
we are all able to “contribute to
its revitalisation and growth in the next few years”. 

Excellent spirits, created by great food
and great company were further enhanced by the brilliant Comedian Jed Stone, who
had them rolling in the aisles before kindly drawing the Raffle to bring the
evening to a close. 

Many thanks go to all those who helped
make the evening such a success. 
Particularly to Warings for their generous sponsorship of the event, to
HantWight Searches Limited who sponsored the Champagne reception and to the
following companies for their generosity in the Charity Raffle: 1000 Lakeside
Northarbour, Glanvilles LLP, Carnelian Property Services, Portsmouth FC, Clive
Emson Auctioneers, Pearsons, Fairhalls, Larcomes Solicitors, Gosport Business
Centre, Warner Goodman, Hughes Ellard and The News who also provided all the
printed materials for the event. 

A good time was had by all and as was
announced on the night approximately £2500 was raised for the Beneficial
Foundation.

Branches in: Fareham

Selling in the Spring

EXPERT VIEW

Q.       
I overheard a guy at my gym talking about waiting till Easter to put his
house on the market. He obviously thinks that must be a good time. Why?

A.       
There is a widely-held belief that Easter is a particularly good time to put
your home on the market – although whether this is actually based on any hard
statistical evidence, or simply a nod towards the traditional view of Spring as
a time of new beginnings, is quite another matter.

What we can
say is that Easter tends to be one of the property market’s busier times. Why?
Well, people have a bit more time on their hands during the Easter break. And
there are the lighter evenings, not to mention slightly better weather
(hopefully). All of these can have a positive effect on activity levels.

However, this
isn’t always the case. In fact, in some parts of the country, the property
market practically goes into suspended animation over the Easter holiday period,
as it tends to more widely in August. Why? Because for every person who chooses
to spend his or her time off work house-hunting, there’s someone else who sees
it as a golden opportunity to head off to the sun instead. (And as far as this
particular Easter period is concerned, it’s worth remembering that there also
happens to be a Royal Wedding to distract people\’s attention away from moving
home – albeit only temporarily.)

Nevertheless, when all’s said and done, the only
question that really matters from a seller’s point of view is whether a busy
market is necessarily a good market. And the fact is, the two terms are by no
means interchangeable. Yes, there may well be loads more prospective buyers
rushing around. But for precisely that reason, they will almost certainly have
a lot more property to choose from – thanks to people like your bloke in the
gym.

So, my answer to this question, whenever it crops up,
is always the same. In reality, there is no such thing as a “good” or a “bad”
time to put your home on the market. If you are seriously contemplating moving
home, then there is quite simply no time like the present.

And remember, in property as in any other market, the
smart money rarely runs with the herd!

Branches in: Fareham, Havant
Members: Clive Bryant, Kerry Aplin, Kerry Applin

One foot on the ladder to Home Ownership – Feb 2011

One foot on the ladder to Home Ownership – Feb 2011

Getting a foot on the ladder to home
ownership tends to need a decent sized deposit these days as a lot of lenders
are looking for you to have around 20 – 30% deposit to put down before they
will consider offering you a mortgage at the moment.

Some people seem to have been saving hard
over the last few years while the housing market has been uncertain but quite
often getting enough deposit together can involve help with contribution from a
family member.

Bear in mind with deposits that your
solicitor will need evidence and full details of your source of funds and your
lender needs to consent to there being a third party contribution.

You also need to think in advance about
whether this money is an outright gift or whether it is a loan or needs to be
repaid and it is advisable to discuss this at an early stage with your
solicitor so you can consider carefully what is right for you.

Sometimes a lender will refuse to consent to
a third party putting money in unless the money is an outright gift. Other
times, the money can be protected as a legal charge ranking second behind the
lender. Another option might be to consider having a declaration of trust drawn
up to record the agreement.

It is always worth discussing options with
your solicitor at an early stage so you have plenty of time to work out what is
right for you.

As a point of note, the first time buyer
stamp duty land tax incentive is due to expire next year. Currently, first time
buyers are eligible for nil stamp duty on purchases up to £250,000.00.

Branches in: Fareham, Havant
Members: Gareth Maddern, Lorna Newnham, Mark Watson, Samantha Marsh

Help Wanted

New editor required for our regular news letter, please call Neil Hawkins on 023 92820420

Moving during bad weather

During the recent spell of artic weather it became quickly apparent that normal rules do not apply in any walk of life, including house moving.

Picture this scenario. You have everything packed bar the clothes you stand up in, the bed and very importantly the teapot and kettle. You go to bed exhausted, thinking in 24 hours we will be in our new house, and all the effort will have been worthwhile. Then it snows, heavily and the world comes to a halt.

Normally here in the south, snow rarely lasts too long on the roads and everybody carefully carries on. Not this year.

However what if your removal firm cannot physically get their lorry to you because of the amount of snow and ice? What if your lawyer cannot get to the office to carry out the legal work? What do you do then? Whom can you sue if you cannot move?

This happened to me in early January.

Dealing with PPA lawyers however makes matters a lot easier in these difficult situations because we all know and trust each other and can assist our clients. Every one in the chain had to compromise as to how and when they could actually move, and certain latitudes had to be given concerning vacant possession. PPA lawyers are able to co-operate with each other and it certainly helps if we know the lawyers we deal with. It eventually took three days to complete the move.   In circumstances such as these it seems unreasonable to expect anyone in the chain to have to pay interest for delayed completion through “force majeure”. When contracts were exchanged four weeks earlier snow was the last thing on anyone’s mind!

Now we all keep a “weather eye” on the forecasts each day when they suggest snow is on the way.

Barry King Senior Legal Executive with Glanvilles solicitors Fareham and PPA member

Branches in: Fareham, Havant
Members: Gareth Maddern, Lorna Newnham, Mark Watson, Samantha Marsh

A property experts view of the budget

EXPERT VIEW

Q.        How much difference will the recent
Budget make to the housing market?
 

A.        In practice, of course, it’s much too
soon to tell, but in the immortal words of the late great Eric Morecambe, I
think the short answer is probably “Not a lot!” 

Much was
understandably made by the Government of their new £250million FirstBuy shared
equity scheme, designed to help hard-pressed first time buyers get onto the
property ladder. However, since it only applies to new-build properties, it will
do nothing at all to help boost sales of “second hand” or resale homes. Besides,
it is calculated that it will probably only help a maximum of 10,000 first time
buyers, before the funds run out – which is little more than a drop in the
ocean. 

Of course, new build can
still represent an exciting opportunity – but only at the right price. So, my
advice to all buyers – be they first-timers or not – is to do your homework
thoroughly before making an offer and look at the second hand equivalent house
to give you some evidence. Nevertheless, you should still expect the new one to
be a little dearer, because like a car you will have to pay a “new premium” –
often around 5%. 

As for other Budget measures…the
decision to keep Stamp Duty at zero for first time buyers on properties up to
£250,000 for a further year is to be welcomed – although any feelgood factor
generated by this will to an extent be offset at the other end of the scale by
the new 5% rate on properties over £1million. 

In summary then, plenty of people will argue
that the Chancellor could have done a lot more to support the property market. And
in theory, he could have done – for example, by embarking on a long-overdue
revision of the entire Stamp Duty system. Whether he ought to have done,
however, is a very different question – after all, the housing market doesn’t
exist in a vacuum. In fact, all in all, given the wider economic realities, I
suspect he did as much as he prudently could. Which, as I said at the start,
was not a lot! 

Branches in: Fareham, Havant
Members: Clive Bryant, Kerry Aplin, Kerry Applin

First Quarter 2011

Welcome

Thank-you for visiting the new Portsmouth Property Association Website which I hope you will find useful and easy to navigate around. It contains information and contact details on many professionals involved in property work in the Greater Portsmouth Region as well as articles and market reports which give a view to the state of the commercial and residential markets. These reports are prepared by our Members who are literally making the market every day so they are an invaluable guide to both layman and professionals alike. We will be working hard to improve the website in the future to make it the essential first stop for anyone seeking information about property in Portsmouth and the surrounding towns.

Roger Sherliker BA (Hons) MRICS Chairman

Residential Sales

THE coming of spring and warmer weather means that shoots of recovery are appearing in our gardens and the countryside – and the same can be said for the local property market. Many sellers, buyers and agents reported a tough start to 2011 but things are looking up. Sellers need to remain positive and motivated. There is no point sellers being all doom and gloom. If they remain positive, things will happen. The key is “keen and realistic” prices. There are buyers out there and they will buy, as long as the prices are right. Motivated vendors are accepting sensible offers and negotiating hard on their prices. Competitive pricing is a key issue.

Historically more transactions taking place over the April and May period no matter what market conditions are. Take the agents advice: To sell in this market, properties need to be in a good location, well-presented and competitively priced – holding out for unrealistic prices will just lead to frustration. 

Kerry Applin, Director, Chapplins Estate Agents, Havant

Residential Lettings

The lettings market during the first quarter of 2011 has been extremely buoyant with good levels activity in all sectors. Due to a limited number of new properties entering the market there has been upward pressure on rents, in particular we have seen 3 bedroom semi-detached houses rise in value by £75 pcm. We have also seen the return of corporate lets with a number of high value tenancies agreed. All in all it has been a good time to be a landlord and we hope bodes well for the rest of 2011. 

Simon Pinkney FNAEA MARLA, Pearsons Residential Lettings. 

Commercial

Enquiries are back up to pre-recession levels which is very encouraging, but prospective tenants and purchasers are still being cautious before committing themselves. Office supply is falling, albeit there is still over-supply particularly along the eastern M27 corridor, from Solent Business Park to Lakeside, although both these locations have seen the majority of take – up during the last 15 months.Industrial floor space availability is at its lowest for many years, there was not development bonanza at the height of the market and there are shortages of buildings in some sectors and geographical location in the Solent Conurbation. Landlords who are prepared to be flexible over lease terms are letting space but the squeeze on household budgets in the next 12-18 months will affect the retail sector. There have been some high profile casualties in recent weeks such as Oddbins. There is an oversupply of space in secondary centres, but prime locations still enjoy high occupancy rates.

Roger Sherliker BA (Hons) MRICS

Legal

A quiet month for most legal conveyancing professionals with the market still going through a patchy time, consequently meaning new instructions are less in number than desired. However building on a good start to the year has meant that with Spring starting to bud, the property world is looking a little more optimistic in these challenging times. The recent budget, whilst not wildly exciting, is hopefully going to strengthen the property market by assisting first time buyers with a form of shared equity scheme/first time buyer scheme, and anyone wishing to move should do so now whilst prices and properties are excellent value.

Barry King F.Inst.Lex Glanvilles LLP