It might sound like an old cliché but the new year is always a good time to start thinking about your next move. Not only do lots more properties hit the market, motivated buyers do too which could make your onward chain quicker. If you are thinking about taking that big leap in 2017, take a look at our round up of some of the best properties on the market right now to give you some inspiration.

Shepherdess Walk, N1 £2,600,000

This open plan living space shows off the original industrial features of the building.

This large converted loft apartment, situated close to Old Street is a stylish and spacious residence. Complete with its own private roof terrace, three bedrooms and secure underground parking this apartment is the perfect space to unwind after a long day in the City. If that’s not enough space however, the apartment next door is also for sale and could be converted to make one super sized penthouse and roof terrace.

Victoria Park Road, E9 £585,000

This maisonette is completed by stylish, cosy interiors

This well presented duplex maisonette is perfectly located to enjoy all the best that Hackney has to offer, with London Fields and Regent’s Canal only a short distance away. It has two bedrooms, a small decked garden to the rear and off street parking. Cambridge Heath station and Bethnal Green underground are both within walking distance.

Albion Square, E8 £2,350,000

A beautiful end of terrace property on one of Hackney's most exclusive squares

Albion Square dates back to the 1800’s and is one of the most sought after residential squares in the area. This property sits across four floors and offers four bedrooms, a landscaped garden and a double garage, and is within a short walking distance to Haggerston Overground. It would make the perfect home for a growing family who need access to local transport links.

Tilney Gardens, N1 £950,000

A bright and spacious living area is the showpiece of this three bedroom property

This purpose built three bedroom property has been finished in an immaculate contemporary style and also boasts an attractive patio garden, accessible from the kitchen. It sits within easy reach of Highbury & Islington and Angel stations. The property is also chain free.

Goswell Road, EC1V £899.950

This modern development provides the perfect City base

A two double bedroom apartment located on the third floor of The Courtyard development in Clerkenwell. The apartment boasts two balconies, one leading off the main living area and the other from the master bedroom, as well as a secure underground parking space. It is within walking distance to the many amenities surrounding Old Street and Clerkenwell’s plethora of restaurants, pubs and independent shops.

New homes for a new year

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Whilst the Autumn Statement failed to deliver the cuts in Stamp Duty many were hoping for, Philips Hammond’s aim of improving life for the JAMs (people who are Just About Managing) included measures to cut costs for tenants and to increase the supply of affordable homes.

The government heralded a step change in its ambitions for addressing the housing supply shortage, pledging £1.4bn to build 40,000 additional affordable homes, an extra £2.3bn housing infrastructure, and a relaxation of financing restrictions on government grants. (to permit the financing of affordable rented housing).

There was little succour for Buy-to-Let landlords, as a ban on letting fees to tenants will doubtless see these costs passed on to landlords. This may be counterproductive in the longer term as it could translate into higher rents and may also lead to an increasing number of Buy-to-Let landlords exiting the market. The extension of the Right to Buy programme will also reduce rental stock. These measures may therefore cause further upward pressure on rents, which in London are already expected to grow faster than property prices over the next 5 years.

The government is however aiming to significantly increase the supply of affordable homes, including affordable rental housing, and anticipates that this will more than offset any reduction in supply at the lower end of the rental market. The relaxation of financing restrictions will permit the construction of more affordable rented homes.

The rental sector is expected to provide an increasing percentage of housing supply over the next decade, as much of ‘generation rent’ are unable to afford to buy a property, especially in London. The moves today to boost the supply of affordable rented homes, coupled with previous initiatives regarding the emergent Build to Rent sector, signal that the government is committed to supporting the rental market, and increasingly regards it as playing key part in addressing the housing shortage.

Group CEO Anne Currell welcomes these moves to improve the rental sector, stating that ‘Renting must become an acceptable alternative tenure and Currell will work positively to implement these changes without compromise’ .

The Telegraph declared last week that stamp duty reforms announced in December 2014 are damaging the property marketing and cutting tax intakes.

The article was published just one week before the new Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond delivers his Autumn Statement, which is expected to discuss stamp duty.

According to new research obtained by The Telegraph, the Exchequer ‘received £370 million less in stamp duty than the £700 million it expected following major changes made by George Osborne.’

It has also, according to new analysis, had a knock on effect on other parts of the economy because the number of people selling their homes has fallen. Potentially £1 billion has been lost due to a deficit of spending on property related transactions such as removals or renovations.

A number of MP’s, housebuilders and other organisations have now called for changes to be made.

Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “Taxation ought to be about raising the revenue governments need – not the politics of envy. Punitive stamp duty rates seem, unsurprisingly, to have failed.”

This was followed by Rob Perrins, chief executive of Berkeley Homes who believes that the current stamp duty system “is stopping social mobility and will result in lower GDP and fewer homes getting built.”

Responding to the criticism a spokesman from the Treasury said: “The overwhelming majority of those who pay stamp duty – 98 per cent – are saving money thanks to our reform, which has done away with the unfair old system.

“Over 780,000 homebuyers saved an estimated £657 million on stamp duty in the year since tax was reformed.”

The Autumn Statement will be announced on Wednesday 23 November.

To read the full article in The Telegraph please click here

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Brexit worries Trumped: Currell’s Head of Research Nicola Almond discusses the possible effect Donald Trump’s election may have on the UK property market. 

Worries over Brexit have been ‘Trumped’ and we are starting to consider the implications of the US election result for the UK property market. Emerging reports of increased web traffic for prime London property searches suggests that some North Americans are already seeking a more secure home for their capital, or perhaps themselves. Political and financial crises generally result in a flight to safe haven assets, such as gold and property, but in London this is likely to be limited to the prime market. This market had already seen increased interest from overseas due to the 18% post-Brexit decline of sterling, and any weakness in the dollar arising from the Trump victory is unlikely to make much of a dent in this currency depreciation.

For the moment financial markets remain relatively stable, meaning that US interest rate hike is back on the cards for December. UK rates are expected to remain at the current level for some time, as the Bank of England recently ditched plans for a post-Brexit cut due to better than expected economic conditions. Whilst higher inflation in 2017 could result in an increase in rates, the Bank has indicated that it will ‘look through’ short-term inflation, and try to avoid increasing rates.

Attention will soon be turning to the Autumn Statement (23 Nov), with the government under pressure to reverse the 3% stamp duty surcharge for additional properties (second homes and buy-to-lets). This policy is having a much greater impact on the property market than Brexit, and arguably is not achieving the desired objective of helping those at or trying to get onto the bottom of the property ladder. With the supply/demand imbalance in the rental market worsened by the exit of many small landlords, and consequent upward pressure on rents, the latter are now expected to grow at a faster rate than property prices over the next five years in London (c.25% vs c.20%).

Build to Rent is a hot topic of conversation in the London property market, as developers look to expand their offering with this rental model. While fairly new to the UK Build to Rent has proved successful elsewhere, most notably in the US and it is hoped that the Build to Rent model can help London’s struggling ‘Generation Rent’.

This morning Currell hosted its latest breakfast seminar, discussing the topic ‘Build to Rent – A Viable Option?’. We were lucky enough to be joined by two experts in the area, to discuss their experiences working in this expanding sector.

buildtorent breakfast seminar

Félicie Krikler, director at Assael Architecture is an experienced architect specialising in urban regeneration, master planning and large-scale mixed-use projects. She joined us to share her experience being involved with Build to Rent projects across the UK. Assael has been closely involved in the evolution of Build to Rent in the Private Rented Sector in the UK since 2008. Through researching foreign multi-family models in-depth, particularly in America, producing several design guides and advising clients, investors and government institutions, Assael now have several Build to Rent projects throughout the country, some under construction and many more in the pipeline.

Félicie discussed the particular importance of planning the back of house element of a Build to Rent development very carefully, so that residents are not disturbed by the daily management required to keep the property running smoothly. This includes carefully located goods entrances and plant locations.

Félicie also drew attention to the need for units within Build to Rent developments to be carefully thought out, so that when one tenant moves out costs can be kept low due to minimal damage and easy redecoration. This extends down to small factors such as light switches that are easily removed from the wall for painting, and hanging wardrobes without cupboard doors to minimise the chance of damage and the need for replacement.

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Felicie discusses the importance of carefully thought out service space

The second speaker of the morning was Tim Lewis, Client Strategy Director at branding agency Small Back Room. Tim has been an integral part of the team developing the brand for East Village and Get Living London for over five years along with a number of other high profile Build to Rent schemes.

Tim’s talk focused on the importance of relationship management in the Build to Rent sector and the need for property companies to reassess how they interact with their customers, how they appeal to them and how they reach them. The process of understanding this customer should be in depth like in the FMCG market, not just based on demographics. Unlike a traditional property transaction the decision to rent in one of these developments is a long term one which will require trust built through quality service.

Build to Rent developers and agents must also, Tim said, take into account the change in the way the generation under 30 communicates with one another and with companies through social media and other online channels. Word of mouth and friendly recommendations are incredibly important in this market. By monitoring these channels and producing quality content for them, you can ensure that you have some influence in that conversation.

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Tim believes it is time for the property industry to change the way it communicates with its customers

A very big thank you to both our speakers for informed, interesting discussion which was greatly enjoyed by everyone in attendance. We look forward to seeing you all again at our next seminar.

For more information on our speakers please visit their websites:

www.assael.co.uk

www.smallbackroom.com

Buy to Let landlords are bracing themselves for changes to lending requirements by the Bank of England. The changes, which the Bank’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) announced yesterday, could prove the end of amateur landlords.

The new rules, which are set to be implemented from January 2017, outline minimum expectations that lenders must meet in underwriting Buy to Let mortgages. This includes requiring landlords to have higher levels of rent relative to their mortgage costs and stress testing new mortgages at a rate of 5.5pc. Mortgage experts say that the new rules will make it harder for landlords with a small portfolio of one or two properties to pass these affordability tests, which could see them forced to sell up.

The changes follow the 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge on purchasers of second homes and additional properties which George Osborne introduced in April, leading many to believe there is a political agenda against landlords.

Matthew Cobb, Director of New Homes says “There has been a political focus on people’s right to buy their own home and the challenges in relation to affordability, particularly for first time buyers. This does seem to have led to an economic agenda against landlords as the government are trying to take the heat out of the market, and landlords are an easy target.”

The impact of the new rules might not only be felt by landlords, as many are concerned of a negative impact on the market as a whole.

Benjamin Hobart, Associate Director of New Homes says, “The government is looking to safeguard first time buyers. However, it is most likely that first time buyers will also be negatively affected by these changes, as landlords are likely to increase rents to cover costs and make their investments worthwhile. This reduces the ability of this group of buyers to save for a deposit, which is already the biggest issue with affordability.”

In spite of the new rules not yet being in place, the expected changes already seem to be having an effect on buy to let sales. Matthew says he is seeing “very few investors buying at present” but feels this could also be a result of investors waiting for the Autumn Statement to be published on November 23rd. Head of research Nicola Almond says “There is a growing expectation of changes to stamp duty in the Autumn Statement, which is a possibility if the government feels that the post Brexit property market needs an injection of momentum”

The Bank’s new rules have already resulted in a change in marketing strategy by agents and developers. Marketing has become more geared to owner occupiers, with an emphasis on Help to Buy at certain price points, among other strategies.

“We need to start offering developers incentives such as stamp duty paid, rental guarantees or launch the product nearer to completion. However this won’t work for everyone as some developers will continue to need early off plan sales to fund the build” says Ian Crawt, Director of New Homes.

“On a positive note, with the off plan investor market weak, developers with large scale projects are now more open to bulk sales, mainly Build to Rent (BTR) operators, to assist with de-risking or funding requirements. This could seriously boost London’s provision of BTR, giving tenants another option.”

 

 

 

Living space in the apartments at Hoxton Nine

Stylishly designed kitchen and living space in the apartments at Hoxton Nine

Hoxton Nine is an outstanding new development by award-winning developer Hamilton Court Developments, comprising eight high-end apartments and one exceptional penthouse in one of London’s most vibrant districts.

The development is designed to provide residents with a clam and balanced environment and each apartment has been designed to provide maximum space and comfort, with custom made fixtures and fittings. All apartments have open plan kitchen/living space and a carefully considered specification throughout.

In the heart of Hoxton, the apartments are within walking distance to some of the area’s best attractions including the Ace Hotel, Shoreditch House, Hoxton Square and Boxpark. This abundance of bars, hotels and restaurants is what makes the area so renowned for its energy.

Old Street station is approximately a three minute walk from Hoxton Nine, providing easy access into central London and the City, making it a perfect City base.

Hoxton Nine is now launched and apartments are available to buy. Prices from £599,950 to £910,000.

Call us now on 020 7226 6611 to register or email newhomes@currell.com

23 Elizabeth Avenue, N1 is a collection of three superb mews houses in Islington, which have been meticulously redeveloped behind an original Victorian warehouse facade. 

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Each house offers four double bedrooms, two en suite and two family bathrooms, double height ceilings at ground floor level, mezzanine office space and terracing on each floor. The development has been crafted with exceptional attention to detail and the houses have been designed to combine dynamic open living spaces while retaining an abundance of classic period features. Each house also includes a spacious basement.

23 Elizabeth Avenue is a short walk from both the Regent’s Canal and the busy hub of Angel and Upper Street.

For more information, contact our New Homes team now on 020 7226 6611 or email newhomes@currell.com.

londonfields

London Fields, the buzzing heart of Hackney, has much more to offer its residents than just hipster cafes and craft beer breweries.

The area is full of a beautiful mixture of Georgian and Victorian architecture, which sit on the streets and squares that surround the park. The mixture of elegant terraces, semi-detached and detached villas are mostly arranged around picturesque garden squares or tree lined streets. Most properties are lucky enough to benefit from a good size garden of their own.

A vast improvement in transport links in recent years has been transformative, opening the area up as it never has been before. Central London, the City and Islington are now easily accessible via the Overground network, making it a popular spot for media and city professionals. Schools in the area have also  improved in recent years, with the quality of schools on offer being the main attraction to young families.

Broadway Market, while very popular with tourists, still provides locals with a hub of independent shops and a great sense of community. It is also home to quality restaurants and bars and is really the busy epicentre of this area.

Some of the most sought after properties are on Albion Square, which is close to Haggerston Overground, or on the roads overlooking or leading to the green space of London Fields. The average price for property here now stands at around £1,350,000 for a family home.

We’ve rounded up a selection of the best properties on the market in London Fields right now, to show just what this area has to offer.

An end of terrace property in Albion Sqaure

An end of terrace, four bedroom property in the much sought after Albion Square. £2,350,000 Freehold Learn more

 

A beautifully finished four bedroom period property on Mapledean Road, priced at £1,825,000 Freehold

A beautifully finished four bedroom period property on Mapledean Road. £1,825,000 Freehold Learn more

 

An end of terrace four bedroom property, with a large garden including a summer house

An end of terrace four bedroom property on Lavender Grove, with a large garden including a summer house. £1,895,000 Freehold Learn more

 

A split level Victorian conversion with three bedrooms and access to a garden. £1,125,000 XXX

A split level Victorian conversion on Parkholme Road with three bedrooms and access to a garden. £1,125,000 Share of Freehold Learn more

If you are looking to sell or buy property in London Fields or elsewhere in Hackney, or if you are interested in one of our featured London Fields properties, contact our Hackney team who will be happy to help.

 

Little angel theatre logo

Locally renowned Little Angel Theatre on Camden Passage in Islington is hoping to be nominated for a Time Out Love London Award. The awards are a chance for Londoners to shout about the venues and places which make this great city of ours so special.

Last year’s awards saw an incredible 16,000 nominations flood in from city dwellers eager to see their favourite venues be rewarded for their excellent service. For the final 5,000 nominated London venues, an amazing 75,000 votes were cast to choose the winners! Londoners clearly have a passion to recognise the best.

There are tons of catergories in the awards, taking in restaurants, bars, shops and cultural venues. Little Angel Theatre is after a nomination in the cultural category and hopes that its award-winning shows and awe-inspiring puppetry designs will inspire the public to recognise it as one of London’s best cultural venues.

Here at Currell we know more than most how magical the work is that Little Angel Theatre do, as we are lucky enough to have their stunning puppets in our windows throughout the year, and are currently waiting with baited breath to see what they produce in our windows for Christmas later this year.

Nominations for the awards close on the 30 September, so to get your nomination in for the Little Angel Theatre, you need to get your skates on and click here to nominate them.

Let’s work together and hope we can get this legendary local theatre on the global Time Out map!

For more information on the Little Angel Theatre visit: littleangeltheatre.com