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Newcastle’s tallest building set to break onto the global stage 2> By | News | No Comments

Newcastle’s tallest building set to break onto the global stage

By Surrenden Invest | February 8, 2018
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With a youthful population, thriving economy and dynamic business scene, Newcastle is fast becoming one of the UK’s top locations for those seeking economic success. With a fast-moving housing market, it’s also a welcoming environment for those seeking financial success through buy-to-let investment. Now, the launch of a new development has ensured that those individuals have a more luxurious choice of investment than has previously been seen in the city.

Hadrian’s Tower will provide 162 apartments, spread across 26 storeys. The development is on track to become Newcastle’s tallest building and is already attracting investors from around the world. Indeed, such is its significance that it will be presented at this year’s MIPIM in Cannes (the most significant occasion for the property industry each year).
With a £40 million development and construction price tag, no expense has been spared when it comes to Hadrian’s Tower. The building is located in the heart of Newcastle, adjacent to Science Central and the university hospitals, as well as a range of leisure pursuits. Its stunningly contemporary homes and superb communal areas are sure to appeal to young professionals and their families, as well as post-graduate students (of which there is a steady supply thanks to the rising popularity of Newcastle’s universities).
In addition to sleek, elegant apartments, Hadrian’s Tower will provide a Sky Lounge and café for relaxing and socialising, touchdown meeting points for those looking to blend their home and working lives and superior support services, from a 24-hour concierge to cleaning and maintenance services.
In many ways, Hadrian’s Tower will showcase the best of modern development. Every single apartment will be wheelchair accessible. Meanwhile, whole-house ventilation and a sprinkler system protection are provided in every home.
Hadrian’s Tower marks a significant step in Newcastle’s development. Extensive regeneration works at St James’ Boulevard and Science Central Business School Zone have laid the foundations for the future of the city. Now, a new high rise city district is building on that success, including through the world-class apartments at Hadrian’s Tower. Built by Newcastle-based The High Street Group, Hadrian’s Tower will be a flagship Newcastle development for years to come.

For further details email us at: info@surrendeninvest.com or call us on: 0203 3726 499

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Liverpool flagged as UK’s top buy to let hotspot 2> By | News | No Comments

Liverpool flagged as UK's top buy-to-let hotspot

By Surrenden Invest | January 31, 2018
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Liverpool flagged as UK’s top buy to let hotspot, as new development brings world-class living standards to the North West.

New data from Private Finance has revealed that Liverpool (along with Nottingham) is the best city in the UK for buy to let property yields. Already a favourite with property investors thanks to its rising prices and extensive regeneration work, the North Western city has now been flagged as enjoying average net rental yields of 6.2%
The Private Finance report highlights the importance of choosing investments carefully in order to overcome recent changes to the tax structure for buy to let landlords. As such, all eyes will be on Liverpool’s property market during 2018, as investors seek to maximise their returns in the UK’s most profitable city.
The potential for capital gains in Liverpool also looks promising for 2018, based on the city’s performance over the past year. House prices have risen by 5.51% according to Zoopla data, while over the last five years they have increased by 28.34%.
Driving part of this growth is the extensive regeneration work being undertaken, with developments like Ten Streets and the Jennifer Project creating popular new districts for those looking to rent and buy in Liverpool.
Thrown into the heart of this hotbed of economic opportunity is a stunning new development known as The Tannery. Taking its name – and the inspiration for its creative exterior – from the former Tannery on the site of which it is being built, the development will provide 106 studio apartments, 136 one-bedroom apartments and 139 two-bedroom apartments, all designed to offer world-class living facilities and raise the bar for Liverpool’s rental accommodation.
Set in the premium L3 postcode area, just to the north of the city centre, The Tannery will be home not only to bright, spacious apartments, but also a high-end gym, a communal courtyard and roof garden for socialising and entertaining and secure underground parking with lift access. Just a mile from Liverpool ONE, the apartments provide superb access to the city’s amenities, as well as offering modern homes as part of a thermally efficient development.
These iconic residences offer a quality of living that is synonymous with the world’s greatest capital cities, heralding a new era for Liverpool’s property market. The Tannery has been designed to allow investors to maximize their returns by investing in the most exciting new development in the UK’s most profitable city. Demand is expected to be spectacular.

For further details email us at: info@surrendeninvest.com or call us on: 0203 3726 499

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Buy-to-let expert shares 5 predictions for UK property in 2018 2> By | News | No Comments

Buy-to-let expert shares 5 predictions for UK property in 2018

By Surrenden Invest | January 3, 2018
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With 2018 now upon us, anyone thinking about investing in bricks and mortar wants to know what’s going to happen over the next 12 months. Will prices continue to edge up, stabilise or dip down? Where is best to invest? Does buy-to-let still stack up? Jonathan Stephens, Founder and MD of expert property investment agency, Surrenden Invest, which has helped 700 clients invest in UK bricks and mortar over the past 2 years, shares his 5 predictions for the UK property market in 2018.

1. Manchester will remain robust

Manchester will remain robust with city centre fringe redevelopment schemes offering the best opportunities. Manchester is tipped for rapid growth over the years ahead. Its population is projected to expand by 20% by 2025, reaching 625,000 residents, according to city analysts. Such a rapid turnaround in population size is never easy for city planners to address and Manchester is estimated to be around 40,000 homes behind the number it needs, with demand continuing to put pressure on supply. Pressure on city centre land remains incredibly high thus it is to the outer fringes of the city that tenants are moving to, taking advantage of more affordable housing. With property prices significantly less than city centre sites, this is where buy-to-let investors need to be looking when it comes to Manchester.

2. Birmingham will continue to be one of the strongest buy-to-let markets in the country

Birmingham will continue to be one of the strongest buy-to-let markets in the country. Often overlooked, the UK’s second city (by population), Birmingham, has a great deal to tempt buy-to-let investors in 2018. Birmingham’s youthful population and the huge number of graduates that the city produces every year has created an excellent environment for entrepreneurship. One part of the city in particular, Digbeth, has become a hotspot for new businesses and cultural activities, attracting large number of young professional residents. We will see Digbeth, just 10 minutes from New Street Station booming with gentrification this year and so now is the time to buy before prices soar.

3. Liverpool will continue to offer low price points and strong growth potential

Liverpool will continue to offer low price points and strong growth potential. 10 years on from being announced as the European Capital of Culture, the city has gone from strength to strength. Liverpool has a thriving, service-based economy, which was worth £29.5 billion in 2015 and the city is leading the UK’s Northern Powerhouse region in terms of its overall GVA growth and its growth of GVA per capita. Economic output will continue to improve with the likes of Cunard Shipping bringing a large share of their operation back to where it all began in 2018. A growing population and plenty of blossoming talent, backed by strong economic credentials and a buoyant housing market make for an ideal environment for opportunity, boosting Liverpool up the list of cities to watch most closely in the UK over the coming year.

4. London will remain slow

London will remain slow with some prominent city centre locations seeing prices drop. Anyone who lives in London, or indeed reads the papers, will know that the capital slowed in 2017 and whilst the long-term outlook for one of the world’s top real estate markets remains optimistic, the impact of slowing prices will be felt especially if we see further interest rate increases. However undervalued pockets will continue to offer irresistible opportunities especially locations set to benefit from Crossrail due to open later this year.

5. Newcastle will be the dark horse of 2018

Newcastle will be the dark horse of 2018. Newcastle and its twin city, Gateshead, has been quietly waiting in the wings, growing in population and economically, over the last couple of years. 2018 will be the north-east city’s time to shine as a higher than average economic activity rate, rising property prices and significant local investment mean that Newcastle is becoming something of a favourite with businesses and investors alike. Surrenden Invest has taken up options on several sites and predict big things for buy-to-let investors in this hidden gem.

For further details email us at: info@surrendeninvest.com or call us on: 0203 3726 499

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The role of mortgages in the UK buy to let sector 2> By | News | No Comments

The role of mortgages in the UK buy to let sector

By Surrenden Invest | December 1, 2017
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The UK buy to let mortgage market has changed significantly in recent years. As such, the Surrenden Invest team has consulted with mortgage expert Anthony Rose of LDNfinance for an up-to-date view of where the market is at, from interest rates to typical terms.

Given the changes to the UK mortgage market in recent years, is it still possible to get a buy to let mortgage?

The buy to let market has undoubtedly changed in recent years but it has been boosted by a large number of specialist lenders entering the market and existing lenders improving their offering. We have seen a sizeable shift towards clients purchasing using a Limited Company structure rather than in a personal name and mortgage lenders have been quick to respond to this with new offerings.

Who are the major providers offering B2L mortgages today?

Where buy to let finance has become very specialist, there is a greater spread of lenders than there used to be. However, the main lenders, by market share, will be BM Solutions, TMW, Barclays, NatWest and Santander.

What interest rates are they offering?

Buy to let rates are as competitive as they have ever been. Clients with large deposits can potentially access interest rates starting at 1.5%. In more specialist situations, such as non-standard properties or non-UK residents, rates can go up to around 6%.

What do the typical terms range from/to?

Most buy to let buyers historically preferred two-year terms due to the flexibility these offer. However, many lenders are now offering higher loan sizes if a five-year option is taken and this is proving very popular with clients as they can reduce the level of deposit they need to put down on the property purchase, which can either free up funds or may mean they can purchase more than one buy to let at a time.

What is the typical deposit required to be put down from the buyer?

For the right buyer and right property there are options with a 20% deposit, but most mainstream lenders require a 25% deposit. A lot of clients are opting to put down a higher deposit, of up to 40%, to secure more favourable terms.

Can you talk us through the new lending criteria that have been introduced and what they mean for investors looking to secure a mortgage?

Changes to buy to let taxation have meant lenders now use more stringent calculations to determine how much they will lend versus a given rent. For many clients, this means they will need to increase their deposit. However, with an increase in competition, especially from specialist providers, an experienced broker should be able to offer the right solution.

What other eligibility criteria do buyers need to meet?

Generally, buy to let lenders prefer people to have a personal income outside of rent received, as well as being the owner of their own main residence. Despite that, there are options available for first time buyers, non-UK nationals and most other situations with the correctly chosen lender.

What should potential investors budget in terms of fees/charges when taking a mortgage?

Fees can differ greatly depending on the lender and type of mortgage product chosen. A mortgage adviser should always consider all fees when recommending a product. The main consideration for property investors when considering fees in the current climate is the increased Stamp Duty levy for additional properties.

What impact has the first base rate rise in a decade had on the market?

As buy to let rates are so competitive, there has been no noticeable difference in the products on offer. In some cases, property investors have brought forward their plans to purchase another buy to let as they believe the market is strengthening.

Why do you feel that obtaining a mortgage to invest in UK buy to let remains a good choice?

With mortgage rates still near historical lows, the cost of funding a buy to let with a mortgage, compared to buying it fully with cash, is the preferred option for most investors.

What would be your top tip for any investor looking to secure a buy to let mortgage?

The most important thing is to engage with an experienced broker as early in the process as possible to secure the right funding. The recent criteria and taxation changes have meant buyers need to explore all options before making their offer.

For further details email us at: info@surrendeninvest.com or call us on: 0203 3726 499

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Investors move in on Trafford as new Kinetic development launches in Manchester 2> By | News | No Comments

Investors move in on Trafford as new Kinetic development launches in Manchester

By Surrenden Invest | November 7, 2017
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The launch of the exciting new Kinetic development in Manchester’s Old Trafford area is drawing attention from investors around the world. Recognised across the globe as the home of one of England’s most respected football clubs, Old Trafford has a strong sporting heritage. However, there’s much more to the area than its athletic credentials alone.

This bustling part of Manchester is home to a highly educated urban population that is looking to get the best out of life in the city. 48% of adult residents in the area hold a degree or equivalent qualification (compared with 33% across the North West on average) and it is home to 13,000 businesses. Entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well, and is backed up by a fantastically modern infrastructure, with 99.9% superfast broadband coverage.
The new Kinetic development is no exception, providing residents with hyperoptic fibre for superfast connectivity. The 48 one and two-bedroom apartments exude contemporary urban style. They have been developed with professional tenants in mind, as well as providing a convenient accommodation option for the 6,500-strong student campus being opened just a stone’s throw from Kinetic in 2019.
The area is well connected, offering access to Manchester city centre, Media City, the University Quarter and White City Retail Park. Old Trafford Tram and Trafford Bar Tram are less than 10 minutes’ walk away, while Piccadilly Station can be reached by car in 12 minutes. Manchester Airport is a 14-minute drive.
In terms of the wider city, pwc’s just-published Emerging Trends in Real Estate Europe 2018 report has highlighted Manchester as the UK’s top city investment prospect. The recognition is great news for investors looking at being a part of the city’s future. Many are particularly interested in the Trafford area as a result of its mixed offering of residential, commercial and leisure opportunities.
In addition, the latest figures from Zoopla show that the M16 postcode area, in which Kinetic is based, is ahead of the rest of the city in terms of its rising property values. Over the past five years, properties in the M16 area have increased in value by 31.56%, pushing ahead of the city-wide average of 30.64%.
With well-established investment credentials, Manchester has long been a favourite with both domestic and international property investors. Now, Kinetic has become the latest exciting development to provide investors with the chance to be part of the city’s bright future.

For further details email us at: info@surrendeninvest.com or call us on: 0203 3726 499

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5 reasons why investors can’t let it be when it comes to Liverpool 2> By | News | No Comments

5 reasons why investors can’t let it be when it comes to Liverpool

By Surrenden Invest | October 13, 2017
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Liverpool is one of the UK’s most enticing cities from a cultural, architectural and historical perspective. It’s also drawing in investors from around the world thanks to its dynamic business and property sectors. The rush to invest in Liverpool doesn’t look ready to abate any time soon. Here are five reasons why.

1. Extensive regeneration

Liverpool’s skyline has been awash with cranes for years as the city pours money into developing ever bigger and better attractions. These range from stunning new tourist attractions to ultra-contemporary commercial and residential offerings.
One of the most exciting current projects is the Ten Streets regeneration, which is part of a 15-20 year strategic overhaul focusing on building a new ‘creativity district’ that will bring with it lasting, long-term benefits to the city as a whole. One thing Liverpool certainly doesn’t shy away from is long-term plans!

2. Tourism potential

Liverpool’s tourism sector is worth some £3.8 billion. The city is one of the most visited places in the UK, attracting in excess of 54 million visitors each year. Just under 50,000 jobs in the city are supported by the tourism industry.
Liverpool’s tourist attractions are extremely wide-ranging. The Beatles Story and Cavern Club are must-visits for music fans, while the bustling Albert Dock leisure complex and UNESCO World Heritage waterfront also attract hordes of visitors. All this is backed by a dozen Michelin starred restaurants and enough other excellent dining options to satisfy even the most demanding gourmand.

3. Housing undersupply

From April 2009 to March 2016, Liverpool built homes at an average rate of 713 per year. This was against a Home Builders Federation estimate that the city needs to build 3,000 homes per year to keep up with demand. This mismatch between supply and demand has made for an interesting investment scenario.
Demand for housing is growing, with Liverpool’s population rising from 435,500 in 2001 to 466,400 in 2011, according to Census data – an increase of 5.5% in a single decade. This has pushed up both housing prices and rents in the city, as well as the wider region. Rents rose by 4.4% across the North West in 2016. Longer-term, it is property price rises that impress – home values rose by 22.7% over the past five years, with apartments rising at the even faster rate of 25.2%.

4. Youthful population

Liverpool is attracting a range of young talent, with professionals drawn to the city thanks to its economic potential. Those aged 22-29 in the city centre increased fourfold in the ten years to 2011. This has served to create a dynamic, enthusiastic workforce that is well positioned to provide Liverpool with a bright economic future.
Businesses are working to ensure that they harness the power of this youthful population. Santander’s first business incubator was set up in Liverpool. The city was also the location of Launch22’s first incubator outside of London. When it comes to future-proofing its business environment and economy, Liverpool is light years ahead of many UK cities.

5. Economic strength

Liverpool isn’t just a promising location for UK businesses and investors – it’s one of the most appealing cities in the UK for multinational companies. Its mix of business sectors and income streams has allowed the city to build up strong economic credentials. Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Interim Chair, Asif Hamid, sums it up well:
“Liverpool City Region has recorded a strong economic performance over recent years and these figures clearly underline the progress being made to deliver sustainable economic growth across the city region. This is an attractive location for businesses to invest and they are doing so in significant numbers.”
Liverpool was ranked joint second in the top ten mid-sized European cities of the future 2016/17 by Financial Times company fDi Magazine. Its connectivity and business friendliness were noted as being among the city’s best credentials.

New beginnings

The Surrenden Invest team has been working in the Liverpool area for years and has been impressed by the city’s potential. So much so, in fact, that we’ve just opened our newest office there. The move is reflective of the long-term potential that we see in Liverpool for our investors to grow their portfolios and take advantage of the regeneration and gentrification that is taking place across the city. It’s a city that’s bursting with opportunity.

For further details email us at: info@surrendeninvest.com or call us on: 0203 3726 499

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Brentwood – the ideal suburban investment prospect 2> By | News | No Comments

Brentwood – the ideal suburban investment prospect

By Surrenden Invest | August 12, 2017
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Brentwood in Essex lies close to the M25, some 20 miles east-north-east of London’s Charing Cross. The thriving town saw a 10% jump in population between the 2001 and 2011 censuses, taking its total number of residents up to 52,586.

Brentwood presents a uniquely appealing opportunity for property investors. The town is a success in its own right. It also offers an ideal location for those looking to work in London but live further out, thanks to the newly operating Crossrail service between Brentwood and a range of central London stations.
In a nod to its rural past, Brentwood still has plenty of green spaces and parkland, as well as a good selection of schools and local amenities. It has all the attractions needed for contemporary family life. Plentiful local employment opportunities have resulted in the town enjoying an unemployment rate that is much lower than the national average – 1.9% compared to the UK average of 4.5%.
Brentwood’s economic success means that is has no areas that are considered deprived. The town also enjoys a crime rate that is lower than the average, along with a higher than average rate of adult wellbeing. Essex Insight also reports that Brentwood has the highest proportion of jobs to population of anywhere in the county.
Already an attractive place to live in its own right, Brentwood also benefits from the newly launched Elizabeth line trains that are reducing journey times into central London as part of the £14.8 billion Crossrail infrastructure project. By cutting rail travel times into the capital significantly from June 2017, Crossrail has suddenly opened Brentwood up to a vast swathe of renters who previously viewed the town as just a little too far outside of London.
The initial announcement of Crossrail led to an influx of house buyers in Brentwood. It’s opening is now doing the same for renters, making the town an exciting prospect for buy-to-let property investors. Prices in Brentwood have risen by 31.5% in the past five years, in reflection of the town’s potential. The average apartment there sells for £287,677 according to Zoopla data from August 2017, while the average asking rent is £1,197 per month.
When it comes to Brentwood, everything stacks up. The town offers a safe, family-orientated place to live with decent education and employment options, all within easy reach of the plentiful employment opportunities of central London. It’s growing population is putting pressure on housing, making it the ideal suburban location in which to invest in residential property.

For further details email us at: info@surrendeninvest.com or call us on: 0203 3726 499

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Foreign Exchange property investment

Don’t underestimate the importance of foreign exchange when buying property abroad 2> By | News | No Comments

Don’t underestimate the importance of foreign exchange when buying property abroad

By Surrenden Invest | July 27, 2017
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Foreign exchange rates play an important role in many people’s decision to buy a property abroad. Not only do buyers need to keep an eye on currency fluctuations in order the accurately gauge the cost of their property, but they also need to think about the method that they are going to use to make the deposit and the balance payments.

A proactive approach to foreign exchange is always best – don’t leave it until the last minute and then have to make a rushed decision! When it comes to currency fluctuations, try to think ahead. Are there any political events on the horizon that could cause your currency to strengthen or weaken significantly? Are you poised to take advantage of such events? Do they pose a particular risk? Thinking these things through can help you to plan the timing of your purchase in order to benefit from fluctuations in the value of your currency.
Planning ahead for the way you convert your currency is equally important. Many of those who haven’t previously transferred large sums of money overseas choose to use their bank, as the ‘easy’ option. However, this can be a costly approach depending on your bank’s charges and the exchange rate that it provides.
Using a foreign exchange company can provide you with significant savings. Here at Surrenden Invest we recommend our trusted partner, Monex Europe. Monex Europe is able to use its purchasing power to achieve competitive foreign exchange pricing from more than 30 counterparties. That means we know our clients can benefit from getting a good deal. Typically, clients using Monex Europe instead of their banks to convert their currency make an average saving of 2.5%.
Another of Monex Europe’s features that our clients seem to particularly appreciate are its domestic and international economic reports. The company undertakes forecasting and analysis in order to capitalise on currency movements throughout the day. Buying at the right time is crucial when it comes to getting the best rate. Many of our clients find that the detailed analysis they receive from Monex Europe helps them to make better decisions about when to purchase their desired currency.
As we are always keen to ensure our clients get a great deal, we also love that Monex Europe’s service is free to use – a great bonus when you consider that the company is consistently ranked as a top 10 global currency forecaster by Bloomberg.
Foreign exchange can seem daunting at first, due to the potential costliness of making the wrong decision. If you’ve not purchased property abroad before, or you’ve done so but only relied on your bank for currency exchange, it’s definitely worth speaking to an FX expert before you make any hasty decisions.

For further details email us at: info@surrendeninvest.com or call us on: 0203 3726 499

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Crossrail sees Woolwich come out on top 2> By | News | No Comments

Crossrail sees Woolwich come out on top

By Surrenden Invest | July 26, 2017
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London’s Crossrail areas have long been excited about the new service’s potential to drive up house prices by providing enhance transport connections. Between Crossrail’s announcement and 2015, areas near Crossrail stations enjoyed a 31% uplift in house prices. Now, Woolwich has been identified as the area to come out on top as a result of Crossrail.

Nestled in the Royal Borough of Greenwich in south-east London, Woolwich has enjoyed significant investment in the form of urban renewal projects in recent years, having been identified in the London Plan as one of the capital’s opportunity areas. It is on track to progress from being one of Greater London’s ‘major centres’ to a ‘metropolitan centre’ over the coming decades, with Crossrail playing a significant role in that development.
According to JLL, Woolwich can look forward to house price growth of 39% between 2016 and 2020. That positions it at the very top of JLL’s list of House Price Growth Winners. In the year to August 2016 alone, average asking prices in Woolwich increased by 18%. With Woolwich Crossrail station due to open in December 2018 and urban regeneration continuing apace, prices are expected to continue rising steadily over the coming months and years.
Even aside from Crossrail, demand for homes is rising steeply across the UK and thus impacting on property prices. According to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) population data, the UK’s population is larger than it has ever been, at 65.6 million. The ONS projects that that figure will rise to more than 74 million by 2039, with an extra 8.4 million people creating unprecedented levels of demand for housing. And where demand goes up, prices follow!
With urban regeneration a key priority for the area and work underway to prepare Woolwich for Crossrail’s arrival late next year, the area is also attracting significant interest from property investors keen to take advantage of its potential for capital growth and solid rental yields. As Woolwich’s fortunes continue to rise, this trend is expected to continue.

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New Build Terminology: A Guide 2> By | News | No Comments

New Build Terminology: A Guide

By Surrenden Invest | June 26, 2017
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New builds are an increasingly attractive option for those who are looking to relocate or invest in their first property. To help you prepare for this important purchase, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the terminology that you’re likely to come across when buying a new build home.

General Terms

Vendor

Often used as a more formal alternative to ‘seller’ to describe the individual who has put the property up for sale.

Contract

A legal document that will set out the main terms of agreement between the vendor and the purchaser. It will typically contain details such as the names and addresses of each party, and the price of the transaction. Both the vendor and the purchaser will be required to sign their own copy of the contract ready for exchange.

Off-plan

This refers to a new build property that has not been built yet.

IFA

An abbreviation used to describe an Independent Financial Advisor.

Ombudsman

This refers to an independent professional body (or bodies) who are tasked with investigating grievances on behalf of customers. They may take on cases involving estate agents, solicitors or insurance companies.

The Process

Reservation Fee

This is a payment that is made at the point that the property is taken off the market. It will then be deducted from the exchange balance.

Deposit

This is the part of the purchase price – the lump sum – that is paid by the buyer on exchange of contracts.

Memorandum of Sale/Sales Letters

Sometimes referred to as a Notification of Sale, this is a document which records the transaction between the buyer and the vendor. It will contain information on the price of the property, the personal details of both parties, and contact details for their separate lawyers. It may also specify any special conditions of sale which have been negotiated – for example, some buyers or vendors may request that they are ready to exchange by a certain date). The Memorandum of Sale is not a legally-binding agreement.

Searches

This refers to the process whereby checks will be carried out on local council records to obtain information on any relevant planning applications and restrictions that may affect the property.

Subject to Contract

This term is often used to suggest that the property is in the process of being sold, but agreements are not yet legally binding.

Exchange of Contracts

This refers to the point at which copies of signed contracts from both parties are swapped by solicitors. The buyer’s deposit will also be handed over. Once the vendor and the buyer have exchanged, the contract is binding by law and neither of these individuals can back out of the agreement without facing financial consequences.

Completion Date

On this day, the legal transaction will be finalised and all documents and funds will have been distributed. Normally, the vendor’s solicitor will ask the estate agent to release the keys to the buyer at this time, too. In the case of new builds, ‘short stop’ and ‘long stop’ dates may also be specified; the developer will expect to have finished all building works by the short stop date, but MUST have completed the build by the long stop date.

Requisition on Title

This refers to any enquiry that relates to the completion agreements.

The Property

Land Registry

This refers to the government department which records ownership of the land and any conditions pertaining to it.

Survey

This is an initial inspection of the property that is carried out by a professional, qualified surveyor. Depending on the type and condition of the property, the buyer may instruct the surveyor to carry out either:
  • A valuation report – this is mainly completed for the benefit of the mortgage company.
  • A Homebuyers’ report – this provides the buyer with important information on the overall condition of the property.
  • A full structural survey – this is a more in-depth report that examines structural detail and provides more comprehensive recommendations.

Property Information Form/Fixtures, Fittings and Contents Form

Both forms need to be completed by the seller to determine what will be left behind in the property at the point of sale. They will also include details on guarantees.

Seller’s Pack

This is typically made up of a Property Information Form and a Fixtures, Fittings and Contents Form, along with the title deeds and a copy of the draft contract.

Snagging

This involves the developer touching up paintwork, adjusting appliances and making good any other minor issues within the property prior to the buyer entering the property.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

This important document will contain comprehensive information on energy use and performance at the property, along with its estimated carbon dioxide emissions and fuel costs.

Mortgages

Mortgage Offer

A formal written offer made by a bank or building society to lend an approved amount to purchase a property.

Mortgage Redemption Figure

The amount required to repay the outstanding capital/interest of a mortgage.

Repayment Mortgage

Your monthly repayment includes part interest and part capital repayment. So long as you meet all of the payments required by the lender on time, your mortgage will gradually reduce until it is repaid in full.

Ownership and Charges

Title Deeds

Legal documents that prove ownership of land/buildings and the terms on which they are owned.

Transfer of Title

This is the document that effectively passes ownership of the property from the vendor to the buyer.

Stamp Duty or LBTT (Scotland)

This tax, which is paid by the buyer, is calculated by analysing the percentage rate that is applicable to each portion of the property’s sale price.

Leasehold

This will grant the buyer with ownership of the property itself, but not the land it is built on. If a property is leasehold, the owner will normally need to pay ground rent to whoever owns the freehold. Please note that leasehold terms are offered on terms of between 125-999 years.

Ground Rent

The annual fee which the leaseholder will pay to the freeholder.

Maintenance/Service Charge

A charge paid towards a freehold or leasehold property. It normally applies to apartments/flats.

Estate Charge

This is a charge which is made the upkeep of the overall site.

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