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UK Property News – March 2018 Summary

UK Property News – March 2018 Summary

The month of March has been a fairly quiet one compared to the recent norm of the UK’s volatile yet buoyant property market. While the UK property market and it’s investors have continued to remain resilient to the ongoing government changes and the hurdles that property investors now have to overcome, it isn’t perfect.

Last month was neither an amazing nor detrimental one, in fact, the market has remained stagnant and some property experts are seeing a flatline rather than a dramatic disadvantage, which isn’t too bad considering the enormous changes taking place on a national scale.

This month’s news roundup includes Theresa’s speech on ‘restoring dream’ for home-owners, London’s ropey property prices, Savills’ plot to expand overseas, and the world of property opening up to digital currency payments.

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Prime Minister, Theresa May Warns Developers In Attempt To Restore The Property Dream

The Prime Minister’s challenging speech, reported by the Independent, where she stated her convictions on the current state of the UK property market, demanded that property developers should “do their duty to Britain” by building homes quicker in order to “step up” to the demand for new and affordable housing.

May’s bid to keep the “home-ownership dream” alive means that she will criticise and penalise those developers who don’t build homes fast enough or profit from building expensive homes instead of the quantities that the country needs. The aim of this speech is to make it easier for people to get on the housing ladder.

Consequently, the Government is also moving onto a tougher approach on a council-by-council basis, setting targets for each local council to plan around depending on how many homes are needed in that area.

Hopefully, May’s attempt to amplify a domestic policy agenda that goes beyond Brexit will make a positive change to the already scarce supply of homes that is substantial enough to rid the shortage.

Sterling Woodrow agrees that our county’s property market is in need of urgent attention and there should be a plan of action in place with local government’s support, reinforcement, and care. We love providing lucrative investment opportunities and it is our mission to offer the most profitable and secure investments by taking into account the state of the market and the speed at which it moves.

As Brexit Deepens, The Divide Between London And The North Narrows

It looks like the divide is continuing to get smaller in terms of property between the capital and the North of England. Only this time, it isn’t just because the North has received significant funding for rejuvenation, its because London’s house prices are falling. The price of London housing has always fluctuated, although it has dipped in some parts of London as much as 15% over the last 12 months, says the Guardian.

Figures from a study by Your Move, on of the UK’s largest state agencies found that house prices in parts of London fell dramatically from March 2017 to March 2018 than any other years in that time frame. This has been put down to the impact of the EU referendum.

The highest price drop was in Wandsworth, once one of the epicentres of the UK property boom, at £100,000 in value (15%) over the last year. In January 2017, homes in the Borough of Wandsworth which includes Clapham, Putney and Balham cost an average of £805,000 and has fallen to around £685,000.

Other boroughs also experienced a large drop like Southwark from £666,000 to £585,000 and Islington from £750,000 to £684,000 in 12 months.

Although this is not great news for investors who are now looking to sell their properties for the maximum profit, there is hope for new investors who want to get in on the London property market, as the prices in certain areas are as low as ever. This price drop could make it feasible for people with enough capital to invest in a property in London without breaking the bank.

Many investors are already moving towards the North because of the lower property prices, and higher yields. So, the market isn’t dead for UK property investing. At Sterling Woodrow, we have always been pioneers of stepping outside the box for property investing. That is why we stick to investments in the North, so our clients get the highest yields.

Estate Agents, Savills, Has More Plans For International Expansion

Savills, an international London-based estate agent, has made plans for further overseas expansion to grow their profits from last year in an attempt to evade concerns in the UK property market. An article by the Telegraph reported that the global real estate company has already established and grown their operations in the Czech Republic and the Netherlands but wants to expand to other countries in Europe where the property market seems to be more fruitful than the current state of the UK.

In 2017, Savills experienced a year of strong growth in property markets both in the UK and in Asia (including Japan, Australia, China and Hong Kong), which boosted their pre-tax profits from just under £100 million to just over £112 million.

The CEO of Savills, Jeremy Helsby stated that ‘Savills would be looking at opportunities in new markets including South America, the Middle East and India’.

We don’t want anyone to miss out on an opportunity to double their savings, which is why we offer our investments to investors from all around the world. This allows overseas clients to enjoy UK rental returns if opportunities in their local property market have run dry. We also offer overseas property investments to those in the UK, or even overseas, who feel that they can get higher returns abroad. View our Hotel Investment page here.

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The Property Market Hops On The Cryptocurrency Bandwagon

Digital currency has become more mainstream since the first peer-to-peer blockchain transaction system, Bitcoin, came to existence in 2009. Since bitcoin, there have been hundreds of other cryptocurrencies to surface the internet, many of which are being bought and sold due to their highly volatile nature. For example, in 2009, a single bitcoin cost around $0.01 (£0.007) and as of the time this article was written, it now costs £4,812 for 1 bitcoin in April 2018!

The real estate industry is certainly not going to miss out on this digital alternative to payment, and some property companies have already, in fact, begun plans to integrate cryptocurrency – more specifically bitcoin – into their preferred methods of payment.

An article on Open Access Government stated that on “September 1st, 2017, the currency reached its maximum value in history, with one Bitcoin equating to £3681.07”, suggesting that there are more benefits to carrying out transactions n bitcoin than traditional cash, as there is the chance that the value could increase substantially, naturally.

Baroness Michelle Mone of Mayfair and Doug Barrowman, two of the UK’s well-known business people, announced their plans to accept cryptocurrency for their properties in Dubai. The pair’s Dubai business venture includes a residential scheme worth £250m in which the flats can be purchased using cash or with bitcoins. Additionally, The Collective, a co-living group is also on board, accepting payments from tenants in cryptocurrency.

There are other benefits to digital currency that includes the fact that it is secure, the transactions are final and irreversible and digital currency is decentralised from any government banks. OAG added, “The currency is becoming more mainstream in society and people feel comfortable choosing to pay with it.”

Our team also see the major potential of cryptocurrency and the blockchain method of payment in that it is a peer-controlled system with transactions can never be a victim of fraud due to the complicated blockchain technology that is used to carry out payments. We believe it will be the future of assets.

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March was nonetheless and eventful month for the industry, and we predict the next month will be just as exciting. Check back on our blog for the April edition of Sterling Woodrow’s property news roundup. Click here to read January/February's news roundup.

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