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Your Move Property Blog

Thoughts, Opinions & Analysis of the UK Property Market

Showcasing your Property - Three Ways to Attract Buyers

December 4, 2014 08:13 by YOUR MOVE


When selling a property, homeowners can often find it tricky to identify the qualities which make buyers sit up and take notice. So, as well as preparing for the selling process itself, it is a good idea to do a little research and figure out exactly what your target market is looking for and, more importantly, what low-cost changes can be made to your property which could lift both interest and the asking price.

The UK government is currently in the process of implementing a policy which, should targets be met successfully, will see potentially hundreds of thousands of new homes built in the country during the next few years. Although this is intended to target the issue of housing shortages in the UK, it also has the adverse effect of introducing a higher level of competition in the housing market – in other words, those looking to sell will have to compete for interested buyers with large scale developers offering attractive financial incentives on new builds. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to build an attractive profile for your property, including:

Element-proofing the Property – At the beginning of 2014, the widespread media coverage of the flooding affecting widespread areas in the south of England caused many homeowners to assess the numerous dangers posed by the elements to their properties. If you, when selling your home, can highlight various ways in which you have protected your home from the risk of flood damage, this will certainly make your property attractive to would-be buyers, especially if your home lies near a body of water or within an area where flooding is a risk. Installing non-returnable valves throughout the property, for example, is a good way of ensuring that rising water is blocked from backing up the pipes – although this can be costly, it is a strong selling point especially in an older home. A cheaper, but still effective, way to do this is by clearing drains and gutters and purchasing temporary airbrick and vent covers which, should flooding occur, can be installed quickly to minimalize any potential damage.

Researching the Local Area

Part of identifying your target market is by stepping back and thinking about what selling points can be used to draw in specific buyers. If you own a larger home but wish to downsize, for example, researching local schools and discovering which ones receive good Ofsted reports is an excellent way of piquing the interest of young families. Another good way to attract an active family is by having a good knowledge of local cheap or free outdoor attractions, such as national parks or World Heritage sites. Finally, if you choose to host an open house, inviting neighbours or prominent members of the community to meet potential buyers is an excellent way of promoting the local area and allowing interests to be discussed – as long as you and your neighbours have a good relationship, of course! Remember that any issues or disputes with neighbours legally have to be declared in the Seller’s Property Information Form, so presenting a good relationship with the neighbours of surrounding properties can be a great way to sell your home fast.

Presentation, presentation, presentation!

Contrary to popular belief, it is not location but presentation which can be the ultimate selling point for your property. Proximity to local amenities is of course an ideal for some, but this means nothing if a prospective buyer cannot see themselves or their possessions fitting comfortably into your property. According to a study published by the BMO Financial Group in 2013, 80 per cent of prospective buyers know whether a home is “right for them” as soon as they step through the front door. Therefore, first impressions truly do count! A huge part of making a good first impression is by presenting your property as both spacious and comfortable – and the best way to do this is by ensuring your colour scheme is positive. This may seem strange, but numerous studies have found the impact colour can have upon mood; ideally, buyers should be in a positive mood when viewing your property, so a neutral colour scheme brightened up by flowers, bright paintings or throws can create an aura conducive to strong selling. Just don’t clutter your property or assault the senses with a colour overload and this technique should work like a dream!

Guest post by Anne Foy

Stamp Duty is changing

December 3, 2014 17:41 by YOUR MOVE


When you buy a property you have to pay stamp duty. From 4th December 2014 the amount of stamp duty paid on property has changed. It means that stamp duty will be cheaper for 98% of people who pay it. 

Under the old rules, buyers paid tax at a single rate on the entire property price. Now you will only pay the rate of tax on the part of the property price within each tax band – like income tax.

To help you understand the changes more clearly, here are a few examples using properties for sale with Your Move:


Previously, there was no stamp duty charged on properties under £125,000. This remains unchanged.


2 bed semi-detached
Tryst Road, Stenhousemuir, Larbert, FK5
Offers over £119,950

Old stamp duty: NOTHING
New stamp duty: NOTHING


PROPERTIES BETWEEN £125,001 & £250,000

Previously, buyers would pay stamp duty at 1% of the whole property price. Under the new rules, buyers don’t pay stamp duty on the first £125,000. Instead they pay 2% on the remainder of the property price.


3 bed detached house
St Cuthbert’s Close, Prudhoe, NE42  £199,950

Old stamp duty: £1999.50
New stamp duty: £1499   Saving: £500.50


PROPERTIES BETWEEN £250,001 & £925,000

Previously, when buyers bought a home between £250,001 & £500,000 they would pay stamp duty at 3% of the whole property price. Under the new rules, buyers don’t pay stamp duty on the first £125,000; they pay 2% on the portion of the price between £125,001 and £250,000; then they pay 5% on the portion of the price over £250,001.


3 bed detached house
West Shaw, Oxenhope, Keighley, BD22  £275,000

Old stamp duty: £8,250
New stamp duty: £3,750  Saving: £4,500


Previously, when buyers bought a home between £500,001 and £1million they would pay stamp duty at 4% of the whole property price. Under the new rules, buyers don’t pay stamp duty on the first £125,000; they pay 2% on the portion of the price between £125,001 and £250,000; then they pay 5% on the portion of the price over £250,001.


3 bed terraced house

Broxholm Road, London, SE27   £519,950

Old stamp duty: £20,798
New stamp duty: £15,997  Saving: £4,801



For properties over £937,500 Stamp Duty is unchanged, or will have increased.

Buying just got cheaper!

If the money you could now save on Stamp Duty is making you want to buy, be sure to register for property updates with Your Move.


Guide for First Time Movers

December 3, 2014 08:04 by Admin

Moving to a new house should be an art due to the sheer number of things to consider. This includes the monthly utility services, bulky furniture, vital personal belongings and items to use on the first night. Once you have transferred to your new home, there are also other things to do in order to make a smooth transition, adding to the load.

This guide should ease the strain and help you with what to consider before and after the move:

1 - 2 months before the move

·         Secure your records – Make sure you have your family’s medical, school and other important records are ready within this time.  

·         Sell or donate some of your furniture – Large furniture is often the culprit of a stressful move. They take too much time and energy for removal firm to transfer to your new home and doing it yourself can be dangerous. This can result in higher costs of moving fees. Instead, take this opportunity to let go of your furniture. Donate them to friends or relatives who might need them. You can also sell them and use the money to buy new furniture for your new home.

·         Tour the new neighbourhood – Find the time to tour you’re the neighbourhood of your new home with your family. Check out the shopping centres, your children’s school, your workplace in the area and other points of interest near your new home. The tour can help your family cope with the move as they may have a significant attachment to their old home.

·         Look for a good removal firm – Start your search for a good house removals company at least a month or two before the move. Looking for a removalist ensures you are able to book one with the better prices and the required qualifications in advance of the move date. 

2 – 3 weeks before the move

·         Limit your groceries – Your groceries should be enough for the last few weeks of your family’s stay in your old home. Limiting your supplies should help you reduce the amount of items to transfer to your new house.

·         Consume fuel and gas – Almost every removalist cannot transport combustible or flammable items. Make sure to use any fuel or gas you have during this time. You can also give them away to people who may need them.

·         Notify the post office - Make sure to notify your local post office of your new address by filling in a change-of-address form.

·         Cancel or transfer all your subscriptions – Make sure to stop any local subscriptions you have signed up to at this time. This usually includes newspapers, magazines or food delivery services. You can resume these service in your new home from other companies available in the area.

·         Transfer your utility services – Call all of your utility services to see if they are able to transfer them to your new address. These includes gas, electric and water utility services.

·         Return any borrowed items – If you borrowed anything from a rental store or library, be sure to return it at least a week before the move. You can also check with them if you have any movies or books you might have yet to return and have forgotten about.

·         Pack all unessential belongings – While there is a lot of time before the moving day, pack any belongings which you do not often use in a normal day. Good examples of this are decorative items such as vases, paintings or busts.

1 week before the move

·         Ready a “first night” box – It is recommended to have a box filled with essential items for the family’s first night in your new home. This usually includes toiletry supply, blankets, pillows, mugs, kitchenware and microwave. The box can help your family cope with their first night in the new house. You can also have each member to pack their own box filled with their preferred entertainment gadgets and comforting items.

·         Clean your old home – When all of your furniture is packed and ready for transport, you should be able to thoroughly clean your old home. This will give the new residents a good impression before moving out. 

·         Confirm everything with the removalist company – Check with your removal firm to ensure they come at the specified date of the move. It is also essential to have a copy of your receipt issued by them for taxes and future reference.

After the move

·         Clean your new home before unpacking – Before unpacking the furniture or assembling the bed, make sure to clean the dust and grime off of the rooms in your new house. Do this to your belongings as well to remove any dirt accumulated during the transfer.

·         Test and strengthen the security of your new home – Security should always be amongst your top priorities when moving to a new home. Check the locks on all of the entrances to your house. If any of them look rusted, old or damaged, replace them with new locks.

·         Meet with the neighbours – Other than common etiquette, meeting with your new neighbours can help build a bond. This can make your family feel secure in the neighbourhood.

Following the guide above can help the experience before, during and after the move less stressful. You can also use this printable task list to further assist you with your move. Remember, always choose a removal firm company based on their qualifications and not just on their cheap fees.

Guest post by Anna Francesca is an avid writer, who enthusiastically explores about consumer passions as a catalyst for lifestyle and enterprise opportunities. She is also a music geek, a fan of European languages, an ardent reader, and very gung-ho on all things new and interesting. She currently writes for All Purpose Removals.

November 2014 First Time Buyer Barometer

November 28, 2014 09:18 by Your Move Press Office



· October sees 26,500 first-time buyer completions – up 1% compared to 26,300 a year ago

· Average first-time buyer purchase price climbs 4.1% year-on-year to £152,684 in October

· Lack of understanding over new regulation: Four in ten buyers think LTI caps mean it is now more difficult to get a mortgage than six months ago


The number of first-time buyer house completions stalled in October, as demand began to ebb away at the bottom of the market, according to the latest First Time Buyer Opinion Barometer from Your Move.

There were 26,500 first-time buyer completions in October 2014, 0.8% more than a year ago, and 1.1% fewer compared to 26,800 in September. First-time buyer transactions have now fallen back 12.3% over the last three months, however the rate of slowdown is beginning to ease. A monthly slowdown of 1.1% between September and October compares to falls of 7.3% between August and September and 4.3% between July and August.

 The average purchase price for a first-time buyer property rose 4.1% year-on-year to reach £152,684 in October 2014. Over the same period, the average first-time buyer deposit has fallen 6.0% - boosted by a greater variety of options for higher LTV borrowers – and now sits at £26,046, compared to £27,719 a year ago. The size of an average first-time buyer mortgage climbed 6.5% year-on-year in October to £126,638.


David Newnes, Director of estate agents Your Move, said: “Help to Buy reinvigorated the bottom of the market by adding that vital ingredient – confidence. But other factors have pulled this back over the last few months: confusion over a base rate rise, global uncertainty, falling house prices and an inadequate supply of affordable homes have all contributed to a hesitation among first-timers about whether now is the right time for them to buy.

“Stalling first-time buyer completions is down to dipping demand, rather than mortgages becoming less accessible. Compared to a year ago, there are now options for first-time buyers unable to save up large deposits to get on the ladder. Cheaper rates have also played a part, by allowing first-time buyers to lock into cheaper monthly repayments.”

Read the full index


October 2014 - Scottish Buy-to-Let Index

November 26, 2014 10:54 by Your Move Press Office



· Scottish rents climb 2.2% in the past year, faster than 1.5% annual growth across England & Wales  

· Average residential rent in Scotland now stands at £537 per month, following 0.3% monthly uplift

· Edinburgh rents reach new record high of £615 in October, but rental prices drop in Glasgow

· Setback for tenant finances, with 6.5% of rent in arrears – up from 6.0% a year ago

· Cooling house price growth before referendum dampens down landlord returns


Scotland is seeing stronger annual rent growth than England and Wales, according to the latest Scotland Buy-to-Let Index from Your Move, one of Scotland’s largest lettings agent networks.

As of October 2014, average residential rents across Scotland are now 2.2% (or £12) higher than twelve months ago, while across England and Wales monthly rents increased just 1.5% on average in the past year.  Scottish rents are currently rising faster on an annual basis than across seven other UK regions.

The average rent in Scotland now stands at £537 per month, back in line with the record set in August this year. Rents climbed a moderate 0.3% (equivalent to £1) in the month to October, recovering from a dip during September.

But taking a longer-term view, the rate of growth has cooled. Annual rent rises have eased from a 3.2% increase over the year to October 2013.


Christine Campbell, Regional Managing Director of Your Move, comments: “Average rents in Scotland have bounced back to peak level in October, and annually the pace of rent growth is exceeding that experienced across England and Wales. Snags in supply and concerns over potential rent caps are setting the stride in Scotland, but in the longer term, the march of private sector rents is easing back on an annual basis. After years of consistency and incremental adjustments, rent rises quickened rapidly after the changes to lettings legislation made tenancy fees illegal. Instead of facing a one-off payment, tenants saw their monthly rents rise at a much accelerated pace. This market is only just starting to self-correct and steady.

“The introduction of any further lettings controls or restrictions by the Scottish government could further disrupt what was a healthy and extremely gradual rhythm of rent growth – to the detriment of thousands of renters. Complicating legislation would ostracise existing landlords and discourage new investment in the private rented sector, squeezing the supply of homes to let and simply adding to the bottleneck of the current housing shortage.  The private rented sector is the lifeblood of the economy, allowing workers flexibility and accessibility to the jobs market. Tenant demand needs to be balanced by greater availability of homes to let, to protect against unnaturally bloated rent increases.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Read the full index




YOUR MOVE is a multi-award winning estate and letting agent with branches across England and Scotland


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