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Demand for shared ownership homes highest in the south of England

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The Government wants to see a five-fold increase in the supply of shared ownership homes as part of its drive to reverse the decline in home ownership and has committed the most significant ever funding to support this ambition.

A £4.1 billion budget has been announced to deliver a total of 135,000 additional shared ownership homes, equivalent to funding of £30,000 per home.  Significantly, private developers will now be able to bid for grant funding alongside housing associations.  This opens up new opportunities for development and investment into a historically undersupplied market, according to real estate adviser Savills.

In its latest analysis, Savills estimates that there is market capacity to absorb at least 60,000 additional shared ownership homes per year.

There is excess demand across the country, but the greatest volume is in markets where affordability is most stretched and therefore demand is highest, notably in the south of England (see map below).

Build volumes averaged less than 8,000 per annum in the three years to March 2015, suggesting a huge mismatch between supply and demand.

“The Government’s policy and financial commitment to this form of home ownership could be a real game changer,” says Colin Wilkins, head of Savills South Coast Development team.  “Investment activity in the sector has so far been limited, but there is now a clear opportunity for new investment vehicles that will not only accelerate the delivery of much-needed shared ownership homes but also create stable returns to the investor.”

The diversity of subsidised home ownership schemes (Starter Homes, Help to Buy and shared ownership) now available means demand for each may overlap, reducing the potential rate of delivery across a site.  Developers of large sites therefore have a real incentive to retain control of sales to ensure that different products are effectively differentiated. There is also a need for the properties to be insured adequately (more info at propertytoinsure.co.uk).

“We could see developers retaining the first tranche sales of shared ownership homes, but they will then wish to pass on the management responsibility and secure a capital return for the unsold equity,” continues Colin.

“Housing associations are likely to remain best placed to take on the management of the new units, while the unsold equity creates a new investment asset which would go to the highest bidder.  The net result could be a speeding up of delivery.”

Investor returns come in two forms: rental income at a standard 2.75 per cent, index-linked yield, and capital repayments on staircasing, though performance data is to date largely anecdotal.  However, evidence suggests that delinquency rates (occupier default on rent or mortgage payments) are very low, while the fact that the income from shared ownership has rarely been sold by housing associations is a testament to the quality of the asset.

The opportunity is concentrated in high value markets where affordability is most stretched.  This is largely the south of England, although in many parts of London it will be difficult to deliver viable shared ownership below the income caps, except by selling very small initial shares and reducing the rent on the remainder below the standard 2.75 per cent.

You can read the full story at http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/homes/property_news_config/14434743.Demand_for_shared_ownership_homes_highest_in_the_south_of_England/?ref=rss

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Private rented sector minimum energy efficiency standards come into force

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The Energy Efficiency Regulations 2015 will bring into force minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) for the residential private rented sector.

This means that landlords with properties to let which have an Energy Performance Rating (EPC) of less than “E” will have to carry out works to improve the energy performance of the building to a rating of “E” or above or face financial penalties of up to £4,000. The regulations will also make it unlawful for landlords to unreasonably refuse consent to a tenant’s request to make prescribed energy efficiency improvements to properties.

From 1 April, tenants can request permission from their landlords to carry out energy efficiency improvements to their rented properties and the landlord (and any superior landlord) cannot unreasonably refuse consent.

The tenant is responsible for paying for the works and the intention is that no upfront costs should fall on the landlord, unless the landlord agrees to contribute (including unoccupied properties).

Tara Kelly, head of lettings at Savills Winchester, says:  “Landlords should look to carry out any energy efficient improvements to their properties now to avoid having to do improvements when they agree to renew a tenancy or decide to let the property to someone else.

“We recommend landlords start preparing for the new regulations by revisiting the energy efficiency rating for their property and reviewing the recommendation reports attached to the most recent EPC.

“Furthermore landlords should renew their EPC where the property previously had a low energy rating and they have recently carried out works because the rating is likely to have improved, bringing the rating to E or above. In any event an EPC must be renewed after 10 years.

“Over time the minimum energy efficiency standard is likely to rise above the minimum “E” rating. Therefore landlords should also consider whether it is worth doing more than the bare minimum and implement works to improve any buildings that also fall within ratings C and D.”

For more information, contact Tara and her team at Savills Winchester on 01962 834020.

You can read the full story at http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/homes/property_news_config/14434689.Private_rented_sector_minimum_energy_efficiency_standards_come_into_force/?ref=rss

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Sunny outlook over the river

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This delightful ground floor apartment has all the benefits of a bungalow, with accommodation laid out over a single level and patio doors from the sitting room to a sunny patio which overlooks lovely communal gardens, bordered by the Meon River (flood insurance is available). The situation is ideal for those looking to be close to good local amenities as from here it is a short walk to the centre of the historic village of Wickham where there is an array of day to day shops and places to stop for a coffee or meet friends for lunch.

Entrance to the apartment is protected by a security phone system and the front door opens to the hallway where there is a useful cupboard and doors to all rooms including the sitting room which is double aspect with a feature fireplace and patio doors to the terrace. The kitchen is fitted with a range of units, work surfaces and integrated appliances.

The larger bedroom has the best view over the garden and river, has fitted wardrobes and its own fully tiled shower room. The second bedroom is another good size room, also with fitted storage and there is a fully tiled main bathroom.

Parking for the residents and visitors is provided on a gravelled area at the front of the building and there is an allocated carport for this apartment. The gardens are very attractive and a principal feature of the property, adding to the feeling of space and light and a joy through the summer months particularly.

Watersedge on Bridge Street is a modern purpose built development and ideally located in this picturesque setting close to The Square.

Byrne Runciman quotes a price of £239,950 and will be happy to provide further information about this lovely apartment and its sunny outlook. Contact the team at Wickham on 01329 834579.

You can read the full story at http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/homes/property_news_config/14401941.Sunny_outlook_over_the_river/?ref=rss

Connells confident in property market following EU Referendum

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Connells confident in property market following EU Referendum

Local estate agency Connells in Basingstoke is pleased to report that the local property market remains buoyant following the result of the EU Referendum. As demand for property stays high and house prices continue to hold their value, the local branch is certain that home movers shouldn’t put their home moving plans on hold and the team is encouraging prospective movers to come in for some expert guidance if they are unsure of the next steps to take.

“Despite much speculation about the effect Brexit will have on our industry, we’re pleased to say that the market here is still strong, and we are confident that now is as good a time as any to buy or sell a house,” says Tom Bateson, Regional New Homes Director at Connells in Basingstoke.  “There are still lots of buyers out there in search of a new home which is keeping house prices buoyant and there are also some great mortgage deals available with low interest rates.  Of course, we understand why some people may be waiting for the dust to settle following the EU Referendum, so we’re keen to offer our guidance and services to those with any questions.  If you are uncertain of the effect Brexit will have on your plans to buy or move home, please don’t hesitate to come in and speak to one of our team.”

Tom continues:  “Connells is currently celebrating its 80th year of trading and, having experienced a variety of market conditions throughout the years, our success and levels of expertise have only continued to grow.  This means we are best placed to offer advice to our customers on potential challenges to the market, as well as giving the highest levels of customer service.”


You can read the full story at http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/homes/property_news_config/14586245.Connells_confident_in_property_market_following_EU_Referendum/?ref=rss

Mayor opens Mapmakers’ show home

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Southampton Mayor Cathie McEwing cut the ribbon and officially opened the marketing suite and show home at Mapmakers, the city’s newest community at Romsey Road.

The Mayor was delighted to be the first person to view the superb new show home and explained she had personal reasons for watching the development of Mapmakers over the past few months as she had worked in the offices previously on the site and her husband, Alex, still works for the Ordnance Survey.

“These are really beautiful new homes in a fantastic location,” said Cllr McEwing. “I love the fixtures and fittings and décor in the show home and would certainly jump at the chance to live here. “

The Mayor was joined by some of the first Mapmakers buyers who were all keen for an exclusive preview of the show home, having all purchased their homes from plans.

James Boyce, marketing manager at Kier, said: “We are incredibly proud of the success of the Mapmakers development so far and it is really exciting to be at the stage of having a completed show home. We wanted to thank our buyers at Mapmakers for putting their trust in us to build their new homes and so I am thrilled to be able to give them the first viewing alongside the Mayor of Southampton.”

One of the first couples to buy at Mapmakers were Veronica Monreal and Victor Trivino, a young couple looking for more space and relocating to Southampton from London. They bought their two-bedroom Mapmakers house at the initial sales launch earlier this year, so were delighted to see the new show home and cannot wait to move in.

“We love London but are really excited to be moving here,” said Veronica. “We need more space as we both work from home and…

You can read the full story at http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/homes/property_news_config/14582913.Mayor_opens_Mapmakers____show_home/?ref=rss

Last remaining aspirational village home

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Last remaining aspirational village home

Each home at Gainsborough Chase is finished to an impeccably high standard from a fine traditional house builder. Bargate Homes has captured the essence of country living, in the heart of Barton Stacey just a few miles to the north of Winchester.

The last remaining four bedroom detached home boasts a high specification throughout with a large living area and open plan kitchen/dining area including designer kitchen and integrated appliances. Flexible accommodation downstairs means that the study could be used as an additional bedroom if required and there is a contemporary shower room on this floor.

Upstairs, the substantial master bedroom benefits from a stylish en suite, the two other spacious double bedrooms work perfectly as guest rooms for family living.

Outside, the home benefits from front and rear gardens, a single garage and off road parking. Furthermore this fabulous home lies adjacent to a stunning rural landscape intertwined with a network of footpaths and bridleways for walking and riding in the surrounding countryside. 

The village of Barton Stacey has many amenities to gather the community together including a primary school, church, village shop with post office, public house and recreation ground.  Winchester and Andover both offer wider facilities and amenities whilst the neighbouring market town of Stockbridge meets the demands of tradition with a butcher, grocer and eateries galore.

Whilst enjoying a quiet rural location the main A303 is only a mile away with fast road links connecting both the M3 and M4 motorway network. Guide Price £649,950

For an appointment to view call Charters, Winchester on 01962 830880

You can read the full story at http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/homes/property_news_config/14567867.Last_remaining_aspirational_village_home/?ref=rss

Fabulous choices in schools and homes to rent

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North Hampshire has some fabulous choices for families seeking schooling for their children in the triangle formed by Andover, Newbury, and Basingstoke. Equally, it has a superb choice of lettings properties for families moving into or around the area.

A perfect example is Maple Ridge (£2,600 per month, EPC Band D) at Hurstbourne Tarrant, with excellent travel links in all directions for parents committed to both the school run and a daily commute via Whitchurch. With five bedrooms, it is an excellent family base.

Downstairs there is a good-sized eat-in kitchen leading to the conservatory overlooking the garden. The large drawing room has French windows to the rear, and bi-fold doors through to the dining room. There is a further study and playroom with French windows on to the terrace plus excellent utility and boot rooms and downstairs w.c. The first floor has a master bedroom with built-in wardrobes and en-suite shower room, two double bedrooms with a modern room, and two further smaller doubles and a family bathroom.

In nearby Stoke, The Old Post House (£2,250 EPC D) is a beautifully-presented period detached house. It has an attractively finished country kitchen / family / breakfast / sitting room with partial under-floor heating plus a utility room, well-proportioned drawing room with open fire, family room, hall / study, good-sized downstairs bathroom and separate w.c. Upstairs are three double bedrooms and one single, all with wardrobes, plus a second family bathroom. The south-west facing rear garden is mainly lawn with raised beds and a lovely terrace – the rent includes a weekly gardener.

Underwood House (£2,600 EPC D), at Vernham Dean, has a good-size, light drawing room with fireplace, dining room, eat-in kitchen / breakfast room, and a great snug / study/ family room. The first floor offers three large double…

You can read the full story at http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/homes/property_news_config/14567839.Fabulous_choices_in_schools_and_homes_to_rent/?ref=rss

Urban living still on trend

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Attractive urban locations with strong transport links and good schools continue to outperform rural destinations, according to research by Savills.

Winchester is within the top five established prime locations, where house prices have the highest premium above the region average, along with Cambridge, Bath, St Albans, and Edinburgh.

The average sale price in 2015 was £471,000 (£692,000 for a detached property), representing a 28% increase over the last five years, and a 42% premium over the region average.

“Attractive towns, cities and urban neighbourhoods that are well connected, have a core of good quality family housing and a choice of high performing schools have become the focus of a widening profile of affluent buyers,” said Lindsay Johnn of Savills Winchester.

“Increasingly, young wealthy families have congregated in these locations, being joined by a growing band of prosperous empty nesters, for whom access to a range of good restaurants, shops and leisure facilities has become increasingly important as they look forward to a longer retirement on the back of increased life expectancies.

“Underpinned by demographic changes, more flexible working patterns and higher housing costs in the capital, we expect this trend to continue.” 

Savills Winchester is currently marketing the following properties in central Winchester:

3 Clifton Terrace is an impressive apartment on the middle floor of an elegant Grade II listed Victorian town house. The apartment, which has been significantly renovated over the last year, has a reception hall, drawing room, kitchen/breakfast room, store room, two double bedrooms, shower room, communal rear gardens and permit parking. Guide price: £575,000

1 Hyde Church Path is a modern semi-detached three-bedroom house in a tucked away area of Hyde. The house would benefit from some updating and provides a rare opportunity to secure a central location with parking. Guide price: £525,000

73 Tower Street…

You can read the full story at http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/homes/property_news_config/14567829.Urban_living_still_on_trend/?ref=rss

New community at Winchester Village

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New community at Winchester Village

The smart new development of Winchester Village on the south western fringes of the city is rapidly becoming the address of choice. The creative street scenes and superb range of homes all built to beautiful designs offer homes to suit all and as a result a new community is now becoming established.

Residents here can take advantage of the regular bus services into the city centre as part of the park and ride scheme and there are local shops at Oliver’s Battery as well as a supermarket at Badger Farm. The Clarendon Way is easily accessible which gives access to a network of footpaths around farmland and through countryside and a link to the M3 is within a few minutes’ drive.

Just available on the rental market is this fine example of a smart new apartment located on the ground floor and with communal landscaping and allocated parking.

From the entrance hall doors open to a lovely bright living space where the modern kitchen, complete with a full range of integrated appliances, is at one end with plenty of space for dining and relaxing. There are two bedrooms, a double with a large built-in wardrobe, and a single room which share the smart bathroom.

Goadsby asks a monthly rent of £1,100 and all enquiries should be directed to the Winchester office on 01962 620444.

You can read the full story at http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/homes/property_news_config/14567789.New_community_at_Winchester_Village/?ref=rss

Connells strikes Gold at Lettings Agency of the Year Awards

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Connells strikes Gold at Lettings Agency of the Year Awards

Local estate agency Connells in Winchester is celebrating after picking up two awards at the annual Lettings Agency of the Year Awards, held in association with The Sunday Times. At a gala ceremony at the London Lancaster Hotel, Connells picked up Gold in the National Lettings Agency of the Year category as well as Silver in the Property Management Agency of the Year category as part of the Connells Group.

In the Property Management Agency of the Year category, the judges commented that the Group “provides a transparent property management service with a firm grounding in ethics” through a strong team that is “fully committed to delivering outstanding customer service which is seriously impressive at this level of property management.”

In the National Lettings Agency of the Year category, the judges congratulated the Group for its excellence demonstrated through the systems and processes that it has in place and its “highly trained specialist staff…who can advise on all aspects of lettings”. The Group’s commitment to its people was also highlighted with the judges commenting that “employees feel confident (and) there is real evidence of investment in talent”.

“We are absolutely thrilled with our success at this year’s awards,” says Beverley Nias, Lettings Manager at Connells in Winchester.  “Being recognised as the number one national lettings agency in the UK is a huge accolade for us. Also, our recognition in the Property Management category highlights how we strive to provide a superior service to our customers and constantly innovate in this sector as we continue to grow and strengthen our business.”

Connells offers a range of lettings services and advice, from matching tenants to their ideal properties to full property management, rent collection and insurance advice. If you have…

You can read the full story at http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/homes/property_news_config/14567809.Connells_strikes_Gold_at_Lettings_Agency_of_the_Year_Awards/?ref=rss

Natural light a strong feature

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Natural light a strong feature

At this handsome terraced house in central Winchester, there is natural light in abundance, shining through large windows in most of the rooms. This feature, together with a neutral colour palette, high ceilings, cornicing and pretty fireplaces, combine to create a wonderful living environment. Here in Eastgate Street, a host of good restaurants, bars, shops, galleries, theatres and cinema are all within walking distance and the train station is just at the top of the High Street.

A pathway and a couple of stone steps lead up to the front door which opens to the entrance hall. From here there are doors to the lovely dining room with its open fireplace, and the well fitted kitchen which has lovely tall windows overlooking the rear garden.

Over the lower ground floor there is a utility area and versatile rooms currently arranged as a study and a bedroom with French doors to the garden.

The main sitting room lies on the first floor taking in the large window across the front elevation and the extravagant family bathroom is on this floor with a four piece suite including a roll top bath.

Two further bedrooms are arranged over the top floors.

From the rear hall a door opens to the pretty courtyard garden where there are raised beds and a pedestrian gate at the rear.

Allocated parking at the rear of the house is a real bonus and Winkworth in Winchester strongly recommends those interested in the house to get in touch without delay. A monthly rent of £2,000 is asked and enquiries should be directed to Winkworth on 01962 866777.

You can read the full story at http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/homes/property_news_config/14567782.Natural_light_a_strong_feature/?ref=rss

Housing Futures survey reveals Aga dropped from No 1 accessory

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Strutt & Parker’s latest Housing Futures survey, with over 2,600 respondents from across the UK, gives an interesting insight into the housing desires of the British population.

The research takes a look at the differing responses received from men and women to see how much they varied and if any trends emerged.

When asked to rate their motivations for moving home, the top five choices were the same for both sexes – lifestyle, privacy, broadband connections and proximity to shops: 

However, when you look beyond these top five options, men and women’s priorities seem to shift. For men, some of the next most important motivations were retirement and looking for a smaller home. In contrast, women were more concerned about better schools, mobile phone coverage, and living near family and friends.

Jake Civardi, Partner in Winchester, said: “Our analysis shows again this year that men and women have many similarities yet also differences regarding their wants and needs for a future home. Men tend to seek solutions for work flexibility – garden offices and work spaces whilst women are looking for career changes, schools and expanding households. Men are also more interested in views over water, whether that be rivers, lakes or sea. The sexes are aligned when it comes to village lifestyle being number one, the imperative for connectivity through broadband and mobile coverage and the need for a well-insulated and energy efficient home.”

A number of other differences were observed:

* Men seem to prefer rural locations to the city. London does not feature in the top 5 regions for men, whereas it was the third most popular location for women in terms of places they’d like to move to. Only 6% of men wanted to live in London in the future.

* Villages were the highest desired…

You can read the full story at http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/homes/property_news_config/14567777.Housing_Futures_survey_reveals_Aga_dropped_from_No_1_accessory/?ref=rss

At the heart of the village

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At the heart of the village

Located in the heart of Ovington opposite the church, The Old Rectory is a beautiful Grade II Listed period house. Boasting well proportioned family accommodation of the highest quality the property sits well within spacious south facing gardens in this beautiful location in the Itchen Valley.

An elegant reception hall welcomes visitors to this beautiful home and three formal reception rooms are all superbly proportioned. The family living space centres around the excellent kitchen which has a breakfast room on one side and French doors opening to a wonderful conservatory on the other, extending to almost 30’ and also connecting with the dining room. Off the rear hall is a utility room, cloakroom and walk-in store. Steps lead down from the hall to the basement which could be utilised for either a games room or study.

On the first floor is a most impressive master bedroom suite with large adjoining bathroom with separate shower. There are four further double bedrooms on this floor and a further bathroom. From the landing a secondary staircase rises to two attic rooms, one of which has an adjoining bathroom.

The property is approached over a gravel driveway which leads along the northern side of the property to a parking and turning area to the rear, adjacent to a detached double garage and stabling. The gardens lie predominantly to the southern side of the house and are the perfect setting with mature planting and with views towards the church.

The village of Ovington, which is in the South Downs National Park, is surrounded by magnificent open countryside and is famed for its chalk stream trout fishing, excellent walking and riding. The nearby market town of Alresford provides shopping and recreational facilities, with the city of Winchester with…

You can read the full story at http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/homes/property_news_config/14567772.At_the_heart_of_the_village/?ref=rss