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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

Stunning waterfront living in Lymington

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A stunning waterfront development of apartments and detached villas in Lymington with breath-taking views is being marketed by Savills.

Lymington Shores, by award-winning Redrow Homes, is a prestigious development of one, two and three-bedroom apartments, including an exclusive range of penthouses, as well as three, four and five-bedroom detached villas.

Most apartments feature balconies and the villas, which are on the water’s edge, have rooftop terraces, offering spectacular 360-degree views of the Lymington River, The Solent, the Isle of Wight and inland towards the New Forest National Park.

Nikki Penman, from the Residential Development Sales team at Savills Southampton, said: “We are thrilled to be involved with this stunning waterfront development. The homes at Lymington Shores enjoy an enviable, tranquil location with spectacular views, close to the picturesque coastal town of Lymington and all it has to offer.

“Steeped in history and famed for its Georgian architecture, Lymington is a world-renowned sailing resort on the edge of the New Forest National Park which provides the perfect setting for a relaxed lifestyle.”

The town is home to the Isle of Wight ferry and consequently has superb road and rail connections to the rest of the UK.

Apartments at Lymington Shores are priced from £259,950, and villas are from £1,895,000.

For more information, contact Savills on 023 8071 3900.

You can read the full story at http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/homes/property_news_config/14511176.Stunning_waterfront_living_in_Lymington/?ref=rss

Investing in property ‘more profitable than stock market’

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Buy-to-let investors typically enjoy a greater return than those who choose to invest in FTSE 100 companies.

New research reveals that while total returns on property investments rose by 9.57 per cent in the 12 months to the end of March, the London-based stock exchange has lost 1.4 per cent in the year to date.

Allison Thompson, managing director at property specialist Leaders, says: “Despite recent buy-to-let tax changes imposed by the government, there is no doubt that the property market still offers an extremely attractive investment opportunity.

“With returns increasing by almost ten per cent over the last year, investing in property is a shrewd way for people to use their savings. In comparison, the stock market has failed to deliver a return for many investors and even the best savings accounts are typically offering rates of less than two per cent at the moment.”

London continued to drive the buy-to-let market in the 12 months in question, with landlords enjoying a 16.49 per cent increase in returns. It was followed by the east of England (13.18 per cent), the south-east (12.1 per cent) and the East Midlands (8.59 per cent), according to Property Partner’s residential market index.

Allison adds: “While returns may be greatest in the south, investors should also consider buying to let in the north where purchase prices are often cheaper and demand in many areas is rising rapidly. In particular, Manchester has witnessed a sharp spike in investment activity in recent months.

“Those who wish to benefit from the largest returns in the south can still find good value for money and, with the help of a local property expert, can pinpoint the most up-and-coming towns in their region.

“Properties to rent remain in high demand, with experts predicting that more than half of young…

You can read the full story at http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/homes/property_news_config/14511155.Investing_in_property____more_profitable_than_stock_market___/?ref=rss

Exciting opportunity in Soberton

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Exciting opportunity in Soberton

Situated within the South Downs National Park, this elegant detached house stands in its own private gardens of half an acre with a further two acres of recreational land with a westward outlook over fields and countryside.

The local community of Soberton has good access across the south coast and is within easy distances of a range of schools for all ages.

This property has been created from a pair of cottages dating back to the early 19th century, which together with an extension, now provides a spacious and well presented family home with five double bedrooms.

The porch opens to a reception hall which is welcoming with its wood burning stove and one of the three reception rooms has an open fire. The kitchen is very well fitted, has an Aga, and opens onto a new breakfast room with flagstone flooring and underfloor heating throughout. The study area has an attractive southerly facing bay and fitted library shelving.

On the first floor three of the bedrooms have their own bath or shower room and there is also a family bathroom. This floor has newly fitted carpets and two of the bathrooms have been recently fitted.

The services of a gardener to maintain the newly landscaped gardens are included in the rent to enable the tenants to sit back and enjoy the mature shrubs and planted borders around the lawn, with wisteria and hydrangea adorning the front of the house.

Get in touch with the agent for more information. A monthly rent of £2,500 is quoted on an unfurnished basis from the end of July. A well behaved pet may be considered by the landlord. Contact The Country House Company on 023 9263 2275

You can read the full story at http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/homes/property_news_config/14510356.Exciting_opportunity_in_Soberton/?ref=rss

Period home in central Alresford

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Period home in central Alresford

Enjoying a superb central location at Pound Hill within Alresford, this charming period home is available for someone to move in without delay. This could mean that within just a few days the new tenant could be enjoying all the individual shops, coffee shops, bars and restaurants within this pretty Georgian town and then strolling back to a very comfortable home with lovely period features.

Grade II listed, the house stands prominently on a corner and has exposed beams and stripped wood flooring, with an open fireplace in the sitting room. At the rear of the house is a dining room and kitchen which is well equipped with appliances.

Upstairs are two double bedrooms, an open space on the landing ideal as a study area, and a modern bathroom.

The house also has a small courtyard garden to enjoy the next few months.

Purdie & Swan says a monthly rent of £995 is asked and Katherine Treseder-Griffin, Director at the independent agency, will be happy to arrange a personal inspection. Call Katherine on 01962 717711 for more details.

You can read the full story at http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/homes/property_news_config/14510350.Period_home_in_central_Alresford/?ref=rss

Opportunity of a lifetime

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Opportunity of a lifetime

A unique opportunity has arisen to rent a fabulous Georgian country house, fully furnished and set in two and a half acres of gardens and grounds which encompass a swimming pool, tennis court and manege with stables.

Grade II listed and enjoying a lovely location within ten miles of Winchester, Fir Tree Farmhouse at Horton Heath offers very spacious accommodation including a self contained annexe.

The house has been meticulously maintained and the lovely period features blend well with the modern touches that have been introduced to provide comfort. The layout allows for a versatile lifestyle and the principal living space is impressive with high ceilings, tall sash windows and a fantastic Smallbone kitchen with a breakfast area and space for relaxing.

The annexe has its own entrance hall and staircase up to two bedrooms and a bathroom and also has the flexibility to connect with the main house on both floors.

An extensive driveway is accessed via electrically operated wrought iron gates and there is a turning circle with access to the double garage and a further drive to another garage. The gardens adjoin farmland and paddock and there is a sunny terrace close to the heated pool and pool house, and a further outbuilding is currently arranged as a gym.

The manege is approximately 20m x 40m with stables, a hay store and tack room located adjacent to the property.

Offered on the market at a monthly rent of £4,750 this glorious house could be made available by early July. Contact Charters in Winchester for more details on 01962 830880.

You can read the full story at http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/homes/property_news_config/14510343.Opportunity_of_a_lifetime/?ref=rss

Epitome of classic Regency styling

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Epitome of classic Regency styling

Sitting in one of the most attractive streets in Winchester, this beautiful semi-detached Regency villa nestles comfortably with its neighbours with its colour washed stuccoed elevations and sash windows set elegantly back from the road behind a pretty front garden.

Dating from 1830, this Grade II listed house in St James Villas lies within very easy walking distance of the centre of the historic city where coffee shops, bars and restaurants, individual and high street shops, galleries, theatre and cinema all await discovery with wonderful walks around the Cathedral, Winchester College, water meadows and banks of the River Itchen within just a few minutes. There is a shortcut to the station via Mews Lane and Crowder Terrace which means that commuting becomes a viable option.

The spacious accommodation is arranged principally over two levels with a versatile lower ground floor currently used as a double bedroom, bathroom and store.

At the entrance level the period front door has a fanlight above and opens to the hallway from where doors open to the cloakroom and the charming drawing room to the front, with a Victorian fireplace. The kitchen/breakfast room lies to the rear and has an opening through to the formal dining room, beautifully lit by French doors to the walled courtyard garden. The kitchen has defined areas with a range of units and integrated appliances and at the rear is a lobby with a stable door to the garden and also leads to the study.

On the first floor are two good double bedrooms, one with a door to a further room, and the large family bathroom.

The outside is hugely appealing and the front garden has a terrace, lavender hedging, wisteria, roses and a flowering cherry tree, still leaving space for two…

You can read the full story at http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/homes/property_news_config/14510331.Epitome_of_classic_Regency_styling/?ref=rss

Keeping things simple at city home

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Keeping things simple at city home

With clean lines and a simple layout that works well for family life, purchasers of this North Walls home in central Winchester will be able to enjoy an easy lifestyle in a home which is superbly presented with a good arrangement of accommodation as well as all the delights of the city which are within a level walk of the property. For those with young children, St Bede primary school is just around the corner as are the acres of open parkland and playing fields associated with the leisure centre.

This lovely Victorian house is well proportioned with a loft conversion providing a fourth bedroom, and extensions at the rear creating a useful rear lobby as well as a dining area off the kitchen.

The two original reception rooms have been retained, each with a door from the entrance hall from where the oak flooring continues through to both rooms. The sitting room at the front has a wood burning stove and a sash window to the front. The family room now has an opening through to the beautifully fitted kitchen and glazed doors to the rear lobby which doubles as a boot room for an active family.

The kitchen has been cleverly extended to create a fabulous work space with smart units, granite work surfaces and several Bosch appliances, opening up to the glazed extension ideal as a dining area, and with access to the garden.

Stairs from the hall rise to the split level first floor landing which arrives first at the bedroom at the rear and the smart family bathroom. There are two further bedrooms on this floor, both doubles, the one at the front with its own fitted wardrobe and shower room.

The top landing is naturally lit…

You can read the full story at http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/homes/property_news_config/14510321.Keeping_things_simple_at_city_home/?ref=rss

Inspired scheme will deliver nine luxury homes

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One of the most inspired new homes schemes to be seen in Winchester for several years launches at a special reception at St Thomas Church in Southgate Street.

The Victorian and Grade II-listed church which, since falling out of religious use, has successfully fulfilled other roles within its unaltered exterior is now being converted into nine superbly luxurious homes with a total value in excess of £8 million.

The new apartments, including one within the tower itself, just beneath the spire and with spectacular views, are being created by Hemdean Ltd to offer comfortable layouts, the best quality fittings from Bulthaup, Miele, and Porcelanosa, and a sumptuous lifestyle.

A major advantage is that St Thomas’s is outside the city centre traffic system, simplifying access to the major roads network. However, St Thomas’s remains an integral part of the city centre, just a short walk from the railway station, Cathedral, and everything else this magnificent city, recently declared the best place to live in England by the Sunday Times, has to offer.

St Thomas’s enjoys an elevated position compared with much of the city centre; it offers fantastic wide vistas across the city roofscape to the South Downs escarpment that forms a backdrop to the Cathedral. In return, St Thomas’s offers such a significant landmark from beyond the city confines that the spire, a 160 foot high edifice added in 1857 a decade after the Church was consecrated, is mentioned in Thomas Hardy’s novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

Hemdean has a high regard for the integrity of its schemes, resulting in its work being held in equally high regard by those who live in them. Hemdean is experienced in refurbishment work and has completed many high-end specialist repair and refurbishment contracts on historical and listed buildings, so the future of St Thomas’s…

You can read the full story at http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/homes/property_news_config/14503853.Inspired_scheme_will_deliver_nine_luxury_homes/?ref=rss

LUXURY LIVING AT WILLIAM PLACE

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At Alfred Homes we believe that an important part of luxury living is all about space.

Space to spread out and enjoy life; relax in an informal family area where bi folding doors open to bring the outside into your home; entertain in a smart drawing room; wind down in an elegant master bedroom suite; curl up with a good book in a cosy study….and at William Place, our latest development in Winchester, each home has been designed with the concept of ‘space to live’ firmly in mind.

As photographs from our new show home here reveal, our contemporary interior architecture, complemented by our subtle and sophisticated sense of style, maximises every inch of space. The fabulous homes we are creating at William Place all feature expansive lower ground floor kitchen, family and dining areas, with bespoke, hand-made kitchens and indulgent bathrooms. With chic drawing rooms presenting elevated views of landscaped rear gardens and three or four double bedrooms plus garaging and parking, these luxurious homes are quite simply hard to match.

Such is the demand for high quality, prestigious and spacious homes within walking distance of the mainline station and city centre itself, that two properties at William Place have already been reserved.

Why not come and visit our show home and experience what luxury living is all about. We are now open daily from 10am to 5pm.

Or for further information and to request a brochure visit: www.alfredhomes.co.uk

These properties are also being marketed by Charters in Winchester, contact: 01962 830880

You can read the full story at http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/homes/property_news_config/14501029.LUXURY_LIVING_AT_WILLIAM_PLACE/?ref=rss