Monthly Archives: April 2016

Demand for shared ownership homes highest in the south of England

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.

Rarely available in central village location

Rarely available in central village location

Rarely available in central village location

With the redecoration drawing to a close, Forge Cottage in the centre of Twyford is preparing for new tenants. A beautiful Grade II listed property dating from around 1680, the cottage has been at the heart of this popular community for centuries. With beautiful mellow brickwork, sweeping clay tiled roof and exposed timber framing the property now also benefits from a smart interior and lovely features.

Three reception rooms are versatile and the sitting room has a wood burning stove. The kitchen is incredibly well equipped with a full range of appliances and leading through to a utility area with laundry appliances and a door to a shower room with underfloor heating.

Three double bedrooms and a bathroom are arranged on the first floor.

The enclosed garden is perfectly laid out with a large paved terrace for relaxing with shrub borders and the rest of the garden laid out for easy maintenance. There is off street parking for one car with further parking available in the village.

Twyford is within a short drive of the M3, has a fast link into Winchester and the mainline train station at Shawford is about a mile away.

Katherine Treseder-Griffin, Director at local agent Purdie & Swan, will be happy to provide further information and accompany prospective tenants to the property. A monthly rent of £2,450 is sought and Katherine can be contacted on 01962 717711.

Easy stroll to the station

Easy stroll to the station

Easy stroll to the station

This stunning detached family house not only offers fabulous accommodation of almost two thousand square feet and is well positioned for access to local schools and amenities but commuters will also be drawn by the easy stroll to the train station. Set back off Stockbridge Road in Winchester, this house forms part of The Firs which is a niche development created about ten years ago

The layout is excellent with south facing reception rooms at the rear having French doors opening to the terrace and garden. The kitchen/breakfast room is well fitted and there is also a utility room and cloakroom leading off the spacious and welcoming entrance hall.

Upstairs are four well proportioned bedrooms, good storage facilities, two en suite shower rooms and a family bathroom.

The attached garage has a door into the kitchen and additional parking is provided on the driveway.

Becoming available in June, interested tenants should contact the agents to make an appointment to view without delay.

Winkworth Lettings in Winchester quotes a monthly rent of £3,300 and will be happy to arrange a viewing. Call the office on 01962 866777.

Well planned homes have brought site back to life

The last two of six new homes that have brought the redundant site of a former Winchester nursing home back into use are now being offered for sale.

The properties, at The Croft off Badgers Farm Road, are two individual four bedroom houses with excellent living space.

“This is a project by Colten New Homes, a developer with a good reputation for its new homes,” says Chris Gooch, of Carter Jonas in Winchester, joint agents with Goadsby.

“Each has a high specification that lends itself well to modern lifestyles. For instance, while the contemporary fixtures and fittings give a very light and open feel to both houses, both also follow the more traditional trend with a woodburning stove in the sitting room open fireplaces.

“With so many new homes open plan these days, these designs with separate reception spaces – the sitting room is apart from the open plan kitchen and dining areas – will be popular with many buyers who, while liking the inclusive feel of the open plan area also appreciate the ability to have a separate living space.

“Two bedrooms with en-suites fitted with double shower cubicles mean each house enjoys a perfect master suite and offers excellent guest facilities. All four bedrooms are of good proportions and served by central landings at the top of turning staircases, a solution that feels spacious yet is economical with the actual floor area occupied.

“Decorative exterior treatments with render and tile hanging coupled with distinctive gables lend a traditional appearance in keeping with the more mature homes found in the locale, again an example of the care taken in approaching this development where the homes have been designed with two patios and a garage.

“For many families, the close proximity of Kings School, rated among the best non-fee paying schools in the UK when

compared to private establishments, will be a key feature. But good local shops, easy access to the city centre and major roads network, and even a choice of neighbouring golf courses will play their part in decision making.”

Guide prices start at £641,500 (both houses EPC Band B). For more information, contact Carter Jonas on 01962 842742 or email winchester@carterjonas.co.uk

Private rented sector minimum energy efficiency standards come into force

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.

Stunning Winchester town house

Stunning Winchester town house

Stunning Winchester town house

Located within Hyde this Grade II listed city home has been beautifully extended and is full of character and charm with period features and contemporary styling. Hyde is a unique location with a village atmosphere but within the confines of the historic city of Winchester and just a short walk from the array of shops and amenities, restaurants and bars, cinema and theatres and superb schools for all ages. The train station is also within just a few minutes’ walk which is particularly appealing for those who commute on a regular basis.

This splendid house now centres on the extended lower ground floor where there is a fabulous open plan kitchen with dining and relaxing areas in addition to a further room which adds versatility, even as a bedroom with the shower room on this floor. The kitchen and dining areas are incredibly well fitted and bi-folding doors across the easterly elevation allow natural light to flood in and extend the living space into the garden through the warmer months.

There is also a utility room with a door to the garden and from a side lobby a flight of stairs rises to a boiler room and a store room which was previously the garage.

From the central front door the entrance hall is flanked by two well proportioned rooms, both with fireplaces and currently arranged as a formal sitting room and a study.

The stairs rise through the house to two double bedrooms, both with windows to the east and westerly aspects, and fitted cupboards flanking period fireplaces; and a superb family bathroom with a free standing bath and separate shower cubicle.

There are two further attic bedrooms on the top floor.

The rear garden is a wonderful feature of the home, being enclosed by a beautiful brick and flint wall and with a backdrop of St Bartholomew’s Church. Smart decking stretches across the entire width of the house which is a superb entertaining space and leads onto a lawn with mature shrubs. A further patio has been laid in the top corner of the garden to capture the afternoon sun.

A price of £1,350,000 is quoted for this stunning Winchester town house. Contact Charters for more details on 01962 830880.