Saturday, 19 August 2017

The year in property... looking back on 2015

JANUARY

JANUARY

Nearly eight out of 10 mortgages are issued by just six big lenders — including the Halifax and HSBC — according to the Financial Conduct Authority’s director of strategy and competition.

However, according to estage agents, smaller names are starting to make their mark, too, including Accord, Scottish Widows and Tesco Bank.



FEBRUARY



The Daily Telegraph reveals a list of the best postcodes in which to raise a family, with places close to Henley in the top spots — including Lower Earley in Berkshire and Faringdon in Oxfordshire.

Wokingham, near Reading, was top. Last year, Henley was voted one of the best places to live for commuters by Country Life magazine.



MARCH

Property prices increased by 9.6 per cent in the year to March 2015 — up from 7.4 per cent recorded the previous month, according to This Is Money.

The company said this is the first time the annual growth figure has risen since summer 2014. From September 2014 onwards, yearly house price inflation slowly dropped in each consecutive month, from a high of 12.1 per cent. But the latest rise isn’t down to a crazy market in London. It is actually Scotland that saw yearly prices rise the fastest in March, with growth of 14.6 per cent.



APRIL

Millions of pension savers aged 55 and up will be able to take their entire pension fund in one lump sum, to spend as they wish. There is growing excitement about what this “wall of money” could mean for property investors in light of the biggest shake-up of pension rules ever seen. Continuing low interest rates also mean mortgages are still relatively cheap.



MAY

The general election is the only thing anyone’s talking about. A stuttering housing market under the shadow of a potential Labour mansion tax and ongoing recovery from last year’s stamp duty shock overhaul worries many Henley locals.

When the Conservative party wins it sets about hiking the inheritance tax-free threshold (then £325,000) to £500,000 per person. By the end of the summer the government will go on to increase this to £1millon from early 2017.



JUNE

Regatta season kicks off with the Henley Women’s Regatta. Once again, the spotlight is thrown on riverside properties such as those on the island of Rod Eyot.

The two-bedroom recently upgraded property shown here also comes with “mainland” parking. For sale with Hamptons, priced £535,000.



JULY

The Summer Budget means buy-to-let landlords now get less tax relief on their mortgage interest payments, threatening a buoyant private landlord industry.

However, those home owners with lodgers are now able to earn £7,500 tax-free from their house-guests each year.



AUGUST

A London garden sells for £1.2 million when the owner — whose garden had been valued at around £100,000 — sold it at auction for £1.25million following a fierce bidding war.

Measuring just 45ft long, the grassy parcel of land in desirable Primrose Hill had no planning permission and is completely surrounded by other properties.



SEPTEMBER

A local property comes in at number eight in a well-known property portal’s national most popular search category for September.

At a guide price of £1,195,000, the five-bedroom detached house in Peppard Common is also one of our featured properties this week (see front page). Holly Trees, which is a 10-minute drive from Henley, got a massive 37,000 views.



OCTOBER

Our local village of Hurley was named the most expensive high street outside London by the Times, using research from one of our local agents, Hamptons.

The list of Britain’s most expensive high streets was dominated by busy London thoroughfares such as Marylebone High Street, but Hurley couldn’t be more different with its quaint village hall, family-run farm shop and local pub.



NOVEMBER

A rise in the tax that landlords and second home owners pay to buy a property is called the “final nail in the coffin” of buy-to-let by experts. Changes announced in the autumn budget added three percentage points to the rate of stamp duty paid by those who already own property from April 2016. It means the tax bill on a buy-to-let costing £250,000 jumps from £2,500 to £8,800, and so on.



DECEMBER

Number 20 Fenchurch Street, London — aka “the Walkie Talkie” — wins this year’s Carbuncle Cup, awarded by Building Design magazine.

The skyscraper fended off competition from student halls and a YMCA building to be named the UK’s worst building.

The property, designed by architect Rafael Viñoly is known as the Walkie Talkie. We can’t think why...



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