Month: June 2015

A months rent or a Glastonbury tent…

A great article by the Telegraph this weekend shows how far your money goes at Glastonbury.  Click here to read the full article

A few stats…

  • The average festival goer will spend £425 for the weekend at Glastonbury.
  • The trend for a rent-a-tent or high end camping at Glastonbury can be up to 3.5x more expensive than the average monthly rent for a one bedroom flat.

GFW Letting continues to grow

In 2013, GFW Letting was created to provide a specialist lettings and property management arm of the well established George F. White Group.

Fran Mulhall, Regional Operations Manager at GFW Letting, explained: “The evolving trends of the property market, where renting is seen as a mid to long term option for many people for reasons such as a struggle to get on the housing ladder has seen privately rented homes increase by 63 per cent since 2001. As such, there is a demand for both rural and urban property which is outstripping supply. We understand that, in line with renting now also being a lifestyle choice, the expectations in terms of both the quality of the property marketed and the service given by the agent has increased significantly.”

Northumberland GFW Letting is based within the George F. White office in Alnwick.
In 2014 GFW Letting acquired Davis Keep Limited, a residential lettings business based in Newcastle and opened their second office in Gosforth.

Both offices are enjoying strong and steady growth – 29% percent growth year-on-year 2014/15. The Northumberland base has expanded into new areas including the area from Belford to Berwick, with the dedicated property management team now looking after 170 properties from Berwick to Darlington. Lorna Morris, the Lettings Manager of the Northumberland office has seen a marked increase in the number of enquiries from potential tenants and is currently letting popular properties within a matter of days.

Mulhall continued: “The rental market is saturated with unregulated poor quality agents, many of who still see residential lettings as the poor relation to sales in terms of service offering. Lorna had a great year of growth last year and this was helped by taking over the management of some portfolios that have really benefitted from the local knowledge she has coupled with our slick operating systems, to ensure landlord voids are kept to a minimum.”

GFW Letting is regulated by both The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) .

Win a meal for two at The Botanist in Newcastle

To celebrate the arrival of summer GFWLetting​ have teamed up with The Botanist in Newcastle​ and are offering the chance to win a meal for two and a Botanist cocktail, to enter all you need to do is like our Facebook page, like the competition post and tag who you would bring with you.

The competition opens on Friday 12th June and closes on Friday 19th June with the winner being announced on Monday 22nd June.  The total value of the prize is capped at £60 and of course is subject to the availability of suitable booking times at The Botanist.

Employees and direct family of the George F White Group are not permitted to enter this competition.


Land Registry House Price Index – April 2015

Last week the Land Registry released their latest House Price Index for April 2015.

The report analyses house price data across England and Wales and informs on trends.   It provides a guide and advises on the average price paid, monthly charge, annual charge and number of property transactions within a defined period.

Key highlights for April 2015 include:

  • The average house price in the UK is £179,817
  • The annual price change stands at 5.1%
  • The annual data shows a monthly price increase of 0.9%
  • The number of property transactions has increased over the last 12 months. From November 2013 to February 2014 there was an average of 73,156 property transactions per month.  In the same period a year later there were 64,196.

London observations:

  • The average price of property in London was £474,544
  • The annual price change stands at 10.9%
  • The monthly change shows that London was up 2.3% in April 2015.

North East statistics:

  • The average property price in the North East was £98,374
  • The annual price change stands at -0.6%
  • The monthly change shows that the North East had dropped slightly by -0.5% in April 2015.

Northumberland observations:

  • The average property price in Northumberland was £124,746
  • The annual price change stands at 1.7%
  • The monthly change shows that Northumberland increased marginally by 0.5% in April.

Property type averages:

Property type averages(England and Wales) April 2015 April 2014 % Difference
Detached £282,706 £268,869 5.1
Semi-Detached £170,470 £161,431 5.6
Terraced £135,069 £129,154 4.6
Flat/Maisonette £172,719 £163,947 5.4
All £179,817 £171,052 5.1


North East landlords urged to be energy wise

The Green Deal sets out definite targets that are designed to make the UK more energy efficient. As part of the Deal, specific measures that affect the private rental market have been put in place, which will have a big impact on how homes are let to prospective tenants.

From April 2018, landlords will be legally required to raise the energy efficiency of private rented properties to a specific standard. The regulation means private landlords must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with an E rating or higher in order to issue a new tenancy for a property. This law will apply to existing leases from April 2020. For tenants, the legislation is good news as it will reduce bills in poorly insulated homes where up to one million tenants are paying too much to keep warm. For landlords, however, it’s a mixed bag. They might be able to get some financial
support under the Green Deal or Energy Company Obligation via their tenants’ energy supplier to ensure properties meet the required standards, but given that nearly half a million UK homes fail to meet the required E rating, they could be hit with thousands of pounds worth of bills.

According to the National Landlords Association (NLA), property owners could be facing bills of up to £9000 to carry out the work needed to ensure their properties meet the new energy standards. As 10 per cent of privately rented properties currently fail to meet the new efficiency rules, this could leave many landlords with a big headache. To avoid encountering problems, it’s important that landlords are given the right advice and guided through the new ruling to understand the impact on their investments, and actions required to comply with the legislation. This becomes even more critical given that, prior to the April 2018 ruling, there’s an important part of this legislation that, again, not many landlords will be aware of. From April 2016, private residential landlords will not be able to unreasonably refuse consent to a tenant’s request for energy efficiency improvements and must respond to any requests from a tenant in under a month. This means that if a tenant feels that their home could be a lot better insulated then landlords, by law, must make appropriate improvements.

The provision of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) – where tenants and landlords can apply for financial support to help them make homes more energy efficient – is something that landlords should familiarise themselves with as in 12 months’ time they might start receiving energy improvements requests from tenants. There is, however, an opportunity for the landlord to seek exemption from this through the ‘Private Rented Sector (PRS) Exemptions Register’. Such exemptions include instances where landlords can evidence that they have undertaken improvements that are cost effective (within the Green Deal’s Golden Rule) or, where third party consents are refused i.e. freeholder consent.

The role of the agent With such key legislation changes, greater demands are being put on landlords. Choosing to work with an appropriate agent is therefore vital. A knowledgeable agent does so much more than manage the advertising, leasing and maintenance of a property. They must
appropriately advise and support landlords across the entire lettings process – providing timely, relevant information to property owners
and guiding them through any key decisions and changes to the industry. With the new energy measures, diligent agents should be speaking to their clients now, making them aware of the legislation and explaining what action they might need to take and why. If any home improvements need to be
made, a good agent should have solid, trustworthy relationships with key contractors and be able to make recommendations to their clients.