Category: (6)

Sheds of Cash!

New research conducted on behalf of online garden building retailer,, has found that Britain’s 18-24 year olds are five times more likely to use their sheds for recreational activities than their parents and grandparents.

The survey revealed that Britain’s 18-24 year olds are nine times more likely to use their shed as a summerhouse than their parents, (those aged 45-54) who were more likely to use their garden building for it’s primary purpose.

Aaron Ketland, a spokesperson for Waltons, said: “It’s surprising to see that more and more young people are choosing to use their garden buildings for leisure activities. When you think of a summerhouse, you think of your granddad spending time in the garden, using the space for his plants or for somewhere to get away from it all”

The study also shows that Britain’s over 55s are investing the least amount of money into their sheds (£306), compared with young adults, aged 18-24, who spend on average £420.Mount & Minster

“Its clear to see that young people are becoming more aspirational when it comes to their homes and gardens. You could say they’re enjoying the finer things in life a lot earlier on,” adds Ketland.

Looking at the regions, those living in London are willing to fork out, on average, £403 to renovate their potting sheds. On the other hand, Geordies are investing the least money of all regions, £279.

Mr Ketland, comments: “The study also shows that Londoners are investing the most money into their sheds and garden buildings. The reason behind this might be that properties in London are getting smaller and smaller, and people want to create new space alongside their homes. These are spaces to relax or focus on hobbies, whilst not spending too much money changing their immediate environment.”

According to a new survey from Yorkshire Building Society, nearly half of all first-time buyers in London claimed that spiraling house prices are preventing them from buying a property.

The data revealed that 43% said they would be willing to move to a more affordable part of the UK if it meant they were able to own their first property.

Alarmingly, 26% of London residents said they would even consider moving to another country to buy their own home.

Meanwhile, one in five aspiring first-time buyers in the capital claim they have moved to lower quality or shared accommodation in order to save money for their deposit.

Ralph Wyrley-Birch, Managing Partner at Mount & Minster, said: “The London housing market continues to be very challenging for young people looking to get on to the property ladder, due to prices which are amongst the highest of any city in the world. Even taking into account the typically higher salaries earned in this part of the UK, many young people are finding themselves priced out of the city.

It means that many Londoners at the start of their working lives are finding they have little hope of putting down roots in the capital. Although the willingness to relocate demonstrates the importance with which young people regard homeownership – as well as the lengths they are willing to go to achieve it – there are clearly acute problems facing first time buyers in London.”

Mount & MinsterLondon’s property market recovered strongly from the financial downturn of 2008 and in recent year’s property prices have risen sharply. House prices in the capital are more than 46% above their pre-crisis peak, at an average of £525,000, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Mr Wyrley-Birch goes on to comment: “We have seen a huge increase in applicants from within the M25 looking for a Lincolnshire home. Our region is very affordable and the scale of house one can buy for less than a 2 bedroom flat in London is extremely attractive to cash-rich buyers. Anything in excess of £375,000 locally has seen high interest from those down south. The London office is a great asset to Mount & Minster and we are going one step further by taking all our regional properties here in Lincolnshire to the ‘Move to the Country Show’ in Chelsea in April to really promote and sell our clients properties”.


13 years of savings!

Recent research revealed it takes 13 years for an average single first-time buyer in England and Wales to save for a deposit, while it takes a Londoner 46 years.

It also found that the Lifetime ISA, which was announced in the Budget, will help first-time buyers in London save for a deposit 19 years faster.

Slightly softened lending criteria, and the addition of Help to Buy, a government-backed scheme that requires just a 5pc deposit, have contributed to the shorter time time taken to save for a home.

Ralph Wyrley-Birch, Managing Partner of Mount & Minster in Lincolnshire, said: “Affordability is still difficult for first-time buyers, but things did get better in 2015. House price growth slowed in England and Wales while wages increased, making it easier for first-time buyers to save up a deposit to buy their home. Conditions are hardest down south where house prices have surged since the crash.”

chartHe went on to say: “More first-time buyers and would-be trader-uppers are finding themselves ill-equipped to cope with current house prices given the tighter lending criteria and average earnings lagging well behind house price growth. However, stronger growth in average earnings would not have helped the situation as it would simply have enabled buyers to bid prices up even higher, chasing the limited supply of suitable housing stock.”

This comes as a survey commissioned by Shelter showed that three-quarters of Britons said they worry that future generations will never be able to find a “forever home” that they can settle down in. The research, which was carried out as part of the housing charity’s 50th anniversary and as part of their Great Home Debate, also found that people aged 25-34 move once every five years of their lives compared to once every 12 years among pensioners.


New research has confirmed that as ever, it’s money, stress and time constraints that remain the biggest fears for UK homeowners when selling their home.

Over 1,000 UK homeowners were surveyed and asked ‘when selling a property, what are the top three things you fear the most?

Despite UK homeowners currently enjoying a very buoyant UK property market, securing the right price still tops the list of fear factors.

55% of those asked said not getting the price they wanted or needed was their primary fear when selling, with the stress of the selling process the second biggest fear factor for 46% of homeowners.

Time constraints completed the top three fear factors, with 43% of homeowners afraid they wouldn’t be able to sell their home in the time they needed to.

Other fear factors stated by UK homeowners included paying too much in estate agent fees (36%), finding a new property to live in upon selling (22%), dealing with the buyer (14%), picking the wrong estate agent in the first place (12%), getting a mortgage for their next home (10%) and that their new property might drop in value in the future (4%).

Not getting the price wanted or needed: 55%

The stress of it all: 46%
Not being able to sell in the time needed: 43%
Paying too much in estate agents fees: 36%
Finding a new property to live in: 22%
Dealing with the buyer: 14%
Picking the wrong estate agent: 12%
Getting a mortgage for the next property: 10%
The next property dropping in value in the future: 4%

Mount & MinsterRalph Wyrley-Birch, Managing Partner of Mount & Minster, comments: “Price is always going to be the primary concern for UK homeowners and it is only natural that securing the best price will weigh heavy on a seller’s mind. Generally speaking, our home is the most expensive asset we are ever likely to own and for the majority of us, our home is our nest egg, setting us up for retirement when we do finally sell and downsize. So it’s understandable that it be the biggest fear during the selling process, as that couple of extra thousand gained or lost, can make a big difference in the grand scheme of things.

Previous research found that selling your home is one of the most stressful events to go through and so it doesn’t surprise me that this also ranks highly amongst UK sellers. When you add time constraints to an already laborious process, you can see why selling a home in the UK can seem a daunting task and evoke such feelings of fear.

At Mount & Minster, we take the stress out of the whole process from start to finish. The personal touch is important which is why we go out of our way to go beyond our clients expectations.

There are many lettings agents out there, all offering different services and choosing the right one can be time consuming and confusing.

Trust and reliability are key. Mount & Minster put together these 3 top tips that will help you pick the best agent…
Mount & MinsterTimescales

It’s always good to find out before instructing an agent how long it will take for them to let your property out. Obviously a definitive answer couldn’t be given due to factors such as location and the property itself, however a good agent will be able to tell you if they think your property will take a little longer. How many people do they have on their database that they could contact? That’s always good to ask. Prospective tenants on the lookout may have left their details, if the agent contacts them they might just be interested!

Tenant reliability

How reliable are the tenants that the agent can provide? If the agent fails to do in-depth referencing then you could end up with a bad tenant on your hands. A good agent will be able to provide you with a tenant that has been fully referenced, credit checked and also had the required right to rent checks which came in to action on 1st February. Find out from the agent which checks they carry out and at what stage the checks will be done in the process.

What makes them better?

A good question to ask the agent is what makes them stand out from the crowd…if all they can give you is a good cup of tea then perhaps collect your belongings and head to a café instead. What exactly makes them better than their competition, as we said at the start of this post, there’s so many agents for you to choose from so why should you pick them? For instance; are they RICS accredited and Chartered, how swiftly would they be able to deal with maintenance issues and how frequently will they carry out inspections of the property.

Ultimately, you want to be able to draw a list of what different agents can and can’t offer – that way you can then work out which agent will provide the best all-round service and essentially, find tenants for your property. Here, at Mount & Minster, we believe you’ll be hard pushed to find better.

The latest report from Rightmove has shown that as demand soars and supply remains tight, the average price of a property coming to market in England and Wales passes £300,000 for the first time.

There are serious challenges facing both first-time buyers and those venturing further up the property ladder as in just 10 years new seller asking prices jump from from £200,980 in March 2006, to £303,190 today.

The price surge is not just restricted to the south with six out of ten regions setting record price highs this month. London no longer leads the pack as prices stand still.

The mismatch between supply and demand has resulted in six new record highs over the past twelve months in the price of property coming to market. However, this month sees a particularly significant milestone as the average breaks through and beyond the £300,000 mark for the first time. Today’s asking prices are now over 50% higher than they were ten years ago. This highlights the growing housing affordability gap now affecting more and more aspiring first-time buyers and potential trader-uppers.Lincolnshire House Price

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst comments: “While the start of 2016 has seen an encouraging but modest uptick in the number of properties coming to market, demand and momentum have combined to push prices over £300,000. On average 30,000 properties have come to market each week over the past month, up by 3% on this time last year, but there are insufficient numbers of newly-listed properties in many parts of the country to meet demand. Visits to the Rightmove website are up by 14% in early March compared to the same period in 2015, so it’s no surprise that those buyers who can borrow more or can find some extra cash are keeping the price merry-go-round spinning, even though increasing numbers of aspiring home-movers cannot afford the ride.”

The increasing challenges of both getting onto the ladder and trading up are highlighted by the 50% increase in the price of property coming to market in just 10 years. With that timespan including the period after the credit crunch which saw several years of falling or stagnant property prices, it shows the strength of the recovery for today’s £303,190 average to be over £100,000 higher than the £200,980 of March 2006. In contrast, average wage growth of 22% over the most recent ten years has failed to keep pace with CPI inflation of 26.8%2 which highlights the well-documented issues of raising a deposit and affording a mortgage. The rebound from the housing market downturn has been driven by underlying demand, greater availability mortgage lending, and the economic recovery. The release of this pent-up demand and the shortfall in housing supply are resulting in insufficient availability of affordable stock in many locations.

Shipside adds: “More first-time buyers and would-be trader-uppers are finding themselves ill-equipped to cope with current house prices given the tighter lending criteria and average earnings lagging well behind house price growth. However, stronger growth in average earnings would not have helped the situation as it would simply have enabled buyers to bid prices up even higher, chasing the limited supply of suitable housing stock. In last week’s Budget the Chancellor could have encouraged landlords and second home owners to sell their properties and improve supply if he had extended the reduction in Capital Gains Tax to include those transactions. With no other significant property-related new measures in the Budget it at least allows time for his raft of recent initiatives to bed in.”

This month’s national average 1.3% jump in the price of property coming to market is the second-highest at this time of year since the 2008 credit crunch. The break through the £300,000 mark is not being driven by London, where prices are at a standstill. Upwards price momentum and stretched affordability are spreading north and west, with six out of ten regions achieving record asking price highs. All four southern regions are joined by the West Midlands and the North West, with the East Midlands being only £373 shy of an all-time high.

Shipside observes: “Three out of the top four risers this month are northern regions, with the West Midlands, the North West, and Yorkshire and the Humber being tucked in the slip-stream of the South West and ahead of all the other southern regions. London is a shadow of the former price-rise power-house that has driven up national averages over the last five years, and is now a myriad of different local markets with some boroughs dramatically up or down, but overall cancelling each other out.”

Ralph Wyrley-Birch, Managing Partner at Mount & Minster, commented: “Although stock levels remain low across the region, there has been a significant increase in seller activity levels in the last couple of months. We saw an increase in valuations over the last eight weeks compared to the same period last year and a record number of new listings in both January and February. Good prices have been achieved, with properties selling quickly and multiple offers being received on many homes. We’ve seen a definite surge in house prices at the start of 2016 which is partly expected with the increased demand at this time of year, but has been exacerbated by investors and second-home buyers rushing to complete their property purchases before the additional 3 per cent stamp duty charge takes effect on 1st April.”