Perth has the highest-ever number of suburbs in the million-dollar club, after prices in 15 new suburbs recently exceeded the milestone median.
Research from CoreLogic shows there were 56 suburbs in Perth with median house prices above $1 million in May this year, compared to 41 a year previously.
Adding to fears about the affordability of Perth property, the new research shows in the year to May, 13 per cent of sales recorded a price of at least $1 million.
CoreLogic research analyst Kaytlin Ezzy said the suburban median in the million-dollar-club is almost twice Perth’s overall house median of $555,538, following a 5.6 per cent price rise across the metropolitan area in the year to May.
The new million dollar suburbs appear to be popular for many of the same reasons as those that lead the pack — close proximity to water, big blocks, good schools and proximity to the city.
Suburbs close to either the beach or the river include Fremantle, South Fremantle, Hillarys, Karrinyup, Iluka, Como, Alfred Cove, Shelley and Burns Beach.
Good schools and proximity to the city are likely to underpin the popularity of some of the inner-city suburbs on the list, including Gwelup — which increased from $859,5549 a year previously — as well as Inglewood, and Mount Hawthorn.
Como specialist for The Agency, Vanessa Naso, said her patch enjoyed the benefit of a riverside and central location as well as big blocks and good schools.
Nine of Perth’s top 10 most expensive house markets were located in the city’s inner region, with Dalkeith recording the highest median value at $2.96 million.
It eclipsed Peppermint Grove, were the median is $2,824,616, and Cottesloe ($2,689,912)
Yallingup houses in the picturesque south west town remain the west’s only regional market to make the million-dollar list with a current median value of $1,620,473
The research found that nationally, 1,367 or 30.4 per cent of house and unit markets analysed in May recorded a median value of $1 million or more.
“High consumer sentiment, tight advertised supply, and low interest rates fuelled strong home value growth throughout 2021, resulting in a new record high annual growth rate of 22.4 per cent nationally over the 12 months to January,” Ms Ezzy said.
A Truro estate agent has said he feels “sympathy” for anyone trying to buy a home in Cornwall, as the city’s house prices continue to skyrocket. As the housing market continues to spiral out of control, even those who work in it have been left scratching their heads.
Figures from property site Rightmove recently stated that Truro (and its direct surroundings) was the city area with the second highest growth in house prices in the entire country. Truro’s average asking prices grew by 14.8% on last year, eclipsing the national average of 9.9%.
The massive rise in both house prices and average rents, across Cornwall, is largely being seen as a symptom of the county’s housing crisis. Driven in large part during the pandemic, where demand rose for living in Cornwall, locals have been left to pick up the pieces with housing scarcities and record-high numbers of people without a place to live.
David Mills, an estate agent covering Truro and the surrounding area from Mount Hawke, Stithians, and out to Trispen and St Mawes (TR1, 2, 3 and 4), said the current cost of a home is the highest he’s ever seen. “I think it’s property dependent,” he said.
“I had one over bank holiday weekend where in excess of 100 people contacted me to arrange viewings. We had 24 viewings over a weekend and then multiple offers.
“That house then went well in excess of its asking price. But then there are others which are sitting around on the market for a long period of time, not everyone wants to work on one.”
He said that anything below £400,000 goes “pretty rapidly,” and that the last three years there’s been a “huge increase” in how much the average house goes for across Truro. Pointing to a house price index using a hypothetical property on Moresk Road, Mr Mills outlined the following increases in the last 12 months:
- Apartments: +10%
- Terraced houses: +14.4%
- Semi-detached houses: +16.11%
- Detached houses: +16.92%:
This, he said, has not necessarily been driven by people moving into Cornwall from afar – but that there was an “influx” when working from home first became more popular in the early days of Covid. Mr Mills continued: “ I’m not a huge agent so I don’t need to sell a huge amount to survive.
“But in the last 12 months, out of all the properties I’ve sold there was only one bought as a second home, and one person moving from out of county into Cornwall. All the others have been local buyers looking to upsize or downsize.
“With Covid, I do think a lot of people realised they can work from home and don’t need to work from an office. That had a huge influx wanting to move into county.
“But around here, you have a city location with all the retail units available on your doorstep. You can jump in your car and within ten miles you’re on the coast. There’s so many different places, by living in Truro city. Those stats from Rightmove are pretty crazy.
“It being the second highest hotspot for asking price growth is unbelievable.”
Mr Mills, an estate agent for nine years, said while he didn’t see the last housing boom before the 2008 recession, the current state of things are the “craziest” he’s seen.
He added: “I sympathise with anyone looking to purchase as it’s so, so difficult. That many people are looking to buy and a massive lack of properties on the market. Again that’s a reason for prices going up. If there were more available it wouldn’t be as high.”
It’s not just house prices, rents have also become higher than ever before. Mr Mills, who is not a rental expert, said a house he used to rent in Threemilestone for £695 now costs £950.
He described this as “bonkers”, and said rental prices compared to pre-Covid are “absolutely insane.”
Tenants with pets have been some of my best lets, and because many other landlords do not accept them, it means some have stayed longer than usual. The new proposals allow for landlords to demand mandatory pet insurance. What that will cover remains to be seen, but it’s doubtful any animal will ever cause the damage to a property any human can inflict.
If I sound sanguine, don’t be fooled. Despite the fact that rent controls are off the agenda, it’s the talk of the ombudsman which worries me more. An ombudsman, as I understood the concept, is to be impartial. However, my reading of the proposed role is that it is worryingly one-sided in favour of the tenant.
The proposals state: “The new ombudsman will allow tenants to seek redress for free, where they have a complaint about their tenancy. This could include complaints about the behaviour of the landlord, the standards of the property or where repairs have not been completed within a reasonable timeframe. We will make membership of the ombudsman mandatory and local councils will be able to take enforcement action against landlords that fail to join the ombudsman.”
It added: “The ombudsman will have powers to put things right for tenants, including compelling landlords to issue an apology, provide information, take remedial action, and/or pay compensation of up to £25,000.”
The words punitive and risky spring to mind. Buried in the small print is the belief that landlords should provide properties where the kitchen and bathroom are “not too old”. There is no reference to if the services are satisfactory – just the age. In an era of high inflation, and when materials and labour costs have already increased by 25pc in the last two years, replacing such items when not strictly necessary will be costly and time-consuming.
The threat of an ombudsman who would “be able to require landlords to reimburse rent to tenants where the service or standard of property they provide falls short of the mark” is alarming. This is before we even mention those tenants who don’t look after properties, and who would be to blame?
What makes me most uncomfortable is the tone of these proposals, rather than the contents. By its own admission, the Government is aware that the vast majority of tenants are happy in their accommodation. So it is unclear why underlying much of the points (many of which I agree with) is a thinly-veiled argument that landlords must comply… or else.
It is this attitude towards landlords that I take exception to. It feels as if the battle lines have been drawn, and that we should expect a lot more layers of bureaucracy and tax crackdowns if we want to remain landlords for the long run.
Estate agents have shared where in London people from outside the city are moving to. According to Savills, tenants returning to the capital from the countryside are most likely to put down new roots in Wandsworth and Chiswick.
Speaking to MyLondon, Robin Chatwin, head of Savills south west London region called it “unsurprising” that people were heading for these areas. He said: “When the pandemic hit, it’s unsurprising that there was a flurry of city based residents looking to escape to the country or to London’s more domestic locations like south west London – and this hasn’t changed
“Two years on, there’s definitely a sense that people want to be back in the city, but they want a hybrid of living where there is an ease of access to the city centre as well as private gardens or access to commons and parks. I feel, this is really what sets the south west apart.”
Both Wandsworth and Chiswick are largely residential and affluent areas. Homeowners are attracted by Wandsworth Town’s excellent transport links, scenic location, great schools and plethora of green, outdoor space.
In a similar vein, leafy Chiswick is home to charming rows of homes and pubs that lines the River Thames. It offers that village-feel whilst still offering the best of the high-street and has strong links to the city.
The number of tenants moving to London from outside the city following the pandemic, or ‘boomerang buyers’ is growing according to estate agents Dexters. Anthony George, Director of Dexters London Bridge said they’ve “definitely seen a rise in tenants moving into London” again.
Recent research released by PA showed that some 30% of homes let in London this year so far have gone to people who were previously living outside the capital. According to sales and letting agent Hamptons it is the highest figure in at least a decade and compares to a five-year pre-Covid pandemic average of 23%, the report said.
The trend marks a sharp reversal compared with 2020, when just 12% of London tenants came from outside the city. During lockdown, many renters moved back in with parents or to more affordable or more rural areas.
The majority of tenants recently moving into London came from the surrounding Home Counties – locations including Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey.
Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons, said: “Tenants are returning to the bright lights of the city, and this is driving rental growth to record highs. The rise of remote working means that fewer tenants are moving to the capital specifically for work.
Tenants choosing to live in London are thought to be working fully remotely and could live anywhere in the country. “The footloose nature of many jobs today means that it will be culture and lifestyle rather than employment that becomes the capital’s biggest draw,” they explained.
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One area in Merseyside stands above the rest in terms of rising property prices.
House prices across the country shot up this past year, with the UK seeing the second-largest annual rise in well over a decade. Merseyside saw the average price reach £184,880 in April, according to the latest Land Registry data.
That was 0.6% above £183,859 in March and 10.2% more than a year earlier, when the figure was £167,764. In St Helens, the average house price rose by 15.3% over the year to £172,119 – the biggest increase of anywhere in Merseyside.
St Helens was followed on the house price increase list by Knowsley, where it went up 13.5% to £165,792, while in Liverpool it rose 10.5% to £174,890. Overall, Sefton had the highest average house price, at £201,519, although that represented a slightly more modest 9.8% annual increase.
Wirral saw a 6.8% rise to £195,860 in April 2022 from £183,327 in April 2020. Across the UK as a whole, the average home was valued at £281,161 in April, which was 12.4% (or £31,000) higher than £250,210 a year previously.
That was the second-largest rise in more than 15 years after prices increased by 13.3% in the year to June 2021, which was in part driven by a rush to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday put in place to boost the property market during the pandemic.
Commenting on the latest figures, Chris Jenkins, Office for National Statistics house prices statistician, said: “While annual growth nudged up again in April, this was mainly due to falls seen at this time last year from changes in the previous stamp duty holiday. Wales and Scotland saw the highest growth with London, again, growing the slowest.
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“Rental prices continued to grow steadily overall. However, while still lagging other nations and regions, growth in London continues to pick up.”
Despite rocketing house prices in many parts of the UK, some property experts are predicting the market could slow down in the coming months due to rising interest rates. The Bank of England recently raised interest rates for the fifth time in a row, to 1.25%, in a bid to put the brakes on rising prices by making borrowing more expensive.
Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said this could be “as good as it gets” for property owners. She added: “These figures reflect house purchase decisions made much earlier, when we had only had the very first of the interest rate rises, and the full horror of the energy price cap hadn’t kicked in. In many cases, buyers will have made an offer before the invasion of Ukraine, and well before it had a chance to feed so spectacularly into inflation.”
Working as an estate agent can’t be easy.
The industry can be competitive with many agents often failing.
However, if you’re doing it right, the rewards are most certainly worth it.
He wrote: “It’s becoming impossible to have a life in London and actually do activities!
“And I hate it when people say ‘oh but it’s London, it’s going to be expensive!’ F*** off! I know it is.”
While living in London can be quite expensive (as many of us already know), working as an estate agent is something else.
He added: “I’ve been working in the industry for 8 years now and all I can say yes, they’re all p****s.
“The average negotiator is paid a basic salary between £12,000-£18,000 (depending on experience).
“And they have to fight each other to top up their monthly income. The companies turn people into the cynical agents.
He also claimed agents do focus on who they think will be a better tenant for their properties because they represent the landlords.
The man continued: “Property managers I’d say have it the hardest!
“Imagine having to explain to a landlord who sits on a £20million portfolio that he has to change the washing machine for £200.”
While he went off on a tangent about landlords, the man then turned his attention to block managers who he labelled as useless.
His rant continued: “All they do is deflect and defer to the lease. Don’t get a management company and pay their fee.
“It’s pointless. Need a new roof for a block? Ask 5 roofers to check it out yourself.
“They’re probably just trying to use funds because works haven’t been done in years!
“All in all – this city sucks the life out of people. The quality of living is s***.”
Reddit users rushed to comment on the post as it racked up over 3,200 upvotes and almost 600 replies.
One said: “Well done for getting yourself out of that horrible job mate.”
Another added: “Haha could not said it better myself.”
While a third commented: “Beautifully written pal I hope to read more of your work in the future.”
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Like many people during the past couple of years, Don Ó Donnacháin and Will Leal Gonçalves realised they could do their work just about anywhere.
Don, who teaches at Queen’s University Belfast, and Will, a trainee chef, moved to Dublin when more employees began to log in to their offices remotely during the pandemic.
The mountains, the coast, the mountains and the scenery — and of course the idea of a new way of life.
“The series gives the buyers a chance to explore the surroundings, take advice from locals and professionals, and decide if the reality lives up to the dream.”
Presenter Tessa Fleming meets Don and Will in the first episode, to be aired on Monday evening. “The couple love the west of Ireland so we brought them to west and north Connemrara for its spectacular mountain and lake views,” she says.
They begin the search in the Gaeltacht area of Carna, about 50km west of Galway city. The cameras follow the couple as they explore doer-uppers and properties with room if not for a pony then perhaps for a few goats and hens.
- Episode One will be broadcast on RTÉ One on Monday, June 27, at 8pm and will also be available on the RTÉ Player
Buying a home is a high-stakes game. But many first-time buyers do not realise the significant financial and legal obligations they are bound to once they sign an Offer to Purchase (OTP).
“Many buyers look to real estate agents as their first point of contact to provide them with guidance and information as they traverse the road to homeownership,” said Jackie Smith, head of Buyers Trust, a subsidiary of Ooba Group.
Smith said that estate agents in South Africa are committed to the interests of both the buyer and seller. However, buyers must be responsible and educate themselves on the financial and legal implications that come with signing an OTP.
“OTPs are legally binding and massively expensive for you as a buyer should you try to back out from the deal after signing. Therefore, you must ensure that you are adequately informed and prepared for the decision you’re about to make. Here is a set of questions with will assist you with the decision-making required,” Smith said.
Question 1: Have you calculated your long-term affordability?
Buying a home is a long-term financial commitment, with the most common bond repayment period being 20 years.
“Buyers must think long-term: Are you able to afford the costs that come with buying a property? Will you be able to comfortably afford your repayments every month? Can you still afford the property when there are interest rate increases? Will you still be able to afford the payments in the case of an unexpected life event?” Smith said.
The general rule of thumb is to not spend more than 30% of your gross salary on a bond repayment each month – even if you get approved for a larger bond. This percentage considers possible interest rate hikes and leaves room for living expenses.
“Long-term affordability is the most important issue to consider,” said Smith. “If a potential buyer cannot afford to finance the purchase of the property at a particular price-point long-term, it would be irresponsible for them to go further.”
Question 2: Do you have a deposit and where would you like it to be kept?
There are many benefits to putting down a deposit – Typically around 10% of the purchase price. Having a deposit will reduce the monthly bond repayment amount and can help you to negotiate a lower interest rate with the bank as you have proven your ability to contribute to the total cost of the property.
“It also helps buyers to stand out from the competition when multiple buyers are vying for the same home,” noted Smith
Once you have decided to put down a deposit, you must decide how you would like it to be managed as you have multiple options to choose from.
These options include:
- Paying the deposit into the transferring attorney’s trust account.
- Paying the deposit into the estate agent’s trust account.
- Having a guarantee issued by a secure third-party like Buyers Trust.
“Many estate agents prefer not to manage buyer’s deposits because of the extra admin associated with it and the need to up their security to protect the deposit from cybercrimes such as phishing,” said Smith.
“Thus, buyers should be aware of the third-party alternatives available when it comes to managing the deposit, such as the service offered by Buyers Trust.”
Under Buyers Trust, you receive a competitive return on your investment and deposits are kept safe through the highest level of security measures. A buyer has 100% visibility of their deposit at all times and a free guarantee is issued to the transferring attorney.
Question 3: Do you have money set aside for the extra costs involved?
You as the buyer are responsible for the legal fees of the conveyancer, as well as paying the transfer duty to SARS.
In addition to these costs, you must factor in rates payable to the municipality, fees to the relevant banks and administrative costs incurred in the filing of paperwork.
As an example, here are the extra fees on a R1,500,000 freehold home calculated using Ooba’s transfer cost calculator:
- Bond registration cost (incl VAT): R29,394
- Bank initiation fee (incl VAT): R6,038
- Deeds office fees: R1,371
- Post, petties, FICA other fees (incl VAT): R1,400
Total bond registration cost = R38,203
- Property transfer costs (incl VAT): R29,394
- Transfer duty: R18,750
- Deeds office fees: R1,371
- Post, petties, FICA and other fees (incl VAT): R1,400
Total transfer cost = R50,915
Total extra costs: R89,118
“For more expensive properties. the extra costs involved in buying a home can be more than R100,000,” said Smith. “Given that buyers are legally required to pay these fees once the OTP is signed, it’s crucial that your estate agent sits down with you to make sure that you understand the total costs involved in the homebuying process.”
Question 4: Do you understand the terms of the OTP?
Finally, the somewhat obvious question a buyer should ask themselves before signing a legally binding OTP – do you understand what you’re agreeing to?
As a buyer, your estate agent will be able to explain the OTP carefully to you so you understand what you are going to agree to before you sign. “Pay close attention to the section in every agreement that lists fixtures (attached to the property, such as ceiling fans) that are excluded and chattels (not permanently attached, such as appliances) that are included,” said Smith.
Smith recommends that buyers inspect the property carefully before making an offer. “If you discover significant issues only after the OTP has been signed, you’re potentially stuck with a less-than-desirable property.”
“Finally, your estate agent will be able to help you to stipulate any conditions in the OTP that need to be fulfilled before you can complete the transaction. These could include the sale of your current home, or that the purchase is subject to your bond application being approved. This gives you time to acquire the necessary funding,” she said.