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Property Market    No Comments

I wrote a couple of months ago that we’d had a surprisingly good start to the year – january was 60% up on the same month last year (but January 2010 was blighted by bad snow). At the time I was too cautious to say for sure that the property market was picking up but I did have my fingers crossed.

The growth has continued – we have had the highest number of new conveyancing transactions (sales and purchases)  since March 2008  – that’s 3 years ago!  Are things changing?

You don’t hear anything about it in the press though because

a. bad news sells and can be re-sold over and over again

b. their data is continually out of date.

I was in London last week meeting other conveyancers from The Conveyancing Association – people who are serious about conveyancing. It’s one of the few chances I have to get a good feel for the wider market outside our area. I got the same message we’ve been experiencing – the January results varied but there was a general consensus that the market has started to hot up in March.

I’ve no idea why it’s picking up now – one theory is that the housing market has a lot to do with confidence. The projected spending cuts have filled people with dread and worry for the last 8 months. Now the cuts are finally starting to make their way through people are reacting to the reality not the publicized Armageddon scenario (as in ‘armageddon out of here! – sorry – couldn’t resist that one). The reality is rarely as bad as the perceived problems so people are starting to get on with their lives.

The budget didn’t hold any “nasties”  so I don’t believe that that will stall the market as the previous budget did. The first time buyer incentive could help things a bit (though it seems to be a carbon copy of a scheme that labour introduced a few years ago)

Once people know that their job is secure and how much their monthly mortgage will be then hopefully consistency will return.

We will see –  for now  I  am just enjoying the moment.



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Quicker conveyancing    No Comments

The land registry are the final cog in the wheel of  purchasing a property.

Once you have got over the stress/excitement of moving into your new home or buying an investment we  prepare the documents to go to the land registry to enable the  title deeds to be registered electronically and put into your name.

I received a call  from the Land registry last week.

They are centralising their support teams so instead of us having to write to land registrys all over the country we will now write to one based in Nottingham.  It also means that we will be dealing with one customer support team rather than different teams based across the country.

Whilst reading this you may wonder why this hasn’t been  done sooner as it makes sense to do it that way.  It is difficult to criticise  anyone in the property industry over the last 3 years as
cost savings have been the name of the game and the land registry has undergone some signifcant changes but they  have always driven  efficiencies and this is the latest in a long line of steps moving away from paper to a paperless system .

The main benefit to you is if you need to sell the property on or remortgage it to raise some money then that process can be speeded up.

It also means you have the reassurance of becoming the owner that bit sooner!

Cheers, Matt

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Leasehold extension    No Comments

Recently I was chatting with a colleague, William who attended a leasehold training event in London.

The room was packed with solicitors from London. Most were swamped with buying/selling of the freehold interest in leasehold properties and all the problems that came out of that.

The consensus of the room was that now was a very good time to buy your freehold.

In the present econmic climate Landlords (people who own the freehold) are keen to realise some money to help their cashflow and generally are willing to negotiate a sensible price.

Owning the freehold to your leasehold property gives you:

– Greater control over the management of the property so you can extend the property or make common areas look great if your landlord wasn’t performing its duties.
– Increases the value of your property – a leasehold property sold with the freehold has more value than a straight leasehold and is more attractive.
– Allows you alter the lease so that you can extend the lease term without having to pay a premium for it. You can alter the lease for other reasons such as allowing domestic pets (although these changes would have to occur to all leases in the block).

If you want to have a chat about your options please contact our specialist leasehold solicitor William James on 01623 451111 or at wjames@fidler.co.uk

Matt Slade

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signing contracts    No Comments

As a brief introduction, I’m Matt Slade – head of the conveyancing department. I’ve blogged in other parts of the the site but this is my first on the fidler blog.

We often get asked whether it matters if you use a local solicitor or one in another part of the country. I sit both sides of this fence so will try and provide a balanced view rather than push one point of view.

Our clients do not need to come into the office for any part of sale or purchase – no exceptions.

However some clients prefer to come into office for a host of reasons eg they prefer listening to someone rather than reading a report.

If a client wants to come into the office then we’d normally only ask them to come in in relation to their purchase (we don’t normally ask clients to come in at all on a sale only) and then it would be to go through contracts and documents on the purchase. They get to meet us face to face and ask questions that may have been on their mind.

If they choose not to come in then we prepare a written report  on the property that someone is planning to buy – a lot of people prefer this because they can read it at their leisure and they’ve got it in black and white what we’ve said – sometimes after leaving our office they might not remember everything they were told. Also meeting a solicitor can be overwhelming so sometimes it is better to settle down with a cup of tea and have a good read of the documents in your home without time pressure. If you are unsure then you can talk to person who drafted the report by email/phone. Another argument in favour of the remote idea is that that time off work is for holidays and spending time with the family rather than visiting stuffy solicitors (we aren’t stuffy).

Personally I prefer to listen but my wife prefers to read so she reads the stuff out to me and we are both happy!

It boils down to the service you want to experience and  the premium you put on your time.



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