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We had a review meeting with a National builder this week and the conversation turned to the market.
They reported a very good August (see my last blog) but a surprisingly slow September.
Our September has been steady even solid but none of the whistles and bells of August. The numbers will be higher than this time last year.
Traditionally August is quiet and September is buoyant but there you go – we are in a brave new world.
The one thing I can report with certainty is there a strong underlying trend upward.

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The recent popularity on free solar panels being installed on peoples properties, (see my earlier blogs for details on this), has meant that there are a lot of mortgaged properties that may be effected by this.

 I have been approached by many clients asking what the implications of this are and what should they tell their lenders.

 It would seem that many people simply do not tell their lenders. This is a clear breach of the terms of the mortgage agreement and significant problems could emerge as a result of this further down the line.

 Some of the lenders that are told about this are insisting on a break clause in the lease governing the installation and occupation of the solar panels on the basis that this could prejudice their position if the property ever had to be repossessed.

 Most modern charges or mortgages over properties have a restriction registered against the title whereby their permission would be required before a lease can be registered anyway.

 Lenders are also acknowledging that in many cases having solar panels on the properties increases the marketability of the property and therefore relaxing their initial restrictive approach to them being installed.

Should you have any queries in relation to the implications of solar panels installed on properties and how this will affect the conveyancing of these properties please email me at wjames@fidler.co.uk

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House Boats    No Comments

I see a lot of strange matters coming through the Fidler and Pepper door but I have yet to see a conveyancing matter for a Boat!

However this might become more commonplace. The Government is urging Local Authorities to be more creative when it comes to meeting housing needs and has suggested helping people set up home on house boats in areas where land is at a premium. What has typically been seen in large cities such as London could now be more commonplace in areas outside the capital. Whether this is realistic solution to solve the housing shortage problem remains to be seen but at least it will add some variety to the conveyancing matters I receive.

There is some good news however in that government owned land has potentially been earmarked for release potentially allowing up to 100,000 new homes to be built!

Should you have any enquiries in relation to conveyancing matters relating to houseboats please drop me a line at wjames@fidler.co.uk.

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Property journalists must be having a hard time of it recently. There are good figures and bad figures popping up – they must find it difficult to know which way to jump – but they usually choose the safe option – with phasers set to ‘misery’  they are assured of geting an article published because bad news sells.

from First Rung Now (a website aimed at first time buyers) indicates that the level of mortgage lending to first time buyers hit its highest level for a year in July 2011. In addition it points out that a report by Moneysupermarket.com last week showed first time buyers made up 41 per cent of searches for mortgage advice in August this year, the highest proportion in 12 months.

Why is this important? Well buying property in England and Wales usually involves a chain of transactions – Someone buys A’s house, who in turn buys B’s house, who in turn buys C’s house and so on. It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to work out that for such a chain to exist there nees to be someone who is buying a house only (i.e. not selling as well) and this person or persons are usually first time buyers.

With the relentless rise of property prices over the last  40 years,  it has become harder and harder for first time buyers to get onto the property ladder. If you’re already there it’s not so bad – although the one you’re buying has risen in value, the one you’re selling has also gone up. Over the decades  the lenders have risen to this challenge and come up with different (and admittedly sometimes daft) ways  to lend money to first time buyers – to the point where everything overheated in 2008, and we had the banking crisis. What fun that was. There was allegedly a ‘massive crash’ in house prices but the reality was that from the peak to the trough house prices only dropped by about 15% (source Nationwide). Since March 09 prices have risen by about 10%, and since January 2010 they’ve really been bobbing up and down around the same sort of levels – some months up and some months down but we’re talking movements of less than a percent each time.

An interesting set of statistics that are also on the Nationwide site is a first time buyers affordability index – which shows mortgage payments as a percentage of take home pay. This shows that back in 2005 mortgage payments were at about 42% of take home pay. This rose even higher than that to a peak of 52% at the end of 2007 – so that that stage over half of your take home pay was going out in mortgage payments. Following the turmoil in the markets this index has fallen dramatically so that in January 2011 it was at a new low of 33.9%.

This is a huge change. It actually shouldn’t be too much of a surprise – with interest rates at an all time low the deals out there are very good, and the number of higher percentage loans (i.e. 90% plus – so you can borrow 90% of the purchase price) is growing – recently we heard of the first 100% loan to hit the market since the crash (Northern Ireland only but with talk of this spreading wider next year). There are rates as low as 3.49% fixed for 5 years (if you’d offered that at any time over the last 30 years you would have had your hand bitten off)

Throughout this period though the media seems hell bent on propagating as much doom and gloom as possible – you can hear the frustration in interviewers voices when a pundit doesn’t agree that the latest figures indicate a double-dip recession (Do you think journalists are on performance-related bonuses linked to a national misery index? imagine the pay-outs if we did get a double-dip)

Whilst you can dismiss this negativity as some Tarquin in Islington working hard towards his misery bonus, the effect on the real world is that people get depressed. First time buyers think that they will never get a mortgage so they don’t bother looking.   This latest news is hopefully a sign that things are on the change.

So come-on first time buyers – don’t believe the hype – find out for yourself what is out there

And if you need a conveyancing quote then give us a chance to pitch for your business













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Propertywatch    1 Comment

I nearly choked on my tea when I looked at the number of new jobs during August 2011.  It is highest equal month since April 2008.
The figure is 108% up on the new jobs last August 2010.
This is cold hard data and not opinion or supposition. The same cold hard data that saw the market  plunge into turmoil back in the latter  part of 2007 and took grip in 2008 and then flatlined for 2009,2010 but improve in 2011.
Anecdotally I saw a friend at the weekend who showed us the property of her dreams on Rightmove only to email me yesterday to say that it had sold (North Allerton) and my friends in New Zealand who have been on the market for most of the year sold their property in West Bridgford over the weekend. 
The Press will continue to talk about double dips but often the reports are generated from historic data and driven by other pressures such as selling newspapers or overly focusing on particular sectors of the economy.  
I am at the coal face and things are looking and feeling different.
Let’s hope it continues.      

If you a need a conveyancing quote please get in touch

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Quicker conveyancing    No Comments

It is considered that buying a property may be cheaper than renting. The reason for this is that since the recession, property prices have dropped and with the record low interest rates, buying a property might never have been so attractive. If you are planning to rent a property you will notice that rental payments over the last few years have not dropped if anything they may have increased.


If you do decide you wish to start the property ladder we suggest that you click on the hyper link for a conveyancing quote as we would be happy to assist you with your purchase.


Christie Limb.




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According to the BBC website between April-June 2011 in Ashfield the average house prices rose 5.8% and in Mansfield they rose by 3.7%.


This is great news for the local housing market.


If you are planning on buying or selling a property please click on the hyper link for a  conveyancing quote as we would be happy to assist you with your conveyancing transaction.


Christie Limb



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Property owners who carry out building works could find themselves liable not just for nuisance, but also for harassing their neighbours if their behaviour amounts to deliberate and persistent tormenting. An Englishman’s home may be his castle, but now there is a new weapon in the armoury to deal with feudal behaviour by neighbours from hell.

That’s the outcome of the latest Court of Appeal case which has ruled that house owners who torment their neighbours could find themselves in court for harassment. In a recent case a couple moved into their new home in Nottingham in 2002 and within a matter of weeks their next door neighbours, started major works to enlarge their house, both on the ground floor and by adding a third storey.
The work should have been completed within a year, but instead it dragged on for five years leaving neighbours to suffer from the resulting noise, dust, pollution and vibration. They also experienced trespass with the erection of scaffolding in their garden without permission, made holes in the gable end wall of their property to insert purlins, and caused substantial damage with increased structural loads caused by the new third storey.
Not surprisingly, the couple won their claim for nuisance and trespass, winning a substantial sum in damages. But more unusually, they also claimed damages for personal injury under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, which claimed had been caused by these neighbours and their family.

Severe back pain brought on by anxiety and depression meant one half of the couple had been unable to work since April 2005 and was receiving physiotherapy and counselling. Claiming that the anxiety was caused by their neighbours aggressive and intimidatory behaviour, their refusal to provide information about the progress of the work and by ignoring repeated requests to reduce the noise and make good the damage they had caused. They had also left abusive notes concerning the same sex relationship of the couple.
At the first trial, the judge agreed the behaviour was harassment but awarded  just £6000 for distress and anxiety, way below the amount they had claimed. He refused further compensation by saying the injuries and loss of earnings were not foreseeable.
But the Court of Appeal disagreed, saying that the trial judge had been wrong to apply negligence criteria to the claim. They said that there was no requirement of foreseeability under the Protection from Harassment Act and awarded the full amount claimed.

Although this judgement does not say that building works on their own will amount to harassment, it does give comfort to people who are faced with extreme behaviour by a neighbour. All too often there are stories of difficult and aggressive neighbours who refuse to put matters right. Following this judgement, those neighbours may be found guilty of harassment and they will have to pay the cost, whatever it may be.  It’s important to keep neighbours in mind when you’re buying a property.  Asking the sellers if there have been any previous disputes is one of the standard questions asked during the conveyancing process and if a seller doesn’t disclose any dispute, they will be in trouble for misrepresentation. And if you get involved with neighbours wanting to use part of your building for their own development, as in this case, then you need to find out what your rights are for any compensation and deal with it at the outset. The Court of Appeal held that the correct damages to compensate for tying into the dividing wall was £15,000, being the equivalent price that might have been paid if the households had negotiated a price and agreed what’s called an ‘easement’ on the property before work started.

If you are experiencing problem with neighbours contact us for legal advice.  If you are thinking of buying or selling your property you can also get a free instant fixed fee conveyancing quote.

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