News & views from Urban.co.uk

Keeping your friends close, but your investments closer!

Posted by: Adam Male on 14 September 2016
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Apparently we like to keep our friends close, and our investments closer!

A new report, by Simple Landlords Insurance, has revealed that 65% of landlords live within 10 miles of their rental properties, meaning they are able to manage the day-to-day running to the property themselves.

Of the 10,000 landlords questioned, only 13% live 10 to 25 miles from their investment, whilst just 15% live 50 miles or more away.

65% had made a conscious decision to invest (it’s not clear if this is the same 65% that live so close and manage their own investments!), whilst a significant 17% of respondents admitted to being accidental landlords, who may not be entirely sure of the processes required to comply with increasingly complex landlord legislation. An additional 9% revealed that they had purchased property for a relative to live in, but admit that they are still maintaining the role of a landlord. 

Urban.co.uk Q&A: My tenant thinks they've found Japanese Knotweed in my garden. Is this a problem?

Posted by: Adam Male on 14 September 2016
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Q.

My tenant is a keen gardener and has identified Japanese knotweed in the garden of my property. Is this a problem?


A. 

Unfortunately, yes.

Japanese Knotweed is a tricky plant, and the enemy of gardens (and buildings!) everywhere. Introduced into the UK from Japan way back in the 1840’s, the plant was originally intended as an ornamental plant, but it is now known as the UK’s most intrusive plant species – causing damage to waterways, railways and most significantly, property.

It can be tricky to spot, so firstly, make sure your tenant has identified to correct plant.

In the early spring, reddy purple shoots will emerge from the ground, rapidly forming sturdy ‘canes’. Spade-shaped green leaves with quickly unfurl from these canes, and by early summer you could be looking at a plant up to around 3m high. By mid-late summer, white flowers will be blooming.

Spring

 

 Summer

 

 Autumn / Winter

The plants seem to die in autumn, with the leaves dropping, although the canes will remain standing.

Japanese Knotweed is insatiable in it’s quest for growth, and has been known to crack concrete, drains, paving and brick walls in order to expand – even growing in cavity walls and eventually forcing them apart - so if you think you have identified it, you need to move quickly, the sooner it is dealt with, the better!

 You have two options for destroying the plant - herbicide treatment, or removal. Herbicide treatment is usually the cheaper option but will take at least one complete growth cycle, so you could be looking at a year’s worth of treatment, and the ongoing patience of your tenant. Removal is a swifter option, but isn’t always possible depending on where the plant is growing. Seek the advice of a Japanese Knotweed specialist to advise on your situation, but whatever you do – do it quickly!

Slim pickings in this street - unless you're happy to breathe in...

Posted by: Adam Male on 8 September 2016
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Chances of stumbling across your perfect property on your first day out house-hunting is slim, but not as slim as this narrow little number!

Believed to be London’s narrowest house, this Victorian property on Peel Street, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, is only seven foot wide.

However, it’s price tag doesn’t quite match its dinky dimensions… it’s just been put on the market at a staggering £1.2million! Despite this, the property remains one of the cheapest freeholds in Kensington.

The previous owner had the inside designed by a canal boat designer, so as to make the most of the challenging layout, and with two reception rooms, two bathrooms, a balcony, garden and planning permission for a basement extension, there’s likely to be plenty of people queuing up to get hold of this slice of prime London property.

 

Let’s just hope they queue outside, might get a little cramped otherwise… 

Third of homeowners frustrated with their position

Posted by: Adam Male on 7 September 2016
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Recent research has suggested that one in three homeowners are not satisfied with their position on the property ladder.

The report, by Lloyds Bank, reveals that 33% hoped to have made more progress on the property ladder by the age they are currently at, with 43% of first time buyers lagging way behind where they hoped they would be.

The aspiration to settle in their ‘forever home’ is a big desire, with 74% of homeowners who are not living in their forever home believing that they will have a further two years’ slog before they can even consider their next move. Over 80% believe that they will have to wait longer now to buy this long term property than they would have done ten years ago.

The survey found that the ideal property had three bedrooms (a desire for 40% of respondents), with a garden, garage and conservatory featuring highly on the wish list. 

£60 for loo roll, £15 for ketchup, £17 for rice... Are you a #PricedOutLondoner?

Posted by: Adam Male on 6 September 2016
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Despite the turbulent financial climate, nothing seems to be able to stem the capital’s spiralling property prices. Whilst the cost of living is rising everywhere, nowhere is it hiking faster that in London, and the internet has taken the issue to its heart and, got creative!

The #PricedOutLondoner Tumblr blog has illustrated just how high prices have risen, by mirroring house price growth alongside items you’d buy in the everyday shop.  

For example, it says house prices in Oval, south London have risen 938% over the last 20 years. When this rate of inflation is applied to a large avocado, it would cost £10.38.

An everyday stable 2kg bag of basmati rice would cost £17.96 had gone up in price in line with house prices in Camden, north London, which have seen a 696% rise.

 

Heinz tomato ketchup would cost £15.52 if it was catching up with the 676% rise seen in Dalston, east London.

A family home has shot up 670 is Westminster, so your family's needs (a 74-pack of Pampers nappies) would come in at a whopping £73.15

You'd be flushing away your hard earned cash if loo roll were to shoot up 722% in line with Westminster prices, at £61.65 for 16 rolls! 

 

The cash would be melting away if cheese went up 938% like property in Marylebone has, with a block of mature cheddar coming in at £36.33!

Terrible for the bank balance, great for the Clubcard points!

However, not all properties are priced way out of the average Londoner's reach. Here at Urban.co.uk we have some fantastic homes that might just be the perfect option for a frustrated house-hunter looking to take the first step onto the London ladder, and still be able to afford to fill their new fridge!


Woolwich, two bed - £270,000

  

  • Lift
  •  parking (resident and visitors)

  •  Gym / Sauna

  •  Private gated grounds

  •  Stunning views

  •  Balcony

For more information click here 

 

 Arnos Grove, two bed - £350,000

 

  •  New kitchen

  •  New bathroom

  •  Fantastic school catchment area

  •  Great links to public transport

For more information click here

 

Norwood, three bed penthouse - £399,950

  • Panoramic views of London skyline

  •  Three double bedrooms

  •  Ensuite

  •  Build in wardrobes / lots of storage

For more information click here