Walton on Thames




Looking for the post-Brexit calm after the storm



As the fallout continues after the recent EU referendum, it’s fair to say that there’s plenty of confusion still in the air. Despite reassurances from some politicians and warnings of chaos from others, the UK population faces an uncertain time, at least until things settle down again.



The housing market may not change at all in the wake of this momentous decision, but even if it does the alterations are likely to come slowly. There are some politicians who have been predicting an almost apocalyptic world in the first few weeks of the new era, but in truth such claims are likely to be little more than misguided guesses.



There’s a good chance that the market will react slowly to any changes that are likely to come along, if only because we are entering an era that is completely new ground to us. The UK has been a part of the European Union for more than 40 years now, so a post-Union period will take a little getting used to.



No-one knows what the future holds…yet



The fact that the referendum result was so close (51.9% to 48.1%) means we are likely to be treading water for some time yet. At this early stage, there is even talk of having another referendum in a bid to give either side a sizable majority, and in turn to dispel any doubts among the electorate.



In the early hours of Friday when the final result was announced, the country was split between wild euphoria and abject depression. During such times we look to the economy to see how such decisions have been taken, and that means the housing sector will be under close scrutiny by experts and the general public alike.



Once the dust settles, we’re likely to see a housing market that will still react rather slowly to the ups and downs of the economy. There is very little chance of an instant boom or a sudden dip, so if you’re looking to buy houses in the local area there is no need to change your plans.



In the aftermath of such a momentous political decision, it’s important to separate the reality of what has happened from the sometimes outrageous claims of politicians with vested interests. Hopefully, we will start to hear some calmer opinions in the next few weeks, and then at last we will be able to see clearly through the mists of uncertainty.






How will the EU Referendum affect the Housing Market?



Over the years, there have been only two nationwide UK referendums, and this summer we are fast approaching the third one. This time around, just as we did in 1975, the nation will be voting on whether to remain a part of the European Union, and as expected the matter has stirred up a great deal of debate.



While it’s perhaps easy to understand why this subject is such an emotive one, it’s also all too apparent why so many people are still undecided about which way to vote. Whether you’re in the Cameron Camp or you prefer to Brexit with Boris, you may, like almost everyone else, still be a little unsure about how everything will develop.



A significant number of people on both sides of the divide have been offering their predictions for the housing market, and how it will be changing for better or worse once the votes have been counted. Here at James Neave, we have been monitoring the situation closely, and we are always happy to chat about the plus and minus points of the referendum.



The effects on the housing market of any political uncertainty tend to be fairly instant, and indeed this sector is often something of a litmus test for the whole economy. If the market in flats, houses and apartments stalls, the chances are the nation’s other sectors will soon be doing the same.



There are some aspects of the housing market which will almost certainly be affected from the start. If the UK decides to leave the EU, investing in overseas property may become more complicated, and it could be that we will see a slowdown in the number of foreign investors looking to buy British properties.



On the other side of the coin, if the population votes to stay in the Union, the housing market will no doubt stabilise almost immediately. In the months leading up to the vote, the economy in general tends to be in a state of limbo, as the movers and shakers wait to see what happens next.



Whichever way the people of Britain go, there is every chance that the earliest indicators of change in the housing market will be seen and felt in the south-east of England. And because of that, we here at James Neave are at the cutting edge of the developments.



If you’re unsure about how things will pan out, we’ll be delighted to have a chat with you. Give us a call today on 01932 221 331 and let’s discuss the possibilities.





Walton on Thames proving to be a Magnet for Retirees



A significant number of people who live in Walton on Thames face a daily commute to London every day, and although they meet the occasional complication in general they manage to get to work on time. There will no doubt be times when they’d rather not have to face the journey, but overall it’s a small price to pay for working in a vibrant city and living in a pleasant town.



There is also a sizable proportion of Walton’s population who have retired from the rat race altogether, and for them our lovely town offers the perfect location for a very happy and relaxing lifestyle. It’s a quiet and peaceful place in which to live, yet it offers all the amenities you’d expect from a modern, well-appointed spot with a number of impressive features.



While the majority of retirees are happy to leave the commute behind them, they are still pleased to know that London is only a short train journey away. There’s something rather exciting about the fact that one of the world’s most iconic cities is so easy to get to, and of course it’s also extremely easy to get away from at the end of a hard day’s sightseeing!



Always something to see, always somewhere to go



On any sunny weekday morning, you’re likely to see a number of retired people enjoying the sunshine in the parks and open spaces of the local area. Perhaps the most popular location of all is along the banks of the river, because refreshing walks with excellent views are always a pleasure.



The area around Walton on Thames High Street is home to a great selection of cafés and coffee bars which are perfect for meeting up with old friends. While many of the locals are toiling away in the offices, workshops and factories of London, retired members of our community are able to enjoy some quality time with loved ones over some delicious refreshments.



A significant number of retired locals once lived in London, and moved south in order to escape the hustle and bustle of the metropolis. Finding a house for sale in Walton on Thames is so easy, and there’s such a wide selection of properties to choose from. From cosy new apartments to grandiose old houses, you’ll always be able to find something that ticks all of your boxes.





Five Reasons for Vendors to Love the Summer



We all know that the summer season is a good time of year for ice cream sellers, manufacturers of garden furniture and seaside hotels, but did you know it can also be perfect for those who put their houses on the market? Buyers are on the lookout for the right property at any time, of course, but there is something special about the summer. Here are five reasons why.



Seeing everything in a new light



Whether you have a cosy flat or an expansive house to sell, you will want to present it in the best possible way, and it’s generally easier to do that during the summer. One of the vendor’s best friends is natural daylight, and of course there’s plenty of that at this time of year. Potential buyers can see your garden in all its glory and your rooms will be basking in natural light.



More time to shop around



Most buyers, even the most dedicated ones, will only have a certain amount of tolerance when it comes to viewing properties. They will set aside time to find the home of their dreams, and in many cases they will have a higher threshold in the summer than they would in the winter. It’s always more enjoyable to shop around when the days are longer and the temperatures are higher.



It’s a mood thing



Potential buyers will often be guided by their current mood, and in the majority of cases we tend to be happier in the summer than in the winter. It’s too easy to see negatives in a home when it’s cold and rainy outside, especially if the buyer has just suffered an uncomfortable and unpleasant journey in order to arrive for the viewing. An air of contentment can often make all the difference.



The garden can seal the deal



For most of us, the garden becomes something of a no-go area in the winter. Tables, chairs, children’s toys and planters are often put into hibernation in the shed, and the area is hardly seen as a crowd-pleaser. In the summer, however, it can be colourful, vibrant, attractive and, above all, inviting. For buyers, a beautiful garden can be just as important as a beautiful house.



Appeal to the whole family



Parents with young children will often find it difficult to view as many properties as they’d like, partly because of the need for child-minders and the pressures of school commitments. During the long summer holidays, however, the whole family can come along, enabling buyers to view more houses and, hopefully, to find the one that ticks the right boxes for everyone.





Statistics reveal a continuing increase in the popularity of renting



We have seen many reports in the media recently in regard to the number of people in the UK who are either renting or buying their own property. Over the past decade or so, there has been a sizable shift to private renting, and this is a trend that looks likely to continue in the coming years.



The statistics seem to back up the impression that fewer people are paying a mortgage now than in the past. The regular information gathered by the English Housing Survey has provided us with a number if interesting facts and figures, and in many cases they have proved somewhat surprising.



Figures published recently cover the period between 2013 and 2014, and they show that more people have paid off their mortgage in full than are still paying a mortgage. This is a clear indicator that fewer people are signing up to such deals, and are choosing to rent instead nowadays.



Mortgage numbers are dwindling now



According to the influential This Is Money website, the number of people with a mortgage has dropped to levels last seen in 1985, while renting is at its highest for more than 30 years. Much of this swing has been as a result of economic uncertainty during the recent global recession.



One in ten English households are now rented from a housing association, while around 7% are rented from a local authority. There are also around 4.4 million homes in England which are rented from private landlords, an indicator of the rise in buy to let (BTL) ownership.



There are a number of properties to let in and around Walton-on-Thames, and many of these would have been in the hands of owner-occupiers at one time. The local rental market is a thriving one, in part perhaps because of the popularity of this particular neck of the woods.



The cost of renting when compared with the cost of having a mortgage has been the subject of great debate over the years, but in truth the plus or minus points of each option will vary depending on the circumstances of the people in question. Average weekly costs of renting in England (£176) are, however, higher than average weekly mortgage repayments (£153).



Local authorities in most parts of the country have been under increasing pressure to build more housing, so it comes as no surprise to discover the rise in the number of dwellings in England. In 1996 there were 20.3 million, but this rose to 23.3 million in 2013.



The figures reveal some fascinating trends in the housing sector, and they serve once again to remind us that nothing ever stands still here. The coming years will continue to provide challenges to everyone involved in the industry, and here at James Neave we are always happy to be part of the process.


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