Our York office has a boutique and niche feel, and we cover the upper end of the residential market in North Yorkshire, selling some of the finest property in the region. Our mission is to deliver optimum service and results for vendors and buyers alike by combining cutting edge marketing strategies with our knowledge of the market and our personable skills. The type of property we sell befits the Sotheby’s International Realty brand thus making our connected business perfect partners to work with each other.
York is seen as a property “hot spot” in the north of England. The city centre is abundant with wonderful architecture as well as cutting edge modern development and a vibrant lifestyle, making it a go-to destination. Connectivity to London is wonderful with direct trains taking less than 2 hours to travel between the two places which has resulted in the last year many people relocating from London to York simply for a better life work balance. From York, the journey takes 40 minutes to reach the North York Moors National Park or The Yorkshire Dales and in 1 hour you are at the coast.
York has also seen strong capital growth year-on-year and now is one of the most prime destinations to live in the north. It is also a very popular tourist destination so those looking to invest and generate income through holiday lets are doing so.
A recent government announcement was presented by the media as the most significant milestone in property ownership in decades. The answer to the question in the title should therefore be an emphatic “Yes” but is that a little premature?
The rights of leaseholders to extend a lease or to acquire the freehold are well established. The process is currently governed by the provisions of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (as amended).
Further to the government announcement in January 2021 (following Law Commission recommendations), the statutory landscape in England will change.
The timing and to what extent however remains to be fully determined.
The primary changes proposed
Abolition of “marriage value”, being a sum that is linked to the increase in value of the property after a lease extension and payable to the landlord where the unexpired term of the lease is 80 years or less.
The right to extend the term of the lease of both flats and houses to 990 years at a zero ground rent.
The valuation of the premium payable will be simplified and an online calculator introduced.
Leaseholders would be able to agree a voluntary restriction on their development of the property (adding a storey for example) in order to avoid payment of development value.
A right for leaseholders to buy out the ground rent without having to extend the lease.
The future ground rent in new residential leases to be zero
Should I act now or wait for the reforms?
The government announcement has undoubtedly placed landlords, leaseholders and buyers in a difficult position.
There is no timetable in place for the enactment of the proposals. There is no guarantee that the legislation will reflect the proposals. The proposals will inevitably be subject to scrutiny and challenge by freeholders on human rights grounds.
For example, there are freehold owning charities who rely on the income from ground rents and premiums (including marriage value) to fund charitable initiatives – how will this income be replaced?
A leaseholder with a lease that is approaching the 80 year mark ought to take urgent advice on their options as a decision to wait for the reforms could have significant financial implications.
Leaseholders of shorter leases ought to undertake a very careful analysis of the possible scenarios and the likely financial outcome of each.
For instance, the premium to extend a short lease in Prime Central London could be several hundred thousands of pounds (or more).
To delay an extension whilst awaiting the reforms could significantly increase the premium payable. If marriage value was to be abolished in the reforms this might negate the increase in premium.
There is however no certainty that the marriage value will be abolished entirely meaning there would be significant risk in deciding to wait for the reforms in such circumstances.
We would recommend that discussions take place at an early stage with an experienced lawyer and valuation surveyor to consider the various outcomes so that each route can be properly evaluated. There may also be opportunity for offers to be made to landlords who do not wish to wait for the outcome of the reforms.
There is a lot more to come in this story. Assuming the government does press ahead it could be 2-3 years before we know the extent of the changes to the statutory landscape.
Managing Associate in the Real Estate department at Ince and a specialist in leasehold reform matters.
Thank you to David for his insightful piece, we certainly hear a lot of questions associated around the leasehold terms on London property, and it is undoubtably true that extensions add value to your investment. Whether this be to stabilise your pricing and market value for selling, or that its a cost you need to consider in your offer price when buying.
If this is a subject you would like to learn more about please get in touch to schedule a call with David or myself.
The first quarter of this year has been extremely busy in the residential market, with our team agreeing significant sales on a weekly basis with both our locally based clients, and we have naturally also seen an increase in remote purchases from our international clientele.
As we head positively towards air corridors reopening and with a large backlog of interest from international buyers planning to fly in to London we are expecting a highly active Q2 & Q3 in sales.
If you have also been considering selling a property, now is the perfect time to begin the process with us.
Are you looking to expand your property portfolio? Find out how we can help!
What is UK Sotheby’s International Realty’s Invest Service ?
We source opportunities, and carry out the due diligence for clients wishing to invest in property. We help both people who are just starting their property journey and others who are looking to expand their existing property portfolio.
This involves supplying clients with detailed insights into how different types of properties or investment strategies work in the current market. We endeavour to help our investors to build up a pension, create an additional income steam or simply leave a legacy.
We can also help manage all types of property projects.
Why do we offer Invest Service?
Finding properties with real potential for a competitive price, is becoming increasingly difficult. As specialists in this area, we have the experience, skills, knowledge and network of connections to help.
How does Invest Service benefit landlords who are looking for new investment opportunities?
Existing landlords are often extremely busy, particularly if they are managing their own properties. By using our invest service, investors benefit from working with professional, reputable, passionate property people who know the local market and have access to great deals.
Sotheby’s UK Invest takes away the time to research your next opportunity.
Why do landlords choose to work with UK Sotheby’s International Realty to invest rather than go it alone?
The main reason they choose to work with us is because we save them time, hassle and in the long-term money.
In many cases we also let and manage our investors’ existing properties, so they have real confidence in our services.
What is the key difference between Invest Service and a Property Buyer?
The biggest and most important difference is that we use our own in-house team to let and manage the properties that have been sourced for investors. That way, we gain a deep understanding of how a property will perform over time. It means we can give a much more consistent and accurate overview of an investment rather than just focus on purchase prices and market statistics.
A property buyers experience is often limited to seeking out properties for purchase, without the long-term commitment to investors.
Let us source it. Renovate it. Find the tenant. Manage it.
You don’t have to wait to develop your portfolio in London or across the UK.
In fact, you shouldn’t wait.
With the UK Government about to levy the Foreign Buyer’s Tax, letting us source your next rental investment now would save you money.
The UK Stamp Duty Holiday has been extended, knowing that buyers are continuing to snap up properties in order to save on stamp duty. This means there’s a good amount of high quality properties on the market, and you don’t have to wade through the listings yourself.
I reached the end of my three months internship at UK Sotheby’s International Realty. Through this short article, I’ll try to summarize the memorable experience I just lived.
I was in charge of content creation and management on Facebook and LinkedIn. I used Hootsuite to schedule around 300 posts. As a result of my work, I increased by 14% the number of fans and by 58% the number of engagements on Facebook. Regarding LinkedIn, I boosted by 17% the number of followers and by 135% the number of engagements.
Moreover I worked collaboratively with the accountants’ team creating the annual fees report on Excel. It was a great opportunity for me to learn new skills. For example, I learned how to use pivot tables when formulating the yearly figures, providing relevant information to the head of the company. My previous training in Excel also enabled me to help my colleague who was having issues with computing payment delay. By creating a conditional formula using “Datedif” I was able to create a simple and efficient way to tackle this problem.
Due to my marketing skills developing rapidly throughout the internship, I was trusted with the project of creating a document that would be given to clients when valuating properties. Clients could then receive a clear, formulated document instructing them on pricings and future steps that will be conducted. It was extremely thrilling to produce something the company will use in the future.
I was also put in charge of creating the monthly internal newsletter for October and November as well as an article on the evolution of exchange rates.
Using my native language, I helped the company by translating property descriptions from English to French, targeting potential French clients.
Shadowing viewings with both sales and lettings, brokers enabled me to firstly understand the techniques which are conducted when interacting with clients but also served as a great way for me to discover new areas of London.
I say a massive thank you to Amanda and all the team for welcoming me even during this hard time with those unusual conditions. It was great to start my gap year with UK Sotheby’s International Realty. By the way, I am currently looking for my next internship, I focus my research on investment banking, wealth and asset management, or financial services. Any help would be very welcome, you can reach me via LinkedIn or via email.
To celebrate the partnership between Difference Coffee and UK Sotheby’s International Realty, we were delighted to offer the opportunity to win a collection of Difference Coffee’s Classic Collection, the best selling boxes (valued at £99). These coffee pods are Nespresso-compatible capsules, and used by some of the best restaurants in the world. Simply sign up to the mailing list using the form below for your chance to win and don’t forget to share the contest with a friend.
Entries were accepted until 20th December, 2020 and the winners will be notified shortly after. One winner will be chosen at random. Prize is non-transferable and must be fulfilled before 31st March, 2021. By entering this contest, entrants confirm they are 18+ years of age.
The major news is that Chancellor Rishi Sunak has now raised the minimum Stamp Duty threshold to £500,000; where previously Stamp Duty was paid on homes sold for at least £125,000, for first time buyers, or on properties sold for more than £300,000.
However for those in the upper real estate market…things get a bit cloudier. Understandably, each case and situation is different so we encourage you to call us to find out how much you will be saving under the new rules.
Variables include whether or not you’re buying a second home, an investment, and the various price ranges above £500,000.
Regarding the effects of the Covid-19 Lockdown on incoming post-secondary student activity from China to the UK, existing students are making-do with online classes but have expressed missing out on the quality and efficiency of classroom teaching, in particular face to face communication with teachers and classmates. We are receiving questions about whether Chinese families will continue to send their children to the UK for education – and the answer is YES. However, it is too soon to tell the quantity.
In the short term, Coronavirus may have dampened our will to travel worldwide, and we do expect a certain reluctance to take long-haul flights. The English may fear going to the country of origin, and the Chinese may fear coming to the European hotspot where we are still in the throes of battling the virus. In the long term, there are other socio-economic and political factors at play. However, we are seeing a particularly swelling level of enquiries from Hong Kong looking at the UK as a potential “safe-haven” with the political uncertainties and the welcoming gesture made by Boris Johnson on the promises of citizenship.
For those students and families looking to emigrate out of China, achieving an education in the UK is still a desirable and valuable option. However; if we are considering Hong Kong’s situation with respect to political changes enforced by China, we may see a new wave of immigration via education.
From the Chinese perspective, UK has performed incredibly well to offer support during the lockdown and their prevention methods were also successful in flattening the curve. So will we see more Chinese students arriving to the UK post-Coronavirus any time soon? It might be a while.
Our China Desk has made a significant sale of £12 million over the lockdown period, and have continued to make strides with closing property investment deals where virtual viewings were sufficient to satisfy investor needs. While we know the bigger investors have been relatively minimally impacted, the investors with a more modest budget will wait to hedge their bets till the time they can fly over to view in person. We continue to provide a wealth of information, promoting our virtual viewings and virtual reality options to Chinese enquiries coming in from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vancouver; thus they gain a UK Sotheby’s International Realty education in UK real estate for both clients and buyers without the classroom setting.
Surrounded by a rewarding mix of modern style and iconic history, London Dock is situated in the heart of the capital, moments from Tower Bridge, The Tower of London, St Katharine Docks and the City. With a number of London underground and Docklands Light Railway stations within walking distance, London Dock offers quick and easy access to London’s main financial centres of the City and Canary Wharf, as well as the exciting cultural and creative neighbourhoods of Shoreditch, Whitechapel and Bermondsey.
Wapping is a truly authentic destination, filled with independent cafés and restaurants, which has for hundreds of years been a vibrant part of London life. The Prospect of Whitby – London’s oldest riverside pub – was popular with Charles Dickens, diarist Samuel Pepys and renowned artists Turner and Whistler. By the river, Hermitage Community Moorings attracts sailing barges, tugs and small boats, keeping alive Wapping’s river heritage.
As of 15th of June, face coverings will be required on all public transport in England
As we emerge from lock-down, staying alert is part of the new normal. We are open for business and we continue to follow the guidance provided by the government. We are booking viewings and valuations as per usual with respect to new safety measures.