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.
2020 and 2021 undoubtedly saw a large increase in enquiries and moves from urban areas to more rural ones. There were two kinds of people: Those who moved lock stock and barrel and those who bought a place in the country and retained either their home in the city or ever downsized in the city. So far, following the success of the inoculation program, we have not seen a return to the city, with many movers now settled into their new areas and successfully working from their new home office. Locations near transport have been key and as long as there is an excellent road or rail network nearby, there has been little limit to how far from the city they are prepared to go, perhaps restricted by time instead.
For example, at the time of writing we have a couple buying a beautiful mews house within stunning rural converted stables and surrounding lakes and lawns, forming part of a larger manor house, whilst they retain their home in London. They love the idea of being close to their children and grandchildren, only a few miles away, yet they can be at their London home within 45 minutes. Our mailing list has increased exponentially with buyers looking for the perfect family house away from the city and at some point this will slow down, but right now, all the evidence is for this market to continue.
Most of the properties that have been taken up by this migratory force have been the larger family homes. Families with younger children through to late teens. Great schools nearby have been important, although many of the children stayed at their school, as long as they are boarding or commutable. At below £500,000 the market has been pushed along by factors such as the stamp duty holiday but also the pent-up need to move over the last year caused by working from home, births, employment etc. In prices over £1,000,000 it tends to be houses with great gardens and a good home office that have the greatest appeal and as said before, close to transport, yet away from the busy roads.
Buyers remain interested in unmodernised properties that they can renovate to their own specification and design but also, especially properties that are presented fully completed.
Properties in the commuter belt remain hot targets for buyers with a shortage of good stock and buyers waiting to pounce. A great house will sell very well and within a short period of time. Buyers are there waiting. Buyers from the UK and from international hot spots such as Hong Kong are longing to find the perfect house and if it is priced at the market value and presented well though all the mediums available, this really is a great time to sell or let your house. With the new school year fast approaching, buyers have every reason to capture the market today. Not only will they potentially save £15,000 stamp duty, they will enjoy their new gardens throughout this probable staycation summer.
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.
Like many industries over the last 12 months, especially one that has been built on face-to-face meetings, real estate has had to adapt to survive and utilizing the latest technology has become essential for us to succeed in the new normal.
In particular and now more than ever as we find ourselves in the midst of a 3rd lockdown, virtual reality (VR) is one of the most effective tools available and here’s why:
For tours, VR can provide a 360-degree view of a property, 3D floor plans, and an interactive experience of the location.
Prospective buyers and renters can view properties directly from devices like computers, tablets, and smartphones anywhere in the world.
VR tours can help prospective applicants immediately envision themselves in the home – it allows people to explore a property in detail and to actively engage with what they see in their own time.
People don’t have to physically see the property to be convinced to make an offer.
VR allows estate agents to have a 24/7 open house, with no restrictions on viewings – ultimately maximizing your exposure!
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in both an aversion to human contact where possible and increased familiarity with digital tools. When buying or renting a house, people are therefore better prepared to complete the whole process online and VR makes this how process much more transparent, as buyers/renters are fully aware of the condition, size, and location of the home from the very start.
As an industry leader, we have fully embraced the use of VR and see this becoming an integral part of our industry, even after the pandemic is behind us. With restrictions across the capital likely to strengthen over the coming weeks, maybe days, it is essential that you are best prepared for what lies ahead and while estate agents can still show property for now, there is every possibility this might change. If agents aren’t able to show property and applicants can only view properties online then without a proper VR tour available, there is every possibility you could find yourself with a vacant property and no income.
Get in touch with us now to speak about this further and get a quote for your home!
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.
The effects on the property market due to Covid-19 have been clear; with the country on lockdown since the end of March there has certainly been less activity across the UK housing market. However, since the lockdown measures were lifted for estate agents last month, we have seen an increase in lettings activity and it’s clear that people are preparing themselves for life after lockdown – a massive boost for the lettings market and one we certainly all needed!
At UK SIR, we saw lettings enquiries increase by over 130% from April to May, echoing our predictions of pent up demand during the lockdown period which put almost everything property related on hold. This huge increase is partly due to the fall in demand we saw at the end of March, but this is an extremely positive change and a sign that demand for rental properties is growing much more than sales.
Despite this returning demand and rise in enquiries, while rents initially remained fairly steady, new reports suggest that achieved rent levels look likely to come down and we have already seen Landlords accepting lower offers to ensure they have a tenant and eliminate any vacancy period even if this means taking a lower rent. June through to September is typically the busiest period of the year for lettings agents but with travel restrictions still in place, we have seen hardly any corporate relocations since Q1 and the uncertainty for students surrounding their studying means the flurry of international students we normally see at this time of the year is down as well. With that said, people will always need a place to live and with the wider impact of Covid-19 on the sales market, we expect to see more would be buyers filling the void and opting to rent instead with lettings being a more stable option as the long term effects of this pandemic become more clear. For that reason I expect the lettings market to remain buoyant with more activity predicted over the following months.
Those who are looking are planning for every eventuality and the lock-down has put peoples living situations into perspective with many revaluating what they actually need and what’s most important to them. Many of the enquiries we are now seeing have requests for outside space and a home working space which shows the shift in people’s needs as working from home for many is likely to continue for some time. With the fear this could happen again at the back of many people’s minds, they want to know they are prepared for another lock-down and have the most comfortable home environment possible.
This is also evident through the increase in activity from our Country Office. The demand for country rental properties is still strong with many London families looking to either up sticks and relocate to more rural areas with good connections into London or to acquire a second home where they can all live more comfortably without feeling on top of each other in their smaller London residences which might have little to no outside space. With the “staycation” also expected to be more popular this summer with families opting to stay in the UK rather than take the risk of traveling abroad, we expect to see many people taking out short-term holiday lets with houses coming with pools and tennis courts being the most popular.
During the lockdown it was important that we did not become complacent and were there to support our clients throughout this difficult time. While the country was on lockdown we continued to advise and prepare our landlords for when the lockdown is lifted. This was a great opportunity for many of them to get their properties ready whether that be finishing off the renovations, tidying up the garden or as we saw for many – organising virtual reality tours of their homes. We wanted to ensure we were putting our clients in the best possible position to capitalise on the returning activity as soon as social distancing measures were lifted and it was thanks to this effort that meant we were ready come 13th May, with multiple offers already agreed.
Abbey Lodge is a uniquely historical house in a desirable location. The house has a rich history, and dates predominantly from the 15th and 16th centuries. Farthinghoe is a rural south Northamptonshire village close to the border of north Oxfordshire. The village has a primary school, The Fox public house/restaurant, repair garage and parish church. There is good communication with intercity train services from Bicester North to London Marylebone and access to the M40 at either J10 for the south or J11 for the north.
Enjoy your first view of this traditional country house set within 12 acres from the gravelled sweeping driveway, the solid wooden door giving access to the traditional hall with flagstone floors and high ceilings, step into a cosy TV room with comfy armchairs, cushions and colourful throws, the perfect space to lose yourself in a movie. Passing back through the dining hall a larger lounge warmed by the open fire, welcomes you with comfortable seating for all that come to stay. The indoor pool with heated pool and changing rooms is perfect whatever the season with by folding doors that open onto the gardens.
This luxury farmhouse is the perfect place from which to explore the rolling Cotswold countryside whilst still being close to the market towns of Witney, Woodstock and the City of Oxford. The farm has plenty of space with 7 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 3 reception rooms and a superb Johnny Grey designed kitchen. New Yatt is a small village situated 2 miles from the bustling market town of Witney. Woodstock and Blenheim Palace are 7 miles away and the “city of dreaming spires” Oxford 12 miles.
Presenting this modern two-bedroom, two-bathroom first floor lateral apartment with a large semi-open plan living room complete with a modern bespoke kitchen. The apartment is beautifully presented having been recently redecorated throughout and further benefits from access to a balcony from the living room. Turner House is perfectly located in the heart of Covent Garden and is moments from the Covent Garden Piazza benefiting from the plethora of shops, bars and restaurants the area has to offer.
To tell my story, even in brief, I have to go back…. way back…. to the late 1800’s, to my Great, Great Grandfather, Archibald Cameron Corbett.
The son of a successful Glasgow merchant and philanthropist, Archibald became one of the principle developers of east London, with some prominent areas of London and a residents society , The Corbett Society, is still named after him.
Later he became involved in politics joining the Liberal party & then becoming the MP for Glasgow Tradeston until his retirement from the House of Commons in 1911, when he was created 1st Baron Rowallan.
He was amazingly generous gifting free accommodation and in extreme examples, whole country estates and parks to the local people for their pleasure.
For example, Rouken Glen Park, a beautiful 143 acre house and park, in Glasgow was given to the citizens of Glasgow and similarly the stunning 9,000 acres of the hills to the north west of Glasgow known as Ardgoil Estate (right)
In 1901 Archibald bought the Rowallan Estate, some 6,000 acres in Ayrshire, Scotland and having already got a cold 12th century Scottish castle on it, he decided to build a bigger, modern home for the family to live in…and that’s where I grew up…my childhood home.
The New Castle
My Great grandfather, Thomas, the 2nd Baron Lord Rowallan was awarded the Military Cross in WWI for attempting to dig out some wounded soldiers who had been buried by artillery, while “under heavy fire and in full view of the enemy”, receiving a leg wound which left him with a permanent disability. He became Chief Scout of the Commonwealth and British Empire in 1945, was governor of The Bank of Scotland, received the Freedom of the City of Edinburgh and became a Knight of the Thistle, a position that merits a seat that is still an attraction on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh today. He served as the Governor of Tasmania from 1959 where there are still areas named after him. Thomas was married to Gwyn, who was the sister of Jo Grimond, Baron Grimond, the leader of the Liberal Party.
Now to my Grandfather, Arthur, 3rd Baron Lord Rowallan. A veteran of WWII he won a Croix de Guerre, a French military decoration awarded to those soldiers who distinguish themselves by acts of heroism involving combat with the enemy for his part in the 2nd world war & moved to Spain where he ran several very popular bars restaurants & night clubs.
My Father, John, 4th Baron Lord Rowallan, a chartered surveyor and highly respected international show jumping judge is now retired & lives in Scotland not far from the former family estate.
The estate and my family home were sold in the late 1980’s to pay inheritance tax and other unaffordable costs.
Since my mid-teens I have been a hard worker, working various local jobs gaining experience and always paying my way. Farming was in my blood, driving alongside the combine, collecting the corn and driving all 18 tonnes up and down the A1 in Northumberland to the depot for one job. The scenery working in Morayshire, northern Scotland, east of Inverness, was arguably the most scenic. Selling houses there was simply breath-taking.
I made a decision when living in Edinburgh to make my first proper foray into England to complete my education at The Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, Gloucestershire the place I considered best for training to become a farmer / country estate manager. Whilst there and for a few years after, I worked in various bars /clubs and estate agencies and selling ex MOD properties for a large national developer. I had summers returning to my farming roots working on potato farms; literally working 18 hours a day, 7 days a week earning a fantastic salary and used this as both experience and to save money to contribute to buying my first house.
In 1997 I found a vacancy in an Estate Agency in in Fulham, London. Having never really been to London or indeed lived in London I saw this as a great opportunity and took it. It was there that I flourished in my early career.
In 2003 on the birth of my first child I moved out of London to a small hamlet just outside of beautiful Bath. I worked for several years for one of the world’s leading international properties companies before heading further south to Dorset to a large south western multi discipline agency. I loved that firm, but the bright lights of London beckoned again and we moved again. However, this time not all the way in.
Settling in Cobham, Surrey and now with two children, I commuted to my old London firm who had asked me back! Under my direction, this amazing local firm grew and grew in success and was ultimately bought by a large multi-disciplinary national firm before I finally settled with UK Sotheby’s International Realty. With a few tough life changes under my belt, I am now settled in my job, have a house in the leafy and beautiful village of Cobham and live in a small village outside of Gatwick, just within the Surrey borders.
We have an office right on Cobham High Street close to the meandering River Mole with its resident ducks to the vast array of local shops. From the mix of housing, some of it old and some of it new, large or small, we as a company can engage and can identify with it all. My children went to schools locally in Downside and Cobham and are now in Leatherhead. Cobham is the perfect place for someone with my story. So much of my life experience lends itself to working in Cobham.
UK Sotheby’s International Realty deals with an array of property covering the whole of the UK from our Cobham office. Last year we sold a gloriously positioned mews house in Albury at £455,000 and as I write, I’m working on a sale at around £30,000,000. We really do cover it all and will work on any house for the right client at the right price. It is all about working together, client and agent, as good advice and good marketing will result in amazing sales. It’s not the value of the property that makes UK Sotheby’s Realty so special, it’s the clients that we work with. Any price, anywhere, as long as there’s a market, we can help. Any price, anywhere, in any market, we can help.
Contact Jason Corbett
m +44 (0) 1932 860 537 Email
38 High Street, Cobham
Surrey KT11 2SJ
Choosing the right agent for your needs is especially important when making large life decisions, especially for a new home or a new investment opportunity; you need a personal connection and mutual understanding among the parties. While Russian myself, I have been in the UK for almost 9 years and, before joining Sotheby’s International Realty, I was working with private family offices serving the needs of UHNW individuals.
Certainly, the Russian language is exotic, and having the ability to share the same mother tongue with my clients is a positive accelerator for business relationships. Having a deep understanding for culture, mentality, behaviours, traditions and values; I have an advantage in knowing Russian etiquette and social sensibilities – this what truly creates a bond and makes business flow, hence more successful and enjoyable for everyone.
I once realised how challenging it is nowadays to find people in sales who would genuinely focus on your goals, instead of narrowing down the path towards a particular project. With my business approach, I treat my clients with the type of service that I would expect for myself. By having knowledge in economics and finance, I aim to not only provide all the details of the project, but also to expand the awareness on the area and city structures; I provide insight on market knowledge, and I inform on current economic trends and political plans. Additionally, my job also includes providing you with an honest education on potential weaknesses and risks.
I believe that, despite the complexity of any given situation, there is always a solution to be found. It is just the matter of the creative thinking and problem solving, professional support and knowledge from a certified team that aims towards the same result. I partner closely with the top professionals in the industry because they can provide complimentary services for my clients. Need an advice on the best school for your kids? Visa issues? Solicitors and architects? Security and chefs? Easy. I have established strong partnerships and can recommend anyone my clients would potentially need – all are Russian speaking specialists ready to address any kind of issue that might arise on the way. Such approach creates a feeling of harmony during the process and satisfaction upon completion.
I discovered, that quite often people need more time and specific environment to understand and follow their true goals and preferences. Hence, my main strategy is to remain transparent throughout the process and keep the client informed as an expert in the area, but also a friend. For me, the real achievement in this business is not just generating quality leads and closing deals but also making sure that my clients and partners are feeling satisfied and fortunate long after we work together. With most of my clients we stay in touch for years.
I’m on call for your questions about anything in regards to your life here in London, part of having a house here is about feeling at home. People are the main drivers of any businesses. Long-term relationships are the key to personal and professional success.