An Outlook For Manchester’s Property Market In 2018

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The skyline of Manchester has changed considerably in the past 12 months. Buildings have been shooting up here, there and everywhere throughout 2017. A mere glance at the countless cranes parked around the city right now shows that the property market in the North West capital is booming.

But whilst we’ve seen a series of new developments take shape, we’ve reach the point in the calendar when it’s time to look forwards rather than reflect. 2018 promises to be another intriguing year for landlords and property owners in and around Greater Manchester, and here we take a closer look at what to expect.

The tech boom has led to rising property prices in Manchester

Manchester has been subject to a digital tech boom that may continue to resonate for some time, with the likes of MediaCityUK in Salford Quays attracting big businesses and creating more jobs. Many startups are thriving throughout the region too, with hundreds of people moving to Manchester to pursue new careers.

The city has established itself as a true “Northern Powerhouse” during the past 12 months, with more properties created to appease the growing population and increased demand for residence. This, in turn, has led to a sharp rise in property prices.

From 2018 to 2022, house prices in the UK are tipped to grow by as much as 14.2% overall. The predicted figures for the North West alone however, are 18.1%. Manchester is booming to the point where demands for property are spilling out into surrounding regions including Wilmslow, Alderley Edge, Knutsford, Prestwich and Hale.

International investment in “safe” UK property

Despite the sense of economic uncertainty spurred by Brexit talks and two Budget announcements in 2017, the UK property market will continue to attract plenty of attention from foreign investors throughout next year.

As the Northern Powerhouse, Manchester remains one of the main cities of focus for international investment. Overseas financiers recognise this market as safe, dependable and profitable – seizing the chance to purchase property before prices skyrocket through 2018 and beyond.

Ultimately, this is a terrific time to invest in property in Manchester and the North West overall – both from a rental and sales perspective.

Summermere: Supporting the Manchester property market in 2018

Greater Manchester is perhaps the hottest property market in the UK at the moment, and looks set to stay this way moving into 2018. Striking now gives you every chance to take advantage of some potentially lucrative opportunities.

Summermere provide management and lettings services for anyone looking to make investments in buildings in the area. Our team can assist you with anything you might need, offering support and advice along the way.

Get in touch today on 0161 798 6633 to learn more about how we can help you enjoy a fantastic 2018 as the Manchester property market moves into exciting new territory.

 

 

We’re with Key103 for Mission Christmas Cash For Kids

We’re pleased to announce that we are a drop off point for Key 103’s Mission Christmas Cash For Kids appeal again this year.

1 in 4 local children are living in poverty and the appeal aims to make their Christmas Day special for as many as possible this year. You could help by buying an extra present when you go shopping. Mission Christmas are asking for new and unwrapped gifts suitable for children and young people aged 0-18 years. You can drop your gift off at our offices as part of our role of designated drop off point before 13th December.

Our address is: 29 Bury New Rd, Prestwich, Manchester M25 9JY

You can find out more about the appeal here

Why Rental Property Is Still A Safe Bet For Investors

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This was supposed to be the year where Britain could finally catch its breath following a decidedly turbulent 2016. But now, as we turn over the final pages of our calendars, we find ourselves in yet another frenetic climate.

Between the snap election, hung parliament and striking a Brexit deal, it’s been another dizzying 12 months in the UK – casting an ambiguous cloud over the property market. Naturally, you need a sense of security about your surroundings before you plug in the money pump. But contrary to what some might tell you, investing in property remains very much a sound investment. Here, we explain why:

Demand for property is far greater than supply

Economic experts are attempting to dissect current property trends to make accurate market predictions for the upcoming year, but there remains one statistic that trumps all others: There are more people than properties in the UK right now.

A whirlwind couple of years hasn’t changed the fact that people need homes. The demand for rental properties has actually never been higher, so making an investment today is less of a gamble than it is a calculated choice.

Foreign investment in UK property remains high

We’re still not quite sure what sort of deal we’ll get out of Brexit yet, but international organisations are still investing in UK property nonetheless. A weakened pound (as a result of the EU referendum) has only encouraged foreign companies to shack up over here, rather than deter them.

Foreign investment has boosted city economies with additional capital, creating new attractions and tempting people to the area. Manchester is a perfect example. More businesses mean more employees – and more tenants looking for a place to live.

Opportunity for great deals

There’s a good chance we could see more properties popping up on the market as the next few months tick by. Once Britain officially leaves the European Union, a sizable number of people will sell their properties and move elsewhere – leaving investors in a terrific position to secure excellent deals.

Buying property soon also gives you a chance to take advantage of low mortgage interest rates – which the Bank of England are likely to increase in the future. Investing in a property now, rather than waiting years for everything to “blow over”, could potentially save and gain you thousands of pounds’ worth of extra money.

Despite all the big changes over the past year, there are two things we remain absolutely sure of here at Summermere. Firstly, the property market is still a terrific place in which to invest. And secondly, we are still the best team to turn to for property management and letting agent services.

Thinking of investing in Manchester rental properties? Get in touch on 0161 798 6633 to partner with a team who will help you make the most of your new (or expanded) portfolio.

 

The Perils Of Bad Tenant Referencing

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We don’t swipe a product off the supermarket shelf unless we know what it is. Similarly, tenants are made up of many ingredients, and there’s no harm in checking someone’s background when they’re hunting for a home. It ensures you make the right pick before the contract is signed.

Some lettings agents, however, have less regard for this process than we do. Bad tenants can cause headaches and reduce your property’s appeal for future residents, so it’s important to be bold, thorough and questioning when it comes to referencing.  

Stay clear of the following perils, because a thorough reference covers them all, and ensures they aren’t a concern…

Rent dodging

How can we be reasonably certain that a tenant is going to pay up on time? Plenty of people try to skirt rent deadlines, or claim to have a better track record than they actually do.

Luckily, it’s easy to run a credit check, and see whether they’ve been late, consistently, for any bills. Red flags are quite instantaneous; we ask for the tenant’s permission to do this, so they’re staking truth on the claim to meet rent payments, deposits, or potential repair fees.

Aggressive, noisy or lazy behaviour

While we like to see the best in others, some people are just plain inconsiderate. Every landlord wants tenants who are courteous of their environment. By touching base with previous landlords or letting agents, we get a glimpse as to how they live once the ink has dried on any agreement.

Failing to do so can leave you exposed to a host of personality types. A lazy tenant who can’t ever be bothered to take the recycling out is one thing, but a bullish or rowdy occupant could be a real problem.

Insecure or deceptive employment

In the same vein as our first point, it’s crucial to be certain that someone will pay you at all – they could be fabricating employment history, just to get a literal foot in the door.

This can be dealt with by asking kindly for employer details stretching back two or three years. Summermere starts at the most recent, to get an up-to-date sense of their finances, before crossing over old jobs and paid work records. Then we’ll see if there’s a pattern. It also helps us decide whether they need a separate guarantor.

A mistaken identity…

Despite all of the above, there’s a single distinction left, and it’s the most valuable: is the person you’re assessing who they say they are? A reference should ask for a form of ID (passport, driving licence etc.), and proof of UK residency, such as a birth certificate or long-term visa.

If none of this is provided, your tenant may be breaking the law. In the interests of security, ID checks are a must, so you’re comfortable with every tenancy agreement.

Knowing what to look for is central to a full, no-stone-unturned series of ticks for any prospective resident. Summermere is here to help with the fact-checking you’ll be liable for. Get in touch now for a lettings agency that doesn’t pull its punches when seeking the tenants you deserve.

How To Properly Secure Your Property’s Exterior

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As we know, tenants like to feel provided for, and to feel that you’ve done a stand-up job with the space on offer. But this isn’t just relevant to inside the home. You and your lettings agent should consider outdoor features too, which can make a tenant’s life easier, safer and more convenient.

There are many options to consider when approaching this challenge, from transport options, to social space, to recycling facilities. Yet there is one certainty – the fact that, without proper security, such investments could be stolen or damaged by harsh weather.

Here’s how to ensure that never happens…

Give tenants somewhere for bicycle storage

Cities and suburbs have a growing number of cyclists to cater for. As an alternative to tram, bus or car, it’s a breath of fresh air – but how will your tenants look after their bike if indoor storage is out of the question?

Bicycle hooks are a great idea, simply because they’re quick to attach and cheap to source. Alternatively, look into chrome racks that’ll resist rust and scratches over the years. Give each tenant a lock of their own, for starters, to ensure they keep their equipment safe. There’s bonus appeal in crafting a low-ceilinged hut over the storage area, to keep the bikes dry when it rains.

Create a haven for wheelie bins

Wheelie bins are subject to many hazards such as theft, arson and abuse from neighbouring households. They’re also prone to blowing over in high winds; enough reason, then, to safeguard your bin collection for current or future tenants.

Install or build a wheelie bin storage shed – there are many one, two or three-door units available from outdoor retailers. These are generally fitted with locks and bolted access, covering the bins on all sides when they’re packed away. In addition to being a locked deterrent, these sheds obscure your wheelie bins from view, so thieves don’t know where to look and the bins don’t become an eyesore.

Concrete your parasols in place

Parasols are a thoughtful addition to your outdoor space, adding to the appeal of your property and creating a focal point for socialising. Yet, while homeowners may want to take their parasol around as a freestanding item, we suggest grounding it on a floor space.

This isn’t as hard as it sounds. All you have to do is extract a few patio slabs (as many as the base diameter will take up), stick the cross-stand in the open area, and fill it with cement. When it dries, your premises will have a staunch, immoveable parasol that can’t be carried off or toppled on a whim.

Creating an attractive rental property means covering every base – even those outdoors – for a stunning, secure place to live. As a lettings agent and property management team, Summermere is perfectly placed to advise on what your portfolio may be lacking, and how you can boost its appeal.

Call us now to gain valuable insights on renting your property on the North West.

What The Millennial Market Wants From A Tenancy

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Photo: Huffington Post

Whichever news website you happen to stumble upon, you’re almost guaranteed to discover some sort of discussion about millennials. A seemingly unpredictable generation, this demographic group have prompted great interest from sociologists and economists with regards to their behavioural and buying traits. Millennials are the first group of true digital natives, so it is perhaps unsurprising they receive so much attention. They’re leading the way and shaping the future, after all.

You can’t move for studies about millennial preferences on culture, fashion, and communication, but what about when it comes to property? This group accounts for more than a quarter of the total UK population (16 million +), so landlords can benefit enormously from taking the time to cater for their tastes. But what exactly are millennials looking for in a tenancy? Let’s take a look…

Contract flexibility

A job isn’t for life anymore: a trend that millennials have made abundantly clear. Young workers hop from one place to the next with intriguing regularity (at least, compared to the generation who came before them), so contract flexibility is important to many of these potential tenants. Their career path may veer off into an entirely new direction without warning, so a bit of wiggle-room in a tenancy agreement is preferred.

Strong transport links

The high and complex costs associated with car ownership mean that a large proportion of millennials opt to use public transport to get around, both when it comes to the work commute and visiting places in their spare time. Even those young adults who don’t take the bus, train, or tram regularly still like to have the option nearby if the weather is too wet to walk. Resultantly, any property that’s positioned close to excellent transport links holds massive appeal for a Generation Y tenant.

Affordable fun

Millennials love to go out and enjoy themselves, although a lot of them don’t necessarily have the funds to do so on a regular basis. That’s why a lot of Generation Y’ers are factoring their environment into their decision before they settle on a property. If the local area serves up affordable evening fun (cheap bars, quirky and inexpensive restaurants, a gym with reasonable rates) then the neighbouring properties are likely to appeal to this particular crowd.

Digital and appliance-friendly environment

Millennials don’t just like the internet – they are utterly dependent on it. That’s why signal strength is always a major factor for them when they pick a property. Many members of this group are also tech-savvy, possessing a number of digital machines and appliances that require electricity to charge and/or operate. Subsequently, a plentiful supply of sockets are also important to Gen Y tenants.

Natural light

People all over Britain cringe when they open up their energy bills at the breakfast table. Gen Y in particular. Given their adoration for technology, millennials are looking for every possible way to cut back electricity consumption. A house with lots of natural light, for instance, will tickle their fancy as they won’t need to switch on the lamps.

Get in touch with Summermere today for further guidance on how to make your property millennial-friendly. According to many, this demographic group are a maligned generation and consider themselves as much. By offering residences designed perfectly for Generation Y, you can start to attract a whole new cluster of appreciative tenants and gain a fresh foothold in the market.

5 Signs It’s High-Time To Switch Property Manager

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Care and attention: qualities we all need, in some way or another. Landlords may require them to a finer degree, seeing as they have a portfolio to protect and nurture. A property management service, there to help with maintenance, repair work and tenant relations, must be counted on for however long you need it.

 

Yet, as you may know, it’s a genuine roll of the dice, since property managers can so often fall short. If any of these five signals appear, take it as a sign that it’s time to explore alternative suppliers:

 

  1. Never flagging up compliancy issues

 

Whether it’s the gas, circuit board or boiler system, no appliances work at their peak continuously. Industry compliance is designed to show, at face value, what’s meeting the bare standard for efficiency and safety measures. Property managers should be checking everything, and fixing or upgrading it when the time’s right. A slip-up on their part could be catastrophic for your business.

 

  1. Being lax with repair work

 

Say there’s a big problem: a shower leaking onto the ground floor, or broken stairs that have to be replaced. The solution needs to come as fast as it can, right? Of course – a property management service must know what to do in a matter of relative emergency. But if they drag their feet on repair work, or deliver a poor solution, the tenants will be confused, angry and on your back for an answer that isn’t forthcoming.

 

  1. Not keeping you informed

 

The buildings under your wing form some of the most precious, personal investments in the world. Property ‘experts’ have to recognise this, just to be worthy of the label. The stream of communication must be clear between the two of you. A call now and then (not just email!) will do wonders for your peace of mind.

 

  1. Inspections aren’t a priority

 

As a rule, we’d suggest that a management service performs a full-property look-over once a year, or every six months if possible. It’s there to satisfy any concerns you have about the property, furnishings, or tenants. For this reason, you’re well within your rights to expect regular inspections as part and parcel of the property management remit.

 

  1. Costs are eclipsing the benefits

 

Reputable companies may price themselves at a higher rate, assured of their status in the market. But this is nothing without true, lasting demonstration of the value they deliver. Can your property manager break down your monthly fee into tangible services and benefits? Do you feel you’re getting value for money? If not, it might be time to shop around…

 

So as the klaxons of bad property management appear, you have to be honest: are they really delivering the service you need? For a strong, capable and consistent alternative, get in touch with Summermere today. We’d love to discuss what makes us different.

 

Why Cheaper Is Rarely Better When Choosing A Lettings Agent

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If you eat out on a shoestring, you’d expect to find bog-standard food instead of a fine dining experience. Similarly, the rental market can leave you cold and hungry for a better service if you take on a cheap lettings agent.

Around the UK, landlords are spoilt for choice in bargain agencies. All of them are priced as such for a reason – they take the good taste out of your relationship, and do an ‘okay’ job when five-star services could be on the table.

Don’t believe us? Here’s why your yield could suffer from a cheap and decidedly not cheerful lettings agent…

 

Close contact is a hardship

No-one should have to struggle for me-time when they’ve paid for ongoing advice. But by slashing their price tag, a lettings service has no reason to provide a sincere level of attention when you need it.

They know that you’ve come to them based on physical currency; therefore, they’ll assume you won’t go anywhere else, because their rates are still the lowest around. Battling through other callers on the phone could be a nightmare, as will arranging a catch-up to see how they’re bettering your portfolio.

 

There’s a distinct lack of local expertise

Often, the most ‘reasonable’ lettings agents are nationwide, with offices smattered over all sorts of towns, cities and rural areas. Their expanded presence has, in many ways, accounted for cheap rates i.e. the cookie-cutter approach has worked for them up to this point, and they see no merit in changing it.

Yet any landlord worth their weight in brick and mortar must realise that regional specificities are key. Agencies should be able to wax lyrical on what makes a neighbourhood special for every viewing. That might take in information about schools, shops, transport networks, and how reasonable the advertised price is, by comparison to other rental homes nearby.

 

You’ll risk a slow or untrustworthy performance

As we’ve said, budget estate agencies don’t see much cause for going above what you expect. Yet beyond that, they can court shady tactics, designed to make up for the fact that you likely won’t be over the moon with what they deliver. A common issue, for instance, is the upfront payment – a great service should only charge you on a ‘no let no fee’ policy, reflective of their proven track record.

So you could be paying for meagre results, or none at all, just because the initial price was lower than expected. Unfortunately, poor service might cross over into the nitty gritty of their agreement, such as contractor repairs (forcing long delays in sending someone out to the property) and background checks for tenants (they may just approve without looking, to up their rental numbers).

At the end of the day, it comes down to a question: do you want to use foresight or knee-jerk instinct when choosing a lettings organisation? The cheaper they are in the here and now, the less they’ll do for you when it really counts.

 

As chartered surveyors, our lettings agents give you confidence when renting out properties in Manchester. Call our friendly team today, and let’s talk about your portfolio in the North West…

 

Top Tips For A Gorgeous, Low Maintenance Garden

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Nature is in high demand these days. Far from staring out at regiments of brick or concrete, tenants yearn for an open, green space at their property, even if it’s modest. As a landlord, you must never undervalue the hook of a garden, and what it can mean for people who love a tranquil spell in the sun.

It does, admittedly, take a measure of care to ensure the garden – however large or small – remains an enticing offer. To boost the appeal of your outdoor space, and reduce maintenance work, here are a few tricks for keeping it spruce and shapely…

 

Choose your plants wisely

Garden upkeep never ends – this much is true, but certain features can drain your time more than you may realise. Fast-growing plants, for instance, will throw the orderly character of your turf off-course, as they need to be trimmed every handful of weeks and can surprise you with changing, seasonal behaviour.

Nip the problem in the bud, so to speak, by planting flowers with less intense growing cycles. Quartz Rose, Thyme and Verbena are just some that develop steadily over the year (for hedges, we suggest yew or holly bush). Aim for ground cover plants, which stick close to the soil, limiting the intrusion of weeds. To make watering easier, put them in grouped containers at the flanks of the garden path, or just beyond the front door.

 

Invest in outdoor edging

Few things are more unsightly than a garden with different textures – grass, decking, flower beds, gravel – spreading over into one another. To guard against this, implement some edging materials where you want to form a distinction. They’re designed to keep turf in their own spot, or to neaten your pebble and paving lines.

Doing so means tenants won’t have to trim stray shoots from the boundaries of your arrangement. Stone wave edging is popular, especially when paired with a pond or a bird bath. Wooden ‘fixing pegs’, as they’re known, are a rustic choice that wall off your most delicate saplings. The latter also create height distinctions, literally raising the profile of any eye-catching shrubbery.

 

Make good use of mulch

Mulch is a wonder cure for backbreaking garden tasks. Think of it as a warm, invigorating blanket that protects and feeds your soil. It’ll aid plants when the winter frost arrives, saving you the trouble of buying and tending to a whole new batch. As it degrades, the ground will absorb its nutritional components, protecting the lawn from disease.

You can buy pre-prepared mulch, or use your own – the clippings from a mower (combined with any leave you manage to rake together) form a ready-made pile, which you can spread around key sections. The drainage attributes of your soil will increase too, as the grass won’t become waterlogged.

 

All of these solutions can help you create a gorgeous, low maintenance garden that your tenants will love. However, it’s only reasonable to admit that you – or any other landlord – may be struggling with property management as a whole. Contact Summermere to see how we can lend a hand to the appeal, maintenance and promotion of your portfolio in the North West.

How To Prepare Your Rental Property For Viewings

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Advertising has its limits. No matter how well your property is presented online, it has to suffer the biggest test of all: the viewing. Prospective tenants will be dying to see the space for themselves, weighing up the reality of an interior before they sign any kind of agreement…

What does this mean for landlords? Inevitably, it demands a little care and attention, as the property has to look and feel like a home. But this doesn’t require a huge investment of time and money – here are some tips to help you prepare for a successful viewing:

Make the entrance inviting

No-one likes to gawp over an ad online, only to arrive at a battered, flaking door and a grubby set of windows. As first impressions go, the entrance to the building will absorb a lot of those associations for what lies inside. Clean up the doorstep, give the entrance itself a lick of fresh paint, and (perhaps) stick two potted plants at either side for a naturally warm greeting.

Then, in the hallway, get rid of any clutter/old mail that’s clogging it up. A welcome mat can’t hurt, and shows you care about keeping the carpet free of dirt. Open all nearby windows a fraction to clear any stale air, whilst parting the curtain or blinds so light can filter through to the rooms.

Don’t block your best features

Are you in possession of a fireplace, or a bare-bricked interior wall? Great – don’t hide it! These sorts of unique, stately complements can sway a tenant towards the dotted line faster than they may realise. Whatever strange, impressive, or downright one-of-a-kind features you have, it’s best to draw attention to them.

You can, for instance, angle the furniture so it’s pointing subtly towards the fireplace area. Pillars and alcoves should be free of any items, either leaning on them or stuck to the surface (i.e. wall posters), to make them seem like a blank visual canvas.

Any wall art, trinkets and decorations that come with the property should be in a neat, appropriate display. Appliances, like washing machines and dryers, also shouldn’t be masked by anything, lest someone overlooks them.

Clean, clean, clean…

It’s a common sense concern, but dirt, dust and grime can accumulate practically anywhere in the property. Aside from those typical areas – bathroom tiles, living room rugs and doorway frames, to name a few – you must tackle the rest of the house’s hygienic sore spots.

By this, we’re referring to the inner condition of your oven, fridge and freezer, if you include them with the rental agreement. It’s well worth having a professional clean between lettings if your property is already vacant. Not only will it attract tenants, it will also set the benchmark for their own cleaning standards when looking after your property.

Now that you know what to ready yourself for, why not further the appeal of your portfolio with Summermere at the helm? Our letting agents can promote your investments in the local area, and handle the paperwork, character references and introductions that follow a rental enquiry. Call us today for more information…