The Birmingham Property Blog

Chancellor delivers boost for first-time buyers

One of the most popular topics of conversation among estate agents since the threshold changes last year has been stamp duty and how it should be reformed. Today, the Chancellor of the Exchequer demonstrated that he has listened – despite it being received as rather unambitious.

In his Autumn Budget, he announced that all first time buyers will no longer have to pay stamp duty on homes up to £300,000 – or on the first £300,000 of the purchase price of properties up to £500,000 in very expensive areas.

In doing so, Phillip Hammond has given a small fillip to the housing market because home ownership among young people has gone down from 59% to 38%.

He said it means a saving of about £5,000 – a very useful sum for any first-time buyer – and it also means a stamp duty cut for 80% of first-time buyers from today. The abolition of stamp duty for this group is expected only to cost the Exchequer £600 million a year in the course of this parliament, but with the help to buy scheme, too, it is to be welcomed.

While it’s not thorough reform of stamp duty, which I’d hoped for, it is a help and I’ve no doubt this will ensure fluidity in the market and will keep the business of house buying and selling moving.

Many of us in the industry had expected a temporary stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers but it was great news to hear the Chancellor say a stop-gap would only help those who are ready to purchase now and would offer nothing for the many who need to save for years before they can buy their first property.

The measure will also help those homeowners who are looking to sell their first property because it is this bracket of homeowner that is struggling to sell their property to upsize.

Stamp duty is only part of the problem, however. Building more houses is the most obvious solution to the supply and demand issues, so it was good news to hear that the government has made a £44 billion commitment to house building and has pledged that by the mid-2020s, there will be 300,000 homes being built a year.

It’s also good news that planning reform is being examined and that land banking – where developers sit on the land they own and do not build homes, despite having planning permission – could be tackled. It is a problem in Birmingham city centre, the suburbs and the West Midlands, as it elsewhere across the country. Government could intervene by compulsory purchasing sites that are not being developed purely because of financial reasons.

If you want to know the value of your property and the potential economic impacts on your property, contact senior sales and lettings manager Andy McHugo to arrange a free up-to-date market appraisal on 0121 456 5454 or email andy@jameslaurenceuk.com.

Bristol Court - Setting a new standard of living in Edgbaston

Bristol Court Edgbaston Apartments

The apartment development Edgbaston has been waiting for....

Come along and see the new SHOW HOME at Bristol Court, an exclusive development with 14 luxury Two and Three bedroom apartments set in Edgbaston's premier residential district.

Each spacious apartment is designed to the very highest specification whilst combining Victorian elegance.

BRISTOL COURT is an unrivalled and exclusive development, newly built in the prestige area of Edgbaston. Premier apartments made for luxury and comfort, setting a new standard of living within the area as its Victorian and Gothic influenced architecture, such as the detailing in Bristol Court's architectural stonework, balconies and exceptional specification internally. When complimented by spacious accommodation and luxuries of outside space, with two parking spaces per property, they offer an excellent opportunity for local based professionals and indeed downsizing couples who still need convenience and space.

Two bedroom apartments are located on the first floor at 1205 square feet each, three bedroom apartments start from 1345 square feet, whilst three bedroom duplex apartments situated over second and third floors are up to 2066 square feet. 

THE APARTMENTS
The developers pride themselves on the attention to detail with high end fittings and appliances. Each apartment includes under floor heating that enables control from Smart phone locally or remotely, a ventilation system that filters fresh air and circulates around the apartment and triple glazing to front and sides of the building to conserve energy and maintain better sound proofing. Residents will benefit from the latest ethernet ready connectivity and HD video desolate intercom access from main development entrance.

KITCHENS
All top of the range 'Miele' appliances including ovens, microwave, gas hob, tall fridge and freezer, dishwasher, 'Perrin and rowe' Mayfair basin tap with instant hot water spout, premium German kitchen with island and breakfast bar by 'Rational' with quartz work tops and perks like under cabinet lighting.

LIVING/DINING ROOMS
All apartments offer open plan layout with living rooms offer flexibility to include dining areas whilst boast features of two locations with electrical points for TV, ideal for wall media, ambient indirect ceiling mood lighting

FURTHER ACCOMMODATION
A grand entrance hallway welcomes every resident in to their property, whilst each offers a multifunctional family room ideal for study, family play room or potential cinema room.
Spacious cloakrooms house 'Duravut' toilet and basin and ample coat hanging space
The 'Baxi' boiler, 'Biasi' high pressure water tank and 'Miele' washing machine and separate dryer are tucked away nicely in a utility room-a modern day essential, also housing the 'Nuaire' digital ventilation system controls.

BEDROOMS
Each master bedroom and second bedroom include TV mounting point, spot and pendant lighting, 'Hansgrohe' fixtures and fittings with custom fitted wardrobes.

BATHROOM AND EN-SUITES
The very high specification is continued with 'Duravut' Bath, walk in showers, toilet and basins with family bathroom and en-suites, fully tiled and with under floor heating-ideal for the cold winter mornings.

EXTERNALLY
Two allocated parking space per property
In and out access from the development
Patio terraces and balconies where specified

bristol court edgbastonbristol court bedroomBristol Court Edgbaston Hall Way

THE AREA 
Bristol Road is a main arterial route offering excellent road and transport links within minutes to Birmingham city centre, A38 to M6/M42, Five Ways train station and New Street station whilst Queen Elizabeth hospital, Birmingham University's main campus and train station are a short commute.

The new dental hospital is within a 3 minute walk also.

Excellent primary secondary and prep schools are very close by with King Edwards Grammar school opposite along with Edgbaston High School for Girls, The Priory School and The King Edward Foundation Schools, along with Hallfield Preparatory School, West House, Blue Coat School and St George's School.

Leisure facilities are provided with the city's first 50m swimming pool at the recently completed Birmingham University complex, Edgbaston Cricket Ground-home of Warwickshire cricket club and hosts England international tests, Cannon Hill park and MAC theatre on the doorstep, The Edgbaston Priory tennis club and Golf clubs within short walking distance. Birmingham city centre offers the prestigious Grand Central, exclusive Mailbox retail development and Bull Ring offering shopping boutiques, with Theatres and convention facilities such as the ICC and symphony Hall, facilities to be proud off.

Two beds from £450,000 - Details

Three beds from £495,000 - Details

Duplex apartments from £625,000 - Details

OPEN HOUSE
Saturday,
September 9th
11am-1pm

All enquiries welcome
0121 456 5454 

Please register interest and attendance by emailing edgbaston@jameslaurenceuk.com

Retirement living. Redefined.

Sales Launch - Wednesday 9 August

McCarthy & Stone is proud to introduce Ryland Place, a stunning new development of 57 beautiful one and two-bedroom Retirement Living PLUS apartments ideally located in Birmingham’s desirable suburb of Edgbaston.

Exclusively for the over 70s, each apartment at Ryland Place is luxuriously specified offering a choice of apartment designs over four floors.

Join us for a presentation either at 11am or 2pm at The Botanical Gardens in Edgbaston and be the first to see plans and prices at Ryland Place.

Ryland Place
Norfolk Road, Edgbaston B15 3AY

One and two bedroom Retirement Living PLUS apartments

We have limited places, so if you would like to attend, please book your place by calling 0800 310 0851

Property of the Month

St James Church
Edgbaston

Steeped in History, St James church is actually of French gothic style origin, built in the mid 1800's. It was converted in 2004 in to 12 quirky and individual apartments, the quality of which was recognised with awards. 

The property on offer is a two bedroom duplex apartment set out over the ground and first floor, designed to a high specification, to compliment the character intricacies that the developers were keen to ensure gave the property its character.

Accommodation includes living room and dining room boasting high ceilings and dual aspect allowing a flow of natural light on the ground floor, either side of the stairway, with dining area adjoining the fitted kitchen-boasting fitted appliances of dishwasher, washer/dryer, fridge and freezer, AEG oven and four ring hob above, with the luxury of granite work tops. A downstairs WC and "porch" style entrance complete the downstairs layout.

Upstairs the bedrooms are gallery style in terms of overseeing below floor whilst offering external aspect through gothic windows. Both of which offer flexibility of having access to own modern bathroom and shower rooms.

Allocated parking (and visitor parking), secure intercom system and alarm system internally are also features to take note of, in which is a very popular style of property and a rarity in its very essence.
The location of St James Church offers the best of two worlds, leafy and picturesque within a sought after B15 district of Edgbaston, whilst a short commute to the vibrant city centre complete with financial district for working professionals, shopping facilities of The Mailbox and Bull and eateries of Brindley Place and Edgbaston Village close by. 
Buyers are advised to book appointments early to avoid disappointment.

View full listing

Edgbaston Office

5 Chad Square, Edgbaston, B15 3TQ

Sales : +44 (0)121 456 5454

Email : edgbaston@jameslaurenceuk.com

The housing market after the general election

The housing market thrives on stability – would-be sellers and buyers do not make big financial decisions such as moving house if they are uncertain about the market.

So now we’ve got through another general election and Theresa May is back in 10 Downing Street, heading a minority government, what does that mean for the housing market?

While transactions tend to ease off a little in the build up to a general election, the fact that this was a snap election meant that we did not see the usual dip this time around.

The market has been strong and buoyant in Birmingham since early 2014 and house prices in the city have seen an average 8% rise over the past 12 months alone – one of the highest rises in the country.

This has generally been driven by a lack of supply, which helps to maintain asking prices, and low mortgage rates. We believe that this upward trend in values will continue for the next few months at least.

We’ve seen a seller’s market in key locations in the city since late 2013 – particularly in the city centre. Demand for good quality properties in Harborne, Edgbaston and the city centre has consistently outstripped the number of properties coming on to the market.

The May residential survey by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) showed that the market in the West Midlands has slowed down, with fewer homes going on the market. However, prices are buoyant.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said that the most “ominous signal” from its latest report is that house prices are expected to increase at a faster pace than wages over the medium term.

“The increasingly tight second hand market remains a cause for concern with the RICS series tracking new instructions to agents recording its fifteenth successive negative reading,” he said. “It is hard to see this as anything other a major obstacle to the efficient functioning of the housing market.”

Despite the national picture suggesting that buyers and sellers are adopting a “wait and see” approach, we’re seeing a healthy number of enquiries coming through and buyers are keen to take advantage of attractive mortgage offers. They’re also asking more questions about the market and potential resale potential on particular properties.

Buyer and seller confidence has not been dented in the local market. Little has changed and the general election result is unlikely to have a negative impact on the number of transactions completed in the property market.

If you want to know the value of your property, contact senior sales and lettings manager Andy McHugo to arrange a free up-to-date market appraisal on 0121 456 5454 or email andy@jameslaurenceuk.com

Election impact on the property market

 

What impact has the general election had on the UK property market?

 

As an estate agent we’ve had a lot of questions lately about the property market, mainly based on the general election and what impact it’s had.


Despite the uncertainty about the election, stats recently revealed by an independent expert have shown an average increase of 0.3% in property sales in the month of May.

Although property transactions have undoubtly slowed down in the past couple of months, which is unusual for this time of the year, Rightmove has revealed that between April and May property prices in the Midlands increased by 1.3%.

The West Midlands alone has risen 5.9% since this time last year, and it may surprise some of you, but it still remains the region with the highest increase in property prices.

Surely the increase in statistics show that the election hasn't had that much of an impact on the property market as we first thought. As an independant estate agent, we personally haven't seen any change in the amount of prospective buyers looking for their ideal home or buy to let investment, infact the market is still as buoyant.

 

What are your thoughts on the property market? We’d be very interested to hear them by emailing info@jameslaurenceuk.com.

 

IS YOUR HOUSE SUMMER READY?

Five steps to get your house summer ready!

With summer around the corner, we hope, it’s now time to get your house summer ready!
Whether you’re thinking about selling, or your home is simply in need of a late ‘spring clean’, follow these five steps and hopefully you’ll be surprised with the added kerb appeal.

 

1) The first aspect of a property family, friends and viewers see is the driveway.
If you have block paving start by removing the weeds, it may seem like a never ending task but it will be worth it, and make sure all borders are clear of litter and unattractive plants.
On the flip side, if you have a concrete drive, add potted plants or small shrubs next to your front door, it will make your home feel more inviting. Top tip... get the jet wash out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) De-clutter! Remove all unwanted toys, books and photos.
What else is the loft good for? An even better idea, get the kids to decide which toys they no longer want. Summer is an ideal time to have a boot sale!

Here's a good place to start  ... https://www.facebook.com/Wassell-Grove-Car-Boot-Sale-299956160087342/  

3) Give those walls some TLC! The paint jobs you’ve been putting off, now is the time.
The children’s old play room with the crayon scribbled walls and tatty posters needs a new modern vibe.

4) Finish those DIY jobs you started and never finished.
You’ll be surprised how the smallest task can make a difference, down to a door handle that needs to be replaced, to broken light bulb that havent been changed in months, every little helps

5) Make your garden presentable!
There is nothing more unattractive than a garden that looks high maintenance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The house we currently have for sale on Fakenham Croft is the perfect example of a presentable garden! Follow the link for more information on Fakenham Croft in Harborne.

http://www.jameslaurenceuk.com/property-details/4174963

 

A fantastic first quarter!

 

We’ve had a fantastic first quarter to the year! With a great volume of sales in Birmingham and Edgbaston, it’s been made all the more rewarding with what our clients have said about us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MRS.V
If only all estate agents were like James Laurence! The level of service on both sales and letting is outstanding.” “We cannot recommend them more highly and would urge you to make them top of your list if you need fabulous service from a top quality independent estate agent in Birmingham.” March 2017.

MS.S
I wouldn't hesitate in recommending them to anyone buying and selling residential property in Birmingham.” March 2017.

MS.K
Really professional, they have taken time out to understand our needs and provide us with good tenants, all of whom have been pre checked. I am confident in recommending them.” March 2017

MR.P
I cannot overstate how great James Laurence are” February 2017

MR.H
From valuation to completion of sale the service we received was outstanding. Nothing was too much; advice, guidance and opinion was given throughout to help us through a process” September 2016.

 

At James Laurence Estate Agents we pride ourselves in going above and beyond for our clients.
We’d like you to think the same, and for that you need to give us the chance.

Please call or email us today and give us the chance to prove ourselves.
0121 456 5454 / 0121 604 4060 or info@jameslaurenceuk.com

 

BRAND NEW! Kelsall Croft

 

James Laurence are delighted to release an exciting collection of BRAND NEW four bedroom three storey townhouses ideal for city dwellers and investors alike.

 

 

These luxury homes in the central location of Kelsall Croft offer a ground breaking level of luxury within its urban living surroundings-the flagship site for developers. Whilst the B1 postcode is usually synonymous with apartments, these quality town houses are built to a very high specification, setting new standards within the area. The properties comprise of a living room with bi-folding doors leading to the garden, separate kitchen, and bath/shower rooms complimenting the four double bedrooms on the first and second floor.

On the doorstep of the city centre, Kelsall Croft is a cul de sac just off St Marks Crescent, offering ease of access to the Ladywood Middleway (ringroad around the city) and A38 access to the M6 and M42/M40 motorways. Within walking distance is New Street and Snow Hill stations, both with lines connecting London. Canal side bars and restaurants of Brindley Place, in close proximity to the Convention Quarter's Barclaycard Arena, are close by with a plethora of shopping complexes of The Mailbox, Grand Central and the Bullring nearby.

The properties are also stone’s throw away from Birmingham’s iconic Jewellery Quarter, which has recently been named one of the top ‘hotspots’ to live in the UK. This has come to light after Zoopla conducted research into the areas price growth which reviled an increase of 31.34% since 2011. With positive news stories becoming the weekly norm it seems, voted top city for young professionals moving from London to live in the last two years, voted "in the top 10 cities in the world" and "top regional city for overseas investment" in the UK to name just a few, the future is looking bright for the city.

 

Advertised from February 16th, all have now been reserved. Don’t miss out on another fantastic opportunity like this!

 

Register your details with us on 0121 456 5454 or 0121 604 4060 now!

Best Place to live in the Midlands 2016


More positive news emerged this week as the Jewellery Quarter was voted one of the best places to live in the Midlands in the prestigious Sunday Times Best Places to live 2016.


Described as
"this up-and-still-coming area is a 10 minute walk from the city centre, and its set for a boost with the Snow Hill masterplan..............despite the macchiato culture, industrial character Brum remains"
highlighting that Jewellery is made here. Also highlighted that loft apartments can be purchased for under £200,000, though prices are rising. See below examples

Derwent Foundry, St Pauls Square                                                      Point 3, George Street



The Sunday times points to the fact they have been "bigging up Birmingham for years" as property prices have increased 6% over the last year "rising as fast of the citys population"
They report accurately that city centre flats and the promise of HS2 in the horizon will (and is already experiencing).

looking for a property?
Please contact us to arrange a viewing at 0121 604 4060 or Danielle at Danielle@jamelaurenceuk.com.