Noticeable trend for Chorlton Property Owners

Chorlton Trend


A common adage that passes the lips of many a Chorlton resident is ‘Once you move to Chorlton you never leave‘ such is the desirability of the area and the general appeal of the area (a slight nod to the perfect lives of the film Stepford Wives).  So apart from the residents that are up-scaling to bigger homes people are staying put.  A trend that is noticeable is that someone moving from a smaller home to a bigger one is keeping the small home and renting it out, using this as an addition to a pension fund.  Families that are considering leaving the area but are unsure of leaving the leafy and wholesome delights of Chorlton are now renting out their family homes and renting for a trial period in the new area they want to try out.  The worry being is moving costs and stamp duty makes a move from Chorlton to another family home cost in the region of £20,000, this teamed with the uncertainty of not knowing if the new area is 100% suitable and that the prediction that if you leave Chorlton you won’t be able to afford to buy back into the area, the prediction is there is going to be a 15-20% increase in property value in Chorlton in the next 2 years, this is a huge factor in this decision.  Rents have reached stratospheric levels, an unfurnished two bedroom terraced has potential tenants flighting over them at £850 per month and a three bedroom period home goes quickly from anything from £1000 upwards.  Due to the high desirability of Chorlton, house prices are going upward, new properties being built is not going to happen as there is no where for them to go, so this means the existing stock will increase in price as so few properties are coming on the market for sale.  There are a few vendors who have attempted to cash in on the demand with inflated prices, fortunately our vendors take our advice in where to gauge the appropriate sales price.

Another happy customer

Yet another happy customer, thrilled with the property and the service she’s received from Sherlock Homes.

Pension Vs Property

Pension Vs Property, what’s the best option?

This is a big question on quite a lot of peoples minds at the moment, do you pay into a pension fund with the hope that the shares it’s buying will increase and they’ll be a good annuity available when the time comes to cash it in.  Or, do you buy a house (putting 25% deposit now) and have an investment you have control over.

With a pension you get a tax break and that goes into your pension pot, however with a house you can rent it out and the tenants will pay most if not all of your mortgage.

How do they work?

A pension is a fund where you pay an agreed amount each month until the date you decide when you want to retire, the money along with a contribution from the tax man goes into stocks and shares.  At the end date the stocks and shares are sold and a lump sum is produced, this lump sum is used to by an annuity which will produced a guaranteed amount each month as an income until you die

A property is bought with or without a mortgage, the property is rented out and the rent is used to pay for the mortgage or give you an income.  The property value increases.  When you retire you can either keep the property and use the rent as an income, as if there was a mortgage this should be paid off or you sell the house and live off the capital.

So what are the downfalls of both?

With a pension you are putting full trust into people you don’t know, hoping they’ll do good buy you and paying a fee to them, and the companies the pension fund is buying shares in also have to do well.  There are administration costs all around.

With a property you have to ensure your property is in good condition and the tenants are looking after it, you have the standard upkeep that you would do with any property, but ultimately you have control over your investment.  Tenanted properties can cause problems, as with every investment there is the occasional bump in the road, however very rarely does that bump mean that your entire investment is flushed down the toilet.  When it comes to tax, when you sell you will be liable for capital gains tax and each year you will be required to complete a tax return, and pay tax on any profit.  If you sell and live off the capital then the capital will eventually have an end date (ultimately you could buy an annuity with the proceeds as the pension fund does)

What are the benefits?

With a pension, it’s a clean transaction, you pay so much a month and have no ongoing requirements asked from you.  You put your trust in someone else.

With a property you have a tangible investment you can see, visit and control.  When you buy an annuity when you die it goes, with a house, when you die you have an asset to leave to a next of kin.


As an estate agent I deal with property every day, and know the industry so property complexity seems simple, so I am in favour of property.  Pensions rely too much on other people who I don’t know and don’t have experience of.  Admittedly someone could say the same about renting out a property, however if something goes wrong with a property something can be done to put right in a simple way, if a pipe bursts it’s fixed, if a tenant leaves you find another one.  If a company who you’ve got shares in goes to wall and your share value is wiped out, where do you go from there?


Interests Only Mortgages being restricted

It has been broken today that Interest Only Mortgages have been restricted to just 50% Loan to Value for all the big banks, this is another step towards ‘prudent’ lending.

How will this affect the housing market?  Well, for people that are looking to stay where they are this won’t affect them at all, however if they were looking to refinance their mortgage to absorb the cost of home improvements such as an extension then they will only be able to borrow if the total lending is 50% of the value of the house.

This could impact the buy to let market, as privately owned properties with tenants in are increasing, however for most long term professional landlords they should have a decent pool of equity built into their portfolios to increase them at a steady rate. Alternatively shift them over to repayments options.

Sherlock Homes property demand outstrips supply

The demand for properties in Chorlton is outstripping supply.  More and more tenants are flocking to the Chorlton area seeking the more wholesome community feel that is sadly lacking in the city centre.

Demand for apartments and houses is creating situations where people are jumping in a car and leaving their work the moment a property comes on the market.  Last week we listed a well presented unfurnished two bedroom terraced house, it went on our books at 12noon, we emailed it to our applicant database and the first viewing was booked in 2 minutes and the full deposit was paid in less than a couple of hours, leaving half a dozen disappointed potential tenants.  The successful tenant that moves in this week.  This is a common situation, desirable areas such as Chorlton are magnet for tenants.

In a government report in 2011 it was stated that there was a 40% rise (over the last five years) in privately rented households, totalling 3.4 million.  In addition to that on average 4 potential tenants go for just one privately owned property.

We are in desperate need for more properties in the area, the dam is fit to burst with good quality tenants, so if you are a landlord with an available property please drop us a line.

House Prices Rise…


House prices are said to be on the increase, as published by the Halifax today, on average in the first quarter of 2012, prices have risen 2.2%.  The key area that has been highlighted this increase has been the government initiative for first time buyers.

There has been a general increase on house completions which hasn’t been seen since 2009, this could be the first shoots of recovery, as prices rise the people who have been waiting it out in rented accommodation are now taking the plunge, worried that if they don’t buy now the market will increase above what they can afford.

On the flip side of the coin it has also been published by review site ‘Meet my Agent’ that four in ten agents have over one third of their stock overpriced.

The role of an agent is to get the best price possible for our vendor, and if there is a shortage of properties then the simple supply and demand principle will kick in.   I have personally been out to a couple of appraisals in the last month and the vendors are putting huge expectations on their properties worth and asking to put it on the market for way over the highest sales figures for the road in some cases in between £50,000 and £100,000 the justification of the high sales price is that they need the extra money to make the next step up on the property ladder.

It’s all about hitting the balance, we would love to achieve the asking price or more for a property, as we get our commission based on the final sales price.  We also have to consider what happens when a mortgage surveyor goes out to do a formal survey, even with the best will in the world and no matter how much a purchaser loves a property if it gets down valued it will take a purchaser with deep pockets an a huge desire to live in the house to go ahead with an overpriced sale.

Housing Benefit Tenants

We seem to have received a huge amount of enquiries from tenants who are in receipt of housing benefits over the last couple of week.  Unfortunately we have to turn all these tenants down,  the properties we manage for landlords require tenants to pass a credit check, and part of that involves assessment on affordability based on income, employment as well as credit history.  So  we cannot include benefits as part of the equation.  The only alternative around the situation is that the potential tenant has to pay 6 months rent in advance for each and every 6 month tenancy, which unfortunately for most people on housing benefits means that they cannot proceed.

Mortgage Lending Increases – Good positive sign.


Positive news that has been publicised today, mortgage lending is up 28% this February compared to the same time last year and the amount of mortgage property completions is up 31% this February and 29% in January in comparison to the previous year.

The signs are good and as more people are lending this should mean the banks and lenders will come up with some very favourable mortgage deals.

With the sunny weather we are having the key drought we are having is with property instructions, especially in the Chorlton area, the moment we get a property on we have a flurry of purchasers looking to buy.  The key property that is selling is period, turn of the century properties and this is in the target for many buyers, and they are waiting in rented until the right property comes on.  As it does cost so much to buy, sell and move the market is full of individuals looking for that forever home.


Rent, the on going story

A high end property company teamed with the on line property portal Rightmove have carried out a detail report and have predicted that by 2016 one in five household will be in private rented accommodation, that does not include the households who are in social housing.    This will need a requirement of £200million investment in property to quench this increased demand, they also predict that only £50million will come from buy to let investors, leaving a huge deficit to come.  If the demand is not supplied this will push the rental price up even further.

Currently areas of the North West such as Warrington have the lowest rent on a percentage basis of rent to salary, currently at 25%  However popular areas in Manchester such as Chorlton it’s reaching 40% but still much lower than the 54% that tenants in London are paying.

It looks that the buy to let investors who paid top dollar for their investment properties will start to see a return, although the sales market for these types of properties fluctuates dramatically if they’re not in the sought after areas but with the rental stock quickly drying up virtually any property will secure a tenant for the right price.

Weekend Viewing Representative Required

We are looking for a Saturday viewing representative to assist with the expanding portfolio. Working in a friendly and fast paced environment the ideal candidate will be required to work quickly and efficiently delivering the expected high quality customer service.

Full driving licence required
Experience in sales and property advantageous
Good interpersonal and negotiation skills essential.

Saturdays 10.00-16.00
Use of pool car available for candidates over 21.

Starting salary £7per hour plus bonus per sale

Contact Sherlock Homes 0161 881 8228 email us with your up to date CV and available start date