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Gloucester Property News

Information and advice on buying and selling your home in the Gloucester area.

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Time of the Signs!

Gloucester Council have said recently that they are considering fining Estate Agents that leave Sold or Let By boards on properties for too long. So what is the legal standpoint regarding these boards and how long is ‘too long’?

The relevant piece of legislation is The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations and it makes four main stipulations:

• What type of sign can be displayed – agents can erect a sign indicating that the property or land on which it stands is for sale or to let. There can only be one such sign, even if more than one agent is appointed. The agents may make a joint board, effectively two advertisements.

• What size can they be – this depends on the type of property being advertised. Residential properties may have boards no larger than 0.5 sq m or 0.6 if there are two joined together. For agricultural, commercial or industrial premises, the boards should not exceed 2 sq m or 2.3 if they are joined boards.

• Where can boards be displayed – the board must be displayed on the actual property it relates to. In addition, it cannot be more than 4.6 metres above ground level and should not project more than 1 metre.

• How long can boards be left up – once a property has been successfully sold or let, any board must be removed within 14 days.

You’ll have seen that Farr & Farr have many boards throughout the city and the county of Gloucester. We pride ourselves on having boards that are smart, well maintained and always removed within the statutory time frame.

If you are thinking of buying or selling in the Gloucester area, contact long-established local estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or explore our website farrandfarr.co.uk

First Time Buyers – Take Advantage of a Help To Buy ISA!

There is some good news, at last, for first time buyers.  The government has introduced a brand new savings scheme to help buyers put together a deposit to buy their first home.

The savings plan is known as a Help to Buy ISA and under it the government will boost savings by 25% to help first time buyers get on the property ladder.  That means for every £4 saved, the government will contribute a further £1.

The scheme, available since 1st December, allows the government to add up to £50 a month on savings of £200, up to a maximum of £3,000 on total savings of £12,000.  So if a couple can save £24,000 between them towards a deposit, the government will contribute a further £6,000, giving them a total deposit of £30,000.

Under the existing Help to Buy scheme homebuyers may buy a new property with a deposit of just 5%.  If a couple are hoping to buy a brand new home worth £250,000, for example, they will require a 5% deposit of £12,500.  By using the new ISA scheme, the couple need only contribute £9,500 with the government providing the additional £3,000.

Amongst the High Street lenders supporting the scheme are Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, NatWest, Santander and Virgin Money.  For full details of the scheme visit www.helptobuy.gov.uk

If you are thinking of buying or selling in the Gloucester area, contact long-established local estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or explore our website farrandfarr.co.uk

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Christmas Drawing Competition with Farr & Farr

Christmas time gave local school children a great opportunity to enter into Farr and Farr's drawing competition.  Pupils from Milestone School & Elmbridge School were excited to enter their artistic creations.  

Julian Farr, Owner of Farr & Farr was delighted to be photographed with the winners!  Congratulations to the winners - and a big thank you to everyone that took part.

If you are thinking of buying or selling in the Gloucester area, contact long-established local estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or explore their website farrandfarr.co.uk



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Mortgage Lending up 12.5% in 2015!

Chartered surveying firm e.surv has calculated that mortgage lending throughout 2015 rose by a significant 12.5%.

The survey found a small dip of 3.1% from November to December, but over the second half of the year taken as a whole, mortgage approvals averaged 69,572, rising from an average of 64,047 for the first six months of 2015.  Over the whole twelve month period this meant total mortgage lending for house purchases increased by 12.5%.

There was also a substantial 32% rise in what is known as small deposit lending.  This is defined as loans made to buyers who have a deposit of 15% or less of a property’s total value.   

Elsewhere, the Office for National Statistics reported that UK house prices across the country rose on average by 7.7% during the twelve months to November.  Unsurprisingly, the biggest increases were in London and the South East and the East of the country.  The rise in the East of England was 10.2%, while London and the South East saw average prices rise by 9.8%.

If you are thinking of buying or selling in the Gloucester area, contact long-established local estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or explore their website farrandfarr.co.uk

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21 Years Makeover – and Many Happy Returns!

Local Estate Agent Farr & Farr recently celebrated their twenty-first birthday in their Hucclecote offices and celebrated with a complete makeover and a commitment to many happy returns.

Farr & Farr first opened the office in Hucclecote in November 1994.  Now, twenty-one years later, they have shown their commitment to the area by signing a new lease and undergoing a thorough refurbishment.

Julian Farr is not only very pleased with the new bright look of the premises, but also grateful to the local contractors who carried out the work.  As the Managing Director of a well-established family business, he felt it important to employ Gloucester people and is more than satisfied with the results.

Office Manager Sandra Merrick and her team of four were able to continue business despite the extensive refurbishment work going on around them.  They fully intend to continue providing a friendly, professional service to the house buyers and sellers in the area for the foreseeable future.    

The refurbishment was project managed by Clive Hannis at Dynamic Sales Solutions.  The team he used comprised:
•    CAL Decorators, the painter and decorators on the project
•    EJ Blinds who supplied the new canopy
•    DMxpression, the electrical contractor
•    Kingfisher Flooring
•    MJB Beard, responsible for the double glazing and fascias
•    Severn Signs, who supplied all the external signage, the acrylic map and internal displays

All in all it is a first class job, reflecting the professionalism of Farr & Farr and their continuing commitment to the area.

If you are thinking of buying or selling in the Gloucester area, contact long-established local estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or explore their website farrandfarr.co.uk

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Autumn Statement Triggers Rush for Buy-To-Lets!

The Chancellor George Osborne gave the housing industry plenty of good news yesterday in his Autumn Statement.  At the same time, though, he triggered a stampede by landlords rushing to avoid the new 3% increase in Stamp Duty for buy-to-let properties and second homes.

The positive news for the housing market was the announcement that the Government’s housing budget would be doubled to £2 billion to build more homes.  The Chancellor made a commitment to building 400,000 new homes by 2020.

However, potential landlords will be hit by the announcement that Stamp Duty will rise by 3% for buy-to-let properties and second homes.  This increase will take effect from 1st April 2016.  Analysts at The Daily Telegraph have estimated that this, together with the changes made earlier in the year to mortgage tax relief, could result in the tax liable on a buy-to-let property costing £250,000 rising from £2,500 to £8,800.

The message for potential landlords is clear – if you want to invest in buy-to-let then now is the time to buy, before the increases kick in.   

If you are thinking of buying a second property or buy-to-let investment in the Gloucester area, contact long-established local estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or explore their website farrandfarr.co.uk.  They will be happy to give you the benefit of their experience in the local property market to enable you to make the right investment decisions. 

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Do Most People Just Move Within 10 Miles?

Do Most People Just Move Within 10 Miles?

There is a property industry myth that most people move within 10 miles of their existing home. Analyst Stephen Hayter recently published an article in Property Industry Eye exploring this myth.

Stephen called on the expertise of myhomemove, who have completed property transactions in each of the 109 postcode of the England and Wales. For the purposes of the survey, however, they concentrated on data relating to moves in the Exeter, Plymouth and Truro areas, using a sample of some 102 transactions.

They took the seller’s home postcode and calculated the distance to their new post code. The results threw up some interesting data.

The first thing to note is that there is some substance to the myth; 35% of people moved within 10 miles of their existing home postcode. A total of 45% moved within 50 miles, an hour or two’s drive of their original home.

However, they also found that 44% had in fact moved to between 150 and 300 miles. Only seven people moved more than 300 miles, the furthest move being from Thornton-Cleveleys in Lancashire to Helston in Cornwall, some 382 miles in total.

Stephen concludes that, although the myth is fairly well supported by the evidence, there is also clear proof that as a nation we are becoming a much more mobile society.

If you are thinking of buying or selling in the Gloucester area, contact long-established local estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or explore their website farrandfarr.co.uk

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Home Buyer Demand Highest for 11 Years!

The number of house hunters has hit its highest level for eleven years.

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) found that there had been a rise of 5% from June to July this year, with an average of 462 applicants per branch member office. They announced that this was the highest figure recorded since August 2004, when an average of 582 house hunters per branch was logged.

Supply of properties coming onto the market also increased by some 25% with branches averaging 55 properties available in July compared to 44 in June.

The number of first time buyers has fallen, however, and sales were taking longer to complete due to holiday commitments of both buyers and sellers during the summer months. The autumn is traditionally a popular time to move house and market activity is predicted to continue improving.

Interestingly, research by Halifax has found that purchasing a property with a mortgage actually works out cheaper than renting the same home. The lender calculated that renting an average three bedroomed house would work out at £722 per month whilst mortgage payments would cost a first time buyer just £666. Halifax suggests that this was the result of lower mortgage rates and rising rental charges.

If you are thinking of buying or selling in the Gloucester area, contact long-established local estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or explore their website farrandfarr.co.uk

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All Eyes on Gloucester in September!

In September the 2015 Rugby World Cup kicks off and Gloucester is proud to be one of the host cities!

Kingsholm, the base for Gloucester’s own team, affectionately nicknamed the Cherry and Whites, is more than ready for the influx of fans. The stadium has a capacity of 16,500 and has a glorious history of international rugby.

Back in 1900 it hosted the first ever international test match between Wales and England. Billy Bancroft led the visitors to a 13 v 3 victory. England’s captain that day was, incidentally, Octopus Gamlin (aka Herbert).

It was a further 91 years before Kingsholm witnessed another international. 12,000 fans saw New Zealand romp to a 46 v 6 victory over the USA in the 1991 World Cup. It was also a venue during the 2000 competition with New Zealand once again involved, this time against Lebanon.

This time round Kingsholm will host four matches:

** Saturday 19th September 12:00 Pool C Match 2 - Tonga v Georgia
** Wednesday 23rd September 14:30 noon Pool B Match 9 - Scotland v Japan
** Friday 25th September 16:45 noon Pool C Match 13 - Argentina v Georgia
** Sunday 11th October 20:00 noon Pool B Match 40 - USA v Japan

As with all host cities, Gloucester will be establishing a Fanzone down at Gloucester Docks where fans can watch matches on a giant screen, free of charge.

Meanwhile, if you are trying to move in the Gloucester area, the local team to support is estate agents Farr & Farr. Contact their main office on 01452 500025 or explore their website farrandfarr.co.uk

There’s no property problem this team can’t tackle.


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Guess This House - New TV Show!

After all the cookery, auction and entertainment reality shows, it was probably only a matter of time before it happened – ITV has produced a new television show where the contestants have to guess the values of various houses and their contents.

Presented by the former Apprentice finalist, Saira Khan, this daytime show will pit two couples against each other every week. They will be required to visit four houses and then have to estimate their total value, together with the value of their contents. The couple which comes closest to the correct total will then be given more time than their rivals to estimate the value of a final, prime property. The winner of this last challenge will win a cash prize.

Guess This House will be on air Monday lunchtimes between 12:30 and 1:30 and the first programme will be shown on 27th July.

For all your more down to earth property requirements in the Gloucester area, you should contact long established local estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or visit their website farrandfarr.co.uk

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Home Improvement Do’s and Don'ts

If you are considering selling or letting a property later this year, you might be thinking about making some improvements to it. A recent Home Improvement Report carried out on behalf of Barclays highlighted some of the UK’s likes and dislikes in the field of home improvement in recent years.

Firstly, here are some things that used to be fashionable but are now the biggest turn offs for potential buyers or tenants. Top of the list is an avocado coloured bathroom suite. The other items in the top five that have had their day are woodchip wallpaper, stone cladding, flock wallpaper and artex ceilings.

Amongst other things you might want to consider replacing are carpets in bathrooms, pebble dashing, strip lighting, linoleum flooring and synthetic food finishes.

Next, have a look at the colours the rooms are painted. It may seem obvious, but people really dislike lime green walls! The same goes for other bright shades such as purple, orange, red and yellow. Get some neutral colours up instead.

The survey also asked what would be the most desirable home improvement. By far the most popular was a designer kitchen, followed by an en-suite bathroom, swimming pool and games room. A well maintained garden was another popular choice.

It is unlikely that you will be able to provide such expensive items and see your money back in the short term. However, there is much to be gained from changing the doors to your kitchen units, for example, or installing a heated towel rail and some mixer taps in your bathroom.

Not forgetting that it is the ideal time to get out into the garden and really bring it under control.

So there are some simple things you can do to make your property more attractive to any potential buyers or tenants, some obvious some not quite so.

If you are thinking of buying or selling in the Gloucester area, contact local estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or visit their website farrandfarr.co.uk.

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Post-Election House Prices Set to Soar

The election of a new majority Conservative government is expected to be swiftly followed by substantial rises in house prices as investor confidence returns to the housing market.

Many had feared the combination of Labour’s proposed Mansion Tax, together with its plans to introduce three year tenancy agreements and rent increase caps in the private rented sector, would lead to reduced investment. Instead, the Conservative victory has been greeted with talk of increased prices by leading estate agents.

Needless to say, the London market is expected to lead the way with prices predicted to rise by up to 10% during the summer. There will be an inevitable trickle-down effect throughout the country, however.

The news is not just good for sellers. During the run up to the election David Cameron outlined these policies to help stimulate the housing market:

• The extension of the Right to Buy scheme to include 1.3 million housing association homes throughout England
• 200,000 new homes to be built for first time buyers who, if aged under 40, will be entitled to a 20% discount
• A new Help to Buy ISA aimed at providing a subsidised deposit for first time buyers
• £1 billion brownfield regeneration fund to help unlock sites for up to 400,000 new homes

If you are thinking of buying or selling in the Gloucester, contact your local Gloucester estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or visit their website farrandfarr.co.uk

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Why Move to Gloucester?

Although Gloucester is acknowledged as one of the top ten historic cities in England and is the county town of Gloucestershire, post code snobbery often tempts potential buyers to Cheltenham instead. Yet Gloucester has much to offer by way of bargains available in fantastic residential locations.

The city of Gloucester offers a wealth of historical links, with its Roman foundations, Norman cathedral and Victorian Docks. The city itself offers a wide range of shops, markets, restaurants, pubs and visitor attractions. In addition the Gloucester Quays combines a new shopping experience with adjacent restaurants, bars and multi-screen cinema.

Talking of restaurants and bars, there are plenty of eating places and watering holes to suit all tastes throughout the city. You will be hard pressed to find a national cuisine that is not represented and the variety of bars and pubs caters for all tastes, from the young and trendy to the traditional real ale drinker.

Transport is outstanding with easy road links to the M5 and beyond. The train station serves local destinations such as Cheltenham and Bristol, but also provides easy direct links to Birmingham, Cardiff and London.

Property currently available in and around the city includes everything from attractive dockside apartments to spacious detached family houses, including numerous new builds.

If you are considering moving to Gloucester, contact local estate agents Farr & Farr on 01452 500025 or visit their website farrandfarr.co.uk

Staff required at Farr & Farr Estate Agents Gloucester

Saturday staff required 

We're looking for reliable and personable staff to work 9 am - 5 pm Saturdays, plus holiday cover as required. Own transport will be essential.

If you feel you can fit this role, please contact Jackie on 01452 782080 for more information.


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Will the Election Affect Property Prices?

With a general election looming there is bound to be a degree of uncertainty in the property market. This would appear to be reflected by the announcement by Rightmove that house prices have risen by just 1%, the lowest rise at this time of year since 2012.

Anthony Codling is a housing analyst at the broker Jefferies and he has studied the last seven UK elections extensively. "On average, and when compared to the level of transactions at the time of an election, transactions have been higher in the period six to 12 months prior to and one to six months after an election," he said.

"But the four months immediately preceding elections have typically seen housing transactions 3% to 8% below the level seen at the time of an election.  In our view, this confirms what we believe many intuitively believe; that the uncertainty regarding elections will delay a prospective homeowner’s decision to purchase a home."

Buyers and sellers are naturally nervous about buying at times of uncertainty. Codling’s research shows that on average house prices are 4.9% lower during the 12 months running up to an election but 8.6% higher during the six months afterwards. All this would seem to indicate that buyers should be looking to seal a bargain before the election while sellers would do well to wait until the dust has settled.

Whichever political party you support, local Gloucester estate agents Farr & Farr should get your vote, whether buying or selling. Contact their main office on 01452 500025 or visit their website farrandfarr.co.uk now.

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Hollywood Boost for Gloucestershire Property Prices!

The Halifax has announced that having your house featured in locations used for TV and film may result in an increased price. Having analysed prices in places where British films have been made in the last five years, they have identified price rises of up to a quarter.

This is good news for Gloucester and many surrounding towns and villages which have been used as the location for the shooting of numerous films and TV in recent times, some Hollywood blockbusters, others popular television series.

Gloucester Docks, for example, has been featured in Alice Through the Looking Glass, Amazing Grace, The Colour of Magic, Martin Chuzzlewit & Vanity Fair. Meanwhile, Gloucester’s College Green has been home to Doctor Who, Harry Potter (the 1st, 2nd and 6th films), Sherlock, The Hollow Crown & the current popular BBC series Wolf Hall.

Episodes of Sherlock have been shot at Suffolk Parade, Cheltenham and the village of Wotton-Under-Edge while the upcoming mini-series of J K Rowling’s adult novel, The Casual Vacancy, will feature the villages of Minchinhampton and Painswick, as well as Archway School in the market town of Stroud, where Cemetery Junction has also been filmed.

While they cannot guarantee that your home will feature on the big screen, local Gloucester estate agents Farr & Farr are sure to make it a star in their marketing, reaching a huge audience of prospective buyers. Contact their main office on 01452 500025 or visit their website farrandfarr.co.uk now.

In winter make yours a ‘homely’ home to attract buyers!

The winter is well and truly upon us as the weather turns damp and cold and the days remain gloomy. How might you best present your home for sale during these dark days? The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has some suggestions:

Make first impressions count – the exterior of your property will be the first thing a prospective buyer will see. In winter, front gardens and pathways can easily look dull and uninspiring. Make sure all paths are swept clean and clear of leaves and other debris.

Shine brightly – do make sure all lights are working, especially any external security lights. If a viewing is during daylight, open all curtains to allow as much natural daylight into the property as possible.

Have a ‘homely’ home – your prospective purchaser is looking for a home, so make yours feel like one! It needs to be warm and inviting. Also ensure there are no strange or damp smells which might put people off.

Clear blockages – check your down pipes and guttering are clear of leaves or other blockages which may lead to leaks.

Everything in the garden is lovely – the prospective purchaser may not spend too much time in the garden if it is chilly, but it should appear neat and tidy. Fix any loose or missing fence panels, for example, and cut back overhanging branches.

For more straightforward advice contact Farr & Farr at their main Gloucester office on 01452 500025 or visit their website farrandfarr.co.uk ... oh and don't forget, you can download Julian's Tips by clicking here!

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Stamp Duty Tax ... good news at last!

You'll probably be aware by now of the changes in the Stamp Duty ... Great news at last.  

You may want to know what this means to you when you're buying or selling your property ....

The new stamp duty taxes on property purchases have been revised so they are calculated more like an income tax, with new rates payable only on the portion of the total value which falls within each band.

In a nutshell, this means that 98% of people in the UK who pay stamp duty will be better off. The radical change means that someone buying a family home with a typical price tag of £275,000 will save £4,500 compared with the current rules, although those buying very high-end properties will see their bills increase.

Anyone buying a home for less than £937,500 will either pay less stamp duty or the same amount under the new rules, the Treasury reported.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), expects the new stamp duty tax to trigger a small upward creep in property prices and sales of homes worth up to the £937,500 tipping point, and a small decrease in prices above the tipping point amount.

Please feel free to contact to discuss how much the new tax changes will save you!   Call us on 01452 500025, we'd be more than happy to help.


Farr & Farr are proud to sponsor The Rotary Club of Gloucester's Tree of Light


Farr & Farr are extremely proud to be sponsoring The Rotary Club of Gloucester's Tree of Light.

The Rotary Club of Gloucester's Tree of Light is back for Christmas 2014 and is a splendid 30' high fir tree which resides outside the Guildhall. It makes a spectacular sight in the centre of our historic City and boasts over 5,000 lights.

Christmas is a time for families, for remembering, for celebrating and for giving;

It's at times such as these that the loss of a friend or relative can resurface to higher levels. The name and the symbolism of the Rotary Tree of Light are reminders that there is light and hope in the bleakest circumstances.

The Tree of Light allows you to remember loved ones at Christmas-time whilst at the same time raising funds for worthwhile causes which support others who are in need.
With a Simple Donation via Just Giving you'll be raising money for Children's Charities.

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First Time Buying on the Up!

Good news on First Time Buyers!

Statistics from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show there were just 192,300 first-time buyers in 2008, against 580,300 in 1988. But encouragingly, the most recent statistics prove that first-time buyers are no longer holding back! Figures show that 269,000 took the first time buyer plunge in 2013.

In May this year, first-timers took out 26,800 mortgages, which is the highest monthly figure since November 2007.

There have been “Help To Buy” and other discount schemes designed to assist first time buyers to get a foot on the property ladder.

If you need any assistance in buying your first home, please speak to one of our team .... we are very experienced and happy to help you with this huge step.