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Busy, maxi boom market

August 2020 Blog Estate Agency

As we head for late summer, Lynne Lancaster, Head of Estate Agency assesses the property market. Covid19 hasn’t been the only outbreak this year. There has also been an…

Busy, maxi boom market
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Busy, maxi boom market

August 2020 Estate Agency

As we head for late summer, Lynne Lancaster, Head of Estate Agency assesses the property market.

Covid19 hasn’t been the only outbreak this year. There has also been an outbreak of property sales and lettings since lockdown. The press has called the current property market a mini boom but we would call it a maxi boom.

Mini booms occur when there is above average activity. Maxi booms happen when buyers are queueing up, there are multiple offers for most properties on the market, and deals regularly go to best and final offers only to exceed the original guide prices. This is what we are currently experiencing.

The lettings sector has not been left out of this frenzy as there also continues to be enormous demand for rental properties.

Our phones have been ringing off the hook, emails have doubled, WhatsApp also and the numbers of visitors to our website and social media pages have skyrocketed.

Many things have changed since the pandemic and one of these changes is in the attitude many of us have in relation to how and where we want to live. The demand continues for more spacious, greener living with the opportunity to have a working space at home.  The temporary reduction in stamp duty has not only helped many second and third time buyers, but it has also helped holiday home and buy-to-let purchasers.

As we head towards late summer our phones continue to ring and there is no let up in demand. We don’t know how long this demand for property will last, but for buyers and sellers right now it is a boom market. So our advice is; strike now whilst the iron is hot.

Arrange your free valuation today by contacting your local PFK office below…

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Landlord Feedback

July 2020 Feedback

We first used PFK to let and manage a flat in Penrith in 1992, when we lived in Birmingham and had a second home - Holly Cottage - in The…

Landlord Feedback
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Landlord Feedback

July 2020
We first used PFK to let and manage a flat in Penrith in 1992, when we lived in Birmingham and had a second home – Holly Cottage – in The Eden Valley. The arrangement proved completely satisfactory, so we continued it when we moved into the cottage full time in 2000. It made perfect sense to use them when we recently decided to let the cottage on downsizing.
 
PFK have been efficient in finding new tenants for both properties on the rare occasions that this has been necessary. They provide guidance on all the legislation with which the landlord has to comply, recommending suitable contractors when required. They have reacted promptly to the needs of our tenants, consulting us when necessary and instructing thoroughly vetted and insured contractors appropriate to the job. Another important aspect of their service is the efficient way that they collect and process rents and costs, promptly passing on the balance to the landlord. Our working relationship with PFK has given us peace of mind and we have no hesitation in recommending the highly professional service that they offer to others.
 
– Mr & Mrs Lyon | PFK managed landlord since 1992

Make Hay While The Sun Shines 

July 2020 News Estate Agency

Lynne Lancaster, head of estate agency, assesses the Chancellor’s stamp duty changes, designed to stimulate the property market. With demand for property at a welcome high level, one thing…

Make Hay While The Sun Shines 
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Make Hay While The Sun Shines 

July 2020 Estate Agency

Lynne Lancaster, head of estate agency, assesses the Chancellor’s stamp duty changes, designed to stimulate the property market.

With demand for property at a welcome high level, one thing was needed to help create what could be the most active market since the great recession and that was greater affordability.

The Chancellor has gone a long way to help through his mini-budget. From 8th July 2020 until 31st March 2021 there will be a temporary stamp duty holiday on the first £500,000 of all property sales in England and Northern Ireland. This does not affect Scotland and Wales, which have their own property transaction tax regimes.

Under Sunak’s change buyers of second homes and buy-to-let properties will also benefit, but they will still have to pay the existing 3% extra duty due on the entire price. During this tax holiday, the average stamp duty bill will fall by £4,500, and almost nine out of ten people buying a main home this year will pay no stamp duty at all. Anyone buying a home for around £475,000 will save almost £14,000 in tax.

We in the property industry have long called for the government to review this tax as it has become a serious hindrance to buyers. Although seen as unfair by many, the government’s annual return from stamp duty is around £12bn – roughly equivalent to 2% of the Treasury’s total tax income. However the Prime Minister has said in the past that he wanted to review duty up to £500,000 and reduce the top rate – on homes costing more than £1.5 million at a suggested reduction from 12% to 7%.

The new stamp duty level and the increased desire by many to make a lifestyle change mean this is the best time for years to buy a property and as any farmer will tell you, make hay while the sun shines.

If you would like any further information, please contact your local PFK office. https://estates.pfk.co.uk/contact/

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Our Local Property Market

June 2020 Blog Estate Agency

Lynne Lancaster, Head of Estate Agency, looks at the current impact of our local property market. The relaxation of the Covid lockdown rules has taken the property industry by surprise,…

Our Local Property Market
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Our Local Property Market

June 2020 Estate Agency

Lynne Lancaster, Head of Estate Agency, looks at the current impact of our local property market.

The relaxation of the Covid lockdown rules has taken the property industry by surprise, albeit a pleasant surprise. There is an exodus from urban areas to rural locations. As we have previously said more buyers now want open space and extra room at home than they did before the lockdown. Larger houses have suddenly become more popular as buyers look for extra working space – not just for one person but also for two or more people.

Properties that are situated away from major cities are increasingly in demand. Buyers are moving away from commuter belts and the need previously to live close to work.  Now that working from home is the new ‘norm’ they are looking for more expansive homes farther out.

We cover an area of outstanding natural beauty including the Lake District National park and we also cover other areas that provide easy access to it: Carlisle, Cockermouth, Keswick, Kirkby Stephen Penrith and Whitehaven.

It is difficult to say how long this may last however we continue through a safe flexible Covid-19 approach, to help customers find their ideal property and location. Right now just might turn out to be a better time in the property market and with that said all of our offices are happy to help you in relation to any enquiry you may have. Visit our website for your local office’s contact details –  https://estates.pfk.co.uk/contact/

PFK Carlisle - Helping our customers move during Covid 19

June 2020 Blog Estate Agency

The Covid 19 lockdown was a challenging time for everyone and the buying and selling of houses has been no different. Home moving was initially classed as not essential and…

PFK Carlisle - Helping our customers move during Covid 19
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PFK Carlisle - Helping our customers move during Covid 19

June 2020 Estate Agency

The Covid 19 lockdown was a challenging time for everyone and the buying and selling of houses has been no different. Home moving was initially classed as not essential and we were unable to carry out home visits which in turn meant that buyers and estate agents couldn’t make appointments to view houses in person.  We managed to navigate around this by offering virtual alternatives.

When the government announced the lock down on the 23rd of March there was a particular group of people immediately effected and it was those who had agreed sales prior to lockdown with completion dates almost imminent. Understandably many of these sales were put on hold due to various reasons like one party being in the high risk category. But what of the chains where all parties wanted to move asap? We had such a chain, where we had first time buyers buying one of our properties in Carlisle, the sellers were then buying a vacant property again through ourselves and everyone was keen to move.

The first thing to do was ascertain, was this even possible within the UK government and law society guidelines? Ourselves and the solicitors reviewed both sets of guidelines and discovered that it would be possible to get everyone moved working to the guidelines set and observing social distancing measures.  The buyers, sellers, solicitors and us as the agents worked alongside one another to make the move happen. It was agreed that the completion could take place and that the sellers of the occupied property would move out of their property after wiping down all surfaces and door handles etc and leaving it vacant for 24 hours.  Those sellers then moved into the vacant property and their first time buyer waited 24 hours before moving into their previously occupied property.

The outcome of this story is that even in the most challenging of times if we work together the right outcomes can be achieved, one of the customers involved in the transaction above sent us this lovely message:

Just wanted to thank you all for selling our home so quickly and getting our purchase completed. From start to finish you were all very helpful and quick to respond to queries and problems involved in our move which was made more stressful with the Covid situation. A professional, friendly, efficient service was provided. 

Moving Forward...

June 2020 Blog Estate Agency

As the UK lifts out of lockdown, Harriet Simpson of PFK Estate Agency, Penrith suggests a chat to consider your next move. Estate agents move people from one home to…

Moving Forward...
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Moving Forward...

June 2020 Estate Agency

As the UK lifts out of lockdown, Harriet Simpson of PFK Estate Agency, Penrith suggests a chat to consider your next move.

Estate agents move people from one home to the next. And never has moving people seemed more important than now: because never have homes seemed more important to all of us as we battle to defeat the most deadly threat in our lives and to our ‘normal’ way of life.

But something big is happening. Activity has gone through the roof since the government allowed agents to return to work. The property portals are reporting the highest traffic ever to their sites. In lockdown decisions have changed, some people have decided to move on and are now acting upon those decisions.

It is at a time like this that estate agents become very useful indeed. It is their local expertise and market knowledge, which are so invaluable to sellers, buyers, landlords & tenants. Who’d have thought that houses and flats on dedicated cycle lanes would step up in value? The answer is, an experienced estate agent.

So if you plan to move, why not call us for a chat. Better still, arrange a meeting.

You will find that we live in your area, we share and enjoy the same local facilities and we support the same local businesses. More than that, you will find that we care in a way that goes beyond selling or renting your property. We take the utmost care in moving our clients from one place to another.

Contact your relevant PFK branch by visiting https://estates.pfk.co.uk/contact/

PFK Open The Doors

June 2020 News

PFK are pleased to be re-opening to the public their Estate Agency offices in Carlisle, Penrith and Cockermouth from 10 am Monday 1st June, strictly adhering to current Government…

PFK Open The Doors
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PFK Open The Doors

June 2020

PFK are pleased to be re-opening to the public their Estate Agency offices in Carlisle, Penrith and Cockermouth from 10 am Monday 1st June, strictly adhering to current Government guidelines. The Estate Agencies worked remotely throughout lockdown and more recently have been assisting clients and buyers with safe physical viewings when these recommenced.

Lynne Lancaster, Head of Estate Agency said:

“We feel the time is right to re-open these offices and, of course, we are doing so with safety as our number one concern. We have taken a little time to re-design our offices to deal with Covid-19 operating requirements and, of course, we are using PPE as safely as possible.”

The property market is now very active with Rightmove reporting its busiest ever day on 27th May, with six million visits to its listings.

Lynne adds:

“We are seeing a lot of interest in the market and our staff have been extremely busy both with new listings and dealing with existing properties. As you might expect we have been working extremely hard on our digital offerings and virtual viewing tours have been very popular. It really is now a case of, From Mouse to House!”

During the pandemic a core team of professionals operated the Estate Agencies remotely and staff have been brought back from Furlough as the business restrictions have been eased.

Andrew Green, Director, comments:

“Our Estate Agency staff have done a sterling job during lockdown and, whilst our virtual viewings and tours have been very well received, we are looking forward to seeing a little more of our clients as the “new normal” begins.”

PFK’s other departments have adapted well to the new working regime. PFK’s Land Agency (which advises mainly farmers and landowners) has worked remotely “as normal” throughout the pandemic. PFK Land and Development (which assists clients with property deals and planning) has been operational throughout with staff operating remotely, as has Surveys.

PFK Auction House and Saleroom has been operational throughout carrying out extremely successful and widely acclaimed Virtual Auction Sales to an international net of buyers on-line via the Web.

For more information contact Lynne Lancaster on 07503 636555/lynnelancaster@pfk.co.uk or Andrew Green on 07711 912019/andrewgreen@pfk.co.uk

Mortgage Lending Tips – FAQ’s

May 2020 Blog Estate Agency

PFK refer customers to Pollard Scott for mortgage advice and they have answered some of the frequently asked questions below.  If you would like to speak to them regarding any…

Mortgage Lending Tips – FAQ’s
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Mortgage Lending Tips – FAQ’s

May 2020 Estate Agency

PFK refer customers to Pollard Scott for mortgage advice and they have answered some of the frequently asked questions below.  If you would like to speak to them regarding any mortgage advice you require, then please contact the relevant PFK  branch via estates.pfk.co.uk/contact

Surveys/Valuations
Surveyors are back at work and booking appointments, there may however be a slight delay due to the back-log created over the last couple of months.  Where possible lenders are trying to do what is called a Desk-Top Valuation, however this is not always possible.

Can you BUY a house if you are furloughed? – YES
Lender criteria varies, however all will want to assess affordability based on current income, which if you are furloughed is more than likely to be 20% lower than usual; unless of course if your employer is making it up and then there are some lenders who will accept your full pay as long as written confirmation can be obtained from the applicants employer.  HOWEVER, the maximum mortgage loan to value at this time is 90%, therefore an applicant will have to put at least a 10% deposit down.

Standard evidence would still be required regarding Payslips, Bank Statements, ID, Proof of Address and Existing Lenders Mortgage Statement 

Can you re-mortgage if you are furloughed ?– YES
Lender criteria varies, however all will want to assess affordability as mentioned above.

Standard evidence would still be required regarding Payslips, Bank Statements, ID, Proof of Address and Existing Lenders Mortgage Statement 

Can I re-mortgage or look at buying a new property if I have taken a Payment Holiday? – YES

Taking a payment holiday should not affect a person’s credit record and therefore there should be no problem in sourcing a new deal.

I am a First Time Buyer, will it be difficult for me to get a mortgage? 

Whether you are a First Time Buyer or Mover all lenders will assess affordability and the applicants credit record, so being a First Time Buyer won’t stop you getting a mortgage.

FTB will need at least 10% deposit and be able to meet the lenders criteria and credit scoring.

Is the Market Moving?

May 2020 Blog Estate Agency

Within a day of the government announcement that the home buying and renting process could re-start, the telephone calls and emails began - and we have not stopped since. People…

Is the Market Moving?
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Is the Market Moving?

May 2020 Estate Agency

Within a day of the government announcement that the home buying and renting process could re-start, the telephone calls and emails began – and we have not stopped since.

People who, have decided in lockdown to make life changes have now joined those who were already on the house moving path earlier in the year. In the new year we saw a Brexit bounce and now it seems we have a double bounce.

We are speaking to dozens of buyers keen to escape city & town environments or in need of a lovely outside space. Then there are those looking for properties with room for a dedicated workspace. We have heard from people who have re-evaluated their relationship with their home and now want something different.

Our commitment to those who have suffered during this period with ill-health or other issues is steadfast. Our team’s years of experience and in-depth local knowledge are already aiding those who need the support and commitment of sympathetic but practical property professionals. Those who are in difficulty with property matters are not alone in this. We are here to help and we know how to help.

We are taking all the precautions recommended to keep customers and our colleagues safe.  If you need to make a move safely and wisely please contact your nearest PFK office.

Paul Doyle, Carlisle Branch Manager.

 

Current Opening Hours

May 2020

Our current hours of operation are 9am to 5pm, Monday – Friday.  Please contact the relevant office by phone or email.  Carlisle - 01228 558666 - carlisle@pfk.co.uk Cockermouth - 01900 826205 -…

Current Opening Hours
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Current Opening Hours

May 2020

Our current hours of operation are 9am to 5pm, Monday – Friday. 

Please contact the relevant office by phone or email. 

Carlisle – 01228 558666 – carlisle@pfk.co.uk

Cockermouth – 01900 826205 – cockermouth@pfk.co.uk

Penrith – 01768 862135 – penrith@pfk.co.uk

Kirkby Stephen – 017683 71235 – kstephen@pfk.co.uk

Keswick – 017687 74546 – keswick@pfk.co.uk

Whitehaven – 01946 695535 – whitehaven@pfk.co.uk

 

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