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A Year On

April 2021 Blog Estate Agency

Harriet Simpson, manager of our Penrith office, looks at how property buyers’ interests and demands have changed over the past twelve months. Covid19 has changed many things in our lives.…

A Year On
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A Year On

April 2021 Estate Agency

Harriet Simpson, manager of our Penrith office, looks at how property buyers’ interests and demands have changed over the past twelve months.

Covid19 has changed many things in our lives. It has altered our outlook, our expectations and our ambitions, and it has changed the way we live or want to live.

Over the past year we have experienced this in an evolving list of property buyers’ aspirations. Oh, the usual essentials are still there – right price, enough room and attractive location – but now a secondary list of important requirements has appeared as buyers seek to change their lifestyles in the light of the pandemic.

Here are some of the important features being sought by post-Covid buyers today.

1. Zoom Room

Homebuyers are attracted by a dedicated office space for home working.

2. Homecation Facilities

Not everyone wants a pool, but room for some little luxuries is proving popular.

3. Multigenerational Living

With more millennials and GenZs moving back home, and room needed for housing elderly family members, the hunt is on for adaptable properties and those with space to extend.

4. Gourmet Kitchen

During lockdown many people brushed up on their cooking skills or even learned from scratch. Now the demand is for better-equipped kitchens.

5. A Garden Oasis

Lots of us have discovered gardening during the lockdown while others want room to play and exercise. More people than ever are seeking good outside space following the strict social distancing rules.

6. The Suburbs are Back

A little more space, lower prices and happy communities are driving buyers out from big cities. But some buyers aren’t quite reaching the countryside.

7. The Health Conscious Home

Zoom fitness classes and networked exercise machines mean areas for wellness are a top priority.

8. Space for the Pets

Pet adoptions increased in 2020. Many homebuyers are looking for pet-friendly features. Most are thinking about cats and dogs, but some are thinking about horses.

9. Seating for Eating

Increased cooking expertise and a desire to spend more time with family and friends has meant a stronger focus on larger dining spaces.

10. New Homes

A home with the patina of age is important to many. But to others a new start often means a brand new home where a clean slate and customised fittings can help to begin things afresh.

If you are thinking of selling your property and it has one or more of these features, please call us for a chat, our friendly team would love to assist you.

Harriet Simpson | Penrith Estate Agency Manager 

 

Something old, something new...

March 2021 Estate Agency

Admiral Nelson is revered for winning the naval battle of Trafalgar more than 200 years ago but he is also famous for disobeying his orders!  He once put his telescope…

Something old, something new...
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Something old, something new...

March 2021 Estate Agency

Admiral Nelson is revered for winning the naval battle of Trafalgar more than 200 years ago but he is also famous for disobeying his orders!  He once put his telescope to his blind eye so he could “accidentally” ignore the signal flags from his Commander and do his own thing.

This ability to choose what to look at, and what to pretend isn’t there, is something we all occasionally do, even if we’re unaware of it.  Don’t we all turn a ‘blind eye’ to the things we don’t really want to see?  Of course, it is tricky to strike the balance between the pro’s and con’s of significant decisions facing us and that’s never truer than now, as hopefully we begin to emerge from a period dominated by the Covid pandemic.  Nevertheless, we at PFK have been making plans (yes, really!), trying to strike that balance to provide a service which is safe and productive and even, if I dare say it, enjoyable!

What many of us have missed most is contact with people, face-to-face encounters not reliant on a Zoom meeting, amazingly useful though that technology has been.  So, we are refurbishing my office on Keswick high street to create a safe and welcoming space for you to discuss your requirements with us in person.  Almost nothing is more stressful than buying or selling a property (although I’d argue that a day spent with my 2-year-old comes pretty close!) and I believe it’s crucial to provide the opportunity for your requirements and concerns to be properly talked over face-to-face.

Call me old-fashioned?  Since when did a high standard of personal customer service become obsolete?  We at PFK remain as committed to it as ever, supported of course by the latest technology, and combining the advantages of both.

People from all over the country will continue to view the Lake District as a wonderful place to live as well as a superb holiday destination, perhaps even more so now since the word ‘staycation’ has entered the English dictionary.  So, if you’re thinking of buying as a home or as an investment, or wish to discuss placing your property on the market, please do get in touch.  Perhaps I’ll get a bag of Friars best chocolates (hygienically wrapped) to share with the first 2 human contacts in the office!!

Looking forward to seeing you once again…

Hannah Sims – Manager – Keswick office 

Property Market Update

March 2021 Estate Agency

We know there’s a property boom when adverse events that might otherwise have knocked the market off course fail to do so. Whilst we entered into Lockdown 3 at…

Property Market Update
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Property Market Update

March 2021 Estate Agency

We know there’s a property boom when adverse events that might otherwise have knocked the market off course fail to do so. Whilst we entered into Lockdown 3 at the beginning of the year it did not dent the enthusiasm for property purchase, nor did the threatened end of the stamp duty holiday or the potential post-furlough unemployment spike.

In fact, we are now seeing a property buying demand reminiscent of the 1980s boom.  It’s clear that the public is back in love with home ownership and demand does not appear to be subsiding!

The extension of the tiered stamp duty holiday, which will now finish at the end of September, gives buyers who had put things on hold the opportunity to save money and still have the move of their dreams. The budget also included a mortgage guarantee scheme to help people get on the property ladder by offering incentives to lenders to provide 95% mortgages.

We all look forward to the stepping stone retreat from lockdown and as many people continue to plan new ways of working between office and home, there are compelling new opportunities for buyers looking for their first homes or for buyers looking for homes with more space in different surroundings.

Whilst we may see holiday home and investor buyers in the market, we also see strong activity from local buyers. We have property experts on hand to help you with your house move, so if you need any help and assistance, please call your nearest PFK office.

Lynne Lancaster – Head of Estate Agency 

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Stamp Duty Holiday Extended

March 2021 News Estate Agency

Properties up to £500,000 will benefit with stamp duty holiday being extended until 30th June and then from 1st July until end of September stamp duty holiday will only continue…

Stamp Duty Holiday Extended
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Stamp Duty Holiday Extended

March 2021 Estate Agency
Properties up to £500,000 will benefit with stamp duty holiday being extended until 30th June and then from 1st July until end of September stamp duty holiday will only continue on properties up to £250,000. On 1st October 2021 we will revert to pre covid stamp duty thresholds. Whilst the level of saving will reduce July – September, the average saving of £2,500 will still benefit certain buyers.
 
In other news, the Chancellor also confirmed the government will incentivise lenders to provide mortgages to first-time buyers with just 5% deposits.

Estate Agency Update From Lynne Lancaster

February 2021 News Estate Agency

According to the Nationwide, January 2021 saw a house price growth of 1.8%, the highest growth since November 2018.  Mortgage lenders are also saying they saw an increase in…

Estate Agency Update From Lynne Lancaster
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Estate Agency Update From Lynne Lancaster

February 2021 Estate Agency

According to the Nationwide, January 2021 saw a house price growth of 1.8%, the highest growth since November 2018.  Mortgage lenders are also saying they saw an increase in mortgage applications and approvals, all of which is encouraging and it doesn’t end there.  PFK continue to see new instructions gain an enormous amount of interest and therefore buyer confidence appears to be back!  In fact, it would be fair to say that demand is currently outweighing supply as we see people want to move and therefore certainty is definitely replacing uncertainty. The news of the extended Stamp Duty Holiday to 30th June 2021 should also encourage home movers.

PFK are a team of local people who are property experts and our aim is to help our customers on their property journey from beginning to end.  We have our own in-house marketing team who are able to provide professional drone videos, photographs and targeted social media campaigns in order to put your property in front of a specific audience and achieve the best results.  Quite often our marketing campaigns on social media and to our registered buyers provide us with a list of buyers/tenants before going live to the wider market!  However, it is not about selling your property quickly it is about marketing your property right, finding a buyer that suits you and achieving the best price – that is the most important factor!  When PFK agree a sale or a rental, we are there with our customers until we achieve signed contracts and this has been especially important within the last year.  It was suggested in the last 3rd quarter of 2020 half (52%) of house sales in England and Wales fell through before completion.  So, having an agent who is keen to find you the best price and then progress the sale after it is agreed is essential and an important tool in the PFK package.  We use our experience, enthusiasm and customer service to make sure there is an end result – we don’t just leave it with the property lawyers, we actively help and assist where we can.

If you are considering selling, renting or buying and you want an agent who is proactive and works for you, then contact your local PFK expert who will be able to assist you in relation to your property journey.

PFK continue to be here to support our customers safely in a way that’s convenient for them.  That can be in person, over the phone, by email or via video appointment.  We will continue to make sure we protect our staff and customers.

Lynne Lancaster, Head of Estates. 

Stamp Duty Deadline

January 2021 News Estate Agency

A Stamp Duty e-petition has raised over 100,000 signatures and therefore MPs and the Government will now debate the stamp duty deadline and consider the arguments put forward…

Stamp Duty Deadline
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Stamp Duty Deadline

January 2021 Estate Agency

A Stamp Duty e-petition has raised over 100,000 signatures and therefore MPs and the Government will now debate the stamp duty deadline and consider the arguments put forward to extend it.

The Northern Research Group wants the Chancellor to consider extending the stamp duty holiday for a further year however that is perhaps a little optimistic.  Tim Shipman of the Sunday Times commented yesterday “contrary to some reports Rishi Sunak is considering an extension to stamp duty cuts”.  There is also the suggestions that the government may change property tax in the future with the possibility of one new tax replacing the existing stamp duty and council tax levies.

So the stories go on but what the consumer, conveyancers, developers and we as agents need now is clarity and sooner rather than later!

https://thenegotiator.co.uk/stamp-duty-petition/

Lynne Lancaster, Head of Estate Agency.

Lynne Lancaster, Head of Estate Agency, looks ahead to 2021.

January 2021 Blog Estate Agency

In light of the recent lockdown announcement I am sure we are all now considering & contemplating how 2021 will pan out. 2020 was a challenging year for everyone – those…

Lynne Lancaster, Head of Estate Agency, looks ahead to 2021.
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Lynne Lancaster, Head of Estate Agency, looks ahead to 2021.

January 2021 Estate Agency

In light of the recent lockdown announcement I am sure we are all now considering & contemplating how 2021 will pan out.

2020 was a challenging year for everyone – those who suffered due to the virus, those who lost their jobs/businesses, those on furlough and those who continued to work.

When the property market closed in March 2020 and agents stopped operating, we all tried to predict what would happen on our return.  When the market reopened and we saw a huge surge in activity as people reviewed their lifestyles, where they lived, looking for more outside space and homes with suitable space to work from, we were all taken aback and suddenly very busy.

We closed 2020 looking forward to a return in January, new beginnings, helping people move and endeavouring to help those get their sales across the line before the stamp duty holiday comes to an end. However,  buying, renting or selling a property is not about a tax advantage, it is about new beginnings, about building a home for one’s self or family and it is about investing in the future.

We have outstanding NHS personnel and medical scientists putting us well on the road to Covid recovery and we now know that the Brexit trade talks have come to one resolution or another.  So, as government guidelines allow Estate Agents to work in this lockdown and buying, renting or selling can continue, PFK are here to support our customers safely in a way that’s convenient for them.  That can be in person, over the phone, by email or via video appointment.  We will continue to make sure we protect our staff and customers as best we can and we also believe that the property market in our region will continue to remain active through 2021.

Take care, stay safe and contact PFK should you have any queries in relation to buying, renting or selling in Cumbria.

Lynne Lancaster – Head of Estate Agency 

Estate and Letting agents continue to operate in tier 4.

December 2020 Estate Agency

Estate and Letting agents continue to operate in tier 4 and house moving (sale or rental) can continue. PFK, since March 2020 have had safe measures in place in line…

Estate and Letting agents continue to operate in tier 4.
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Estate and Letting agents continue to operate in tier 4.

December 2020 Estate Agency
Estate and Letting agents continue to operate in tier 4 and house moving (sale or rental) can continue. PFK, since March 2020 have had safe measures in place in line with government guidelines.
 
Appointments can still go ahead, so please contact our offices who will be happy to help you. 
 
Carlisle – 01228 558666 – carlisle@pfk.co.uk
Cockermouth – 01900 826205 – cockermouth@pfk.co.uk
Keswick – 017687 74546 – keswick@pfk.co.uk
Kirkby Stephen – 017683 71235 – kstephen@pfk.co.uk
Penrith – 01768 862135 – penrith@pfk.co.uk
Whitehaven – 01946 695535 – whitehaven@pfk.co.uk
 
Appointment in branch is by pre-booked appointment only. 

 

Get the right people in place to get you moving.

December 2020 Blog Estate Agency

Lynne Lancaster gives some important advice for all those rushing to buy or sell a property by 31st March next year. When time is short, as it now is in…

Get the right people in place to get you moving.
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Get the right people in place to get you moving.

December 2020 Estate Agency

Lynne Lancaster gives some important advice for all those rushing to buy or sell a property by 31st March next year.

When time is short, as it now is in relation to a property sale or purchase completing before the end of the stamp duty tax holiday – March 2021.

Sadly, four months is not very long in property sale and purchase terms. Finding a property and a buyer, arranging searches, drawing up contracts and sorting out finance all mop up a great deal of time. Not to mention any chain which may be involved. So if you are looking to try and meet the deadline then it needs careful planning and execution.

There are particular measures you can take to speed things along: hire the A-team.

Choose a great estate agent: not just one who will find a buyer, but one who will do all they can to see the sale through, using their experience, tenacity, patience, charm, persuasion and sheer stubborn determination that estate agents deploy in order to ensure a sale gets to exchange and completion.

Choose a great solicitor. In our digital age it is, perversely, taking longer to complete a property sale and purchase than ever. So, on a scale of effectiveness with an unmotivated, inexperienced conveyancer against a local lawyer who regularly pulls extra hours to get things done then you want/need to lean towards the latter.

Choose a great mortgage broker. Of course you can arrange a mortgage yourself, but in a race against time a broker will know where to go to speed things up and how to push things along.

An A-team might cost you a bit more. But it could be a drop in the ocean compared with the savings in tax if you beat the deadline.

Moving can still be stressful, especially when working to a crucial deadline, but put the right team in place now and your worries will be fewer and your chances of success greatly improved.

Lynne Lancaster, Head of Estate Agency. 

Escape To The Country

December 2020 Blog Estate Agency

At the start of the coronavirus lockdown those with second homes in the countryside were quick to relocate to take advantage of the increased space and greater freedom the countryside…

Escape To The Country
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Escape To The Country

December 2020 Estate Agency

At the start of the coronavirus lockdown those with second homes in the countryside were quick to relocate to take advantage of the increased space and greater freedom the countryside has to offer.

As lockdown eased, this translated into significant demand for rural properties. According to Rightmove, enquiries increased by 126% during June and July of this year, particularly for those looking to make the move from larger urban areas to the countryside.

With the demand for larger rural properties increasing, prices have risen due to limited supply, with even more modest country homes being highly desirable. Rural properties with paddocks or a field will be particularly desirable as they can attract a mixed-use stamp duty saving. And for those not able to move to the countryside, the demand for homes with good sized gardens will increasingly attract a premium.

Relocation to the countryside offers many benefits, including the opportunity for a better work-life balance with increased possibilities for flexible and home working meaning it is no longer a key requirement to live within easy commuting distance of a place of work.

Cumbria and the Lake District are perfectly placed to strike this balance, with an outstanding natural environment and excellent transport links to larger urban centres by road and rail.

At PFK we are experts in our local market and supported by in-house expertise in planning and land agency, we are perfectly placed to make your rural property dreams a reality.

There has never been a better time to escape to the country!

James Harrison, Carlisle office sales negotiator. 

Here are a few of our best rural properties currently on the market with our Carlisle office…

https://pfk.co.uk/property/40-bank-end-thursby-carlisle-cumbria-2199809/

https://pfk.co.uk/property/the-cottage-wigton-wigton-cumbria-2266338/

https://pfk.co.uk/property/kelora-longtown-carlisle-cumbria-2274906/

https://pfk.co.uk/property/plot-4-kings-view-north-end-burgh-by-sands-carlisle-2109541/

https://pfk.co.uk/property/ravenswood-kirkbride-wigton-cumbria-2325505/

https://pfk.co.uk/property/27-coopers-close-high-hesket-carlisle-cumbria-2103533/

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