Monthly Archives :

April 2017

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Leasehold Property: The Low Down

People seem to have got their heads around freehold property, but here at Luxe Property Group, we often still get asked about the lesser known – leasehold properties. In the past couple of years leasehold ownership has been on the rise, including approximately 95% of new properties in London that are being sold. Leasehold ownership effectively translates to long-term tenancy, the right to occupy and use a property for an extended period of time. Typically, the period is anywhere from 90 years to 125 years, but not uncommonly the period is up to 999 years, making it almost indistinguishable in the buyer’s mind to freehold ownership. Like all forms of property ownership, leasehold properties come with their own set of pros and cons. Here we have listed a few to help you make the right decision.

Pros

  • Leasehold ownership properties are usually cheaper to purchase than owning a property outright – making it a good option for many as we see property prices rising.
  • Often after two years of living in a given property, leaseholders are offered the option of extending the lease by 90 years, although this does come at a cost.
  • In apartment blocks, leaseholders occasionally have the opportunity to work alongside other leaseholders in that block to buy out the freeholder, leaving them with a share of the freehold. Responsibilities for maintenance of the property will then be passed on to the given occupants.

Cons

  • Aside from the initial payment, you will often be required to pay ‘ground rent’ to the freeholder. This can range anywhere from £10 a year for ex-local authority flats to £300 a year for modern luxury apartments.
  • You will also be required to pay a fee towards the maintenance of the property, this can be managed by the freeholder themselves or by an outside block management service like us.
  • Leasehold ownerships also limit you on the work that you can do to your property, all major works must be accepted by the freeholder first.
  • Probably the largest con for leasehold properties is what happens after there is less than 90 years on the lease. Banks will become less likely to offer mortgages on properties with less than 70 years, so we’d definitely recommend cautiousness when faced with a shorter lease.

About Luxe Property Group:

At Luxe Property Group, we offer our clients the very best in property development, property investment and property management solutions. With extensive experience and an unrivalled success rate, we’re always keen to explore new opportunities. Call us on 020 7383 8042 or email us at info@luxepropertygroup.co to find out how we can strengthen your portfolio.

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The Benefits of Appointing a Block Management Agency

In November 2015, Luxe Property Group launched a block management department in London. Ever since, we have been creating individually tailored approaches for our clients to tackle the daily demands of block management, offering everything from ground rent collection to organising cleaners for communal areas. No matter the size of the block, hiring a management agency offers a plethora of benefits, which ultimately outweigh the fees that leaseholders have to bear. Here is what we think are the most crucial advantages of appointing block management services.

Organisation and the Boring Stuff

By appointing a block management company, like Luxe Property Group, you are choosing professionals with extensive experience in organising the maintenance of premises. This means diligent timetables for redecoration and repairs, as well as, an organised approach to collecting fees. Block management agents are also responsible for the boring and time-consuming administration required, saving occupants from this arduous task.

Objective Viewpoint

Hiring block management services eliminates difficulties that can arise between occupants. They are able to offer an impartial perspective when assessing what, and if, work needs to be done, having only in mind the upkeep of the premises. Furthermore, any disputes that may ensue can be dealt with without involvement of any personal discrepancies between neighbours, landlords and leaseholders. At Luxe Property Group, our block management department also takes full responsibility for collection of service and ground rent charges, alleviating any tension this can cause.

Insurance Requirements

Block management companies also possess fidelity insurance cover. This is a huge advantage in comparison to self-regulation of funds because it protects the client funds from act of dishonesty. Block management agencies often also possess further insurance to protect client funds from incompetence and careless acts – giving occupants added security.

About Luxe Property Group:

At Luxe Property Group, we offer our clients the very best in property development, property investment and property management solutions. With extensive experience and an unrivalled success rate, we’re always keen to explore new opportunities. Call us on 020 7383 8042 or email us at info@luxepropertygroup.co to find out how we can strengthen your portfolio.

Sign up to our newsletter via the form below to stay up-to-date with the latest property insights.

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 3 Creative Tips for a City Garden

The sun shining outside may have got you in the mood to spend some time pottering around outdoors trying your hand at gardening, but, like many London residents, garden space is often limited. However, at Luxe Property Group we don’t think that should be reason enough to deter a city dweller from developing the outdoor spaces they do have access to, rather, we see it as an opportunity to get a little more creative with gardening.

Window Boxes

Luxury property developers understand the importance of a beautiful exterior; it’s a paramount feature for a property to leave a lasting first impression. Window boxes may seem like an obvious way to add some garden to a property that may lack outdoor space, but there are a few creative ways to go the extra mile. Building your own window box with a nesting box feature is a great way to create a habitat for wildlife that is not always feasible in a smaller city garden. Doubling up boxes outside your window also gives you more space to garden with, consider a smaller box on the ledge and then layering up by mounting a larger box to the wall underneath.

Hanging Boxes

Hanging boxes are a great way to get creative with your gardening. Instead of taking up any important patio or lawn space, planting flowers in boxes and hanging them on a spare wall, the porch and ceiling space can create a beautifully decorated plot. Using old cake tins and tin cans to plant flowers in, is a wonderfully environmentally friendly way to give this a quirky look.

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Table Boxes

If you only have a balcony that just manages to squeeze on a table and a couple of chairs, table boxes are a creative way to add some gardening to your property – they work beautifully both inside and outside. Filling a box with your favourite floral makes for a great dining table centrepiece or works well placed on top of a side table.

About Luxe Property Group:

At Luxe Property Group, we offer our clients the very best in property development, property investment and property management solutions. With extensive experience and an unrivalled success rate, we’re always keen to explore new opportunities. Call us on 020 7383 8042 or email us at info@luxepropertygroup.co to find out how we can strengthen your portfolio.

Sign up to our newsletter via the form below to stay up-to-date with the latest property insights.

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Brexit and London Property Prices

With the end of last month seeing Teresa May trigger Article 50, marking the beginning of Brexit negotiations between the EU and the UK, questions of how this impacts the UK’s property scene, and in particular London, are beginning to arise and be answered. At Luxe Property Group, we love the opportunity to weigh-in and share our insights, especially when the property world may seem unstable.

The past three years have seen London house prices increase by a staggering 37% according to current Savills figures, in comparison to the 16% increase outside of London. However, the post-Brexit vote atmosphere the past few months has resulted in an air of uncertainty for those on the buying-end, hence leading to a decline of the volume of properties being purchased in and around London in comparison to the wider England and Wales region. Moreover, some of the most desirable and higher priced areas in West Central London – Chelsea, Kensington, Hammersmith and Fulham, have seen a decrease in value more pronounced than that of outer London counterparts. Although this may seem to paint a fairly bleak picture, we agree with Mark Ridley, chief executive of Savills’ UK and Europe division, who acknowledges “The seismic shock of the Brexit vote brought UK transactional activity in many cases to a juddering halt… but life in the property world goes on.”

On that note, we think it’s at least of equal importance to highlight the positive impact that Brexit will have on London’s property scene. For high-end property developers like us, we can see that whilst the pound remains weak against the dollar, London is a very favourable place for investment from overseas. Particularly whilst property prices in highly desirable locations, such as Kensington and Chelsea, remain lower than that of previous years. For those looking into investing in London – now is the time.

It’s also important to remember the fluidity of the property market. Property prices are often first to be hit hardest by any economic change, especially in a major cosmopolitan city. Regardless of whether in the EU or not, London still remains an economic metropolis, we predict that inner city London prices will begin to rise as the future of the UK becomes secured. Already, housebuilders’ share prices that dropped by 37% after the Brexit vote have risen to just 15.6% below pre-vote level, as well as, real estate investment trusts, which lost 22%, now returning to only 10% lower than pre-vote level. Evidently, the post-Brexit property market isn’t in as dire state as popular opinion makes out. Without a doubt, the best thing one can do is to take advantage of the change in the London property scene.

About Luxe Property Group:

At Luxe Property Group, we offer our clients the very best in property development, property investment and property management solutions. With extensive experience and an unrivalled success rate, we’re always keen to explore new opportunities. Call us on 020 7383 8042 or email us at info@luxepropertygroup.co to find out how we can strengthen your portfolio.

Sign up to our newsletter via the form below to stay up-to-date with the latest property insights.