Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Barton Mews Warminster - A Private Development Of Four, Four Bedroom Luxury Homes

I've admired the properties that Adam Jones of Custom Built has been developing for some time now. I recently met Adam and arranged to go and have a look at the his latest project, Barton Mews in Warminster, designed by himself and E10 architects.

Unless you live on Victoria Road and walked past the entrance to this development on a regular basis you'd be forgiven for not knowing that these four luxury homes were there. The site really is very secluded, nestled just off Victoria Road behind a set of automated gates.

The two properties I visited are in the final fix stages and are very attractive. The green oak cladding and grey slate roof naturally draws the eye, coupled with the grey aluminum and hand made bricks these feel like barn conversions.

At nearly 3000 square feet these are substantial properties,  given their size they're are not overbearing but very welcoming...

Internally at ground level the gas fired underfloor heating means the walls are uncluttered with sleek lines. The rest of the ground floor is set to be finished to a very high standard with bi-fold aluminium doors leading out form the living room, which also features a log burning stove and a rather impressive full height ceiling. As expected there's a large snug or office as well as a downstairs WC and utility room.

To quote Jonna Lewie "You'll always find me in the kitchen at parties"... well in 1978 when that song came out he was ahead of his time! Modern kitchens really are the heart of a home and at over 30ft long  with aluminium bi-fold doors the room is impressive. Finished with high quality stone worktops, an island and enough space for a large table and sofa these very social kitchens will be the envy of many.

As you head upstairs the gallery style landing separates the property nicely, as you would expect the bathrooms are spacious and finished to an exceptional standard, its no accident that the master bedroom and en-suite are over the double garage either. Designing the homes in this way ensures the privacy of the whole family and makes the most of footprint of the plot.

The double garage with automated up and over doors mean there is plenty of room for storage and vehicles. I can only imagine how the gardens and grounds will look once landscaped.

All four properties were marketed by Cooper and Tanner and unsurprisingly sold in a heartbeat. So keep you eye out for future Custom Built developments.

View the original listing by clicking HERE

Visit the Custom Built website HERE

Visit E10 Architects website HERE

Friday, 24 June 2016

52.5% of West Wiltshire Voters voted to leave the EU – What now for the 6398 Warminster Landlords and Homeowners?

It’s 5.50am as I start to type this article and David Dimbleby has just announced the UK will be leaving the EU as the final votes are counted. As most of the polls suggested a Remain Vote, it came as a surprise to most people, including the City. The Pound has dropped 6% this morning after the City Whiz kids got their predictions wrong, and MP’s from the Remain camp are using words like “challenging times ahead”.

.. and now the vote has been made .. what next for the 4927 Warminster homeowners especially the 2321 of those Warminster homeowners with a mortgage?

The Chancellor in the campaign suggested property prices would drop by 18%. Using Treasury estimates, their method of calculating this was tenuous at best, but focused around the abrupt and hasty increase in UK interest rates, which in turn would raise the cost of mortgages, and therefore lower demand for property, causing a drop in property prices.… and I would say, yes .. that will probably happen.

Warminster Property Values

Warminster property values will probably go through a period of re-adjustment in the coming 12 to 18 months – but a reported drop in house prices by 18% - I am sorry I find that a little pessimistic and believe that figure was rhetoric to get homeowners and landlords to vote in a particular way. But the UK property market is quite a monster.

Since the last In/Out EU Referendum in June 1975,
property values in Warminster have risen by 1991.1%

(That isn’t a typo) and whilst property prices did drop nationally by 18.7% between the peak of 2007 and bottom of the market in 2009, when one compares property values today in the country, compared to that all-time high of 2007, (the period before the financial crisis of the Credit Crunch of 2008/9) .. they are still up 10.14% higher.

Another Credit Crunch?

And so, notwithstanding the Credit Crunch, the worst global economic outlook since the 1930s and the recession it brought us, a matter of a few years later, the Government were panicking in 2012/3/4 that the housing market was a runaway train.

Now the same Credit Crunch doom-mongers and Sooth-Sayers that predicted soup kitchens in 2008/9 are predicting Brexit meltdown. Bad news sells newspapers. Stock markets may rise, stock markets may fall, yet the British public continued to buy property in 2009/10 and beyond. Aspiring first time buyers and buy to let landlords dusted themselves down, took a deep breath and carried on buying… because us Brit’s love our Bricks and Mortar .. we need a roof over our head.

However, as mentioned previously, if the value of the pound drops, in the past UK Interest Rates have risen to reverse that drop. However, whilst a cheaper pound will make your pint of Sangria a little more expensive on your Spanish holiday this year and make your brand new BMW pricer .. it will make British export cheaper! Which is great for the economy.

Interest rates

… and what of interest rates? Since 2009, interest rates have been at 0.5% and lots of people have become accustomed to those sorts of levels. So what if interest rates rise .. end of the world? Interest rates in the 1986/88 property boom were on average 9.25%, the 1990’s they were on average around 6.5% and uber-boom years (when UK property values were rising by 20% a year for three or four straight years across the UK) .. 4.5%. Many of you reading this who are in their 50’s and older will remember interest rates at 15%.

But I suspect interest rates won’t rise that much anyway, as Matt Carney (Chief of the Bank Of England) knows, raising interest rates causes deflation – which is the last thing the British economy needs at the moment. In fact they have been printing money (aka Quantitative Easing) for the last few years (which causes inflation) to the tune of £375bn a month. A bit of inflation because the pound has slipped on the money markets (not too much mind you) might be a good thing?

.. because whilst property values might drop in the country, they will bounce back. It’s only a paper loss.. because it only becomes real if you sell. And if you have to sell, again as most people move up market when they sell, whilst your property might have dropped by 5% or 10%, the one you want to buy would have dropped by the same 5% to 10% .. and here is the best part – (and work your sums out) you would actually be better off because the more expensive property you would be purchasing would have come down in value (in actual pound notes) more than the one you are selling.

The landlords of the 1,471 Warminster buy to let properties have nothing to fear neither, nor do the 3697 tenants living in their properties.

Buy to let is a long term investment. I think there might even be some buy to let bargains in the coming months as some people, irrespective of evidence, panic.  Even if we pull up the drawbridge at Dover and immigration stopped today, the British population will still increase at a rate that will exceed the current property building level. Britain is building 139,600 properties a year, but needs according to the eminent ‘Barker Review of Housing Supply Report’, to build about 250,000 properties a year to even stand still, and as the birth rate is increasing, the population is living longer and just under a quarter of all UK households now are occupied by a single person demand is only going up whilst supply is stifled. Greater demand than supply equals higher prices. That is definitely a fact.

So, what will happen next?

Well, there are many challenges ahead. The country has spoken and we are now in unchartered territory – but we have been through a couple of World Wars, an Oil Crisis, Black Monday, Black Wednesday, 15% interest rates and a Credit Crunch … and we survived!

And the value of your Warminster property? It might have a short term wobble… but in the long term -it’s safe as houses regardless.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

4.89% Projected Yield On This Central Warminster Property

This 3 bedroom property is being marketed by Cooper and Tanner. Situated in a popular private location this would make a fantastic buy to let investment. Benefiting from gated access, allocated parking and being close to the town center positions it well for tenant demand. Being less than ten years old should also mean that maintenance costs in the shot to medium term would be minimal.

Given the asking price of £189,950 and the fact that a very similar property, also in Turnpike Court has recently achieved £775 PCM the annual yield would be respectable at 4.89%

Click HERE to view the full details on rightmove.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

West Warminster Urban Extension Approved

The controversial West Warminster Urban Extension was given the stamp of approval in a meeting at County Hall on Wednesday evening.  The plan could see 1500 homes built and possibly even more over the next 25 years.

Initially the expectation was for 900 homes and earlier this month it was announced that a further 500 were being added, taking the plan total to 1400. However its reported that the initial 900 would be completed by 2026 and the additional 500 would be built from 2026 to 2033.

There are two applications submitted, one form Redrow Homes and one from Persimmon Homes. The application from Persimmon details 1200 dwellings and just over 200 in Redrows'.

Obviously a development of this magnitude has been met with concerns. The strain the development may put on West Street and Vicarage Street has been raised as this area is already congested.

Others have questioned how this development will impact on the secondary school in Warminster? The Persimmon plan details provision for a new primary school, but with about 1600 students at Kingdown School already, how many more students could be accommodated without the need for secondary expansion?

Ultimately there are many areas where clarification will undoubtedly be required, but the master plan has been accepted and the debating is sure to continue.

The Master Plan application details and documents can be found on the Wiltshire Council website HERE