Berkeleys captures local wanders for #WednesdayWanderlust fans in 2017

If you have exciting travel plans listed in your New Year’s resolutions for 2017, then you are not alone. It’s a lifestyle habit that features consistently across our many clients here at Berkeleys in Coastal Poole, Dorset.

In fact so much so, that we have decided to celebrate the love of travel this year with a regular Berkeleys #WednesdayWanderlust feature. If you live in this beautiful part of coastal Dorset, venturing out to walk, wander, explore or amble is a popular & invigorating pastime. We’ve collected tips form our clients and neighbours in order to share these  ideas for wanders.

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Poole Harbour Sunset © Orange Seaweed  2017

Here are our top five favourite local wanders; take a stroll at this time of year, and enjoy the ever-evolving season, fading light and winter colours along our dramatic coastline.

  1. Poole Bay & a New Year’s beachfront wander.

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2. Evening Hill & a January winter storm wander.

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3. Poole Quay & a boatlover’s quayside wander.

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4. Canford Cliffs  & a clifftop wander towards Bournemouth.

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5. Alum Chine Tropical Gardens & a horticultural wander.

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We’ll be featuring more of our favourite wanders across coastal Dorset throughout the seasons. You can also find more beautiful places and photos on twitter at @BerkeleysPoole on Wednesdays to celebrate #WednesdayWanderlust. See you there!

 

 

Berkeleys comments on the Lettings Agent fee ban announced in the Autumn Statement.

Waking up to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement announcing that Letting Agents fees will be banned took us all by surprise.

“Should we be surprised though? Probably not,” suggests James Tiller, Head of Berkeleys Lettings in Dorset, “The prospect of banning letting agents fees to tenants has been on the horizon for a while and even in June this year a bill was introduced to Parliament with the prospect of banning fees but was rejected by the house.”

The private rented property sector has taken a beating on several issues over the last few years, with a number of changes (not all bad) having had to be adapted to by agents and landlords. This is just the next in line.

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With all the talk about what tenants actually pay for it may be worth explaining what actually goes into a ‘Lettings Agents’ fee as these are often quite misunderstood. Contrary to what most people think, ‘credit checks’ only form part of what a tenant pays for, good agents will also carry out employment and previous landlord checks, these do not just happen, an agent may need to spend considerable time processing these checks, so that they can present an applicant to a potential landlord whilst trying to minimise any risk in renting to a high risk tenant. It is all part of the due diligence process.

Negotiating an agreement, whether it is a term or a rent reduction is something that can benefit both parties, this is also a big part of what we do, and what the tenant is paying the agent to do. Similarly the tenants’ contribution towards the cost of preparing the tenancy paperwork.

Also, the fees paid act as a commitment from the tenant to rent a property, without that commitment from a tenant they could in theory walk away from a deal at the last minute leaving an unnecessary void period, which could cost the potential landlord a couple of weeks of high value rent at the minimum.

It became a legal requirement for agents to clearly display what their fees are both online and in their premises and you will find that good agents having been doing this without question since this became a requirement in May 2015. It shows the tenant (and landlord) what they are paying for in an open and transparent way.

So, you can see that a lot of work goes into setting up a deal to let a premium property to a trustworthy tenant, and it is important that these high standards are maintained. Here are just some of the luxury lifestyle lettings we have negotiated and secured for our clients in 2016.

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At Berkeleys, several of our lettings team are ARLA members, and we will therefore be following the consultation period with keen interest, and will look to update all of our customers about how this may affect them when information becomes available. This will not be immediate and it may cause a period of ‘holding out’ for the time being as we await news. This in turn could also cause unpredictability as to how the market may change in the coming months.

Until we know a definitive date as to when these changes will happen, it will be difficult to know how exactly matters will pan out, however one thing for sure: here at Berkeleys, it will be business as usual, and when the changes do come in we will be prepared and we will continue to offer a premium quality lettings service to all of our customers, both landlords or tenants.

Art Deco houses and Modernist flats still the most popular style of architecture in Poole, Dorset.

As we celebrate our 26th year of trading as property agents in Canford Cliffs, Poole, Berkeleys has witnessed many changing architectural trends. Today we see art deco and modernist styled homes continuing to draw the most interest and appreciation locally, probably very much the way they did in the 1920s and 1930s.

In our regular blogs, we have celebrated many different types of local architecture. From Tudor to Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau to New England and Edwardian to Victorian, the local area is home to a diverse and eclectic architectural heritage. Each original home has its own story to tell, as well as influencing and guiding the design of new homes today.

Thanks to a wealth of data and insights available via our Berkeleys digital marketing platforms, it didn’t take long to uncover the spikes in user preferences, for all things art deco and modernist. For example, our all time most popular blog is our ‘Art Deco weekend in Poole‘ blog. It features a gallery of wonderful art deco buildings located around Canford Cliffs and Sandbanks and you can still take the tour today!

Art Deco House in Canford Cliffs, Poole, Dorset

Our new homes for sale in Canford Cliffs listings tell a similar story, with homes featuring art deco & modernist architecture attracting a high number of clicks and attention from potential buyers. Is it the flat roofs, white fascias, the beautiful curved buildings, the glass bricks or the nautical references to fine 1930s cruise liners that win over so many hearts? This home for sale in Sandborne Road on the coast, encompasses art deco credentials, and is designed by award winning architect, David Wright.

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In 2012 we published our ‘Local History, Local Heritage’ Berkeleys book on Canford Cliffs and Sandbanks. We dedicated a whole chapter to the magnificent 1930s architecture of the area featuring images like the ones below. Our clients still tell how much they enjoy the book, presented to every home buyer and seller. A copy can also be found at Canford Cliffs library.

Canford Cliffs Harbour Heights

Canford Cliffs Harbour Heights

We have A.J.Seal to thank for his visionary building design and iconic masterpieces of the 1920s. It’s probably time to write a new blog charting an architectural tour of the area, featuring newly built homes inspired by the era – there are indeed many to see and admire. New England style homes may be growing in popularity too, but art deco is our first love it seems.

 

 

 

 

 

Branksome Park, Canford Cliffs & Coastal Poole Property Market Review

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Our latest property marketing insights are featured in the Summer issue of Pines and Chines magazine, the local Residents Association publication http://www.branksomepark.com

Local Property – hit by Stamp Duty (SDLT) ? – and what about apartments supply ?

Land Registry data for 2015 was not quite complete when we compiled this data on sales history across the local area. We think the 2015 figures below may have been be understated by about 8-10% (delay in registration of new title) but, even making a due allowance for that, what is clear is that, locally – mainly within BH13 and BH14 sub-codes 8 and parts of 9 – the market above £1.5 million – prime property -is ‘off’ by a substantial margin but that the market from £500,000 up to £1.5m is still healthy.

Price Category 2015 2014
BH13, BH14 8/9 No. of sales Value of Sales No. of sales Value of Sales
£ million £ million
> £2 million 18 £61.85 27 £88.38
> £1.5 million + 22 £37.99 29 £51.72
> £1.0 million + 54 £62.96 43 £52.39
> £750,000+ 72 £62.68 88 £74.07
> £500,000+ 153 £93.37 164 £100.93
> £200,000+ 337 £109.97 397 £129.84
TOTAL 656 £428.77 748

 

 £497.33

 

Increased rates of SDLT have applied for around a year now (leave aside the 2015 Autumn Statement – 3% premium for second home and buy-to-let investments – being introduced from April 2016). The implications are clearer, confirming the story of declining top end sales in London. There are still sales at the upper end. Indeed, 5 properties at prices in excess of £4 million during the second half of 2015, 4 of these paying SDLT of more than £500,000 – on top and out of taxed income (one other was a Company purchase, with lower SDLT).

So, let’s turn to apartments. It’s hard to believe but there are currently over 500 apartments in the planning pipeline (212 x 3 bed; 263 x 2 bed, plus 14 x 4 beds and 35 x 1 bed). While some of these are still only applications which may or may not achieve approval, over 400 units are already approved; and 200 of those are either completed but not yet sold or are currently under construction. There is, I suspect, a potential over-supply looming, despite the fact that not all the potential supply will be delivered. Bank lending policies will see to that.

Interestingly, while some of these new apartments are being designed specifically for the retirement market (Woodlands and Compton Acres in Canford Cliffs; The Landing in Lilliput, for example), there are several instances where existing nursing homes are being take out of commission and re-presented as new apartments, throughout the local area. The overall age demographics of the area may not currently be under threat. However, the cost of retiring here may be facing a sharp upward adjustment in prices.

The area continues to attract buyers and developers – for apartments – retirement and active alike; for houses – super homes and family homes; for diverse locations – coastal, village and sylvan. The attractions are still vital – seaside, beaches, harbour, sailing, golf, the adjacent countryside etc – and enduring. But both the Chancellor and developers, we all need to retain that lifestyle dynamic we all crave in perspective. The outcome of the forthcoming Brexit vote will deliver yet more impact on the local area without doubt.

Please contact Berkeleys today for more local market insights.

Poole Harbour Boat Show – 9/10 May 2015

This weekend, the breath-taking Poole Quay Boat Haven is hosting the inaugural Poole Harbour Boat Show. Poole is an incredible hive of activity, especially during the summer months. This hive of activity as well as the rich and varied boating business locally have attracted the boat show to the area. The present boating community makes this location perfect for the weekend long event, with stunning views of Brownsea Island, and in close proximity to lively cafes, bars and restaurants.

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The maritime showcase, organised by Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHP), is free to the public and is set to feature a range of activities for all to enjoy. The event commences at 10am Saturday morning.  You can spend both Saturday and Sunday leisurely browsing over 100 stands laid on by exhibitors and charities including clothing, watersports hire and marine electronics.

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Tall Ships, Stavros and Pelican will be berthed on Town Quay and will be open to the public creating the main highlight of the weekend for families, children and boating enthusiasts. The RNLI will be present across the weekend and will be demonstrating rescue techniques between 11.15am and 1.15pm on both the Saturday and Sunday. Visitors will be treated to live music and competitions throughout the weekend. Saturday’s proceedings will close with a spectacular firework display at 10pm. Sunday will see Paralympic Gold Medallist, Helena Lucas MBE make a special guest appearance and will be hosting a meet and greet from 11am to 12pm.

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Mr Lacey, chair of the PHP, said: “European Maritime Day in 2017 gives Poole the chance to put the town’s marine spirit in the spotlight. “We hope the boat show will become an integral part of that high profile event and we welcome everyone to come and sample what is going to become a flagship event for Poole.”

Full details of the Poole Harbour Boat Show and a complete list of events can be found here: http://www.pooleharbourboatshow.co.uk/#!whats-on/c11nz
Follow @PooleBoatShow on Twitter for updates.

Living On A Liner

The liner has become the new fashionable place to be this year. It’s easy to see how the appeal of a holiday on a grand liner can translate into the desire for everyday liner luxury living. The ocean liner evokes images of grand design, luxury lifestyle and the exhilarating freshness of sea breezes. Indeed, the Queen was in Southampton only this month to name the rather magnificent new P&O cruise liner, The Britannia

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The Britannia

Tom Dixon has just masterminded the new interiors of the Mondrian Hotel London located within Sea Containers House and opening this summer. This former 1970s hotel has been given a new lease of life with decor and design conjuring up images of sailing on a gigantic 1920s cruise liner. Even the roof has been remodelled to echo the lines of a grand ship. The ocean liner was a defining influence on the 1920s and 1930s art deco and modernist architects of the period. 

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The ocean liner has also had a defining influence on the shape and architectural character of homes in coastal Poole, Dorset. A J Seal, the 1930s creator of the significant modernist buildings Harbour Court (below) nearby Conning Tower and FJB’s Harbour Heights Hotel is one of the area’s most celebrated local architects – these homes were also mentioned by Pevsner as ‘a brave and enterprising group of Early Modern buildings.’

Harbour Court echoes the shape of a grand 1920s liner with its flat roof, roof-top sun lounge and ‘stern deck-like’ balconies.

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Berkeleys has just let the second floor apartment in Harbour Court. With sea glimpses, an expansive terrace for alfresco summer dining and close proximity to Sandbanks beaches, this is an ideal home for those searching for a long summer rental and regular weekend escapes to the coast. Priced at £1,295 per month (fee apply) it is probably a more affordable way to live in the spirit of a luxury cruise liner, and it can last a lot longer too.

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A Question of Pensions – Is Buy-To-Let Property The Right Investment?

Is buy-to-let property investment the right way forwards when the UK pension rules change in April this year? Pension reforms on April 6th will allow people to use their pensions to invest in property and become a landlord.

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To respond to the many questions that this raises, Berkeleys will be hosting a seminar to debate the topic further. With representation from companies in the financial, buy-to-let property, lifestyle lettings, legal and travel sectors we aim to bring you a lively, balanced look at all these new options.
The seminar will take place on Wednesday 25th March from 6.30pm-7.30pm in BH13. To register for a place, please email marketing@berkeleys.com or telephone the office on 01202 708383 for further details.