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.

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.

 



 

Sandbanks Family House To Rent – Long Lifestyle Let

Berkeleys Lettings is seeing growing demand for long term lifestyle luxury rentals in Poole, Dorset. Already a notable trend in the London luxury lettings market, as more people opt to rent rather than buy, savvy tenants now search for properties to rent which offer further added value by merging attractive lifestyle factors within easy reach of a top sports and social calendar.

Sandbanks Beaches

 

In addition to the key criteria of what makes a great coastal rental property, we now see ‘proximity to the local social calendar’ as an emerging request. In popular areas along the Poole coastline like Sandbanks and Poole Harbour, criteria such as beachfront proximity, sea views, access to water-sports, private parking and outside space are typical requests from our lifestyle tenants.

However, lifestyle tenants now recognise the added benefit of choosing a home which is located close to where top sports and social events take place. Appealing to all the family, and specifically teenagers, prospective tenants also know that planning ahead for the year is critical to taking full advantage of the calendar.

Berkeleys has a luxury family house currently available to rent in Sandbanks, Poole which is a great example. Located close to Sandbanks Bramble Bush Ferry and the entrance to Poole Harbour it is a great home for lovers of beaches, sailing and watersports.

Poole Harbour Entrance

The house is also a short beachfront walk to the 2015 British Beach Polo Championships too. What’s more, the Sandbanks sports calendar lists many top sporting and after-party events on offer:

  • May 28th – 30th 2016 – Poole Sailing Regatta, Poole Harbour/Poole Bay and Regatta Social Programme
  • July 10th – 11th 2015 – Sandbanks Beach Polo Championships, Poole.
  • July 22rd – August 7th 2015- Brownsea Island/National Trust summer open air theatre: The Tempest
  • August 8th  – 15th 2015 – Cowes Sailing Week (sail from Poole to access daily events)
  • Competitive sailing events taking place across Poole Bay throughout August – see individual local sailing club schedules.

Tickets sell out fast to these highly sought after events, and so the secret to ensuring access to the best events is to plan early. Opting for a long term rental solution, whether for holiday use only or full time use, enables you to tap into events throughout the year. The benefit of being able to walk rather than drive lends yet further appeal.

Sea Views Or City Skyline: A London Penthouse Or A Dorset Penthouse?

There have been some truly breath-taking penthouses for sale on the market over the last year, with clients motivated to pay a premium for what they see outside more so than inside. In today’s Berkeleys blog, we consider the comparisons between a penthouse on the Dorset coast to London’s penthouses in the sky.

Berkeleys recently listed a penthouse by the sea in Poole, Dorset, with impressive credentials: Daytona is an exclusive contemporary development of just 3 duplex apartments set in a discreet location in coastal Poole, Dorset, just 2 hours from London. With 3,000 sq. ft of open space and a large 1,600 sq. ft terrace, the expansive glass windows and stunning views over Poole Harbour rate exceptionally across Sandbanks and Canford Cliffs property. With a guide price of £1,875,000, this penthouse is unique in offering a combination of location, view, privacy and interior specification.

Penthouse Apartment

With an indoor/outdoor square footage of 4,600 sq. ft,  Daytona is valued at £625 per sq. ft. Priced at less than 10% of London’s top penthouses coming to the market it makes for an amazing comparison considering its tip-top credentials but no city view! For a city view, think more in terms of the £20 million price mark…

London property developer British Land recently sold the most expensive Mayfair home ever – a 5,000 sq ft penthouse on Clarges Street in Mayfair, which sold above the previous record of £5,000 per sq ft. Clarges Mayfair has an “unrivalled” location close to Bond Street, with the upper floors offering “panoramic views” of Green Park and Buckingham Palace. The gated mews development includes a private “wellness spa” with a 25m swimming pool, gymnasium and sauna, plus private cinema room.

A Knightsbridge penthouse in the prestigious One Hyde Park, Knightsbridge building has become the most expensive property ever sold in Britain, and is believed to have been bought by an Eastern European buyer. ‘Penthouse D’ was sold as ‘core and shell’ and an estimated £20 million will be spent on furnishing the space, after which valuers predict the property to be worth £175 million.

Another penthouse apartment in The Chilterns in Marylebone W1 was priced at £25 million last year. The development offers a private cinema, an on-call personal trainer and chef, a private tasting room, a gym, a sauna, and David Bailey artworks on the walls.  This flat is 5,047 square feet – including four individual bedroom suites – and a walk-in wardrobe in the master bedroom. There’s also an additional studio flat – presumably for staff.

The Heron’s £18 million South Penthouse in the city is set 367ft high above London’s streets.  This 6,000 sq ft duplex apartment has an outlook which includes the Shard and St Paul’s and stretches beyond Battersea.

Today, penthouses really do stand out alone, consistent themes clearly emerging: as well as offering enormous space and high specification, purchasers are buying in to the iconic views. Privacy and separate entrances add to the allure. Sea views and city skyline views appear to offer an equally breath-taking experience but at very different values today.