News from Barratt Homes
With interest rates at their lowest for years, 2015 is shaping up to be a great year for those looking to move up the housing ladder in East Grinstead. A combination of factors are contributing to the creation of strong market conditions, making it cheaper to borrow and easier to move up the property ladder since before the start of the financial crisis in 2007. Having enjoyed a strong start to the year, Barratt Homes has noted a marked increase in buyer confidence, signifying a return to good health for the property market and the housebuilding industry. Barratt Homes is currently building new homes at a number of locations locally including Bluebell Gate in East Grinstead where it is hosting a special part exchange weekend on July 25/26.
Lynnette St Quintin, sales director at Barratt Homes, commented: “It is great to see that the lending market is finally shifting in favour of the customer. At Barratt Homes we’ve seen a large rise in demand for new homes, signifying that more people are not only more confident about making a move, they’ve been able to secure the necessary finance also.
Barratt Homes has issued five reasons why there’s no time like the present to purchase a home:
1. Interest rates
Increased competition in the mortgage market, falling interest rates and the availability of long term fixed rate lending packages are reducing the cost of borrowing for many homebuyers. It means buyers are able to access rates as low as 2.19 per cent for two years with a 15 per cent deposit. Some lenders are now offering fixed rate products for up to 10 years for as little as 4.29 per cent with a 15 per cent deposit, enabling customers to make the most of the low rates for the long term.
2. Stamp duty
In the last Autumn Statement changes were made to bring an end to the ‘cliff edge’ stamp duty and land tax system. In the old system, if the value of a home hit a certain threshold, the buyer would pay a higher rate of tax on the full value of the property, and not just on the portion above the limit. Now this has changed to a much more proportional system where buyers will only need to pay the higher rate of tax on the amount that’s above the limit, and not on the full value of the property.
3. Help to Buy
Help to Buy aims to help stimulate the housebuilding industry and to help people buy a new property. Help to Buy enables buyers to secure a mortgage with just a five per cent deposit. Buyers are able to take advantage of the excellent interest rates available with mortgages of less than 75 per cent of the property value.
4. More support
Because of ongoing reform within the financial services industry, the process for securing finance has become much more detailed. This need not be off putting for those looking to apply for a mortgage, as most major housebuilders like Barratt Homes are now able to provide a free independent financial advice service to customers.
5. More choice
With increased market activity and confidence comes increased development activity. Barratt Homes recently announced plans to open several new sites this year bringing increased choice to the market for buyers, as well as new jobs to the local industry. This brings many benefits to buyers, from being able to choose their own plot, housetype, finishes and fittings depending on the build programme, to having numerous homes in a particular area to choose from. It also means that more people will be active within the market, both buying and selling, which is vitally important for those who need to sell an existing property in order to make their next move.
Lynnette said: “Judging from customer feedback, the picture being painted of the current property market is very positive indeed. A competitive market opens the door to some excellent deals, and with the recent changes to Stamp Duty, many people will be able to move to a larger home without having to pay as much in tax.
The idea of being friends with your neighbour is high on the agenda for people in Littlehampton with more than a third wanting to know them better. Research from Barratt Homes reveals that the desire for community spirit is alive and well and those living in new homes are leading the way. They are already the most likely to socialise with their neighbours. Already 15 per cent of those living in new homes socialise with their neighbours compared with just five per cent of those living in older properties. Almost 20 per cent of people living in new builds have their neighbours on social media, compared to just five per cent of those in older homes. And those questioned highlighted making new friends, feeling part of the community and having someone close to rely on as key reasons for wanting to be friends with next door.
Speaking about the importance of design in creating new communities, Lynnette St Quintin, sales director at Barratt said; ‘’Creating places where people want to live is just as important as the quality of individual homes. All the developments Barratt builds are carefully designed thinking about how the new neighbourhood will work particularly in terms of the way open and shared space can be used by the new local community.” She said it’s not just physical design that’s important. “As this research shows there’s more to a great home than just bricks and mortar. Knowing that you live in a community that is safe and a great place to bring up your children gives you real peace of mind.”
Top tips from Barratt Homes on how to get over the neighbourliness gap:
- Don’t wait – introduce yourself to your neighbours within the first few days of moving in to help you get off on the right foot. Delaying makes it more embarrassing later.
- Ask them questions – it could be for advice on local groups or clubs that you might like to join, or their recommendation on the best local pub or restaurant – it will get you chatting and you’re are likely to quickly find common ground.
- Don’t be afraid to start an interaction. Our research highlighted that many people are reluctant to make the first move or ask a favour, but that we are willing to help our neighbours. So whether you’d like someone to water your plants or fancy a play date during the summer holidays ask away – you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
- Host a summer get-together for those that live around you.
- Offer to help older neighbours with their chores when you have spare time, washing their car, picking up milk, or cutting their grass will go a long way – and chances are you’ll feel good too.