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Local Life - Wigan - May 2018

Wigan's FREE local lifestyle magazine.

42 Property Alan Batt

42 Property Alan Batt Alan Batt is a member of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and has worked within the Wigan property market for over 30 years. First time joy by Alan Batt Positive news from the Wigan Property need to bear in mind that some buy-to-let properties Market this week for the town’s first time were bought on a hard cash basis, and there is no buyers as recently released data shows that the hard and fast data on the total numbers of buy-tolet properties bought, though HM Treasury believes number of local first time buyers taking out their first mortgage in 2017 increased more than in any other approximately only 30% to 40% of buy-to-let year since the global financial crisis in 2008/2009. property is bought with a mortgage. The data shows there were 723 first time buyers in So, what does all this mean for the Wigan Property Wigan, the largest number since 2006. Market? Well, whilst the stats paint a picture, they It might surprise readers to know that it is actually don’t inform us of the whole story. The upper end of cheaper to buy than it is to rent at the ‘starter home’ the Wigan property market has been weighed down end of the housing market, as long as you have the by the indecision around the Brexit negotiations required funds for a deposit and select a good value and rise in stamp duty in 2014. The middle part of fixed-rate mortgage. Many of you can remember the Wigan property market has been affected by the mortgage rates at 12% ... even 15%. Today, at the lack of good properties to buy, as selling prices have time of writing this article, I found a 3 year fixed reached the limit of what buyers can afford under mortgage from a reputable High Street bank at existing mortgage regulations. The lower to middle 2.49%, with only a 5% deposit required. Wigan property market has been hit by tax changes Conversely, the same study showed that the buy-tolet investment market in Wigan was subdued over offset by this increase in first time buyers. for buy-to-let landlords, although this has been the same period, with only 148 buy-to-let properties If you currently have a house for sale, you’ll need being purchased with a mortgage. However, you to be 100% realistic with your pricing in order to achieve a sale, and you might not get as much as you thought you’d get, but the house you want to buy will probably be cheaper too. If you are thinking of selling your Wigan property, don’t ask the agent out a few days before you want to put the property on the market; get them out now and ask them what you need to do to ensure you get maximum value in the shortest possible time. I, like most Wigan agents, will freely give that advice to you at no cost or commitment to you.

43 Caveat Emptor - buyer beware With readers seeing a rise in outgoings this month due to a rise in council tax, I’m going to take this opportunity to address one of the most popular misconceptions about council tax bands; Adding extensions and improving your home will NOT change the home’s council tax band. However, the government’s Valuation Office Agency does reserve the right to re-value the extended property,if and when the property gets sold. So if you are a potential buyer, you should beware of this as the VOA could change the council tax band, and therefore the amount of council tax you pay will increase as a result. This does not necessarily mean that the banding will jump one band, this depends on the extent of the improvements and where the property lies within its existing valuation band. More often than not – it isn’t an issue and the banding stays the same. Anyone can check the banding of any property by visiting www.gov.uk/council-tax-bands By the way, if you disagree with your own home’s council tax band, you can apply for it to be reassessed, but let me warn you that if you do this then your band could be moved up as well as down. If you have any questions relating to property, then do get in touch. You can email me on alan@alanbatt. co.uk or call me on 01942 233999. For more of Alan’s tips, guidance and analysis on the Wigan property market, check out www.wiganpropertynews.blogspot.co.uk