Spacious three bed flat on the corner of the fashionable Westbourne Grove and Notting Hill’s famous Portobello Road. Flooded with natural light. Recently refurbished to a high standard BRAND NEW KITCHEN & BATHROOM. Click here for more

Portobello

Portobello

Plans for thousands of new trees, new parks, play areas and open spaces to support the new homes being delivered in the Athletes’ Village site were unveiled by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) today.

The announcement comes as the first stage of landscaping work is now underway in the Village site with the creation of an extensive wetlands park.

The Athletes’ Village, which lies adjacent to the Olympic Park, will accommodate athletes and officials during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. After the Games the Village will deliver the legacy of 2,818 new homes for east London, of which 1,379 will be affordable, owned and managed by Triathlon Homes.

Together with the new homes being built, the landscaping and public realm project in the Village site will create 10 hectares of new parklands, wetlands, and open space featuring more than 2,000 new trees and over 100,000 wetland and wild flower plants.

The Bank of England voted to leave monetary policy unchanged on Thursday with interest rates at the historic low of 0.5 per cent and £200bn of newly created money pumped into the economy to boost the recovery.

At its crunch August meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee’s considered verdict on June’s emergency Budget is that it will not undermine the recovery sufficiently to warrant taking offsetting action.

It has also judged that inflation is not enough of a concern to begin to raise interest rates, even though prices in June were 3.2 per cent higher than a year earlier and inflation has been at least 1 percentage point above the Bank’s 2 per cent target throughout 2010.

Located on the top two floors of a period building on Broadway Market, this delightful flat has been refurbished throughout to a very high standard and boasts high ceilings and is flooded with natural light.

The property comprises a large reception room and kitchen with overlooking Broadway Market, a well-equipped kitchen with all mod cons, master bedroom. a second double bedroom and a bathroom with a bath and shower.

View over Broadway Market

View over Broadway Market

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The Financial Times ran a feature on Saturday 26th June on the future of the Buy-to-let market in the UK in light of the recent Budget.

The main points were as follows:

In the last property boom, buy-to-let was essentially a bet on house prices, funded by cheap mortgage debt. Today’s investors need to have a lot more capital to get past go – buy-to-let mortgages typically require a minimum deposit of 25 per cent. This has kept many wannabe landlords off the buy-to-let ladder in recent years. But for cash-rich investors with gumption, all the indicators suggest now’s a great time to invest. The key attraction? Rising rents, which are improving rental yields across the country.

“There’s going to be a massive supply shortage of property to rent or buy over the next 10 years, which means rents will rocket,” argues Kate Faulkner, founder of consultancy Designs on Property.co.uk.

“The coalition government has done buy-to-let landlords far bigger favours with the cuts it has already made,” says Faulkner. Scrapping regional housing targets and ending the practice of “garden grabbing” means the number of new homes brought to market will dwindle – and in affluent areas of the south-east, prices and rents could soar.

This trend is supported by listed estate agency chain Winkworth, which registered a 40 per cent drop in the availability of rental property on its books in April and May. “There’s massive demand for rental property but no new rental stock being brought on to the market by landlords,” reports chief executive Dominic Agace. “In general, rents have gone up by 10 per cent but the cost of mortgage finance is still around 4.5 per cent,” he says. “The more equity you have, the better return you’re going to get – but rental yields are starting to look attractive.”

As the area of greatest rental demand, London is set to lead the way. One investor has already banked a 25 per cent annual rent rise on a London buy-to-let investment. Neil Young, chief executive of property investment firm the Young Group, says: “That’s not the norm but it’s not an isolated example. Typically we’re increasing rents between 5-10 per cent on renewals.”

Source: FT.com

Following the emergency budget, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) predicts that interest rates will remain stable at 0.5% until the end of 2012.

Douglas McWIlliams, chief executive of CEBR, says: “The chancellor noted Mervyn King’s remark at the Mansion House dinner that if growth was slower interest rates would be lower.

“We agree and – with our lower growth forecast we now think that base rates will be stable at 0.5% until the end of 2012 and the 10 year bond yield will fall to 3%. With base rates lower for longer, we also expect mortgage rates to fall from around 4% at present to 3% by early next year.”

Source: mortgagestrategy.co.uk & cebr.com

From January 4 2011, the main rate of VAT will rise from 17.5% to 20%. Current zero-rated items like children’s clothes and magazines will remain exempt.

Corporation Tax will be cut next year to 27%, and by 1% annually for the next three years, until it reaches 24%. The small companies’ tax rate will be cut to 20%.

The government will help low-spending councils in England to freeze council tax for one year from April 2011.

Capital Gains Tax remains at 18% for low and middle-income savers but from midnight, higher rate taxpayers will pay 28%.

The Irish Sunday Times interviewed Simon McDonnell for his thoughts on the forthcoming UK budget and how it will affect investors. Here is an excerpt from Sunday’s article:

WATERLOO SUNRISE

Simon McDonnell, a Dublin director of Findlay Property (127.0.0.1/oldfind), which specialises in finding and managing investment properties for Irish clients in London, says: “Irish tax residents will not be affected, because they are exempt from capital gains tax in the UK. This could give Irish buy-to-let investors the edge over their UK counterparts.

“I’m not sure whether an increase in capital gains tax will be as significant as some sections of the British media expect. Interest rates, unemployment and availability and flow of credit are going to be far more important.”

The proposed tax increases and last month’s scrapping of Home Information Packs — reports which vendors had to provide at their own expense — made experts wonder what was in store for the
residential market.

“These dual factors will bring more property to the market and with it a little nervousness,” says McDonnell, adding that uncertainty could be played to Irish buyers’ advantage.

“Uncertainty in the market will throw up opportunities for investors. There could also be an increase in rents and yields, as investor presence in the market becomes much more income driven
rather than led by capital gains.”

McDonnell says that London has been traditionally strong with Irish investors and landlords because of its rental record. “The continued net migration of people into London, the challenges in the planning system and the lack of green- or brown-field sites to develop limit the supply of property and will continue to exert upward pressure on rents in central London,” he says.

SOURCE: Irish Sunday Times

A U.K. gauge of residential rents increased for the first time in almost two years in the three months through April as a decline in supply benefited landlords, according to a poll of brokers.

The number of real-estate agents saying rents increased exceeded those reporting declines by 30 percent, according to a survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Responses were balanced in the previous quarter. In the year- earlier period, 58 percent more respondents reported falling rents, a record low for the survey.

A recovery in the housing market may have spurred “accidental landlords” to sell their properties, cutting the number of rental homes on the market, RICS said. Thirty percent more respondents saw a rise in demand than recorded a drop, the strongest reading since the quarter though January 2009. Brokers expect rents to continue increasing in the next three months.

“With sellers back in the housing market, supply has fallen back in the lettings sector,” RICS spokesman Jeremy Leaf said in a statement. “This is good news for landlords as rents are set to move higher in the coming months and yield returns are likely to improve.”

Demand for houses continued to outstrip that for apartments, though by less than in the previous quarter, RICS said. Tenant demand and rent increases were strongest in London and the East.

The last time more agents reported rent increases than declines was in the second quarter of 2008.

SOURCE: BLOOMBERG

The Bank of England left interest rates at a record low today as markets rallied and politicians breathed a sigh of relief following the €720bn (£628bn) eurozone bailout.

Base rates remained at 0.5% for the 15th month after the Bank, which usually publishes its decision on the first Thursday of the month, delayed last week’s announcement to avoid a clash with the election.