Vesper welcomes our new Associate Manager, Chantelle to the team as we wish Holly a fond farewell.

We sadly say goodbye to our Associate Manager, Holly, after four years. Holly has been the backbone of Vesper’s operations ensuring that all our landlord’s rents are transferred in a timely manner and tenancies are progressed as efficiently as possible. She will be moving overseas and her last day will be on the 2nd of July therefore if you do have any outstanding queries, please ensure you drop her an email before she departs. We thank Holly for her great contribution to the Vesper team over the past four years and wish her luck in her future endeavours. 

Chantelle joins us from some of London’s most well-known estate agencies. She has gained a wealth of experience in the property sector, and we look forward to her bringing a fresh perspective to Vesper Group. 

Singapore Office

We are pleased to announce that our Singapore office continues to go from strength to strength and has tripled in size over the past few months.  Vesper Homes (Singapore) now consists of several property agents and business development associates. The Singaporean office primarily deals with local transactions for sales and rentals in Singapore. However, please feel free to contact our team about investment opportunities in the UK and in APAC. 

21 of London’s 33 boroughs are currently in the midst of a property boom and have hit record house prices over the past year. Typically, we are seeing that the boroughs in the outer suburbs are experiencing the largest growth in prices. Much of this can be attributed to the pandemic with many Londoners not expecting to return to the office on a full-time basis and opting to relocate to the outer leafy suburbs.

Prices in areas such as Haringey, Merton and Waltham Forest are at an all-time high. Furthermore, the regeneration of east London over the past decade has also fuelled the steep rise in property prices on that side of the city.

Contrary to this, we have also seen certain boroughs where property is cheaper now than in the 2018 peak. The largest Covid-provoked drop is in Kensington and Chelsea where prices are £120,600 lower than they were in 2018 when prices in the area were at a record high.

Price decreases in Westminster have also been significant at £116,800 down compared to 2018. Prices in Camden, Hammersmith and Fulham and Tower Hamlets have also tumbled below their recent peaks, completing the top five areas by discount.

East London has dominated our London sales in recent times, and we have sold two amazing apartments in the last few weeks.

The first was in the buzzing financial hub, Canary Wharf. With its excellent DLR links into Central London, vast shopping malls and wide array of bars and restaurants, Canary Wharf continues to attract buyers looking for a convenient base. The apartment we sold was a modern one-bed located on a high floor with amazing views over London. We find that the apartments located on the higher floors tend to attract the best resale value as buyers are often more drawn to the views that come with these higher floor apartments. 

The second apartment was located in nearby Canning Town which has seen incredible expansion over the past number of years and has transformed into a vibrant community. Again, the apartment was a fantastic one-bed located on the 8th floor, with sweeping unobstructed views over London. When buying a property with amazing views, it is important to consider whether these views may be obstructed by a new development in the future as this will ultimately decrease the potential resale value and make the views from the apartments considerably less desirable.

Last but by no means least, we ventured out of London to Dartford, where we sold a really unique two-bedroom, top floor apartment with a really spectacular balcony. Often having something different, such as an amazing large balcony, can attract buyers and ensure a good return on your property.

The Vesper Group was originally established in our founder James’ home city of London, which continues to be our hub and largest office and services London, Greater London and Kent. Our London office is home to our sales team, lettings team and a robust property management team, on hand 24/7 to help with any issues that arise in your property.

Vesper Group ventured up to the north of England to cover Manchester and we now have an established office and team on hand to assist with both property rentals and sales, mostly of the many new build developments that are springing up all over the vibrant city.

Our Singapore office was established to service both the local Singaporean market and also to enable and assist Singaporean investors gain access to the UK market. We now have a large established office in Singapore run by our co-founder Cyril.

Hong Kong is our newly established office and mainly focuses on selling new build properties in the UK to our clients based in Hong Kong

Please do feel free to get in touch with any of our offices, our staff are all extremely helpful and friendly and will be more than happy to discuss your property needs with you and help you along your property journey!

After a very slow start to the month of May for the rental industry, I am pleased to report that things seem to be looking up as the UK emerges from hibernation. We have noticed a significant uptick in rental business over the last week and attribute that to the UK ‘opening up’. With the next stage of unlocking set to go ahead next week we are hopeful that the rental market will continue to gain momentum as we head into the summer months! We have already begun to see enquires from students for the summer, but it is too early to tell if the increase in demand will see rents begin to creep back up. While things are certainly looking up for the rental market, the sales market continues to dominate transactions.

Rental prices have fallen sharply since the onset of the pandemic and unfortunately it does not look like this will change in the immediate future. The number of enquires that we have received for tenants moving in March and April has been lower than last year and the number of people moving into properties is low. However, brighter days are on the horizon and the number of enquires for June and July move dates looks much more promising. It remains to be seen whether we will see the usual August and September rush in the market, and this will largely depend on the easing of travel restrictions and whether overseas students will come back to the UK and if there will be an uptick in corporate relocation.

One of the sectors that has been most impacted by the pandemic is the new build rental market which has been hit with exceptionally large rental discounts, however, we expect that this will begin to realign once facilities such as gyms and swimming pools are permitted to reopen in mid-April.

On the other hand, the sales market continues to soar with the extension of the stamp duty holiday. In fact, Vesper Group has sold more properties in the past 6 months than in the prior 18 months! We expect to see a very active April in the sales market as people try to get their purchases over the line in time to avail of the great savings! In addition to this we expect that the market for sales of properties under 300k will remain extremely buoyant as the stamp duty threshold has been increased until October. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many changes to life as we knew it and it has certainly brought about a change to how we market properties, and conduct viewings. Gone is the day when it is as simple as advertising on Rightmove and Zoopla, as many prospective tenants and buyers now want to view a video tour of the property prior to committing to an in-person viewing. Therefore, the importance of a well shot property tour video is ever increasing as nowadays this is very often the first impression that a prospective tenant or buyer will get of the property.

Vesper Group has recently invested in creating professionally shot videos of the properties that we are marketing. These videos have received excellent feedback and have generated many enquiries from buyers. In addition to this, we have recently started working with YouTube property influencers to feature our clients’ properties on their channel. These videos amass thousands of views and are a great way to aid our marketing strategy for our clients’ properties.

It has become increasingly apparent that portals are not the only places tenants and buyers are looking for new properties. Over the past 12 months we have seen a move from individuals just looking at the traditional platforms for a new property and the likes of Facebook Marketplace, YouTube, Instagram and recently TikTok have become paramount in engaging tenants and buyers.

Vesper Group recently launched our TikTok account and the far-reaching nature of it has become evident very quickly. In fact, a property tour we posted went viral and was viewed by over 330,000 people in 24 hours. The question that we often get asked is does this directly lead to helping us find a tenant or buyer for the property? This video has led to several enquires and requests for brochures so it is safe to say this type of marketing can undoubtedly accelerate the process of finding a tenant or buyer for your property. 

As expected, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed in his Spring Budget today that there will be an extension to the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday.

Promising to, “do whatever it takes” to get the economy moving again and support the nation, the Chancellor has announced the tax saving – due to have ended on 31st March – will now be extended until the end of June.

The extension will be a huge relief to the estimated 100,000 ongoing purchases which were at risk of not being completed on time and the thousands of buyers who feared they would miss the deadline leading to a collapse in transactions.

Announced last summer amid calls to help buyers and prop up the housing market during the pandemic, the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday means that residential property buyers don’t have to pay stamp duty on homes of less than £500,000. The tax holiday further discounts the amount payable on higher purchases, so a property costing between £500,001 and £925,000 will be taxed at 5%; £925,001 and£1.5m at 10%, and over £1.5m at 12%.

To gently ease things back to the pre-Covid levels, from the end of June to the end of September, the threshold at which it will begin to be paid will be raised to £250,000. Thereafter, from 1st October stamp duty will revert to £125,000.

Landlords and second-home buyers are also eligible for the tax cut but they will still have to pay the additional 3% of stamp duty they were charged under the previous rules. So if you are buying as an investment (buy-to-let) or a second home the additional 3% stamp duty tax is still payable on the full purchase price.

Here at VESPER we welcome the Chancellor’s announcement and to add to it we are offering some further amazing savings of our own!

With stunning new-build properties in Manchester from only £160,000 (The Press; St Georges Gardens; Local Crescent; Deansgate Sqaure; Castle Wharf), and in London from £600,000, (Wardian; Greenwich Peninsula), VESPER will cover the overseas tax (payable by some buyers from 2nd April) as well as a give you a 2-year letting & property management service for free!

And that’s not all.

All new purchases in the Deansgate Square and Castle Wharf developments during 2021 (until stock lasts) come with a stylish and contemporary complimentary furniture pack from David Philips Interiors.

So whether this is a first home, a move, or a buy-to-let investment property, call VESPER today to talk to one of our team – we’re here to help!