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We try to offer a wide ranging array of various and frequently updated Blogs intended to cover both local and national matters of interest.


Some of the information and research in these articles do not represent either the views nor should they be seen as any type of recommendation by Paul Simon Residential.  


We hope the “viewer” will find these articles not only of interest to themselves, but contain information on subjects they might wish to share with family and friends.


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Published: 19/12/2017   Last Updated: 19/12/2017 17:11:15   Tags:

Still room at the inn for the buy-to-let landlord
Buy-to-rent landlords have been the target of much legislation in the past couple of years, and it is likely that the market will never be the same again. Without doubt, landlords with larger portfolios have weathered the storm a lot better than those with just one or two properties.  Increasing stamp duty on secondary homes and phasing out full tax relief on mortgages were useful tools for the Treasury to raise funds, but after that, the motives remain cloudy. There were suggestions that with landlords selling up there would be more properties for prospective buyers, but this hasn’t been the case. In more desirable areas, tenants can afford the rent but could never afford to buy the property.

There are also lifestyle issues. Many people rent by choice and unwilling to make a commitment. Renting offers flexibility for people moving location, and is usually preferred by people experiencing social changes such as divorce. In fact, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has predicted that 1.8m new rental homes will be needed by 2025. Already, the total amount of rent paid to private landlords is more than double the amount of mortgage interest paid by homeowners. The government’s recent focus is on increasing the number of houses built each year. This is entirely laudable, but measures to accelerate housing completions to 300,000 a year will take years to effect. And even measures to help first-time buyers are unlikely to make houses in the south-east of the country really affordable, which means that renting will be the obvious option.

Landlords have adapted in some ways to the more regulated regime by focusing on areas where yields are more attractive. This means moving out of London and the south-east, and into areas in northern England where house prices are that much lower. According to Hometrack, the gap between average earnings and house prices in London reached an all-time high of 14.5, whereas in cities such as Glasgow, Liverpool and Newcastle, the ratio remains below the 15-year average, with all at less than 5.0. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has predicted that1.8m new rental homes will be needed by 2025

It’s not all plain sailing, though, because applying for a new buy-to-let mortgage from a high-street bank is being made more difficult as a result of stricter lending requirements. However, remortgaging on existing properties has been brisk so that in the past year a record 65 per cent of landlord purchases have been made in cash. More has been spent in cash in the past year than at any year in the past decade. And around three-quarters of properties bought in northern England were paid for in cash while London was the only region where buying with a mortgage outpaced cash buyers.

The buy-to-let landlord is still attracting attention from the Treasury because just recently the capital gains indexation allowance on an asset such as property has been removed. This means that any capital gains tax burden cannot now be reduced by adjusting the gain for inflation. There is one piece of good news, and that is the consultation on longer leases. These would be welcome all round because it will provide landlords with greater earnings visibility and also provides greater peace of mind for tenants. Perhaps the major development could be growing interest in the build-to-rent market. Institutional funds, starved of a decent return from government bonds, are now percolating into the rental sector. However, it’s early days, and if demand for rented accommodation is set to continue growing there will still be a place for the private landlord. However, professional landlords have built their property holdings over a number of years, with many established as companies which carries numerous tax advantages. For the newcomer looking to buy just one property, the barriers to entry may be just enough to make many potential entrants think again.

DISCLAIMER: The news and research in the above article do not represent necessarily either the views nor should they be seen as a recommendation of Paul Simon Residential Sales. 

Published: 05/11/2017   Last Updated: 05/11/2017 18:40:45   Tags:

London house price growth is forecast to lag well behind other regions over the next five years according to a new report. This reverses the trend stretching back at least to the 1980s for house prices in London to grow at a faster rate than the rest of the UK. The average house price in the capital was £484,000 in August 2017, compared with a UK average of £226,000 according to the latest Office for National Statistics figures.

Savills’ forecast for the next five years says house prices in London would rise well below inflation, which is forecast to rise by 9.5% over the period, leading to a fall in real property values. Nationally, Savills said the housing market had proved stronger than expected this year, with average prices likely to rise 2% rather than stagnating, as the estate agent forecast a year ago.

Savills head of residential research said: “.The Bank of England’s interest rate rise on Thursday was more “symbolic than substantive” and that the pace at which it ratchets up borrowing costs in coming years would be more important. The Bank said rates would rise “at a gradual pace and to a limited extent”. Savills assumes the Bank’s base rate will rise to 2.25% by 2022, which would lead to average mortgage rates doubling to 4%.

The north-west of England is set to experience the fastest price growth in the UK over the next five years: a surge of 18.1%, followed by increases of 17.6% in the north-east and Yorkshire and Humberside region, with 17% growth in Scotland. Savills forecast that rents are set to grow faster than house prices in London for the first time since 2011. They are forecast to rise 17% over the next five years, despite a 3% fall this year.

In London, the average house costs nearly 13 times the average person’s annual earnings. Beyond the Home Counties, affordability is far less stretched, with house prices rising more in line with incomes. In the north-west, the average house price is 5.6 times average earnings. The average deposit paid by first-time buyers in the north-west is £19,000, just over half their annual income; while in London it is £99,753, or 149% of average income.

DISCLAIMER: The news and research in the above article do not represent necessarily either the views nor should they be seen as a recommendation of Paul Simon Residential Sales. 


Last Updated: 05/11/2017 18:39:51   Tags:


For many buyers obtaining a mortgage is an essential part of buying a property. Therefore before you embark on making an application there are a number of simple things you can do to make sure your application is not turned down, or the lender offers a reduced amount to the sum you originally applied for.


Several years ago the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) following the financial collapse of 2008, introduced stricter lending criteria to encourage banks and building societies to lend more cautiously and avoid another potential financial crisis. For those intending to borrow to secure a property we offer some basic advice.


Today a number of Mortgage Market Review rules require lenders to “stress test” applicants with a view ensuring they would be financially able to survive should there be an increase in the mortgage rate which has for many years now been at a record low but will at some point in the future increase to higher levels than those currently charged.

With mortgages and their rates now featuring regularly in the Press, Bank of England and Government statistics mortgage applicants will be subjected to tougher rules regarding affordability and qualification checks. Therefore we strongly suggest the following advice – a relatively easy number of things you can do before applying for a mortgage.           

Continue Reading 


Last Updated: 05/11/2017 18:39:12   Tags:


Whether you are a first time buyer or seeking to improve you family lifestyle in a new location, buying a house involves a multitude of decisions to be made and aspects to be consider. There are many aspects not always appreciated which often involve the entire family.

When seeking a new home ideally you are looking for a “space” in which you and your family can be happy and one that offers access to all the faculties you expect and want. First there is the area choice, then selecting the Estate Agents who are able to give you confidence - people you feel who know the area, the properties and who are most likely to represent your interests rather that the interests of others.

Clearly knowing what you can afford in the way of buying a property is important as it dictates what price bracket can be viewed. You may need to establish what mortgage facilities are available to you and importantly the repayment cost likely. Buying a property is not only the agreed buying price, but includes other additions such as Stamp Duty, removal cost and a number of often forgotten expenses such as the installation cost of SKY TV for example and changing door locks – a few pounds admittedly - but they soon add up!

Once you have visited and looked round a few properties you start to get more of an idea of what's on offer within your price bracket, and then hopefully there comes the point when one you view is “the one!” Now comes the stressful time waiting first for your bid to be accepted, and the time to elapse before the Exchange of Contracts. This is the period when a buyer feel "helpless" (unable to be in cont.) and is the time when the Estate Agent selling you the property can be really helpful and be on hand to regularly update you frequently with the latest information.

There may be a number of of changes or alterations contemplated to the new property and these need to be planned, and a reliable builder found how with a good reputation amongst the local population of the area. Here insider knowledge can be so useful, so do discuss in detail such matter with the Agent who will be happy to help you.

As experienced agents, we can help with many of these important decision whether actual or an acceptable compromise.

Remember…..we are here to help and give advice!



Last Updated: 05/11/2017 18:38:56   Tags:


Downsizing apart from the obvious benefits to the owner has many advantages that affect both themselves and the community. A smaller living space is more practical! (You may well find that you have several rooms in your house rarely use.) Smaller living space eliminates stress and reduces the outgoings as well as freeing up monies which can be used elsewhere. Downsizing often enables people to become mortgage free as well as lowering everyday costs such as energy bills and maintenance costs.

Understandably, the idea of selling your home has a strong emotional factor and is a hard choice for many. It may well be the home your children grew up in, and within the walls echo the sounds of grandchildren. Your home will naturally have many memories of past times, and the thought of leaving those memories, neighbour’s and long established friends, plus an area which has become part of your daily life - has a considerable impact! Above all the most off putting for the elderly is the thought of sorting out what to keep and what to packing.

From a practically point - of course deep down you know it is the right decision. We humans often have a built in reluctance to moving out of our comfort zone and will anticipate many things that often never materialise.

The key factor to getting the most out of selling your property is to achieve the best deal possible!

What you want is a sensible valuation which is achievable in the market of the day. Don’t be tempted by a valuation along with selling fees which is more about the Agent providing you with a something they assumed will be pleasing to you, rather than figures which they know are achievable in current market conditions.

If it is cheaper than the average valuation – be suspicious - unless the Estate Agent's  valuer gives you confidence! Corner cutting invariably leads to cuts in the service you received!

Should you be considering the question of downsizing or selling, why not contact the Sales Director – Richard Bartelous at Paul Simons Residential Sales for a valuation without obligation! If nothing else you will get a realistic idea of what your property is currently worth in the market of the day.

or pop along to our offices at….

38 Grand Parade, Harringay, London N4 1AQ

Office Hours

Mondays to Thursdays: 9am – 6.30pm

Friday: 9am – 6pm

Saturdays: 9am – 4pm

Sunday: Closed all day


Last Updated: 05/11/2017 18:40:29   Tags:


Shoreditch is part of the historic East End of London situated north of the City of London. The etymology of "Shoreditch" is constantly debated. One popular legend holds that the place was originally named "Shore's Ditch", after a lady called Jane Shore, the mistress of Edward IV, is supposed to have died or been buried in a ditch in the area.

For those perhaps not familiar with Shoreditch, the area is renowned for the Street Art, Shoreditch Street Art Tour Its Incredible Street Food Pump Street Food Market – a Food Village is located on Shoreditch High. Then you have those Quirky Boutique Shops - shopping in Shoreditch is an experience! Le Labo You can Enjoy London’s Craziest Nightlife at many clubs such as Cargo, Others like the Bedroom Bar offer a quirky but lively clubbing experience, 333Mother is a good place to go if you’re looking for a night that lasts until the early morning.

Historically, Shoreditch has always been known for - nightclubs and bars. Shop and Eat at Boxpark the world’s first popup mall – this shopping/eating/drinking experience is located in shipping containers! East London Juice Co. Football at Bar Kick For football fans you head over to Bar Kick. Lastly Study or Work in Silicon Roundabout this is home to numerous tech hubs. Try Google Campus London to feel part of the thriving tech world; Timberyard is another great option. Cafes such as the Counter Albion and the lobby of the Ace Hotel


Many London areas can be accused of alternating between being “sought after” and not “sought after.” Remember Notting Hill Gate back in the 1970’s? Fashions and demands change as do areas. Today as you emerge from Seven Sisters Tube station, you are greeted by the many sights, sounds, and smells which perhaps remind and tell you how fast Tottenham is changing and the resemblance it has with a place like Shoreditch.

Of course each area retains an aspect of life which is peculiar to that place alone such as the famous White Hart Lane and The Emirates stadium or Alexandra Palace (fondly known as Ally Pally) both of which are famous to many, but those many residents both past and present who remember Tottenham some thirty years ago will see a huge change in so many of the facilities offered today.

To read more click on


DISCLAIMER: The news and research in the above article do not represent necessarily either the views nor should they be seen as a recommendation of Paul Simon Residential Sale

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Last Updated: 28/02/2017 09:33:46   Tags:

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