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Balfours’ London office has seen a 37% increase, in the last two months, of prospective buyers looking to move out of London; a surge driven by a cocktail of global and local factors, according to head of sales at Balfours, Tim Main.

The initial catalyst to the increase was the stabilising of the London market and the Prime Ministers’ announcement of the referendum on our EU membership. Other underlying factors contributing to the switch, from the capital as a sellers’ market, to a buyers’ market, include global economic turmoil, increase in stamp duty in 2014 and 2016 and the fall-out from the Panama papers.

Tim Main explains: “Our London Office research has revealed that the majority of applicants move out for their children, either for schools, or a better quality of life. However, affordability and lifestyle change have jumped up the list.

“Other factors are modern mobile technology enabling greater flexibility to work from home, part or full time. People are also realising London is increasingly congested meaning it can take less time to commute from the country than from their existing London base. It is fact that some London journeys are taking longer today than they did a century ago.

”Director at the London office, Bob Bickersteth comments: “The country market is much stronger, with greater demand and a healthy supply of properties – the surge in enquiries is good news for rural counties, such as Shropshire.

”Tim adds: “In recent times we have been able to achieve sales with London buyers who are on a mission to make the next chapter in their lives happen. Next week we hope to build on the drive for rural retreats when we will be attending ‘The Move to the Country Show’ at The Chelsea Old Town Hall. Here we expect prospective buyers to be seeking the spectrum of country properties, from country estates and rectories to farmhouses and cottages.

This year’s “Move to the Country Show” will take place on Thursday 28th April 2016 between 2 and 7pm at The Chelsea Old Town Hall, London, SW3 5EE.

Friday, 22 April 2016 00:00

Driving for legal landlords

Would you use a car without current paperwork of its safety and legality? If the answer is no, Charlotte George, MARLA asks: “Why do so many landlords and tenants enter into flawed agreements for residential properties?

”She says research recently released by one of the UK’s leading insurers found that one in ten private landlords have no formal agreement in place with their tenants. It also found that of the landlords who don’t use a letting agent, more than half use adapted tenancy agreements from either old agent contracts or other landlords, or an updated template downloaded from the internet, similar to an outdated MOT.

Charlotte says: “We were quite staggered to learn that of landlords who don’t use letting agents, 58% used adapted tenancy agreements. The lack of professionally reviewed tenancy agreements may explain why more than one in eight (13%) landlords have experienced disputes specifically arising from tenants’ rental contracts in the past two years.

“Letting legislation is changing so quickly that we all have to be on our mettle. The Tenant Deposit Protection scheme is a positive move to ensuring landlord tenant issues can be sorted efficiently, in terms of time, money and hassle factor. Despite the TDS being a legal requirement since April 2007, 9% of landlords have not informed their tenants that their deposit is in a government-backed deposit protection scheme and incredibly 4% haven’t even taken a deposit from their tenants.

”She continues: “It is basic that tenants and landlords need a contract in place to protect both of their interests. Contracts, deposits and deposit protection all help to make clear what is expected from each party when renting a property, and to minimise disputes where possible.

”When it comes to rights and protection, 38% of landlords in England have never heard of the government’s ‘How to rent: the checklist for renting in England,’ which explains the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants and it is a legal requirement that tenants are given a copy of this. “We would urge landlords to familiarise themselves with the checklist as a minimum, or better still talk to a professional – just as you would before getting behind the wheel of an unfamiliar car,” Charlotte adds.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016 00:00

Highly desirable cloistered convenience

A four bedroom dormer bungalow situated in a quiet and private cul-de-sac, west of Shrewsbury has been launched to the market.

Two Aspen Grove is situated some two miles from Shrewsbury town centre and one mile away from Radbrook Green’s comprehensive amenities. Shropshire’s county town not only offers fine dining, theatre, but also shops and an excellent selection of state and private schools.

Accommodation comprises a large reception hall, a living room which is bathed in light, with glazing to three aspects, including patio doors to the rear garden. The kitchen is well designed offering excellent space; adjacent are the dining room and conservatory. Also from the kitchen there is access to the garage and utility room.

The master bedroom with en-suite and a second bedroom are to be found off the reception hall, where stairs lead to the second floor with two further bedrooms a family bathroom and study.

Balfours town sales manager, Alistair Hilton, comments: “Two Aspen Grove boasts a cloistered setting with a wraparound garden. The accommodation is well presented and very flexible, perhaps most important is its convenience to Shrewsbury and local facilities, which makes it a very desirable location.”

Two Aspen Grove, Shrewsbury is marketed with a guide price of £525,000, for more information call Alistair Hilton on 01743 353511.

Please click here for property details.


Aspen main


Aspen living


Aspen kitchen


Aspen master bed


Aspen reception hall


Outlooks from this three bedroom detached bungalow belie its proximity to civilisation.

Reaside is situated on the fringe of Meole Village, two miles South West of Shrewsbury town centre and less to Meole Brace Retail Park. Yet mature trees and pasture frame landscaped gardens which in turn surround this well presented bungalow.

The approach is by a double drive, where a hooded vestibule in the elbow of this broadly “L” shaped bungalow offers a welcome into the entrance hall from which all reception rooms can be accessed.

Double doors offer a formal entrance to the dining room while the kitchen offers ample workspace with fitted units and island. In addition there is a utility, two cloakrooms, and a double garage.

From the main hall an innerhall offers access to each of the three bedrooms, the master room offering en-suite facilities, while a family bathroom serves the other two rooms. There is also a significant storage cupboard within the inner hall. An additional bonus is to be found in the adjoining double garage which has space for a workshop area too.

Agent, Alistair Hilton, town sales manager for Balfours says: “Such high quality and well positioned bungalows are not easy to find, but this is certainly one such opportunity. The flow of rooms is excellent and it is very well presented with fabulous gardens. Reaside, is marketed with a guide price of £450,000, for more information call Alistair Hilton on 01743 353511.

Please click here for property details.


Reaside main


Reaside garden


Reaside living room


Reaside kitchen


Reaside bedroom

Tuesday, 12 April 2016 00:00

An evening of film

Balfours joined with FBC Manby Bowdler to host a film evening recently (April 7), commencing with a drinks reception at Balfours’ office in The Square, Shrewsbury – then slipping across to The Old Market Hall in the Square where guests were treated to a private viewing of Youth, starring Michael Caine.

Balfours NN PN CR LL AB

Balfours JY AY TM

Balfours OC LC NC JG

Balfours HS AH


Pictured at the drinks reception

Naomi Nicholas, Paul Nicholas, Carla Risdon, Louise Leadbetter and Abigail Barker.

Tim Main, Andrew Young and Jackie Young

Olivia Conway, Laura Conway, Nicky Conway and Joan Gregory

Alistair Hilton and Hazel Stephan

A five bedroom house dating back to the 17th century, together with three cottages set in six acres is on the market with a guide price of £850,000.

Lodge Park, which dates back to the 17th century,  is situated beyond a private drive, one mile from the village of Tre’ R Ddol, equi distance from Machynlleth and Aberystwyth, some nine miles each way. The much loved Ynyslas beach is just four miles away.

Agent, Tim Main of Balfours, says, “This is a phenomenal package for anyone seeking a lifestyle or business, adjacent to the Snowdonia National Park, renowned for walking, climbing, canoeing and mountain biking; with the beach and sea on the doorstep too . The six acres of grounds incorporating formal and walled gardens is set within Forestry Commission woodland.”

The main house has four reception rooms; layout currently comprises kitchen breakfast room, dining room, each with bay window, sitting room with three magnificent bays, study, utlity and wc. On the first floor there are five bedrooms and two bathrooms. Within the main house an annex offers kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living room and games room.

Within the grounds are a two bedroom bungalow, a three bedroom Coach House and a pretty three bedroom cottage with balcony, currently used as an office.

Says Tim: “This is a fascinating opportunity for a family and or business to live the dream, it has tremendous potential within a most idyllic and dramatic landscape.” For more information call Tim on 01743 353511.

Please click here for property details.


Lodge Park main

Lodge Park 3bed cottage

Lodge Park kitchen

Lodge Park reception room

Shropshire’s residential rental property demand is outstripping supply and more stocks are needed, says one of the county’s leading estate agents.

Balfours Senior Letting Agent, Charlotte George, MARLA, says, her experience reflects figures released by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors which reports growth in tenant demand for the fourteen month in a row. The strength of demand is in contrast to supply.

Charlotte explains: “Lettings are doing extremely well across the board, but there isn’t the stock to meet demand. The fact is that even if a property has a lot of viewings, ultimately it can only go to one tenant, leaving a lot still looking.”

She says demand is across the rental market - size and location. A two bedroom rural cottage was snapped up on the first viewing last week. Meanwhile block viewings were organised for a four bedroom executive house with multiple applications submitted. Unless more rental properties come to the market, it is possible that rental prices could be pressurised upwards.

While according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA,) the past two months has seen many landlords acquiring property before the extra stamp duty tax on second home purchases came into force on April 1, any benefit of that supply is yet to filter through.

“We have seen demand consistently increasing for more than a year; conversely supply is the lowest it has been for the same period. Therefore I would urge landlords who have property to let, to speak to their agent and bring it to market as soon as possible, to tap into the current hunger and the traditional seasonal spring flurry,” Charlotte adds. For more information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A development site with outline planning permission for residential development has been launched to the market.

Set in the middle of Beulah village, near the village shop the 2.93 acres comes with confirmation from Powys Council there is no requirement for a section 106 agreement or any capital contributions by way of affordable housing or CIL.

Agent, Tim Main of Balfours, says: “This is an excellent site which is level and well drained, without obstructions. Further, Welsh Water has confirmed that their local mains sewage treatment plant can take an additional 15 houses without any contribution to capital works.”

The Beulah site, which has a guide price of £300,000, is found four miles from Llanwrtyd Wells and eight miles from Builth Wells, adjacent to the A483. For more information call Tim Main on 01743 353511.

Please click here for site details.


Beulah development land

An idyllic four bedroom rural retreat, River View House, lives up to its name with far reaching stunning views over the River Severn and towards the Wrekin, is available to let.

River View House is approached through the rolling countryside of Buildwas Park, nestled between Cressage and Much Wenlock.

Charlotte George, MARLA, Senior Negotiator for Balfours says: “The property offers a fabulous setting, yet is within easy reach of Cressage and Much Wenlock, with primary and secondary schools, both of which are less than four miles away, while  Shrewsbury and Telford are each 11 miles.”

The spacious accommodation comprises of a large entrance hall, sitting room with open fire, glazing to three aspects and French doors to the garden, kitchen breakfast room, separate dining room, study/snug, utility and guest cloak. The master bedroom benefits from en-suite facilities, with three additional bedrooms sharing the family bathroom.

Charlotte adds: “This is a fabulous ‘ready to go’ property with double glazing and oil central heating. There is a large garden and ample parking.” River View House is available at £1,300pcm. For more information call Charlotte George on 01743 277069.

River View  main

River View  sitting

River View hall

River View kitchen

Tuesday, 05 April 2016 00:00

Hobby and horse country home

His and her studies or hobby rooms are among the assets of The Mill, at Wykey near Ruyton XI Towns.

This four bedroom property, located eight and 12 miles from Oswestry and Shrewsbury respectively also provides three stables and five acres of paddocks, orchard and gardens. Ruyton XI Towns with primary school and Packwood Haugh Preparatory School are just two miles away; Private schools at Oswestry, Ellesmere, Adcote and Moreton are all within easy commute.

This well designed and presented barn conversion, benefits from a reception hall with access to the main ground floor rooms. The two key areas are: The semi open plan kitchen breakfast room which extends to a spacious 4.5 metres by 8.5 metres; the split level sitting room and drawing room which are even more spacious; in all providing superb areas for entertaining.

Both studies are of balanced proportions of some 12 metres square – and of course could be used for all manner of purposes: a dedicated room for sewing, fitness or music, where the equipment does not have to be put away and is always on hand to enjoy.

There is also a ground floor bedroom with en-suite shower room. A further three bedrooms are to be found on the first floor, one en-suite and two sharing the family bathroom.

On the market with Balfours, agent, Clemmie Daborn comments: “The Mill is located on the edge of the hamlet of Wykey, surrounded by farmland. It has five acres and three stables, plus double garage and store rooms. The land incorporates paddocks, an orchard and garden.”

The Mill is on the market with a guide price of £545,000 for more information call Clemmie Daborn on 01743 353511.

Please click here for property details.


The Mill terrace

The Mill courtyard

The Mill garden

The Mill bedroom

The Mill kitchen

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