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Monday, 05 December 2016 00:00

Professionals annual Xtra

Shrewsbury’s professionals were given a snapshot of the potential consequences of a tumultuous year of politics for property and landowners in the county. The annual Balfours Xtra seminar attracted some 70 professionals, from accountants to lawyers and bankers, at the Mytton and Mermaid, near Shrewsbury recently (November 28).

Take home messages included: Over the last 12 months the average increase in Shropshire’s house prices are performing at a highly sustainable 5%, according to town sales manager, Alistair Hilton. And interest rates at an historic low and well worth taking advantage of according to Balfours partner Rory Galliers; though he cautioned inflation could kick in as Brexit and the fiscal future unfold.

Chair of the event and Balfours partner David Groves compared the political and economic climate to conditions witnessed in David Attenborough’s Planet Earth II, saying: “The moral is to be as sure footed as the mountain goats and, like the flying lizards, have a backup plan.”

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Monday, 05 December 2016 00:00

Greenland reassurance for UK economy

Shrewsbury’s professionals were given a snapshot of the potential consequences of a tumultuous year of politics for property and landowners in the county.

The annual Balfours Xtra seminar attracted some 70 professionals, from accountants to lawyers and bankers, at the Mytton and Mermaid, near Shrewsbury recently (November 28).

Balfours, town sales manager, Alistair Hilton, outlined that despite the surprise outcomes, first of Brexit and more recently in America and the second home tax introduced earlier this year, the two biggest building societies, Nationwide and Halifax, have reported an average 5% increase in UK house price inflation over a twelve month period to October 2016.

He said: “Four to five percent is sustainable growth and shows confidence in the housing market, therefore we are very encouraged. This is despite predictions pre Brexit of a 5% decrease in house prices this year and post Brexit of a 0% increase.”

Alistair outlined the conundrum of politics versus economics. “Triggering Article 50 could be anytime in the next two years; the value of the pound sterling, will it rise or fall? And will the Bank of England raise interest rates, especially if inflation rises as forecasted?

Balfours partner, Rory Galliers, described current interest rates, despite recent wobbles, as being at an historic low and well worth taking advantage of. However he did warn that the low value of the pound could create inflation.

The audience were reminded of Greenland’s experience. Alistair explained, “Greenland entered the EU, then the EEC - European Economic Community - in 1973. However in 1982 they had a referendum, voting to leave, which was completed three years later. The economy did take a hit, but today is a world leader in renewable energy which accounts for 70% of their consumption.”

Chair of the event and Balfours partner David Groves compared the political and economic climate to conditions witnessed in David Attenborough’s Planet Earth II, saying: “The moral is to be as sure footed as the mountain goats and, like the flying lizards, have a backup plan.”

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Wednesday, 30 November 2016 00:00

Meole Village

 

An elegant period residence originally built in the 1830s. This fine property boasts outstanding views of its private gardens.

Monday, 05 December 2016 00:00

Period homes push up percentage increase

A diminishing pool of period properties coming to the market is resulting in strengthening sales of quality period homes, despite a turbulent political year.

This is the message from Balfours town sales manager, Alistair Hilton, who says despite the unchartered waters of Brexit, Trump and stamp duty reform on second homes,  town prices have risen by four to six per cent, depending on post-code; and they have done that year on year for the past four years, which is both very encouraging and sustainable. We hope to see the same again next year with stability going forward.

Recently exchanged is Burnside House in Meole Village, a six bedroom traditional Georgian property, set in an acre of grounds, marketed with a guide price of £855,000. Hillgrove, a 1930s five bedroom property in Shrewsbury’s Porthill sale was completed within months, with a guide price of £875,000.

Says Alistair: “It is not just the larger town houses that are selling well; no marketing was undertaken for a two bedroom flat in St Mary’s Place. It sold quickly with a £295,000 guide price. The flat does have a balcony and views to the river and English Bridge, however it has no parking and yet it yielded £310 per square foot, which is quite exceptional. Meantime a two up, two down in the popular district of Belle Vue achieved £175,500.”

Mitigating the lack of period properties are the increasing stocks of new build, throughout Shrewsbury and its outskirts. Sales recently achieved include Number eight, Column House Gardens, Preston Street, Shrewsbury. Alistair adds: “These four bedroom terraced homes were marketed in the region of £400,000, the final two of the ten home development are now under offer with completion expected well before the end of the year.”

 

Burnside elevation

Thursday, 27 October 2016 00:00

Bearwood, Herefordshire

 

An attractive cottage with a large garden close to a popular village with a paddock available by seperate negotiation.

Monday, 05 December 2016 00:00

Bearwood, Herefordshire

 

An attractive cottage with a large garden close to a popular village with a paddock available by seperate negotiation.

Monday, 05 December 2016 00:00

Rebecca Morley

The Square

01743 353511

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Rebecca Morley joined the Balfours sales team in The Square towards the end of last year. Born in Edinburgh, brought up in London, Rebecca came to Balfours from a London property company. Rebecca enjoys working in property and is passionate about historical homes and buildings.

 


Tuesday, 29 November 2016 00:00

Dress your tree for Christmas fizz

Festive fizz is in the air – thanks to two of Shropshire’s long established businesses. Property and wine experts, Balfours and Tanners have joined forces to launch the county’s “best dressed tree” competition.

Balfours office manager, Abigail Barker, says: “Decorating the tree for Christmas is one of those magical traditions we all take a great pride in. So we thought it would be fun to get people to send in photographs of their tree and the best, whatever form it takes, cool, classy or visual overload will be rewarded with six bottles of Tanners Champagne.”

To be in with a chance of winning six bottles of champagne for Christmas, simply send a photo of your tree to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before December 14.

 

TreeComp

Monday, 28 November 2016 00:00

High court conversion controversy

Farming Talk by Justin Stevenson

The Oxford Dictionary defines conversion as “The process of changing or causing something to change from one form to another.”

A high court decision has recently considered what conversion means in relation to permitted development rights for the conversion of agricultural buildings to a residential dwelling.

The case concerned a steel portal framed building with 6 steel uprights and open on three sides.

The planning regulations concerning conversion are described in Class Q. Subject to certain conditions Class Q allows the conversion of an agricultural building into up to three residential dwellings.  The building works reasonable necessary to convert the building are permitted.  The buildings works are limited to the installation or replacement of windows, doors, roofs, or exterior walls which are all permitted. However, the guidance then goes on to state that no new structural elements should be added by the works.

A planning inspector had considered the case.  The inspector accepted that the building’s frame was structurally capable of taking the loads of the panels needed to infill the walls and the corrugated sheet roof could be retained.  However the inspector determined that the works required to infill of the three open sides went beyond what could be consider the conversion of a building and dismissed the appeal.

The applicant then applied to the high court to have the inspector’s decision quashed.  The judge accepted that the case was finely balanced, but came down on the side of the inspector and determined that the proposal could not be considered the conversion of the building, but was a rebuilding.

So what does this mean for owners of agricultural buildings?  Whilst the concept of converting a steel frame building which is open on three or four sides may be appealing to the building’s owner it is clear this goes beyond what can be considered as conversion.  However if one or two sides of the building are open is this building capable of conversion?

Whilst the court’s decision has helped to provide some clarity showing what could be regarded as rebuilding rather than conversion works, what the decision has highlighted is the lack of detail in the permitted development rights.  What is probable is that there will be further cases with different facts to test the line between conversion and rebuilding. Justin Stevenson is head of planning and a partner at Balfours, Shrewsbury office.

Friday, 25 November 2016 00:00

Land in Bausley, Shropshire

 

Two permanent pasture paddocks with good road access just off the B4393.