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Flexible Ludlow town accommodation


A quintessential charm exudes from Number Two Berrington Court. This three-bedroom town house is found on Bell Lane, in the heart of Ludlow, between Mill Street and Broad Street.

Part of a gated development of four properties, with its own parking space, Number Two provides accommodation over three floors. On the ground floor is the hallway, with bathroom, utility and a bedroom, which could equally be used as a study, or a consultation room.

Stairs ascend to the first floor with kitchen and lounge diner, the latter having French doors to a Juliet balcony. The second floor provides an additional two bedrooms with shower room. Ludlow sales manager, Scott Kemsley, says: “This is a well-presented easy maintenance property in a great central location as perfect for holidays as for a devoted lifestyle. It would suit anyone seeking a well-protected and flexible base, which also offers Ludlow’s mix of restaurant’s bars, shops culture and heritage, all literally on its doorstep.”

In addition to off-road parking there is outside space to enjoy, plus of course River and Castle walks close-by, while open countryside, golf and Ludlow’s National Hunt racecourse are all within easy reach. Number Two, Berrington Court is marketed with a guide price of £425,000. Call Balfours on 01584 707100.

2 Berrington Court Main

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Shropshire housing meets new market demands


In the week a leading bank announced UK house prices rose, June to June, at their fastest pace for 17 years and stamp duty levies are rebooted, the question is what next? Alistair Hilton, head of sales at Balfours, explains: "This of course is a multifaceted answer.

Shropshire and its borders have, in the past, been undervalued when compared with other semi- rural counties. Add to this the fact that many more people can now work from home plus covid related change in priorities such as more home space, open spaces and lower population density then the result is that the county has almost overnight just got a whole lot more attractive as place to set up a home which is superbly central to England and the UK.

He continues: "The residential market picked up speed as we came out of the third lockdown, culminating in May and June yielding a record harvest of sales and reflecting Propertymark's figure of 32% selling above asking price in the Midlands. The good news is that while house prices are running at all time highs, the typical mortgage payment is not high by historic standards compared to take home pay, largely because mortgage rates remain close to all-time lows."

As stamp duty and furlough are both phased out by the end of September Alistair says we could well see the market steady. "For everyone who does hold onto their job and has not been holidaying abroad for two summers, it's likely some will have been building a nest egg for the home they aspire to. "Right now, our biggest challenge is housing stock which remains at its lowest for 19 years; supply down, versus 17 year high demand. The sea-saw needs steadying,'" Alistair concludes.

Alistair Hilton


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Popular location with visionary home


2020 vision has transformed this 1930s home to provide open plan living, plus reception rooms, in the popular location of Copthorne, less than two miles from Shrewsbury town centre.

Number 23 Mytton Oak Road, a detached south facing property, achieves wow factor with its open plan kitchen dinner with fabulous atrium showering the room with natural light – plus glazing to two aspects incorporating doors to the terrace. Head of sales at Balfours, Alistair Hilton comments: “The property retains real period heritage to the front of the house, in the porch and hallway, yet step through to the main living space and you have an extravagant ten metres by six metres, a hugely sociable space incorporating a contemporary kitchen, dining and living areas.”

An archway leads through to the lounge with traditional fireplace and glazing to front and rear. Two additional reception rooms, currently used as playroom and dining room, provide flexible space for homeworking, snug or games room.

The ground floor is complete with utility, wc and integral garage. The first floor provides five bedrooms and two bathrooms. The principal room is en-suite, with French doors from the bedroom opening to a flat roof and offering roof top terrace potential. Set in an extensive plot Number 23 has paved parking to the front, south facing landscaped gardens to the rear, with flagstone terrace, summer house, sheds, large lawn and play area.

For anyone with a growing family this is a great fit, with an abundance of private and state school choices, plus easy access to the Midlands and North and excellent social and shopping options in the county town. It is marketed with a guide price of £850,000, call 01742 353511.

23 Mytton Oak Front

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Don’t wait for the zenith of the market


I have been in property sales for 15 years and this is not my first year where there has been limited stock. However, this one probably has a different outcome. In the UK, there is roughly every seven years a property boom, we are in one right now and according to all newspapers we are all doomed.

Roll back eight years and we had 2013. I vividly remember my time in Fulham where prices jumped a whopping 18% in one year. Then, the following year, we had a triple whammy of the Mortgage Market Review (where buyers had to face more stringent affordability tests;) The Scottish Referendum and a Stamp Duty increase. Those who waited for the peak of the market then lost out as buyers entering the market were reluctant.

Looking back further, you have the Global Financial Crisis in 2007 and the “.com bubble” in 2000/2001 and we know how both of those ended. Admittedly, we have no idea what is around the corner in paying for the debt we have amassed - and continue to accrue, but whilst interest rates remain low and there is limited taxation on transactions, I would expect that people will keep on buying and that those second home-owners will not sell up as they will find the money from elsewhere. Even when the tax changes, as it always does, the market will adapt, again, as it always does.

The point to this is - don’t wait for the zenith of the market, it will come and go before you know it and thus, if you do want to sell, don’t wait; there are plenty of buyers currently in the market looking for a property to buy. The only reason why the market is behaving as it is in Shropshire is because people have not put their house on the market, thereby the laws of supply and demand are triggered; not because of Stamp Duty. Charlie Giffard BSc DipSurv, Country House Sales, Associate Partner.

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Demand for pet friendly rentals on the up


A recent debate in the House of Lords has brought to the fore the issue landlords face when renting out properties to the millions of households who would like to have a pet – an issue heightened in the past 15 months by covid.

Most reasonable people, including landlords, tenants and agents recognise that whether cat, dog or other pet, additional cleaning and or re-decorating will be required, particularly at the end of the tenancy.

Furthermore some pets can potentially cause damage to home and garden beyond reasonable wear and tear. Some would argue that by already charging the maximum five-week deposit it leaves no capacity to claw back further deposit, should this be required against pet damage.

You may be aware that earlier in the year the government updated its Model Tenancy Agreement to encourage landlords to allow pets. To counter the deposit deficit at Balfours we endorse Lord Flight’s “new ideas” approach in the debate, namely landlords making a modest additional rental for pets and the possibility of requiring insurance policies to be taken out by tenants.

It goes without saying that where our landlords do allow pets we exercise great care to ensure we understand prospective tenants ethos and care of their pets. Finally, while we would understand a cat or dog can be a great companion it is essential to have a limit on the number allowed. Jackie Monro FARLA FNAEA, Head of Lettings

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Letting boom yields rewards for landlords


A record-breaking number of new prospective tenants came to the rental market in April, according to Propertymark. It is a fact that we can validate across Shropshire and bordering counties, north, south, east and west into Wales, writes Jackie Monro FARLA FNAEA, Head of Lettings.

Prospective tenants are registering their interest with Balfours every day, so we would be delighted to hear from more landlords. Consequently, we are seeing a direct correlation between boom demand and rents increasing. Propertymark says 67 per cent of agents saw landlords raising rent compared to 60 per cent in March. The gripping fact is that year on year this figure has more than doubled in the past two years since April 2019.

Whilst the residential sales market is currently on fire too and that might be tempting some landlords, but for those that wish to hold their investment portfolios the future remains bright. This is not withstanding the fact regulations are constantly on the move. The very latest reflects government delays lifting the remaining lockdown rules; now the right to rent code of practice document checks will not happen until September.

More than ever, using a respected professional to ensure you remain compliant with regulations, has the added benefit of knowing your agent is living the market every day and by virtue of this fact is best placed to achieve the very best return for your property.

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