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Renters Reform Bill: Will It Transform The UK’s Rental Landscape?

Renters' Reform Bill

In the world of property letting, change is afoot. The Renters’ Reform Bill, a piece of legislation that has been brewing longer than a pot of your grandmother’s strongest tea, is set to shake up the private rented sector in England. But don’t worry because at Helmores we’re here to guide you through these changes!

An End to ‘No Fault’ Evictions

First, let’s tackle the elephant in the room – or rather, the tenant in the property. The bill proposes to abolish Section 21, the ‘no-fault evictions’ clause. This is a bit like cancelling a subscription without giving a reason – convenient for some, but a cause for concern for others. While tenants might cheer at the prospect of greater security, critics raise concerns about the potential loophole of Section 8, which allows eviction when a tenant breaches their agreement. It’s a bit like swapping a sledgehammer for a jackhammer – different tools, but both can cause a headache.

Landlords’ Protections and Responsibilities

The bill isn’t all about tenants’ rights. It acknowledges the difficulties landlords often face. The proposed legislation aims to streamline the process for landlords to recover properties under certain circumstances. But along with these eased restrictions come added responsibilities. Landlords will be expected to adhere to the Decent Homes Standard for the first time, improving the quality of housing across the private rented sector.

Speeding Up the Dispute Resolution

To ensure a smoother resolution of disputes, a new Ombudsman system is proposed. Promising quicker and cheaper solutions to disagreements, it’s expected to offer a fairer way to settle differences between landlords and tenants.

Digital Transformation of Property Management

The bill also introduces the idea of a new online property portal, a sort of ‘one-stop-shop’ for landlords, tenants, and local councils. This system is intended to guide landlords through their obligations while helping tenants make informed decisions about their tenancy agreements.

Inclusive Tenancies

An inclusive and fair renting experience forms the heart of the Renters’ Reform Bill. It proposes making it illegal for landlords to have blanket bans on tenants in receipt of benefits or with children, a shift that could open up more rental opportunities.

Pets in Rental Properties

Now, let’s talk about pets. The bill proposes that tenants should be allowed pets by default, unless the landlord can provide a valid reason against it. For pet-loving tenants, this is like Christmas come early. But before you rush out to adopt a St. Bernard, remember that with great pets come great responsibilities. Any damage caused by your furry (or scaly, we don’t discriminate) friend will likely be your responsibility to repair.

For landlords, the prospect of pets in their properties can be as appealing as a fox in a henhouse. There’s potential for damage, noise, and even insurance implications. But remember, a responsible pet owner can be a landlord’s best friend, often taking great care of the property and staying for longer periods.

What Next?

While the Renters’ Reform Bill has been introduced to Parliament, it is yet to pass into law. The bill’s journey through Parliament will be watched closely by landlords and tenants alike. It’s a bit like trying a new recipe – it’s got a lot of ingredients but we’re not quite sure how it’s going to taste. As it stands, the proposed legislation promises a reshaping of the rental market landscape in Crediton and the wider country, with potential benefits and challenges for all parties involved. But, in the world of property lettings, it’s always best to expect the unexpected!

Stay tuned to our Facebook Page for the latest updates on the Renters’ Reform Bill and its impact on the rental community in Crediton and across the UK.

For more information on The Renters’ Reform Bill check out the Government’s website here

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100% Mortgages: A Golden Ticket or a Roll of the Dice?

100 percent mortgages helmores blog

Hold onto your hats, people! A seismic shift has occurred in the UK property market, and it’s causing quite the kerfuffle. Skipton Building Society, the UK’s fourth-largest building society, has launched 100% mortgages aimed squarely at renters. You heard it right, no more scraping together every penny for a deposit. But does this financial fairy godmother wave a wand of hope for renters or could it be a risky trapdoor towards financial uncertainty?

“No Deposit” – The Magic Words

A “100% mortgage” – sounds impressive, doesn’t it? It’s a loan that covers the entire cost of your dream home, meaning you can wave goodbye to the daunting task of saving for a deposit. Traditionally, these mortgages have been as rare as hen’s teeth due to the high risk they pose to lenders. But Skipton Building Society is boldly going where few have gone before.

Instead of requiring a helping hand from the Bank of Mum and Dad like other no-deposit deals, this offer asks for 12 months of on-time rental payments and a good credit history. The only catch? The interest rate is a slightly spicy 5.49%, a smidge higher than the average five-year fix of 5%.

A Golden Ticket for First-Time Buyers?

For those who’ve been tirelessly wrestling with rising rents and seemingly unattainable property prices, this 100% mortgage could be their golden ticket to homeownership. Skipton Building Society’s CEO, Stuart Haire, recognised this gap in the market and hopes this new offer can be the key to unlock homeownership for renters lacking the traditional prerequisites – savings or family wealth.

Imagine swapping your rental payments, which often match or even surpass mortgage costs, for a chance to build equity in your own little piece of heaven. In theory, we could see more people clambering onto the property ladder, increasing homeownership rates and potentially making the housing market a bit more friendly.

Rolling the Dice – The Risks of 100% Mortgages

Of course, like any fairy tale, there’s always a potential twist in the tale. Those of us with a good memory or a penchant for finance history will remember the infamous 2008 financial crisis. A time when mortgage lending practices became a bit too “footloose and fancy-free,” leading to a housing market collapse and a global economic downturn.

The peppery interest rate of 5.49% for these 100% mortgages might also be a bit hard to swallow for some borrowers. If interest rates decide to shoot up, or if life throws a curveball (like job loss or unexpected bills), those monthly mortgage payments could become a bit of a challenge.

Additionally, our friends at Generation Rent remind us that a lack of affordable properties is still a major dragon to slay for first-time buyers. So, despite the shiny new 100% mortgages, if there’s a shortage of castles to buy, we may still be stuck in a bit of a pickle.

The Crystal Ball of 100% Mortgages

As we stand on the brink of this new chapter in the property market, it’s hard to predict whether the tale of the 100% mortgage will end in a happily-ever-after or a cautionary tale. On the one hand, it might be a game-changer, opening the door to homeownership for a wider audience and injecting a little more fairness into the property market. On the flip side, if not managed with care, it could lead us down the path to risky lending practices, with echoes of financial crises past.

Even mortgage experts are saying that as long as these 100% loan value mortgages are underwritten sensibly, they could actually be a viable option. It’s almost like they’re saying, “We’ve learned our lessons, and we can do it better this time.”

And so, perhaps the approach with this new era of 100% mortgages should be met with cautious optimism. After all, there’s something rather exciting about a shake-up in the property market, especially one that could make the dream of homeownership a reality for so many.

But, like any thrilling adventure, it’s important to remember that not all that glitters is gold. As prospective homeowners, we must do our due diligence and consider whether a 100% mortgage is the right fit for our financial circumstances.


In the meantime, let’s grab the popcorn and watch how this property market drama unfolds. Will the 100% mortgage be the hero of our story, helping hardworking renters finally claim their own piece of the property pie? Or will it be a villain in disguise, luring us back into the risky lending practices of the past?

Only time will tell, but one thing’s for sure: the UK property market just got a whole lot more interesting. Here’s to the future – may it be filled with responsible lending, affordable homes, and happy homeowners!

So, whether you’re a hopeful first-time buyer, a seasoned homeowner, or just a fascinated bystander, strap in and enjoy the ride. If you have any questions or comments we’d love to hear them in the comments below!

If you enjoyed this article check this one out Stamp Duty 101: Navigating the Tax on Your Dream Home

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April 2023 Devon Property Market Update: A Fresh Perspective on the Housing Market

Devon Property Market Update Spring 2023 Helmores

Discover the latest trends in the Devon property market, including pricing, mortgage rates, and the market’s transition to a more stable environment. Let’s dive in!

Devon Property Market Statistics

In Devon, the property market is showing positive signs. April’s monthly change is up 0.6%, year-on-year change is up 2%, average days to sell are at 54, and the average price sits at a comfortable £387,415.

National Property Market Trends

Across the UK, the average property price rose by a modest 0.2% (£890) this month. This may be lower than the usual 1.2% increase expected at this time of the year, but it’s a sign that sellers are wisely pricing their properties to attract spring buyers. Despite facing economic challenges, first-time-buyer type properties reached a new record price of £224,963 this month. With skyrocketing rent prices, it’s no wonder buying has become an attractive option for those who can secure a mortgage and deposit.

Mortgage Rates and First-Time Buyers

Speaking of mortgages, the average first-time-buyer mortgage rate for a 5-year fixed, 15% deposit mortgage has dropped to 4.46%, with the lowest rate for this mortgage type currently at 4.19%. Sales agreed numbers have bounced back to match pre-pandemic levels from March 2019, surpassing last September’s figures after a 21% drop following the mini-Budget aftershocks.

First-Time Buyer Sector Leads Recovery

The first-time-buyer sector (two bedrooms and fewer) is leading this recovery with agreed sales now 4% higher than in March 2019. Meanwhile, the second-stepper sector remains 4% behind, and the top-of-the-ladder sector lags by 3%. Sales agreed are still 18% behind last year’s extraordinary market, but we’re transitioning to a more typical level of sales activity.

New Seller Asking Prices and Market Stability

New seller asking prices rose by a mere 0.2% (£890) this month to £366,247, which is significantly lower than the average 1.2% increase for this time of the year. This cautious pricing indicates that sellers are paying attention to the economic climate and adjusting to a slower-paced housing market, reminiscent of pre-pandemic times. Though we’ve had our ups and downs, the number of sales agreed now matches the same period in 2019, defying many expectations.

Attracting Spring Buyers in the Devon Property Market

We have really noticed that sellers are shifting from the frantic multi-bid market mindset of recent years to understanding the importance of enticing spring buyers with competitive prices. This stability is definitely encouraging more sellers to enter the Devon property market, providing buyers with more options to choose from. However, buyers shouldn’t hesitate too long when they find the right home, as properties are selling twelve days faster than in 2019!

In Conclusion

In conclusion, the April 2023 Devon property market shows a really positive trend, especially for first-time buyers. With cautious pricing, a more stable market, and dropping mortgage rates, there’s reason to be optimistic about the future of the property market.

If you’re thinking of selling your property or looking to buy a lovely new home in the Devon area, we’d be absolutely thrilled to hear from you! We promise to do everything we can to help you on your exciting property adventure.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Q: How has the Devon property market performed in April 2023?

A: In April 2023, the Devon property market experienced positive growth. The monthly change increased by 0.6%, and the year-on-year change was up by 2%. The average days to sell were 54, and the average price of a property was £387,415.

2. Q: Is now a good time for a first time buyer?

A: Yes! April 2023 showed a particularly positive trend for first-time buyers, with a more stable market, cautious pricing, and declining mortgage rates making it an opportune time for them to enter the market.

3. Q: Are mortgage rates dropping in the current property market?

A: Mortgage rates have indeed been falling recently. For example, the average first-time-buyer mortgage rate for a 5-year fixed, 15% deposit mortgage has dropped to 4.46%, with the lowest rate for this mortgage type currently at 4.19%.

4. Q: How can I stay up-to-date on the Devon property market trends?

A: To stay informed about the Devon property market, keep an eye on local and national property news sources, subscribe to our blog, and consult with us (or your local estate agents) who have in-depth knowledge of the area. You can also keep abreast of stats from Rightmove here

5. Q: I’m considering buying or selling a property in Devon. Can you help?

A: Absolutely! We’d be delighted to assist you in your property journey, whether you’re looking to buy or sell in the Devon area. Our team is committed to providing the support and guidance you need and we’ll do everything we can to help.

If you liked this post you also might like to read this one How the UK Property Market Went Boom & Bust in 2008

* Source of stats Rightmove, UK

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Awesome Virtual Tours: Harness the Power of Matterport to Showcase Your Home

Virtual Tours, the future of property showcasing! Sell faster, attract more buyers, and maximise your home's potential.

Welcome to the World of Matterport 3d Immersive Virtual Tours!

Are you looking for a unique and effective way to showcase your home to prospective buyers? Well, we’ve got some fantastic news for you! Matterport virtual tours have revolutionised the way people experience property viewings. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the world of Matterport and show you how it can help you sell your property faster and at a higher price. So, buckle up and let’s explore the power of virtual tours together.

Stand Out from the Crowd

In the competitive world of property selling, Matterport virtual tours are a game-changer. They provide a realistic and immersive experience for potential buyers, setting your property apart from the rest. Trust us, high-quality 3D virtual tours will make your home the talk of the town (or at least the online property market)!

Reach a Wider Audience

By offering a virtual tour of your property, you’re giving potential buyers the opportunity to explore your home from anywhere in the world. This means you can attract interest from a larger pool of buyers, both locally and internationally. So, say hello to your new global fan base!

Save Time and Resources

With Matterport tours, you can save time and effort by reducing the number of unnecessary in-person viewings. Potential buyers can virtually explore your property and fall in love with it before they even step foot inside. Talk about efficiency!

Allow Potential Buyers to Explore at Their Own Pace

Matterport virtual tours give prospective buyers the freedom to explore your property at their own pace. They can take their sweet time discovering the unique features of your home without feeling rushed or pressured. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved!

Provide a Safer and More Convenient Experience

In the challenging times of Covid Matterport tours were an absolute godsend! For buyers still social distancing for whatever reason, they offer a safer and more convenient way to explore properties without risking their well-being.

Why Choose an Agent Who Produces Matterport Virtual Tours

Selecting an agent who specialises in creating Matterport virtual tours is a smart move for property sellers who want to stay ahead of the curve. Here at Helmores, we share that belief and are committed to staying at the forefront of property marketing trends. We include a Matterport virtual tour for every property we sell, not as a gimmick to get your business, but because we genuinely believe in its power to revolutionise the property selling experience. So, when you choose Helmores, you’re choosing a partner that embraces innovation for your success.

Try It For Yourself

Ready to see what all the fuss is about? Check out these examples of Matterport virtual tours and explore these stunning properties from the comfort of your own device:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the Matterport experience! Let us know what you think in the comments below.


So, there you have it! Matterport virtual tours are a fantastic way to showcase your property and attract potential buyers. By leveraging this cutting-edge technology, you can make your property stand out in the competitive market and reach a wider audience. And with Helmores by your side, you can rest assured that you’ll receive top-notch service and expertise in creating immersive virtual tours for your property.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Matterport virtual tour?A Matterport virtual tour is an immersive 3D experience that allows potential buyers to explore a property online as if they were physically present, created using Matterport’s cutting-edge technology and specialised cameras.
How does a Matterport tour benefit property sellers?Matterport tours help property sellers stand out from the competition, reach a wider audience, save time and resources, and provide a safer and more convenient experience for potential buyers.
Why should I choose an agent who specialises in Matterport virtual tours?An agent with expertise in Matterport technology can provide a seamless and professional experience, enhance your property’s online presence, and use advanced analytics to target the right buyers.
How much does a Matterport virtual tour cost?The cost of creating a Matterport tour varies depending on the size of the property and the agent’s pricing. However, the investment can lead to faster sales and higher offers. At Helmores, we offer a tour as part of our standard marketing package but every agent will differ so it’s worth checking.
Can Matterport tours replace in-person viewings?While Matterport tours provide an immersive experience, they should be used as a supplement to in-person viewings to give buyers a comprehensive understanding of the property.
How secure is my property’s information on the Matterport platform?Matterport takes data privacy seriously and ensures that your property’s information is secure and protected.
Can Matterport tours be integrated into my property’s online listing?Absolutely yes! Matterport tours are added to Rightmove, and all other portals, our website into your property’s online listing, enhancing its appeal to potential buyers.
Are Matterport tours suitable for all types of properties?Matterport tours can be created for a wide range of property types, not just homes! They can even do commercial, and unique or unconventional too such as hotels, warehouses etc.
How long does it take to create a Matterport virtual tour?The time required to create a Matterport tour depends on the size and complexity of the property, but it typically takes a few hours to capture the necessary images and data but we take care of all
Can I share my Matterport virtual tour on social media?Yes, Matterport virtual tours can be easily shared on social media platforms, allowing you to reach an even wider audience of potential buyers.
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A History Lesson: How the UK Property Market Went Boom & Bust in 2008

Property Market Crash

Today, we’re going to take a fun and casual trip down memory lane to the year 2008. You remember 2008, right? The year when financial markets around the world had a bit of a meltdown, and the UK property market was no exception. So grab a cuppa, sit back, and let’s take a look at why the UK property market crashed in 2008. Fear not, we’re going to keep things light and easy to understand, just like we do here at Helmores!

The Bubble

Before we dive into the details, let’s quickly discuss what a “bubble” is. A bubble is a situation where the price of an asset (like houses) increases rapidly, far beyond its true value. Eventually, this bubble bursts, leading to a rapid decrease in prices. Think of it as inflating a balloon until it pops – that’s a bubble!

Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s explore the factors that led to the UK property market crash in 2008.

10 Key Factors That Popped the UK Property Bubble:

  1. Loose lending practices: Banks and other lenders were practically giving money away, with little regard for borrowers’ ability to repay their loans.
  2. Low-interest rates: The Bank of England maintained low-interest rates, making it cheaper for people to borrow money and buy houses.
  3. Excess liquidity: There was too much money floating around, chasing too few assets (like houses), which drove up prices.
  4. Relaxed regulation: Financial institutions were not closely monitored, which allowed them to engage in risky lending practices.
  5. Speculation: Investors were buying houses not as homes but as investment opportunities, hoping to flip them quickly for a profit.
  6. Buy-to-let frenzy: People were buying properties to rent them out, further fuelling the housing bubble.
  7. Media hype: The media played a significant role in convincing people that property prices would never go down.
  8. Fear of missing out (FOMO): Everyone wanted to get in on the property market before prices skyrocketed even further.
  9. High levels of personal debt: The UK population was accumulating huge amounts of debt, which made them more vulnerable to economic shocks.
  10. Global financial crisis: The US subprime mortgage crisis in 2007-2008 spread globally, leading to a domino effect that eventually hit the UK property market.

The Crash:

As we now know, this bubble couldn’t last forever. In 2008, the UK property market finally crashed. The global financial crisis, triggered by the US subprime mortgage crisis, led to a sudden and severe tightening of credit conditions. Banks stopped lending as freely, and people found it harder to get mortgages. This, in turn, led to a sharp decline in property prices, as buyers dried up and sellers struggled to offload their properties. At its worst, the UK property market fell by around 20%.

The Aftermath:

The UK property market crash of 2008 had severe consequences for homeowners, investors, and the broader economy. Many people found themselves in negative equity, meaning their homes were worth less than the mortgages they had taken out. Some were even forced into foreclosure, losing their homes entirely. The knock-on effects were felt throughout the economy, with rising unemployment and a deep recession that took years to recover from.

But fear not! As we’ve seen over time (and as our experience at Helmores can attest), house prices soon bounced back. Negative equity isn’t necessarily a problem unless you have to sell your home. As long as you can afford your mortgage payments and don’t need to move, you can ride out the storm until the market recovers. And that’s precisely what many homeowners did.

By the early 2010s, the UK property market began to recover, and prices started to rise again. Homeowners who were patient and held onto their properties eventually saw the value of their homes increase, allowing them to move on from the negative equity situation.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Was the UK property market crash of 2008 unique?
A: While the circumstances leading to the crash were specific to the UK, similar property market crashes occurred in other countries, such as the US and Spain.
Q: How long did it take for the UK property market to recover?
A: It took a few years for the market to fully recover. By the early 2010s, house prices began to rise again, and the market regained its strength.
Q: What lessons can we learn from the 2008 property market crash?
A: The crash taught us the importance of responsible lending, tighter regulations, and the need for a more cautious approach to property investment.
Q: Can another property market crash like 2008 happen again?
A: It’s difficult to predict, but the financial industry has learned many lessons from the 2008 crash. Stricter regulations and more responsible lending practices have been put in place to help prevent a similar situation from happening in the future.
Q: How can Helmores Estate Agency help me navigate the property market?
A: At Helmores, we pride ourselves on our expert knowledge, transparency, and personalised service. We can guide you through the process of buying or selling a property, helping you make well-informed decisions based on your individual needs and the current market conditions.


The UK property market crash of 2008 was undoubtedly a wild ride. But as the years have passed and the market has recovered, we’ve learned valuable lessons about responsible lending, financial regulations, and the importance of a measured approach to property investment. Here at Helmores we’ve seen the market change many times over the years and we’ve got the experience to help you navigate the ever-changing property market with confidence and ease. So whether you’re a first-time buyer, a seasoned investor, or simply curious about the market, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me and our friendly team at Helmores 🙂

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10 Eco Upgrades To Boost Your Property Value

10 Eco Upgrades to boost the value of your property

At Helmores, we’re seeing more buyers seeking green homes. Eco-friendly home upgrades not only increase property value but also reduce running costs, especially during the current cost of living crisis. So, we thought we’d write a blog on this very subject! Here’s our top 10 eco-upgrades that can boost your home’s value and save you money:

Solar PV’s

So, first on the list is solar panels – a classic and popular choice for reducing your carbon footprint and saving money on your energy bills. Not only do they convert sunlight into electricity, but they can also add significant value to your property. Homes with solar panels are in high demand among eco-conscious buyers, and they may be eligible for government incentives. It’s a smart investment that pays off in more ways than one.


Geothermal (or Ground Source) systems are another excellent option for reducing your energy bills and increasing the value of your property. They use the heat stored in the earth to keep your home comfortable all year round, and they have a long lifespan and require minimal maintenance. By investing in a geothermal system, you’re demonstrating your commitment to sustainable living and adding value to your property.

Wind Power

Wind turbines are a bit more of a daring option, but they can also be a unique and attractive feature for eco-conscious buyers. While they require more space and maintenance, they can generate your own electricity and reduce your reliance on the grid. If you have the space and the means, a wind turbine can add significant value to your property and make it stand out on the market.


Rainwater harvesting systems are a simple yet effective way to save water and reduce your environmental impact. By collecting rainwater from your roof and storing it for later use, you can reduce your water bills and add a valuable eco-friendly feature to your property.

Air Source

Air source heat pumps are a highly efficient and valuable upgrade for any eco-friendly home. They work by extracting heat from the outside air and using it to heat your home and water. Air source heat pumps are becoming increasingly popular among eco-conscious buyers, and by installing one in your home, you can increase its value and make it more attractive on the market.

Smart Thermostats

At the cheaper end of the price spectrum, we have Smart thermostats. They’re an easy and valuable upgrade that can save you money on your energy bills and add convenience to your life that don’t break the bank. By adjusting your heating and cooling systems based on your schedule and preferences, you can ensure that your home is always at the perfect temperature. Plus, they can be controlled remotely, so you can make sure your home is cozy before you even step inside.

Upgraded Appliances

Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances is another smart investment that can add value to your property. Buyers are increasingly looking for homes with energy-efficient appliances, so upgrading your appliances can make your home more attractive and desirable.

Low Flow Fittings

Low-flow fixtures like showerheads and taps are a simple yet valuable way to reduce your water usage and bills. They’re a popular and attractive feature among eco-conscious buyers and can add value to your property.

Composting systems

Composting systems are a great way to reduce your food waste and provide nutrient-rich soil for your garden. They’re easy to use and can be installed both indoors and outdoors, making them a valuable eco-friendly feature for any property.


Lastly, LED lighting is a cost-effective and valuable upgrade that can reduce your energy usage and add ambiance to your home. LED lights last up to 25 times longer than traditional lighting, making them a smart investment that adds value to your property.

By incorporating these eco-friendly upgrades into your Devon property, you’re demonstrating your commitment to sustainable living and adding value to your home. At Helmores we’re finding that buyers are increasingly looking for eco-friendly homes, and by making these upgrades, you can make your property more attractive and desirable on the market. So go ahead, and invest in your home and the planet – it’s a win-win situation!

If you’re interested to buy a brand new property packed with the latest green features why not check out our new development Weavers Way at Sandford.

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The Property Market: A Spring Analysis

Spring Property Market Update Helmores

With evenings getting lighter and daffodils starting to bloom, we thought we’d dive into the Spring property market to explore the latest trends and insights. So join us for a market analysis that’s sure to capture your interest!

Essential Points

  • 0.8% (£2,906) increase in average property price this month
  • Annual asking price growth at +3.0%
  • First-time buyer properties spearhead recovery
  • Larger home sales fall behind
  • Mortgage rates retreat from last year’s peak
  • Devon property prices witness 6.5% year on year growth

The Evolving Market Situation

As spring arrives, Devon’s property market reflects an air of caution among new sellers, with the average property price rising by 0.8% (£2,906) to £365,357. The annual price growth rate slows to +3.0%, with asking prices now £5,800 below the peak observed in October. Despite economic challenges, the market is gradually approaching pre-pandemic activity levels.

Devon Property Prices: A Yearly Overview

Over the past year, asking prices in Devon have risen significantly by 6.5%. With a 1.4% increase in the monthly change, the average price now stands at £352,301.

The Recovery: First-Time Buyers at the Forefront

First-time buyer properties (say 2 bedrooms or fewer) are driving a cautious market recovery. Sales agreed in this sector are only 4% behind the same period in 2019 and 18% behind 2022’s exceptional performance. Consequently, average asking prices for these properties are a mere £500 below their peak last year.

Larger Homes: A Slower Pace

In contrast, sales agreed in the top-of-the-ladder sector are 10% behind the same period in 2019, respectively. The 1.2% increase in the most expensive property sector may be overly optimistic given the slower recovery in sales agreed numbers.

The Mortgage Rate Landscape

It’s good news for borrowers. Average mortgage rates have declined since last year, with rates for a 15% deposit five-year fixed mortgage now at 4.65%. Though down from last month’s 4.75% and October’s 5.89%, this rate is still higher than the 2.48% observed in March 2022.

Expert Perspective: The Hyper-Local Market

It’s pretty interesting to see how smaller and larger homes are performing so differently in this fast-paced, hyper-local market. If you’re thinking of selling during the bustling spring season, our best advice is to have a chat with your local estate agent who will be able help you navigate the scene. And obviously, if you’re around Mid Devon and Crediton, we’d be thrilled to hear from you at Helmores!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How is the spring season affecting Devon’s property market?

A: Spring brings increased buyer activity and traditionally strong interest, making it a great time to sell.

Q: What’s driving the recovery for first-time buyers?

A: Cautious pricing by sellers and buyer assistance programs are helping first-time buyer properties recover faster.

Q: Are larger homes experiencing the same recovery as smaller properties?

A: No, larger homes are lagging behind, with sales agreed numbers for top-of-the-ladder and second-stepper sectors lower than in 2019.

Q: How have mortgage rates changed recently?

A: Mortgage rates have declined since last year, making borrowing more affordable for buyers in the current market.

Q: What should sellers do to capitalise on the spring market?

A: Sellers should consult with a local estate agent to get informed advice on the hyper-local market and make the most of the spring selling season.

Stats source: Rightmove

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Buy or Rent: A Comprehensive Guide to Help You Decide

Buy or rent?

The age-old question, “Should I buy or rent?” has puzzled many prospective home dwellers for decades. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the pros and cons of both buying and renting, helping you make an informed decision that suits your lifestyle and financial goals. So, let’s delve into the buy or rent debate and weigh our options!

The Benefits of Renting


One of the most significant advantages of renting is the flexibility it offers. If you’re unsure about your long-term plans or enjoy the freedom to move around, renting is an excellent option. With short-term leases and minimal commitment, you can easily relocate for work or adventure without the hassle of selling a property. This flexibility is a key factor in the buy or rent decision-making process.

Lower Upfront Costs

When it comes to upfront costs, renting usually comes out on top. Typically, you’ll need to pay a deposit (usually 4-6 weeks’ rent), along with the first month’s rent in advance. This can be significantly more manageable than saving for a hefty mortgage deposit required when you buy a home.

Fewer Responsibilities

As a tenant, you’re usually not responsible for general maintenance or repairs. So, if the boiler breaks down or the roof starts leaking, you can simply call your landlord or letting agent to sort it out. Talk about stress-free living! This convenience can play a significant role in the buy or rent dilemma.

Easier Budgeting

Renting can make budgeting a breeze, as you’ll only need to account for a fixed monthly rent and bills. There are no surprise expenses like property taxes or maintenance costs that can catch homeowners off-guard.

The Benefits of Buying

Building Equity

When you buy a property, you’re investing in an asset that can grow in value over time. As you pay off your mortgage, you build equity – the difference between the property’s value and the outstanding mortgage balance. Equity can be a powerful financial tool, allowing you to borrow against it or providing a nest egg for the future.


Owning a home offers a sense of stability and security that renting often can’t match. You can decorate, renovate, and make your mark on the property without needing permission from a landlord. Plus, there’s no need to worry about rent increases or being asked to vacate unexpectedly. This stability is a major factor when considering whether to buy or rent.

Potential for Rental Income

If you choose to rent out a portion of your property or the entire property in the future, you can generate additional income. This can help cover mortgage payments and provide a passive revenue stream, which is a significant advantage when weighing the buy or rent options.

Long-Term Savings

While the initial costs of buying can be higher, in the long run, you may save money compared to renting. Over time, you’ll pay off your mortgage, and eventually, you’ll own your property outright. No more monthly payments – it’s a homeowner’s dream come true!


In the great buy or rent debate, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The right choice depends on your personal circumstances, financial goals, and lifestyle preferences. Take time to consider the benefits of each option and remember that the grass is always greener where you water it – so make the most of whichever path you choose in the buy or rent journey!

If you have any further questions or would like to discuss this or any other property-related subject, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! We’re always here to offer a friendly chat and provide expert guidance to help you navigate the exciting world of property. Good luck in your property journey, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is it better to buy or rent a property? There is no definitive answer, as the decision to buy or rent depends on your personal circumstances, financial goals, and lifestyle preferences. Consider the benefits of both options and evaluate which suits your needs best.
  2. How much money should I save for a deposit when buying a home? Aim for a minimum of 5% of the property’s value, but keep in mind that a higher deposit can result in lower monthly payments and better interest rates.
  3. What are the main financial benefits of renting? Renting usually offers lower upfront costs, easier budgeting, and fewer financial responsibilities, such as property maintenance and repairs.
  4. What are the main financial benefits of buying a home? Buying a property allows you to build equity, potentially save money in the long run, and generate rental income if you choose to rent out part or all of your property.
  5. How can I improve my chances of getting a mortgage? Maintain a good credit score, save for a larger deposit, secure a steady income, and consider obtaining a mortgage agreement in principle before house hunting.
  6. Can I negotiate the price of a property when buying? Yes, negotiation is common when buying a property. Be prepared to negotiate on the asking price to potentially save money on your purchase.
  7. What are the responsibilities of a landlord when renting a property? Landlords are responsible for property maintenance, repairs, and ensuring the property meets safety regulations.
  8. Do I need permission from my landlord to make changes to a rental property? Yes, tenants generally need permission from their landlord before making any alterations or improvements to a rental property.
  9. How can I build equity in a home? You can build equity by paying off your mortgage over time, making improvements that increase the property’s value, and benefiting from potential market appreciation.
  10. What are the key factors to consider when deciding to buy or rent? Some key factors include financial goals, lifestyle preferences, future plans, and the stability of the housing market in your desired location.

If you enjoyed this article, why not check out this one too: Our Stamp Duty 101 Guide

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5 Benefits of Buying a New Build Home

Benefits of buying a new build home Helmores

Looking to buy a new home? Well, new build homes are very popular these days, and for good reason! Not only are they the perfect blank slate for you to create all sorts of wonderful memories, but they also come with a range of benefits that you won’t want to miss out on. From energy-saving features to customisable design options, here are five reasons why buying a new build home might be the right choice for you.

Energy-saving features

Who doesn’t love saving a bit of cash on their monthly bills? New build homes are built to be energy-efficient, which means they come with all sorts of fancy energy-saving building materials and smart technology. Not only is this great for the environment, but it also means that you’ll have more money to spend on other fun stuff.

Home-buying schemes

Let’s be real, buying a house can be expensive. But don’t worry, some new-build homes can be bought through buying schemes like Help to Buy or Deposit Unlock. These schemes can make buying a new home more affordable and accessible, so you can focus on picking out the perfect wallpaper instead of stressing about your finances.

Design choices

One of the best things about buying a new build home is that you get to be in charge of all the fun design stuff. Want a neon pink kitchen? Go for it! Prefer a more understated look? That’s cool too. You can choose all sorts of options for things like flooring, work surfaces, and cabinetry to make your new home feel just right.

No chain

Ugh, property chains are the worst. Luckily, buying a new build home means that you won’t have to deal with all that nonsense. No more waiting for someone else to sell their house before you can move in, no more stress, just a smooth and easy sales process.

No renovations required

Last but not least, buying a new build home means that you won’t have to worry about renovations. Everything is shiny, new, and protected by guarantees, so you can rest easy knowing that your home is in tip-top shape. Plus, you won’t have to spend all your weekends painting and sanding and tearing down walls. Hooray!

At Helmores, we’ve got three fantastic new build developments that you should definitely check out: Weavers Place at North Tawton, Weavers Way at Sandford, and Woolston Green in Landscove near Ashburton. Give me a call if you want to find out more about these exciting new builds and start the journey to finding your dream home on 01363 777999.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are new build homes more energy-efficient than older homes?

A: Yes! New homes are often much more energy-efficient than older homes. They’re built using the latest materials and technology, which can reduce energy waste and lower your utility bills. Many new homes also achieve the highest energy efficiency ratings of A or B.

Q: What home-buying schemes are available for new build homes?

A: There are a number of home-buying schemes available for new build homes. Help to Buy is a popular one in England, and it’s available until 31 March 2023 for buyers who applied before the end of October 2021 so you’d better hurry up! Deposit Unlock is another scheme that some developers offer, it allows buyers to put down a 5% deposit and borrow the remaining 95% from selected lenders participating in the scheme.

Q: Can I customise the design of my new build home?

A: This depends on the stage of build, and the developer. When you buy a new build home off-plan, you’ll usually have the opportunity to visit a show home and choose your own design elements, such as flooring, cabinetry, and work surfaces. Many developers also offer furniture packages to help you get started too.

Q: Will I be “chain free” if I buy a new build home?

A: Yes! One of the benefits of buying a new build home is that you won’t have to deal with a property chain. This means you can move in as soon as the property is ready, without having to wait for a seller to find a new home to move into.

Q: Will I need to carry out renovations on a new build home?

A: Absolutely not! New build homes are built to high standards and often come with guarantees that protect fixtures, fittings, and structural elements. This means you can move in knowing that everything is brand new and in good condition. Of course, you might still want to personalise the home to your tastes, but you won’t need to carry out any major renovations.

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Stamp Duty 101: Navigating the Tax on Your Dream Home

Helmores stamp duty guide

So, you’ve found your dream property and you’re ready to take the plunge, but wait – have you considered the elephant in the room? No, not the noisy neighbours, but the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).

If you’re buying a property or land in England or Northern Ireland that costs more than a certain price, you’ll need to pay this little beauty.

What is Stamp Duty Land Tax?

SDLT is a tax that comes when purchasing a new home in Crediton, like a house or flat, that costs more than £250,000. The amount of SDLT you pay depends on the purchase date, property price, and whether you’re a first-time buyer eligible for relief.

Thresholds for Residential Properties

Here’s the breakdown of the current SDLT rates:

  • 0% for the first £250,000
  • 5% for the next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000)
  • 10% for the next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million)
  • 12% for anything above £1.5 million (the portion above £1.5 million)

For first-time buyers, you’re in for a lucky break, as the rates are discounted as follows:

  • 0% up to £425,000
  • 5% for the next £200,000 (the portion from £425,001 to £625,000)

But, if the price is over £625,000, you cannot claim the relief as a first time buyer.

So an example of this if the purchase price of a property was £750,000, the calculation of the SDLT for someone who is not a first-time buyer and who doesn’t own another home would be as follows:

  • 0% on the first £250,000 (£0)
  • 5% on the portion from £250,001 to the purchase price of £750,000 (£25,000)
  • Total SDLT £25,000

Higher rates for additional properties

But wait, there’s more you should know. If you already own a property, you’ll have to add an extra 3% to the SDLT rates. But don’t worry, if you’ve already sold your main residence, or if you sell it within 36 months, you should be able to get a refund.

How and When to pay Stamp Duty

You’ll need to send an SDLT return to HMRC and pay the tax within 14 days of completion. Your solicitor/conveyancer will usually handle the return and payment on your behalf, but you can also do it yourself. Just be careful, as late payment can result in penalties and interest. It’s like getting a parking ticket on top of paying for the parking meter 😂

To make your life easier, there’s an SDLT calculator provided by HMRC to help you figure out the exact amount of SDLT you’ll have to pay.

Key Points:

  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a tax that needs to be paid when buying a property or land in England or Northern Ireland that costs more than £250,000.
  • The amount of SDLT you pay depends on the purchase date, property price, and whether you’re a first-time buyer eligible for relief.
  • The current SDLT rates are 0% for the first £250,000, 5% for the next £675,000, 10% for the next £575,000, and 12% for anything above £1.5 million.
  • First-time buyers can get relief on Stamp Duty Land Tax. The rates are 0% up to £425,000, and 5% for the next £200,000.
  • If you already own a property, you’ll have to add an extra 3% to the SDLT rates.
  • You need to send an SDLT return to HMRC and pay the tax within 14 days of completion.
  • Late payment can result in penalties and interest.
  • There’s an SDLT calculator provided by HMRC to help you figure out the exact amount of SDLT you’ll have to pay.


That’s the basic rundown of SDLT for buying a residential property in England and Northern Ireland. Make sure you understand the thresholds, exemptions, and how much you’ll need to pay before you make your property purchase. Otherwise you could have a nasty shock when you receive the bill!

Please note that like the wind all this is subject to change so my advice is to check the HMRC website or consult professionals such as us in Crediton to get the latest information on SDLT rates and thresholds.