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As our families grow bigger the need for more space, be that bedrooms or reception rooms, has grown with it. Also, as our older generation lives longer and nursing home bills continue to rise quicker than a rocket on the 5th of November  (the average nursing home bill in the area being £706 per week) many families are bringing two households into one larger one.
So, should you move somewhere larger, or extend your Medway property to make it large enough for you and your family? In some circumstances the choice has been made for you. If you live in an apartment with no garden, there isn’t much of an opportunity of making it larger. But if you have a house with a garden or an attic with sufficient headroom, extending your home becomes a real prospect.
Even if it makes more sense to extend or move, the choice hangs on a number of different dynamics – your future plans, money (both saved and access to finance), in what way you are emotionally attached to your home, the particular area of Medway you live in and finally, the type/style of house you prefer.
Interestingly, the average British home is 968 sq.ft, which as you can see from the table, is in the middle of developed nations when it comes to the size of a property. Of the 1.11m homes sold in 2016 in England and Wales, the average floor area of the houses was 1,119 sq.ft – that’s about an eighth the size of an Olympic sized swimming pool. Apartments averaged 530 sq.ft that’s just over ten times bigger than an average garden shed. Looking at apartments and houses together, the average size of properties sold in England and Wales 968 sq.ft  – are slightly smaller than the European average, and much smaller than households in the US.
 


 
So back to the question in hand.. extending does mean you will have a lot of inconvenience whilst the work is being carried out. The location of your Medway property, the quality of construction, what type of room(s) you want to add, your plot, neighbouring building lines, planning regulations and the overall demand for your type of Medway home, will make a vast difference to the financial repercussions of extending versus moving.
A medium-sized 270 sq.ft single storey extension (say around 17ft x 16ft) will add on average £62,225 to the value of a property in Medway
It’s important to note the end result of the extension needs to be a sensible and realistic home. A two bed semi-detached house extended to a four bedrooms with no lawn or driveway, or a home with outsized reception rooms downstairs and miniscule bedrooms upstairs, could be problematic if  and when you come to sell your home in the future. Irrespective of whether your strategy is to live in your extended home for a long time, you will want to side-step outlaying a lot of money on costly building work that will make it tougher to sell.
In terms of what it would cost to build an extension, you can expect to pay on average between £140 to £200 per sq.ft, depending whether the extension is a single or double storey extension and other factors including finish and type of extension (note – I have seen it cost a lot more than these figures – so please speak with a builder) … So taking a mid line figure, that same 270 sq.ft extension on your Medway home would cost on average £55,080.
However, moving means there are substantial costs incurred - Estate Agency fees, Removal Van, Survey Fees, Legal fees and Stamp Duty on the property you are buying. Neither option is the obvious choice and comparing the costs of extending your Medway home to that of moving is not a stress-free undertaking.
How realistic each option is will probably come down to one thing .. your mortgage provider. You will need a considerable sum of equity in your Medway home before you can think of increasing your mortgage more, because most lenders will require you to have at least 10% to 20% equity left in your property after the extension or move has been done.

The best advice I can give .. don’t assume anything …. get advice and opinion from builders, mortgage brokers, architects, mortgage people and of course… an agent. Look at your options and make an educated decision with all the superficial and objective facts in front of you.
One place for more information is my Medway Property Market blog. If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one for the first time, and you want to read more articles like this about the Medway property market together with regular postings on what I consider the best buy to let deals in Medway, then it is well worth reading. You can also email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
If you are in the area feel free to pop into the office which is based at Station Road, Strood, Kent, ME2 4WQ

Don’t forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Medway Property News. 

Blog – http://www.medwaypropertyblog.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DocksideP/

LinkedIn– https://www.linkedin.com/in/spencer-fortag-medway/

Website – http://www.docksidekent.com/
According to the National House Building Council (NHBC), 26,142 new homes were registered to be built in the South East last year, on par with 2016 levels of 26,147 dwellings. Great news when you consider it is one of the highest number of new builds in the region since the pre-recession levels of the Credit Crunch and the uncertainty of Brexit and the General Election.
So, when a landlord recently asked me why the brand-new property she was considering buying was a lot more expensive compared to a second-hand/existing property of similar type, accommodation, location and structure I thought this would make a fascinating topic to do some homework on … homework I want to share with the homeowners and landlords of Medway.
You might believe that the difference between purchasing a new build home against purchasing a second-hand/existing home is just individual preference. Some buyers/tenants like the ostentatious trendy modern feel of a new home, whilst others like a home that has stood the test of time.
So, what is the right answer? Well, I am going to be looking at some statistics that shows there is a real difference in the Medway Council area’s property market when in to comes to new vs existing homes and the price paid. Looking at the average price paid for existing (second-hand) versus a brand new home since 1996, one can see from the graph it makes interesting reading.



On this second graph, one can see the percentage difference in average price paid between new and existing…

Yet possibly nothing is ever that easy, as there are issues with these statistics.
The overall average for the whole Medway Council area for the ‘new build premium’ (new build premium being the additional price a buyer pays for buying a new property compared to a second-hand one) over the last 21 years has been 35.9%. These statistics actually show that it is problematic to compare like with like because it is impossible to completely separate all the different factors of type, accommodation, location and structure etc.
One would have to have a mirror image second-hand Medway home and a duplicate new build right next door to each other, then calculate out which Medway house buyers or Medway buy to let landlords would pay more for? Perhaps if everything was the same (all things being equal), there might not be any difference in what buyers would be prepared to pay… but then again, it’s like new cars versus cars that have a few hundred miles on the clock ... there is always a difference on the forecourt ... because things are never wholly equal.
What I do know is that my statistics of the Medway property market show that new build Medway apartments are worth more to people than their second-hand equivalents, whilst the difference is negligible between new build Medway detached houses and second-hand Medway detached houses.


However, I believe the really important lesson in all these statistics is the fact that ‘new build premium’ for new-build versus buying a second-hand property increases in a buoyant market and reduces in a tougher market.  So, if you want to buy new and the only consideration is money … try buying in a tougher challenging property market.
One place for more information is my Medway Property Market blog. If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one for the first time, and you want to read more articles like this about the Medway property market together with regular postings on what I consider the best buy to let deals in Medway, then it is well worth reading. You can also email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
If you are in the area feel free to pop into the office which is based at Station Road, Strood, Kent, ME2 4WQ

Don’t forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Medway Property News. 

Blog – http://www.medwaypropertyblog.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DocksideP/

LinkedIn– https://www.linkedin.com/in/spencer-fortag-medway/

Website – http://www.docksidekent.com/

 

As I am sure you are aware, one the best things about my job as an agent is helping Medway landlords with their strategic portfolio management. Gone are the days of making money by buying any old Medway property to rent out or sell on. Nowadays, property investment is both an art and science. The art is your gut reaction to a property, but with the power of the internet and the way the Medway property market has gone in the last 11 years, science must also play its part on a property’s future viability for investment.
 
Many metrics most property professionals (including myself) use when deciding the viability of a rental property is what properties are selling for, the average rent, the yield and an average value per square foot.
 
However, another metric I like to use is the average rent per square foot. The reason being is that is a great way to judge a property from the point of view of the tenant ... what space they get for their money. Now of course, location (location, location in a Phil and Kirstie style) has a huge influencing factor when it comes to rents (and hence rent per square foot). Like people buying a property, tenants also have that balancing act between better/worse location, more vs. less money and size of accommodation (bigger and more rooms equalling more money) and where they live (location) verses making ends meet.
 
Interestingly, I know there are a lot of you in Medway who like to see my statistics on the Medway property market, so before I talk about the rental figures per square foot, I wanted to share the £ per square foot on the values. In Gillingham for example, the current AVERAGE figures are being achieved (and I must stress, these are average figures, so there will an enormous range in these figures), but on average, properties in Gillingham, split down by type are achieving …
 
·         Gilligham Detached Property - £312 / sq ft
·         Gilligham Semi Detached Property - £299 / sq ft
·         Gilligham Terraced Property - £262 / sq ft
·         Gilligham Apartments - £278 / sq ft
 
So, the rental figures:
 
The extent of space you get for your rent is replicated in the space you get for your money when buying a property. The average size of rental property in the Medway area is 747.6 sq ft (interesting when compared to the national average of 792.1 sq ft)
 
This means the average rent per square foot currently being
achieved on a Gillingham rental property is £15.34 per sq ft per annum
 
So, what we can deduce from this?  Well the devil is always in detail!
 
Whilst I was able to quote the average overall figure and the fact my research showed it was quite clear from data that there is relationship between the average £ per sq ft figures on property values and average £ per sq ft on rental figures as a property grows in size. However, something quite intriguing happens to those figures, in terms of what the property will sell for and what it will rent for, when we change and increase the size of the property.
 
My research showed that doubling the size of any Medway property doesn’t mean you will double the value of it … in either value or rent. This is because the marginal value increases diminish as the size of the property increases. In layman’s terms … Subject to a few assumptions, double the size of the house doesn’t mean double the value … what really happens is a doubling of the size gives only an approximately 40% to 65% uplift in value, but here comes the even more fascinating part … when it came to the rental figures, double the size of the house meant only 20% to 45% in increase in rent.
 

In a future article, I will be discussing the actual added value an extension can bring ... but in the meantime, in an overall and sweeping statement, most of the time it makes sense to extend if you are going to live in the property as long as the extension is proportionate to the property, but if you are going to rent it out ... possibly not.
One place for more information is my Medway Property Market blog. 
 
If you are in the area feel free to pop into the office which is based at Station Road, Strood, Kent, ME2 4WQ

Don’t forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Medway Property News. 

Blog – http://www.medwaypropertyblog.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DocksideP/

LinkedIn– https://www.linkedin.com/in/spencer-fortag-medway/

That got your attention ... didn’t it!
But before we start, what is Generation X, let alone Generation Z, Millennials, Baby Boomers  ... these are phrases banded around about the different life stages (or subcomponents) of our society. But when terminologies like this are used as often and habitually as these phrases (i.e. Gen X this, Millennial that etc.), it appears particularly vital we have some practical idea of what these terms actually mean. The fact is that everyone uses these phrases, but often, like myself, they are not exactly sure where the lines are drawn ...until now…
So, for clarity …
Generation Z:              Born after 1996
Millennials:                 Born 1977 to 1995  
Generation X:              Born 1965 to 1976
Baby Boomers:            Born 1946 to 1964
Silent Generation:       Born 1945 and before
My research shows there are 6,991 households in Rochester owned by Rochester Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964) and Rochester’s Silent Generation (born 1945 and before). It also shows there are 13,019 Generation X’s of Rochester (Rochester people born between 1965 to 1976). Looking at demographics, homeownership statistics and current life expectancy, around two-thirds of those Rochester 13,019 Generation X’s have parents and grandparents who own those 6,991 Rochester properties.
… and they will profit from one of the biggest inheritance explosions of any post-war generation to the tune of £2.093bn of Rochester property or £241,032 each but they will have to wait until their early 60’s to get it!
However, it’s the Millennials that are in line for an even bigger inheritance windfall.
There are 10,868 Millennials in Rochester and my research shows around two thirds of them are set to inherit the 8,708 Rochester Generation X’s properties. Those Generation X’s Rochester homes are worth £2.607bn meaning, on average, each Millennial will inherit £359,651; but not until at least 2040 to 2060!
While the Rochester Millennials have done far less well in amassing their own savings and assets, they are more likely to take advantage of an inheritance boom in the years to come. This will probably be very welcome news for those Rochester Millennials, including some from poorer upbringings who in the past would have been unlikely to receive gifts and legacies.
However, inheritance is not the magic weapon that will get the Millennials on to the Rochester housing ladder or tackle growing wealth cracks in UK society, as the inheritance is unlikely to be made available when they are trying to buy their first home…but before all you Rochester Millennials start running up debts, over 50% of females and around 35% of men are going to have to pay for nursing home care. Interestingly, I read recently that a quarter of people who have to pay for their care, run out of money.
So, if you are a Rochester Millennial there potentially will be nothing left for you.
Of course, most parents want to give their children an inheritance, the consideration that what you have worked genuinely hard for over your working life won’t go to your children to help them through their lives is a really awful one … maybe that is why I am seeing a lot of Rochester grandparents doing something meaningful, and helping their grandchildren, the Millennials, with the deposit for their first house.
One solution to the housing crisis in Rochester (and the UK as a whole) is if grandparents, where they are able to, help financially with the deposit for a house. Buying is cheaper than renting – we have proved it many times in these articles … so, it’s not a case of not affording the mortgage, the issue is raising the 5% to 10% mortgage deposit for these Millennials.
Maybe families should be distributing a part of the family wealth now (in the form of helping with house deposits) as opposed to waiting to the end… it will make so much more of a difference to everyone in the long run.
Just a thought?
One place for more information is my Medway Property Market blog. If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one for the first time, and you want to read more articles like this about the Medway property market together with regular postings on what I consider the best buy to let deals in Medway, then it is well worth reading. You can also email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
If you are in the area feel free to pop into the office which is based at Station Road, Strood, Kent, ME2 4WQ

Don’t forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Medway Property News. 

Blog – http://www.medwaypropertyblog.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DocksideP/

LinkedIn– https://www.linkedin.com/in/spencer-fortag-medway/

Website – http://www.docksidekent.com/

As we go headlong into 2018, I believe UK interest rates will stay low, even with the additional 0.25% increase that is expected in May or June. That rise will add just over £20 to the typical £160,000 tracker mortgage, although with 57.1% of all borrowers on fixed rates, it will probably go undetected by most buy-to-let landlords and homeowners. I forecast that we won’t see any more interest rate rises due to the fragile nature of the British economy and the Brexit challenge. Even though mortgages will remain inexpensive, with retail price inflation outstripping salary rises, it will still very much feel like a heavy weight to some Chatham households.
 
Now it’s certain the Chatham housing market in 2017 was a little more subdued than 2016 and that will continue into 2018. Property ownership is a medium to long-term investment so looking at that long-term time frame; the average Chatham homeowner who bought their property 20 years ago has seen its value rise by more than 392%.
This is important, as house prices are a national obsession and tied into the health of the UK economy as a whole. The majority of that historic gain in Chatham property values has come from property market growth, although some of that will have been added by homeowners modernising, extending or developing their Chatham home.
Taking a look at the different property types in Chatham and the profit made by each type, it makes interesting reading..


However, I want to put aside all that historic growth and profit and looking forward to what will happen in the future. I want to look at the factors that could affect future Chatham (and the Country’s) house price growth/profit; one important factor has to be the building of new homes both locally and in the country as a whole. This has picked up in 2017 with 217,350 homes coming on to the UK housing ladder in the last year (a 15% increase on the previous year’s figures of 189,690. However, Philip Hammond has set a target of 300,000 a year, so still plenty to go!

 
Another factor that will affect property prices is my prediction that the balance of power between Chatham buy-to-let landlords and Chatham first-time buyers should tip more towards the local first-time buyers in 2018.
 
The Council of Mortgage Lenders expects the number of buy to let mortgages to drop by 34% from levels seen in 2015. This is because of taxes being increased recently on buy-to-let and harder lending criteria for buy to let mortgages, which means I foresee a gradual move in the balance of power in favour of first-time buyers rather than buy-to-let landlords. First time buyers will also be helped by The Chancellor eradicating Stamp Duty for all properties up to £300,000 bought by first-time buyers in the recent budget.
 
This means Chatham buy-to-let landlords will have to work smarter in the future to continue to make decent returns (profits) from their Chatham buy-to-let investment. Even with the tempering of house price inflation in Chatham in 2017, most Chatham buy to let landlords (and homeowners) are still sitting on a copious amount of growth from previous years.
The question is, how do you, as a Chatham buy to let landlord ensure that continues?
Since the 1990’s, making money from investing in buy-to-let property was as easy as falling off a log. Looking forward though, with all the changes in the tax regime and balance of power, making those similar levels of return in the future won’t be as easy. Over the last ten years, I have seen the role of the forward thinking letting agents evolve from a ‘rent collector’ and basic property management to a more holistic role, or as I call it, ‘landlord portfolio strategic leadership’. Thankfully, along with myself, there are a handful of letting agents in Chatham whom I would consider exemplary at this landlord portfolio strategy where they can give you a balanced structured overview of your short, medium and long-term goals, in relation to your required return on investment, yield and capital growth requirements. If you would like such advice, speak with your current agent – or whether you are a landlord of ours or not – without any cost or commitment, feel free to drop me a line.

One place for more information is my Medway Property Market blog. If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one for the first time, and you want to read more articles like this about the Medway property market together with regular postings on what I consider the best buy to let deals in Medway, then it is well worth reading. You can also email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
If you are in the area feel free to pop into the office which is based at Station Road, Strood, Kent, ME2 4WQ

Don’t forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Medway Property News. 

Blog – http://www.medwaypropertyblog.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DocksideP/

LinkedIn– https://www.linkedin.com/in/spencer-fortag-medway/

Website – http://www.docksidekent.com/
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