11th February 2022

Keeping Up With Oakwood | February Newsletter 2022

Property Update

A simple message here – more needed!  Our team has been involved in the sale and rental of property across all sectors – residential, commercial and agricultural – throughout Cheshire and South Manchester.  Supply is at an all-time low and demand seems to be at an all-time high.

No doubt the recent interest rate increase will make some people think twice before buying, but the level of demand is such that we don’t see much of a dent being made in the short term

We do have concerns that some tenants may find it harder to meet rents in the coming months, noting the way inflation is going.  Luckily our managed portfolio has remained strong in terms of rent collection, despite what the world has thrown as us.  However, we have seen residential rents continuing to grow at a staggering rate; with costs generally increasing no doubt some tenants may have to look at what they can afford to pay.

Managing Director (and chartered surveyor) Graham Bowcock is always willing to chat property and discuss what’s happening in the local markets, bringing 35 years’ experience to the role.

Valuations

Our valuation team has been busy with no let up in the number of reports being provided each week.  Besides reports for mortgages we have provided reports for Matrimonial (divorce) cases, partnership disputes and taxation (mainly probate).  We have been assisting accountants with tax planning where we have been identifying property assets where inheritance tax may or may not be payable; we then provide valuations so families can consider how best to manage the potential tax liability.  We are delighted to be building strong relationships with fellow professionals across the North West.

We have been particularly active developing our work as Expert Witness, providing valuation reports for the Courts.

Our Associate Lydia Sirovica is usually the first point of contact for valuations and sets them up for us.

Asset Reviews

It is twelve months since chartered surveyor Andrew Aspinall joined us and he has been busy developing our commercial work, often with a rural twist.  Besides valuations he has been doing asset reviews to assist property owners on how best to maximise returns.  Opportunities include reviewing leases, letting vacant property and development of all scales, from barn conversions up to considerable residential schemes involving promoters and housebuilders.

Property Management

As mentioned above, our management team have been busy in recent months.  Landlords are still getting to grips with the extensive compliance and changes in the tax regime.  To some extent additional costs have been compensated for by increased rents.

One issue which landlords are now looking at quite closely is that of EPCs, as the requirement will be an improvement in the minimum band from an E to a C.  This change is effective 2025, which is moving ever closer.  It may be difficult for some landlords to comply, especially where properties are older and perhaps of a traditional construction.  There are some exemptions, so it’s worth landlords looking at what they may have to do.

Ciaran Dwyer oversees management on a day-to-day basis and would be happy to speak about our services.

Office Colleagues

Hannah Murphy

Office manager Sally Kendrick is currently on maternity leave (and has had a lovely baby girl).  We have been joined by Hannah Murphy (pictured left) who is office based and getting to grips with our systems.  She will normally be the first person that our clients and contacts speak to when calling the office.  Susan Thorpe is now back in the office after a spell working from home and heads up the accounts department with Moe Clarke.

Events

We love getting out and meeting people, so we’ve found the last couple of years tough.  However, we’ve been out and about whenever restrictions have allowed it.  In the coming weeks we are planning to meet solicitors to reintroduce our valuation seminars.  Look out for further details.

On 25th February we are hosting a “Walk and Talk” rural ramble at Goostrey.  Look out for further details on our social media sites, or call the office for more details.  Get some fresh air and enjoy some refreshments on Oakwood.

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