Purchasing a home is an exciting experience and a goal many in the UK aspire to achieve. So many in fact that a recent survey from the Homeowners Alliance found that just over 7 in 10 Brits who are not homeowners wish to own a home in the future, despite over half (52%) thinking they will never be able to do so.

With this unconfident look of getting on the property ladder, the only hope many see of actually achieving their goal is buying jointly with another person.

Purchasing a home with another person enables you to:

• Potentially afford a bigger mortgage;
• Share the responsibility of monthly repayments;
• Pool together savings in order to afford the required deposit;
• Split other costs such as Stamp duty and legal costs.

However, whether you are buying with a partner, friend, or colleague, it can be all too easy to overlook the legal implications that come with this type of arrangement. These implications could resurface at a later date, so addressing them at the start of the purchasing process is advisable.

The major point to discuss at the outset is how the property will be held between you and your co-buyer(s). There are two options you can choose: joint tenants or tenants in common.

But what’s the difference? Which one is best? Keep on reading this post to find out.

What are Joint Tenants?

When a property is held as joint tenants, it means that the parties who co-own the property have equal rights and obligations for the entirety of the property. Each party owns 100% of the home as far as the law is concerned. This means that to sell, all of the owners have to agree.

It also means that a joint tenant cannot leave part of the property to someone else in a will. So if one of the joint tenants passes away, the property automatically passes to the other owner(s) and is known as the ‘right of survivorship’. It also means that the value of their share does not form part of their estate, so it is not regarded as an asset on death.

What are Tenants in Common?

When you buy and co-own a property as tenants in common, there is no obligation for ownership shares of the property to be equal. Ownership splits, such as a 60:40 or 70:30 split, are decided by the owners of the property at the start of the buying process.

Unlike joint tenants, tenants in common can leave their share in the property to anyone they like in their will. When a tenant in common dies, their share passes to the person named in their Will or Trust Deed or to their next of kin. The value of this share is then calculated and forms part of their estate.

Tollers Conveyancing solicitors advise people entering into an agreement as Tenants in common to sign a Declaration of Trust to set out the distribution of shares on sale or death, for instance, if a couple are contributing different amounts of money towards the purchase price, that Trust Deed may provide that the original contributions are returned to the respective buyers, but that they share equally in any increase in value from the date of their purchase.


Joint Tenants vs Tenants in Common

There are pros and cons for both types of ownership, which can be dependent on the relationship between the buyers as well as their personal circumstances. The below table provides a summary of some of the differences:



Tenants in Common

Joint Tenants

What is the allocation of ownership?
Every owner (up to 4) each owns a specific percentage share of the property. These percentages can be any size. All ownership parties will have equal rights and 100% ownership of the property as a whole.

Right of survivorship?
No. Yes.
What type of people typically select this option when buying a property?
Friends, joint venture partners, relatives, people with children from a previous relationship. Spouses or partners.

Who receives your share on death?
Your share will form part of your Estate and your Executors will distribute this
The joint owner will have no claim on your share unless you have provided for this in your Will.
As there is a right of survivorship, the joint owners inherit the property,
You are unable to pass any interest in the property in your Will.


So which is best?

When it comes to selecting between tenants in common and joint tenants for property ownership, the choice ultimately hinges on what aligns best with the buyer’s personal preferences and circumstances.

For example:

Joint tenants may be the best choice if you are purchasing a property with a long-time spouse/partner where your financial contributions will be equal.


Tenants in common may be the best option if you are buying with a group of friends where the amount you contribute financially is different.

Talk to Tollers

At Tollers our highly experienced Conveyancing team ask their clients at the very start of the process to state their preference after explaining their meanings and the ramifications to them.

If you’re seeking expert guidance for your Joint property purchase…Talk to Tollers on 01604 258558 our team is on hand to provide you with the advice you need.


There are many misconceptions about remortgages, what they are, why you should do it, and what the remortgage process entails. Yet Remortgages can be a beneficial process for a multitude of people in different situations. This guide aims to inform you about everything there is to do with remortgaging and whether it is a task worth completing in your situation.

What is a Remortgage?

A remortgage is where your mortgage product/deal has come to an end and you are looking to obtain a new product at a new rate for a specified term. You will require a Solicitor/Conveyancer to act for you in this regard. If you are simply carrying out a product transfer (continuing with your same lender) you WILL NOT require a Solicitor/Conveyancer.

Why Should I Remortgage?

If any of the following conditions apply to you, a remortgage may be beneficial;

Steps for the Remortgage Process.

To better understand a remortgage, it is useful to have an understanding of the remortgage process and what it entails. This can be broken down into 6 simple steps:

  1. Instructing a Solicitor/Conveyancer

Once you have obtained your new mortgage it would be prudent to instruct a Solicitor/Conveyancer to act on your behalf. This will involve filling out instruction forms (information about the property, current mortgage details and confirming you would like the Solicitor/Conveyancer to act on your behalf), providing your ID documentation, (your ID documentation can be submitted using a secure link online) and money on account (for searches) your file can then be opened to commence work.

  1. Current Mortgage Details

Your current mortgage details must be provided i.e. lenders name(s) and account number(s). This allows the Solicitor/Conveyancer to obtain a redemption statement(s) (amount owing figure) from your lender(s) to ensure your new mortgage is sufficient to repay the outstanding sums.

  1. Mortgage Offer

Once your new mortgage offer has been received, it will be reviewed to ascertain whether or not conveyancing searches (local authority search, drainage and water search, environmental search) is required. In the event these searches are not required, indemnity insurance will be obtained in lieu of the searches. Indemnity insurance will insure the lender for any adverse search results should they come to light and can be obtained at a small fee. Indemnity insurance will speed up the remortgage process for you. Indemnity Insurance is purely at the lender’s discretion and is not negotiable.

The title documentation is then investigated to ensure there are no untoward entries, to ensure the title is marketable and to ensure it meets your lender’s requirements.

When the above two points have been satisfied your mortgage offer is investigated. The mortgage offer must be received and addressed to the correct Solicitor’s Office. A copy from yourself is insufficient. The mortgage offer is then checked for;

When the mortgage offer has been reviewed and the above points are satisfied, the remortgage report and mortgage deed will be forwarded to you for signature.

  1. Report to lender

If there are any discrepancies with your mortgage offer or any vital information missed this will be reported to your lender for their approval. Once the discrepancies have been dealt with, the request for mortgage monies will be requested via the Certificate of Title. Your lender will require a certain amount of notice to forward the mortgage monies to the Solicitor/Conveyancer. Each lender has their own notice period (some ranging from 3 working days to 7 working days)

  1. Completion

On the day of completion, your verbal authority is required to confirm you are happy to proceed. This is a quick telephone call to confirm you are happy to proceed. This takes place on the day of the remortgage and cannot be taken before the remortgage. When your authority has been taken, the new mortgage advance will be used to redeem your current mortgage(s). Any monies owing to you will then be forwarded to you (this is where you have taken out more monies than is required to redeem the current mortgage).

  1. Post Completion

After your current mortgage has been redeemed an application is submitted to the Land Registry to have the new mortgage registered against the property. This can vary from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. It is down to the Land Registry as it is them that deal with this. Once the updated title information is received showing the new mortgage a copy is provided to you for your retention.

Talk To Tollers

If you are considering remortgaging your propertyTalk to Tollers on 01604 258558, our experienced teams are on hand to assist.

Buy to Let Conveyancing

When buying a property, it is always best to have an experienced solicitor/conveyancer deal with the transaction for you. Especially when you are looking to buy an investment property, as there are several additional steps involved in the transaction that you do not have with standard residential purchases. In this article we explore buy to let conveyancing, with a focus on the conveyancer’s side of the transaction.

What does a conveyancer do when dealing with a Buy to Let?

As with all conveyancing, your solicitor/conveyancer will review the title to the property and raise any enquiries they consider necessary in respect of it. From the point of view of a Buy to Let property, they will need to establish early in the process that there are no restrictions stopping you from renting the property out; this is particularly important in the case of Leasehold or former Local Authority properties, which do sometimes have restrictions placed on them in regard to use.

Your solicitor will also need to check the results of the usual searches, such as Local Authority, Drainage and Water and Environmental searches, and report back to you on the findings.

If the property is being sold with a sitting tenant, your solicitor/conveyancer will raise queries with the seller’s solicitor to confirm the following:

It will also be necessary to check if the seller obtained a rental deposit from the tenant and where it is held. Any deposit taken by a landlord from the tenant should be held in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme; some of these schemes allow the deposit to be transferred if the property is sold and your conveyancer will check this for you.

It is not normal for your solicitor to review the ‘Assured Shorthold Tenancy’ on your behalf, as this a specialised area of law, unless specifically required by your mortgage lender. Please note, any tenancy agreement will need to be fully compliant with your mortgage lender’s requirements.

When reviewing the tenancy agreement, the solicitor will simply be looking to see if the terms are sufficient for the purposes of your lender; they are not, as conveyancers, in a position to comment on the remaining terms of the tenancy agreement.

On completion of the transaction, your conveyancer will submit the Stamp Duty Land Tax form and arrange for the payment to be sent to H M Revenue and Customs. Please note, if you own any other property at this time, you will have to pay Stamp at the higher rates. More information regarding Stamp duty can be found on the gov.uk website or by clicking here.

Finally, your conveyancer will submit an application to the Land Registry to register the property in your name and forward a copy of the completed title once received.

Talk to Tollers

Buy to let conveyancing has many similarities to regular conveyancing with extra measures to ensure the purchase is up to standard and suitable for letting.

If you are looking to purchase a property to let or are seeking advice on buy to lets in general… Talk to Tollers on 01604 258558, our experience conveyancing team are on hand to guide you through the process.

Why is buying a ‘New Build Property’ different?

There are many reasons why buying a new build property differs from buying any other type of home, not least of which is that the house may not even be built at the point you are looking to buy!

You can find new build properties being constructed by small developers, who are looking to build only one or two bespoke houses, or by large national builders, such as Persimmon Homes, Redrow or David Wilson, who will usually build several hundred properties on larger estates.

Can you view your property before agreeing to buy it?

If a developer has not yet finished building any of the proposed properties on the site before marketing them for sale, you will be required to buy your chosen property ‘off plan’.  This means you would choose your plot from the estate plan prepared by the developer rather than by viewing the property style you wish to purchase, like you would normally do.  Once the developer has completed the first property on the site, this home becomes what is known as the ‘show home’ and buyers are able to view this property before deciding whether to buy a house on the estate.  You may however, still be unable to view the property style you are actually buying, due to the fact that it may not have been built yet.

This is probably one of, if not the, biggest difference between buying a new build and buying an older property.  It is usually the case that a new build property will not be ready for occupation when you agree to purchase the property.  The developer will expect you to reserve your plot by providing them with a deposit and signing a Reservation Form/Agreement, which confirms the plot number and the price of the property.  The reservation deposit is agreed at this time and can be any sum but usually no less than £500.  If either party decides to withdraw from the purchase, it is likely that a proportion of the reservation fee is forfeited to the developer.

When do you have to exchange contracts?

Developers will normally impose a deadline by which you must exchange contracts and this tends to not be negotiable.  It is usually 4 weeks from the date of the reservation and your conveyancer will be advised of the date by the developer’s solicitor as soon as possible.  If you do not exchange contracts within that 4-week period, the developer is able to withdraw any incentives that they have agreed to give you.  The developer will expect you to exchange contracts even if the house is not yet ready for you to move into and the contract will provide details of how and when completion will take place once the property is ready.

What is an incentive?

An incentive is just what is says on the tin, it is something that the developer will give you to make you want to buy their property.  These incentives can be financial (a developer may offer to pay your Stamp Duty or moving costs, such as Estate Agents Fees) or physical (such as installing certain types of carpet or kitchen counter tops).  These incentives must be reported to your mortgage lender, if you are buying with the help of a mortgage, and the lender must confirm they are aware of them and be happy to proceed on that basis.

Completion of your purchase

If you are very lucky, the house will be ready for occupation at the time you exchange contracts, and a fixed completion date will be agreed between you and the developer.  It is more likely, however, that the property will be due to be completed several months after the contracts are exchanged.  You will therefore be asked to agree to a completion ‘on Notice’.  This means that when the property is ready, the developer will send a notice to your conveyancer confirming this and advising that the solicitors will  have to complete the matter within 10 working days of receipt of the notification.  There is no negotiating with the developer over the date and you must complete your purchase transaction within the stated timeframe.

New Build Warranty

Every new build property will have a new build warranty of some description, the most well-known of which is the National House Building Council (NHBC).  This is a warranty given in respect of the building and can be relied upon in the event that there are major structural issues with the property within 10 years of the house being sold.  Please note, the warranty does not cover minor issues such as ill-fitting doors or badly installed trims or issues of a similar minor nature.

There are many New Build Warranty providers from which developers can choose, however, you will need to ensure that your lender is happy with the provider as not all mortgage lenders accept all warranties.  If the lender does not accept the particular warranty offered by the developer, you may need to change your mortgage lender in order to secure a mortgage on the property.  It is helpful to let your conveyancer know as early as possible which lender you are using, so that they can double check this for you.

Talk to Tollers

When buying a new build property getting the best advice and guidance is invaluable.  If you are looking to purchase a new build property…Talk to Tollers on 01604 258101, our experienced conveyancing teams are on hand to assist you through the process.

How to choose a conveyancer that is right for you and your situation is a question anyone who has brought or sold property would have deliberated before. Furthermore, we know buying or selling a home can be a stressful time, which can be made worse if you select the wrong conveyancer/property solicitor. To help with the process, the Tollers conveyancing team have put together a few things to consider before making your decision, to ensure you pick the right person.

Consider online reviews

Checking online reviews is always a good thing to consider, you can look at an individual legal firm’s reviews on their own website.  However, we also recommend checking with independent review sites, as these can often provide peace of mind before deciding on who to work with and hold no bias. There are a wide variety of both law-specific sites such as Review Solicitors or general ones like Google and Trustpilot.

Seek out recommendations from friends and family

Asking friends and family members to recommend a solicitor is a good idea and always more personal, especially those who have recently used a conveyancer to buy or sell a home. Asking for a recommendation not only allows you to get their view on who to use, but also means you can ask them more in-depth questions regarding their overall experience in order to help you decide and you can also ask them to make a personal introduction on your behalf.

Use a local firm

Another factor to consider when choosing a conveyancer/property lawyer is whether to use a locally based legal firm. Whilst online conveyancers may appear cheaper (primarily due to the volume of matters they undertake at one time to cover their costs), trying to save on costs can often mean they are less responsive, rarely accessible and lead to longer transaction times, as they juggle multiple cases simultaneously.

This however, does not happen when you work with a well-established local firm.  With a local legal practice, you receive more of a personalised service and your local solicitor is more accessible, as they tend to have a team supporting them, who will and can provide regular updates via phone, face-to-face and email. A local solicitor/conveyancer will also know their local market, enabling them to provide the most relevant advice and guidance to assist you with your sale or purchase.

Ensure the Firm you choose is on the mortgage lender’s panel

Mortgage lenders tend to have a panel of trusted Firms that they are happy to work with and will allow to act for them. It is essential to check that your solicitor’s practice is on your specific lender’s panel, as a lender will only agree to work with them if they are. If you have already chosen a lender, the best way to check this is to call the firm and ask if they are on the conveyancing panel.

Timescale and capacity

Every law Firm will have its own Staff capacity and processes in place to facilitate your sale or purchase.  Asking for an estimation of the timescale for your sale or purchase is important, as your solicitor will be aware of any delays that may be caused by external bodies such as the local council in relation to searches, delays from the other side’s solicitors etc.

Estimated costs

The cost involved in dealing with your sale or purchase can vary depending on several factors such as the location of the property, the services you require and the Firm you choose to instruct. Understanding the costs involved is vital and getting a quote beforehand is always advised.

It is also important to understand the fee structure for any disbursements your conveyancer/solicitor may need to make to third parties in relation to your sale or purchase and that will be charged back to you. These disbursements could include searches, any other professional fees and other expenses and should be clearly set out in any quote that you receive before you instruct your solicitor.

Make sure the firm you choose does what you need

Whilst this may seem straightforward, some people have gone to a conveyancing solicitor when really what was needed was a Commercial solicitor. For example, if you are looking at a shop with a flat above the premises, in all likelihood you would require the services of a Commercial Property solicitor.

Talk to Tollers

Whether you are a first-time buyer or have bought and sold properties before, when buying or selling a property there may be other legal services you require.  You may feel it is an ideal time to update your will, have a declaration of trust drawn up if others are involved in the purchase or generally deal with something unrelated to your property transaction.

These are just a few things to consider when deciding on the perfect conveyancer for you.

If you would like to discuss your property matter, have additional questions or would like a quote … Talk to Tollers on 01604 258558, where our highly qualified team of conveyancers are on hand to address any queries you may have and provide the information you need to ensure you have the right conveyancer on your side.


In the Kings Speech 2023, the Government reiterated its commitment to getting the Renters or Renting Reform Bill through Parliament and passed into law. It also set out further amendments that the Government proposes to introduce to the Bill, including:

  1. No fault possession notices

Our First article, published after the first reading of the Bill (read it here), sets out its key features, including the fundamental principle that “no fault” possession notices (section 21 notices), should be abolished.

In the supplemental notes to the Kings’ Speech, the Government confirmed that it does not intend to proceed with the abolition of section 21 notices until Court reforms have taken place to speed up the process of giving possession orders.

Currently, after serving a section 21 notice, and if the landlord has complied with duties relating to the provision of certain certificates and information, a court order for possession can be granted without the need for a hearing, using the accelerated procedure. The end of ‘no-fault’ evictions will mean more cases will be put through the courts, as fault must be proved by the landlord. Landlords are therefore concerned that a ban on no fault evictions could not only make evicting problematic tenants harder, but also significantly increase the time taken to regain possession due to the severe backlogs and delays in the court system.

The Government recognises that speeding up the courts process is essential so landlords can quickly regain possession of their property if a tenant refuses to move out. It is therefore making an initial commitment of £1.2 million to begin designing a new digital system for possessions. As work progresses, the Government proposes engaging with landlords and tenants to ensure the new system supports an efficient and straightforward possession system for all parties.

There is no indication how long this process will take and it is difficult to see how this significant undertaking can be achieved with speed. It is therefore unlikely that section 21 notices will disappear in the near future which may bring some relief for landlords.

  1. Renting to tenants with children or in receipt of benefits

Provisions will be added making it illegal to have a blanket policy of not renting to tenants with children or tenants who receive benefits.

  1. Student lettings

A criticism of the Bill, as originally drafted, was that landlords of students in the private rented sector would no longer be able to grant fixed term tenancies and quickly get back possession. The student letting market is based upon the expectation of short -term lets which are aligned to the academic year. The Government has not agreed to retain fixed-term tenancies for private rented student lets but will introduce a new ground of possession to allow landlords to recover student houses. Further details are awaited but Landlords will remain concerned if achieving possession will still take time and money and they will not have the certainty of being able to grant new student lets at the start of each academic year.

  1. EPCs

The Government also announced it was scrapping proposals to require landlords to meet EPC Rating C from 2025 in their private rented residential properties. This follows the Prime Minister’s prior announcement to the same effect in September 2023. The minimum EPC rating for the letting of residential properties will therefore remain at E with EPC ratings of bands F or G being ‘substandard’ and subject to the prohibition of granting new tenancies or continuing to let substandard premises.

We will ensure we provide further updates, as and when required.

For more information on how the Renting Reform Bill could affect you and the properties you own and rent…Talk to Tollers on 01604 258558, our highly knowledgeable Commercial Property team are on hand to provide the latest updates in regard to the progress of the bill.

Are you unsure on whether to buy a property in 2023/2024? The looming end of the temporary relief on Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) may be the reason to think about this now and save yourself thousands of pounds!

The SDLT threshold increase to the rate announced in September 2022 has provided the opportunity for many first-time buyers to get on the property ladder. The savings made by first-time buyers has helped them to increase their deposit and to pay a reduced amount of tax on a home that costs more than £425,000.

However, be aware, that the SDLT threshold is coming to an end on 31st March 2025.

SDLT thresholds will return to the previous levels in just 18 months. This means that from the 1st April 2025 the cost of a property on which homebuyers start paying stamp duty land tax will return to the previous level of £125,000 from £250,000 and to £300,000 from £425,000 for first-time buyers. For example:

Current SDLT rate on a standard freehold property purchase, UK resident/main residence:

The SDLT homebuyers pay when buying a freehold property for £350,000 before 31st March 2025 deadline is calculated as follows:

SDLT rate from 31 March 2025 on a standard freehold property purchase, UK resident/main residence:

The SDLT homebuyers pay when buying a freehold property for £350,000 after 31st March 2025 deadline is calculated as follows:

Homebuyers who complete before the 31st March 2025 deadline could save as much as £2,500 in SDLT.

The deadline is fast approaching and homebuyers need to be aware that a residential property transaction takes an average of 12 to 16 weeks to complete.  Therefore, any property completion date that falls after this deadline could result in a significant tax burden.

If you are currently considering buying a residential property, planning ahead may be the right approach to reduce the risk of paying higher SDLT and missing the deadline.

Whether buying or Selling a property getting the advice and guidance you need is invaluable. For all your property needs…Talk to Tollers on 01604 258101, our experienced conveyancing teams are on hand to guide you through.

Buying a home is most likely the biggest investment most of us will ever make, therefore it is extremely important to do a comprehensive investigation of the property before committing to a purchase. That’s why searches and surveys play a leading role.

What’s the difference between conveyancing searches and a survey?

In spite of the fact that the terms “survey’ and ‘search’ are often used interchangeably, they are quite different. Searches are carried out by your legal advisors and they would cover legal issues with your property. On the other hand, surveys will usually be carried out by your mortgage provider or an independent property surveyor and it would observe the physical condition of the property.


Searches are enquiries made by your solicitors to various organisations regarding the property you are looking to purchase. There are several types of search, however, the most common searches conducted on a residential purchase are:-

Local Authority – are considered the most important type of search as they will look at information held by the local authority involving the property, including answers to questions relating to planning, building regulations, roads, enforcement notices, etc.  The search relates specifically to the property and will not reveal details about works in the surrounding areas. This search will not reveal development/planning permissions for neighbouring properties.  Local Searches are specific in that they deal solely with the property that you are purchasing, not any adjoining properties or pieces of land.

Drainage & Water – will advise whether the property is connected to mains drainage and sewerage. The search will also reveal if there are any drains within the boundaries of the property. This is of particular importance if the property has been extended or you intend to develop.

Environmental Search – will establish whether there are any registered landfill sites, disposal sites, waste disposal treatment sites, etc.  The search will also reveal if the property is within a flood risk area, an area of natural subsidence or a coal mining area.

If you are buying the property with the aid of a mortgage, your lender will normally insist upon a solicitor carrying out conveyancing searches. Even if you’re not purchasing a home with a mortgage, we strongly advise that you carry out searches; a few hundred pounds spent on searches is a worthwhile expense when considering the cost of a home.


A survey is a detailed inspection carried out on a property. In the event that you are using a mortgage to buy your property then your mortgage lender will need to check that the property is worth the money that they are lending to buy it by carrying out a valuation. This is in fact, for the lender’s benefit only in valuing the property as adequate security for the mortgage. You are not permitted to rely on this valuation when deciding whether to proceed with the purchase and the onus is on you to satisfy yourself as to the condition of the property, before making any legal commitment to purchasing it. As a result, we would always recommend you have your own survey carried out. Surveys determine the physical condition of the property and are carried out by qualified surveyors. The main types of surveys are:

Condition Report (Level 1) – this is the most basic level building survey usually used for new properties and those in good condition.

Homebuyer Report (Level 2) – this survey is more detailed and is suitable for most properties. It looks at the overall structure and helps identify problems such as damp or subsidence and gives advice on any repairs needed.

Full Structural Survey (Level 3) – as the name suggests, this is the most comprehensive survey and is a particularly sensible option if you’re buying a property that is old or has known problems.

As a buyer, you may be considering whether you should take on the extra expense, but it is definitely worth it for your own peace of mind and can also save you thousands of pounds in the future. In the case that a problem is revealed within the survey, it will allow you to reopen negotiations with the seller and you may reach an agreement that the seller completes any repairs before you move into the property. If the problems are too severe, then you may rethink your purchase of the property entirely. Consequently, not only will you save money on a bad sale and repair costs, but you will be able to buy a home that’s in good condition later down the line.

Whether you are taking your first step on the property ladder or you have moved many times before, the process of moving house can seem overwhelming. If you’re looking to buy, sell or remortgage your home…Talk to Tollers on 01604 258 558. Our team is on hand to guide you through the process and help you buy your dream home.

Find out more about the process of buying a home here.

As we settle into 2023, it is not uncommon for many to resolve ‘New Year, New Start.’

During 2022, we saw increasing volumes of property sales and purchases combined with a significant appreciation in prices followed by a hike in mortgage interest rates towards the end of the year.  So the question many are asking themselves is will house prices rise or fall in 2023 and is now the right time to buy?

Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question.  It would be logical to assume that with house price inflation, the cost of living at an unprecedented high and interest rates on the rise that something has to give.

Towards the end of 2022 it appeared that lender interest rates were starting to stabilise, however, the recent increase in base rate may see further upward movement.  This combined with the cost of living, energy prices and an increasing tax burden, has resulted in the amount of disposable income available to families being squeezed.  When income is tight, inevitably the demand for houses on the market begins to drop.  This can give rise to a reduction in house price inflation and potentially a depreciation in values.

The position remains particularly difficult for the first-time buyer.  The affordability of saving for a deposit while at the same time renting a property is a struggle for many looking to step onto the property ladder for the first time. Where it is possible, it may be worth considering offering up a lesser deposit to get onto the property market so that you start to pay off your own mortgage as opposed to that of your landlord.

As a first-time buyer in the current market, there may be an assumption to put any plans to purchase on hold while you assess the property market. While that may be the right decision for some, equally holding off can cost prospective buyers more in the long run with landlords increasing rental demands and a potential loss of opportunity while house price inflation is stable or depreciating.

As we enter 2023 the age-old question of whether or not to buy remains.  Furthermore, uncertainty in the market can give rise to indecision.  While we do not have a crystal ball, there are two things upon which we can provide certainty for our clients:

Not sure of your next step in the property market?… Talk to Tollers on 01604 258558, our experienced Conveyancing team will be happy to help guide you through.

Find out more about our Conveyancing services here.

Why using a local solicitor protects you – Recently the SRA stepped in and closed down several firms linked to the crisis-hit Metamorph Group.  They stepped in following the group’s Financial problems in a bid to protect the interests of both current and past clients. The intervention is one of the largest the SRA has handled and they have visited 12 offices across England closing 6 firms involved.

This case highlights why using a local solicitor and not a ‘factory’ firm is so important. A factory firm is a firm that focuses on volume conveyancing, generally at a fixed fee. The emphasis is on progressing the conveyancing transaction through to exchange and completion as quickly as possible.  They are generally geared towards dealing with straightforward transactions and not necessarily set up to deal with more complex, involved matters. Teams that operate within these types of firms are set high exchange and billing targets with an emphasis on turning work over quickly.  Due to the nature of these types of firms and the pressures involved, it can lead to mistakes and title issues being overlooked or not picked up during the transaction.  This leaves clients in a vulnerable situation when they come to sell as they will inherit any issues on completion.

In contrast, Tollers offer a bespoke, client-focused and high-quality legal service tailored to our meeting the individual clients’ needs.  We provide a personal service with regular updates and access to a member of the team at all times. Tollers value our clients and focus on providing a quality service as opposed to our clients being seen as just another number.  Our friendly and approachable team members are always available to speak to and we are very fortunate to deal with many repeat clients who often refer friends and family our way as well.

Talk to Tollers

For all your property-buying needs…Talk to Tollers on 01604 258558 and ask to speak to our experienced Buying and Selling a Home team who will be happy to assist you.

Read the SRA’s statement here.

Find out more about our services here.



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