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Business as usual for Movers

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Removals Carpenders Park

Despite predictions that the housing market would slump in the wake of the Brexit vote, estate agents locally are reporting that the reality is quite different. St Albans based firm Leaders has reported a boost in viewings for properties in the area with agreed sales and exchanges all going through as planned. They have also reported that the levels of expected sales remain the same with little or no sales falling through as a result of the decision to leave the EU.

Early indications seem to be that people for the most part just want to get on with business, whether as a vendor or a purchaser and whilst things may have been a little stagnant before the vote people now want to get moving – literally!

All this is good news for the local industry as there were concerns initially that people may stay put. Understandably some were waiting for the outcome before making any big decisions about their futures but now people want to make the best of the situation.

This local news seems to support the recent report from the Office of National Statistics showing that the UK economy grew in the months April to June by 0.6%. Their opinion was that the impact of Brexit was ‘limited’ and again supports the view that things may not be as bad as some expected thus far.

Property resilience in Hertfordshire is not only good for the local economy but it’s also good for wider businesses that support movers locally too. There is also plenty of new housing and developments for buyers to choose from in Hertfordshire and the surrounding areas to help bring people to the area as well as move within it.

Counties surrounding London were already doing well in terms of property so the news that this is likely to continue to grow is welcome. What the area boasts is that although property prices have increased in recent years there is a buoyant market for all kinds of buyers including first time buyers. With central London itself largely pricing people out of the market for home buying it is positive news that the commuter areas are driving growth and offering opportunities for all.

Despite the negative connotations that Brexit has given in recent weeks it seems that local people are determined to make the best of it. Key to navigating future rocky waters could well lie in the success of local economies, particularly in relation to property. Staying positive and seeing the best that the local counties have to offer is essential in maintaining momentum gained prior to the vote. It is encouraging to note that the impact at this point is considerably less than predicted.


Drive-by Littering Leaves Roads Looking Like Rubbish Tips

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People throwing rubbish out of cars have been adding to the problems caused by fly tippers, leaving many roadsides carpeted in old bottles, food containers, cigarette butts and other unsightly and unhygienic litter.

Approximately 80 tonnes or 3200 wheelie bins worth of rubbish were collected in a recent clear up along 18 miles of Hertfordshire roadsides, according to the Bolton News, and the problem is growing all around the UK. Councils are now calling on the government to make it possible to fine the owner of the car, rather than having to find out who threw the rubbish out of the vehicle. This is already how cases are handled in London, and it should help to make drivers take greater responsibility for the behaviour of their passengers, as well as to think twice before littering themselves.

Littering from cars has become a serious environmental problem, and when rubbish is thrown from moving vehicles it can be dangerous to pedestrians and other road users. Being hit by a lit cigarette butt or a heavy bottle flying out of a fast moving car can leave people with burns and bruises, or result in road accidents with potentially more serious consequences. All this is completely unnecessary as it is very easy to collect your rubbish and dispose of it safely when you get the chance.

Tips for Dealing With Rubbish in Your Car

  • Keep a supply of bags in your car so that you always have somewhere to put your rubbish. Small bin bags, carrier bags, or the type of bags used by dog owners, will all work well, so tuck a few away in a convenient place.
  • Stuff your rubbish bag out of the way in the glove compartment or hang a bag on the back of a seat for passengers in the back of the car to use.
  • For long trips, use a sealable freezer bag or Tupperware box as a spill and smell free solution for storing messy containers or sticky wrappers.
  • Pick any rubbish off the floor before you get out of the car, to stop it from falling out or making more mess if anything bursts or crumbles when it is trodden on.

Flytipping on the Rise

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Fly Tipped WasteThe amount of rubbish that is being illegally dumped in England has increased by 20% since last year, according to the latest government figures on the problem. Over the last year, there have been over 750,000 separate instances of flytipping reported.

This recent increase in flytipping marks a serious step back. Flytipping, which had been on the decline, has now returned to well above its 2010 levels. The problem is at its worst in London, but all parts of England have been affected by a problem that is both unsightly and environmentally harmful.

Rubbish has been found dumped on quiet alleyways in towns, along major roads and peaceful public footpaths, and even on once pristine farmland. About two thirds of what is dumped is domestic waste, including large items such as sofas and mattresses, as well as general household junk. This works out as one instance of flytipping for every 39 households.

It is likely that a lot of this domestic waste was dumped by ordinary people as a one-off, but there have been some cases of individuals accepting payment to dispose of household waste and then simply dumping it rather than taking the waste to the proper disposal site. These cases highlight the importance of dealing with a reputable company when arranging rubbish removals. It also shows how important it is for councils to consider how their waste services can be improved to encourage more people to dispose of their rubbish safely, and what educational measures might be taken to convince potential flytippers to get rid of their waste in a more responsible manner.

Reducing flytipping and the problems it causes is very important. Flytipping is not just an aesthetic problem. It can also be seriously harmful for our health and for the environment, particularly when hazardous materials that need to be disposed of very carefully are left lying around. The cost of dealing with discarded waste is also serious. Our councils are now spending 24% more on clearing up flytipped waste and on prosecuting those who dumped it. This adds up to a total cost of £45.2 million across England, all of which would be unnecessary if people took more care of their waste.


How Easy Is It To Get to Your New Home ?

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Everyone knows how much location matters when you are choosing a new home. The right neighbourhood can make a big difference, particularly when it comes to the services and amenities that will be available to you. The right transport connections can also make a big difference, and not just during the removals process. A recent study conducted by Nationwide suggests that having a location that will be convenient for commuters can have a significant impact on a property’s value.

The impact was strongest in London, where being within 500 metres of a station could add as much as £42,000 to a property’s asking price, but similar findings were reported from elsewhere across the country. Homeowners as far apart as Glasgow and Manchester could expect to earn many thousands of pounds more for their properties when they were located near to a station.

Although this research focused on rail connections, other forms of transport are also likely to affect property prices and choices. We might not place much importance of making the removals journey easier or on finding locations close to transport options that we will seldom use, but if we are going to spend a large part of our lives commuting between home and work, we are going to try to make that commute as quick and easy as possible. An extra ten minutes in bed and a leisurely family breakfast every morning could be worth quite a lot.

Having the right transport links can also make it much easier to make other kinds of trips, as well as ensuring that our removals trucks and other deliveries can easily find their way to our new addresses. Being on the right bus route to make a direct trip to our favourite theatre or cinema can make life much easier for us, while an easy road link to the routes that we often follow to visit friends or relatives can prove to be a real time saver. Transport links can have a significant effect on property prices, but only because the location we choose to live in can have such a big impact on our everyday lives.


Science Museum’s Mountains of Waste Show What Happens When We Don’t Clear Up

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Science HistoryIt’s surprising how easily clutter can build up around the house, and how much junk we actually throw out every week. Even the smallest pieces of rubbish can quickly build up into mountains of waste when we are don’t have regular rubbish removals or when we don’t bother to keep on top of our mess. It’s something you often don’t realise until you decide that the attic or the garage really needs a good clear out, and suddenly you have a vast problem on your hands that will take you days to sort out, but a new exhibition at the Science Museum in London could help to put the problem of ignored waste into perspective.

The Rubbish Collection exhibit will gather together all of the waste that is left behind by visitors to the Science Museum, piling it all up so that we can see just how much mess we create as we go about our daily lives. The project, which will be run by artist Joshua Sofaer and is open until September, will collect together all of the waste that is produced in the museum over the course of one month. The rubbish will be sorted, photographed and archived in order to show just how much we throw away, usually without a second thought. Among the finds that have been made so far are just over £5 in cash and a spoon accidentally thrown away in a child’s packed lunch, but Sofaer expects to collect much more. Over the course of a month, the museum will usually produce more than eight tonnes of paper and cardboard waste, many litres of used cooking oil, and plenty of old exhibition displays and other junk.

Sofaer toured various recycling plants and rubbish removals sites around the UK to learn about the huge amounts of material that we throw out everyday. He hopes that visiting the exhibit will help people to think more about the rubbish that they throw out, helping us all to become more aware of our impact on the earth and what happens after the rubbish removals team takes our junk away. Waste doesn’t just disappear when we throw it out, he told the Guardian, it is transformed.

 

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Is Your House Earning More Than You Do ?

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House on ScalesProperty price rises are nothing new to anyone involved in making a purchase or arranging removals, but the speed at which house prices are increasing has been highlighted by a recent report in the Mail Online that compared the rises taking place over the last 12 months in different parts of the UK with the average annual salaries of the people who live there. In 33 of the regions that were investigated, the rise in property prices was more than the average salary, meaning that some of the homeowners in these regions might actually be earning more from their properties than they do from their jobs.

The average price rise in England and Wales over the last year was £10,809, which is less than half the average annual earnings, which were £22,045 in 2013. However, in many areas, the average rise in property prices has grown larger than the average earnings. House prices in London rose 17%, with property in the most valuable boroughs rising by astonishingly high amounts. In Westminster, where the average house price is now £976,822, properties gained an average of £160,810 over the last year alone. This is not just well above the national average earnings, but also much higher than the average earnings for people living in this area, which is £34,092. Properties outside of London, in areas such as Windsor, Maidenhead, Brighton, parts of Birmingham and the Vale of Glamorgan were also gaining more than the average annual earnings over the last year, although the effect was more subtle. The situation in the areas where TH Removals operates is similar. Although Hertfordshire came right at the bottom of the list, with the smallest difference, property prices in the area, growing at an average of £26,538 over the last year, still managed to rise above the average income, £25,993.

The fact that price rises are now higher than average incomes in many areas is great news for anyone who is already a homeowner, but it may pose some problems for buyers who are looking for a mortgage and planning their removals, particularly as lenders are now becoming more cautious about the ratio between incomes and loan sizes.


English Heritage Reveals “Rubbish” Cleared from Renovated Properties

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Picturesque gardenA new exhibition on show at an English Heritage property outside Luton will reveal for the first time a collection of items saved from properties that were being rebuilt or demolished. Visitors to Wrest Park will be able to see more than 150,000 rescued items collected by English Heritage, as well as enjoying the beautiful mansion gardens. Tours of the collection can be booked for the first Monday of every month, starting in June.

Among the items that could easily have been thrown out as “rubbish” are the remains of a Roman bridge, a plaster ceiling taken from a Tudor property, samples of wallpaper carefully peeled from walls about to be torn down, and the remains of an old dresser dating back to the 17th century that was rescued from a house in London. Every item in this collection is proof of just how careful rubbish removals services need to be to avoid throwing out an irreplaceable treasure – keeping original feaures can also impact the property price.

If you are working on your own renovation project, it is worth thinking about what elements you might be able to preserve in a period property or whether there are any interesting pieces that you should recover from the waste before you engage a rubbish removals service. Even if you can’t keep them yourself, you might be able to sell them on to someone with more traditional tastes.

Once the work is done, and any interesting pieces have been saved, you will still need to organise your rubbish removals to get rid of the waste that always accumulates during renovations. Here are a few tips to make clearing up after building work a little bit easier:

1. Choose builders with good reviews. Customers often comment on how well builders cleaned up after finishing a job, so make sure you hire someone who will leave their work looking its best. Ask for recommendations from friends or look online for ratings of local traders.
2. Clear out all the rubbish before you try to clean anything. You don’t want to ruin all of your hard work by dragging dirty builder’s waste over a newly cleaned floor. Consider hiring a clearance service for a big job, or hiring a rubbish removals van to come and pick up a pile of waste.
3. Dust and sweep all the floors, walls and surfaces first, then wipe them down with a wet cloth or mop. This will get rid of any sawdust or plaster that has been left behind. If there are any splotches or paint spills, use a cleaning solution to scrub them off, or slice them away carefully with a razor blade or scraper.


Mortgage Lenders React to Rising Property Prices

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House Help

Fears that rising property prices could result in another housing bubble have already drawn comments from politicians about the future of the Help to Buy scheme, but now lenders are starting to take action to try to tackle the growing costs of buying a home.

Lloyds Banking Group, the largest lender in the UK, which includes brands such as Scottish Widows, Bank of Scotland and Halifax, has just announced that it will be imposing tighter restrictions on its mortgages. Lloyds will now be capping its high value mortgages, in an attempt to address what it calls the “inflationary pressures” that are operating in the UK market, particularly in London. The cap will apply to anyone who is taking out a mortgage for more than £500,000. It will limit the amount that these people can borrow to a maximum of four times their income. The goal is to try to avoid problems with unaffordable mortgages and to limit growth at the higher end of the market.

The announcement from Lloyds comes in the wake of a sharp increase in mortgage lending during April. The Council of Mortgage Lenders revealed that the total of mortgage advances made in April added up to £16.6 billion. This was an 8% rise over the previous month, but it marked a 36% rise compared to the same month in 2013. Property prices have also been increasing rapidly, particularly in London and the Southeast, the areas where Lloyds’ new measures are likely to have the most effect. According to the Office for National Statistics, prices in London rose by 17% between March 2013 and March 2014.

The problem, according to Lloyds, is largely the limited supply of housing, which has allowed house prices to rise much faster than incomes, leaving borrowers struggling to afford properties worth many times more than their annual incomes. If property inflation continues at the same rate, it is predicted that the average cost of a London property will rise above £500,000 by the end of 2014, the level at which Lloyds’ cap on lending will be applied.

Although the new restriction on lending by Lloyds will mainly impact people buying higher end properties in London, it is likely that further restrictions on mortgages will be introduced by other lenders, which could affect buyers in other areas and price ranges. Politicians and lenders are being forced to react to rapidly rising property prices and mortgage lending in order to try to keep growth under control.


Lack of Supply Boosts House Prices as Buyers Return to the Market

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The UK is experiencing a continued rise in house prices as buyers flock to the market, boosted by the Help to Buy scheme.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) released figures in April which showed that March was the 11th consecutive month which saw house prices rise across Britain, making it the longest period of growth since the financial crisis in 2008. The survey also showed that home sales have reached their highest level since February 2008, with the average estate agent selling 22.7 properties from January to March 2014.

This rise in home sales has been driven in part by the government’s Help to Buy scheme, launched late last year, which aims to help first time buyers and those on low incomes buy a home with only a 5% deposit. Uptake has been positive so far as buyers are encouraged by the helping hand. In turn the number of first time buyers has boosted those further along the property ladder and has spurred the whole market into a period of growth.

Supply and demand

However, the number of houses on the market hasn’t risen to the same extent and even the annual ‘Spring bloom’ of the property market hasn’t had the desired impact. The combination of rising demand and lack of supply has meant that in many areas there are more buyers than houses on sale, which is pushing up prices.

First time buyers hoping to secure a bargain for their home have been sadly disappointed, as competition among buyers has led to 19% of homes being sold for more than the asking price. According to RICS, outside London and the South East, price rises have been sharpest in the popular South West, as well as the East Midlands. One estate agent in Cheltenham said that houses in the Regency town are regularly going for more than the asking price and some properties are being snapped up the day they go on sale, after just a handful of viewings.

As the Help to Buy scheme continues to push first time buyers onto the property ladder, rising property prices are predicted to continue into the summer, meaning that 2014 could be a bumper year for estate agents.