Home Property in United Kingdom
How to buy a house in United Kingdom?
Here you will find the detailed information about real estate purchasing in United Kingdom:
- the right way to choose the property and to effect the deal;
- property taxes and duties that should be paid;
- everything about home loans in United Kingdom;
- home property management and renting;
- rental, commercial properties and related investment properties.
Real estate for sale
Most recent offers from house owners in United Kingdom and from real estate agencies. Advertisements with the fixed price and auctions are listed here.
You can leave a comment and give advice to other visitors planning to buy a home in United Kingdom.
When we talk about real estate in the United Kingdom, first of all we mean houses and flats in London. Sure enough, hardly anybody would want to live in English suburbs, in industrial or seaport towns. Most people are willing to settle as close to the British capital as possible.
Prices for flats in the United Kingdom
Unfortunately, finding an affordable flat within London can be challenging. For instance, a two-room apartment with an area of 42 sq. m. is worth €160 000, while a 50 sq. m. flat goes up to €200 000.
Real property prices in the capital depend not on its condition, but rather on the district, where it’s located. For example, a three-room apartment with an area of 105 sq. m. on St. George’s Square costs around €980 000. A 140 sq. m. flat in Kensington goes up to €1 461 000. The price for premium apartments can reach several million Euros – a fancy flat in Westminster with a total area of 110 sq. m. is worth some €29 000 000.
The situation on real estate market is better in other British cities. For example, a studio apartment in Newcastle with an area of 14 sq. m. costs around €65 000, while a 18 sq. m. flat in Bolton goes for just €47 000.
Prices for houses in the United Kingdom
Affordable private houses in Great Britain are even harder to find than flats. Average price for a British house ranges from €200 000 to €250 000, though there are cheaper options in the suburbs. For instance, a 65 sq. m. house in the regional centre of Swindon can be purchased for €180 000.
Average price for a house in London is close to €500 000. It is very hard to buy a decent private house in the capital for less than €300 000. For example, a suitable house with an area of 180 sq. m. in a nice London district is worth around €400 000. At the same time, a big 300 sq. m. house in a developing district on the outskirts of Greater London can be purchased for some €300 000.
Houses and mansions located within the city limits cost slightly more than flats. It is hardly surprising, given that they offer a higher level of comfort and independence. Moreover, such houses are often historic buildings, which remember the key events of the past ages.
For instance, a 120 sq. m. house in Islington district costs around €1 600 000. A 240 sq. m. house in Hammersmith district goes for €2 115 000. Prices for premium houses can reach several dozen million Euros. For example, a luxurious mansion in Westminster, which is in the centre of London, with a total area of 1697 sq. m. is worth no less than €60 000 000.
Premium real estate in London is located mostly in prestigious districts and starts at €1 000 000. The average price for one square meter of such housing varies between €12 500 and €85 000.
The process of real estate acquisition in the United Kingdom
There are two types of British real estate acquisition: freehold and leasehold. Freehold is the ownership of land and all immovable structures attached to it. This kind of ownership is typical for private houses. Leasehold, on the other hand, means that the owner holds rights to buildings only. The land, in this case, is rented by the buyer for a long term. Such type is specific to flats; therefore the lease term should always be specified. Annual lease payment ranges from £50 to £500.
Real estate acquisition in the United Kingdom takes from 1 to 2 months and involves several stages:
1. Property selection
British real property can be found in the catalogue on ee24.ru with the ability to pick specific housing prices, regions, types, etc. After that, you should refer to the authorized point of contact (direct seller or realtor), specified in the object card.
2. Making an offer
Having chosen the desired piece of real estate, you should make an offer to the seller. In this offer you can mention your suggested price for the object and negotiate it with the seller. When the final deal value is agreed upon, you should hire a lawyer.
3. Legal services
It is highly important that you hire an experienced lawyer, since this specialist will be responsible for checking the agreements as well as clean title to property.
4. Memorandum of sale
This document includes all information about the acquired object, buyer, seller and lawyers of both parties.
5. Independent assessment of the object
Independent assessment is a must, in case the buyer applies for a mortgage loan. The principal task of such assessment is to examine technical condition of real property. Assessment officers tend to lower the object value, which offers an advantage for the buyer allowing further price negotiation. Object value may change, until the parties exchange contracts.
6. Contract exchange
The buyer’s lawyer must send the signed contract with cash deposit to the seller’s lawyer on an agreed date. The amount of such deposit is 10 % of the object value. At the same time, the seller’s lawyer performs the same procedure towards the buyer. From this moment the contract enters into legal effect. Specific date of the deal should also be mentioned in the contract.
7. Deal completion
Bothe parties in the presence of their lawyers and a notary sign the principal sale and purchase agreement. At this time the buyer’s lawyer transfers the remaining transaction amount to the account of seller’s lawyer, who eventually must transfer it forth to the personal seller’s account. On the same day the seller hands the keys to real property over to the buyer. It is advised, that stamp duty is also paid on this day.
8. Registration of the new owner in the Land registry
Legal representative of both parties must submit a document confirming change of ownership of real property to the Land Registry.
Before purchasing real estate in the United Kingdom one should be aware of specific legalities of this procedure and other special aspects of ownership.
First of all, you can purchase real property on a freehold basis; thus, you’re becoming an absolute owner of both the land and a house attached to it. It is convenient: in case something happens to a house, it would be possible to rebuild it or use the land the other way. There is also such thing as fractional freehold, when residents chip in together to buy the land.
The other type of ownership is leasehold, when you purchase a home (most commonly a flat) and rent out the related land. In this case, you have to make an annual lease payment of £50–500.
The buyer of real estate in the UK should not count on automatic British citizenship. Basically, real estate ownership does not provide any significant privileges from the government.
Keep in mind that property seller in the United Kingdom does not bear responsibility for any damage or defects, discovered after the contract has been signed. Therefore, before closing the deal it is better to hire qualified specialists, who will help to define the status of the acquired object.
Another piece of advice is to plan your expenses with due consideration of all taxes and charges, which are quite numerous in the UK. For example, according to the market analysis, the starting price of real estate in London is about 80 % of total expenses, meaning that 20 % is spent on related charges, commissions, and taxes. archived version