Yearly Archives: 2016

 

06 
Dec

2016 CPD Meeting

group-photo-cpd-2016

A great day was had by all on our 5th annual CPD day last Friday.

Our surveyors from all over the UK met in our Manchester events room to receive 5 hours of useful CPD and also a very nice lunch. We heard about straw bale construction, changes to the building regulations, risk avoidance, modular construction and  current news within the warranty market.

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Published Date: 6th December 2016
Category: Uncategorized


 

30 
Nov

BREXIT: 6 months on

Six months on from the pivotal referendum result and the UK electorate are slowly starting to understand what being outside of the EU may look like.  Theresa May has stressed that the UK will have control of its boarders and maintain sovereignty, but has failed to deliver any details for a reassurance of the economic outlook…

The economy has slowed slightly but by nothing like as much as feared and the Office for National Statistics has said that “the pattern of growth continues to be broadly unaffected following the EU referendum”.

However, we have not left the EU yet and the pattern is an unbalanced one, the only sector of the economy that continued to grow was services up by 0.8%; agriculture, manufacturing production and construction all shrank. Also, it is that very services area that we might lose once we exit the EU with many banks and financial institutions considering relocating to mainland Europe.

Brexit supporters will take these figures as a sign that warnings about the economic costs of voting to leave the EU were nothing more than scaremongering. Remain supporters will argue that they were warning about potential damage over a period of several years. They say that only prompt action by the Bank of England saved deeper damage to the economy and that worse is to come.

While growth in the services sector was robust, the construction sector contracted by 1.4% and industrial production fell 0.4%, with manufacturing output down 1%.

UK construction shrank at its fastest pace since 2009 after the UK voted to Leave the EU in June.

The figures offer little comfort to prospective homeowners after a damning report from the Resolution Foundation revealed that home ownership has fallen to its lowest level for 30 years. The research shows supply has failed to keep pace with demand in the UK, shutting buyers out of the market.

Slowing house prices are helping first-time buyers

Slowing house price growth since the vote for Brexit vote is helping first-time buyers get on to the property ladder, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

After falling in September, the proportion of homes bought by first-timers last month hit 32 per cent – a rise of nine per cent to the highest figure since records began in 2000, says The Times.

In the wake of reports from Nationwide and Halifax showing rapid house price growth cooling, added the paper, “Mark Hayward, managing director of the association, said that this could be down to… houses appearing more affordable to buyers”.

First-time buyers are also benefitting from record lows for mortgage rates and a return of 100 per cent loans, including one launched by a regional building society this week using the homes of the buyers’ parents as security.

Market Harborough Building Society’s “family assistance mortgage” follows Barclays’ 100 per cent “family springboard mortgage”, which similarly uses parents’ deposited cash as security.

While house prices are slowing, they are still rising, in defiance of analyst predictions prior to the EU referendum. The NAEA report suggests this will continue.

The number of properties being offered for sale grew 7.5 per cent to 43 per estate-agent branch, offering a welcome sign of confidence returning since the Brexit vote.

But at the same time, the number of buyers seeking a property rose 32 per cent to 440 per branch, the highest since February. There are now more than 10 prospective buyers for every house for sale in the UK.

A shortage of supply is constantly cited as the main reason for consistent house price rises in recent years.

“After shrugging off the uncertainty, we have seen an increase in supply and a rise in the number of sales to [first-time buyers] this month – proof the market is beginning to bounce back,” Hayward said, reports FTAdviser.

“Clearly what we need now, though, is a clear plan as to how the government is going to tackle the chronic shortage of homes that we are facing.”

WE NEED CERTAINTY OVER WHAT BREXIT REALLY MEANS AND WE NEED TO BUILD MORE HOUSES NOW!

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Published Date: 30th November 2016
Category: Uncategorized


 

15 
Jul

BREXIT should we be worried?

“Brexit” is not a disaster for the world economy

Once the dust has settled, the global economic implications of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union are likely to prove much less dramatic than many had suggested during the past few weeks. The adverse effects on the UK itself and the direct impact on other European economies should be small.

And there may be some offsetting benefits for the global economy, including looser monetary
conditions. However, the long-term political consequences could turn out to be far more significant.
The immediate focus is on the market turmoil triggered by the UK vote to leave the European Union. At the time of writing, sterling is down by around 8% against the dollar (compared to yesterday evening) and European equity markets have fallen by 5-10%. These are big moves for a single day and, if they are sustained, will have a negative impact on sentiment. However, the fall in sterling should not have any implications for the world economy as a whole. And the knock-on effects of falling asset prices for the economy need not be huge. After all, equity markets in advanced economies fell by over 20% in the first six weeks of this year but this did not trigger a recession, and these moves were soon reversed.

In brief, we think the adverse effects for the UK itself will be smaller than widely feared. It is likely that the process of leaving will not be initiated until October this year and that the UK will remain an EU member for at least two years after that. Investment may be weaker than it would otherwise have been – although note that officials are already trying to boost sentiment by stressing that Brexit is not, after all, the end of the world. But consumer confidence
should hold up well given that 52% of the electorate actually voted to leave the EU. Finally, while a sustained and large fall in sterling would lead to higher import prices, inflation should remain low by past standards, and a more competitive currency would give a boost to exports.

If we are right about the implications for the UK, it follows that the direct economic impact on the rest of the European Union should also be small. Indeed, even if the hit to the UK turns out to be much bigger than we anticipate, the consequences for other European economies need not be large because –
other than for Ireland – exports to the UK typically account for less than 3% of GDP.

Moreover, there are some silver linings. For a start, global monetary conditions may well be looser than they would otherwise have been. The Bank of England is likely to keep interest rates low for longer and, if necessary, may even announce further policy easing. The ECB will also be willing to consider not just an extension of its asset purchase programme but an increase in its size.

The UK referendum will not be a game-changer for US monetary policy, although it probably rules out a July rate hike. After all, Fed officials have cited the risk of a Brexit as a factor behind their decision to leave rates on hold in June and they may want to see how things pan out in the coming months before tightening policy. This has already been reflected in a fall in OIS rates and ten-year US Treasury yields, which have declined from around 1.75% yesterday to 1.5%. Brexit has also strengthened the case for further policy easing in Japan because of the appreciation of the yen.

Overall, therefore, the world economy should be able to weather the shock of the UK voting to leave the EU fairly well. Over the long run, the more important consequences may turn out to be political. Opinion polls show high levels of demand for a referendum on EU membership in France, Italy and the Netherlands; such demands may now be harder to resist. (See our European Economics Update, “UK vote to leave EU raises doubts over future of Europe,” also published today.) Moreover, even if the rest of the EU holds together, its members may struggle to agree on further reforms, including those which are necessary to sustain the monetary union.

Finally, the referendum result will exacerbate concerns that support for populist movements
elsewhere will continue to grow. This could prevent further progress with trade agreements such as TPP and TTIP and potentially reverse some of the liberalisation which has taken place in past decades. Support for Brexit in the UK and for Donald Trump in the US taps into the same concerns about the impact of globalisation and rising inequality. But parallels between the two movements are not as close as many assume, because the Brexit campaigners have argued for more, not less, free trade. For now, at least, fears of a wholesale reversal of globalisation appear over-stated.

Andrew Kenningham Senior Global Economist (+44 (0) 20 7808 4698, andrew.kenningham@capitaleconomics.com)

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Published Date: 15th July 2016
Category: Uncategorized


 

11 
Jul

Professional Consultants Certificate Ltd sponsor local charity ball

On Friday 24th June we were delighted to support the Bowdon prep School Ball raising money for a local charity CAFT (The Children’s Adventure Farm Trust) who organise special events and holidays for disabled and disadvantaged children.

A fabulous time was had by all from the celebrity compare Mike Toolan, Can Can Girls, Accordionist Yvette and the infamous ‘Chamber Choir’ presented by Mrs Patterson.

The event raised in excess of £16,000.

Professional Consultant Certificate Ltd offer home warranties for new and converted properties

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Published Date: 11th July 2016
Category: architects certificate news, Home warranty, Professional Consultants certificates


 

22 
Jun

Cheaper alternative to NHBC 10 Year home warranty

Need a cheaper Home Warranty than NHBC offer?

Architectscertificates.co.uk have been supplying 6,10 and 12 year cover for new homes since 1989. They are often over 50% cheaper than NHBC. Please get a quote today.

certificateplusnavytrans

 

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Published Date: 22nd June 2016
Category: Cheaper than NHBC, Home warranty


 

08 
Jun

Home Warranty – do I need one?

Home Warranty’s are important when you are buying or building a brand new home. Mortgage and lending companies need to understand the home they are lending on has been built correctly and they are minimising any risk of the home not being ‘fit for purpose’.

300dpi300x250bannerbuildingwarrantyCompanies such as architectscertificates.co.uk offer home warranties as well as professional consultants certificates which are Council of Mortgage Lender (CML) approved, these are a good and often much cheaper alternative to those offered by companies such as NHBC.

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Published Date: 8th June 2016
Category: New Home Warranty Insurance
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16 
May

Can you get a mortgage on the house you are building?

self build

Securing a mortgage for a new build house can sometimes be difficult, especially if the developer is still constructing the property. If you’re only a buyer and not a builder, the person or company in charge of the construction project should already have a 10 Year Structural Warranty in place.

As the buyer, this policy will protect you against the builder going out of business during the build, then pass onto you when the new build is complete. This will then provide financial security against latent structural defects for the next 10 years. If the developer doesn’t have one of these policies, or you buy after completion, the alternative option is a 6 Year Professional Consultants Certificate.

Since getting a mortgage involves a financial institution taking the risk of investing in your property purchase, most banks and building societies will expect there to be some kind of official guarantee that the new build is structurally sound and in compliance with building and safety regulations.

This is why it’s often worth ‘shopping around’ for a suitable home structural warranty, especially for small builders and self-builders. While NHBC is one of the best-known providers, it’s not always the most affordable or the best deal. So, if you’re looking for an alternative UK Finance-approved policy, to help you get a mortgage for the home you’re building, why not consider our ABC+ Warranty?

Can you get a mortgage to build a house?

Yes, you can. Unless you’re able to finance the build yourself from your savings, selling assets, or another type of loan from your family or the government, then it’s likely you’ll need to apply for a self-build mortgage. Standard residential mortgages usually apply to completed new builds, with the money released in a lump sum at the end, whereas the process for a self-build is very different.

Whether you’re in the planning stages after buying a plot of land to build a house on, or you’re converting or renovating an existing structure like a barn, there’s sure to be a structural warranty that suits your situation – which will then help you to secure funding in the form of a mortgage.

If you’re a first-time builder or buyer, banks and other lenders may be cautious and reduce the amount you can borrow. Since self-build mortgages tend to be released in stage payments to help you finance each step of the project, you need to be in the best possible position financially to get the most from the lender – including having the protection of a structural warranty and good credit.

There are different types of self-builds, depending on the level of involvement you have in the actual construction. For example, you could design the home and participate in building it, or design it all then hire a contractor to do the construction work – or even buy a partially-finished property from a developer and complete the build yourself. The way you do it will affect your mortgage eligibility.

The best approach is to work with a qualified builder or general contractor who has the provable experience and qualifications, plus the correct insurance. It’s difficult to completely DIY a self-build house if you aren’t an experienced builder yourself, as you’ll need the proper licenses and insurance.

Can you get a mortgage to buy land?

Yes, it’s possible to apply for a self-build mortgage in order to first purchase the plot you want to build on. If you don’t have the money to purchase land upfront, it may be better to get a separate loan known as a land mortgage or land loan. This is because the amount you can borrow to pay for the land can be higher than the amount you can borrow to pay for the construction of the house.

For example, you may be able to borrow up to 75% of the land value, but only around 60% of the building value (in the case of a self-build, this value is estimated from the plans). Of course, you’ll need to have your designs drawn up and secure planning permissions from the local authority before submitting your self-build mortgage file – the application won’t succeed without them.

Having two separate mortgage loans for the land and the house itself can make things complicated, and may increase your costs, but it’s still manageable if you take good control of your finances and manage your resources in a realistic way. The down payment for a land mortgage may be around 15%-25%, while the deposit for the actual self-build mortgage may be higher (between 25%-40%).

How do construction loans work?

A construction loan is simply another name for a self-build mortgage – because you’re borrowing the money to build the house rather than purchase a completed structure. Just as there should have been a new build structural warranty in place from the start when you purchase the home from a developer, so should there be a self-build structural warranty in place before you start construction.

If a bank agrees to lend you money for a self-build, you can receive a lump sum mortgage payment in arrears after funding everything yourself or in gradual advance payments. Obviously, most self-builders prefer to receive stage payments throughout the build to fund each stage of construction work, rather than paying out of pocket then using the mortgage payment like a reimbursement.

You can find out more about self-build mortgage stage payments in our dedicated guide. One of the risks of this type of loan is that your project can easily go over budget if you don’t plan carefully, and the mortgage offer may have a time limit (for example, giving you one year to complete the build). The interest payments are also likely to be higher than they would for a typical residential mortgage.

On the plus side, self-build stage payments are an extremely useful way to keep the project on track, and having a self-build structural warranty ensures that the bank should sign off on each stage payment. Your structural warranty provider, such as ourselves, should send a chartered surveyor to carry out regular professional inspections and check on progress and legal compliance.

These loans are sometimes also known as construction-to-permanent loans, because the stage payment loan can be converted into a normal residential mortgage once the building is complete, at which point you’ll begin making your self-build mortgage repayments according to the contract. You’ll typically only be paying interest on the mortgage loan throughout the duration of the build.

Which structural warranty do you need for a self-build mortgage?

As we’ve discussed so far, a specialised self-build mortgage usually requires an equally specialised self-build warranty. Here at Architects Certificate, we provide a range of UK Finance-approved 10 Year Structural Warranties, which are accepted by more than fifty approved lenders in the UK.

No one can answer the question of whether it’s better to buy or build a house for you – that’s something you need to decide for yourself. Your chances of mortgage approval and the processes involved in building and buying can vary according to your individual circumstances, so it really is up to you. Whichever route you choose, we can provide a suitable structural warranty for your home.

For more information on the UK Finance certificates and warranties we supply (previously known as CML architects’ certificates), please give our team a call on 0161 928 8804 or send an email to info@architectscertificate.co.uk. We’ll be happy to provide assistance and offer a tailored quote.

This article was updated on 04/03/2022.

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Published Date: 16th May 2016
Category: ABC+ warranty, Cheaper than NHBC, CML, Home warranty, New Home Warranty Insurance, Professional Consultants certificates, self building first time buyers, structural warranty


 

28 
Jan

Commercial Property Warranty

Professional Consultants Certificate Ltd.

We now offer Commercial warranty.

manchester

All of our services, certification and warranty are now available for commercial property. This is particularly useful in the cases where a residential development sits on top of a commercial unit such as retail, childrens’ nursery, cafe etc. We can insure buildings up to £5 million Rebuild Value.

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Published Date: 28th January 2016
Category: building warranty, commercial


 

28 
Jan

Residential Real Estate Development in Manchester Tops Pre-Recession Days

manchester

Come to Manchester for residential real estate opportunities!

The number of properties currently under construction are at their highest levels since 2008. The Annual Crane Survey by Deloitte Real Estate indicates a clear agenda of development and growth for the Northern and City Centre areas. They are also indications that 2016 will be the busiest building period since prior to the recession. Active residential developers in and around Manchester include Beech Properties, De Trafford Estates, English Cities Fund, Lend Lease, Pinnacle MC Global, Renaker and the Select Property Group.

Here at PCC Ltd we advise for and provide warranty for all residential development and look forward to a very busy 2016.

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Published Date: 28th January 2016
Category: building warranty, New Home Warranty Insurance
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