Of 94 residential lettings and management property agents in the Canterbury, Kent area Caxtons is officially *number 1, having secured the most 'new instructions' in the 10-week period between 7th November 2016 and 17th January 2017.
According to latest statistics from Rightmove, with 294 instructions, Caxton beat its nearest registered rival into second place by a massive 120 more instructions. The total number of new instructions during the period was 611, meaning that Caxtons managed to capture almost 50% of the available 'new instruction' market.
In addition, and across the same time-period, Caxtons came top of the 'let agreed' table. Of the 66 registered residential lettings and management agents' offices in the area, Caxtons secured 89 of the 164 total residential properties let during that time – well in excess of 50% during what is traditionally a quiet season for moving home.
Duncan Reeves, Associate Director at Caxtons, said "We are delighted that both our Canterbury Student Lettings and Residential Lettings teams are reaping the rewards of all their hard work.
The past six months have been tough for the property sector, not only in Kent but country-wide. There has been much uncertainty following the referendum vote and new legislation has, and will, affect landlords and buy-to-let property. This means we, as residential lettings and management agents, have to be extremely diligent, professional, efficient and cost effective at what we do. And we not only have to please our landlord clients, but their tenants too.
"Kent is a lovely county to work and live in and Canterbury is a busy and desirable residential and university destination. At Caxtons we will continue to ensure we look after both landlords and tenants to the very best of our ability. And even if their time in Canterbury and the surrounding villages and towns in Kent is short, we will help them find - and hopefully enjoy - their new homes."
*Rightmove Intel Report statistics
Caxtons is pleased to announce it has recently agreed a three year sponsorship with The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury
Caxtons already supports The Marlowe through its corporate membership and has now partnered with the award winning theatre by sponsoring its Discovery Scheme, which provides reduced price tickets for 16-26 year olds.
David Gurton, Marketing and Business Development director at Caxtons said "We are delighted to join forces with The Marlowe Theatre in this very worthwhile scheme. Our Canterbury office has a specialist student lettings division, dedicated to providing accommodation for those attending the University of Kent, Canterbury Christchurch University and UCA so this collaboration is a perfect fit with our core market."
Mark Everett, Theatre Director at The Marlowe added "We are delighted to welcome Caxtons as the sponsor of our Discovery Tickets scheme. Discovery Tickets help young people between the ages of 16 and 26 see a wide range of performances for just £10. Together with Caxtons, we can help more young people develop a love of theatre and live performance."
The Marlowe Discovery Scheme provides heavily discounted tickets for top-ticket shows. The scheme emulates an initiative that was successfully introduced by the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company some years ago.
Whether a novice or already a devotee, the scheme is designed to attract and enthral a younger audience and to inspire a fresh generation to become regular followers of the wonderful world of theatre.
Discovery Tickets can be purchased for seats in price band A, and with shows spanning theatre, comedy and music, there is always something to please every taste.
Caxtons is keen to support the scheme whenever and wherever it can and has recently commissioned a single decker bus back to promote the benefits of Discovery Tickets. The bus (21a) runs from Hales Place in Canterbury to The University of Kent, a route that is well used by students living in and around the city.
Three of the student lettings team from Caxtons recently joined Samantha Scott, Development Manager at The Marlowe, to cement the relationship and launch the scheme.
(l to r) Kevin Tubb, Brittany Holland, Daniel Eley all from Caxtons' Student Lettings division with Samantha Scott, Development Manager at The Marlowe
The Government and Bank of England seem to have used every weapon in their armoury to quell the appetite of buy-to-let landlords snapping up residential properties. They are determined to stop what they see as a root cause of inflated house prices and lack of available residential property for first time buyers.
Both the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) have voiced their dismay at what they regard as a series of measures that will further damage the residential rentals market.
There are fears that the additional stamp duty land tax (SDLT) premium of 3% on top of normal stamp duty rates for second homes will deter private buy-to-let landlords from investing. In addition, there are concerns that the phasing out of mortgage interest relief, which begins in 2017, will push rents to unaffordable levels.
One proposal, put forward by the Bank of England, is to tighten up the rules for new landlords hoping to obtain a buy-to-let mortgage. This would require residential rental income to cover mortgage outgoings, thus applying the brakes on the number of buy-to-let mortgages approved.
In an effort to beat the system there was a rush to purchase property in advance of the new stamp duty land tax being implemented.
Alan Stewart, director; Head of Residential Lettings; Management at Kent chartered surveyors Caxtons said: "The Government and the Bank of England are introducing new initiatives in an effort to slow the buy-to-let market and realign the residential property market. But it seems there is little anyone can do to quell the enthusiasm of buyers in this sector.
"Following an earlier change to restrictions on the use of pension funds, many new landlords are liberating funds to purchase what they consider to be a reliable long-term investment and interim income stream for their retirement."
Alan continued: "Saving for a reasonable deposit makes it difficult for first-time buyers to get on to the property ladder. The Government's attempts to cool the market suggests they believe buy-to-let landlords and first time buyers are chasing the same properties – and that generally, landlords win. Ergo there is a supply and demand issue that is proving difficult to resolve.
"Then there is a lack of affordable housing stock right across the country but more specifically in overcrowded conurbations, particularly in London and the South East. Would-be first-time buyers thus have little alternative than to rent. This, in turn, feeds the demand for rental property, which results in higher rents."
The Bank of England is concerned that if there were another financial downturn, second homeowners would offload properties en masse in order to realise their assets, thereby causing a housing crash similar to that experienced in the last recession.
The expectation is that the combination of a stamp duty increase, withdrawal of mortgage interest relief and a tightening up of mortgage approvals will all contribute to a slow down in the buy-to-let market, resulting in more affordable first-time property prices.
But while there is such disparity between house prices and income there is little or no hope of a change in the need for landlords and more rental properties. Only a balance in supply and demand will level the playing field.