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Expat Investor : September 2008
PROPERTY INVESTMENT Cyprus reports 4% growth in tourism Landlords don't lose control of deposits In the current climate of a strong euro and an international credit crisis you would be forgiven for assuming that the British public were being dissuaded from holidaying abroad, however even in light of current economic circumstances Cyprus’ star, however, seems to be rising high. The latest office, UK Sales Director for Aristo Developers comments, “It is refreshing that in a climate where there is much talk of a global credit crunch and diminishing tourist figures that statistics actually show that visitors the Cyprus are growing year on year. “With numbers of those travelling from the EU and specifically the UK growing at a such positive rate, it is clear that more and more people are discovering the wonders of Cyprus’ ancient sites, cultural variety and stunning scenery.” Fast Facts 77460 mydeposits.co.uk,a UK government-authorised insurance- based tenancy deposit protection scheme protecting over £200 million of deposits, is reminding landlords that they don't have to lose control of their deposits even though these must now be protected throughout the course of the tenancy. According to government data, over one million deposits have now been protected. Much of this cash has either been deposited in a bank account or retained by a letting agent on behalf of landlords. Either way, it means the landlord hasn't been able to protect and retain their tenants’ cash. mydeposits.co.uk reports that its is the only scheme specifically designed for landlords which enables them to hold on to their tenants’ deposits instead of handing them over to a third party. The scheme offers an easy to use ‘pay-as-you-go’ format with only modest fees. David Salusbury, Chairman, tells Expat Investor, “Just because a landlord now has to protect their tenants’ deposits, it doesn’t mean they have to hand over the cash to a third party. Recent figures have shown that this type of self-regulation for mandatory tenancy deposit protection is working well with only 341 cases being notified to the scheme. “Landlords who fail to comply with the tenancy deposit protection legislation face considerable risks. They could be forced to pay a fine of up to three times the deposit amount and limits will be placed on their ability to seek possession for as long as the deposit remains unprotected.” 3.25 million homeowners plan to move over coming year More than three million homeowners are looking to move house over the next 12 months, despite changes in the housing market, according to new Moving Improving research from Alliance & Leicester. More than one in three homeowners (38%) who have sold a property in the past have, at some point, made improvements specifically to increase the sale appeal of their property, with an average spend of £3,000. This trend of improving in order to sell continues, with one in five (19%) homeowners stating that they will be making improvements to their home in the next 12 months in order to add value or increase sale- ability. However, the majority of homeowners (50%) are still improving their home to make it a nicer place to live and to avoid the expense and upheaval of moving elsewhere. Richard Taylor, Head of Mortgage Products, says: “Even within the current climate, there are still millions of people who are looking to move and they are doing all they can to get the best price for their property. “However, it is clear that DIY and home improvements remain important to all homeowners, both to those looking to add value to their house in order to sell, and to those who are looking to stay put and benefit from these improvements personally.” The most popular way for homeowners to add value to their homes is to redecorate (69%), closely followed by improving the outdoor space (59%) and carrying out routine maintenance (44%). Homeowners are less willing to make more substantial improvements, with only one in six (16%) planning to add an extension and only one in 10 (11%) planning to make their home more eco-friendly. However, re-decoration and outdoor space are not top of potential buyers’ priorities when looking for a new property. Whilst the most important factor for many (77%) is the number of bedrooms in the property, this is followed by a well maintained property (55%). This highlights the value of investing in maintaining your home well, whether you are planning to sell now or in the future. A large kitchen (48%) also features high on buyers' wish lists. Almost half of potential buyers (43%) prefer off-street parking, while only a third (32%) value having a garage. Houses that are located near noisy transportation links are not desirable for potential buyers, with 74% citing busy roads, 67% citing nearby railway tracks and 63% citing nearby air traffic among their top turn offs. Fast Facts 77461 September 2008 ? EXPAT INVESTOR 23
July August 2008