Sunday, February 3, 2019

8 Station Road, Ely, CB7 4BS

Monday, February 9, 2015

Thinking of taking your pension as a lump sum?

In March 2014 Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced several radical changes to the ways you can manage and access your pension. These changes were confirmed in the Taxation of Pensions Bill published on October 14, and will take effect from April 2015.

The new pension rules have been designed to give savers greater control over their money going into retirement. The changes also abolish pension 'death tax', cover free guidance for savers and new restrictions on private pension contributions.
If you are nearing retirement, it is important you take these changes into account.

The biggest change was the proposal to allow individuals aged 55 or above to take the whole of their pension pot as a cash lump sum from April this year.
Currently, although you don’t have to buy an annuity with your pension pot you are not allowed to withdraw it all as a lump sum unless it falls under specific rules governing 'small pots'.  There are a range of options to choose from if your pension fund is not considered a 'small pot'  – including buying an annuity.

If you take all your pension pots as cash, you lose the option of converting them into a regular retirement income – for example, by buying an annuity. Cashing in your pension pots can also affect how much you’ll be entitled to receive in state benefits when retired. For example, if you boost your savings by taking your whole pension pot as a lump sum this may reduce your entitlement to Pension Credit.

We recommend that you take advice before deciding what to do. Also read

If you do decide to take all the 'pot' then investing in a residential property to rent out has to be an option worth considering.

In Ely the average 2 bedroom house is currently achieving rents around £700 pcm. and gives an annual income of £8,400. The purchase price of such a house would be in the region of £180,000. This is a gross yield of 4.67%. If you take out management charges (these are currently allowable against income tax)  for the property at 10% plus VAT then the income falls to £7,392 and the net yield before tax becomes 4.1%.  Compare that with the best performing investments at the moment! The other area to bear in mind is the potential for capital growth in the value of the property although, perversely, this technically reduces your yield.

Maintenance and repairs are currently allowable against tax so boiler servicing etc are tax deductible.
As stated you should take professional advice on matters relating to your pension arrangements but if you need any advice on property matters we are here to help! Talk to the team about house purchase on Ely 665020 or specifically to Robert Mills about lettings and property management.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The New Way to Market Your Property

As a truly forward thinking and independent estate agency, David Clark is proud to be the only agent in the area with an innovative online TV channel:
This tool is at the forefront of our service and is the latest and most cutting edge product in property marketing. David Clark TV shows our dedication and commitment to providing the best possible level of customer service. 

This revolutionary marketing tool showcases all of our properties with a high quality virtual tour, and is a method of marketing proven to be 48% more effective than traditional techniques. 
What’s more, you will be able to view these
virtual tours wherever you are and whenever
you want, as they are accessible from a variety of devices, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. This means that not only will you be able to search for property on the go, but if you are selling your property, you know it will be receiving maximum exposure and coverage. 

“48% more effective than traditional techniques”

Our online presence is reinforced by our own website, as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages, while you will be able to share virtual tours across a range of social media platforms. 

On top of our social media presence and our online TV channel, we also give our properties coverage across the major property portals, such as Rightmove and Guildproperty. 
Ensuring that we fully maximise the exposure of our properties, we also provide regular local advertising and national newspaper features through our dedicated PR company who have contacts within The Times and The Telegraph. 

We employ a number of methods to ensure there is no shortage of interest in your property. Our instant email marketing goes out to our client database, who will become aware that your property is on the market. For further exposure, our Fine Homes brand can enhance your marketing, while our centrally located office is easily visible and found.

Thanks to our membership of the Movewithus network and the Guild of Professional Estate Agents, we can guarantee interest in our properties from over 1000 offices around the country, including a presence in London’s Park Lane thanks to the Guild. 

We make no overblown claims about our market share, sales figures or how 
aggressively we market homes, but more than 50% of our business comes from personal recommendation, showing our continued commitment to provide the best possible property service. 

Visit to find out why David Clark TV is changing the way people search for property.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

David Clark and Company partner with Auction House

Selling a property by auction is easier than many people think, and the prices that are achieved are usually higher than expected too. We have become the local partner agent for Auction House and feel that their experience and effectiveness in auctioneering coupled with our local knowledge can create a very effective sales platform for certain types of property.
Strong regional and national presence.
Auction House is geared up to sell local property to local, regional and national buyers. We operate over 30 regional auction rooms including one in Central London.
'Local property should always be sold in region by experts who understand auctions and know the area. They will always do a better job and get a higher price. I think that is why Auction House is so successful'
Market Leaders in many areas.
Auction House operates more auction rooms, has more auctioneers and holds more auctions than anyone else in the UK. We are already the most successful, and market leaders in many parts of the country.
'National data shows that Auction House sells more lots and is market leader in several English and Welsh counties including Cumbria, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Cheshire, Norfolk and Pembrokeshire.'
Selling locally achieves higher prices.
Everyone selling a property wants to achieve the best possible price for it. Evidence shows the prices achieved through professionally run regional auctions is higher than at centralised auctions. Auction House are the acknowledged experts in the field and a logical first choice.
'Property sells for more money closer to home, which is why everyone appoints local estate agents. The same applies to selling by auction – choosing a regional auctioneer makes sense and you will be glad that you did'
Our regional auctioneers know your area and visit your property to provide an onsite appraisal.
Sellers need to be very wary of auctioneers who don't attend and inspect their property before giving advice on Guide Prices and Reserves. Auction House have auctioneers and valuers in your area who can meet you at the property, inspect it thoroughly and give you proper guidance.
'I don't see how anyone can know the value of a property without visiting it, seeing its condition and its surroundings. Not only that but how can they sell it effectively without knowing the opportunities that it offers'
UK's No.1 Residential Auctioneer and Top 5 Commercial Auctioneer Now the largest and most successful auctioneer outside London, with Sales in 2012 of 2,075 lots and a success rate of 80% - well ahead of other regional and national auctioneers.
'Auction House is the only national auctioneer with a network of regional auction rooms and the only company running professional auctions in widespread locations across the country. If you want to sell your property through a local auction room they are the natural first choice'
We are local, well known, trusted and respected in the area.
Our auction rooms are run by experienced and successful local companies. These businesses are already well known and respected in the area. Our auction teams live locally, know the area, have a wealth of knowledge and numerous contacts. You can feel reassured and confident your property is in safe hands.
'Not only do they know the area and the local property market, but Auction House also has an extensive register of active buyers. These are drawn from both their auction activities and their estate agency registers. Auction House sells more auction properties to end users, and local people who improve them for their own occupation, or as a rental investment.'
We are consistently more successful than other regional and national auctioneers.
Auction House outperforms other auctioneers, our 2012 success rate of 80% is well ahead of the national auctions average and the results of most regional auctioneers too.
'Anyone thinking of selling by auction needs to look at success rates. The fact Auction House is amongst the most successful in the country makes them the obvious first choice in your area'
Heavyweight well targeted marketing and open house viewings are part of a proven success formula.
Auction House delivers success using a powerful package of local, regional and national marketing and promotion. We combine our specialist local knowledge with regional promotion and extensive national brand publicity to generate more interest and competitive bidding in our auction rooms. We encourage telephone and proxy bids, and wherever possible website viewing of our auctions.
If you think you may have a property that would benefit from this method of sale or need to achieve a secure sale quickly then please call us initially on 01353 665020 or visit

Help to Buy - D C & Co's View!

So what is all the fuss about?
One camp is claiming the creation of a 'House Price Bubble' the other is saying that many would-be home buyers are going to be disappointed by the actual implementation of the scheme by lenders.
I have to say I'm with the latter view. Basically the HTB scheme doesn't put any money in buyers pockets. What it does is for those who have managed to scrape together 5% of the purchase price it places a form of guarantee with lenders for another 15% of the loan. This means that the buyer has to have sufficient income and financial status to qualify for a loan of that amount. The lender is encouraged to lend more with the comfort of the UK Taxpayer underwriting 15% of that loan. It is to be noted that the first banks to confirm they were adopting the scheme were those still part owned by the state. Were they persuaded by government?  Even with this guarantee the % rate charged is above the rate that buyers would be charged if they were actually able to place their own 20% cash deposit.
It is not just the rate charged that will upset the buyers but the very tight lending criteria. To qualify people will still have to have good jobs and substantial incomes. One has to ask if you can only stump up 5% then do you have the right income to qualify for the loan?
If I think back to 1984 when I bought my first house my deposit was about 10% so 90% loan to value mortgages were not unusual then and I don't see why they should be now.
Advice is take a look with a good independent financial adviser but don't get your hopes up that the dream home you promised yourself is within reach now. Generally, the lenders do not want to see mortgage costs exceed 55% of your post tax income but they will factor in potential mortgage rate rises.
Some further reading at the links below:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

£10k refit competition ??

I have just returned from hospital having had a procedure carried out on my foot/ankle that involves repairing a damaged tendon and realigning my foot by breaking my heel! While waiting to be called down to theatre I sat in my room checking e-mails - as you do when you want to take your mind off things.

There was an e-mail from Colin Clayton of Desk Centre Limited talking about a £10,000 office refit and all I had to do was create a blog post suggesting why my office should be the one to receive it! What an opportunity - here I am laid up for two weeks before I can mobilise on crutches and my office certainly would benefit from a revamp in 2013.

Like most surviving, small, independent estate agents we have done this by cutting costs, reducing premises and regrettably letting staff go. Our address used to be 20-22 Market Place but is now 20 Market Place only. We originally moved to No.20 from our first premises in Newnham Street in 1993- my then business partner and I did it on a Friday night with the aid of a borrowed sack barrow! We got some strange looks running along the street with filing cabinets as it must have looked like we'd stolen them!

We ended up with this aluminium shop-fronted delight which we wall papered to dado height and added a paper border to, in an attempt to style it like a living room.

Like most estate agents in the mid 90's we got a rush of blood - possibly to the head but at any rate we decided to expand into what was then the launderette next door.

 Vast amounts of cash later we looked very stylish - and big!

The wall paper went and we used MDF with glued on panels to create a service area in the walls for our computer network cables. The shop front became Oak. All was going well but then my business partner and I did what business partners do and split. We became David Clark and Company still in the same big premises but within 2 years the market and the UK's economy took a turn for the worse and I had to look at a fall back position. We fell back into No.20 alone.

Making the best of a bad job I had some decorating done.  The market has been kinder to us over the last couple of years and the people I let No.22 to have hung on in there!

Staff levels have crept up again but the desks I salvaged were too big so I bought some cheapo smaller ones to get everyone in.

This is how we look today - bit 'quart in a pint pot' outside and in. The pedestals from the big desks with drawers in had to stay for some people to fit all their paperwork in. Mismatch is probably the word.

Estate agency is changing and some are trying the on-line route or moving out of the centre of towns. I'm inclined to take a different line. I want my central Market Place premises to be stunning to look at and send out the right impression to the passing hordes of people. Efficiency and friendliness. They may not be buying or selling today but my office needs to be a subliminal message etched into their brains.

From the outset of the business we've relied on our own interior design skills - no laughter please. I'd now like to let a firm of professionals loose on our not so blank canvas. Whilst life is a little easier we're not rolling in cash and our bigger competitors have upped their game and presence. The whole team would like the lift a re-fit would give.

Here is the current layout:

This is an official entry to Desk Centre’s £10,000 workspace refit competition.

Publications: Guide to Successful Sales and Guide to Lettings

How it works for you...

Having been involved in residential property sales for over 32 years and with a team around me with group experience of over 90 years in the Ely office I felt we could put together these guides that explain how we put this experience to work for you in your sale or letting.

Please download the PDF versions or ask us to send you hard copy.

Sales : guide to succesful sales

Lettings : guide to residential lettings

We are very eager to help with your sale or letting so please call us on 01353 665020