Chris Hope

Dawsons re-affirmed as Llanelli and Swansea expert by Relocation Agent Network

Dawsons estate agent, who cover both Swansea and Llanelli, has been re-affirmed as the area’s local expert by Relocation Agent Network (RAN).

Dawsons’ impressive RAN credentials were praised at the 2015 Relocation Agent Network Conference, which took place at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel in London.

RAN is a national network of selected estate agents across England, Scotland and Wales and Dawsons was handpicked to be a member of the Network, based on strict criteria such as quality of service, local knowledge and professionalism.

“We are delighted to have been re-affirmed as the ‘best of the best’ within Swansea and Llanelli,” said Chris Hope, Senior Partner at Dawsons.

“No other Swansea or Llanelli-based agent can offer this unique service, and we are actively helping clients throughout the region find their next new home, whether they are moving into the area or a little further afield,” explained Chris.

Relocation Agent Network Managing Director, Richard Tucker said: “We are proud to have re-affirmed Dawsons’ Relocation Agent Network membership. They were specially selected to join us and in our opinion, are Swansea and Llanelli’s Local Expert for buying and selling.”

Through its affiliation to Cartus, the premier provider of relocation services, RAN members help Cartus assist relocating families, offering Dawsons customers an additional channel of buyer when selling their property.

In addition, members also help their customers through their ‘Referral Network’, which allows Dawsons to help people who are looking to move out of the local area by referring them to a Relocation Agent in the location they are moving to.

“Besides dealing with clients’ relocation needs, there are many advantages to being involved in such a scheme,” added Chris.

“With regular forums of representatives from individual regions, Dawsons is in a positive position to receive first-hand information regarding how market trends are changing giving us and our clients the means to adapt to current market conditions.

“Those selling will also have a distinct advantage thanks to direct access to the network of motivated buyers who are moving from other parts of the country into Swansea and Llanelli.

“These buyers are initially only introduced to Dawsons as agents of the network, therefore Dawsons clients get the first opportunity to find the right buyers who are moving into the area from around the country.”

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Selling at auction is becoming an increasingly popular avenue and is fast catching up with the more conventional ‘for sale’ route for home owners.

In the recent past the houses under the hammer environment was an area of the property market that was often reserved for run down and unglamorous properties that people wanted to get off their hands with a quick sale.

Dawsons senior director Chris Hope believes that attitudes have changed dramatically when it comes to utilising auctions.

“In the current market auctions are now a specific method of selling you house – a change from 20 or 30 years ago when it was a dumping ground if you could not be sold by private treaty,” he said.

“It’s nowadays a successful way of selling properties and getting the full price the market will pay. It is now not about a property which is battered and bruised, which no-one wants to buy.”

In highlighting the change in attitude Dawsons have one particular property coming up for auction at The Marriott on November 25th which clearly demonstrates the shift in attitudes.

The lot comprises of a semi-detached property located in the Gower village of Penmaen. It is situated on the cliff top with uninterrupted views over Three Cliffs, Tor and Oxwich Bays. The three-bedroom property has a guide price of £250,000.

“We are expecting to have a lot of interest especially because of the spectacular views it offers and this is a prime example of what goes to auction in the current climate,” added Chris.

Dawsons Auction manager Julie Lawry adds, “To get the right market level, auction is the best way to gauge market prices. So basically, with an auction you get true market value and it is simple process. Added to that, auction is by far the most successful way to sell houses within a fixed time frame which clients may need.

“And with regards the Penmaen property, these types of quality property and position, tend to sell for more at auction than if sellers just deal with buyers on a ‘one-to-one’ basis.”

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Make Sure Your Home has the Kerb Appeal it needs

Autumn is upon us and winter is just around the corner. This can mean more work tending to those gardens and nearby trees.

Whether your home is new to the market or has been on there for some time, the endless task of making your property look its best for the next viewing can be frustrating.  But do not forget the importance of ‘Kerb Appeal’.

Although it may seem like there is little interest in your property at times, there will still be buyers looking at it online and then going to see it. Or simply there are those who drive past and spot the ‘For Sale’ sign. How many of them do you think have driven past your property to see overgrown lawns, leaves scattered around the gardens and generally feeling the full effects of our Welsh weather?

Kerb Appeal is the first glance a potential buyer will see of your home and they are only left to guess what to expect inside, making it a very important aspect to be aware of when selling your home. If you are selling your property here are three great tips to make sure you not only get people coming through the door, but also achieve the best price:

  • Neat front garden
  • Clean windows, fascia/guttering
  • Fresh paint work – railings/front door/wooden framed windows/garage door


You will be surprised what a difference Kerb Appeal makes to sell your home! Give this a go and let us know what difference you see. Or if you are interested in selling your home contact your local Dawsons Branch today.

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Independent mortgage broker unveils how the slowdown in GDP growth could affect interest rates

After months of telling buyers and owners to prepare for the ‘inevitable’ rate rise at the turn of the New Year, the UK and global economy has continued to slow down, resulting in many economists doing complete U-turns in their thoughts.

Most now predict an increase in Quarter Four of next year but with the jargon the industry is known for, it can be difficult for the average homeowner to understand exactly how economic growth trends will affect their mortgage products, a subject that independent mortgage broker Mortgage Advice Bureau is determined to shed some light on.

The interest rate rise is ultimately decided by the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), which consists of nine members, including Governor Mark Carney. The MPC’s main aim is to set a Bank Rate that will enable their pre-determined inflation target (which currently sits at 2%) to be met. Each member of the MPC has extensive knowledge and experience in economics, which is often where the problem lies.

“Currently, the members are divided over when the right time to start the interest rate rise is, and it is for this reason that an exact timescale cannot be predicted,” said Oliver Adair from Mortgage Advice Bureau.

“Firstly, it should be noted that, whilst some are predicting a later increase in interest rates, there are still many that say the latest the rise will take place is in February 2016.”

With oil prices continuing to fall, China’s ‘Black Monday’ stock market crash, the US Federal Reserve’s decision to keep its own base rate at 0.25%, and inflation in the UK returning to negative figures, many believe that hiking the UK Bank Rate could hinder the ongoing recovery. The UK also recently experienced a surprise slump in manufacturing and its biggest drop in construction output since 2012, leading to a slowdown in economic growth that was greater than predicted.

“Add all of this to the fact that the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show inflation falling back to -0.1% after its brief respite at 0.1% (still way below the Bank’s target of 2%), and you can begin to see why a rise could be less likely to happen, in order to help encourage consumer spending, thus boosting inflation,” added Oliver.

The slowdown in growth means that the MPC and policymakers will need to assess where the economy is at, which could postpone any likelihood of a rate rise for a little while longer.

The next MPC committee meeting takes place this month, and whilst we are unlikely to be given any clarity on their thoughts as they continue to debate among themselves, for now, we can only theorise on prospective dates.

Oliver Adair is from Mortgage Advice Bureau – for further information call: 07928 519901. Email: or visit

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Dawsons staff pick up prestigious national award

Dawsons Estate Agent is celebrating after picking up a national award.

The Marina office has been named UK Letting Agent of the Month by Rateragent, who quantify success on the feedback they receive from estate and letting agents’ clients.

“This accolade reaffirms the high standards we strive to achieve each working day,” said Ricky Purdy, Dawsons Director of Lettings.

“It is great to see that our clients are receiving and benefiting from the service we provide. What is also nice to see is that these customers are taking time out of their busy lives to acknowledge the individual and group efforts our staff make.”

The award comes on the back of two staff at Mumbles lettings office being awarded Rateragent agent of the week for outstanding customer service.

“Backing that achievement up with our Marina office now being recognised as UK letting agent of the month, is fantastic,” added Ricky.

“Our staff who work so hard to achieve such high standards will ensure that every effort is made to continue the good work, first and foremost for our landlords and tenants.”

Marina Office Manager Emma Bolton said: “As a branch we are absolutely delighted to have received an award especially as it covers the whole of the UK. This supports being members of RAN (Relocation Agent Network) which gives us access to 700 plus agents in the network across the country that we are able to help.

“As a company we strive and take pride in giving continued customer service of the highest quality.”

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Tax changes to buy-to-let – how it will affect landlords

In the first all-Conservative budget since 1997, the Chancellor, George Osborne, announced the amount of tax relief that landlords will be able to claim on the interest of their mortgage payments will be reduced.

The changes mean property investors who currently claim top rates of tax relief of 40% and 45% will only be able to claim relief in the future at the basic rate of tax, currently 20%. Here David Treharne of Mortgage Advice Bureau discusses how this will affect landlords.

What is tax relief?

Tax relief is something that allows you to pay less tax so you can account for money you need to spend on things like expenses. It can also allow you to get tax repaid in other ways, such as straight into a personal pension.

As landlords, as your buy-to-let properties are classed as self-employed businesses, you are currently able to get tax relief and deduct some of your running costs from your taxable profit, so long as they are allowable expenses.

How will the tax rates change?

Under the new rules, landlords will not be able to deduct the cost of the interest on their mortgage from their rental income.

For example, currently, if your property earns £20,000 per year and the interest-only mortgage costs £13,000 per year, you will pay tax on the £7,000 profit. If you currently pay the higher 40% tax rate, this means you will pay £2,800 in tax per year.

Under the same circumstances in 2020, however, the full rental income of £20,000 will be taxable by 40%, if you fall under this tax bracket, meaning, after taking away the new basic-rate tax relief of 20% on your interest-only mortgage payment of £13,000 (20% of £13,000 = £2,600), you are left to pay £5,400 per year – an increase of 93%.

That sounds confusing. Will these changes be implemented over time to give landlords chance to adjust?

The withdrawal of the higher-rate reliefs will be phased in over a period of four years, in order to help landlords adjust to the lower relief level, and nothing will happen until April 2017.

It will then be implemented in four stages:

Stage one
From April 6th 2017, the higher-rate tax relief can still be claimed on the first 75% of your mortgage interest costs. The remaining 25% will have the basic rate of tax relief applied.

Stage two
From April 6th 2018, the amount of tax relief you can claim at the higher rates will drop to 50% of your mortgage interest costs. The remaining 50% will have the basic rate of tax relief applied.

Stage three
From April 6th 2018, the higher-rate tax relief can only be applied to 25% of your mortgage interest costs. The remaining 75% will be at the basic rate.

Stage four
From April 6th 2020, you will only be able to claim tax relief at the basic rate level.

If you have any furnished holiday lets, this restriction will not apply.

These changes will be published and are expected to be passed in the 2015 Summer Finance Bill.

How can you assess the impact these changes will have on you? 

There is still time for landlords to forward-plan so they do not have to suddenly increase rents. For any landlords currently investing in property, or considering expanding their portfolio, it is wise to speak to an independent mortgage adviser to discuss these changes. It is also worth talking to a property tax expert to see if there are any other tax breaks you could take advantage of.

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Dawsons shortlisted for award as Best Agent in South Wales

Leading estate agent Dawsons has been shortlisted by Relocation Agent Network, a national network of selected estate agents, for the 2015 Best Agent Award in the South Wales Region.

The winner will be announced at a black tie evening awards dinner held at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel, London on Friday, November 13th –an event being hosted by comedian Tim Vine.

The nomination comes on the back of Dawsons being crowned ‘Sunday Times Rental agent of the Year’.

“We are delighted to be shortlisted for Relocation Agent Network’s Best Agent Regional Award. It really does highlight the team’s effort, commitment and enthusiasm over the past 12 months,” said Dawsons Senior Director Chris Hope.

Relocation Agent Network’s 2015 Best Agent South Wales Region Award is an annual prize for the agent that has consistently made the best overall contribution to the Network throughout the year and offers nominees the chance to become the Network’s ‘Best Network Agent in the South Wales Region’.

To reach this stage of the award programme, agents must demonstrate excellent customer service, innovative business initiatives and a commitment to the Relocation Agent Network principles.

Richard Tucker, Relocation Agent Network’s Managing Director commented: “As a network of selected estate agents, made up of 16 regions across England, Scotland and Wales, our regional awards recognise those agents that truly demonstrate outstanding customer service and innovative business initiatives. Congratulations to Dawsons for their well deserved nomination.”

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