Rising numbers of Hampshire householders are seeking to extend leasehold terms for their properties, according to a local firm of chartered surveyors.
McAndrew Martin’s general practice department has recorded the increase over the first half of 2017 as leasehold property and ground rents become a hot political topic.
Portsmouth-based McAndrew Martin provides property-related services in six divisions: architecture, building surveying, general practice, mechanical and electrical engineering, project management and contract administration and structural engineering.
Ian Lee, director of general practice, said the 33-strong firm was recruiting more residential valuation surveyors to meet demand for its leasehold expertise and wider land and property services.
“There has been a sharp 30% rise in leasehold extension valuations in the first half of 2017 which has continued into the summer months.
“It is predominately for older properties, such as in the Southsea area of Portsmouth, although it does apply across the board.
“Leaseholders are keen to extend the length of their lease to add value to their property and safeguard against reversion to the freehold owner on expiry of the leasehold term.
“The national spotlight on leasehold properties and recent government proposals may well have played their part in raising awareness of this issue.”
He added: “Our five-strong general practice team has more than 120 years of combined experience.
“With increased demand for our expert professional services in such areas as leasehold extension, Help to Buy and Party Wall surveys, we are seeking to expand by recruiting more residential property surveyors.”
Under the current legislation – the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (as amended) – property owners have the right to a lease extension of 90 years on top of their current term.
New legislation by the Government proposes to ban new houses being sold leasehold and to restrict ground rents.
According to latest figures released by the Department for Communities and Local Government in April of this year, there were 4 million leasehold properties in England in the private sector in 2014-2015.
Of the 4m total, houses accounted for 1.2m properties while flats made up 2.8m.