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The commercial conveyancing team at Howells Solicitors has helped Liberty Marketing, a Cardiff based online marketing agency, purchase commercial premises.

The 2000 sq ft office building formerly belonged to Costain plc and is a part of Cardiff Business Park in Llanishen, North Cardiff.

The premises, bought as an investment by Liberty’s managing director, Gareth Morgan, allows the business to continue its expansion and sees the business move out of the more expensive serviced offices where the company has been for the past 18 months.

Rhidian Hobbs, Partner and commercial property Solicitor at Howells, said "we were only too pleased to act on behalf of Liberty Marketing with the purchase of their first commercial premises and to help them achieve this significant milestone. We guided the client through not only the legal but also some of the practical issues surrounding leasehold commercial premises".

Gareth Morgan commented "Due to the location and the way the property was being purchased, the transaction was not straight forward. Rhidian and the team were very helpful and professional at all times and I couldn't have done it without their help. I am very pleased with how it worked out".

Spring may have come early this year – at least as far as the property market is concerned. The property portal, Zoopla, has seen inquiries rise to more than three times the number at the beginning of last year.

During the first four days of January, there were more than a million property searches on the site across the United Kingdom, more than double last year’s early tally.

March, traditionally one of the most important times of the year for house hunters and vendors, might have been supplanted if the initial surge of inquiries during recent weeks is anything to go by.

There are several theories as to why we are seeing an upturn in activity so early in 2011. One is that the autumn market, which used to be almost as important as the spring, has been squeezed by long summer holidays and the pre-Christmas run-up.

People have had time over Christmas and the New Year to prepare their houses for sale or to organise finance and draw up a shortlist of dream homes.

It has also been suggested that householders might be rushing to get their properties to market, under the looming spectre of the threatened double dip recession, which would see the British economy plunged back into chaos.

Howells Solicitors, with offices in Cardiff, Swansea, Caerphilly, Talbot Green and Newport, say they have seen an increase in market movement, regardless of the reason.

“Even though the property market is still subdued, by January 14 this year we had completed on two separate £1m transactions,” commented business development manager, Tristan Lewis.

“On one of these residential transactions we acted for the seller of a small holding on the outskirts of Cardiff. The other completion occurred where a local businessman and his family had purchased a property in a popular Cardiff suburb.

“We have also received a further instruction on a £1m property this week, which we expect to complete shortly.

“We are still some way off the levels of instructions we were receiving pre-August 2007, however we have had about a 25% increase in the levels of instructions we have received so far in January, corresponding with the numbers for the same period in January 2010.

“This is very encouraging and we hope this will continue to increase as we head towards the spring and the warmer weather.”

Kelvin Francis, RICS Wales spokesperson and director of Kelvin Francis Chartered Surveyors, agrees there has been an early surge this year – but is somewhat more reserved.

“There has been a rapid upturn in the level of inquiries and people are optimistic and upbeat about the market. But it is still early days as it is yet to be converted into an increase in sales,” he said.

“We have also been pleasantly surprised by the number of first time buyers expressing an interest in buying a home, which we were not expecting given the current difficulties obtaining a mortgage.

“People put their plans on hold over Christmas so we would normally expect an upturn in the New Year as they start to look ahead to the future.

“The signs are good but we are waiting to see if the high levels of inquiries will turn into the decisions which will generate sales. We are certainly hoping for lots more activity in the next couple of weeks.”

The above is taken from Welsh Homes magazine, part of the Western Mail on the 29th January. If you are considering buying a residential property then contact Howells Solicitors today. Our expert residential conveyancing team will ensure the entire process runs as smoothly as possible.

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