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Reside5 – Half Term Trips

For many, the peace and romance of Valentine’s Day will be shattered at around 3pm as Bath’s schools jettison an avalanche of excitable children from the sanctuary of the schoolyard and tyrannised teachers hastily secure the gates behind them for a week. With half term upon us, many a hassled household will be doing their best to balance work, life and a tangle of tireless tykes, so it is important to have an impressive armoury of activities at the ready.

Just as well, then, that we have scoured the region and picked 5 of our favourite things to do, places to be and sights to see with the kids during half term. We hope that it helps you to plan some fantastic family fun, and please let us know what you get up to on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

1. Bath City Farm
Kelston View, BA2 1NW
Twitter: @BathCityFarm
(photo credit: bathcityfarm.org.uk)

The presence of Shetland ponies, Dexter cattle, Wiltshire Horn sheep, pygmy goats, boar and guinea fowl on the southwestern outskirts of Bath might cause you to think that Old MacDonald has decamped to the city. They actually belong to Bath City Farm, a 37 acre community organisation which promotes sustainable farming and living. Whilst picturesque walks can be enjoyed over the farmland, the stars of the show are undoubtedly the animals who roam the fields and can be cautiously approached as long as an adult’s in attendance. The pigs, chickens and ducks can be fed with feed from the farm shop, and pony grooming sessions are also occasionally available. To top it all off, entry to this wonderful community experience is absolutely free, although donations are gratefully accepted.

2. The Egg Theatre
Sawclose, BA1 1ET
Twitter: @theeggbath
(photo credit: guide2bath.com)

The Egg is a cosy and comfortable theatre dedicated to children and families, and they have a half term agenda packed with adventure and excitement. Wanted: Rabbit gets half term off to a thrilling start with the tale (tail?) of a manhunt (rabbithunt?) for an escaped jailbird (jailrabbit? – enough, Ed.). On Monday, there is evocative storytelling with live musical accompaniment and the rest of the week is occupied by Grandpa’s Railway, a poignant story from the highly acclaimed M6 Theatre Company.

3. Adventure Golf
Royal Victoria Park, BA1 2NR
(photo credit: visitbath.co.uk)

Unless the weather dramatically changes over the next few days, you may have to turn up to Victoria Falls Adventure Golf dressed for the Niagara Falls. However, kids couped up indoors contracting cabin fever is not a pleasant experience, so a trip to the Adventure Golf clad in anoraks may well be the solution. 18 holes of very crazy golf wend their way between waterfalls and over waterways, so there is always a chance of getting splashed even if the weather holds!

4. Frozen Sing-Along at Little @ Komedia
Westgate Street, BA1 1EP
Twitter: @LittleTheatreUK
(photo credit: flickr.com/thelittletheatrecinema)

In a world… where children are scowled upon in a cinema for the slightest rustling, bustling or fidgeting, what a relief it will be to take your musical minors to a movie theatre where participation is very much encouraged. As far as family films are concerned, Frozen was the big hit of the winter and Bath’s favourite cinema, The Little Theatre, is hosting sing-along screenings at Komedia this half term. Packed with typical Disney belters, this is an event which is sure to bring the house down.

5. Two Tunnels Greenway
Twitter: @twotunnelsbath
(photo credit: ctcwest.org.uk)

Opened in 2013 to much acclaim, the Two Tunnels Greenway is a cycle path which follows a disused railway line which connects Bath to the Midford Valley, making use of two tunnels which had been blocked off since the Beeching cuts in 1966. The tunnels are both lit and music is played in the lengthier of the two tunnels; best of all they provide shelter from whatever the elements are doing outside. Any grown-ups in the cycling parties will be pleased to know that the route leads past some very pleasant pubs – cycling can be such thirsty work.

As the school bells signal the start of half term, I hope that our blog will help you to feel ready to entertain the whole family this half term. And don’t forget to let us know what you got up to!


Tenant Demand Set To Increase Into 2014… And Beyond

Walk into Reside during the winter months and you may see a member of staff huddled over a paperback. You would be forgiven for thinking that they were squeezing in a quick chapter of whatever blockbuster had been left for them under the tree on Christmas morning, but it is far more likely that they will be scrutinising Rightmove’s own festive treat: the Little Blue Book. Packed full of data gleaned from Rightmove during 2013, this tiny tome concisely summarises national property trends during the past 12 months. With the help of this and a brand new report on the private rental sector published by Knight Frank, this blog reviews 2013 and speculates whether 2014 will be a year of merriment or malcontent for Landlords.

Rightmove’s report indicates that demand for rental property has increased dramatically during 2013, with this put down to potential home owners being ‘unable to clear post-2008 deposit hurdles’. However, whilst trends over the last three years have seen the supply of new rental properties to the market dwindle, 2013 has bucked this trend and for the first time in years the gap between supply and demand has diminished. New investors are being tempted to the market by improving returns and a recovery in the sales market, as evidenced by a 29% increase in buy-to-let loans during the third quarter of 2013 compared with the same period during 2012. With this in mind, it seems that 2013 has been a year of real growth for the rental market – both in supply and demand, but is this likely to continue into 2014?

New research carried out by Knight Frank suggests that the 4 million households who currently live in privately rented accommodation in the UK will increase by more than 25% by the end of 2016. Even as the housing market starts to recover and Help to Buy lends a hand to purchasers with smaller deposits, the report speculates that Help to Buy ‘is unlikely to reverse the direction of travel to the private rented sector’. Knight Frank cite a strong likelihood that the scheme may be scaled back, and also the slim chance that the full £12.5 billion in mortgage guarantees offered will be used. The report concludes that this, allied with an economy gaining momentum and creating more demand for employment and therefore rental properties in urban areas, will see the demand in rental properties continue to increase for the foreseeable future.

Knight Frank and Rightmove’s findings are borne out by our own results at Reside, where we have seen the total number of lets agreed per year increase by 53% between 2011 and 2013. We have already felt the impact of the rise in tenant demand this year, as January 2014 was our busiest start to the year ever with the number of viewings carried out during the month up by 39% compared to January 2013.

With tenant demand continuing to increase at the same time as a small resurgence in the housing market, it seems that there has never been a better time to invest in rental property. If you are considering joining the ever-increasing number of investment landlords in or around Bath, or simply wish to keep up with our lettings news, please do not hesitate to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Alternatively, our office contact details can be found on our Contact Us page.