Autumn Budget 2018

First Time Buyers! What does the Autumn 2018 budget mean for you?



Phillip Hammond’s recent announcement at the Autumn Budget that all first-time buyers, including those purchasing a shared equity home up to £500,00 will be eligible to claim stamp duty relief on their purchases.

This will come to a great relief to many making their first steps on the property ladder, including the announcement that the popular Help to Buy scheme will also be extended a further two years than expected, now ending in 2023.

Mr Hammond is looking at implementing the strategy to assist in the recovery of the housing market, in last year’s budget Stamp Duty for first time buyers was abolished for up to £300,000 which is estimated to have benefited 121,500 first-time buyers. This has resulted in an eleven year high for purchasers in this category, the government are also making it possible for any first time buyers that made a purchase since the previous budget that didn’t benefit from the relief able to make a retrospective claim.

If you are a first-time buyer looking to get on the property ladder, here at Abel we are happy to guide you through the process from recommending mortgage brokers, matching you with your dream property and keeping you up to date with regular communication throughout the purchase process. Give our team a call today on 01992 532222.


Hertford Hockey Club


We are proud sponsors of Hertford Hockey Club Men’s 1’s team!

The Hockey Club have a strong ethos revolving around local businesses and the community, making them the perfect partnership for us at Abel. They offer a place of fun and enjoyment for everyone and are a leader in youth development hockey in the area. Welcoming all abilities and ages from Hertford and East Herts.

“Hertford Hockey Club is a fast growing club in East Herts, with over 600 members. We are based in Balls Park, Mangrove Road. We have a rustic clubhouse, at the cricket ground and use a sand-dressed, floodlit hockey pitch. The pitch and clubhouse are 10 minutes from the centre of Hertford; the club has a family and friendly ethos with a great bar and a great post-match social!” (

Abel of Hertford Sponsor Hertford Carnival 2016!

We are very pleased to announce that Abel of Hertford are proud sponsors of this years Hertford Carnival which will be celebrated at Hertford Castle on Sunday 19th June 12 noon-5pm. We will be sponsoring the Fancy Dress Competition which was such a hit with the kids last year it was decided to run it again this year, so get your creative heads on!

There are plans for events around town as well such as a Fun Fair, we will blog nearer the time with a full list of events and times.

Hertford Carnival is put on and organised by the Hertford Carnival Committee which consists of members from both Hertford Town Council and the Rotary Club of Hertford. They work tirelessly to bring the whole town together each year for a day of celebration and fun. People of all ages, from little toddlers to older residents get to mingle and come together to enjoy music, food and each others company, giving people a real sense of community and inclusiveness.

Here’s the organizers ‘Mission Statement’ so you can read for yourselves just how serious they are about community spirit!

Mission statement

We are hoping that the carnival will, for ourselves and our fellow people of Hertford and environs;

  • Bring the community together and give local people from all walks of life a chance to mix and enjoy themselves
  • Provide participants and volunteers with an opportunity to use their skills and their imagination
  • Be used by local voluntary groups, organisations and charities to heighten their profiles
  • Generate a substantial amount of cash for the chosen local charities
  • Promote local businesses through procession participation, sponsorship and/or stalls
  • And of course, provide a fun-filled day for all those taking part!

As well as being invited to join in the fun, local businesses and groups can also sponsor the event, the money made goes back into the community so it’s a win win situation!


Volunteering for Hertford Carnival

We are grateful for any extra help offered between now and carnival day.  Anyone with particular skills in finance, event organising, publicity or Health & Safety, or with general organisational or people skills, or who were simply keen, are most welcome.

We will also need extra help on the day itself.

Click here for more volunteering details.


Join Them as a Business Partner

Support from local businesses is essential in making the carnival happen, and thus any level of support is welcomed.

Contact us now to get involved with Hertford Carnival 2016! The more support we have, the better the event will be!


Click on to read more details (or scroll down to read the whole page);

Here’s the link for the official Hertford Carnival’s website if you would like more information



Hertfordshire Ranks 3rd on List for Best Places to Live in the UK!

The county of Hertfordshire has retained its top spot of 3rd place on the Quality of Life Index list 2015. Out of a whopping 138 UK cities and areas Hertfordshire has remained at 3rd since the last survey was done in 2013. It can take credit for a few 1st places on the list too, such as the No1 spot for both the highest disposable income and the highest employment stats in the whole of the UK at 78%!

Only Hertfordshire and Berkshire from the South East of England made it into the top 10 on the list, beating London and all the beautiful Home Counties that surround it. Household income is considerably higher than the rest of the UK and our life expectancy is above average too, it must be all the clean country air!

Properties in Hertfordshire are higher than average for the UK but this is probably connected to the higher income of its population, in comparison to London prices they are far more reasonable. The average cost of a terraced house in Hertfordshire will set you back £344,051, compared to a terraced house in London which is on average £604,529, so nearly double! It’s no surprise then that Hertfordshire is one of the most sought after places for people wanting to move from London to but to stay within commuting distance for work.

Businesses in Hertfordshire are thriving and the services they receive are second to none with 99% mobile phone coverage and very high broadband speeds, setting up and running a successful business here is very much a reality so creating fantastic job prospects for local people.

If you are thinking of moving to Hertfordshire, there are many beautiful towns and villages to explore before you decide on one to settle down in, if you would like any advice please pop in to see us in Hertford, our favourite obviously!

Some things get better with age!

Hertford is a town steeped in history from its Castle with beautiful gate house and sweeping tree lined river to the medieval layout of this market town with it’s many original timber framed buildings. One of which is home to our new office for our independent and family run estate agents, Abel of Hertford. This particular 15th Century building is very unusual because of the size of the timber frame which runs from the corner of Fore Street and Market Place which is our building, and quite a way down Fore Street, encompassing a number of shops and residential properties. It’s a bit of a mystery to local historians because a market town this size doesn’t usually have such a grand structure from this period, these would have been the reserve of larger towns and cities. There is speculation that this building was constructed to house members of parliament during the period that London was besieged by the Plague, the Castle was also used to house parliament so maybe the situation required a more permanent and larger structure to be built.

It was built using the ‘Post and Beam’ technique which made it possible to create large interior spaces as the huge pieces of wood were strong enough to hold up to a lot more weight so upper floors could be created, the beams are still as solid today as they were when built roughly 500 years ago! The up exterior is covered in ornamental stucco patterns currently painted with a white wash

The earliest references to the town are in 731AD which refer to the town as ‘Herutford’, ‘Herut’ being the old English spelling of Hart meaning a fully mature stag, thus meaning the ford where Harts are found. Hertford is located at the joining of four rivers, the Rib, Beane, Mimram which all join the River Lea on its way into London.

Hertford today is a growing, vibrant and forward thinking town with great local shops, fantastic schools, great community events and beautiful country walks to name but a few. We are so proud to be located at the heart of this market town surrounded by all this history!

Look up!

If you happen to look up when you are walking through your town or village you may stumble upon a wealth of historical architecture and original period details that are often missed because of the more modern shop fronts. Taking the time to slow down and soak up the different styles and techniques that were fashionable at the time they were built, may fill you with a sense of wonder. Without modern machinery, the majority of what you will see would have been created by the hands of skilled tradesmen and master craftsmen and the quality speaks for itself, they look as beautiful today as they did back then! In our town of Hertford we are lucky to have inherited many notable buildings from grand Victorian properties to the more humble 17th century timber bulk dwellings that line our Medieval lanes. Hertfordshire as a county has a rich tapestry of towns and villages so its nice to stop and appreciate the often unnoticed details that give each town its essence and character.

Hertford Christmas Gala

Living and working in Hertford is such a pleasure at anytime of the year but at this time of the year it gets even better. Every year Hertford Town Council put on the Christmas Gala to mark the start of the Christmas celebrations. Every year it gets bigger and better with new additions and fresh ideas being tried out, the Ghost Walks were a hit this year as everyone loves a bit of that Dickensian ‘Christmas Carol’ feeling around Yuletide, it makes one appreciate being tucked up safe and cozy at home with all the Christmas lights glinting whilst enjoying a warm cup of cocoa!

Market Place where Abel is based has its own Christmas Market with lots of lovely stalls selling hot food, mulled wine, homemade chutneys and many other Christmas goodies. Abel joined in by running our own ‘cheese on toast’ stall and lucky dip. All the proceeds going to the wonderful charity ‘Teens Unite’ that support very brave teenagers battling cancer.

The council also runs a ‘Winning Windows’ competition, the theme this year being ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’. A lot of the local shops took part so there are some really wonderful windows for all the kids to enjoy! Abel is over the moon that we won 1st Prize and a great big trophy presented by The Mayor of Hertford, Linda Radford. I was an honor to go on stage with the kids to collect it on behalf of the whole team; it’s really made our first Christmas of trading a very special one.

Our snow machine went down very well with all the locals and visitors, it really created a magical feeling especially as the snow floated down in front of all the sparkling lights on the little fair ground rides, hearing the whoops from the little children as the snow settled on their coats and hats.

Visiting the reindeer in Parliament square whilst listening to the uplifting sounds of carol singers, is becoming a yearly tradition in Hertford, as is the kids dressing up in costumes to have their photo taken in the Stable next to the Manger! On the main stage during the evening we had brass bands, singers, fire breathers and many other exciting and entertaining acts. The whole town pulls together to create a truly heart warming event which all builds towards the turning on of the lights in Salisbury Square at 6.30pm. A beautiful tall pine tree, our companion for just a few short weeks, is covered in fairy lights, everyone in the town square counts down from 10, great cheers erupt when the lights go on, we all know its not long until Christmas day!

And last but not least, the visit to the Big Man himself…Father Christmas. We visited him in his Grotto at Hertford Museum, all the Children’s faces were lit up as they came out whilst we waited patiently in the queue. We wont give too much away as we would spoil the surprise for next year if you choose to come to Hertford’s Wonderful Christmas Gala! Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!