CategoriesWeekly News

Weekly Property News Round Up – 17.07.21

So, here we are! At last, we have come to the end of the final week before our much-anticipated “Freedom Day” on Monday 19th July.

It is impossible to ignore the change in the atmosphere as we all look forward to seeing what life will be like on the flip side of this strange coin. It will be a new taste of freedom for many, and if we’re very lucky, could mark the beginning of the end of this unprecedented chapter in our world history.

Now, let’s take a look at all the headlines that caught our attention this week. I always try to summarise the links to save you having to click through.

The Pure Property Podcast

Episode 31: What Are Property Bonds? – The latest episode of the Pure Property Podcast is out now. You can listen to it on Apple Podcasts and all other major platforms.
Remember, you can also listen to this week’s newsletter on the podcast as well.

We would really appreciate it if you could subscribe and leave feedback for our Podcast on Apple.

 
Property news this week
 
  • Average Rents Hit Record £1,000 Per Month – Data released by Rightmove has revealed that the average National asking price for rent in areas outside London is now over £1,000 pcm. With asking rents rising 2.6% higher from Q1 2021 and 6.2% higher than July last year, this increase is the biggest ever recorded by Rightmove. London is the only area not to have experienced growth, with asking prices still less than last year on average, though growth this quarter does suggest the beginnings of an upward climb. City suburbs, commuter towns and coastal locations have all shown the highest rental increases, with some of these seeing a boost of over 25%. Across Britain, low stock and record rents in many areas are putting house-hunters under increasing pressure. Combined with the imminent lifting of lockdown restrictions, it is likely that major cities will all experience renewed interest from would-be tenants who are looking for an affordable and stable place to call home.
  • Rise in Development Lending to Boost New-Build Sector – Small housebuilders across the UK could be in line to build 70,000 extra homes every year over the next decade as a result of backing from the development finance market, which has seen an increase of more than 50% in the past 5 years. In this time, 40 lenders have reportedly started to offer development finance for refurbishment and development projects.

    Most of the new lenders are focussing on developers aiming to build a small batch of properties on an area of land as opposed to hundreds, which is fantastic news for smaller housebuilders and those looking to invest in them. Rising competition between lenders results in developers benefitting from more competitive deals than were previously accessible. This shift is bound to have a major impact on the number of new homes built in the next two years. Over the past 15 years, smaller site builders have had a really hard time getting the finance they need, despite being “consistently efficient in their delivery of new homes”. This issue of funding is no longer the barrier it once was, which is excellent news for both smaller development businesses and for tenants crying out for more suitable housing options.
  • Women now make up almost half of UK landlords – London estate agent Ludlow Thompson has reported that 48% of the 2.6million UK buy-to-let landlords are now women. It seems that women’s involvement in BTL assets is increasing steadily, particularly in contrast to investments such as stocks and shares and cryptocurrency, where men are still holding the majority of interest. The total income generated from buy-to-let assets has also increased much faster for women than for men in recent years – 27% for women in the past five years alone, and currently sitting at £16.1billion. In comparison, buy-to-let income has only risen by 15% for men. The rise in female landlords not being reflected in an equal increase in other investment areas may be due to the buy-to-let market reputation for generating stable returns and long-term growth, with less overall volatility.
  • 1.8m homes pushed into higher stamp duty bands – While the housing market boom has been incredible for those wishing to pull money out of their current homes or sell their property, it has had the opposite effect for those looking to buy. House prices have increased by over £10,000 in the past year and had a domino effect on stamp duty land tax, which is calculated based on a property’s price. The result is that an estimated 1.8 million homes have now been pushed into higher tiers for tax payment. Although first-time buyers often side-step this issue, being exempt for the first £300,000 of their property ownership, increasing house prices may still put pressure on their potential for deposit saving and mortgage affordability
That is all we have for you this week. If you have any comments or questions on this week’s news summary then please feel free to send us an email at [email protected]  – if not, see you next week.
CategoriesWeekly News

Weekly Property News Round Up – 10.07.21

It has been a hot and heavy week, with all the humidity and sporadic Summer storms sweeping fitfully across much of the UK. Perhaps the weather is a reflection of the Euro 2020 games, which have certainly brought their own share of drama to the scene.

So as we anxiously await the next turn of sporting events, I’m left wondering… will Boris really cough up that extra Bank Holiday? Nonetheless, we are cheering England all the way…..it’s coming home!

The Pure Property Podcast

Now, let’s take a look at all the headlines that caught our attention this week. I always try to summarise the links to save you having to click through.

Episode 30: Investing in a Limited Company? Meet GetGround – The latest episode of the Pure Property Podcast is out now. You can listen to it on Apple Podcasts and all other major platforms.
Remember, you can also listen to this week’s newsletter on the podcast as well.

We would really appreciate it if you could subscribe and leave feedback for our Podcast on Apple.

 
Property news this week
  • Lloyds Launches New Venture with Private Rental Debut –  Lloyds Banking Group has officially debuted the launch of its brand new residential property rental business, ‘Citra Living’. With plans to acquire more than 800 properties by the end of 2022, Lloyds insists that its objective is “not to ‘hoover up’ properties owner-occupiers would want to buy”. Instead, the banking group will be looking to acquire newly-built, good quality properties in the hopes of softening the blow that private landlords exiting the market has caused. Lloyds is not alone in taking this step. John Lewis also has plans to build at least 7000 new rental properties as it seeks new ways to expand its earning potential and recoup losses in the retail sector. It could be said that there would be less danger of risk in property investment for a big institutional investor, whose property portfolio would only ever account for a small fraction of their earnings. If that is the case, this minimisation of risk could well benefit prospective tenants, desperate for some stability after the damage caused by the recent pandemic. However, this very instability is likely to result in an avalanche of mortgage defaults as the entire economy struggles to recover. So, what could a cynical mind observe from that? Perhaps as more and more borrowers default, these big institutional investors could simply place repossessed homes directly into the rental market and start earning money from them even faster than they could have before. That being said, Lloyds has given £40bn in mortgages to first-time buyers in the past four years alone; a number to be reckoned with which surely shows a high degree of integrity towards its customers.
  • Buy-to-Let Mortgage Rates Lower on Average than in 2019 – Nottingham Building Society recently revealed that 61% of landlords surveyed believed that property was a better investment on account of low interest rates for savings. Combine this with the current high demand for rental accommodation and many new investors could soon be seeking to enter the buy-to-let sector. It is certainly true that the average Buy-to-Let two-year fixed rate is lower than it was in July 2019, and that the Buy-to-Let product choice is also continuing to climb. In many ways, it seems that these changes are setting the perfect scene for investors who are interested in the UK property market. With 365 more deals available now than were recorded in July 2019, investors could now find themselves spoilt for choice when searching for the best BTL mortgage out there. Even though there are some private landlords who have decided to liquidate their assets in the wake of the pandemic, it is clear that there is still much to entice prospective landlords to increase their portfolios – or even get those first set of keys to a brand new rental property.
  • How to Invest 200K in Property – £200,000 is a great amount to start off with when first entering the property market, and there are many different methods and strategies out there to help you maximise your capital and minimise risk. With this in mind, it is important to have a clear idea of your long and short-term goals, making sure the two align well with one another. This creates a clear path for you to follow when making investment choices. Two of the most lucrative property investment strategies are those of Property Development and Joint Ventures. Property Development / Refurbishment are both great options for building and diversifying your portfolio. Development generally focuses on building on a piece of land in order to raise its value. Refurbishment is comprised of purchasing a home and then making structural and cosmetic changes that increase the property’s value, often then re-selling the property for a higher sum in a move known as ‘flipping’. Joint Ventures, on the other hand, involve partnering up with one or more investors to purchase either a single property or a portfolio of homes together. This can be a great way of saving money, benefiting from another’s expertise and yielding significantly increased returns. When embarking on a Joint Venture, it is always worth clarifying the expectations of all parties to ensure that everyone understands fully what their contributions, responsibilities and profit margins are likely to be. Above all, ensure that all dealings are legally compliant and have a thought-out exit strategy to cope with unforeseen changes.
  • Will UK Housing Boom Derail Post-Brexit Trade Deals? – Based on historic data, there could be reason to suspect that the incredible explosion of the UK housing market will inadvertently hamper the contribution of trade to economic growth. There may not seem to be a clear connection between the two, but 50 years of Reuters data consistently demonstrates that whenever market rises are used to boost the economy, other important areas such as Manufacturing take a noticeable dive. Part of this is because the housing market is so intrinsically linked to consumer confidence. When confidence is high, we see an overall increase in household expenditure and this naturally pushes the demand for imports. The result is a drag on the economy from net trade. Another important factor is the negative effect a property market boom has on the Manufacturing sector. Rising house prices will inevitably increase the profitability of the construction and real estate sectors. This attracts both labour and capital from higher-productivity industries such as manufacturing. Factories are often forced to increase wages simply to keep their best workers – and these increases are not backed by productivity gains, which makes them less competitive. All these factors point to an economical phenomenon known colloquially as “Dutch Disease,” whereby a booming sector diminishes resources from other sectors to the detriment of the overall economy. Policy-makers are longing for a rebalancing of the market to put an end to this alarming trend. However, with homeowners being so prominent on the voting front, it remains to be seen whether the government will shake off the old patterns and steer the country in a new direction, or if it is destined to repeat the mistakes of the past?
  • Fire-Safe Cladding Funds: A Catalyst for Change in Construction – Just over five years ago, the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire rocked not only London but the entire UK. On that day, Seventy-two people perished in a fire caused initially by a faulty fridge-freezer, but – more importantly – became immeasurably more devastating due to the highly flammable cladding that cloaked the building’s exterior.
    The lessons learned from this heartbreaking event will be permanently felt and have lasting effects on policies for both the construction and property industries. The UK government has now funded an initiative that finally pushes property owners to invest in fire-safe cladding on high-rise buildings. This is a much-needed move, but not the only change that needs to take place. Preventing another similar disaster requires putting health and safety as a fundamental priority, with the construction industry taking much more responsibility for the type and origin of materials used for commercial buildings. Residential development companies also have a duty of care to ensure that strict health and safety standards are adhered to, with any sub-standard materials removed from the property with immediate effect. State-of-the-art software such as IconSystem by Elecosoft enables property owners and companies to have instant access to the construction materials used in their buildings. This innovation could prove life-saving by making information and thus accountability much more transparent. This will make adhering to best-practice construction methods a much simpler task going forward. However, all the government funding and software development combined will not be able to rescue this situation or prevent further tragedies. More, it is people’s mindsets that need to change, creating a social consciousness of safety needs – and the ultimate immeasurable value of human life.

That is all we have for you this week. If you have any comments or questions on this week’s news summary then please feel free to send us an email at [email protected]  – if not, see you next week.

CategoriesWeekly News

Weekly Property News Round Up – 03.07.21

This week saw the release of the latest Hometrack House Price Index Report and our Director, Tobi, talks through it and the current market in the video below which you can see by clicking here.

Now, let’s take a look at all the headlines that caught our attention this week. I always try to summarise the links to save you having to click through.

The Pure Property Podcast

Episode 29: Meet the Developer – DeTrafford – The latest episode of the Pure Property Podcast is out now. You can listen to it on Apple Podcasts and all other major platforms.
Remember, you can also listen to this week’s newsletter on the podcast as well.We would really appreciate it if you could subscribe and leave feedback for our Podcast on Apple.

Property news this week
  • Nearly 50,000 New Homes Built in First 3 Months of 2021 – The latest housing figures suggest that the number of houses being built is continuing to grow after measures were put in place by the UK government to support the industry throughout the pandemic. The first quarter of 2021 saw 49,470 homes built to completion, a figure not matched in over 20 years. In the same time frame, construction began on a further 46,010 homes across the UK. These figures work well to demonstrate the amazing ability of the housing and construction industry to recover during these unprecedented times. A critical factor in this has been the government’s commitment to keeping building sites open throughout the pandemic. By allowing flexibility of construction site working hours for builders and extending planning permissions, the government has done its part to keep these important industries functional and even thriving. Echoing this sentiment, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick commented that this move has been crucial in delivering “the homes this country needs as we build back better from the pandemic.” The government has also invested a hefty £20 billion in affordable new housing in the UK, focusing on areas of highest demand and necessity, which is another powerful step toward minimising the economic impact of the recent crisis. For those who are on the property ladder or looking to enter it, the government introduced several new schemes and incentives to help those who otherwise would struggle to own their own home. With the 95% mortgage guarantee scheme and ‘First Homes’ to help local buyers, many are actually closer than ever to realising their property goals.
  • Has the Pandemic Killed Off the London Property Market? – It would be impossible to measure the impact the covid pandemic has had on life in the UK, both on a personal scale and nationwide. It was a shockwave that sent ripples into every aspect of life as we know it and the true impact of both the virus itself and the lockdown measures used to contain it still won’t be known for many years. One surprising effect was how quickly people began trying to move out of cities, with London being hit particularly hard. Last year, 39% of residents were reported to be looking to move elsewhere. This statistic is shocking enough, but the number of home-movers attempting to exit London has now hit a mind-blowing 52%, knocking London off its top position as the ‘most searched for place to live’ in the UK. The pandemic effected a huge shift in priorities for many people, as London’s limited space and steep cost of living have come into conflict with people who increasingly desire more affordable housing with private gardens and outdoor open spaces. The move to home-working for many has undoubtedly pushed this shift, as London residents realise that they no longer need to live in the city in order to work for city businesses. However, there is still plenty of hope for the recovery of the London property market. Overseas investors are currently very keen to fill the gap, with no sign that their interest in this historic and cultural hub is slowing. All being said, the question remains; will our capital ever be likely to get back to the glory days before the pandemic? Only time will tell.
  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak to tap pensions for UK’s growth fund in a plan to help boost economy – The Mail on Sunday has reported that Treasury officials have met with senior figures in the pensions industry recently. Together they discussed a controversial scheme that would inject £2.2trillion in retirement pots into a variety of businesses, transport projects, property and other carbon-friendly investments. This scheme is called the Long Term Asset Fund and the reason for its controversy is clear; sources have suggested that workplace pension funds may invest a percentage of employees’ savings into the new fund by placing the scheme as the ‘default’ pension option. This potentially means that billions of pounds will be automatically channelled into the fund without the full knowledge and consent of its donors.
    This means that, though technically able to opt-out, the majority of workers would contribute unwittingly without knowing fully where their contributions are going. Though pension fund bosses appear to support this plan, influential critics such as the Investment Association are concerned that pension savers may be coerced into investments that are difficult to sell. They have issued a warning to pension-savers that they must ‘understand that they are making a long-term commitment to invest’ and that ‘they may not be able to get their money back quickly.’
  • Annual UK house prices surged 13.4% in June – This article mainly caught out attention as they quoted me when I said, “The housing market is like the Wild West at the moment – and properties are flying off the shelves whether they’re good, bad or ugly. A scarcity of properties and the stamp duty holiday has created a situation where buyers feel like they’re in the last chance saloon, creating panic buying and pushing up asking prices.” But it also caught attention because of the positive headline and reporting related to house price growth. The Nationwide Building Society has revealed that in June the average UK house price reached £245,432, which was an increase of 13.4% from the same month last year. This was likely influenced by home-buyers and investors taking advantage of the full stamp duty holiday before it began to draw to a close at the end of June. Regional data shows the same trend, with all areas of the UK experiencing a rise in annual house price growth in the three months preceding June. Several factors have played a part in boosting the market, such as the SDLT holiday which came as a welcome relief for those looking to enter the market or increase their portfolios. Changing needs due to lockdown meant a focus shift onto more spacious homes in less populated areas for many people. The new mortgage guarantee scheme has also encouraged people with only a 5% deposit to get on the property ladder for the first time. Nationwide’s chief economist has told us that the market is expected to slow in line with the end of the stamp duty holiday. However, with the beneficial scheme having a staggered ending until September 30th, it is likely that the market’s current upward trend will last for some time yet.

That is all we have for you this week. If you have any comments or questions on this week’s news summary then please feel free to send us an email at [email protected]  – if not, see you next week.

CategoriesWeekly News

Weekly Property News Round Up – 26.06.21

Wow, has it really been five years since we first voted for Brexit?

These past five years have seen such a lot of change, affecting everyone in all walks of life. This week we are taking some time to reflect on everything that has gone before and look to the future with positivity and hope.

Now, let’s take a look at all the headlines that caught our attention this week. I always try to summarise the links to save you having to click through.

The Pure Property Podcast

Episode 29: Meet the Developer – DeTrafford – The latest episode of the Pure Property Podcast is out now. You can listen to it on Apple Podcasts and all other major platforms.
Remember, you can also listen to this week’s newsletter on the podcast as well.

We would really appreciate it if you could subscribe and leave feedback for our Podcast on Apple.

Property news this week
  • House Prices are at Record High for Third Month Running – Rightmove has reported that asking prices for houses have hit a record number for the third consecutive month, with property rates increasing by 0.8 per cent in June 2021 and bringing the average asking price to £336,073. In comparison to the property rate increases of April and May, June has not seen quite as much of a rise, indicating a slight loss in momentum, but has still outperformed its 2020 rate year-on-year. According to Rightmove’s Director of Property Data, this explosion of activity won’t go on indefinitely, though it is predicted to last for the majority of this year. With record-low interest rates and the Stamp Duty holiday, many buyers have been able to grab properties that more closely fit their ideal. However, a lack of choice and increasing competition for properties are both factors that could potentially cool the market. Wales has been an area of particular market activity recently, with buyers drawn to its high value for money and beautiful surroundings. Similar to this is the current buyer interest in the southwest. But of course, as demand increases, so inevitably will house prices rise in the hottest areas.
  • Hong Kong buyers rush for properties in London – Despite the number of foreign investors in London dropping critically during the height of the pandemic, new visa regulations which welcome the 2.9 million Hongkongers with British National Overseas status into the UK has brought London’s international market roaring back to life. With the lifting of travel restrictions also on the horizon, London has once again transformed into a buzzing lifestyle hotspot and become an inviting option for international investors, some 300,000 of whom from Hong Kong are expected to make use of the visa offered. Once this transition is well underway, it is expected that demand for rentals in London will also increase dramatically, increasing rental asking prices in the areas of most interest, such as Canary Wharf, Kensington, Covent Garden and Mayfair.
  • CMA Probe Prompts Aviva and Persimmon to Make Changes – In 2019, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation into Aviva and Persimmon for the alleged mis-selling of leasehold homes. The authority suspected housebuilders of selling leasehold homes to tenants and then increasing ground rents, sometimes to double their original cost. After finding evidence of this in February 2020, the CMA threatened Aviva, Persimmon, Barratt Developments and Countryside Properties with legal action if they failed to amend their practices which left many homeowners in financial difficulty and unable to sell their homes. Being faced with these findings and the subsequent threat of legal proceedings, Aviva and Persimmon have responded positively. Aviva has committed to removing terms from its contracts that cause ground rents to double. Persimmon has stated it will now offer leasehold house owners the chance to buy the freehold of their home at a discounted price. Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has shown his support for these changes and the government’s dedication to further “efforts to bring justice to homeowners affected by unfair practices.”
  • How the UK Property Market has Fared Since Brexit – In 2016, Chancellor George Osborne warned that UK house prices could drop by up to 18% if the country voted in favour of Brexit. It was a loaded statement; one echoed by banks, businesses and associations, as fears over changes ran wild throughout media campaigns on both sides of the fence. Now, on the five-year anniversary of our controversial vote to leave the EU, we wonder how accurate was this warning? Data from the ONS reveals that the average house price in the UK actually climbed from £212,887 in June 2016 to £256,405 in March 2021. Considering the volatility of much of the UK’s social and political infrastructure over the past five years, it could be seen as surprising – nay – shocking, that the housing market has remained solid throughout all the turmoil. The UK has suffered through an excruciatingly drawn-out Brexit, coped with three different Prime Ministers, voted in two general elections and weathered the storm of the Covid-19 pandemic. But perhaps all this instability has revealed the true value of bricks and mortar. In a recent independent survey of established UK real estate investors, 61% considered bricks and mortar to be the safest investment option available. Of course, it can’t hurt that interest rates have remained low, following the Bank of England Base Rate of under 1%, which has played a very strong part in turning affordable homes from a dream into a reality for homebuyers and investors alike.

That is all we have for you this week. If you have any comments or questions on this week’s news summary then please feel free to send us an email at [email protected]  – if not, see you next week.

CategoriesWeekly News

Weekly Property News Round Up – 19.06.21

This week has been a tough pill to swallow for many of us. While the extension of lockdown measures to at least July came as a somewhat predictable move, it still landed a blow to those of us looking forward to gaining more freedom in what has been a glorious start to the Summer months.

However, there is a lot to enjoy regardless. The current outdoor sports and gathering regulations still provide plenty of scope for making the most of our leisure time, so it’s our duty to make sure we do just that!

In football news, England gained another point last night against Scotland meaning that a win against Czech Republic would lead to a top of the group finish.

Now, let’s take a look at all the headlines that caught our attention this week. I always try to summarise the links to save you having to click through.

The Pure Property Podcast

Episode 28: Different Property Investment Strategies Part 2 – The latest episode of the Pure Property Podcast is out now. You can listen to it on Apple Podcasts and all other major platforms.
Remember, you can also listen to this week’s newsletter on the podcast as well.We would really appreciate it if you could subscribe and leave feedback for our Podcast on Apple.

Property news this week
  • ONS Reports that House Prices Increased by Almost 9% in April – The Office for National Statistics has published data that shows house prices in the UK rose 8.9% in April, year on year. This now puts the average house price in the UK at £256,000. Cheap borrowing rates and an increase in house demand have resulted in this overall growth, and it begs the question; is this growth sustainable? Rising house prices with no marked increase in wages further widens the gap between those who would like to enter the market and those who can afford to do so. For this reason, it is crucial that landlords and investors place their focus on providing high-quality rentals to fulfil the ever-increasing demand from tenants who are simply unable to purchase a property of their own.
  • Bank of England Frets that the House-Price Boom Won’t Cool – This past year has seen a dramatic explosion of the UK house market, with prices in some areas rising up by an impressive 18.4%. The market has been predicted to dip as both the furlough scheme and stamp duty relief draw to a close. Experts believe both factors should play a role in dropping house prices and cooling the market. However, comments from the Bank of England’s Chief Economist, who noted the “significant imbalance” between supply and demand, indicate that this tremendous market growth could continue for some time. A recent nationwide survey of homeowners in April seemed to corroborate this, with three-quarters of its participants remarking that their intentions to buy property or move would not be impacted by the removal of incentives. Indeed, Scotland has already demonstrated that those desiring to move or enter the market have done so regardless of the removal of tax relief and other perks.
  • UK commercial Property Deals More Than Double Year on Year – In May, approximately £2.6bn of investment was injected into the UK commercial property market. This was over double the amount transacted in May of last year and although new figures from Colliers suggest a slight fall in activity month on month in May, yields were still going strong. That, combined with steady property prices, indicates a sustained high level of investor interest in UK properties. Many individual property markets have climbed, with £918m of Industrial assets and £677m of Office assets exchanging in May alone. The Student sector in Birmingham also saw its share of investment, with £494m worth of deals. With only one of the ten biggest single-asset deals coming from London though, it does appear that local and international investors are now looking to expand their search into other fast-growing areas of the UK.
  • London rental market shows strong signs of recovery – Despite average rents in London being down year on year, the Home website has released data showing a steady increase in rental prices for most boroughs over the last 3 months. This is a very hopeful step in bringing the London market back up from its crash during the pandemic, which saw the majority of the boroughs struggle. The City, Wandsworth and Westminster have seen the greatest rises in asking rents as they enter recovery, backed by an overall scarcity of rental properties which is further driving demand. Buyer interest is also expected to rise as the London house market comes back to life and confidence in the rental market returns. This gives a very positive outlook for the future growth of one of the most important and prolific markets of the UK.

That is all we have for you this week. If you have any comments or questions on this week’s news summary then please feel free to send us an email at [email protected]  – if not, see you next week.

 

CategoriesWeekly News

Weekly Property News Round Up – 12.06.21

This week, the UK has invited Australia, India, South Korea and South Africa as guest countries to this year’s G7 Summit, which will be held in the stunning area of Carbis Bay, Cornwall. There, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will work to unite leading democracies to help the world fight and recover from the global impact of the pandemic. The UK’s focus will be on creating a greener, more prosperous future.

In more pressing news, after a one year delay, the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament has now kicked off and we are looking forward to an exciting month of football ahead. Get your scarves and flags out, it’s time to start cheering!

Now, let’s take a look at all the headlines that caught our attention this week. I always try to summarise the links to save you having to click through.

The Pure Property Podcast

Episode 27: Different Property Investment Strategies Part 1 – The latest episode of the Pure Property Podcast is out now. You can listen to it on Apple Podcasts and all other major platforms.
Remember, you can also listen to this week’s newsletter on the podcast as well.

We would really appreciate it if you could subscribe and leave feedback for our Podcast on Apple.

Property news this week
  • Halifax Reports UK House Prices Rise by Most Since 2014 – Mortgage lender Halifax has reported that in May, British house prices experienced their biggest annual increase since 2014. Government tax incentives for movers and higher demand for larger properties have contributed to this rise, as those looking to capitalise on the remaining stamp duty holiday and tax breaks will continue this trend well into the summer. Britain’s official house price index also reflected this, with reports that transactions completed in March were 10.2% higher than a year before. This is the biggest rise since 2007 and perhaps demonstrates a marked change in post-pandemic mentality, with those who can afford to now willing to go the extra mile for a spacious home.
  • Covid-related Criteria Drops Out of Top Broker Searches for First Time – The latest data released by Knowledge Bank reveals that Covid-related criteria are no longer holding the top positions in searches made by brokers, with emphasis shifting toward new entries into the market in both FTB and BTL sectors. The search for ‘Furloughed worker’ kept its place in the top five searches for a staggering 14 months, but has now dropped off the list, instead replaced with searches for those looking to take their first steps into the housing market. This transformation is a strongly positive sign of things to come, as the UK moves tentatively toward social and economic recovery after the pandemic. Brokers are keeping a close eye on these changes to ensure their advice stays precise and accurate for consumers.
  • PBSA Reveals Top Hotspots and ‘Revolutionary’ Solution – It comes as no surprise that Sheffield has now been revealed to be the top regeneration hotspot in the region of Yorkshire. With the increased demand for student accommodation and the completion of its £130 million ‘Heart of the City’ development project, Sheffield has now taken over the likes of Nottingham and Bradford with its £2.1 billion regeneration investment. Even at this stage, the work is far from done. Ongoing improvements in Sheffield, such as the New Era Square project, will continue to drive Sheffield’s rapid and unprecedented growth and its wide and long-lasting appeal to investors. UniSquare’s decision to move its headquarters to the area speaks volumes, further promoting Sheffield as an excellent choice for those looking to enter the property market or expand their portfolio. If a Sheffield PBSA investment is of interest to you then please get in touch as we have the fantastic Vista development available.
  • Average UK Rents Almost Touching £1k a Month – Data released by Homelet shows that rental prices in the UK have jumped by 4% in the past year, with the average rent cost now standing at £997pcm. Similar to the trend in house buyers, those in the rental sector now appear to be spending out more for a home with extra space. The pandemic caused a sharp increase in the number of people now working from home, which may be linked to a change in priorities and a willingness to invest in better living spaces. However, the rise in average rent amount has also sparked an increase in the number of suspicious or fraudulent applications. This highlights the important balance of fulfilling the needs of renters with the value of a high-quality and fully-referenced tenant for landlord security.

That is all we have for you this week. If you have any comments or questions on this week’s news summary then please feel free to send us an email at [email protected]  – if not, see you next week.

 

 

 

 

 

CategoriesWeekly News

Weekly Property News Round Up – 05.06.21

Yesterday the government announced that stamp duty will indeed come back into full effect after its holiday period draws to a close in September 2021. This has been anticipated by many, and buy-to-let investors will now be aiming to make the very most of the time they have left to capitalise on the scheme while it lasts so we expect a race to the finish line to get transactions through before it ends.

Now, let’s take a look at all the headlines that caught our attention this week. I always try to summarise the links to save you having to click through.

The Pure Property Podcast

Episode 26: What is Serviced Accommodation? – The latest episode of the Pure Property Podcast is out now. You can listen to it on Apple Podcasts and all other major platforms.

Remember, you can also listen to this week’s newsletter on the podcast as well.

We would really appreciate it if you could subscribe and leave feedback for our Podcast on Apple.

Property news this week

  • Home-mover activity outpaces first-time buyers in Q1 – UK Finance, reports that homemover activity in Q1 has increased by 82% when compared to the same period last year. Homemoving has become more prevalent in all regions than FTB, suggesting that homeowners have been making the most of the Stamp Duty holiday. The BTL market has also experienced significant growth in this time, which is predicted to level out with the return of Stamp Duty. In comparison to January 2020, refinancing also increased in January 2021, perhaps due to the effects of the second lockdown. Again, we are seeing the demand and activity in the market along with people capitalising on the low interest rates currently on offer.
  • Best Postcodes in London for Buy-to-Let Yields – PropTech firm Home Made has analysed data from thousands of property listings all across London and put together an up-to-date guide on buy-to-let rental yields for investors in the capital. Overall, data suggest that postcodes located farthest from the city centre are currently offering the best yields, with areas such as Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge, and Havering offering some of the best returns. The delayed Elizabeth Line has finally been scheduled for 2022, which will greatly benefit the suburban areas of East London and investors will expect to see an even greater increase in rental yield value for properties in these areas. Ambitious redevelopment plans underway in the east, particularly in Havering, are set to have a similar impact on rental yield. So if you are an investor still focusing on London then the areas in this article are where you may want to focus.
  • UK Recovery Gathers Momentum – The UK rental market appears to be heading strongly into recovery, as other international markets such as those of China and Canada demonstrate a similar trend. UK properties are demonstrating a high level of appeal for many overseas investors; French investors increased spending in the UK property market by 71% in 2020, year on year. Even the student market has seen an increase in enquiries, which bodes very well for its recovery after Covid-19 and Brexit influenced the sector. The increased interest in distressed or unwanted retail assets is also proving attractive to international investors who are looking to get a good deal.
  • Government rejects calls to make stamp duty cut permanent – A document published yesterday addresses the call to abolish stamp duty permanently. The government response has unequivocally quashed this as a viable option for the foreseeable future, stating the importance of Stamp Duty in helping to re-stabilise society in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. As a critical source of funding, the government have stated that Stamp Duty is needed to “pay for the essential services the government provides.” Well, that has burst the bubble for the people hopeful we might see it abolished or cut. I have said all along that Stamp Duty makes far too much money for the government meaning the chances of it going are very slim.

That is all we have for you this week. If you have any comments or questions on this week’s news summary then please feel free to send us an email at [email protected]  – if not, see you next week.

CategoriesWeekly News

Weekly Property News Round Up – 30.05.21

We have had the latest Hometrack house price index report released this week and it paints a similar picture to the last one, supply is low and demand is high meaning prices continue to rise. Interestingly, this months report has provided a forecast of sales completions and they predict it to reach 1.5 million this year, up from 1.04 million last year and the highest level since 2007.

It looks like this market isn’t cooling anytime soon.

Now, let’s take a look at the headlines that caught our attention this week, I always try to summarise the links to save you having to click through.

The Pure Property Podcast

Episode 26: What Is Serviced Accommodation? – The latest episode of the Pure Property Podcast is out now. You can listen to it on Apple Podcasts and all other major platforms.
Remember, you can also listen to this week’s newsletter on the podcast as well.We would really appreciate it if you could subscribe and leave feedback for our Podcast on Apple.

Property news this week
  • BTL mortgage rates fall to lowest level since start of 2021 – Good news for landlords looking to remortgage and this may encourage new investors to enter the market, the average two and five year fixed rates have fallen since the start of May and are currently at their lowest levels since the beginning of this year. Moneyfacts research into the BTL mortgage market has found that since the start of this month, the average two year fixed BTL rate has fallen by 0.04%, down from 2.99% on the 1st May to 2.95% on the 21st May. Meanwhile, the average five year fixed BTL rate has fallen by 0.05% during this same period, down from 3.35% to 3.30%.
  • Buyers are making offers on homes before viewing amid booming market – This just sums up the desperation for property buyers in the current market conditions. BBC Wales Live reports that many estate agents in Wales are selling properties within hours of listing them, sometimes with multiple offers on the table. This is a trend also identified in some other UK hotspots. With demand incredibly high and stock levels low, buyers are now looking at new ways they can gain an advantage over their competition which has led to a growing number of buyers even offering on properties before viewing them. The term ‘mad market’ is becoming popular among estate agents.
  • Rental White Paper – government gives hint of what it will contain – So you would have seen me mention this new rental white paper that the government has pledged to bring forward in a previous weekly newsletter and now we have a sneak peek at what it might contain. It came from a government response to a House of Commons committee. There is no surprise to see the removal of Section 21, amending Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 along with improving the possession process in the courts and the ‘lifetime’ deposit model mentioned. They also mentioned, requiring landlords to be part of a redress scheme and reforms to encourage improved property conditions.
  • Nationwide predicts UK prices will continue to rise – This is a polar opposite to what they were predicting in December 2020 where they said that “housing market activity is likely to slow in the coming quarters, perhaps sharply”. As you can see from the headline they now say “house prices would continue to rise this year beyond the stamp duty holiday” and they highlighted that this may make it even harder for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder. Figures published by the Office for National Statistics this week showed house prices rose 10.2% in the year to March, the highest annual increase since the lead-up to the financial crisis in August 2007. It will be interesting to see where we are with house prices a year from now.

That is all we have for you this week. If you have any comments or questions on this week’s news summary then please feel free to send us an email at [email protected]  – if not, see you next week.

CategoriesWeekly News

Weekly Property News Round Up – 22.05.21

This week saw the reopening of indoor hospitality which has been great, It is nice that we do not have to sit outside anymore to visit our favourite eatery, especially with this horrible wet and windy weather we have been having.

Now, let’s take a look at the headlines that caught our attention this week, I always try to summarise the links to save you having to click through.

The Pure Property Podcast

Episode 26: What Is Serviced Accommodation? – The latest episode of the Pure Property Podcast is out now. You can listen to it on Apple Podcasts and all other major platforms.

Remember, you can also listen to this week’s newsletter on the podcast as well.

We would really appreciate it if you could subscribe and leave feedback for our Podcast on Apple.

Property news this week

  • Inner city property roars back as UK reopens – Nick and I had predicted this in previous podcast episodes and it seems we may have been right (for the time being!). With the easing of restrictions, city centre locations and flats are staging a comeback in the housing market. The UK’s biggest property website, Rightmove, has done an analysis of over 1.6 million properties from their portal and the data gathered showed that flats have seen the biggest jump in buyer demand since January, up by 39%, replacing family homes which had been the strongest performers in the market. Demand in city centres is up by 35% compared to a 32% jump in demand for villages. Rightmove found that the easing of covid restrictions has increased the appeal of living in a city centre, leading to some cities seeing buyer demand jump as high as 76% in York city centre. Urban locations are also now outperforming buyer demand growth in rural areas. These are early signs and data but definitely good news for city centres across the country.
  • Chancellor urged to scrap stamp duty altogether – The think tank Bright Blue is arguing that stamp duty should be scrapped altogether to stimulate further activity in the housing market. It wants to see stamp duty abolished, along with council tax, and both replaced with an annual property tax instead. They believe that the new annual proportional property tax (APPT) would still be able to raise the same amount of tax for the government but would more closely reflect the value of homes than the current system that includes council tax valuations dating back to 1991. So they basically want to shift the taxes to the better off. The reactions have been mixed and buying agent Henry Pryor took to Twitter to pose the following question: ‘Would you rather pay tax when you buy a property (roughly £10k on an average home) or pay an annual tax of 0.11% (0.14% for 2nd home) of the value of your home?’ with 440 votes concluding 53% for Stamp Duty and 47% for Annual Property Tax.
  • UK property boom set to roll on as savings unlocked – A Reuters poll has found that Britain’s pandemic property market boom is set to roll on as government support for the roaring market continues and those who have managed to save money during lockdowns look for more living space. House prices rose at the fastest rate in nearly 14 years in March and a poll of 21 property market experts found that they now predict prices will increase 5% this year which is a stark contrast from their February poll which predicted they would flatline. Prices in London, long the hotbed for foreign investment, were expected to lag the national market and rise 3.0% this year.
  • Buy-to-Let Watch: The staycation effect – So even with the successful vaccine rollout and holidays abroad fully on the horizon, it seems the popularity of UK staycations may be here to stay. This has been made apparent by data collated and released by Moneyfacts in early April, which showed that the number of holiday-let products available in the market had continued to rise since March 2020. There has also been a surge in sales with data from research carried out by Hodge at the end of March, highlighting that sales of holiday homes near the coast had surged over the previous six months. The most popular destination for holiday-let buyers was the Southwest at 39%. This will be great news for the UK economy if more Brits do stay home to holiday and spend money rather than going abroad.

That is all we have for you this week. If you have any comments or questions on this week’s news summary then please feel free to send us an email at [email protected]  – if not, see you next week.

CategoriesWeekly News

Weekly Property News Round Up – 15.05.21

The Rental Market Report for Q1 has been released by Hometrack this week and the data shows that UK rental growth outside London has hit a 4-year high after a 3% annual increase. Some of the other key takeaways from this report are:

  • Rental demand is building in city centres as lockdown eases and offices start to reopen
  • The new supply of property coming to the market outside London was 5% lower than in Q1 last year
  • Rental demand was 59% higher in April than in a typical April in the more ‘normal’ markets between 2017 and 2019
  • Rental demand has also started to climb in inner London, up 6.5% since Easter compared to the previous six weeks.

The rental market is strong and, in general, is experiencing the same issues as the sales market which is low supply and high demand. It is positive to see that demand is picking back up in city centres as lockdown measures ease and since Easter (April 5th), tenant demand has risen sharply in central Edinburgh, up 26%, central Leeds has rental demand up 7%, while in Manchester demand is up 5%. If you look back over our previous podcasts and weekly newsletters, this is something that we had suggested would happen once lockdown eases and we get back to normality.

Now, let’s take a look at the headlines that caught our attention this week, I always try to summarise the links to save you having to click through.

 

Episode 25: Should You Invest In City Centre Locations? – The latest episode of the Pure Property Podcast is out now. You can listen to it on Apple Podcasts and all other major platforms.
Remember, you can also listen to this week’s newsletter on the podcast as well.

We would really appreciate it if you could subscribe and leave feedback for our Podcast on Apple.

Property news this week
  • Renter eviction ban to finish at end of May – The ban on evictions enforced by bailiffs in England was brought in during the coronavirus pandemic and will come to an end on 31st May. Eviction notice periods, which were previously extended to six months as an emergency measure during the pandemic, will be set at four months from June 1st and they plan to return the pre-pandemic period of 2 months from October 1st. Alicia Kennedy, director of Generation Rent, has called on the government to introduce a Covid “rent debt fund”, to allow tenants to clear debts and landlords to claim for lost income as there is fear of increased homelessness that households may face which can only be helped by financial support for both tenants and landlords that face financial arrears brought on by the pandemic
  • New ‘lifetime deposits plan for renters – In the Queen’s speech this week, it was announced that the ‘lifetime’ deposits initiative for renters will be among a raft of measures to reform the renting sector. This was something that the Conservative Party had promised to bring in ahead of the last general election. The new Lifetime Deposit scheme will allow renters to transfer their deposit from one property to another instead of being left out of pocket for weeks while they wait to be reimbursed from their old landlord but have to spend money securing their new property. In theory, this scheme will be helpful but the practicality of it remains to be outlined as you have to consider circumstances such as money being deducted from rental deposits to cover damages, repairs etc when a tenant vacates the property and how this would all work.
  • Commonhold Council Launched – As part of the biggest reforms to English property law for 40 years, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has launched the Commonhold Council which is an advisory panel of leasehold groups and industry experts who will inform the government on the future of commonhold which is a collective form of home ownership. The commonhold model is used widely around the world and provides a structure for homeowners to collectively own the building their flat is in, with a greater say on their building’s management, shared facilities and related costs. There are no hidden costs or charges, preventing some of the bad practices currently seen in some leaseholds. These changes should make the leasehold system fairer, cheaper and simpler.
  • UK house prices increase at fastest rate in five years – This comes from the latest house price index report produced by Britains biggest mortgage lender, Halifax. The monthly snapshot of the property market from Halifax showed a 1.4% jump in the cost of a home in April, taking the average selling price to a record high of just over £258,000. Halifax said that circa £20,000 had been added to the average house price since April 2020 when the first coronavirus lockdown hit. They forecast that the recent levels of activity should continue in the coming months even when the stamp duty holiday starts fading. This will be down to low stock levels, low interest rates and continued demand which will continue to underpin property prices.

That is all we have for you this week. If you have any comments or questions on this week’s news summary then please feel free to send us an email at [email protected]  – if not, see you next week.

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