I hope you have had a relaxing week. This week we have been discussing the future of social housing in the UK and the pressing need for such homes for some of the UK’s most vulnerable families.
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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 from having to click through.
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Property News This Week
- Changes to UK Society Sparking Huge growth in Build-to-Rent – Across the UK, landlords have been feeling the economical pinch of mortgage rate hikes, a lack of affordable properties on the market and governmental pressure, in what some would describe as a brutal reform to raise the standards of BTLs. A recent report by Savills and the British Property Federation estimates that the number of build-to-rent homes that will be available a decade from now will sit at 380,000 – over 300,000 more than are available today. Director of Wise Living, Paul Staley, has commented that this forecast reflects a profound shift in the mechanics of real estate as the market becomes more dependent on professionally managed BTR homes to fill the gap in supply, in an age where home ownership seems more and more like a pipe dream for many families. As the number of BTR specialists grows, industry standards will play an increasingly important role in offering landlords a secure investment and renters a long-term home they can count on.
- Intermediary-Only Lender Cuts Buy-to-Let Rates By Nearly 0.6% – It is no secret that Q3 2022 hasn’t been particularly kind to either home buyers or BTL landlords, with interest rates rising and an inordinate number of mortgage products being pulled from the market, only to reappear at increased prices. Bearing a much-appreciated piece of good news amid the turmoil, Accord Mortgages has just announced reduced mortgage rates of up to 0.58% across its buy-to-let range. The intermediary-only lender has confirmed that products affected will include a selection of initial fixed terms across all LTVs up to 75%. For both purchasing and remortgaging, a five-year fixed rate is also now available at 5.45% up to 60% LTV for a fee of £2495. This product will also include a free standard valuation and £250 cashback. With Accord offering a wide range of reduced mortgage products available at varying LTVs, is this a sign of better things to come across the market?
- Agents Say Hong Kong Students Boosting UK Home Demand– Estate agent Knight Frank has reported a significant increase in home demand from Chinese students who are studying in the UK. With the GBP being weak against many foreign currencies right now, buyers from Hong Kong and mainland China have been taking advantage of the boost to their buying power. Knight Frank has reported that UK universities accepted over 50,000 students from outside of the European Union for the 2022-23 academic year, marking an annual increase of 9.5% and a staggering 10-year high. By far, the biggest influx of foreign students has come from China at 23%, with Singapore close behind at 19%. London has accepted the majority of international students, with 140,000 foreign students now residing in the capital. This accounts for 38% of the city’s total student population. The weakened pound is not the only factor encouraging international home buyers; the Hong Kong fast-track residency scheme has also smoothed the transition into the UK for many British National overseas passport holders.
- How Can Landlords Protect Their Income in Times Like These?– With changing regulations falling heavily in favour of tenants’ rights, it is more important than ever that landlords learn how to protect their livelihoods. So how can this be done? First of all, keep communication open with your tenant and ensure all the proper checks for rent affordability are made. Non-paying tenants can run a landlord out of business quickly, so never cut this important step. Keeping your property in great condition will attract high-quality tenants and set a precedent for the tenant’s upkeep of the property, not to mention reducing the likelihood of void periods. Offering a ‘no deposit’ option can help you access more tenants, as long as they can prove they have the income necessary to pay their rent. Rental prices should be reviewed regularly to keep in line with the local market, though care should be taken not to outprice your tenant. Further reduce your risk with landlord insurance; comparison websites can help you get the best deal. Finally, it is always worth getting expert advice on how to save on your taxes. A good accountant can save you thousands every year.
That is all we have for you this week. If you have any comments or questions on this week’s news summary, please feel free to email us at [email protected] – if not, see you next week.