CategoriesWeekly News

The UK is still asking questions as to when and how the lockdown will ease and we still have very limited answers. The Government is under immense pressure and we hope that with the return of the PM Boris Johnson at the helm any day now, we will start to get some decisions and answers in this difficult time (I know I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes), read on for property investment news.

We are still enjoying home working here at Track Capital and that has probably been helped this week by the sunshine plus the fact that we sold out our Opal Ridge care home investment. If you missed out on this particular investment then please get in touch as we have a very small number of units available from the same provider in a different development offering similar returns.

So let’s take a look at the property news headlines that we have found insightful this week:

Property news this week

  • Demand for rented homes bounces back by 30% in two weeks – Our first piece of property investment news. There are a lot of headlines about property prices but not much being said about the rental market. According to Zoopla’s recent article, the rental demand fell 57% in the last 2 weeks of March 2020 and has seen demand rebound by 30% in the first two weeks of April. The additional flexibility in the lettings market, which has allowed agents to agree rental contracts with delayed start dates and based on online viewings, means that activity has continued throughout the lockdown which ties in with what our industry insider was telling us last week. The most popular price bracket across the country (excluding London) was £500-£600 pcm which is similar to the trend we saw prior to the coronavirus. However, London renters seem to be looking for cheaper rental homes with online interest focused on the £1,200-£1,300 pcm price bracket in April.
  • Chinese interest in UK property soars despite Covid-19 – The drop in sterling along with China’s emergence from the virus crisis seems to have ignited a high level of Chinese interest in buying UK residential property. At Track Capital, we have definitely seen an increase in enquiries, especially for our Liverpool investment, Kingsway Square. The main driver behind property purchases is Chinese students as parents look to purchase property for their children studying at UK universities. The US trade war has also affected Chinese demand for US real estate pushing them to look more at other countries such as the UK and Canada.
  • Build-to-rent boom drives new housing supply across the UK – BTR has jumped 12% when compared to the previous year with outside of London seeing the biggest jump in the number of homes completed with an increase of 58%. It is too early to see the impact of coronavirus on the BTR sector’s pipeline but these homes are going to be needed once we come out of this pandemic so you would hope that if there was to be any indication of issues then the sector would receive the support and help needed to keep the much-needed homes coming. We predicted this sector would grow and this pandemic may be a catalyst to assist in this as the demand for good quality, safe rental property will be even higher once this is over.
  • Lenders kick-start mortgage deals – Now our final bit of property investment news, We have mentioned a few times that lenders are returning to the market with different articles and that is because it affects different types of buyers and gives an indication of market confidence at a corporate level e.g. residential owner-occupiers and previously buy-to-let products. This week has seen the return of higher loan-to-value residential mortgages with Nationwide being one of many offering 85% LTV’s. This sort of stimulus is promising for the property market as it means potential buyers are still able to stay in the market and obtain finance, not like the 2008/9 financial crash where you could not get lending for love nor money.
As a final note on property news, whilst we cover complete and operational property, as well as off-plan developments which are sold during the construction period, we were pleased to see some of the larger public developers returning to construction sites. The majority of developers continued construction at a slower pace, but the listed companies are generally more PR conscious so had to stop really. Taylor Wimpey and the Vistry will restart next week with precautions in place, read more here.

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Thanks for reading.

Team Track Capital