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.
- Tenant demand hits a five-year high, but regional disparity grows – Paragon Bank’s latest research has found that the level of tenant demand is up from 29% on the previous quarter and has reached a 5 year high making it reach the highest level since Q1 2016. Even though there is clear tenant demand across the country, the levels vary regionally. 58% of landlords in the South West reported growth in tenant demand, compared to just 10% in central London. Other strong regions included the West Midlands (48%), Wales (44%) and the South East (42%). Homelet’s latest Rental Index data shows that the average rent in the UK is now sitting at £981, up by 0.2% from last month, and up 2.9% on last year. These figures suggest that there is clearly a need for more rental properties and extra supply is required to help stabilize the rental market.
- Hongkongers snapping up homes in the UK to lease out – We have talked often about the surge of buyers from Hong Kong and we saw Hongkongers became the fifth-largest foreign investor in central London as of last August. However, it seems that there is now a new wave of Hong Kong buyers who are pooling money to invest, a trend property agents expect to continue as more middle-class Hong Kong residents consider leaving for Britain and look to establish a source of revenue in advance. Guy Bradshaw, head of London Residential at Sotheby’s International Realty said, “It’s become much more of a trend in the past six months or so”. With the UK government now offering a new visa to Hong Kong holders of British National Overseas (BNO) passports that give them a chance to become British citizens so a steady rental income would be useful in applying for citizenship, as the BNO holders need to prove they can provide financial support for themselves for at least six months. It is estimated that 300,000 Hong Kong residents could emigrate over the next five years, and Bank of America expects Hong Kong residents moving to Britain could trigger capital outflows of US$36 billion in 2021.
- Mohamed Salah copying fellow hero Robbie Fowler with property investment – As I am a Liverpool FC fan, it was only right that I highlighted this article that references two Liverpool legends investing in property. It is renowned that ex-Liverpool footballer Robbie Fowler has done very well by investing in property and he owns a multi-million-pound property portfolio. It looks like Salah has seen the lucrative potential of the property and has launched two real estate companies and has £2million invested in bricks and mortar in a separate holding company. Being the competitive player that he is, Salah has set out to splash out on a portfolio to rival Fowler’s after launching MOS Real Estate and lettings business Trinity Kensington within the past 12 months. As a property investor and Liverpool fan, I wish him the best of luck.
- Stamp Duty Holiday extension agreed – but is it a new cliff edge? – According to The Times, Chancellor Rishi Sunak will extend the stamp duty holiday deadline until the end of June which will be a three-month extension. The finer details have not been provided and it isn’t clear whether the extension is three months for all current and new buyers of properties up to £500,000, which would just create a new cliff edge, or whether it would be a ‘tapered’ extension only for current buyers. There are mixed responses to this news, some in the industry are happy as it could help another 300,000 deals go through and some think it is a bad idea that will just lead to delaying the pain to a new batch of buyers. Until we hear it come from Rishi’s mouth and know how the extension is going to work, I am reserved to pass judgment at this stage.
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.