2017 Property Market Forecast

Is Buy to Let Dead?

The buy to let market in the UK really gained traction in 1996, with the opening of the mortgage market. This made property investment accessible to millions who had been previously prevented from seeking better returns through property, as opposed to the pitiful rates provided by their institutional pensions.

It proved immensely popular, and many people found the idea of property as a way to provide a retirement income preferable to putting their money in a traditional pension. However, over the last two years, these people have been ruthlessly stabbed in the back by the government who have crippled the ability of small landlords to make any sort of profit.

Not only has there been an increasing amount of red tape and financial burden placed upon landlords in recent years, but George Osbourne saw fit to increase stamp duty and, in an astonishingly cynical move, he decreed that landlords should be treated differently than every other type of UK business and would not be able to offset loan interest payments against revenue.

What this means for the large majority of landlords who have mortgages and do not operate under a limited company structure, is that they will incur heavy losses and could potentially be forced into bankruptcy, as their increased tax bill exceeds their rental income. What’s worse is that research indicates only a small percentage of landlords are aware of this cataclysmic change and the effect it will have.

It seems clear to me that the traditional way of investing in buy to let property that has thrived over the last 20 years is, as far as most people are concerned, no longer an option. Property, however, is destined to remain the nation’s favourite asset class but the types of property, and the way people invest in it need to change.

We, at The House Crowd, find the Government’s attack on, and lack of concern for small landlords, utterly reprehensible, but fortunately, we are in a position to help. Crowdfunding and peer to peer secured lending, have emerged as very popular ways people can build their wealth through property. Given the legal and tax changes, they now seem set to replace traditional buy to let as the best and perhaps the only way, ordinary investors can still benefit from direct property investment.

If you want a longer-term investment, secured with the ownership of real bricks and mortar, we have a steady stream of properties with assured rental – thus removing many of the risks and variables associated with property investment. These properties also produce a very decent return – a gross yield of 9.5% which should produce a net return to investors of at least 5.5% after all fees and costs. Investors will also benefit from any capital growth on sale.

So whilst buy to let may not be completely dead, it will really only be viable, after April 2017, when the tax changes take effect, via a company structure and payment of large deposits or through crowdfunding platforms.

What Will Replace Buy to Let?

Buy to let may have been killed off but the PRS (Private Rental Sector) has grown apace over the last few years, with property funds and other institutional investors pouring money into the sector. PRS, for those unfamiliar with the term, generally refers to purpose built blocks owned by institutions – generally with a high standard of communal facilities designed to attract and keep tenants long term.

The government is also now throwing its support behind PRS and the build-to-rent sector with large urban developments being financed by institutional funds and managed by large companies to cater for Generation Rent. For example, the government has announced that £45 million of its new £3 billion Home Building Fund will go towards kick-starting a deal involving 2,000 new build-to-rent homes. This includes 995 new purpose built units in Manchester, currently the city with the UK’s highest yields. Combined with the recent attacks on buy to let, it is likely that this will consolidate build-to-rent as the future of rented living and property investment in Britain.

Given the scale of the developments, and the money required to finance them, it is clearly not something readily accessible to individual investors. And, here again, is where crowdfunding comes into its own.

The House Crowd is ideally placed to help those people who are seeking a lower risk, longer term investment with build-to-rent. We are currently financing the building of over 100 units in the Manchester area and, whilst most have been built to sell, we will be introducing build-to-rent developments shortly with the intention of providing our investors with the ability to earn a steady annual return with the upside of long-term capital growth. Being a part owner of larger developments will also help mitigate risk.

We are, in effect, giving the individual investor, the opportunity to benefit from the growth of the build-to-rent sector and earn returns on par with institutional investors.

Best Places to Invest In 2017

It will come as no surprise to learn that I think Greater Manchester is the best place to invest, and I am not the only one, as many pieces of research forecast the same.

It’s not difficult to see why – Manchester offers the ideal combination of high yields and decent capital growth, something that London cannot. Predictions are that rents will increase by 5% in 2017, with capital appreciation to reach 4-5%.

The city has benefited from successive governments’ attempts to invest more money outside of London. Thousands of overseas students now come to Manchester each year, and it has fast established itself as an international talent pool with a booming rental population.

Manchester’s reputation as a property hotspot was recently reaffirmed by research from Lambert Smith Hampton, which revealed that 68% of property investors see it as the best place to invest.

I also see Stockport, in Greater Manchester, as a particularly strong area and think it should be at the top of the list for any investor hoping to achieve strong, consistent returns through property. Seven miles south-east of Manchester city centre and eight miles from Manchester Airport, the commuter town boasts direct rail services to Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and London. With a £42 million transport interchange under construction and £1 billion being invested across retail, residential and commercial sectors over the next five years, Stockport is establishing itself as a regional business hub.

Over the past year, property prices in Stockport have increased by 15.9%, and 1,100 new homes will be built over the next five years to cope with increasing demand. Properties in the area offer investors strong, consistent yields – a safer bet than relying on speculative capital growth.

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/local-news/timetable-1bn-regeneration-stockport-revealed-12292326

Reasons to Invest With The House Crowd in 2017

  • Specialists in Greater Manchester property – forecast by many experts to be the best area to invest
  • We offer traditional high yielding properties with assured rental
  • With over 100 new build properties either completed or in development, we are committed (in our own small way) to helping build the houses Britain needs
  • We are ideally placed to capitalise on both build to sell and the build to rent sector – which, backed by the government, is believed to be the future of the rental market
  • We enable access to individuals to participate in large scale developments investments with security and returns on par with those institutional funds receive
  • Choice: we offer
    • Short-term fixed-rate debt investments for those who want high returns and liquidity,
    • Longer term equity investments where investors share in both income and capital growth
  • No borrowing on property purchases means lower level of risk and less vulnerability to fluctuations in interest rates
  • Crowdfunding provides perhaps the only viable option for most people to continue to invest in property

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The UK Housing Crisis: Supply and Demand

The UK Housing Crisis: Supply and Demand

2016 has been full of shaky times for the UK property market. However, there have been no actual signs of prices dropping, despite the Brexit naysayers’ warnings. Negative headlines about the UK housing crisis are still milling about, but there is one aspect of the property market in particular which is promising to keep the market afloat. That aspect is the continuing lack of supply.

The lack of properties for sale has helped to support the market, and to push prices higher. That’s before we even take the undersupply of newbuilds into consideration. This undersupply has been going on for decades, whilst successive governments have sought to garner good feeling among voters with artificial support of property prices. There is no end to this situation in sight at the moment.

There was a small fall in prices after the Brexit vote, reigniting hysteria over the UK housing crisis. Nonetheless, the UK continues to be a popular target for overseas investors, indeed, there was a surge in overseas interest following the referendum result. Indeed, looking at the state of the pound at present, it’s clear as to why we are gaining attention from overseas.

Along with the lack of supply, we are seeing a growing state of pent-up demand for property in the UK. A scarcity of properties, combined with high competition between buyers, is a recipe for further property price inflation. This, too, will affect the rental market, as more households find themselves priced out of the purchase market than is already the case.

UK Housing Crisis Affects Rental Market

Higher demand for rental accommodation, combined with a reluctance of investors to approach buy-to-let following the stamp duty hikes and other attacks on landlords in 2016, may push rent higher. Great news for investors, and build-to-let in particular; not such good news for tenants – those who feel the brunt of the UK housing crisis hardest.

The answer is new builds. However, we are struggling to meet demand in this area too. Currently, 200,000 new properties are required per year, and we are still falling desperately short of that. The population is growing, and everybody needs to live somewhere. Something, clearly, has got to give.

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Could Property Crowdfunding Help the UK Housing Crisis?

Property crowdfunding may offer a partial solution to this conundrum. Pooled funds being pumped into development of properties, particularly in areas like the in-demand North West, alleviates the buy-to-let problems that outright-ownership landlords are facing, as everything is managed through the SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) in which the shareholders’ funds are invested.

Though property prices and rent will not be directly lowered by these developments, it may alleviate a small portion of the supply shortage. After all, every little helps.

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Investors All Set to Get Involved in UK Build-to-Rent Sector

Investors All Set to Get Involved in UK Build-to-Rent Sector

Following on from recent news that the Government plans to inject £45m into the building of over 2,000 rental properties in Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham, real estate investors and developers are gearing up for the opportunity to invest in UK build-to-rent.

As we move into 2017, investors are showing strong support for the development of large scale private rental communities to house a growing number of UK tenants. As the prices of property continue to rise, the rental sector is growing at an unprecedented rate. As such, it has never been more important for the UK to invest in building new homes.

Despite the economic uncertainty raised by Brexit, ahead of the official triggering of Article 50 expected in March 2017, investor confidence remains strong. A recent report from JLL (one of the UK’s leading real estate services firms), declares that investors are looking for the security offered by residential rent income, not just in the capital, but across the UK’s regional cities.

JLL’s Head of Investment for UK Residential Capital Markets, Simon Scott,  identifies the major metropolitan centres of both London and Manchester, as the ultimate targets for the Build-to-Rent sector. Nonetheless, he emphasises the opportunities offered in other, less mainstream locations across the country.

As the demand for rental property continues to rise, investors also seek to improve yield positions. As JLL’s Head of Residential Research, Adam Challis has identified, these yields are more readily available beyond southern England.

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Recent reports indicate that there is more than £30bn ‘pent-up’ demand across the rental sector, though this number – according to some commentators – could actually be considerably higher.

UK Build-to-Rent May Help Solve Housing Crisis

Another reason why brand new housing is becoming even more necessary, is because of the lack of properties coming to the market: “The disconnect is the limited new supply coming to the market, and the lack of existing product. As a result, we expect to see development and investment activity growing substantially over the short to medium term,” explains Scott.

When it comes to investment, the real attraction of residential investment is the diversity of products available. This means more variety to suit a range of risk and reward appetites.

Scott also stated “There is a structural shortage of residential accommodation in the market, and ever growing demand pressures, so the positives significantly outweigh any perceived risks.”


Of course, it’s important to note that, although all signs are very positive, your capital is still at risk when you invest.

We always recommend you create a diversified investment portfolio as a way to mitigate risk, and to never invest more than you can afford to lose. Policy support from planning authorities and politicians is certain to aid development of new stock – perhaps the most important ingredient towards creating a flourishing sector.

UK Build-to-Rent Homes Are The Future

Though innovation and expansion are a definite, there will also be some mistakes to learn from before the sector matures. Nonetheless, with the unwavering support from the Government, we can expect to see a substantial rise in the number of quality UK build-to-rent homes.

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Property News Round-up 25/10/16

Property News All The Latest Updates

 

Hi guys and welcome to our property news round-up, as usual we give you a quick snapshot of the latest goings-on in the property world. This week we start by looking at property rentals will outstrip property sales in 2017 to focusing on planning approvals in the Northern Powerhouse and London. Missed our last blog news round-ups? If so, catch up here.

 

Property Rentals Will Outstrip Property Sales in 2017

Property Money

Forecasts have suggested that 2017 might be the first year in eight decades where property rentals will outstrip property sales.

Johnny Morris, research director at Countrywide, mentioned in a recent Guardian article : “As some would-be buyers and sellers sit on their hands, Brexit-induced uncertainty has continued to boost the rental market … September saw record activity, with increasing numbers of lets agreed and tenants choosing to renew their contracts. On current trends 2017 could be the first time since the 1930s that more homes are let than sold.”

A sobering thought – homeownership levels had fallen to their lowest levels in 30 years at the start of 2016, although recent figures from mortgage lenders showed a pick-up in the number of loans taken out for house purchases, the number of homes for sale remains near a record low and prices are rising. Recent events such as Brexit uncertainty as well as a lack of supply has also contributed to the dip.

Being able to get onto the property ladder is becoming even more difficult for first time buyers with prices going up steadily.

However, that’s only the beginning.The 3% stamp duty surcharge that the government introduced back in April has led to a boom in buy-to-let purchase, the ramifications have led to a bigger amount of rental properties available to tenants.

The rental market has grown at such a rapid rate that the property industry needs to start focusing on offering the right kind of property for an array of people from millennials to retirees. Many commentators have mentioned that the industry needs to move away from traditional small portfolio landlords renting out their old home to a more professional approach offering tenants the best value and services available.

 

UK Rents Growing Fastest in Manchester

Manchester Property

Rental rates have risen by 7.1% in the north-west city over the last 12 months, as more investors turn to Manchester in search of the highest yields. (Select Property Group, October 2016)

The Northern Powerhouse city was named last year by HSBC as the city with the highest yields in the country. A recent report from Countrywide outlines that rents in the UK are now rising the fastest in Manchester.

At a national level, the rate of growth in the 12 months to September 2016 was 2.2% (last year it was at 2.8%). However,in Manchester, the rent growth rose by 7.1%, more than any other city in the UK. In addition, it’s also worth noting, of the 20 largest cities in the UK, the five which recorded the largest rental rate rises were in the north and Scotland, including York, Glasgow and Liverpool.

In contrast, the south paints a different picture, for example, London and Cambridge had the highest proportion of landlords cutting monthly rates in the last year.

Both domestic and international investors are turning to Manchester to find a property asset that can deliver a strong and sustainable income.

Johnny Morris, research director at Countrywide (who we mentioned in the previous news item) mentioned that there’s a different type of two speed rental market that’s emerging, with falling stock and growing demand driving rental growth in many northern cities at a higher rate than those in the south.

 

Reasons Why Build-To-Rent is The Future of Rented Living

build to rent

This news item links with the first – in a nutshell, a new sector and product that’s on the horizon and one that syncs very well with a tenant’s lifestyle and eliminates compromise – I’m of course referring to build-to-rent.

So why is build to rent the future of renting? Firstly, build-to-rent has been constructed with today’s end-user in mind. Ideal amenities such as gyms and communal cinema rooms in the same building. Locations in the city centre close to friends and employment hubs are ideal for the likes of millennials.

A key point about build to rent that it creates a community. Having these build-to-rent apartments slap bang in the city attracts people with similar jobs and interests, with friendships and an array of activities, tenants will want to rent for a longer period.

To simply put it, it just makes sense. Tenants want it, the government agrees with the build-to-rent idea, and investors too want a slice of the share too.

Demand for rental accommodation has increased by over 17k per month over the last decade, as more people move away from homeownership and turn to the private rented sector instead. As mentioned in the first news item, with property rentals looking to outstrip property sales next year, build-to-rent is more than likely to become the number one rental product in the UK. It’s therefore an investment opportunity that cannot be ignored.

 

A Brief Look At China’s Passion For Foreign Property

China P2P

Many real-estate agents and property experts in east Asia believe a new wave of investment is just getting under way, as mainland investors develop a taste for international real estate, including postcodes up and down the UK. (The Guardian, September 2016)

When it comes to buying property, Chinese investors look at four main motivations: investment, lifestyle, emigration and education. Many seek a foothold in the UK and hope their children will go on to study at university.

In addition, cities such as London are seen as a secure place to store money that investors want to move out of China, to guard against the devaluation of the Yuan. It’s known that people in mainland China want to get their money out. They therefore use cities such as London as a safe-haven to store their hard earned cash.

However, it’s not just London, investment is now heading north and Chinese investors and hungry to invest in the likes of Manchester and Liverpool.

Manchester for example has had a lot of interest from China when president Xi Jinping visited the city last year to lend his support to George Osborne’s “northern powerhouse” project during his first state visit to the UK.

Since 2014, Chinese investors have been rushing to buy houses in the UK, the high rental yields and stable property prices have been key driving factors.

Also, the UK is very attractive to Chinese property investors because it does not have the high duties that have been introduced in countries such as Canada and Australia for foreign buyers.

Property industry commentators argue that foreign investment from countries such as China is helping to transform urban centres around the globe, they mention that it’s the only way to finance affordable new homes in cities such as London.

They also see foreign investment beneficial for helping to create jobs, improve infrastructure, and in general making the quality of life better.

However, London mayor Sadiq Khan has warned against the capital’s homes being used “as gold bricks for investment”, and has spoken out over how some new developments are given to foreign investors before locals.

Khan mentioned back in May that he sees no point in building homes in the capital if they are bought by investors from the Middle East and Asia.

He stressed that he didn’t want homes being left empty. He emphasized that he doesn’t want London to be the world’s capital for money laundering and wants to give first dibs to people who live in the capital.

 

Northern Powerhouse Outstrips London for Planning Decisions

northern powerhouse

New research shows that local planning authorities in the Northern Powerhouse deliver 22% more planning decisions per resident than those in Greater London.

Research published by the British Property Federation and GL Hearn revealed that 25 boroughs in the Northern Powerhouse made 11 major planning application decisions per 100,000 residents in comparison to nine decisions per 100,000 residents in the Greater London area.

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: ‘It is really encouraging to see the North live up to its ‘powerhouse’ moniker, and to be powering ahead with its development pipeline. The development industry has an important part to play in ensuring growth across the country, and it is good to see that there is lots of activity in the North West. (LocalGov, October 2016)

What Are Your Thoughts?

Which of our chosen property stories has interested you the most? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave us a comment on our Facebook and Google Plus pages. If you prefer to tweet us, tweet @TheHouseCrowd.

 

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Property News Round-up 22/9/16

Property News All The Latest Updates

 

Hi guys and welcome to our September property news round-up. As usual, we will be taking a look at the latest goings-on in the UK property market with five short stories. Today, we start our property news round-up by looking at the new housing minister’s views on ‘build to rent’ to focusing on the amount of rent that millennials will spend before they are 30. Missed our previous blog entries? If so, feel free to catch up here.

New Housing Minister Backs Build To Rent

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Housing minister Gavin Barwell backed the build to rent sector in his first speech since being appointed.

His first speech took place at Property Week’s RESI 2016 conference in Newport and a key takeaway was Mr. Barwell stressing to delegates that there is a need to build more homes of every single type and not focus on one single tenure.

Barwell, who is also the minister for London, said that a growing number of people and families are now preferring to rent, so the build to rent sector will therefore play an important role in providing for changing attitudes.

The recently elected housing minister concluded that in the UK we need to have a thriving private rented sector in place.

He praised Essential Living’s Vantage Point scheme in Archway, north London, the office conversion which has 118 homes has opened for lettings. The housing minister said this was a much needed start for the sector.

 

Manchester Property Prices Continued To Grow in August

Manchester Property

Reeds Rains and Your Move, released their monthly house price index a few weeks ago, and recorded an increase in both prices and transactions for August.

According to their research, the average house price in the north west had risen to £178,423, up from £178,089 in July.

Other commentators mentioned that the UK housing market is settling down from June’s Brexit vote and confidence has emerged from the Bank of England cutting interest rates.

Transactions across the country were also up, rising by 2.6 pc on the previous month, with over 70,000 sales going through.

 

Manchester and Liverpool Join Forces For Global Property Expo

Liverpool Property

Manchester and Liverpool will join forces to sell the region to a global audience of investors in October.

Both will send a combined delegation to London for MIPIM UK (the UK’s largest property and investment expo).

Filippo Rean, director of MIPIM UK organiser Reed MIDEM’s real estate division told the Liverpool Echo : Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds provide incredible investment opportunities and their presence at MIPIM UK will provide investors with a unique opportunity to see what these northern giants have to offer.

Mr. Rean added : “As the largest event for real estate in the country, we offer incredible opportunities for investors, developers and representatives from city regions across the UK.”

 

UK Property Remains The Highest Yielding Investment

Property Money

Despite the uncertainties of the Brexit vote, investors are choosing to invest in property, including investing in sectors such build to rent.

So why have these investors chosen property? The main reason is that they can outperform the likes of government bonds and stocks and shares.

There are still quite a few investors out there who remain very cautious about the ramifications of life outside of the European Union, however, there are many investors out there who feel confident that investing property in the current climate is an opportunity.

Quite a few European based investors have now started to take an interest due to the fall of the pound. The North West in particular has become even more attractive because of this reason, and investors are hungry to invest into a very appetising region.

If this is a topic that interests you we recommend reading our “Is Property Investment Really Better Than Pensions?” blog post and also “Why The UK Rental Market Is Surging“.

 

Millennials Will Spend £53,000 on Rent Before Age of 30

Millennials

A combination of falling homeownership levels and the rising cost of renting meant that people born between 1981 and 2000 would pay £53,000 in rent before their 30th birthday (Guardian, July 2016)

The Resolution Foundation mentioned in The Guardian article that this country’s housing crisis is one of the most visible examples of inequality between the generations.

Our very own research from last October found that a quarter of under 30’s say they need someone to die before they can afford to buy a property.

In addition, 36% of those surveyed said they felt they’d have to rent forever.

So while young people are spending more of their hard earned income on rent and finding it harder to save for a deposit, the baby boomer generation are the most likely to be landlords and benefit from the strong rental market, according to The Resolution Foundation.

However, it has been highlighted that the older generations are just as concerned about Generation Y’s struggle to own their home, and support for housebuilding is growing across a variety of age groups.

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What Are Your Thoughts?

Which of our chosen property stories has interested you the most? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave us a comment on our Facebook and Google Plus pages. If you prefer to tweet us, tweet @TheHouseCrowd.

In the meantime if you want to know more about Property Crowdfunding do register for our Information Pack which will tell you all about it. 

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