General Election: The 2017 Housing Manifesto Of The 3 Major Parties

General Election: The 2017 Housing Manifesto Of The 3 Major Parties

So, the General Election is looming. On 8th June, we face the decision of whether to carry on along the path of ‘strong and stable leadership’ promised by the Tories, or gamble on the prospect of the unknown – a Labour candidate who looks nothing like the party face we’ve been used to over the last two decades. Then there’s the Lib Dems, UKIP, or the Greens: of which there is much less to say.

But for investors in The House Crowd, the principal focus will be the housing policy offered by each of the major political parties. So, just to save you trawling through the party manifestos, we’ve done the dirty work for you. Here’s what you need to know about the 2017 housing manifesto for the Conservatives, Labour, and Lib Dems. Just an FYI – at time of writing, the Greens and UKIP are still yet to publish their manifestos.

Conservative Party 2017 Housing Manifesto 

The ‘Homes For All’ section of the Tory manifesto begins with a comment that states the blinking obvious: ‘We have not built enough homes in this country for generations, and buying or renting a home has become increasingly unaffordable’. So how do they plan to fix it?

The key, they state, is to build enough homes to meet demand. Again, pretty obvious. They identify that the effect of this would be to slow the rise in housing costs, allowing more ‘ordinary, working families’ to buy a home and also to bring down the cost of renting. Crucially, for investors, this will ensure that more private capital is invested in more productive investment, thus hastening economic growth in a secure way for the future.

The Tory manifesto pledges the delivery of one million homes by the end of 2020, with half a million more by 2022. They promise to deliver on the reforms from their Housing White Paper, freeing up more land for new builds in the ‘right places’, encouraging modern methods of construction, and by giving councils the power to intervene where developers do not act on their planning permissions. The Tories will also diversify who builds homes in the UK.

The plan also includes the building of better homes, supporting ‘high-quality, high-density’ mansion blocks, mews houses and terraced streets. And all this whilst retaining the strong protections that currently exist over designated Green Belt, National Parks, and Areas of Outstanding National Beauty. Thus, the government must build 160,000 houses on its own land, and rebalancing housing growth across the country – not limiting it to the south-east.

Housing for older people is also a priority, so the Tories plan to help housing associations increase their specialist housing stock.

The manifesto identifies councils as being to blame for the failure to build sustainable, integrated communities, fingering them as the ‘worst offenders’ and accusing them of building ‘for political gain rather than for social purpose’. The Tories plan to enter into new Council Housing Deal with ambitious, pro-development local authorities to assist them with building more social housing. ‘We will work with them,’ they say. ‘To improve their capability and capacity to develop more good homes, as well as providing them with significant low-cost capital funding’. As a result, they plan to build new, fixed-term social houses, which will ‘be sold privately after ten to fifteen years with an automatic Right to Buy for tenants’, the proceeds of which will be recycled into further homes. Compulsory Purchase Orders will be reformed, reducing cost and difficulty for councils to use, making it easier to determine sites’ true market value.

Finally, the Conservative 2017 housing manifesto pledges to work with private and public sector house builders to capture the increase in land value created when they build to reinvest in local infrastructure, essential services and further housing, making it more certain that public sector landowners benefit from the increase in land value expected from urban regeneration and development.

Labour Party 2017 Housing Manifesto

Labour have titled the 2017 Housing manifesto section of their election manifesto ‘Secure Homes for All’. It also begins by outlining the housing crisis, and pointing the finger at the Tories for failing to fix the housing crisis in the last seven years, stating that ‘Since 2010, housebuilding has fallen to its lowest level since the 1920s… rents have risen faster than incomes, there are almost 200,000 fewer homeowners, and new affordable housebuilding is at a 24-year low’.

Labour’s solution? Investing in building over a million new homes – 100,000 council and housing association homes a year by the end of the next Parliament.

Their plan for a new Department of Housing is ostensibly to ‘ensure housing is about homes for the many, not investment opportunities for the few’. We wonder whether they know about the democratising power of property crowdfunding in this area… and whether they plan to invest in the innovative finance model for real estate at all.

Whilst the Tories accuse local councils of building ‘for political gain rather than for social purpose’, Labour plans to give councils new powers to build homes. They plan to begin the biggest council building program for at least 30 years, ditching the Tories’ ban on long-term council tenancies so that council tenants can have a ‘secure tenancy in a home built to high standards’. The ‘right-to-buy’ policy would be suspended in order to protect affordable housing for local people, unless councils can prove they have a plan to replace homes sold like-for-like.

To avoid urban sprawl, Labour promises to start work on a new generation of ‘New Towns’ to build the homes needed, prioritising building on brownfield sites and – like the Tories – protecting Green Belt land.

The priority, of course, for Labour, is to build new council funds through their National Transformation Fund, which – they say – will ensure a ‘vibrant construction sector with a skilled workforce and rights at work’.

Along with all those council houses, Labour will also build thousands of low-cost homes specifically reserved for first-time buyers, giving local people buying their first home ‘first dibs’ on new homes built in their area. Labour councils across the country, they say, have already been building an average of nearly 1,000 more new homes than Conservative councils.

Just as the Tories do, Labour pledges to ‘not only build more, [but to] build better’. More homes will be insulated, and new modern standards for building ‘zero carbon homes’ will be implemented. Equally, the party plans to consult on new rules on minimum space standards, and introduce new minimum standards to ensure properties are ‘fit for human habitation’ and ‘empowering tenants to take action if their rented homes are substandard’. Like the Tories, Labour also identifies the need for older people’s housing, ‘ensuring that local plans’ address this need. There’s also their predictable promise to ‘reverse the cruel decision’ to abolish housing benefit for 18-21 year olds, a controversial move by the Tories that has had many up in arms.

Controls on rent rises, more secure tenancies, landlord licensing and new consumer rights for renters are all promised. They also promise an inflation cap on rent rises, and to make three-year tenancies the norm. They equally state that they’ll legislate to ban letting agent fees for tenants – which seems a slightly odd statement considering this is already in the pipeline.

Liberal Democrat Party 2017 Housing Manifesto

In the same vein as the two major political parties, the Lib Dems, too, begin their 2017 Housing manifesto section with the (not-so) news that the ‘housing crisis in Britain has become an emergency’. Their figures for increasing the rate of housebuilding are to double the current level to 300,000 new homes a year.

Rather kindly, the Lib Dems have broken their housing pledge down into bullet points, which makes it rather easier to share verbatim:

We will:

  • Directly build homes to fill the gap left by the market, to reach our housebuilding target of 300,000 homes a year, through a government commissioning programme to build homes for sale and rent. We will ensure that half a million affordable, energy-efficient homes are built by the end of the parliament.
  • Create at least 10 new garden cities in England, providing tens of thousands of high-quality, zero-carbon homes, with gardens and shared green space, jobs, schools and public transport.
  • Set up a new government-backed British Housing and Infrastructure Development Bank with a remit including providing long-term capital for major new settlements and helping attract finance for major housebuilding projects.
  • End the Voluntary Right to Buy pilots that sell off housing association homes and the associated high value asset levy.
  • Lift the borrowing cap on local authorities and increase the borrowing capacity of housing associations so that they can build council and social housing.
  • Scrap exemptions on smaller housing development schemes from their obligation to provide affordable homes, and strengthen the hand of local government to prevent large developers reneging on their commitments.
  • Require local plans to take into account at least 15 years of future housing need – focusing on long-term development and community needs.
  • Create a community right of appeal in cases where planning decisions go against the approved local plan.
  • Enable local authorities to: – Levy up to 200% council tax on second homes and ‘buy to leave empty’ investments from overseas. – Enforce housebuilding on unwanted public sector land. – Penalise excessive land-banking when builders with planning permission have failed to build after three years. – End the Right to Buy if they choose.
  • Help people who cannot afford a deposit by introducing a new Rent to Own model where rent payments give tenants an increasing stake in the property, owning it outright after 30 years.
  • Improve renting by banning lettings fees for tenants, capping upfront deposits and increasing minimum standards in rented homes.
  • Help young people into the rental market by establishing a new Help to Rent scheme to provide government-backed tenancy deposit loans for all first-time 62 Support Families and Communities 6 renters under 30.
  • Give British buyers a fair chance by stopping developers advertising homes abroad before they have been advertised in the UK.
  • Give tenants first refusal to buy the home they are renting from a landlord who decides to sell during the tenancy at the market rate according to an independent valuation.
  • Promote longer tenancies of three years or more with an inflation-linked annual rent increase built in, to give tenants security and limit rent hikes.
  • Improve protections against rogue landlords through mandatory licensing and allow access for tenants to the database of rogue landlords and property agents.
  • End the scandal of rough sleeping by increasing support for homelessness prevention and adequately funding age-appropriate emergency accommodation and supported housing, while ensuring that all local authorities have at least one provider of the Housing First model of provision for long-term, entrenched homeless people.

So that’s the top three parties covered. Clearly, there’s plenty to consider; lots of contrasts, but equally lots of crossover between opposing parties. Who’s getting your vote on 8th June? Actually, don’t answer that – no one wants to deal with another war in the Comments section on Facebook… there’s too many of those out there already.

The Dire Housing Crisis Needs The Help of Property Crowdfunding

The Dire Housing Crisis Needs The Help of Property Crowdfunding

The housing crisis in the UK doesn’t just restrict our ability to provide the much-needed homes the country’s population needs. It’s also, according to Katja Hall, the Deputy Director-General of CBI, costing UK households £4bn a year.

Of this figure, £3.2bn is down to increased housing costs, and the remaining £770m is due to higher transport costs, as inability to live near work drives more people to commute expensive distances from work. This is, of course, exacerbated by soaring fuel prices and train fares.

Housing shortages are also pushing up market rent at a time when, for the majority of households, disposable income remains weak.  The high cost of moving home and lack of decent and affordable housing also deprives businesses of the flexible and mobile workforce necessary for them to grow and thrive. In short, people and businesses are paying the price for our lack of new homes.

We know that we need to double the number of new homes we provide every year to meet demand, and have been falling shockingly short for years.

House Builders’ Hands Are Tied

Combined with difficulty accessing available land for building on, despite only 10% of the UK’s land being developed, access to finance continues to pose a major barrier for small and medium sized house builders, further exacerbating the housing crisis. The government needs to focus its spending on capital investment in housing stock, but house builders also need access to alternative forms of finance in order to make a dent in the provision of new housing.

Secured peer-to-peer lending to house builders offers a marked solution to the problem. Provided house builders can secure planning permission, access to finance through the property crowdfunding industry has the potential to keep house builders afloat, whilst simultaneously assisting with the provision of these desperately needed new homes.

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Property Developers Need Finance

Along with the problem of providing new builds, there are also an estimated 650,000 empty properties in the UK, over 200,000 of which have been left empty for over six months. Whilst house builders take care of the situation of building new accommodation altogether, there is also much scope for developers.

Many of the empty homes in the UK require significant renovation, and one of the barriers for developers who would do so is the un-mortgageability of these properties. Properties come up for sale by auction all the time, but without ready access to funding, there is no way for most people to take up the investment.

Bridging finance, again offered within the property crowdfunding model, can tide investors over so that they may make those time-sensitive investments. Peer-to-peer funding for renovation work also opens the doors to small and medium-sized property developers to work their magic and provide modern, high-quality homes.

Equally, straight-up crowdfunded investment projects do the same job of bringing high-quality housing to market.

The Government’s See-Saw Success

Government investment in build-to-rent is promising, with a £45m cash injection for 2,000 new homes in the North being announced late in 2016. However, optimistic news back in October of government promises for 225,000 new homes by 2020 was shadowed by the mention that only 15,000 of these would be ready for habitation by then.

Realising their inability to cope with the housing crisis themselves, the government has recognised the solution that the property crowdfunding industry is offering to the crisis, and has provided significant investment in the model.

We are confident that the property crowdfunding industry will be instrumental in helping to alleviate at least some of the problems with UK housing stock, whilst also offering an alternative investment option for those seeking to invest in the property market themselves.

View our Property Investments

Property News Round-up 16/12/15

Property News – All The Latest Updates

Hi guys and welcome to another fortnightly edition of our property news round-up. As usual we take a look at an array of stories from the property industry, today we look at Yorkshire and the Northern Powerhouse to looking at some Christmas decorated homes (just don’t let Dave come round and put your decorations up – you’ll see why!), if you’ve been extremely busy like ourselves, they’ll hopefully give you some inspiration for when you do finally get round to putting your Christmas lights up!

 

Yorkshire Earns Its Place In The Northern Powerhouse

yorkshire northern powerhouse

In the past year the north of England has had a 30 per cent increase in construction and whilst Manchester and both Liverpool dominate, Yorkshire and Humberside are catching up with their north western rivals.

George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse vision to give major northern cities their very own powers when it comes to planning, housing, transport, and policing, deals have already been discussed and agreed upon for Greater Manchester, Sheffield, and the North East.

However, when it comes to property, many analysts have stated that Yorkshire property growth is linked to simply supplying the housing that people want. Government schemes such as Help To Buy is one major factor that is helping to flourish “Gods Own County” when it comes to property, particularly for families who are starting out.

The county has definitely attracted people from the south, particularly from the capital, end of the day it’s no secret that you get more for your money up north compared with what you would get in the south. As the Examiner mention, the cash you part with for a two-bedroom flat in west London would get you a 10 bedroom, Grade II listed, detached house with three acres of land in Lindley, Huddersfield.

In addition, the vibrant and beautiful Yorkshire countryside and huge investment opportunities in retail, technology, and research plus its rich culture (which we mentioned about in a previous blog post).

With all these factors you can see why Yorkshire has become a crowded marketplace as it continues to compete with Manchester and Liverpool and this one reason why we have had quite a few projects in the region. If you are interested in Yorkshire, feel free to download our South Yorkshire guide.

 

Top Of The League – Manchester A Top Choice For Investors

manchester investment

Since 2010 no other place in the country has generated higher yields for property investors than the north-west city. (Select Property, December 2015).

Investors have gained annual average returns of 6.02%, compared to just 4.79% in London according to data which was generated from lending firm LendInvest.

2015 has been a great year for the city as it has cemented its place as the Northern Powerhouse leader to being named as the UK’s number one city for property investment by HSBC.

Last month a survey which was conducted by accounting firm RSM found that the north-west is the second highest UK region for overseas investment. With a vast amount of investment being poured into the Northern Powerhouse leader as well as having a huge demand for rented spaces, investors have been quick to snap up assets in the city ahead of a predicted growth curve.

 

Is The London Property Market Going To Crash?

London Property Crash

So what’s happening in the capital? To cut a long story short there’s simply too much supply and not enough demand. According to The Independent,  in the last financial quarter alone, 6,000 new apartments were finished, each costing more than £600,000. Currently there are 41,000 homes and flats under construction or being topped out in London priced at north of £1m.

People without children want to live in apartments, these include the  first buyers, buy-to-let investors, and people who’s main home is not in the capital. First-time buyers are therefore being prices out as they simply can’t afford a mortgage or afford to pay a deposit on a house.

In addition, foreign purchases from wealthy Russians and Chinese buyers has started to trickle. Vladimir Putin has put a crackdown on Russian citizens that hold cash overseas meaning that there has been less Russian buyers in London recently. Moving further east, China is also having a corruption purge as mentioned in The Independent.

So what does this all mean for the London property market? According to one property expert, it will take just one single developer not to sell, won’t be able to cover costs, and that’s when the crack will start to happen. He mentions that will be enough to send shockwaves through the market, and bring prices crashing down.

Are you looking for an alternative? If so, we recommend reading our crowdfunding process page to see if property crowdfunding is right for you.

 

Average Property Price Increases to £20,000 in 2015

stamp duty

Figures from Rightmove show that the average selling price for a home in December was £289,452, an increase of around £20,000 from the average house price a year ago. (Which, December, 2015).

The property portal mentioned that the seasonal 1.1% dip in property prices this month is the lowest December fall they have seen since 2006.

They have predicted that prices will reach new records next year and expects new seller asking prices to rise by 6% as the demand in excess of suitable supply continues.

As a result of prices remaining high in London, highly-skilled workers may look for other options and move to more affordable cities such as Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Leeds.

 

Decorated Christmas Homes – Let it Glow Let it Glow Let it Glow!

christmas lights UK

If you’re like me and leave your Christmas decorations to the last minute and if you are a big fan of Christmas lights you might want to take a look at some of the most Christmas decorated homes in the UK.

If you’re looking at decking up your front with fairy lights we think the 9th example is quite a good one to go for. If you like to go nuts with your lights and Christmas decorations how about the first example?

We’d love to see your creativity, feel free to tweet us your decorated home @TheHouseCrowd.

I hope you can do a better job than me! This is what it would look like if I was left in charge…

christmas decoration fail

 

Image Sources : Telegraph Heavy

 

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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Property values can fall. Your capital may be at risk & returns may vary. Read our Risk Warning.

Property Still Holds Value Post Brexit

Following the EU referendum vote in late June, there has been a lot of uncertainty in the industry from homeowners, landlords, and housebuilders, all questioning what the future holds for the property market.

Examples such as a £40,000 price reduction in average prices in the capital have set alarm bells ringing.

However, in spite of these uncertainties, some good news is that the regional property market is looking up.

A lot has happened this year, not only with the result to leave Europe, but also in terms of legislation. We’ve seen changes to stamp duty on buy-to-let purchases, as well as changes to rules on multiple occupancy, both of which had an impact on local property markets.

The ramifications of George Osborne’s legislation, as expected, was a significant drop in the number of investors registering to purchase buy-to-let properties.

Moreover, whilst general applicant/buyer registration and property viewings also declined slightly, the number of offers being made were actually up, and sales were also on the up.

Turning our attention to our local area, predicted house price growth in Manchester for 2016-20 stands at 24.6% and rental income for the period is expected to rise by 22.8% (stats taken from MEN)

Examples (which we have recently blogged about) such as Moorfields and Glenbrook’s £40 million residential development and Yo! Homes luxury flats are not only exciting projects, but are are an essential part of the city’s residential strategy to deliver additional, high quality housing.
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So what does this mean for investors?

Firstly, because of the shortage of homes across the length and breadth of the UK, there is little alternative to continuing to invest in residential developments. Doing so will keep the residential property market strong.

In addition, Manchester has been identified as the top city for rental yields. According to LendInvest’s research, the average rental yield in Manchester reached 6.8% between 2010 and 2016.

Research from HSBC, conducted last year, showed that the northern city offered the best yields, with 26% of the population here living within the private rented sector.

Despite the uncertainty of the Brexit vote, the ramifications of leaving the EU could create opportunities for investors, particularly those who are experienced with property investing. Potential property buyers might be put off by the softening of recent house prices, but at the end of the day, they still need somewhere to live, which is great news if you’re a landlord. If property prices do cool – it’s fair to say that investing in property will be very tempting.

So to sum it up, property still holds value post Brexit. Bricks and mortar remain one of the stronger investment choices, as volatility in the stock market means that tangible assets at this moment in time are essential for any investor’s portfolio.

As quite a few commentators have mentioned, a lot of the media focus has been on the ramifications of Brexit vote in London and the South East. However, we strongly believe that the north is a strong alternative with entry prices significantly lower compared with the capital, as well a great place to obtain yields from the likes of student rented accommodation.

In the north we trust!

 
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Property News Round-up 6/4/16

Property News All The Latest Updates

 

Hi guys and welcome to another fortnightly property news round-up, today we once again take a look at the latest goings-on in UK property from the north-south house price divide to looking at Ringo Starr’s childhood home in Liverpool – one for you Beatles fans out there!

 

North-South House Price Divide Continues

uk property map

 

House prices in northern England are now less than half those in the south of the country, according to the Nationwide – a new record. (BBC, April 2016)

In the north, on average a property is worth nearly £163,000 less than one in the South.

Stats from Nationwide show that in the first quarter of 2016 prices in Southern England rose by 9.9% year-on-year, compared to just 1.8% in the North.

In addition Nationwide mentioned from their research that property prices were picking up, from the start of the year to March, house price inflation across the country hit 5.7% – up from 4.8% in February and the fastest rate for more than a year.

The building society mentioned that main reason centred around the increase was predominately linked to landlords rushing to buy property ahead of Stamp Duty increases.

Their stats show that property prices are rising the fastest in the London suburbs (an annual change of 12.2%), in contrast, Scotland and the north had an annual change of 0.2% and 1.1% respectively. Click here to view the full list of regional house prices here.

Are you looking for an alternative when it comes to property investing? Why not check out latest regional investments here.

 

Property prices Soar By 47,000 % In The 90 Years Since The Queen Was Born

Queen Property

National Statistics (ONS) and data from Jackson-Stops & Staff found out that between 1926 and the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, average UK house prices rose by only £40, to £659, a rise of 6.5 per cent. (City A.M., April 2016)

However, by the early 50’s property prices in the country had jumped more than threefold to £2,006. By 1966 (what a glorious year that was! ?) house prices were over £3,000. In the 70’s, prices rose by 331 per cent to £12,704, rising to £36,276 in 1986, by the mid 90’s prices had doubled to £69,889.

According to Jackson-Stops & Staff’s calculations, if prices continue to rise at the same rate as they have in the last two decades, the average property will cost £1.3m when Prince Charles celebrates his 90th birthday in 2038, and £11.3m when Prince William reaches the same age in 2072.

For further reading you can view City A.M.’s article here.

 

Two In Five Of Us Look Up The Prices Of Homes Owned By Friends & Family

nosey neighbour

 

It seems that snooping up on our neighbours is nothing new and has evolved with the digital age.

More than 38 per cent of Britons have checked the price of someone else’s home online in the past year – including the properties of neighbours, family and friends – according to the findings by insurer Direct Line. (This Is Money, April 2016)

The research showed that out of the 19 million Brits who have looked up someone’s home, 52 per cent looked at their neighbours’ homes online, 38 per cent look at their family’s homes and 31 per cent at friends’ houses, now that’s a lot of snooping if you ask me!

In addition, Direct Line’s research showed that 10 per cent of people look online at the homes of their colleagues.

Head of Direct Line Home Insurance, Katie Lomas told This Is Money : “We are a nation of property obsessives with very good reason. Our homes are our castles and becoming a homeowner or even climbing the ladder in the UK is a huge challenge and aspiration for many.”

 

 

To Millennials Caught In The Rent Trap, The Panama Papers Matter

Iceland Panama Papers

As The Guardian’s Kate Lyons mentioned in her article yesterday, the Panama papers is the largest leak in journalistic history and the papers have led to the ramifications of the Icelandic PM Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson to resign after being accused of hiding millions in an offshore account.

So how does this link to millennials? For Generation Y, they are particularly frustrated with the political and economic status quo as well as the unjust activities of the rich that have been revealed from the Panama papers.

In a country where a lot of the millennial generation cannot afford to get onto the property ladder, the fact that thousands of properties are bought through tax haven-based companies, by people who are already wealthy enough to restructure their finances to take advantage of tax havens in tropical islands really matters to young people.

Home ownership is sadly out of reach for most young people in the UK, something that has been known and reported for a long time, we even conducted research on the matter back in October (which you can view here) – a sobering stat that we uncovered was that a quarter of under 30’s say they need someone to die before they can afford to buy a property.

This is where there is a link with the Panama papers. We know from recent reports just how much property is owned by companies linked with Mossack Fonseca and we can see the direct affect it is having with young people.

When turning on Sky News yesterday evening and heard about the news, being a millennial myself, I wasn’t surprised about what had happened. Hearing about the rich putting offshore money in tropical paradises such as the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands to keep themselves even more wealthy and powerful isn’t new to us at all – however, this way of them finding tax loopholes comes at the expense of others.

Image Source : The Wall Street Journal

 

Childhood Home Of Ringo Starr Sells For £70K

Ringo Starr Liverpool Property

One for all you Beatles fans out there! The childhood home of The Beatles drummer Ringo Starr has been auctioned at the Cavern Club in Liverpool.

The terrace house with two bedrooms at 10 Admiral Grove in Toxteth and was where the former Beatle lived as a small child and until he was 21.

The Liverpool property had a guide price of just £55,000 ($78,000) and reveals the humble beginnings of the Beatles drummer.

Ringo’s childhood home was bought at auction for £70,000 by Jackie Holmes from London. She has previously bought the house of John Lennon’s mother in Allerton last April and George Harrison’s home in Speke the year before.

Unfortunately at The House Crowd we can’t help you invest in your favourite band’s former home BUT we can offer you some handy guides! If interested, we have guides on Manchester (North and Central) and also our South Yorkshire guide.

 

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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Affordable UK property investment despite rising house prices?

House prices are racing ahead once more, and not just in London as recent – figures show increases are now spreading across the country.

The latest reports from Halifax and Nationwide put annual house price inflation at 8.7% and 9.5%, RICS has said as shortage in supply of quality homes for sale is pushing prices up making it even harder to access UK property investment.

RICs forecasts the average UK house price will rise by 6% a year for the next 5 years, increasing by a total of 35% by 2020.

If you are looking for to get your foot on the housing ladder and take advantage of the market, prior to the further rise in houses prices but haven’t got the money for a large deposit then don’t miss out.

With the power of crowd funding, you can invest through The House Crowd with just £1000, click here to find out how.

May keeps up it’s bullish reputation

This spring season has seen a national property average price rise of 3.6%, nearly a whopping £10,000, pushing the national average up to a record high of £272,003, said to be caused by the combination of the Easter and May bank holidays causing a lull in the number of properties coming to market at a time of high demand.

Whilst demand for housing remains strong (up by nearly 20% for Rightmove enquiries so far for 2014), the supply of new properties just can’t keep up. Early 2014 appeared to be a tease, fondling with an increase in new sellers.

Annually, the rate of increase is now 8.9% (the highest rise since October 2007 when it stood at 10.4%), yet whilst the housing market momentum is recovering, London is still letting the team down. New seller asking price in the big streets of London is up by 16.3% compared to an average of 4.9% in the rest of small town England and Wales. Translation? 2014 asking prices are up by around £4,405 per week in London whilst the weekly average for the rest of us is £1,521.

Indeed, outside London and its commuter belt, demand may be better balanced with supply by the more stringent checks and affordability tests under the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) that became mandatory less than a month ago. The main conclusion at present is that the delays in lenders’ processing systems are curtailing lending, with it being too early to comment whether mainstream buyer activity will have a significant drop-off from the new controls.

Where a major imbalance exists between supply and demand the long-term solution has to be to create more housing supply to meet any structural need rather than to artificially hold down demand. But with Spring over and the summer fast approaching, the lull in the market can only get better! This is where we come in! Here at The House Crowd, we believe Investors should “crowd” together, each providing a small amount of the money needed to purchase a suitable investment property at a good price,  typically an empty or run down property where we can add value through refurbishment. This in turn improves the supply of the housing market, creating fair value for money.

For full info on successful property investment click here; http://thehousecrowd.com/thehousecrowd/property-investments/

Is It Spring Time For Property Investment?

It is worth bearing in mind that, despite the property market being in the doldrums for the last 5 years, property investment as with all other markets, goes in cycles.

If you think of the property investment cycle as seasons in the year, we have been in winter for the last few years.  But the daffodils are starting to bloom and it looks like we may now be in spring – at least in terms of property investment. It may still be chilly, but it’s definitely getting warmer.

Pent up demand from first time buyers, low interest rates on savings and the banking crisis in Cyprus mean more people are turning to property as a safe haven. And this is particularly true of the British property market.

Britain is one of the most established property markets in the world, especially in terms of property investment financing. It is very different in terms of property supply and demand from other countries such as USA, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Dubai where the property prices were inflated because of demand caused by the perceived profits to be made (greed) and the sudden availability of easier borrowing rather than actual demand for accommodation to live in.

The UK market is very different.  I do not think there is any doubt more housing is required for the UK population. Without boring you with stats, for well over a decade, every survey I’ve seen has reported there is a massive shortfall in the amount of housing required to keep up with demand.  Further, the rate at which new houses are being built falls far, far short of predicted requirements. So the gap is widening every year.

It is interesting to note that every time The House Crowd buys a property – typically for about £50,000 – the rebuild costs for insurance purposes are upwards of £80,000 and often closer to £120,000. What that tells me is that if the cost of building new property is considerably more than existing stock (land values aren’t even taken into account in the example above).  Common sense suggests that few people will buy a new build property, when they can get a similar sized property for half the amount.  It is equally clear that developers aren’t going to build property unless they believe people will buy what they have to sell. And just to reiterate it: there is a shortage of housing which increases demand for available property.

It’s a complex relationship and there are differing viewpoints on how it works, but I believe that fairly soon builders will start building again in earnest. Once they start doing so, the price of old stock will be pulled up by the price of new builds as sellers realize they can achieve higher selling prices whilst still pricing their property competitively against new builds.

There are tentative signs that the property market is already beginning to warm up – you may well have seen the news headlines about average property prices now increasing at £25 a day. One factor for this is new investors putting their money into property as they are tired of the woeful returns provided by the banks and pension companies. We have noticed buy to let lending is becoming more readily accessible in the last 6 months.

But that is nothing compared to what will happen next year when the new government incentives kick in, giving buyers the ability to get on the housing ladder without raising a 20% deposit.

One thing I have learned throughout my time in property is not so much the price of a property but the affordability factor that is the biggest influence.  People’s income, the deposit required, the ratio income to borrowing permitted and interest rates all play a much bigger role than the actual price tag.

The government incentives coupled with low interest rates will have a massive affect and greatly increase the demand for property pushing prices higher (although salary levels will keep the increase in check to a degree)

That may be good bad or dangerous depending on your point of view. Some argue that it will create another bubble – and they may well be right. But in terms of achieving capital growth over a relatively short space of time (say the next 5 years), I believe 2013 will prove to be the ideal time to invest into property.  So get your sun cream and your sunglasses out.  A bright hot summer for property investment is on its way… Shame we can’t say the same for the British weather.

Home ownership, marriage or children?

Rather eye-catchingly, a recent Barratt Home Buyers study has found that individuals looking to buy a home consider this a greater priority in life than marriage or starting a family.

Whilst we consider this ‘study’ a rather sensationalist promotional tool, biased by the fact that survey recipients were home hunters quizzed by a housing company, it is perhaps worth considering what changes might be taking place in public perceptions as well-documented struggles for home ownership continue without an end in sight.

You only want what you can’t have, is a phrase that we believe can be applied to the aforementioned eye-catching statistic from the study. Demand for homeownership has risen perceptibly in young people over the last couple of years, as it has become more of a luxury than the attainable milestone it used to be. A decade ago it took 25 months on average to save a deposit for a new home, whereas it now takes a staggering 64 months , resulting in first time buyer numbers plummeting by 64% in 10 years.

The UK’s economic situation remains challenging and the principles of supply and demand matter now just as much as they ever have. Buying a first home is fast becoming a privilege attained only by a minority, and with this, public perceptions of owning a home may well be transforming and taking on a greater importance.

The House Crowd offers an alternative solution for first-time buyers struggling to raise a deposit for their first home. For as little as £1000, our crowdfunding property investment model provides a minimum annual return of 6%, in addition to a share of house sale profits – ideal for growing your deposit in order to take your first step onto the property ladder.

The House Crowd is a brand new concept in property investment which allows people to invest small amounts via crowdfunding (for more information on the process, visit www.http://thehousecrowd.com/thehousecrowd//how-it-works/). We are committed to breathing life into empty, rundown properties whilst giving investors great returns on their investments (for more information about us, visit www.http://thehousecrowd.com/thehousecrowd//about/our-manifesto/). If you’ve read enough and want to invest now, visit www.http://thehousecrowd.com/thehousecrowd//invest-in-property/).

The Manchester Mortgage

Manchester City Council looks set to announce a ‘Manchester Mortgage’ in the coming weeks, offering first-time buyers in the city a mortgage with just a five per cent deposit on properties up to the value of £142,500.

The scheme, which is similar to programmes already in place in nearby Oldham, Trafford and Rochdale, will see the council help struggling home-buyers access mortgages through Manchester Building Society and the Co-operative Bank, by underwriting up to 20 per cent of their loans.

It is anticipated the scheme will receive final sign-off -with a maximum £6m risk- from the council’s executive committee in late November.

Here at The House Crowd, we believe any reputable scheme aimed at providing a pathway to home ownership should be applauded. However, given that the council stands to receive at least £500 from partner lenders for every loan set up under the scheme, as well as boosts to council tax revenues, it is important to reiterate that programmes such as this need to be implemented with wholly transparent purposes to be successful. Here’s trusting this one is…

The House Crowd offers an alternative solution for first-time buyers struggling to raise a deposit for their first home. For as little as £1000, our crowdfunding property investment model provides a minimum annual return of 6%, in addition to a share of house sale profits – ideal for growing your deposit in order to take your first step onto the property ladder.

The House Crowd is a brand new concept in property investment which allows people to invest small amounts via crowdfunding (for more information on the process, visit www.http://thehousecrowd.com/thehousecrowd//how-it-works/). We are committed to breathing life into empty, rundown properties whilst giving investors great returns on their investments (for more information about us, visit www.http://thehousecrowd.com/thehousecrowd//about/our-manifesto/). If you’ve read enough and want to invest now, visit www.http://thehousecrowd.com/thehousecrowd//invest-in-property/).