Buy To Let Obstacles Fail to Deter Investors

There have been a lot of buy to let obstacles this year. Hikes in stamp duty, reductions in tax relief, tightening of mortgage lending criteria, and, of course, Brexit. And yet, landlords have pushed back, undeterred.

Investors Undeterred By Buy To Let Obstacles

Industry figures released last week show that, rather than being put off by these buy to let obstacles, landlords swept back into the market with gusto in September. Connells Survey & Valuation have released figures also showing a strong and successful September, with buy-to-let valuations rising 24% on August’s figures. Rightmove, too, have revealed a 30% jump in buy-to-let enquiries since May.

Another surprising statistic: in the nine months of 2016, to end of September, more has been lent to landlords than over the same period in 2015. Buy-to-let valuations over 2016 are 0.4% up on 2015.

New rental listings, according to analysis by Rightmove, in the third quarter, were 6% higher than in 2015. Anticipated drop-offs in investor activity affecting tenant choices proved to be unfounded.

From London to the North West

Even in the heady London property market, there was a year-on-year increase in rental listings of 15% over Q1-3 of 2016. As such, these high stock levels on the market led to a drop in asking rents in Q3, down 0.7% on Q2, staying below £2,000 a month. Of course, up in the North West where things are weathering the Brexit storm best, during the same period, rents went up 2%.

In the run up to the changes in stamp duty in April, there was an inevitable rush to close on property purchases in the first quarter of the year. As such, there was a significant drop-off come April, though this may well be down to many property purchases being hastened through before April’s changes hit.

Since then, things have really bounced back. One feature of the recovery seems to be a trend for investors knocking sellers down on asking prices to take into account those stamp duty charges.

Planning Pays Off

For those investors who have factored in those tax and policy changes to their financial planning, there are still strong returns on the cards in the property market. Especially when compared to the dismal performance of savings, bonds and equities, the long term ongoing shortage of social housing and a dearth of house building, is making property an increasingly attractive investment option.

Alistair Hargreaves, from John Charcol mortgage brokers, says:

“I can’t see Government rescinding the tax changes they’ve announced and I don’t see the Bank of England making it any easier for lenders. But that said, the flipside is that lenders are having to innovate to get business and there are still lots of competitive options available for landlords.”

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In addition, Mr. Charcol mentioned that despite tighter lending criteria, there are some innovative buy-to-let mortgage options available. Moreover, he recommended that in most cases landlords should consider longer term fixed rates or lifetime variables which remove some of the uncertainty for their finances.

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Property News Round-up 20/4/16

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 looking at why Manchester is a city for Generation Y to looking at how commuters can save £3,000. If you missed our previous property round-up, catch up here.

 

Manchester Is A Generation Y City

Manchester

Manchester is rapidly becoming a place where young people migrate to for work and also to study. 22% of the city’s population are Millennials (aka Generation Y), which is more than four times the national average.

Due to an increase in young people, there is now an emphasis for build to rent property investment in Manchester. So what exactly is attracting Generation Y to live in the city?

According to the Complete University Guide, “Manchester is a thriving, prosperous northern hub and considers itself the commercial and cultural capital of the north of England. The city is also probably the most fashionable student location in Britain.” (Select Property Group, April 2016)

Manchester is also known for its universities and is synonymous with higher education. Moreover, over 50% of graduates stay in the city and around 20,000 are enter the job market in Manchester each year. Since Manchester is the country’s second largest economy, Manchester is one of the biggest regional employers.

In addition, with thousands of graduates looking for work, they also need to somewhere to stay and the city attracts Generation Y as accommodation costs are significantly lower compared with London prices. Latest figures from the Expatistan Cost of Living Index show that everyday amenities in the north-west are 37% cheaper than inside the M25.

A graduate living in Manchester would pay around £700-800 a month for rent, in the capital, they would pay over three times the amount for a rented property.

Millennial’s fast paced lifestyle and the need for everything in an instant makes the likes of buy to rent a perfect solution in the city. This also makes the city a great place to invest, not only because of its large millennial population but also being at the forefront of the Northern Powerhouse.

Want to know more about the city? If so, why not check out our free guides (North and Central).

 

Housing Market ‘To Cool’ As BTL Rush Dies & Brexit worries Increase

UK Property

The UK’s housing market is set for a slowdown as the buy-to-let rush of the first three months of the year dies away, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. (Telegraph, April, 2016)

A lot of confidence with regards to the UK property market has fallen due to uncertainties that surround the Brexit vote, stamp duty charges, a weaker pound, plus the devolved elections in May.

Despite these political uncertainties, in the long term, the imbalance between demand and supply will still exert a strong influence on the market, with house prices expected to rise by close to 25pc over the next five years as Simon Rubinsohn (chief economist at Rics) mentions in a recent Telegraph article.

Halifax recently reported that confidence in the housing market was at its lowest in more than a year and its housing market confidence tracker indicates that 65% of the general public believe that the average UK property prices will be higher rather than lower in 12 months’ time.

 

Railway Stations ‘Will Deliver Thousands Of Jobs & Homes’

Railway Stations UK

 

Thousands of jobs and homes are set to be created on what has been dubbed “the biggest programme of rail improvements since the Victorian age”, the government has stated.

Up to 10,000 new homes could be built across the country as part of new railway development scheme. York, Taunton and Swindon councils have already looked at proposed sites that could used for new builds.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark recently mentioned that : “With record numbers of people travelling by train, it makes sense to bring people closer to stations and develop sites that have space for thousands of new homes and offices.” (Yorkshire Post, April 2016)

He also mentioned that railway stations are hub for local communities, connectivity, and commerce and we should be making the most out of their unique potential to attract investment.

 

More Affordable Homes Needed According To Manchester Businesses

House Buyers UK

From millennials in Manchester to looking at local business views on property.

A recent survey which was conducted by Housing The Powerhouse revealed that the majority of Greater Manchester businesses see building more family and affordable homes as a priority.

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s Steve Burne told Manchester Evening News that : “Over the past few weeks we’ve seen concerns raised about transport links for the Northern Powerhouse – but the provision of suitable housing is equally as important.”

He stressed that the city is witnessing a boom in business across the city but a focus is needed on providing homes for families. The northern powerhouse needs to cater for families otherwise there will be a major set-back and could see this workforce disappearing down the M56, M6 and M62.

Matthew Good of the Home Builders Federation and member of the Housing the Powerhouse coalition told MEN : “These results show us that the provision of family and affordable housing in the region is already a real issue for businesses.”

The survey results have an eye-opener, and a result, as Matthew explains, the likes of the Housing the Powerhouse coalition are making the case for local councils to take this once in a generation opportunity to set ambitious targets for the mix of homes that the engine room of the Northern Powerhouse desperately needs.

 

Commuters Save £3,000 On Property Each Minute They Are Further Out Of London

UK Trains

House prices in the London commuter belt fall by more than £3,000 for every minute further away the property is by train from the capital, research has found. (The Guardian, April 2016)

Savills conducted research property prices around 314 stations in places surrounding the capital on direct commuter lines into the city.

They found that average property prices within half an hour’s train ride from the capital were £458,000, compared with £606,000 in inner London.

Moreover, Land Registry data revealed the cost of housing fell sharply to £337,000 for journeys of one hour to 69 minutes, with the saving averaging £3,048 per minute!

However, the research also show that the correlation between distance and price is uneven. For example, an average property in Oxford costs £730,000 for a 57-minute commute. In contrast, an average property in Welwyn Garden City costs 430,000 and takes 21 minutes to reach the capital by train.

Families moving to areas outside of the capital have had to factor in journey times, house prices, quality of life and the high cost of commuting in and out of London, Sophie Chick, who led the research for Savills said savings on house prices usually outweighed the increased travel costs. Read more on the story here.

Image source : The Guardian

 

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