Local property market information for the serious investor

Month: June 2016

62.2% of Barnet Voters voted to Stay the EU – What now for the 18121 Edgware Landlords and Homeowners?

It’s 5.50am as I start to type this article and David Dimbleby has just announced the UK will be leaving the EU as the final votes are counted. As most of the polls suggested a Remain Vote, it came as a surprise to most people, including the City. The Pound has dropped 6% this morning after the City Whiz kids got their predictions wrong and MP’s from the Remain camp are using words like “challenging times ahead”.

.. and now the vote has been made .. What next for the 13216 Edgware homeowners especially the 7127 of those Edgware homeowners with a mortgage?

The Chancellor in the campaign suggested property prices would drop by 18%. Using Treasury estimates, their method of calculating this was tenuous at best, but focused around the abrupt and hasty increase in UK interest rates, which in turn would raise the cost of mortgages, and therefore lower demand for property, causing a drop in property prices.… and I would say, yes .. that will probably happen.

Edgware property values will probably drop in the coming 12 to 18 months – but by 18% – I am sorry I find that a little pessimistic and believe that figure was rhetoric to get homeowners and landlords to vote in a particular way. But the UK property market is quite a monster.

Since the last In/Out EU Referendum in June 1975, property values in Edgware have risen by 3126.5%

(That isn’t a typo) and whilst property prices did drop nationally by 18.7% between the peak of 2007 and bottom of the market in 2009, when one compares property values today in the country, compared to that all-time high of 2007, (the period before the financial crisis of the Credit Crunch of 2008/9) .. they are still up 10.14% higher.

Another Credit Crunch?

And so, notwithstanding the Credit Crunch, the worst global economic outlook since the 1930s and the recession it brought us, a matter of a few years later, the Government were panicking in 2012/3/4 that the housing market was a runaway train.

Now the same Credit Crunch doom-mongers and Sooth-Sayers that predicted soup kitchens in 2008/9 are predicting Brexit meltdown. Bad news sells newspapers. Stock markets may rise, stock markets may fall, yet the British public continued to buy property in 2009/10 and beyond. Aspiring first time buyers and buy to let landlords dusted themselves down, took a deep breath and carried on buying… because us Brit’s love our Bricks and Mortar .. we need a roof over our head.

However, as mentioned previously, if the value of the pound drops, in the past UK Interest Rates have risen to reverse that drop. However, whilst a cheaper pound will make your pint of Sangria a little more expensive on your Spanish holiday this year and make your brand new BMW pricier .. It will make British export cheaper! Which is great for the economy.

Interest rates

… and what of interest rates? Since 2009, interest rates have been at 0.5% and lots of people have become accustomed to those sorts of levels. So what if interest rates rise .. end of the world? Interest rates in the 1986/88 property boom were on average 9.25%, the 1990’s they were on average around 6.5% and uber-boom years (when UK property values were rising by 20% a year for three or four straight years across the UK) .. 4.5%. Many of you reading this who are in their 50’s and older will remember interest rates at 15%.

But I suspect interest rates won’t rise that much anyway, as Mark Carney (Chief of the Bank Of England) knows, raising interest rates causes deflation – which is the last thing the British economy needs at the moment. In fact they have been printing money (aka Quantitative Easing) for the last few years (which causes inflation) to the tune of £375bn a month. A bit of inflation because the pound has slipped on the money markets (not too much mind you) might be a good thing?

.. because whilst property values might drop in the country, they will bounce back. It’s only a paper loss.. it only becomes real if you sell. And if you have to sell, again as most people move up market when they sell, whilst your property might have dropped by 5% or 10%, the one you want to buy would have dropped by the same 5% to 10% .. and here is the best part – (and work your sums out) you would actually be better off because the more expensive property you would be purchasing would have come down in value (in actual pound notes) than the one you are selling.

The Edgware landlords of the 4,701 Edgware buy to let landlords have nothing to fear neither, nor do the 11,612 tenants living in their properties.

Buy to let is a long term investment. I think there might even be some buy to let bargains in the coming months as some people, irrespective of evidence, panic. Even if we pull up the drawbridge at Dover and immigration stopped today, the British population will still increase at a rate that will exceed the current property building level. Britain is building 139,600 properties a year, but needs according to the eminent ‘Barker Review of Housing Supply Report’, the country needs to build about 250,000 properties a year to even stand still, and as the the birth rate is increasing, the population is living longer and just under a quarter of all UK households now are occupied by a single person demand is only going up whilst supply is stifled. Greater demand than supply equals higher prices. That is definitely a fact.

So, what will happen next?

Well, there are many challenges ahead. The country has spoken and we are now in unchartered territory – but we have been through a couple of World Wars, an Oil Crisis, Black Monday, Black Wednesday, 15% interest rates and a Credit Crunch … and we survived!

And the value of your Edgware property? It might have a short term wobble… but in the long term -it’s safe as houses regardless.

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Edgware Property Values rise by 2% month on month

I do like to have a coffee at Orli on Hale Lane in Edgware. Whilst in there, a suited gentleman approached me and asked if I was the person who wrote the newsletters about the Edgware property market. We ended up having an interesting chat about the local property market, as he was concerned his daughter would never be able to buy her own property, a place in Edgware she herself can call home.

My latest analysis, using the Land Registry and Office of National Statistics, shows that overall, month on month, Edgware property values increased by 2%. The year on year figures showed the value of residential property in Edgware has increased by 10.6% in the year to the end February 2016, taking the average value of a property in the council area to £507,700.

It gets even more interesting when we look at the last few months’ figures and see the patterns that seem to be emerging.

 

  • January 2016               – a rise of 1.5%
  • December 2015          – a rise of 0.4%
  • November 2015          – a rise of 1.8%

 

We have talked in many recent articles about the lack of properties being built in Edgware over the last 30 years. This lack of new building has been the biggest factor that has contributed to Edgware property values still being 421.83% higher than in 1995. At the risk of repeating myself, until the Government addresses this issue, and allows more properties to be built, things will continue to get worse as the UK population grows at just under 500,000 people a year (which is a combination of around 226,000 people because of higher birth rates/people living longer and 259,000 net migration) whilst the country is only building 152,400 properties a year – no wonder demand is outstripping supply.

Another reason intensifying the current level of property values in Edgware, is the fact that people aren’t moving home as much as they used to, meaning fewer properties are coming onto the market for sale, so in consequence, there is a lack of choice of property to buy, meaning people thinking of moving are discouraged from putting their property on the market … thus perpetuating the problem, as the scarcity of possible properties to buy in order to move also deters people from offering their home for sale. This unevenness between demand from would-be purchasers and the number of properties coming on to the market for sale is causing pressures in Edgware (and the rest of the UK).

So what of the future of the Edgware property market and this man’s daughter? I firmly believe the property market in Edgware and the country as a whole is changing its attitude about homeownership. Back in the 1960’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, getting on the property ladder was everything. Since the late 1990’s, we as a country (in particular, the young) have slowly started to change our attitude to homeownership. We are moving to a more European model, where people choose to rent in their 20’s and 30’s (meaning they can move freely and not be tied to a property), then inherit money in their 50’s when their property owning parents pass away, allowing them to buy property themselves … just like they do in Germany and other sophisticated and mature European counties, meaning his daughter will end up owning property, just later in life than we did. So, whatever the vote on the 23rd of June, if you think about it, we might be more European than we think!

If you want to read more articles on the Edgware property market, whether you are Edgware landlord, Edgware homeowner, first time landlord or a first time buyer – then visit the Edgware Property Market Blog… www.edgwarepropertyblog.com

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40% of Barnet people Rent – Is that Healthy?

Renting used to be a dirty word in the 60’s and 70’s. You either lived in a ‘Rigsby Rising Damp’ style bedsit with wood chip on the wall and a coin operated electric meter (that buzzed in the night) or you lived in a council house. In the latter part of the 20th Century, the British were persuaded that rent payments were ‘wasted money’. However, owning often makes less financial sense than renting and as the rate of homeownership is starting to drop substantially, as we roll the clock forward to today, there is no stigma at all to renting .. everyone is doing it. In fact, of the 355,048 residents of Barnet, 141,445 of you rent your house from either the local authority/social provider (ie council house or housing association) or private landlords – meaning 39.83% of Barnet people are tenants.

 

The idea of homeownership is deeply embedded in the British soul, in fact 205,677 Barnet people live in an owner occupied property (or 57.92%). Housing is at the heart of Government policy, as George Osborne has promised 200,000 new properties a year so first time buyers can buy their first home whilst recently changing the tax laws for buy to let landlords. To get votes, Thatcher (and everyone since) ran election campaigns promising everybody their own home, and as a country, we seem to equate homeownership the goal of British life.

 

So as more and more people are renting nowadays, are we turning to a more European way of living? Well, I believe, as a country, we are. In fact, homeownership could be affecting your health! The UK, according to Bloomberg, is only the 21st most healthy country in the world. Germany is at No.10 and Switzerland at No.4 and homeownership is at 52.5% and 44% respectively in those countries (in the UK it is 64.8%).

 

In the Barnet Council area, 76.33% of homeowners who own their house outright said they were in ‘very good’ or ‘good’ health whilst, at the other end of the scale, 5.79% said their health was ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’. Looking at renting, the census splits tenants into two types – 73.72% of Barnet local authority/social tenants said they were in ‘very good’ or ‘good’ health and 10.09% were in ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ health …

 

… whilst ‘private rented tenants’ in Barnet, were the healthiest, as 89.4% of them described themselves in ‘very good’ or ‘good’ health and only 3.24% were in ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ health

 

I am not suggesting that low homeownership rates in Switzerland and Germany are directly linked to health, nor, do I expect Brits to all go to Berlin, Interlaken or Düsseldorf and realise how happy people are when they don’t need to worry about all the stresses which accompany homeownership. The numbers for Barnet do go some way to back up the argument (and they are the same across the whole of the UK). Nonetheless I do think that substantially all of the upside to homeownership in recent years has been a function of monumental rising house prices. Now that’s come to an end, it’s hard to see why anybody would want to buy?

 

 

Renting is here to stay in Edgware and it’s growing incrementally each year. Even with the new tax rules for landlords, buy to let is still a viable investment option for most people in the suburb. There has never been a better time to buy buy to let property in Edgware, but buy wisely. Gone are the days that you would make profit on anything with four walls and a roof. Take advice, take opinion, do your homework. One place to do more homework, to read more articles on the Edgware Property market like this, is the Edgware Property Blog www.edgwarepropertyblog.com

 

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What would Brexit mean to the 79,079 Edgware and Barnet Property owners?

I don’t know about you, but I find if you read the Daily Mail, there are only three topics that make the blood boil of ‘Middle England’. Bureaucracy from Brussels, House Prices and the late Princess of Wales. Ignoring the late Princess if I can for this article, but if we as a country were to unshackle ourselves from chains of Brussels (the first topic), could we inadvertently effect the second topic and make UK house values drop?

If you read all the newspapers, the Brexit debate seems to be focused solely on central London. Many commentators have said Brexit would mean central London would have a lower standing in the world, meaning less people would be employed in Central London, with the implication of lower wages, fewer jobs etc., in Central London … but we are in Edgware, not Marylebone, Mayfair or any part of Zone 1 London.

Now on the run up to the vote on the 23rd of June, I predict the ‘in’ camp will start to scare homeowners with forecasts of negative equity, and the ‘out’ camp will appeal the 20 somethings, who have been priced out of the property market with the prospect of a new era of inexpensive housing, should the fears of central London estate agents and developers, who believe the bottom will fall out of the market if we do leave, become real. The only reason the Mayfair’s, Knightsbridge’s, and Kensington’s of central London are attractive to foreign buyers are political and economic steadiness, an open and honest legal system and a lively cultural life. None of that is threatened by Brexit.

… But again, we are in Edgware and central London is 11 miles away. We are home to Edgwarebury Park and Anthony Costa, and whilst the central London property market exploded after 2009, that explosion really and honestly didn’t affect the Edgware property market. So, putting central London aside, what would an ‘in’ or ‘out’ vote really mean for the 79,079 property owners of Edgware and Barnet?

Initially, over the coming months, on the run up to referendum, I believe it will be like the run up to last year’s General Election. With the short-term uncertainty in the country, quite often, big decisions are put on ice and people are less likely to make big money purchases i.e. buy a property. However, in the four months up to last year’s Election, property values in Edgware increased by 2.01%, not bad for a country that thought it would get a hung parliament! So that argument doesn’t hold much weight with me.

Post vote, should the UK opt to leave Brussels, there would be a much more noteworthy impact. I believe that a vote to stay in the EU would see the Edgware property market return to a status quo very quickly, but the contrasting result could lead to some changes. The principal menace to the Edgware (and UK) housing market could be variation (in an upwards direction) in interest rates as a result of a Brexit, which could theoretically see the cost of mortgages grow swiftly, pricing many out of the market … but then two thirds of landlords buy without a mortgage, so that won’t affect them. Also, according to the Bank of England, 80.33% of all new mortgages taken out in 2015 were fixed rate. Looking at all mortgages as a whole, according to the Bank of England, 44% of all UK mortgagees have a fixed rate mortgage, but 56% don’t, so if you aren’t on a fixed rate … talk to your mortgage broker now, because they can only go in one direction!

So in reality, if I really knew what will happen, I wouldn’t be a letting / estate agent in Edgware, but a City Whiz Kid in London earning millions. However, I suspect whatever decision the electorate of Edgware and the country as a whole makes, over the long term it won’t have a major effect on the Edgware property market. We have seen off ‘the end of the world’ credit crunch of 2008/9 and subsequent property crash, the 1988 Nigel Lawson induced post dual-MIRAS property crash, the 1979 Winter of Discontent property crash, the 1974 oil crisis that stimulated another property crash … hell, we can even go back nearly a century with the 1926 post General Strike slump in property prices…

Today, property prices are 421.83% higher than 21 years ago in Edgware and are 10.6% higher than 12 months ago. So, make your own decision on 23rd of June 2016 safe in knowledge that whatever the result, there might be some short term volatility in the Edgware property market, but in the long term (and property investment is a long term strategy) there aren’t enough houses in Edgware to live in either to buy or rent … and until the Government allow more properties to be built – the Edgware property market, will be just fine … even if it has a little blip in the summer, there could be some property bargains on the run up to Christmas to be had!

For more advice and opinion on the Edgware property market, even where those buy to let bargains could be found now … visit the Edgware Property Blog www.edgwarepropertyblog.com

 

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Only 11,664 Council Houses in the Edgware and Barnet left – Opportunity or problem?

The ‘Right to Buy’ scheme was a policy introduced by Maggie Thatcher in 1980 which gave secure council tenants the legal right to buy the Council home they were living in with huge discounts. The heyday of Council ‘Right To Buys’ was in the 80’s and 90’s, when 1,719,368 homes in the country were sold in this manner between October 1980 and April 1998. However, in 1997, Tony Blair reduced the discount available to tenants of council houses and the numbers of properties being bought under the Right to Buy declined.

 

So what does this mean for Edgware homeowners and landlords? Well quite a lot in fact!

 

Looking at the figures for our local authority, whilst the number of ‘Right to Buys’ have dwindled over the last few years to an average of only 37 ‘Right to Buy’ sales per year, one must look further back in time. Looking at the overall figures, 8,296 Council properties were bought by council tenants in the Barnet London Borough Council area between 1980 and 1998. Big numbers by any measure and even more important to the whole Edgware property market (i.e. every Edgware homeowner, Edgware landlord and even Edgware aspiring first time buyers) when you consider these 8,296 properties make up a colossal 43.4% of all the privately owned properties in our area (because in local authority area, there are only 19,079 privately owned properties).

Edgware first time buyers and landlords can now buy these ex-council properties second hand (or the PC brigade like to call them ‘pre-loved ex–local authority dwellings’) as those original 80’s and 90’s tenants (now homeowners) have more than passed the time of any claw back of the discount they received (council discount was repayable if the first owner sold within a stipulated time period – usually 5 years).

Now let us all be honest, some (not all), but some ex-council properties lack the vital KSA that some landlords crave. The new homes builders know all about KSA (or Kerb-Side-Appeal) as they dress up the exteriors of their new homes to make them more appealing to buyers … and if you don’t believe me … why do Show homes exist? Going on the exterior looks of a modern property might be a theoretically good way of choosing a Edgware buy-to-let property, but in a challenging market, some Edgware investors are finding a more no-nonsense down to earth approach brings the largest returns.

Yes, the modern stuff being built in Edgware is lovely, but too many landlords purchase buy to let property solely based on where they would choose to live themselves, instead of choosing with a business head and choosing where a tenant would want to live … because remember the first rule of buy to let property … you aren’t going to live the property yourself. What an ex-council property lack in terms of KSA, they more than make up for in other ways.  Tenants more worried about how close the property is to a particular school or family members for child care matter to them far more than the look of a property.

Whilst ex-council properties tend to increase in value at a slower rate than more modern properties, that is more than made up in the much higher yields – and those built between the wars or just after are really well built. Tenant demand for such properties is good since Edgware property values are so expensive, a lot of people can’t get mortgages to buy, so they will reconcile themselves to renting, meaning there is a good demand for that sort of property to rent. Also, the very fact the council were forced to sell these Edgware properties in the 80’s and 90’s, means that today’s younger generation who would have normally got a council house to live in themselves, now can’t as many were sold ten or twenty years ago.

So to Edgware landlords I say this … don’t dismiss ex-council houses and apartments – but remember the 1st rule of buy to let (see above). However, those very same Edgware landlords should go in with their eyes open and take lots of advice. Not all ex-council properties are the same and even though they have good demand and high yields, they can also give you other headaches and issues when it comes to the running of the rental property. One source of advice is the Edgware Property Blog www.edgwarepropertyblog.com

… that just leaves the 11,664 council houses still owned by the local authority to be sold to their tenants in the coming years!

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Has owning a home become an unattainable dream for the 5,641 Barnet 28 year olds

My parents bought their first house in the 1960’s, they were in their early 20’s. Interestingly, looking at some research by the Post Office from a few years ago, in the 1960’s the average age people bought their first house was 23. By the early 1970s, it had reached 27, rising to 28 in the early 1980’s.

This year alone, 5,641 people in Barnet will turn 28 and 4,845 in 2017 .. and dare I say 4,206 in 2018 .. year in year out the conveyor belt carries on .. where are the Edgware youngsters going to live?

Ask an Edgware ‘twenty something’ and they will say they do not expect to buy until they are in their mid thirties – seven years later than the 1980’s. Some people even say they will never be able to buy a property and the newspapers have labelled them ‘Generation Rent’ as they are people born in the 1980s who have no hope of getting on the property ladder. One of the major problems facing young Edgware people is the large deposit needed to get a mortgage .. or is it?

The average price paid for an apartment in Edgware over the last 12 months has been £315,100 meaning our first time buyer would need to save £15,755 as a deposit (as 95% mortgages have been available to first time buyers since 2010) plus a couple of thousand for solicitors and survey costs. A lot of money, but people don’t think anything today of spending a couple of thousand pounds to go on holiday; the latest iPhone upgrade or the latest 4K HD television. That amount could soon be saved if these ‘luxuries’ were withheld over a couple of years but attitudes have changed.

Official figures, from the Office for National Statistics, show the average male in Barnet with a full-time job earns £673.40 per week whilst the average female salary is £585.50 a week, meaning they would still comfortably be able to get a mortgage for an apartment.

I was reading a report/survey commissioned by Paragon Mortgages from the autumn of last year. The thing that struck me was that when tenants were asked about their long term housing plans, some 35% of participating tenants intend to remain within the rental sector and 24% intended to buy a house in the future, with the proportion of respondents citing the “unaffordability” of housing as the reason for renting privately increasing from 69% to 74%.

However, time and time again, in the starter home category of property (ie apartments), nine times out of ten the mortgage payments to buy an Edgware property are cheaper than having to rent in Edgware. It is the tenant’s perception that they believe they can’t buy, so choose not to. Renting is now a choice. Tenants can upgrade to bigger and better properties and move up the property ladder quicker than their parents or grand parents (albeit they don’t own the property). Over the last decade, culturally in the UK, there has been a change in the attitude to renting so, unless that attitude changes, I expect that the private rental sector in Edgware (and the UK as a whole) is likely to remain a popular choice for the next twenty plus years. With demand for Edgware rental property unlikely to slow and newly formed households continuing to choose the rental market instead of purchasing a property. I also forecast that renting will continue to offer good value for money for tenants and recommend landlords pursue professional advice and adopt a realistic approach to rental increases to ensure that they are in line with inflation and any void periods are curtailed. One such place for advice, comment and opinion is the Edgware Property Blog www.edgwarepropertyblog.com

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£330,000 inheritance – Is buying Edgware Property still the best place for my windfall?

I had an interesting email from someone in Edgware a few weeks ago that I want to share with you (don’t worry I asked his permission to share this with you all). In a nutshell, the gentleman lives in Stonegrove, in his mid 60’s and still working. He has a decent pension, so that when he does retire in a couple of years’ time, it will give him a comfortable life. He had recently inherited £330,000 from an elderly aunt. One option he told me was put it into a savings account. The best he could find was a 2 year bond with the Post Office which paid 1.9%; meaning he would get £6,270 in interest a year. One of his other options was to buy a property in Edgware to rent out and he wanted to know my thoughts on what he should buy, but he had concerns as he didn’t want to take a mortgage out at his time of life. He was also worried about all the tax changes he had read about in the papers for landlords.

 

Notwithstanding the war on Edgware landlords being waged by George Osborne, the attraction of bricks and mortar endures for many. As our man is a cash buyer, he would not have to deal with the intricate cut to mortgage interest tax relief that will diminish, or even eradicate, the profits of many Edgware landlords. It’s true he would face the extra 3% in stamp duty to buy a second property, but with some good negotiation techniques, that could soon be mitigated.

 

I told him that buying an Edgware buy to let property is all about the total return on investment. True, he could put the money in the Post Office bond and receive his interest of £6,270 a year or, as he rightly suggested, invest in property in Edgware. The average yield (yield being the equivalent of the interest rate on the property) at the moment in Edgware is 3.31% per annum, meaning our potential F.T.L (First Time Landlord) should be able to, depending on what he bought in the suburb, earn before costs £10,923 a year. (However, I told him there are plenty of landlords in Edgware earning half as much again (if not more), if he was willing to consider more specialist investment types of properties – again, if you want to know where – look at my blog or drop me an email).

 

The bottom line is that the success of investing in Edgware buy to let property versus a savings account with the Post Office (or whatever Bank or Building Society is offering the best rate) will depend on the performance of those assets. Unlike with a savings account, with property the capital you invested can also go up (and yes, it can go down as well – more of that in second). Property values in Edgware have risen in the last twelve months by 8.3% meaning, that if our chap had bought a year ago, not only would he have received the £10,923 in rent, but also seen an uplift of £27,390 …meaning his overall return for the year would have been £38,313 (not bad when compared to the Post Office!).

 

.. but the doom mongers amongst you will say, property values can go down, as they did in 2008, and in 1988 and 1979. Yes, but after 1979 prices had bounced back to their ’79 levels by 1984 and went on to grow an additional 58% in the following four years. Then again, they dropped in 1988 and did take 13 years to reach back to those ’88 figures, but the following six years (between 2001 and 2007) they then increased by an additional 66%. Now, according to the Land Registry, average property values in Barnet currently stand 27.53% above the January 2008 level, and anecdotal evidence suggests that in the nicer parts of Edgware, we are well above these sorts of levels. Therefore, all this talk of property crashes is unfounded.

… and what would that £330,000 get you in Edgware? A stunning brand new 1 bed apartment in Premier House, a decent 2 bed apartment in Canons Park or a nice 2 bed apartment on Gibbs Green .. in fact, the world is your oyster. But which Oyster? Well, my blog reading friends, if you want to read similar articles like this and what I consider to be the very best of buy to let deals in Edgware, irrespective of which agent is selling it, then you need to visit the Edgware Property Blog www.edgwarepropertyblog.com

 

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19,521 Barnet Homes bought by private landlords in the last 20 years – Is this the end for first time buyers in Edgware?

There I was, out with the family at Royal Air Force Museum last weekend, when a smart gentleman approached me. ‘Hello’, he said, ‘You are the person writes that Property Blog aren’t you? We have met before at that Business Networking event in Edgware a few months ago’. I did then recognise him and, whilst I won’t mention his name, he runs a small but perfectly formed well known independent retailers in the suburb … It’s amazing who you see when out walking! Anyway, I was at a loose end for five or ten minutes as the other half was sorting things with the family, so we had a chat.

 

He wanted to know my thoughts on the future of the Edgware property market, and I would now like to share with you that conversation, my Edgware property Blog reading friends. People are always going to need a roof over their heads and somewhere to live will never go out of fashion – it’s a necessity for every single person. The 22 to 30 year olds of the suburb have a choice to what type of roof they have … they rent from the Council, they can rent from a private landlord or finally they can get a mortgage and buy one. In the 1970’s/80’s and 90’s, the expected thing was to save like mad for two years for the deposit (going without luxuries) whilst living at home or renting a cheap two up two down, then buy your first house. However, more recently fewer Edgware youngsters have been buying, choosing to rent instead – mainly from private landlords (as Councils have been selling off council housing on the Right to Buy Schemes). The numbers are truly staggering … and I want to share them with you.

 

Roll the clock back 20 years and Edgware was a different place. There were 123,133 households in Barnet and 79,348 of those were owner occupied. Move to the present, and with all the building in the suburb, the total number of households has increased by 11% to 136,709, but quite surprising (to me at least), the number of owner-occupiers has decreased to 79,079 (although as a proportion, it is only 57.8% compared to 64.4% twenty years ago).

 

However, it’s the rented sector that is truly fascinating … twenty years ago, only 15,385 properties were privately rented in Barnet … and now its 34,906, a rise of 19,521.

 

The twentysomethings of Edgware housing difficulties haven’t been helped by the local authority selling off council housing, with the number of council houses dropping from 14,768 to 11,664 over the same twenty-year period. Demand for decent rented property remains high, as Cameron’s much vaunted house building program is years away and has decades of under investment to catch up on before it starts to affect demand. Even with the Buy to Let tax rule changes over the coming few years (which will see the maximum tax relief available to landlords drop from 45% to 20%), private landlords still have an important role to play in housing the people of Edgware and those who educate themselves and treat it as a business will survive and prosper.

 

The best way Edgware landlords can protect their income from property (and mitigate the affects of the tax rises) is to keep the homes they let out in Grade A condition. I have found, especially over the last three or four years, Edgware tenants have ever growing demands from their rental property, but many are prepared to pay ‘top dollar‘ for houses and apartments that meet their high expectations. You must not forget, letting property in Edgware (in fact anywhere) is a business, so all private landlords should also seek the advice, opinion and commentary of property professionals.

 

… And just as the other half had sorted the family, he asked ‘What of the news of Stamp Duty changes for Landlords coming in April?’ My thoughts are with such low supply (i.e. numbers of property for sale), and high demand it is hard to imagine Edgware property values will see much impact – but I predict, ever so slightly, the proportion of owner occupiers should increase slightly compared to buy to let landlords in the coming decade as the the housing market should return to balance. For more in-depth thoughts on the Edgware Property Market, which have a library of similar articles like this, all on the Edgware Property Market, please visit my blog – www.edgwarepropertyblog.com

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Private Renting in Edgware increases by 536.93% in 20 years

You find me in a reflective mood today as I want to talk about the future of investing in property in Edgware. The truth is that we have got fat and lethargic, with many people having mistaken the ever rising Edgware (and in fact the whole of the UK) property market since the 1960’s as the eternal gift that kept giving as property prices constantly rose and doubled every five to seven years.

 

The days of making money from property as easy

as falling off a log, like taking candy from a baby are sadly

over my Edgware Property Blog reading friends

 

Whilst George Osborne has decided now is the time to milk the ‘Golden Cow’ of UK’s private landlords, with changes in taxation for buy to let property, many pundits are predicting the end of buy to let as we know it. However, it is still possible to make a reasonable, profitable and safe return on property with these changes. You see, I have always seen investing in the Edgware buy to let market (as I would anywhere in the UK), as I might see mother nature, creating some truly wonderful stunning warm weather but at the same time, she will bite, creating catastrophic situations such as snowstorms and hurricanes. You need to study the market, take advice and opinions from many people and then decide what the proverbial property weather will be … remember, tenants will always want a roof over their head and I don’t see the HM Government building the millions of houses required to house them?

 

Nobody knows the future, and yes people can predict but I wouldn’t be afraid of this change .. because as a famous French proverb says, (I told you I was a reflective mood today), ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’. I mean, no one could have predicted how the property market has changed in Edgware over the last couple of decades? Looking specifically at the Hendon Parliamentary Constituency, twenty years ago, 25,275 households (meaning 61.2% of property) was owned and only 1,642 households were privately rented (meaning 3.98% of property was rented out by private landlords). Roll the clocks on twenty years and the change has been seismic …. Now only 23,311 of properties in the Constituency are home-owners (a huge drop to only 51.9% being owner occupied) and the jump in private renting has been out of this world, as 11,386 properties are now privately rented proportionally 25.35%). (NB Neighbouring Constituencies show similar changes as well)

 

Who would have predicted in 1995 the private rental sector in

Edgware would have grown by 536.93% in the proceeding 20 years?

 

Also, if you had asked someone in 1995 to predict what would happen to property values over the proceeding 20 years (ie between 1995 and 2015), they might have predicted similar growth to the growth experienced over the previous 20 years (ie between 1975 and 1995), which was a very impressive 351.55%. Yes, property values in Edgware have increased over the last 20 years (between 1995 and 2015), by an even more impressive 389.24% (and most of that can be attributed to house price growth between 2000 and 2006.)

 

The property market is constantly changing and buy to let for too long has been heavily dependent solely on house price growth, where yield has been almost forgotten. I see the changes in tax and landlord and tenant law in a different perspective to the doom-mongers and see it as bringing many opportunities. You might need to change your buy to let benchmarks, your approach to financing or even consider places other than Edgware in which to invest your money, but this will shine a light on investing in properties with healthier yields and create more realistic long term buy to let opportunities, instead of short term growth bets and wagers.

 

The advice I give to my landlords, and you my blog reading friends is this; these changes will make some landlords panic, meaning competition for decent Edgware buy to let bargains will reduce as fear of change kicks in and amateur investors flee the market. These opportunities will provide a more stable platform for knowledgeable and wise Edgware buy to let landlords to thrive in. If you want to learn more about the Edgware Property Market, feel free to pop in for a coffee at our office for a chat with me, or failing that, visit the Edgware Property Blog, where you will find many more articles like this ..solely on the one topic of the Property Market in Edgware www.edgwarepropertyblog.com

 

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Edgware Buy to Let sees returns of 12.80% in 2015

Well, as a New Year begins I remembered that a few days before Christmas, I got chatting with one of my out of town landlords who was back in Edgware visiting his family. Brought up in Edgware, he went to Canons High School back in the 1970’s and is now a University Lecturer in central London.  To enhance his retirement, he has a small portfolio of four properties in the town and wanted my advice on where to buy the next property in Edgware (as he lives in a college owned flat and anyway, would never dream of buying where he lives in Kensington (where the average value of a flat is £1.62m and a town house £4.1m.  Eye-watering to say the least!!).

Before I could advise him, I reminded him that the most important thing when considering investing in property is finding an Edgware property with decent rental yields for income returns, yet at the same time, it must have the potential for capital growth from rising house prices over time. Going into 2016, Edgware landlords will be under more pressure to find the best permutation of yields and capital growth, as extra stamp duty charges for buying properties and a squeeze on mortgage interest relief will raise their costs.

However, (you knew there would be a however) before we look at yield and capital growth, one important consideration that often many landlords tend to overlook, is the propensity of how likely the rent will increase. Interestingly, the average rent of an Edgware property currently stands at £1,465 per month, which is a rise of 7.5% compared to twelve months ago (although it must be noted this rise in rents is for new tenancies and not existing tenants).

Anyway, back to yield and capital growth, the average value of an Edgware property currently stands at £482,800, meaning the average yield stands at 3.64% per annum, which on the face of it, many landlords would find disappointing. That is the problem with averages, so if I were to look at say 2 bed houses in Edgware which are the sort of properties a lot of landlords buy, in Edgware, the average value of a 2 bed house is £401,700, whilst the average rent for a 2 bed house is £1,371 per month, giving a yield of 4.10%. However, if that wasn’t high enough, there are landlords in Edgware who own some specialist properties with specialist tenancies, that are achieving nearly double that yield – again it comes down to your attitude to risk and reward (give me a tinkle if you wanted a chat about those sorts of properties – although they can be fun and games!).

Ultimately investors want to be making gains from both rent and house price growth. When combined, the rental yield and capital growth gives you the return on investment, and that is what I told our University friend from Kensington. Return on investment is everything. So, looking at property in Edgware prices have risen in the last year by 8.7% …. which means the current annual return on investment in Edgware for a typical 2 bed house is 12.80% a year …. not bad.

Whether you are a soon to be new landlord or existing seasoned landlord in Edgware, you might be interested in a blog about the Edgware Property market, where you will find similar articles to this one about what is happening in the Edgware Property market …. the web address is www. www.edgwarepropertyblog.com and to answer the question on what he should buy, well on the same blog, once or twice a week, I post what I consider to be the best buy to let deals in Edgware, irrespective of which agent it is being marketed with.

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