Local property market information for the serious investor

Month: January 2017

£43m a year black hole in the Edgware Property Market – Is Buy to Let Immoral? (Part 2)

An Englishman’s Home is His Castle as Maggie Thatcher lauded – everyone should own their own home. In 1971, around 50% of people owned their own home and, as the baby-boomers got better jobs and pay, that proportion of homeowners rose to 69% by 2001. Homeownership was here to stay as m

any baby boomers assumed it’s very much a cultural thing here in Britain to own your own home.

But on the back of TV programmes like Homes Under the Hammer, these same baby boomers started to jump on the band wagon of Edgware buy to let properties as an investment. Edgware first time buyers were in competition with Edgware landlords to buy these smaller starter homes … pushing house prices up in the 2000’s (as mentioned in Part One) beyond the reach of first time buyers. Alas, it is not as simple as that. Many factors come into play, such as economics, the banks and government policy. But are Edgware landlords fanning the flames of the Edgware housing crisis bonfire?

I believe that the landlords of the 4,905 HA8 rental properties are not exploitive and are in fact, making many positive contributions to Edgware and the people of Edgware. Like I have said before, Edgware (and the rest of the UK) isn’t building enough properties to keep up the demand; with high birth rate, job mobility, growing population and longer life expectancy.

According to the Barker Review, for the UK to standstill and meet current demand, the country needs to be building 8.7 new households each and every year for every 1,000 households already built. Nationally, we are currently running at 5.07 per thousand and in the early part of this decade were running at 4.1 to 4.3 per thousand.

It doesn’t sound a lot of difference, so let us look at what this means for Edgware …

For Edgware to meet its obligation on the
building of new homes, Edgware would need to build 200 households each year. Yet, we are missing that figure by around 83 households a year.

For the Government to buy the land and build those additional 83 households, it would need to spend £43,616,628 a year in Edgware alone. Add up all the additional households required over the whole of the UK and the Government would need to spend £23.31bn each year … the Country hasn’t got that sort of money!

With these problems, it is the property developers who are buying the old run-down houses and office blocks which are deemed uninhabitable by the local authority, and turning them into new attractive homes to either be rented privately to Edgware families or Edgware people who need council housing because the local authority hasn’t got enough properties to go around.

The bottom line is that, as the population grows, there aren’t enough properties being built for everyone to have a roof over their head. Rogue landlords need to be put out of business, whilst tenants should expect a more regulated rental market, with greater security for tenants, where they can rely on good landlords providing them high standards from their safe and modernised home. As in Europe, where most people rent rather than buy, it doesn’t matter who owns the house – all people want is a clean, decent roof over their head at a reasonable rent.

So only you, the reader, can decide if buy to let is immoral, but first let me ask this question – if the private buy to let landlords had not taken up the slack and provided a roof over these people’s heads over the last decade .. where would these tenants be living now? ….. because the alternative doesn’t even bear thinking about!

If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one for the first time, and you want to read more articles like this about the Edgware Property Market together with regular postings on what I consider the best buy to let deals in Edgware, out of the many of properties on the market, irrespective of which agent is selling it, then feel free to get in touch! email me on Steve@benjaminstevens.co.uk

If you are in the area feel free to pop into the office we are based at 194 Station Road Edgware Middlesex HA8 7AT– the kettle is always on.

Don’t forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Edgware Property News.

Blog – http://www.benjaminstevens.co.uk/edgware-property-blog

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BenjaminStevensEstateAgents

Twitter – https://twitter.com/BenjamStevensEA

Website – http://www.benjaminstevens.co.uk

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Private Renting in Edgware set to hit 6,916 households by 2021 – Is Buy to Let immoral? (Part 1)

 

Can we blame the 55 to 70-year-old Edgware citizens for the current housing crisis in the town?

Also known as the ‘Baby Boomer Generation’, these Edgware people were born after the end of the Second World War as the country saw a massive rise in births as they slowly recovered from the economic hardships experienced during wartime.

Throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, they experienced (whilst in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s) an unparalleled level of economic growth and prosperity throughout their working lifetime on the back of improved education, government subsidies, escalating property prices and technological developments, they have emerged as a successful and prosperous generation.

…Yet some have suggested these Edgware baby boomers have (and are) making too much money to the detriment of their children, creating a ‘generational economic imbalance’, where mature people benefit from house-price growth while their children are forced either to pay massive rents or pay large mortgages.

Between 2001 and today, average earnings rose by 65%,

but average Edgware house prices rose by 170.4%

The issue of housing is particularly acute with the generation called the Millennials, who are young people born between the mid 1980’s and the late 1990’s. These 18 to 30 years, moulded by the computer and internet revolution, are finding as they enter early adult life, very hard to buy a property, as these ‘greedy’ landlords are buying up all the property to rent out back to them at exorbitant rents … it’s no wonder these Millennials are lashing out at buy to let landlords, as they are seen as the greedy, immoral, wicked people who are cashing in on a social despair.

Like all things in life, we must look to the past, to appreciate where we are now.

The three biggest influencing factors on the Edgware (and UK) property market in the later half of the 20th Century were, firstly, the mass building of Council Housing in the 1950’s and 60’s. Secondly, for the Tory’s to sell most of those Council Houses off in the 1980’s and finally 15% interest rates in the early 1990’s which resulted in many houses being repossessed. It was these major factors that underpinned the housing crisis we have today in Edgware.

To start with, in 1995 the USA relaxed its lending rules by rewriting the Community Reinvestment Act. This Act saw a relaxation on the Bank’s lending criteria’s as there was pressure on these banks to lend on mortgages in low wage neighbourhoods, as the viewpoint in the USA was that anyone (even someone on the minimum wage) any working class person should be able to buy a home.  Unsurprisingly, the UK followed suit in the early 2000’s, as Banks and Building Society’s relaxed their lending criteria and brought to the market 100% mortgages, even Northern Rock started lending every man and his dog 125% mortgages.

So when we roll the clock forward to today, and we can observe those very same footloose banks from the early/mid 2000’s (that lent 125% with a just note from your Mum and a couple of breakfast cereal tokens), ironically reciting the Bank of England backed hymn-sheet of responsible-lending. On every first time buyer mortgage application, they are now looking at every line on the 20-something’s banks statements, asking if they are spending too much on socialising and holidays … no wonder these Millennials are afraid to ask for a mortgage (as more often than not after all that – the answer is negative).

Conversely, you have unregulated Buy To Let mortgages. As long as you have a 25% deposit, have a pulse, pass a few very basic yardsticks and have a reasonable job, the banks will literally throw money at you … I mean Virgin Money are offering 2.99% fixed for 3 years – so cheap!

So, in Part Two next week, I will continue this emotive article and show you some very interesting findings on why young people aren’t buying property anymore (and it’s not what you think!).

If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one for the first time, and you want to read more articles like this about the Edgware Property Market together with regular postings on what I consider the best buy to let deals in Edgware, out of the many of properties on the market, irrespective of which agent is selling it, then feel free to get in touch! email me on Steve@benjaminstevens.co.uk

If you are in the area feel free to pop into the office we are based at 194 Station Road Edgware Middlesex HA8 7AT– the kettle is always on.

Don’t forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Edgware Property News.

Blog – http://www.benjaminstevens.co.uk/edgware-property-blog

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BenjaminStevensEstateAgents

Twitter – https://twitter.com/BenjamStevensEA

Website – http://www.benjaminstevens.co.uk

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Edgware Property Market Sees An Unpredicted Autumn Boost of 38%

Well, it doesn’t seem like two minutes ago that it was Christmas – and now it’s all over! One cold December morning, after arranging the office’s Christmas cards I thought I would nip out for a quick festive coffee and over-priced mince pie at my favourite local coffee shop Coffee Affair.  I met an old client of mine in the coffee shop and we got talking about the Edgware property market. I had just completed my research for my next blog article and I would like to share with you the parts of the conversation relating to the Edgware property market.

He asked me what my thoughts were about the last half of the year in regard to the Edgware property market and if there were any great buy to let deals around. In reply I said that, in my view, shrugging off the uncertainty of the initial post Brexit vote, I h
ave seen an increase in supply and a rise in the number of properties selling at the lower to middle end of the market, meaning both first time buyers and buy to let landlords have been returning in the last few months – proof the market is beginning to bounce back.

So let’s look at the numbers ..

In November 2016, according to the three main property portals (Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket) there were a total of 395 properties for sale in Edgware (within 1 mile of the centre of Edgware to be exact). I
n November 2015, there were only 286 properties for sale, a rise of 38%.

 

When I split it down into bedrooms (note things like building plots and part commercial/part residential etc won’t be in these figures so the numbers below wont exactly match up to those in the above paragraph).

# Properties on the market in Nov 2015 # Properties on the market in Nov 2016 Per cent Change
5+ Bedrooms 29 50 +72%
4 Bedrooms 52 72 +38%
3 Bedrooms 69 120 +74%
2 Bedrooms 92 118 +28%
1 Bedroom 37 27 -27%

.. and when I looked at type of properties  .. it got even more interesting

Type of Property # Properties on the market in Nov 2015 # Properties on the market in Nov 2016 Per cent Change
Detached 37 67 +81%
Semi 83 112 +35%
Terraced 18 54 +200%
Flat 141 154 +9%

As the number of Edgware properties put up for sale has soared by 38%, homeowners have become more realistic about how much their homes are worth. This increase in homeowners wanting to sell suggests there is renewed confidence in the Edgware property market and there are also signs that people are being more realistic about pricing their property.

As you can see, there has been quite an uplift in semi-detached and a significant uplift in terraced properties, which means there is greater choice for first time buyers and landlords. So with a combination of realistic pricing and more properties on the market – both first time buyers and landlords alike might be able to pick up a few bargains!  One place for great Edgware Buy to let deals is my blog where, irrespective of which agent is selling the property, I publish what I consider is the very best buy to let deal in Edgware

If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one for the first time, and you want to read more articles like this about the Edgware Property Market together with regular postings on what I consider the best buy to let deals in Edgware, out of the many of properties on the market, irrespective of which agent is selling it, then feel free to get in touch! email me on Steve@benjaminstevens.co.uk

If you are in the area feel free to pop into the office we are based at 194 Station Road Edgware Middlesex HA8 7AT– the kettle is always on.

Don’t forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Edgware Property News.

Blog – http://www.benjaminstevens.co.uk/edgware-property-blog

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BenjaminStevensEstateAgents

Twitter – https://twitter.com/BenjamStevensEA

Website – http://www.benjaminstevens.co.uk

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Edgware property price rises set to be more restrained in 2017 due to Brexit

Good Morning, Happy New Year to all my readers, I hope you all have had a lovely festive break with your friends and family. Well for most now its back to reality with day to day routines back to normal. I would like to wish all of you the very best for 2017. Take a look at my latest research and thoughts regarding the Edgware Property Market.
While Brexit has not yet had a sizeable impact on the Edgware housing market, my analysis is pointing to the fact that the economic viewpoint still remains uncertain and Edgware property price growth is likely to be more subdued in 2017 – although that isn’t a bad thing so let me explain.

Since the summer, apart from a little wobble of uncertainty a few weeks after the Referendum vote, property values (and the economy), on the whole has outperformed what most people were anticipating. In fact, when I looked at the property prices for our Barnet London Borough Council area, these were the results…

October 2016              – rise of 1.24%

September 2016         – rise of 0.86%

August 2016                – drop of 0.98%

July 2016                     – rise of 1.17%

June 2016                    – rise of 1.51%

The UK property market continues to perform robustly (because we can’t just look at Edgware as if in its own little bubble) with annual price growth set to end this year at 6.91% and most Greater London property market at 7.72%.

Talking to fellow agents in London, the significant tidal wave of growth seen from 2013 through to 2015 in the capital has subdued over the last six months. However, as that central London house price wave has started to ripple out, agents are starting to see stronger property growth values in East Anglia and the South East regions outside of London, than what is being seen within the M25. So, fellow Edgware landlords and homeowners, is this the time to get your surfboards ready for the London wave?

Well, we in Edgware haven’t really been affected by what is happening in the central London property mega bubble (i.e. Kensington, Chelsea, Marylebone, Mayfair etc.). The property market locally is more driven by sentiment, especially the ‘C’ word … confidence. The main forces for a weaker Edgware Property market relate to economic uncertainty surrounding the Brexit process, which I believe will impact unhelpfully on consumer confidence in the run up to and just after the serving of the Section 50 Notice by the end of Q1 2017.

In addition, the influence of reforms to the taxation of landlords is expected to result in a reduced demand from buy to let landlords, which will limit upward pressure on property values. However, on the other side of the coin, demand from tenants has been strong, but this has been counterbalanced by a strong supply of rental properties. In my opinion, there is a slight risk of rents not growing as much in 2017 as they have in 2016, but
by 2018 they will rise again to counteract Philip Hammond’s changes to tenant fees.

The broader Edgware rental market looks relatively positive with modest rental growth expected and rents might rise further if landlords begin to sell properties in an effort to offset to the impact of tax rises.

So what do I predict will happen to the Edgware housing market in 2017? In Edgware, I believe price values are expected to fall by 2.3% in 2017 compared to a rise of 10.3% this year, then pick up to growth of 1.9% in 2018, 3.1% in 2019, then 4.2% in 2020 and 6.5% in 2021.

But these predictions do not take into account any effect of a possible snap General Election or further referendum on ratifying any Brexit deal (if that comes to pass in the future).
If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one for the first time, and you want to read more articles like this about the Edgware Property Market together with regular postings on what I consider the best buy to let deals in Edgware, out of the many of properties on the market, irrespective of which agent is selling it, then feel free to get in touch! email me on Steve@benjaminstevens.co.uk

If you are in the area feel free to pop into the office we are based at 194 Station Road Edgware Middlesex HA8 7AT– the kettle is always on.

Don’t forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Edgware Property News.

Blog – http://www.benjaminstevens.co.uk/edgware-property-blog

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BenjaminStevensEstateAgents

Twitter – https://twitter.com/BenjamStevensEA

Website – http://www.benjaminstevens.co.uk

Continue Reading