Local property market information for the serious investor

Month: June 2017

Council House Waiting List in Edgware Drops by 82% in last 9 years

Should you buy or rent a house? Buying your own home can be expensive but could save you money over the years. Renting a property through a letting agent or private landlord offers less autonomy to live by your own rules, with more flexibility if you need to move.

Yet, there is third way that many people seem to forget, yet it plays an important role in the housing of Edgware people. Collectively known as social housing, it is affordable housing, which is let by either Barnet London Borough Council or a housing association to those considered to be in specific need, at rents below those characteristic in the private rental market.

In Edgware, there are 4,247 social housing households, which represent 18.50% of all the households in Edgware. There are a further 3,213 families in the Barnet London Borough Council area on their waiting list, which is similar to the figures in the late 1990’s. The numbers peaked in 2007, when it stood at 17,909 families, so today’s numbers represent a drop of 82.06%.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t necessarily mean that more families are being supplied with their own council house or housing association property. Six years ago, Westminster gave local authorities the authority to limit entitlement for social housing, quite conspicuously dismissing those that did not have an association or link to the locality.

Interestingly, the rents in the social rented segment have also been growing at a faster rate than they have for private tenants. In the Barnet London Borough Council area, the average rent in 1998 for a council house/housing association property was £227.89 a month, whilst today its £447.89, a rise of 97% in 19 years.

When comparing social housing rents against private rents, the stats don’t go back to the late 1990’s for private renting, so to ensure we compare like for like, we can only go back to 2005. Over the last 12 years, private rents have increased nationally by a net figure of 19.7%, whilst rents for social housing have increased by 59.1%.

So, what does this all mean for the homeowners, landlords and tenants of Edgware?

Rents in the private rental sector in Edgware will increase sharply during the next five years. Even though the council house waiting list has decreased, the number of new council and housing association properties being built is at a 70 year low. The government crusade against buy-to-let landlords together with the increased taxation and the banning of tenant fees to agents will restrict the supply of private rental property, which in turn using simple supply and demand economics, will mean private rents will rise – making buy to let investment a good choice of investment again (irrespective of the increased fees and taxation laid at the door of landlords).  It will also mean property values will remain strong and stable as the number of people moving to a new house (and selling their old property) will continue to remain restricted and hence, due to lack of choice and supply, buyers will have to pay decent money for any property they wish to buy.

Interesting times ahead for the Edgware Property Market!
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 at 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 First Time Buyers Mortgages taking 46.1% of their Wages

I received a very interesting letter the other day from an Edgware resident. He declared he was an Edgware homeowner, retired and mortgage free. He stated how unaffordable Edgware’s rising property prices were and that he worried how the younger generation of Edgware could ever afford to buy? He went on to ask if it was right for landlords to make money on the inability of others to buy property and if, by buying a buy to let property, Edgware landlords are denying the younger generation the ability to in fact buy their own home.

Whilst doing my research for my many blog posts on the Edgware Property Market, I know that a third of 25 to 30 year olds still live at home. It’s no wonder people are kicking out against buy to let landlords; as they are the greedy bad people who are cashing in on a social woe. In fact, most people believe the high increases in Edgware’s (and the rest of the UK’s) house prices are

the very reason owning a home is outside the grasp of these younger would-be property owners.

However, the numbers tell a different story. Looking of the age of first time buyers since 1990, the statistics could be seen to pour cold water on the idea that younger people are being priced out of the housing market. In 1990, when data was first published, the average age of a first time buyer was 33, today it’s 31.

Nevertheless, the average age doesn’t tell the whole story. In the early 1990’s, 26.7% of first-time buyers were under 25, while in the last five years just 14.9% were. In the early 1990’s, four out of ten first time buyers were 25 to 34 years of age and now its six out of ten first time buyers.

Although, there are also indications of how un-affordable housing is, the house price-to-earnings ratio has almost doubled for first-time buyers in the past 30 years. In 1983, the average Edgware home cost a first-time buyer (or buyers in the case of joint mortgages) the equivalent of 3.1 times their total annual earnings, whilst today, that has escalated to 7.1 times their income.

Again, those figures don’t tell the whole story. Back in 1983, the mortgage payments as percentage of mean take home pay for an Edgware first time buyer was 32.8%. In 1989, that had risen to 84.6%. Today, it’s 46.1% … and no that’s not a typo .. 46.1% is the correct figure.

So, to answer the gentleman’s questions about the younger generation of Edgware being able to afford to buy and if it was right for landlords to make money on the inability of others to buy property? It isn’t all to do with affordability as the numbers show.

And what of the landlords? Some say the government should sort the housing problem out themselves, but according to my calculations, £18bn a year would need to be spent for the next 20 or so years to meet current demand for households. That would be the equivalent of raising income tax by 4p in the Pound. I don’t think UK tax payers would swallow that.

So, if the Government haven’t got the money… who else will house these people? Private Sector Landlords and thankfully they have taken up the slack over the last 15 years.

Some say there is a tendency to equate property ownership with national prosperity, but this isn’t necessarily the case. The youngsters of Edgware are buying houses, but buying later in life. Also, many Edgware youngsters are actively choosing to rent for the long term, as it gives them flexibility – something our 21st Century society craves more than ever.

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 at 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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19.7 miles – The average distance people go to escape living in Edgware

“How far do Edgware people go to move to a new house?” This was an intriguing question asked by one of my clients the other week. Readers of my property blog will know I love a challenge, especially when it comes to talking about the Edgware Property Market!

For the majority, the response is not very far. It is much more common for homeowners and tenants in Great Britain to move across town than to the next town or county. Until now, it’s been hard to say how many homeowners and tenants moved from (and to) relatively far away to buy or rent their new home. However, I carried out some research and requested some statistics from the Royal Mail. What came back was fascinating!

Using statistics for the 12 months up to the middle of Autumn 2016, 690 households moved out of Edgware (HA8), moving an average distance of 19.69 miles – the equivalent of moving from Edgware to Harlow (as the crow flies).  The greatest distance travelled was 337 miles – that’s almost 13 marathons (when someone moved to Stepps in Scotland).

Considering there were 446 property sales in HA8 in the year and countless tenant moves, the numbers seems consistent – once you find a town you like, you tend to want to settle down and if you do move, you might only move to a different neighbour-hood, or for better transport links or, to be closer to the school you want to get your children into, but the likelihood is you won’t travel far.

I then turned my attention to people moving into Edgware. Using the same statistics for the 12 months up to the middle of Autumn 2016, 596 households moved into Edgware (HA8), moving an average distance of 14.44 miles – the equivalent of moving from Chigwell to Edgware (again as the crow flies). The greatest distance travelled was 427 miles – that’s more than 16 marathons (when someone moved from Rothes in Scotland to Edgware).

I have looked at the data of every person moving into Edgware and these have been plotted on a map of the UK. Looking at the map below, it shows exactly where most people come from, when moving into Edgware. As you can see, there are a high proportion of people moving from North London area.

So, what does all this mean for the landlords and homeowners of Edgware?

When an agent markets a property for rent or let, it is vital to know the tenant or property buyer well, that the properties they are letting/selling fit those tenants/buyers, so they almost sell themselves. These days that means not only knowing how many bedrooms, reception rooms etc., a property offers but the budget buyers and tenants want to spend on a property in that area as well as where they come from.

The estate and lettings industry loves the mantra “location, location, location”. I say it might be helpful to factor in where (and how) far people are moving from, so the property can be sold or let more easily. Many say knowledge is power and whilst I do enjoy writing my blog on the Edgware property market, I also use the information to help my clients buy, let and sell well. So for example, the information gained for this article, will enable my team and I to be more efficient in where to direct our marketing resources to ensure we maximise our clients’ properties sale-ability or rent-ability.

For more information on the Edgware property market, visit the Edgware Property Market Blog

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 at 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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1 in 5 Edgware Properties are Leasehold

There are 23.36 million properties in England and Wales with 64% being owner occupied and 36% being rented either from a private landlord, local authority or housing association.

Over nine out of ten of those English and Welsh owner-occupied properties are a whole house or bungalow. Now, most people w

ould assume they would be freehold – however, of those renting nearly half of rental properties, 44% to be precise, lived in other leasehold apartments and flats.

It might be wise to quickly explain the difference

between freehold and leasehold. When someone owns the freehold of a property they own it outright, including the land it is built on, whilst with a leasehold property the leaseholder owns the property for the length of their lease agreement. Leaseholders must pay the person who owns land (the freeholder) ground rent and other fees. When the leasehold ends, ownership returns to the freeholder although the leaseholder can extend the lease or they can buy the freeholder out, but there are rules and regulations with regards doing that.

Therefore, it would be safe to assume that houses are freehold and flats are leasehold .. wouldn’t it? Not necessarily! Most houses are freehold but some might be leasehold – usually through shared-ownership schemes – but more and more new homes builders are selling houses on a leasehold as well. The protection of the law afforded to leaseholders who own a flat is massive, but sadly lacking to leasehold houses sold privately.

Looking specifically at the figures for Edgware, at the last count in HA8 there were 24,248 properties. Since 1995, 18,147 properties in HA8 have changed hands and have been sold. Looking further at those 18,1477 transactions in HA8 since 1995, using data from Land Registry and solicitors practice My-Home-Move, 18.24% have been leasehold (higher than the national average of 15%).

However, I am concerned about a few new homes builders selling new houses (not flats – houses) as leasehold. There has been a growing (yet small) trend for new-build houses to be sold as leasehold in recent years. While not all house builders use this model, those that do maintain it helps make developments financially viable.

The issue comes when builders sell the freehold separately to an investment company without informing the lease holder  – which they are legally allowed to do without telling the leaseholder. In England and Wales, the “right of first refusal” to buy the freehold is written in law to leaseholders of flats i.e. the freeholder must offer it to the leaseholders of all the flats of the building first), but not leaseholders of houses.

.. and this is the point I am trying to get across. If you are buying a new home and it’s a house (i.e. not a flat) – please check very carefully indeed whether its freehold or leasehold. If it is a leasehold, whilst you do have rights, they are not as strong as for those people buying a leasehold flat. I appreciate I am only talking about a very small percentage of the property market, but potentially this could end up costing thousands of pounds to those affected.

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 at 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 Flats Out Perform Property Market Average by 19%

According to the Land Registry’s latest House Price Index for Edgware and the surrounding locality, the value of apartments/flats are rising at a faster rate than terraced/town houses, semi-detached properties and even detached property.

Values of apartments in Edgware have increased by 4.28% over the past year, which is proportionally 19% more than the Edgware average rise of 3.61%. The last time flats/apartments in Edgware out performed all the other types of property, by such a gulf, was back in the spring of 2003. For comparison, the other property types performed as follows ..

  • Detached homes rose by 3.05%
  • Semi-detached homes rose by 2.96%
  • Terraced/Town-Houses rose by 2.89%

This moderately increasing rate of property value growth is opportune – but no one should confuse it with a strong and vigorous healthy Edgware property market. Instead, it is somewhat an indicator of the long-lasting lack of property on the market. In fact, I have spoken about the lack of homes for sale in Edgware on a number of occasions in my Edgware Property Blog and whilst it isn’t as bad as it was 12 months ago – choice is quite limited for buyers.

The average property value in Edgware

now stands at £506,200.

When split down into property types ..

  • Edgware Apartments at £342,700
  • Edgware Detached at £973,500
  • Edgware Semi-Detached at £591,400
  • Edgware Terraced/Town-House at £421,800

So why have Edgware apartments performed so well, and is it just an Edgware thing? When I scrutinised the figures for the rest of the UK, it appears that apartments are pacemakers in the clear majority of the country. Of the 379 local authority areas in the UK, the value of apartments is rising faster than detached, semi-detached and terraced houses in 320 of them.

So, should Edgware apartment owners be getting out the Champagne? Well, I would keep it on ice as the Land Registry figures are notorious for short term fluctuations. It’s hard to have faith in the fact that Edgware house values rose rapidly last month given that, in the last six months, the Land Registry has frequently made downward revisions to their first published House Price Index figures.

Thankfully, the bigger picture from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) stated that home buying activity last month was up 2% over the same month in 2016 – not bad as we have had the Autumn, Winter and now Spring since Brexit. The CML stated first time buyer’s levels of affordability was being squeezed and that the average amount borrowed by those first-time buyers dropped slightly last month, but the overall amount borrowed (by all buyers) was an impressive 12% higher than the same month in 2016.

So, what next for the Edgware Property market? I believe the uplift in the values of apartments is a short-term blip. The real issue is with the way wage growth might not keep up with inflation as the effects of 2016 exchange rate sucks in inflation (meaning real wage growth stagnates). This will mean buyer demand growth will be curtailed and with property values already so full, I believe a renewed hastening in house price growth is unlikely.

I believe we are starting to return to the housing market we saw
in the mid 1990’s, Steady demand, steady supply – nothing silly when it comes to house price growth. Therefore, I believe, with what is happening around us – this isn’t a bad thing at all. HMS Edgware Property Market…. “Nice and steady as she goes”, says the Captain

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 at 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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