Local property market information for the serious investor

Month: October 2018

Edgware House Prices vs Edgware Rents since 2006

The Edgware housing market is a fascinating beast and has been particularly interesting since the Credit Crunch of 2008/9 with the subsequent property market crash. There is currently some talk of a ‘property bubble’ nationally as Brexit seems to be the ‘go-to’ excuse for every issue in the Country. Upon saying that, looking at both what we do as an agent, and chatting with my fellow property professionals in Edgware, the market has certainly changed for both buyers and sellers alike (be they Edgware buy to let landlords, Edgware first time buyers or Edgware owner occupiers looking to make the move up the Edgware property ladder).

Edgware house values are 0.3% lower than a year ago, and the rents Edgware tenants have to pay are 0.3% lower than a year ago

When we compare little old Edgware to the national picture, national property values have risen by 0.4% compared to last month and risen by 3.0% compared to a year ago, and this will surprise you even more, as nationally, property values are 19.8% higher than January 2015 (compared to 11.4% higher in the EU in the same time frame).

However, if we look further back…

Since 2006, Edgware house values are 86.3% higher, yet the rents Edgware tenants have had to pay for their Edgware rental property are 32.8% higher

…which sounds a lot, yet UK inflation in those 12 years has been 42%, meaning Edgware tenants are 9.2% better off in ‘real spending power terms’.

Looking at the graph, the rental changes have been much gentler than the roller coaster ride of property values. I particularly want to bring to your attention the dip in Edgware house values (in red) in the years of 2008 and 2009 … yet as Edgware property values started to rise after the summer of 2009, see how Edgware rents dipped 6/12 months later (the yellow bars)…. Fascinating!

So, we have a win for tenants and a win for the homeowners, as they are also happy due to the increase in the value of their Edgware property.

However, maybe an even more interesting point is for the long-term Edgware buy to let landlords. The performance of Edgware rental income vs Edgware house values has seen the resultant yields drop over time (if house prices rise quicker than rents – yields drop).

Whilst, it’s true Edgware landlords have benefited from decent capital growth over the last decade –with the new tax rules for landlords – now more than ever, it’s so important to maximise one’s yields to ensure the long term health of your Edgware buy to let portfolio. More and more I am sitting down with both Edgware landlords of mine and landlords of other agents who might not be trained in these skills – to carry out an MOT style check on their Edgware portfolio, to ensure your investment will meet your future needs of capital growth and income. If you don’t want to miss out on such a MOT check up, drop me a line – what have you got to lose? 30 minutes of time against peace of mind – the choice is yours.

If you are thinking of selling your Edgware home or 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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How Would a Hard Brexit Affect Edgware House Prices?

 

I have been asked a number of times recently what a hard Brexit would mean to the Edgware property market. To be frank, I have been holding off giving my thoughts, as I did not want to add fuel to the stories being banded around in the national press. However, it’s obviously a topic that you as Edgware buy to let landlords and Edgware homeowners are interested in … so I am going to try and give you what I consider a fair and unbiased piece on what would happen if a hard Brexit takes place in March 2019.

After the weather and football, the British obsession on the UK property market is without comparison to any other country in the world. I swear The Daily Mail has the state of the country’s property market on its standard weekly rotation of front-page stories! Like I have said before on my blog, there are better economic indexes and statistics to judge the economy (and more importantly) the property market. If you recall, I said the number of transactions was just as important, if not more, as a bellwether of the state of the property market.

Worries that the Brexit referendum would lead to a fast crash in Edgware (and national) property values were unfounded, although the growth of property values in Edgware has reduced since the referendum in the summer of 2016.

Now, it’s true the Edgware property market is seeing less people sell and move and the property values are rising at a slower rate in 2018 compared to the heady days of the first half of this decade (2010 to 2015), but before we all start panicking, let’s ask ourselves, what exactly has happened in the last couple of years since the Brexit vote?

Barnet and Edgware house prices have dropped by 2.55%

since the EU Referendum… 

…and yes, in 2018 we are on track (and again this is projected) to finish on 3,920 property transactions (i.e. the number of people selling their home) … which is less than 2017 … and only just below the long term 12 year average of 4,479 transactions in the local council area.

So, it appears the EU vote hasn’t caused many major issues so far, however, if there was a large economic jolt, that could be a different game, yet how likely is that?

The property market is mostly influenced by interest rates and salaries.

A hard Brexit would subdue wage growth to some degree, yet the level of the change will depend on the undetermined type of Brexit deal (or no deal). If trade barriers are imposed on a hard Brexit, imports will become more expensive, inflation will rise and growth will fall, although at least we are not in the Euro, meaning this could be tempered by the exchange rate of the Pound against the Euro. In plain language, a hard Brexit will be worse for house prices than a deal.

So why did the Governor of the Bank of England suggest a disorderly hard Brexit would affect house prices by up to 35%?

I mean it was only nine years ago we went through the global financial crisis with the credit crunch. Nationally, in most locations including Edgware, property values dropped in value by 16% to 19% over an 18-month period. Look at the graph and if we had a similar percentage drop, it would only take us back to the property value levels we were achieving in 2015.

And let’s not forget that the Bank of England introduced some measures to ensure we didn’t have another bubble in any future property market. One of the biggest factors of the 2009 property crash was the level of irresponsible lending by the banks. The Bank of England Mortgage Market Review of 2014 forced Banks to lend on how much borrowers had left after regular expenditure, rather than on their income. Income multipliers that were 8 or 9 times income pre-credit crunch were significantly curtailed (meaning a Bank could only offer a small number of residential mortgages above 4.5 times income), and that Banks had to assess whether the borrower could afford the mortgage if interest rates at the time of lending rose by three percentage points over the first five years of the loan … meaning all the major possible stumbling blocks have been mostly weeded out of the system.

So, what next?

A lot of Edgware homeowners might wait until 2019 to move, meaning less choice for buyers, especially in the desirable areas of Edgware. For Edgware landlords, Edgware tenants are also likely to hang off moving until next year, although I suspect (as we had this on the run up to the 2015 General Election when it was thought Labour might get into Government), during the lull, there could be some Edgware buy to let bargains to be had from people having to move (Brexit or No Brexit) or the usual panic selling at times of uncertainty.

Brexit, No Brexit, Hard Brexit … in the whole scheme of things, it will be another footnote to history in a decade. We have survived the Oil Crisis, 20%+ Hyperinflation in the 1970’s, Mass Unemployment in the 1980s, Interest Rates of 15% in 1990’s, the Global Financial Crash in 2009 … whatever happens, happens. People still need houses and a roof over their head. If property values drop, it is only a paper drop in value … because you lose when you actually sell. Long term, we aren’t building enough homes, and so, as I always say, property is a long game no matter what happens – the property market will always come good.

Growth in UK property values as well as in Edgware seems fated to slow over the next five to ten years, whatever sort of Brexit takes place.

If you are thinking of selling your Edgware home or 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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7 Reasons Why Edgware Buy To Let Landlords Shouldn’t Be Criticised

There is no escaping the fact that over the last couple of decades, the rise in the number buy to let properties in Edgware has been nothing short of extraordinary.  Many in the “left leaning” press have spoken of a broken nation, the fact many youngsters are unable to buy their first home with the rise of a new cohort of younger renters, whom have been daubed ‘Generation Rent’ as landlords hoover up all the properties for their buy to let property empires. Government has been blamed in the past for giving landlords an unfair advantage with the tax system. It is also true many of my fellow professionals have done nothing to avail themselves in glory, with some suspect, if not on some rare occasions, downright dubious practices.

Yet has the denigration and unfair criticism of some Edgware landlords gone too far?

It was only a few weeks ago, I read an article in a newspaper of one landlord who had decided to sell their modest buy to let portfolio for a combination of reasons, one of which being the new tax rules on buy to let that were introduced last year. The comments section of the newspaper and the associated social media posts were pure hate, and certainly not deserved.

Like all aspects in life, there are always good (and bad) landlords, just like there are good (and bad) letting agents … and so it should be said, there are good tenants and in equal measure bad tenants. Bad letting agents and bad landlords should be routed out … but not at the expense of the vast majority whom are good and decent.

But are the 1,918 Edgware (or HA8 to be precise) portfolio buy to let landlords at fault?

The Tories allowed people to buy their own Council house in the 1980’s, taking them out of the collective pot of social rented houses for future generations to rent them. Landlords have been vilified by many, as it has been suggested by some they have an unhealthy and ravenous avarice to make cash and profit at the expense of poor renters, unable to buy their first home. Yet, looking beyond the headline grabbing press, this is in fact ‘fake news’. There are seven reasons that have created the perfect storm for private renting to explode in the 2000’s.

To start with, the Housing Acts of 1988 and 1996 gave buy to let landlords the right to remove tenants after six months, without the need for fault. The 1996 Act, and its changes, meant banks and building societies could start to lend on buy to let properties, knowing if the mortgage payments weren’t kept up to date, the property could be repossessed without the issue of sitting tenants being in the property for many years (even decades!) … meaning in 1997, buy to let mortgages were born… and this, my blog reading friends, is where the problem started.

Secondly, in the early 2000’s, those same building societies and banks were relaxing their lending criteria, with self-certification (i.e. you did not need to prove your income), mortgages 8 times their annual salary, and very helpful interest only mortgage deals helped to keep repayments inexpensive.

Thirdly, the totally inadequate building of Council Houses (aka Local Authority Housing) in the last two decades and (so I’m not accused of Tory bashing) – can you believe Labour only built 6,510 Council Houses in the WHOLE OF THE UK between 1997 and 2010? Giving the Tories their due, they have built 20,840 Council Houses since they came to power in 2010 (although still woefully low when compared the number of Council Houses built in the 1960’s and 1970’s when we were building on average 142,000 Council Houses per year nationally). This meant people who would have normally rented from the Council, had no Council House to rent (because they had been bought), so they rented privately.

 

And then 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th

 

  • Less of private home building (again look at the graph) over the last two decades.

 

  • A loss of conviction in personal pensions meaning people were looking for a better place to invest their savings for retirement.

 

  • Ultra-low interest rates for the last nine years since the Credit Crunch meaning borrowing was cheap.

 

  • A massive increase in EU migration from 2004, when we had eight Eastern European countries join the EU. That brought 1.4m people to the UK for work from those countries – and they needed somewhere to live.

Thus, we got the perfect storm conditions for an eruption in the Edgware Private Rented Sector.

Commercially speaking, purchasing an Edgware property has been undoubtedly the best thing anyone could have done with their hard-earned savings since 1998, where property values in Edgware have risen by 328.03%…

…and basing it on the average rental in Edgware, earned £315,144 in rent.

Yet, the younger generation have lost out, as they are now incapable to get on the property (especially in Central London).

The Government have over the last few years started to redress the imbalance, increasing taxes for landlords, together with the Banks being tighter on their lending criteria meaning the heady days of the Noughties are long gone for Edgware landlords. In the past 20 years, anything but everything made money in property and it was easy as falling off a log to make money in buy to let in Edgware – but not anymore.

Being a letting agent has evolved from being a glorified rent collector to a trusted advisor giving specific portfolio strategy planning on each landlord’s buy to let portfolios. I had a couple of instances recently of a couple of portfolio landlords, one from Hendon who wanted income in retirement from his buy to let’s and the other from Totteridge, who wanted to pass on a decent chunk of cash to his grandchildren to enable them to buy their own home in 15/20 years’ time.

Both of these landlord’s portfolios were woefully going to miss the targets and expectations both landlords had with their portfolios, so over the last six/nine months, we have sold a few of their properties, refinanced and purchased other types of Edgware property to enable them to hit their future goals (because some properties in Edgware are better for income and some are better for capital growth) … And that my blog reading friends is what  ‘portfolio strategy planning’ is!

If you think you need ‘portfolio strategy planning’, whether you are a landlord of ours or not (because the Totteridge landlord wasn’t)  … drop me line or give the office a call. Thank you for reading.

If you are thinking of selling your Edgware home or 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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Great(er) Expectations: Why Edgware Home Sellers are Having to Reduce Their Asking Prices by an Average of £35,900 Each

As we leave the memorably hot summer behind us, some interesting statistics have come to light on the Edgware Property Market which will be thought provoking for both homeowners and buy to let landlords alike.

Over the last 12 months 382 households have changed hands in Edgware, interesting when compared with the 10-year average of 636 households per year.

Yet, for the purpose of this week’s article, I want to discuss the pricing of the current crop of Edgware’s property sellers and the prices they are asking for their homes and the prices they are achieving (or not as at the case may be). It is so important for all property owners to know the real story, so they can judge for themselves where they stand in the current Edgware housing market, thus enabling them to make suitable and informed decisions… and that is why, in my blog about the Edgware Property Market, I pride myself in telling the people of Edgware the real answers, not just the ones they want to hear.

The national average of homes selling at or above the asking price currently stands at around 10%, so around 90% go below the asking price – but by how much? Well according to Rightmove, in the Edgware area, the average difference between the ‘FINAL asking price’ to the price agreed is 4.4% … yet note I highlighted the word FINAL in the last statement.

You see some Estate Agents will deliberately over inflate the suggested initial asking price to the house seller, because it gives them a greater chance to secure the property on that agent’s books, as opposed to a competitor. This practice is called overvaluing. Now of course, each homeowner wants to get the most for their property, it is quite often their biggest asset – yet some agents know this and prey on those house sellers. You might ask, what is the issue with that?

Well, you only get one chance of hitting the market as a new property. Everyone has access to the internet, Rightmove and Zoopla etc, and your potential buyers will know the market like the back of their hand. If you have a 3 bed semi that is on the market for a 3 bed detached house price.. those buyers will ignore you. Your Edgware property sticks on the market, potential buyers will keep seeing your Edgware property on Rightmove each week, then start to think there is something wrong with it, dismiss it even further, until you, as the house seller have to reduce the asking price so much (to make it appear inexpensive) to get it away. According to our own research, the average house buyer only views between 4 and 5 houses before buying – so don’t assume viewers will come round your optimistically priced (i.e. overvalued) property, thinking they will knock you down – no quite the opposite!

So how widespread is overvaluing in Edgware? The results might surprise you …

 

28.1% of properties in Edgware, currently on the market, have reduced their asking price by an average reduction of 6.2% (which equates to £35,900 each)

So, all I ask is this.. be realistic and you will sell at a decent price to a decent buyer. First time – every time – enabling you to move on to the next chapter of your life.

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