Edgware Property Blog

Local property market information for the serious investor

EDGWARE PROPERTY MARKET – How Does It Compare Historically to the Greater London and National Property Market’s?

Locally, the value of property in Edgware and the number of people moving remain largely steady overall, although looking across at the different regions, there are certainly regional variations. Talking to fellow property professionals in the posh upmarket central London areas of Mayfair and Kensington, the number of people looking to buy and registering interest with agents is continuing to climb after 18 months in the doldrums, whilst in other parts of the UK, there is restraint amongst both buyers and sellers in some locations.

The things that affect the national property market are the big economic numbers. Nationally, over the last few months, thankfully, the economic forecast and predictions have improved, notwithstanding the Brexit uncertainties. Inflation has mercifully throttled back its high growth seen in 2016 to the current level of 2.1% (from 2.7% average last year), coupled with marginally stronger wage growth at 2.5%. Unemployment is at a 42-year low at 4.2% and UK consumer spending power rose to an all-time high last month to £331.04bn – all positives for consumer sentiment.

Look further afield, a resilient property market depends on the UK’s economic health with the outside world, so if Sterling weakens, that makes imports more expensive, meaning inflation increases, and this matter I talked about a few weeks ago in my blog article … interest rates could be raised to bring inflation under control, which in turn could seriously affect the property market. On the assumption Brexit negotiations are successful, economic growth should continue to be upward and positive, meaning confidence would be increased … which is the vital element to a good housing market.
Looking closer to home now, Edgware landlords and Edgware homeowners might be interested in the how the regional and Edgware markets have performed over the last 20 years (compared to the National picture). Let’s look at the regional picture first,

Greater London has outperformed the Barnet housing market by 4.97%…
…yet nationally, Barnet has actually outperformed the country by 37.26%
That means an Edgware homeowner has profited by an additional £189,067 over the last 20 years compared to the average homeowners across the country.

I found it interesting to see the ups and downs of the Edgware, Greater London and National markets in this graph. How the lines of graphs roughly go in the same direction, with Edgware following the regional trend more closely than the national trend (as one would expect), how the 2007/08 property crash timings and effects were slightly different between the three lines and finally how the property markets performed in the post-crash years of 2011 to 2014 … fascinating!

So, what does this all mean for Edgware homeowners and Edgware landlords?
Well, house prices going up or down are only an issue when you sell or buy. In the last 12 months, only 1,076,288 (let’s call it’s a straight million between friends!) properties changed hands out of 27.2 million households in the UK in 2017, meaning only 3.7% would have been affected if property values had dropped in the last year.

Property values in Edgware are 370.22% higher than the summer of 1998
Yet this has been a long-term gain. The number one lesson in property is that it is a long-term game.  The biggest issue in property isn’t house values or prices … it’s the number of homes built, because the number of households nationally has only increased by 6% since 2007, whilst the population has grown by 7.6%. That doesn’t sound a lot, until you express it another way…

If the UK population had had only grown by the same percentage as the percentage growth in UK households in the last decade, there would be 1,000,000 less people living in the UK today

The final thought for this article is this, apart from central London, over the last 20 years it hasn’t mattered what part of the UK you were in with regards to the property market. Be you a landlord or homeowner, property is a long game, so look long term and you will win because until they start to build more homes, from the current levels of 180,000 new homes built per year to at least 250,000 households built per year, demand will, over the long term, outstrip supply for owning and renting!

For more thoughts on the Edgware Property Market, please 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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Value of Edgware Property Market rises £117.9m

The combined value of the Edgware’s housing market has risen by £117,906,932 in the last 6 months, meaning the average value of an Edgware property has increased in value by an average of £7,423.

 

This is great news for Edgware homeowners and Edgware buy to let landlords, as property prices have risen despite a slight hesitation in the market because of the uncertainty over Brexit. As I have always said, investing in Edgware property, be it for you to live in or as a buy to let investment, is a long-term game.

 

The RICS’s latest survey of its Chartered Surveyor members showed that nationally the number of properties actually selling has dropped for the 16th month in a row. Locally in Edgware, certain sectors of the market are matching that trend, yet others aren’t. It really depends which price band and type of property you are looking for, as to whether it’s a buyers or sellers market.

 

The RICS also said its member’s lettings data showed a lower number of rental properties coming on to the market. Anecdotal evidence suggests that (and this is born out in the recent English Housing Survey figures) Edgware tenants over the last few years are stopping in their rental properties longer, meaning less are coming onto the market for rent. I have noticed locally, that where the landlord has gone the extra mile in terms of decoration and standard of finish, this has certainly helped push rents up (although those properties where the landlord has been remiss with improvements and standard of finish are in fact seeing rents drop). Edgware tenants are getting pickier – but will pay top dollar for quality. So much so, I believe there will be a cumulative rise of around fourteen to sixteen per cent over the course of the next five years in private rents for the best properties on the market.

 

Back to the Edgware Property Values though …

 

The fact is that over the last 6 months 112 properties have sold for a combined value of £59,131,520. 6 months ago, the total value of Edgware property stood at £8,060,621,712 (£8.06bn), and today it stands at £8,178,528,644 (£8.17bn).

 

In the short term, say over the next six months and assuming nothing silly happens in Korea, the Middle East or Brexit negotiations, it will be more of the same until the end of the year. In the meantime, the on-going challenges ensuring we as a Country build more homes (although the Office of National Statistics figures released in July showed nationally the number of new homes started to be built over the second Quarter of 2018 had dropped dramatically) makes me think that Edgware (and Nationally) property value is likely to maintain an upward trajectory as we go into 2019.

 

Two final thoughts, firstly for all the buy to let landlords in Edgware (and indirectly this does affect all you Edgware homeowners too). I do hope the recent tax changes towards buy to let landlords don’t bite as deep as it possibly is starting to with certain landlords I know.  We talked about this in an article a few weeks ago and I know why the Government wanted to change the balance by taxing landlords and providing a lift for first time buyers.. however, this may well come at the expense of higher rents for those Edgware tenants that don’t become first time buyers, as the appeal of buy to let potentially weakens. Secondly, even though values have increased, realistic pricing (i.e. the asking price) is still the key to achieving these figures… so if you are considering selling in the next 6 months – please bear that in mind.

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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BUSHEY PRIZED COMMUNITY SPOT SHUT DOWN EARLIER THIS YEAR. LOCAL RESIDENTS STILL FEAR FOR ITS FUTURE.

A local focal point and well know community spot, The Bushey Country Club was shut down earlier this year in April by the local council. The reasoning for closure was due to a prolonged period of financial loss. The closure of the Hertsmere Borough Council run estate, which boasted a 9 hole golf course, driving range, restaurant, gym and function rooms, caused much opposition by the local community in Bushey.

 

It has now been announced that a new business will be moving into the empty Country Club site. A Wedding and Events management company will operate in the premises from the autumn while permanent options for the site are reviewed. Local residents still worry about plans for a future housing development on the site.

 

In July 2018 it was announced by The Executive at the council that the events management company will move to the site for the next “two to five years”. The company will allow other events at the site and also maintain responsibility for the golf course. However crucially, the golf course will remain closed.

 

Benjamin Stevens Sales Negotiator from the Bushey office, Robert Conway, finds the closure and the changes being made to Country Club upsetting, both for the community of Bushey, and for himself personally.

 

“Bushey Country Club was a real hub of the community and is sorely missed. My understanding was that after the closure, the land would be open to the public. I live very close to the course and every night I am there with my dog Amber. It’s a beautiful walk with a lake on the far side, you really felt you could be in the middle of the country.”

 

 

Robert, along with many other local residents in Bushey worry that despite this new announcement, the council will look to sell the land off for housing development in the future.  This could be a catastrophic burden on all the local services in the area.

 

Robert continues “Personally I would be really upset to see it go if the land is eventually sold off, as it’s a place of natural beauty and a centre point for the area.”

 

Bushey has a strong supportive community with beautiful landmarks. It’s what attracts so many people to the area.

 

If you have views on this subject, please comment on our blog, or the Benjamin Stevens website, Facebook or Twitter page.

 

 

 

 

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‘Taxing’ Time for the 2,799 Edgware Buy To Let Landlords

Over the last twenty years, there has been a shift in the way the Edgware (and the UK’s) property market works. In the 1960’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, a large majority of twenty somethings saved up their 5% deposit, went without life’s luxuries of going out and holidays etc., for a couple of years and then bought their first home with their hard earned savings.

By 2000, 41% of Edgware 25 to 29 years owned their own home (compared to 46% Nationally (and 57.3% of Edgware 30 to 34 year olds in 2000 owned their own home – again compared to 64.2% nationally) whilst the remaining youngsters mostly rented from the Council and in some rare cases, privately rented.

Now it’s 2018, and those levels of homeownership have slipped dramatically and now only 21.9% of Edgware 25 to 29 year olds own their own home and 38.5% of Edgware 30 to 34 year olds own their own home (interestingly mirroring the National picture of 24.5% for the younger age cohort and 64.2% for the older 30 to 34 year cohort).

 

There was concern in Government since the late Noughties that this shift from homeownership to private renting wasn’t good for the well-being of the Country and things needed to change, to make it a more level playing field for first time buyers. House prices needed to be more realistic and there needed to be a carrot and stick for both landlords and first time buyers.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, interest rates were the weapon of choice of Government to cool or heat up the UK housing market – and it did work – up to a point. It’s just interest rates also affected so many other sectors of the UK economy (and not always a in good way). The policy of interest rates to control the economy is called ‘Monetary Policy’. Monetary policy is primarily concerned with the management of interest rates (and the supply of money) and is carried out by the Bank of England (under direction from the Government).

It’s just in this post Credit Crunch, Brexit environment, the use of higher interest rates wouldn’t directly affect landlords (as around two thirds of buy to let properties are bought without a mortgage). Therefore, an increase in interest rates would have hardly any effect on landlords and hit the first time buyers – the people the Government would be trying to help!

Also, given muted growth of real income (i.e. real income being the growth salaries after inflation) in the past few years, an uplift in interest rates (from their ultra-low 0.5% current levels) would have a massive effect on Brit’s household disposable income. Yet, over 90% of new mortgages in 2018 being taken are fixed rate and with such low rates, it has made buying a property comparatively attractive.

Instead, over the last 8 years, the Government has encouraged first time buyers and clipped the wings of landlords with another type of economic policy – Fiscal Policy (Fiscal Policy is the collective term for the taxing (and spending) actions of the Government).  First time buyers have had the Help to Buy Scheme, Stamp Duty Exemption and contributions to their deposit by HMRC. On the other side the coin, landlords have had the way they are able to offset the tax relief of their mortgage payments against income change (for the worse), an increase in Stamp Duty (for the worse) and they will be hit with additional costs as the Government will be phasing out fees to tenants in the next 12 to 18 months.

So, what does this all mean for the 2,799 Edgware landlords?

The days of making money in Edgware buy to let with your eyes closed are long gone. There are going to be testing times for Edgware landlords, yet there is still a defined opportunity for those Edgware landlords who are willing to do their homework and take guidance from specialists and experts.

It’s all about looking at your Edgware portfolio (or getting a property professional to do so) and ascertaining if your current portfolio, mortgage and gearing are designed to hit what you want from the investment (because that is what it is – an investment) in terms of income now and income in the future, capital growth and when you plan to dispose of your assets.

I have seen many Edgware landlords (both who use me and my competitors) to manage their rental property or find them tenants – and on many occasions recently, I have told them to SELL – yes sell some of their portfolio to either reduce mortgage debt or buy other types of property that match what they want in the short and long-term from their investments. I know that sounds strange – but my role isn’t just to collect the rent  .. it’s also to give strategic advice and opinion on the landlord’s portfolio to help them meet their current and future investment goals.

The opportunities will appear in the Edgware property market for Edgware landlords from gentler growth in property values linked with a restrained Edgware property market, meaning if you put in the time, there will be deals and great bargains to have. Many landlords in Edgware (both clients and non-clients) send me Rightmove links each week, asking my opinion on the suitability of the investment. Some are exceptional – whilst others are duds. The bottom line is, private renting will continue to outgrow first time buyers in the next 5 to 10 years and as we aren’t building enough homes in the UK, which means rents can only go in one direction – upwards!

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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Benjamin Stevens Estate Agents Presents: A Taste of Edgware

There are many attractions that drive people to come and set up home in the area of Edgware. In one small town we have fantastic travel links, including London Underground, and buses, as well as being situated on top of several major road links, including the M1, A1 and A41. People also flock to the area for the great choice of schools and community feel.

 

Not only is Edgware an eclectic place to live and work but it has a flavour for every taste along Station Road and beyond. What’s more is that a large proportion of these eateries are independently owned!

 

There are (at least) three great places to pick up some hosomaki and sushi rolls, so warm up those fingers, get those chopsticks ready, and head over to Thai Edge, Sushi Mania or Hadar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are two Italian restaurants in Amaretto and Mascalzone to enjoy a bowl of pasta or great pizza, and a glass (or two) of vino.

 

The Kitchen, on the corner, will hit the mark for a bit of sophistication, but if you want to go back to basics and treat yourself to a great portion of fish and chips, then head straight to The Green Man.

 

If it’s a great Turkish wrap, hummus and falafel that you fancy, look no further than Izgara which has been a longstanding fixture on Station Road for many years.

 

For kosher restaurants Sami’s and also Aviv and Met Su Yan (both situated just off Station Road) are but a few of the wide selection. There’s also the Halal Chinese restaurant, Weng Wah.

 

Finally (we say finally, but actually the list could go on and on), there’s Baskin Robbins and Creams for ice cream, and of course Nando’s which is currently undergoing a refurb.

 

Here at Benjamin Stevens and Frederick George, our teams are constantly testing all the local eateries on a daily basis. Whether its half price sushi every Thursday from Thai Edge, amazing salads and the best coffee around, from Baristas or just our favourite breakfast rolls from Greggs – we’ve selflessly tried them all!

 

So apart from being the leading property specialists in the area, more importantly we can tell you the very best places for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Edgware is our life and we are happy to share that experience to ‘Edgwarians’ old and new.

 

If there’s any other little food gems in the area we’ve missed off the list, please share with us as we can always do with another lunch!!

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What Will Happen to Edgware Property Values Now Interest Rates have Risen?

The current average value of a property in Edgware currently stands at £507,400 so what will the recent increase in the base rates to 0.75% do to the local property market (especially property values). In many of my articles, I talk about what is happening to property values over the short term (i.e. the last 12 months or the last 5 years), but to answer this question we need to go back over 40 years, to 1975.

The average value of an Edgware property in 1975 was £24,564

However, since 1975, we have experienced in the UK, inflation of 807.5%.

Back in 1975, the average salary was £2,291 and average car was £1,840. A loaf of bread was 16p, milk was 28p a pint and a 2lb bag of sugar was 30p. Inflation has increased prices, so comparing like for like, we need to change these prices into today’s money. In real spending power terms, an average value of an Edgware house in 1975, expressed in terms of today’s prices is £222,948.

That means in real terms, property costs a lot more today, than in the mid 1970’s, but has it always been that way? Looking at the important dates of the UK property market, you can see from this table, the last two property boom years of 1989 and 2007, show that there was a significant uplift in the cost/value of property (when calculated in today’s prices).

Edgware House Prices adjusted for Retail Prices.
1975 1979 1982 1989 1997 2007 2009 Today
£206,244 £241,989 £202,185 £359,261 £225,751 £589,632 £480,594 £507,400
Office for National Statistics Retail Price Index was applied to convert nominal property values to current values

Before we move on, hold onto the thought that you can quite clearly see from the table, in real terms, properties are cheaper today in Edgware than they were in 2007!

So, it made me wonder if there was a link between house prices, inflation and other external economic factors, such as interest rates? Interest rates have a strong influence on inflation and property values, principally because changes in the interest rate affect the cost of mortgage payments for homeowners and they affect the flow of foreign currency in (or out) of an economy, thus changing the exchange rate and prices we can sell our goods and services abroad and prices we pay on imports.

So how exactly do interest rates affect property values?

When interest rates rise, it has a substantial effect on increasing the monthly cost of mortgages. Higher mortgage payments will discourage prospective homebuyers or people looking to move up market (meaning their mortgage payments go up) – thus making it comparatively cheaper to rent.

Furthermore, the high cost of mortgage payments sometimes also pushes some existing home owners to sell, meaning there is an increase in house sellers and a decline in house purchasers, and as the law of economics state, when supply is increased and demand falls, (house) prices fall. Another fallout of a rise in mortgage payments is a rise in repossessions. Interestingly, repossessions in the UK rose from 15,000 per annum in the late 1980’s to over 75,000 per annum in the early 1990’s, meaning even more properties came onto the market, exasperating the issue of over supply – pushing property values even lower.

 

High interest rates caused property values to fall in mid 1970’s, early 1980’s and most recently, the early 1990’s (who can remember the 15% mortgage rate!) Conversely though, the drop in property values in 2008/2009 – was not due to interest rates, but due to the credit crunch and global recession.

So, what will happen now interest rates have risen?

It is vital to remember that interest rates are not the only factor affecting property values. It is also possible that when interest rates increase (which they will from the current 0.5%), property values can also continue to rise (it happened throughout the mid to late 1980’s and again between the boom years of 2002 and 2007). When confidence in the economy is good, and we as a Country experience a period of rising real incomes (i.e. after inflation), then the British in the past have continued to buy bricks and mortar, notwithstanding the rise in interest rates.

Another important factor on property values is the supply of housing. A big reason in the current level of Edgware house prices is due to the shortage of supply, which has kept property values higher than I would have expected. An additional factor is whether homeowners have a variable or fixed rate mortgage. 90.6% of new mortgages taken in the last Quarter were at a fixed rate, and 66.2% of all mortgaged homeowners are on fixed-rate mortgages, therefore, they will not notice the effects of higher interest rate payments until they re-mortgage in a few year’s time, meaning there is frequently a time-lag between higher interest rates and the effect on property values. Another factor on mortgages is the ability to get one in the first place. Back in 2014, mortgage providers were told to be stricter on their lending criteria when arranging mortgages following the footloose days of 125% loan to value mortgages with the Northern Rock.  These new rules are a lot more rigorous on borrowers’ ability to repay the payments (although it makes me laugh, when with starter homes it nearer is always cheaper to buy then rent!).

I think the final point is this … affordability is the key. Look at the graph (the red bars) and you will see in REAL HOUSE PRICE terms – it’s cheaper to buy a home today than it was in 2007, yet why aren’t we seeing people buying property at the levels we were seeing in the 2000’s before the credit crunch? Again, looking at the reasons why, I will talk about in future articles.

In conclusion, interest rates are important – but nowhere near as important on the Edgware (and British) property market than they were 15 or 20 years ago.

So, before I go, one final thought – how do we measure the success of the Edgware property market? Well I believe one measure that is a good bellwether is the number of property transactions, as that could show a more truthful picture of the health of the property market than property values. Maybe I should talk about that in an up and coming article?

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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New Home Building in Edgware and Barnet Borough over the last 10 years

Should you, as a landlord for buy to let or for personal occupation, buy a brand-new home?

 

Well, let’s start by looking at the numbers …

 

Over the last 10 years, 5,887 new homes have been built in the Barnet area

 

That is a lot of bricks and mortar! Roll the clock back twenty years in the Edgware property market, and there were two distinct camps of property buyers – folks who would only contemplate living in period character properties with their original fireplaces and beams, and those people who preferred the low maintenance of a new home. Old period homes were ridiculed as money pits by new-home aficionados, while new-home owners were accused of buying boring boxes, all vanilla, all the same, homogenous and bland.

 

However, it’s not as black and white as that anymore – or not as I see it in Edgware. New homebuilders are now trying to change their cookie-cutter uniform rows of suburban boxes into developments that are as individual as the families that love in them, thus increasing their appeal. Nonetheless, whether you choose a stone cottage, archetypal Victorian semi or terrace, 1970’s/80’s functional home or a untouched new home, whatever home you buy, it can result in supplementary costs that are often not taken into math’s when buying by potential homeowners or buy to let landlords.

 

So looking at the numbers in greater detail, let’s see what type of new homes people have been buying in Edgware and the wider local authority area ..

 

Number of New Homes Built in Our Local Authority in the last Decade New Homes Built in Our Local Authority in the last Decade as a Percentage New Homes Built Nationally in the last Decade as a Percentage
Detached 127 2.2% 29.2%
Semi 259 4.4% 21.9%
Terraced 437 7.4% 26.6%
Flat 5,064 86.0% 22.3%

 

I thought the mix of what was built/bought locally over the last 10 years when compared to the national figures was fascinating … it’s interesting (but not surprising) to see a greater proportion of flats built locally and fewer detached homes being built, when compared to the national averages. This is because of the nature of the Edgware area, its position in the country, the availability of building land, planning restrictions by London Borough of Barnet Council and the price of building land.

 

So, should you buy a new home (because a lot of people locally have over the last ten years)?

 

Well if you are considering new, take care when buying one, as often the show home isn’t the actual property you end up buying. It’s like visiting the car showroom and falling in love with the model in the showroom (which is spec’d up to an inch of its life) – only to get the base model when handed the keys. Look out for things like curtain rails, tv aerials (or lack of them), kitchen appliances, carpets and curtains … and outside – make sure you aren’t unwittingly buying a square piece of earth instead of the manicured landscaped gardens.

 

New homes are a lot more efficient on energy consumption compared to the old drafty, high fuel bill Victorian semis, as their owners can testify. Older properties will have maintenance issues, with 100yo brickwork and roofs that might need replacement and extra insulation, rotten wooden windows and a dodgy central heating boiler (all sounding rather a strain on your bank balance if you weren’t aware). The point I am trying to get across is open your eyes and don’t assume .. ask questions and get a surveyor to make a detailed inspection of the property so you know what you are getting yourself into.

 

Next, I also wanted to break down the new home stats to each individual year in our local area to see if there was a pattern to when people bought a new home. As you can see, there was a drop in new homes selling in the Credit Crunch years (2008 to 2010) and since then; the general trend has been better! Looking at the much larger second hand housing market in Edgware over the same 10 years, the coloration between the new homes market and second market has been quite strong – which shows the new home builders don’t make (or break) the Edgware housing market – just follow it (although with the planned building locally in the next 10/20 years – who knows if that will continue to be the case?).

 

So, should you buy brand-new or second hand? If price is your sole motivator, then new homes are always CHEAPER when the economy is bad. However, in normal and good housing market conditions, you will pay a ‘new build premium’. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors admits that this can be as high as 10% extra, when compared to a similar second hand property – so be aware of that (it’s like paying extra for a new car and losing a bit (or a lot) of money as soon as you drive off the forecourt). Although, it’s not always about pure pound notes.

 

Older houses are bigger (more room) yet take more money to heat. Older houses have bigger gardens (to enjoy) – but you will spend more time tending to them. Older houses are in more established areas (with more facilities), whilst everyone is starting afresh on new homes. It all comes down to personal opinion. One final thought though, at least with new homes there is no gazumping or no upward chain to ruin any sale completion dates …

 

The choice as they say … is yours!

 

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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The Edgware Bank of Mum and Dad Lent £4.09m Last Year

My analysis has shown that up to the end of the last quarter, Edgware first time buyers purchased 144 Edgware properties.  With wages rising at 2.8%, unemployment at a low rate of 4.2% (down from 4.6% from a year earlier and the joint lowest since 1975), national GDP rising at 1.87% and inflation at 2.3%, tied in with indifferent house price growth (compared to a few years ago), this has given first time buyers a chance to get a foot hold on the Edgware property market.

Over the last year, the average purchase price of an Edgware first time buyer property has been £400,800 and the average deposit was £64,930. Furthermore, my calculations show the average Edgware parents contributed £28,407 of that £64,930 figure.

You see “The Bank of Mum and Dad (Edgware Branch)” is for countless Edgware twenty something’s, perceived to be the only way they will ever be able to afford their first home. In fact, Edgware parents put up a substantial £4.09m in the last 12 months to help their nearest and dearest progeny onto the property ladder. This assistance towards the deposit makes a huge difference, enabling Edgware youngsters who thought they couldn’t get on the housing ladder more able to do so.

With mortgage rates at all-time lows, few Edgware twenty something’s would struggle to make mortgage repayments, but it is the requirement of the deposit which is the issue, although as parents (and grandparents) are helping out where they can, it does little to address the real problems of the housing market, whether for people renting or buying their first home.

If you think about it, as a Country we have been fortunate that the older generation who control the biggest share of the nation’s wealth are so plentiful to those following after. We need to remember, though, that this generosity is
 a sign of the issues of the British housing shortage, not its solution.

But before I leave this article … note I used the word PERCEIVED in a previous paragraph. Yes, the average first time buyer deposit is 16.1%, but that is an average. Did you know 95% mortgages returned to first time buyers in late 2009 and have been available ever since? Also, lenders like Barclays and many local Building Society’s now offer 100% mortgages (i.e. no deposit) at 2.75% fixed for three years.

The perception is you need 15%, 20% even a 25% deposit to be a first-time buyer – you don’t! You don’t need any deposit, but (there is always a but!)…

Over the last decade, many renters have upgraded themselves into homes that they (or any generation before them) could never have ever afforded as a first time buyer in the past. You see the British housing market started to change with the dawn of the new Millennium and I am seeing a slow but steady attitude change when it comes to renting. Those tenants have found the price difference of upgrading from the typical 1970’s TV show Rigsby “Rising Damp” style rental property to plush terraced house or even semi-detached home, with all the mod cons, comparatively inexpensive (when compared to the increase in mortgage payments if they had to make the move as buyers).

Renting isn’t seen as the poor man’s choice, as many young (and increasing older) people are becoming more at ease and comfortable with the flexibility offered by private renting a property rather than jumping ‘lemming like’ into home ownership. Edgware landlords will continue to see growth in sector, and like Germany, todays renters will become homeowners in 20 years’ time – when they will inherit the wealth of their parent’s home.

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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BENJAMIN STEVENS – PROUD SPONSORS OF THE BUSHEY FESTIVAL…. PROUD OF BUSHEY!

For the first time this year Benjamin Stevens were among the proud sponsors of the hugely popular Bushey Festival. The event ran from Sunday 30th June until Saturday 8th July 2018 at various well known locations around the Bushey area.

The week long programme featured tried and tested favourites alongside new events including live music, quizzes and events for everyone of all ages to enjoy. The festival’s main aim was to bring the community together.

The Benjamin Stevens team were lucky enough to be present at the event on Sunday 8th July at King George Recreation Ground. Our football themed stand featured a target shot goal and we were giving away our famous teddy bears and balloons in return for a small 50p donation to charity. We managed to raise just shy of £115 which we’ve calculated means that there are 228 Benjamin Stevens’s teddy bears floating around the community!

We wanted to post an extract from the much appreciated thank you note we received from The Bushey Festival team.

At Benjamin Stevens we aim to do everything we can to showcase what’s great about the local areas we work in. In doing this we hope not only attract new people to the area, but encourage existing buyers and renters to stay! Our end goal (excuse the pun) is to publicise the best that Bushey and Edgware has to offer.

Here is the extract:

“Just wanted to say a big thank you from all the festival committee to all your team that were at the park on Sunday. All your hard work and dedication was really appreciated and you were absolute star sponsors in all our eyes. Whilst the investment you gave was crucial to helping us run the festival this year in a turbulent commercial climate, we also recognise the physical time you and your office gave to ensure that the festival was a success.

Your football themed stall was an excellent idea and probably helped the other stall holders immensely, by drawing a decent crowd to the stall area. We saw lots of people with the bears all over the park throughout the day so you obviously did a top job!

It was great to have you there and all your team really got stuck in and were one of the first to pitch up and last to leave, even helping other traders with setting up their stalls too.

Time, as we all know is very precious and the fact that you and your team went over and above to support the build up to the festival through social media and on the day in the park itself, in a novel and unique way, is superb. We also appreciate you  giving your resources during what I know is a very busy period in your office, and your hard working team ultimately giving up their weekends to join us on a Sunday, away from your families and friends,  meant the world to our cause and significantly your input into the Bushey community itself.

These are simple words, but we thank you and your team enormously for making our 33th anniversary festival so special this year, in such an engaging and supportive way.
We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did and that you reap the well-deserved benefits of being a festival partner. “

 

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Additional 2,102 Edgware Rented Homes Required by 2027

I have been doing some research, looking both at National and Regional reports on the demand and supply of property and people together with future projections on the economy, population and family demographics with some interesting results.  According to the Office of National Statistics, in the last financial year nationally, private renting grew by 74,000 households, whilst the owner occupied dwelling stock increased by 101,000 and social (aka council and housing association) stock increased by 12,000 dwellings.

It was the private rental figures that caught my eye.  With eight or nine years of recovery since the Credit Crunch, economic recovery and continuing low interest rates have done little to setback the mounting need for rented housing.  In fact, with house price inflation pushing upwards much quicker than wage growth, this has meant to make owning one’s home even more out of reach for many Millennials, all at a time when the number of council/social housing has shrunk by just over 2.5% since 2003, making more households move into private renting.

There are 16,106 people living in 4,905 privately rented

properties in Edgware.

In the next nine years, looking at the future population growth statistics for the Edgware area and making careful and moderate calculations of what proportion of those extra people due to live in Edgware will rent as opposed to buy, in the next ten years, 6,903 people (adults and children combined) will require a private rented property to live in.

Therefore, the number of Private Rented homes in Edgware will need to rise by 2,102 households over the next nine years,

That’s 234 additional Edgware properties per year that will need to be bought by Edgware landlords, for the next nine years to meet that demand.

… and remember, I am being conservative (with a small ‘c’) with those calculations, as demand for privately rented homes in Edgware could still rise more abruptly than I have predicted as I would ask if Theresa May’s policies of building 400,000 affordable homes (which would syphon in this 5-year Parliamentary term is rather optimistic, if not fanciful?

So, one has to ask wonder if it was wise to introduce a buy to let stamp duty surcharge of 3% and the constraint on mortgage tax relief could curtail and hold back the ability of private landlords to expand their portfolios?

Well a lot of landlords are taking on these new hurdles to buy to let and working smarter.  Buying the property at the right price and using an agent to negotiate on your behalf (we do this all the time) … and the 3% stamp duty level isn’t an issue.  Incorporating your property portfolio into a Limited Company is also a way to circumnavigate the issues of mortgage tax relief (although there are other hurdles that need to be navigated on that tack), but just look at the growth of proportion of Buy to Let properties in the Country since the Summer of 2016 … something tells me smart Landlords are seeing these challenges as just that … challenges which can be overcome by working smarter.

 

 

I have a steady stream of Edgware landlords every week asking me my opinion on the future of the Edgware property market and their individual future strategy and, whether you are a landlord of mine or not, if you ever want to send me an email or pop into my office to chat on how you could navigate these new Buy to Let waters … it will be good to speak to you (because you wouldn’t want other landlords to have an advantage over you – would you?).

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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