A report into the rise in house prices has revealed that the average price for a property in London has rocketed over 3% in a month, this means that the average price for a property in the capital is more than £500,000. Camden has become part of the “Elite Club” along with the likes of Kensington and Chelsea where the average price for a property is now in excess of £1m.
Elsewhere in the kingdom, house prises have also risen by around 9% since the start of 2013 with the average house price now reaching over £245,000. The strongest start to a year since 2004 has been attributed to cheap mortgage deals and the governments funding for lending scheme.
A report by The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) states that the rate of repossessions in the first quarter of the year was down by 17% compared to the same period last year.
Around 8000 properties were repossessed in the first three months of 2013 and The CML report that a fifth of those were buy-to-let properties.
In a separate report by The CML shows that the buy-to-let market is growing, the first quarter accounting for over 13% of the mortgage market.
The rise is being attributed to low interest rates and continued employment with The Bank of England today announcing that it will hold its record low benchmark rate at 0.5pc continued growth is predicted.
Many property pundits and property professional like to make predictions on the future of the UK property market and house prices. There are also a number of banks and economists that are prepared to put their reputations on the line and estimate where the average UK house price will end up. These projections rarely vary greatly but some have proved far more accurate than other particularly after the last property boom. Amongst one of the best respected and accurate is the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. They do have the advantage of having so many members who have the unenviable task of valuing people’s homes and properties. For the new year of 2013 they are predicting a rise in house prices of around 2 percent which given the economic landscape is a positive and sustainable increase. They are also tipping an increase in transaction volumes with the number of property sales thought to rise by a around the three percent mark edging them tantalisingly closer to the million sales marker. This is still a far cry from the heady days of average number of transactions edging up towards 1.7 million at the height of the property boom in 2006.
Many landlords dread those Monday morning calls saying they have a bill for boiler repairs or a leaking roof. This is often why landlords chose to use a letting agent or property management company however with many tenants now paying by direct debit the only main advantage is the repairs and maintenance. What if you could find a single point of contact, one company that can look after all your investment property requirements and arrange all the repairs and certification. You could save hundreds of pounds a year in property management fees. We have experience of providing this service to many agents and facility management companies that carry out exactly this service. So you could cut out the agent and come direct for all your repairs and also enjoy the benefit of our various experts and skilled tradesmen. Do you need a company that can advise on roof repairs right down to a blocked drain and also arrange for all the electrical and gas certifications? Our team have been managing and developing properties specifically for the residential rental market since the 90’s. So we know how to look after a maintenance budget to give you the best value and keep your tenants happy. We know that landlords are happy when their tenants are happy with the condition of the property and pay their rent promptly.
It is estimated that a third of potential first time buyers are trapped in rented accommodation many of these home buyers have experienced difficulties in completing purchases due to the lack of suitable mortgage funding. Research from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has showed that nearly forty percent of first time buyers are simply unable to afford to buy a house. It is estimated that twenty percent of home buyers are stopped from buying a house by the lack of mortgage funding. The government backed Newbuy scheme only applies to new built homes many of which are often out of reach of first time buyers. Many in the property industry believe that if the scheme was extended to second hand properties it would provide the mortgage funding to allow first time buyers to get onto the property ladder and therefore kick start the housing market from the bottom up. Many home owners who are looking to sell should consider imaginative sales structures that allow first time buyers to obtain a suitable mortgage to allow them to buy their homes. Mortgage lenders are wary of gifted deposits and long stop completions but there are other methods that allow home owners to get their buyers in place. It is possible to offer the option of buyers renting your home before they buy and paying you the deposit in installments before they buy along with some rent. This can give first time buyers access to mortgages with a lower loan to value rate and the availability of mortgages at a 90percent loan to value is much higher than 95 percent loans.
There are several items that sell larger properties when you get over that million pound barrier buyers become rather choosey and the wrong kitchen may not stop a sale but could hit the achieved sale price. Firstly when dealing with top end properties you must fit a kitchen that is both in keeping and of a suitable standard. Buyers will not pay the top asking price for a high end property that boasts a standard kitchen they will be looking for a brand kitchen. They also want to see the right level of bathrooms and ensuite for a five bed house they will usual want to see three ensuite and a high quality family bathroom. Buyers of this type of property usually have big families or lots of guests and if they are being asked to pay a good price they will want plenty of toilet and wash facilities. Large open plan kitchens and family living spaces are essential for modern buyers they are not just buying bricks and mortar but a life style choice. Do not skimp on fittings buyers want to see good quality but neutral tiles and sanitary ware. The other thing to consider is the outside space, I have heard of potential buyers choosing one house over another because one had a big pond or impressive water feature, so you cannot afford to leave the outside to chance. Of course all this comes at a price and it is often better to do very little than spend a limited budget on the wrong areas. Professional property developers make a good living at this end of the market and although they use their money wisely they know not to cut corners if they want to achieve a good sale price. Also entrances can be improved by adding a porch and good quality double doors this can improve the all essential kerb appeal and make your property stand out in an estate agents window.
The national house price rises have continued with the nation’s houses rising by 0.5% in May alone. With stellar gains in the nation’s capital and prices rising by 2.6 percent it seems that the London market is leading the national increases in house values. This leaves the average London home at an eye watering £365,359 sale price and the rest of the country with an average value of £161,677. This has come as little surprise to some London agents who have reported house values jumping by 10-15 percent in the last year. With property investors many of them from abroad cashing in on the capitals up lift in prices property investment renovations and developments seem set to continue in London. Could it now be the time for canny investors to extend their scope to include the next hot spots? With areas like Bristol and some of the south coast looking like they may have potential for uplift. With property development funding becoming slightly less difficult to obtain capital values pushing up gross development values (GDV) it looks like some sites and development opportunities in other areas like the midlands could be snapped up as speculators look for the next undervalued opportunities. Although there have been reports of tender prices dropping there looks increasingly like there are more opportunities for building contractors to make better margins in some areas of the construction and development sectors.
The number of new mortgages taken out by home buyers has increased dramatically in the last month. With an incredible increase of twenty four percent and an increase of thirteen percent on the same period last year. Figures from the council of mortgage lending showed that an impressive £12.2 billion pounds was lent to home buyers and home owners by banks and building societies. Many in the mortgage industry have pointed at the end of the stamp duty holiday as the reason for a marked increase in mortgage activity earlier in the year. The continued activity has surprised many in the property industry and the braver amongst them are starting to call the beginning of the recovery. With an increase in mortgage products and demand remaining stable from potential property purchasers. It looks like good news for new borrowers and particularly first time buyers. With first time buyers being the life blood of the housing market it is another reason for optimism.
The latest House price index from the Halifax has shown that UK house prices continued their upwards trend. In fact the index which is well respected by many in the property and finance sectors has reported a 0.8 percent rise over the last quarter. Which was just below the largest recent increase over a quarter period of 0.9 percent ending last August. May alone had seen an increase of 0.5 percent which is a substantial increase for a single month. The Nationwide has also reported house price inflation with the average house price now at around the £166K mark. With the report from the Bank of England that expects UK house prices to rise in the medium term could the optimists be correct? Many investors, economists and speculators remain cautious that the fundamentals are just not there to support house price growth. It will be a challenge for house prices to rise when average earnings continue to be restrained. The UK property market is driven by sentiment and if buyers fear that prices could rise in the future they will be less likely to haggle and this will in its self drive prices higher.
There is nothing that warms a landlord’s heart more than increases in both rents, their income and capital values, their net worth. When the two happen concurrently this always increases interest in the buy to let sector. Their Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors survey reports that 13 percent of their clients are reporting rent increases rather than falls. This demonstrates that UK rents have risen consistently since 2009, many point to the mortgage drought and tighter lending criteria as a factor as it keeps households in rented accommodation and stops them from moving on into their own homes. The lack of mortgage funding lies with the banks and their ability to obtain money supply. There are no signs of a recovery in a bank lending in the short term so it looks a safe bet that rents and rental yields will continue to rise. This will undoubtedly lead to landlords actively looking to expand their property portfolios. House prices in some areas are without a doubt being supported by the value of their rental income rather than their desirability to buyers. It is interesting that none of the sectors pundits are predicting rises when there are increasing similarities to this part in the property cycle in the start of the last boom. Many economists look at the prices to average wage earnings ratio, but if there is one proven fact in the property market it is that the market although constrained by the fundamentals is without a doubt driven by sentiment. The herd mentality is never displayed better than when the property market moves up or down. Once buyers feel motivated to buy more quickly fearing they may become priced out of the market that is when capital values increase rapidly. Once this happens banks themselves are more motivated to lend on an asset that is increasing in value and surveyors are more relaxed about committing to higher values. This gives surveyors the confidence that even if they may have mistakenly over valued a property their mistakes will soon be covered by a rising market. With the opposite being true in more recent times?