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Bank Of England Governor Hints At Earlier Base Rate Hike

Bank Of England Governor Hints At Earlier Base Rate Hike

Is Mark Carney Eager To Raise Interest Rates?

The Governor of the Bank of England (BoE), Mark Carney, has drawn further criticism from economists after giving another mixed signal on the timing of any base rate increase away from the current historic low.

In an interview with the Sunday Times newspaper Mr Carney took great care to big up the health of the nation’s economy and insisted that the Bank of England would not wait for employed peoples wages to catch-up with the cost of living before hiking interest rates.

Mr Carney told the Sunday Times: “Wherever the finish line was in the depths of the crisis, we are much more than halfway towards that finish line now. The expansion is proceeding, momentum is more assured. The very fact we have had consistent quarters of growth in line with, or slightly better than, our forecasts shows that. We have to have the confidence that prospective real wages are going to be growing sustainably, before raising interest rates, we don’t have to wait for the fact of that turn to raise them.”

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Buying Property At Auction Just Got Easier

Buying Property At Auction Just Got Easier

Buying Property Using Auction Finance

Many new investors are being inspired by TV programmes like “Homes Under The Hammer” on the BBC, and there are a number of ways for people to purchase properties cheaply, and the auction rooms are the best places to find some real property bargains.

Many property investors get tired of pounding the pavements in their local areas and scouring newspapers for great Below Market Value (BMV) property deals, only to lose out to first-time buyers who were quicker off the mark?

Some property investors tend to scoff at the idea of buying properties at auction, leaving a handful of knowledgeable, savvy investors to pocket the best deals.

Property auctions can be a real goldmine for property investors because many auction houses list properties out of their area, so the number of people bidding on them is low! That’s how some of the most unbelievable property deals are scooped up by amateur investors.

Buying properties at a property auction is a great way to grab a real bargain and a fantastic way for landlords and property investors to expand buy-to-let property portfolios without breaking the bank, using specialist finance products.

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EU Commission Fines Rate-Rigging Banks

EU Commission Fines Rate-Rigging Banks

EU Commission shocked that competing banks were in collusion

The European Commission has fined eight banks – including RBS – a total of £1.4 Billion (GBP) for forming illegal cartels to rig interest rates. The cartels operated in markets for financial derivatives, which are products used to manage the risk of interest rate movements.

A number of banks were engaged in the rigging of interest rate products intended to reflect the cost of interbank lending in euros, while another group fixed prices for products based on the Japanese yen.

The rates are used to set the price of Trillions of dollars (USD) of products, including mortgages.

Some were involved in both markets and more than one cartel, including RBS, which was fined a total of £325 Million (GBP). The fines are the first ever penalties for interest-rate rigging by the EU.

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Mortgage professionals have reported that Buy-To-Let (BTL) business was responsible for 21% of new introductions in the first quarter of this year.

Remortgaging was responsible for 41% of new business and next-time buyers 23%.

Specialist mortgage lender, Paragon, released the data this week as part of their quarterly FACT survey. They asked mortgage intermediaries for their views on the condition of the mortgage market, as they see it.

  • 79% expect growth in the Buy-To-Let market this year.
  • 35% said Landlord demand was strong
  • 46% said demand was stable

Intermediaries also reported an increase in first-time landlords.

The following reasons were stated for landlords obtaining a Buy-To-Let mortgage in the first quarter of 2012.

  • 39% – portfolio expansion
  • 31% – remortgages
  • 23% – first-time landlords
  • 5% – property substitution
  • 2% – other

Director of Paragon Mortgages, Mr John Heron, said: “Whilst we are not back to post-credit crunch business levels, and will not be for some time, there has been a steady improvement in buy-to-let business. It is particularly interesting to see the increase in first-time landlords entering the market. This not only demonstrates confidence in the market but also that buy-to-let remains an attractive business.”

The professional letting agent - Castledene Property Management Ltd

Good Agents Don't Happen By Accident

It is widely thought that anyone with an interest in property and business can set up a property management company or a lettings agency. But, are there pitfalls in the process for new letting agents?

Over the last few years, the UK media have run countless news stories about letting agents failing their landlord clients and closing down, taking hundreds of thousands of pounds of client funds with them.

Many landlord investors seem to think that all lettings agents in the UK are equal, but is this the case? Does it take a certain kind of person to make a property lettings business successful?

A Good Letting Agent needs to be:

  • A Good communicator – Must be able to speak to investors and landlords as well as tenants
  • Customer orientated –both landlords AND tenants are your customers, so you need to find a happy balance
  • Analytical –Especially if you are dealing with the rents
  • Systematic – Capable of following systems and dealing with problems
  • Sales driven – you need to sell your services to prospective landlords and tenants to generate business.

Unless the business is in the fortunate position of being able to employ staff, with the relevant skill sets needed, from day one, then you as the business owner will need to be master of all of the above skills, or at least be competent, otherwise you will lose business as a result of your failings.

When starting any type of new business, you need to know what the main aims and objectives of the venture are and what niche will it operate in. If you don’t, how can you expect to be able to push the business forward and in the right direction?

There are already thousands of UK letting agents managing Billions of pounds (GBP) worth of property out there, so what separates you from them? Why should landlords and property investors choose your letting agency instead of anyone else’s? Are you a HMO specialist, do you manage top end properties? Do you deal with LHA tenants?

New letting agents often spring up and disappear again within 6-12 months because the business owners did not know enough about the local property market, the lettings industry in general, the niche market of the area they were operating in or even the demographic of their client base, in other words they did not have enough forethought to be able to survive and profit.

If information and responsibility is not handled correctly, it can be a very steep and expensive learning curve for a new property lettings business, leading to a host of financial and legal issues that interfere with your client’s expectations and obligations. Such matters could also force the closure of the business, costing your landlord clients dearly.

Landlords with an ill advised or ill equipped letting agency, who have been forced to close because they failed to move with the times, can find themselves with no tenancy agreements, (AST), no gas certificates (CP12), no rental income, no deposit and no fallback plan.

In fact, in some cases reported by the media, some failing letting agents had stopped paying rents to Landlord clients several months prior to closing, meaning that the landlords ended up falling foul of the law and many thousands of pounds out of pocket.

To be successful in property lettings, as with any business, you have to have knowledge and experience, not only the practical side of property management but also on the legal side, and keeping up with the latest government legislation, including all welfare reform changes and their impact on landlord clients, can be a minefield at times, but knowledge is power and only the strongest survive.

In business, failure to plan is planning to fail and monetising your skills and knowledge is not a crime. Knowledge and experience are the keys to success so business owners need to realise where their knowledge is lacking and plug the gaps with employees or other members of a support network, such as solicitors, insurance brokers, mortgage advisor, builders etc. Letting agents can also get help is by joining the National Approves Letting Scheme (NALS) and/or the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

If you have property for rent anywhere in the North of England or Wales contact Castledene Property Management Head Office on 0191 527 4000 who will be more than happy to help!

There Will Never Be A Better Time To Invest In Property

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