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Property Portfolio Building With Experts

Property Portfolio Building With Experts

Are you a new or seasoned property investor looking to expand your property portfolio?

Property investment across the world has changed over the last five years, gone are the days of same day purchase and re-mortgage, property investors can’t find No Money Down (NMD) deals and mortgage availability has been better.

Since 2007 /8 when the effects of the economic crisis were first being felt, property investors across the UK became fearful over the subject of finance!

Many property investors have been forced to face the dramatic changes in available property finance since the property crash, when decisions used to be based on providing ultra minimal information and excessive lending to the masses was the norm. In fact, confidence in property was so high that lots of mortgage lenders failed to carry out proper checks into affordability and individual earnings.

The arrival of the financial crisis in 2008 saw banks and Governments realise the extent of the problems caused by irresponsible lending and the result was a global economic meltdown and the introduction of strict lending criteria to such an extent that even the most experienced investors were unable to obtain finance .

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Property Prices Increase As New Houses Built

Property Prices Increase As New Houses Built

Property Prices Increase As New Houses Built

On Tuesday, it was revealed that the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), said 21% of its members had reported an increased workload during the second quarter of the year.

The poll, the most upbeat since the start of 2007, indicated that the reported recovery of the UK property market was widespread, with surveyors in almost all of the UK’s regions and industry sub-sectors becoming busier.

The best-performing regions were London and the South West, often referred to as the driving force behind the UK property market, while the worst region was Northern Ireland, the only part of the UK where RICS surveyors continue to see their workload shrink.

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Investors Prefer Property Over Stocks And Shares

Investors Prefer Property Over Stocks And Shares

UK Property Investors are far more positive about continuing to invest in bricks and mortar over stocks and shares as the outlook for the UK property market continues to improve.

The latest Lloyds TSB Private Banking Investor Confidence Index shows that positive sentiment in the UK property market has improved massively in the last 3 months, whilst investors shy away from speculating in other markets with stocks and shares.

In April the positive sentiment for property was only 8%, and improving sentiment in regions such as Wales, West Midlands and North West has added to the strong confidence in London to lift the overall UK property sentiment level to 32%.

This means that UK property is now the fifth highest asset class, behind gold, emerging market shares, commodities and UK company shares. Over the same timescale, sentiment for gold showed a remarkable slump, dropping from 46% to just 12%.

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Developers encouraged to build rental only estates

Developers encouraged to build rental only estates

New home builders and property development contractors may be encouraged to build new exclusive rental only housing estates where none of the properties will be for sale.

The UK Government are exploring the idea and it could mean the introduction of a separate planning class for new-build residential property that will be rented out, and would mark a fundamental shift in the whole structure of the UK housing market.

The proposal comes following public research by the UK’s largest listed residential landlord – Grainger. The results have highlighted the huge shift in public opinion over renting property rather than home ownership.

67% of respondents believe long-term property renting will become as commonplace in the UK as it is on the continent and 54% also believe that more people will be renting property rather than owning their own homes in 15 years time.

Grainger also predict that in years to come, the average age of the first-time buyer (FTB) will be in the early 40s, putting increased pressure on the private rented sector.

Under the UK Governments guidance, institutions and property companies would own, operate and trade multiple build to rent developments.

Asset management company Schroders believes that this buying and selling activity between profit-chasing corporate companies would mean that residential property prices in this sector would be highly competitive.

Build to rent schemes would be aimed at young professionals and the retired who want to avoid home ownership. The proposed estates could also incorporate social and sporting facilities, such as pools and gyms, in a bid to attract professional tenants.

Another possibility would be that large scale landlords like Grainger could build on land offered by local authorities, rent out the homes at affordable rents, and at the end of an agreed period, sell the property on.

90% of landlords in the private rented sector are private individuals with multiple properties, who in turn are responsible for housing approximately 3.6 Million households.

Currently, only a small proportion of PRS landlords undertake thorough tenant referencing and only the most intuitive landlords use Rent Guarantee insurance to ensure a regular rental income.

With demand for suitable private rented sector (PRS) residential accommodation continuing to rise, there has been increasing pressure to bring large corporations into the private sector.

The Government is taking the issue seriously, looking at how to encourage Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) in the UK PRS residential sector.

The Communities and Local Government (CLG) department, Led by Sir Adrian Montague, has also launched a new consultation reviewing the barriers to institutional investment in private rented sector housing. The report is due out in June 2012.

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!

UK mortgage lender Nationwide have confirmed their participation in the UK Government’s newly announced New Build Indemnity Scheme.

The scheme is designed to boost the UK housing market, helping prospective buyers unable to raise the large deposits currently needed to secure a mortgage. It will allow first time buyers (FTB) to secure loans on newly built homes with only a 5% deposit, with security for the loan being provided by the Government and housebuilders.

Nationwide already offers a 95% mortgage with a rate of 6.14% through its Save to Buy scheme, and it has not yet been decided if the New Build Indemnity Scheme will make it possible for the building society to cut rates

A new Government report “Laying The Foundations: A Housing Strategy For England” contains details of new policies intended to revive the UK residential property construction industry and rectify the shortage of available homes.

First-time buyers are set to have mortgages underwritten by the Government and thousands of homes will be built under Government new £400 Million plan, targeting stalled house building schemes aims to break the current cycle in which lenders won’t lend, builders can’t build and buyers can’t buy.

More public land is being earmarked for development as well as money to bring empty houses back in to use. The Government study includes measures to help first-time buyers (FTB) access larger UK mortgages and mentions controversial policies like improving right-to-buy council house discounts.

The UK coalition Government’s Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg have said their housing strategy is intended to help people who play by the rules so that they can expect to own a decent home of their own, and also to back construction and introduce the dream of home ownership for more people

Under the £400 million Get Britain Building fund, builders struggling to get finance for developments will be supported so that plans for up to 16,000 houses. It is intended that 3,200 of those built should be affordable homes for first time buyers (FTBs).

The Government announcement comes as construction in the UK is at its lowest level since the Second World War, with tight restrictions on mortgage lending and rent and purchase prices both remaining high.

There Will Never Be A Better Time To Invest In Property

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