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Shelter Target PRS Landlords Again!

Shelter Target PRS Landlords Again!

Shelter Attacks PRS Landlords With
More Bogus Propaganda

The homelessness charity, Shelter are once again targeting private rental sector landlords, with claims of abuse and neglect being aimed at the sector.

Shelter claim that that 125,000 tenants have suffered abusive behaviour from landlords in the past year and the health of 1 Million private rental sector tenants have been affected by rogue landlords not doing property repairs or dealing with poor conditions in their rented property, with almost 300,000 parents who rent reporting serious impacts on their children’s health caused by poor property management.

The charity maintain that damp, mould, and bad ventilation in private rented sector properties are causing asthma, allergies, breathing problems and worse among tenants, and they are laying the blame squarely on landlords shoulders.

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UK PRS Rents Highest In EuropePRS Rents Still Increasing

Rent paid by tenants in the UK’s private rental sector, (PRS), increased by 2.1% in the 12 months up to and including March 2015, according to the latest published figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), drawing claims from the National Housing Federation (NHF), that the UK is the most expensive country to rent property in within the European union.

In the 12 months to March 2015 UK PRS rents increased by:

  • 2.1% in England
  • 2.1% in Scotland
  • 0.8% in Wales

UK PRS rents are the highest in Europe, taking up 40% of tenant income despite having the shortest length of secure tenancies. In comparison our European counterparts only pay an average of 28% of their income on rent.

The NHF analysed the ONS data and found that on average UK PRS rents of approximately £750 per month for properties were almost double the rental costs of dwellings in countries like Germany and Holland, where average earnings are similar. However, it is worse for tenants in shared UK properties, who typically spent around 55% of their income on rent.

Across Europe, 43% of tenants had moved property in the last five years while in the UK this figure was more like 77%.

When the figures are analysed more closely it works out that approximately 23 minutes of every hour worked by UK PRS tenants is spent on rent; elsewhere in Europe, it is more like only 17 minutes.

The NHF also showed that the UK has repeatedly failed to invest in its own housing stock when compared to European standards, between 1996 and 2011 only 3% of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was invested in UK housing, compared to 6% in Germany and 5% in France.

Other findings from the analysis include the fact that 72% of tenants renting in the UK private rental sector are employed compared to 62% of residential owner-occupiers.

NHF chief executive David Orr commented on the findings, stating: “UK tenants get a raw deal in comparison to their continental counterparts. High rents are just one symptom of the UK’s housing crisis, as a nation, we are simply not building enough houses due to under investment and problems with the land market.”

Looking For A Buy To Let Mortgage?

Quarter Of Potential Property Investors Don’t Know How To Apply For Buy To Let Mortgages

New Research Discovers That Quarter Of Potential Property Investors Don’t Even Know How To Apply For Buy To Let Mortgages

New research by a specialist mortgage lender has discovered that an amazing 28% of would-be property investors don’t know how to apply for a buy to let mortgage in order to finance their property purchases.

The figures show that 1 in 4 potential property investors considering investing in property to boost their retirement income don’t know how to apply for a buy-to-let mortgage to get started on their property investment journey.

The research, conducted by specialist mortgage lender Kensington, also found that 54% of people approaching retirement age would consider investing in property using buy-to-let mortgages in order to help increase their income in retirement, but many didn’t know what they needed to do or what evidence to provide in order to apply for the correct type of mortgage.

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Property Optimism Falls To Lowest Level For 18 Months

Property Optimism Falls To Lowest Level For 18 Months

Property Optimism Falls To Lowest Level For 18 Months

UK property price optimism among private rental sector landlords and residential property owners has dropped to the lowest recorded level for 18 months after buy to let mortgage lending in January was reported to be decidedly sluggish.

Traditionally, the UK property market generally experiences a slow start that incrementally builds to a summer buying frenzy before reaching another plateau and then a further period of increase followed by a gradual easing at the end of the year.

The latest Halifax House Price Index (HPI) found that UK property prices increased by just 2% in January 2015, reaching a new UK average property price of £193,130 (GBP).

Combined with figures released by the Department of Communities and Local Government, showing a slowdown in the number of new homes being built, and it is clear why landlord and residential property owners optimism has fallen.

60% of landlords and property owners, surveyed for the lender’s latest housing market confidence tracker report, expected the average property price to be significantly higher in 12 month’s time.

This means that house price optimism has fallen by 10 points from 62 to +52, the lowest level of consumer confidence since June 2013, when 52% of private rental sector landlords and residential property owners expected a large rise in property prices.

So what’s different?

  • In June 2013 UK inflation was at 2.9% compared to the current 0.3%
  • Employment was just over 30 Million compared to today’s figure of 30.9 Million
  • Mortgage lending levels were at £15 Billion (GBP) compared to the current £17 Billion (GBP).

Despite the fact that the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2014 increased by 2.6% and all members of the Bank of England’s (BoE) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to hold interest rates at 0.5%, the dip in confidence levels over UK property prices reflects public concern over the UK economy in general.

Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at the Halifax said that “More than half of consumers still believe UK property prices will be higher than they are now in a year’s time; however optimism has continued to weaken. Despite this we’re now seeing a return to the seasonal trend for house price activity”.

But he pointed out that of more concern are the figures from the Department of Communities and Local Government showing a slowdown in the number of new homes being built. ‘It’s widely acknowledged that the UK needs an increase in the amount of new housing being built,’ said McKinlay.

‘The Lloyds Banking Group Commission on Housing targeted 2 to 2.5 million new homes built by 2025 new homes to be built before 2025. If we are to address demand the increase in new homes coming onto the market needs to be sustainable,’ he explained.

UK Property Investment Increases 8% In A Year

UK Property Investment Increases 8% In A Year

UK Property Investments Rise By 8% During 2014

UK property investment is booming again, thanks in part to the Government changes to the way pensions are controlled. The changes allow interested property investors to release pension funds for property purchases early, because bricks and mortar continue to offer a greater return than pension funds currently provide.

Property investment in the UK is becoming even more popular with the number of property investors increasing by 8% during the past year, according to data recently released by letting agent, Ludlow Thompson, with landlord numbers rising to approximately 1.63 million controlling approximately 3.1 million private rental sector (PRS) properties in the UK. 

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New Data Reveals UK Private Rental Sector Hotspots

New Data Reveals UK Private Rental Sector Hotspots

Private Rental Sector Rents Continue To Rise
In 10 Out Of 12 UK Regions

New data published by HomeLet has revealed some UK private rental sector hotspots for property investors and portfolio landlords to consider.

In some areas of the UK PRS rents have continued to increase, despite all the doom mongering that is going on in the media, with rents increasing by the most in:

  • Leicester – PRS rents up 45% on 2013
  • Southall – PRS rents up 38% on 2013
  • Cambridge – PRS rents up 24% on 2013

Meanwhile other parts of the UK witnessed the biggest falls in rental prices in 2014 on new rental agreements with the biggest rental price falls recorded in:

  • Colchester PRS rents Down 24% on 2013 prices
  • Croydon – PRS rents down 23% on 2013
  • Brighton – PRS fall 18% lower than 2013 prices.

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National Housing Federation Reveals Most Unaffordable UK Areas To Rent Property

National Housing Federation Reveals Most Unaffordable UK Areas To Rent Property

National Housing Federation Reveals
Most Unaffordable UK Areas To Rent Property

Towns and cities such as Oxford and Brighton have overtaken many London borough’s as the most unaffordable places in the UK to rent, according to the National Housing Federation.

London boroughs may have the monopoly on the most expensive rents in the UK’s private rental sector (PRS), but when factored against average local earnings, UK towns and cities such as Oxford, Brighton and Bath are calculated to be more unaffordable than many London boroughs.

The most expensive area outside of London is the Three Rivers area in Hertfordshire, where the average PRS rent swallows up over 50% of the average income of residents in the area.

Other places such as Oxford, South Bucks and Brighton are now more unaffordable than London boroughs such as Greenwich and Lewisham, with renters spending over half their salary on rent before they’ve covered any other bills.

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UK Private Sector Rent Still Rising

UK Private Sector Rent Still Rising, Albeit Slowly

Private Sector Rents Rise By 1% Over Last 12 Months

New data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest that private sector rents are rising below the level of average earnings for first time in many years, bringing some good news for tenants.

According to the ONS, in the 12 months to September 2014, private rental sector rental prices increased by:

  • 1% in England
  • 4% in Scotland
  • 2% in Wales

The ONS say that the UK’s underlying annual earnings growth increased by 1.2% in the year to August, up from 0.5% recorded in April 2014.

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Does House Price Index Data Provide A Clearer Picture Than The Newspaper Headlines Suggest?

Does House Price Index Data Provide A Clearer Picture Than The Newspaper Headlines Suggest?

Does House Price Index Data Provide A Clearer Picture Than The Newspaper Headlines Suggest?

There can be a great deal of contradiction with the rising number of published House Price Indices, (HPI), that attempt to show the general public what is happening in the UK residential property sales market.

Many Spotlight subscribers are already aware that some of the published House Price Index data provided by mortgage lenders only relate to residential property sales, whilst others relate only to property asking prices.

However, property purchasers are often told to use the official published Land Registry data as a true guide to property prices rather than rely on any house price index data, but Land Registry data is a few months out of date because the Land Registry only record actual completed residential property sales.

Consumers need to know if all the HPI data is anywhere near accurate before they decide to part with cash to purchase a property, and with some degree of disparity between different indices the information provided can be confusing.

However, one thing is becoming very clear – UK property price growth is slowing!

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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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