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UK Property Market Predictions For 2015

UK Property Market Predictions For 2015

What Will Happen To
The UK Property Market In 2015?

Happy New Year to all our readers, and welcome to the usual confusion over what the year ahead will bring for the UK property market.

Property prices are still predicted to rise in 2015, albeit at a much slower pace than in 2014, with economists and property experts providing forecasts ranging from 3% to 5% property price growth.

However, there are a few events that might affect the UK property market in 2015, namely the general election that will be held in May and the growing probability of Bank of England (BoE) raising the base interest rate.

Regarding the general election, it all could depend which party wins or what coalition combination is named to form the Government, after Labour recently confirmed that they would introduce a mansion tax if they come to power. Meaning that the changes to Stamp Duty that were announced in the 2014 Autumn budget would be negated if Labour win.

Less clear is what will happen with Bank of England interest rates. It had been predicted that a small rise, either by a quarter to half of a percent, was going to be introduced before the end of 2014, but that didn’t happen. Then it was going to be early 2015 but that is now also looking very unlikely.

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Bank Of England States That 2% Interest Rate Rise Would Put 480,000 Property Owners Into Mortgage Arrears

Bank Of England States That 2% Interest Rate Rise Would Put 480,000 Property Owners Into Mortgage Arrears

Bank Of England States That 2% Interest Rate Rise Would Put 480,000 Property Owners Into Mortgage Arrears

UK property buyers have an average mortgage debt of around £83,000 (GBP) plus many will have unsecured loans of up to £8,000 (GBP), however many are typically earning less than £43,000 (GBP) a year

The Bank of England has warned that up to half a million property owners could be at risk of falling into mortgage arrears once interest rates rise from their historic 0.5% low.

The BoE said the number of UK property owners expected to run into difficulties would increase by a third to approximately 480,000 in the event of a two-percentage-point increase in the cost of borrowing.

The BoE stressed the proportion of borrowers having trouble paying their mortgage loans should remain well below the record mortgage arrears levels of the early 1990’s, when the UK suffered its worst post-war property crash, provided that earnings incomes rose alongside interest rates.

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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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Survey Shows UK Public Think Property Investment Is Best Way Forward

Survey Shows UK Public Think Property Investment Is Best Way Forward

Survey Shows UK Public Think
Property Investment Provides Best Returns

A new survey has discovered that 40% of UK residents would rather choose property investment over all other investment types.

The YouGov survey commissioned by InterTrader found that 40% of UK residents reckon that property investment is the best vehicle for generating a good Return On Investment (ROI).

In addition, over half of UK residents would consider a more active role in managing their own investment opportunities, with 38% of respondents saying they would not trust financial professionals to generate high enough positive returns with their hard earned savings.

The findings of the YouGov survey were published amid the concern that parts of the UK, especially London and the South East, are experiencing a localised and unsustainable property bubble.

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UK Property Rental Prices Reach New Record High

UK Property Rental Prices Reach New Record High

UK Property Rental Prices Reach New Record High

Latest figures show that the new national average property rental price being advertised has reached a whopping £1,006 (GBP) per calendar month (pcm).

This is the first time ever that the national average property rental price has broken the 4 figure ceiling barrier in the UK.

The increase in the national average property rental price has been attributed to continued growth of the London and South East property markets.

Property rental prices being advertised in central London have reached £2,300 (GBP) per month, the highest recorded rental average apart from during the Olympic’s in the summer of 2012.

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Demand For High Risk Mortgages Reaches New High

Demand For High Risk Mortgages Reaches New High

More property buyers with small deposits are taking out high risk loans worth over 3.5 times their take home income

The number of residential property buyers who can only raise a small deposit of less than 10%, and who don’t qualify for the Government’s Help To Buy scheme, are taking out high risk loans worth over 3.5 times their take home income, has risen to its highest level for over five years.

New figures published by the Bank of England (BoE) show that the number of high risk mortgages being taken out by property investors and existing landlords has increased in the first three months of 2014.

Mortgage lending to new borrowers who had less than a 10% deposit and a Loan-To-Income (LTI) multiple of more than 3.5 times a single person income, or 2.75 times for joint income borrowers, has increased to 2.6%, the highest recorded figure since the last quarter of 2008.

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UK Residential Property Prices Only Increased By 0.5% Last Month

UK Residential Property Prices Only Increased By 0.5% Last Month

Residential Property Prices Only Increased By 0.5% Last Month 

New data released by Hometrack shows that residential property prices only increased by 0.5% during May 2014, less than previous price rises recorded in the three previous months, suggesting a slowdown in property sales and price growth.

The data shows that the proportion of UK regions recording property price increases during May had fallen to just 42%, down from the 50% recorded in March and April 2014.

While property prices may have continued to rise in London, there has been an overall slowing in the rate of growth, with property prices only increasing by 0.6% in May, compared to the 0.8% average increase over each of the previous six months.

The main growth in London is in lower priced areas of the capital that are perceived as offering better value for money, however, central London prices only increased by 0.2% in May. 

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Owning Property Is Better For Financial Security

Owning Property Is Better For Financial Security

Mortgage Payments Vs Savings: Property Provides Better Returns Over Traditional Saving Methods

There was a report in the Daily Express last week that said property owners have saved more than others with traditional savings accounts and ISA’s.

The report reckoned that the Bank of England’s record low interest rate has saved property owners almost £20,000 (GBP) over the last six years in inflated mortgage payments. However traditional savers have lost out by almost the same amount, prompting calls for more help for savers and warnings that borrowing could create a new debt crisis.

Bank of England statistics reveal that the record low interest rate of 0.5%, reached 5 years ago today, has been a mixed blessing for the UK.

Interest rates started to tumble back in 2008 and by March 2009 the Bank of England’s base rate had reached 0.5%, promoting cheaper borrowing.

Property owners with a £100,000 Standard Variable Rate (SVR) mortgage could have saved almost £20,000 (GBP), because mortgage payments were around £3,300 (GBP) a year lower than they were in early 2008 before the financial crash ended the previous property boom.

Savers with £100,000 (GBP) in cash ISAs lost around £18,500 (GBP) over the same period.

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More Tenants Face Eviction Over Bedroom Tax

More Tenants Face Eviction Over Bedroom Tax

Bedroom Tax Blamed For Increasing
Eviction Numbers

The apparent shortage of 1 and 2 bed properties in either the social or private rented sector means that more tenants are facing eviction for non-payment of the Bedroom Tax because there are no suitable properties available for them to move into.

Mark Rogers, Chief Executive of the Circle Housing Group, one of the UK’s largest housing associations managing 65,000 residential properties, has warned of a rise in tenant evictions because of the government’s new under-occupancy penalty, more commonly known as the bedroom tax.

Mr Rogers said “It is inevitable that there will be a long-term increase in the number of people failing to pay their rent as there are simply not enough vacant smaller properties for people affected to move into to avoid the charge. Circle Housing Group are offering tenants financial advice and encouraging those affected to look at a house exchange scheme, which has seen a 26% rise, but an increase in evictions is also to expected. The under-occupation charge is hitting a lot of people very hard, as you would expect. They are losing money and by the very nature of being on benefits, they are on very low incomes. People can’t down-size because there aren’t enough properties for them to move in to. We did a survey and one finding was that if you let every single bedroom that came vacant, and you housed an under-occupier there, it would take eight years to clear the backlog. Our view is that  for the vast majority the transfer system is untenable. We won’t evict someone if we can’t find a solution for them. If they don’t take that solution that we offer, then we will evict, but we see it as our job to make sure we don’t go down that route. If that happens we see it as a failure; it is expensive to the local authority, it is expensive to the person, traumatic for the person, often not good for the community. We see evictions generally as a last resort. From our perspective I think as time goes on they will go up a little but our plan is that by using our solutions we minimise the impact.”

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Demand May Outstrip Supply As Lenders Brace For Help-To-Buy Stampede

Demand May Outstrip Supply As Lenders Brace For Help-To-Buy Stampede

Demand May Outstrip Supply As Mortgage Lenders Brace For Help-To-Buy Stampede

Over 600,000 residential properties are eligible for the £12 Billion (GBP) scheme, while Zoopla says buyers will still need average £10,000 (GBP) deposit

More than 600,000 residential properties on the market are eligible for inclusion in the £12 Billion (GBP) second phase of the Help-To-Buy scheme, according to the latest in a series of surveys leading to predictions that UK mortgage lenders will be inundated due to the expected demand for the government-backed mortgages.

Details of the 95% mortgages, which are available to existing property owners as well as first-time buyers, are to be unveiled by Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, with some banks expected to invite loan applications within hours of the announcement expected next week.

The second phase of the Government’s flagship scheme to allow more first-time buyers and second steppers, wider access to the UK’s residential property market has already been brought forward by three months, with high street bank Santander claiming that up to 1.7 million people want to use the scheme.

The Help-To-Buy scheme will cover existing residential properties as well as new-build properties, but as yet there are no plans to allow Buy-To-Let property investors use the scheme.

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There Will Never Be A Better Time To Invest In Property

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