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Green Party Leader Blames Landlords For UK Housing Crisis

Green Party Leader Blames Landlords For UK Housing Crisis

Green Party Leader Under Attack For Demonising
Private Rented Sector Landlords

The leader of the Green Party, Natalie Bennett has attracted a great deal of criticism after she attacked buy-to-let landlords operating in the private rented sector (PRS) blaming them for helping to cause the UK’s housing crisis.

Ms Bennett cited extremely high rental returns for landlords with property in the UK private rental sector in the recent television debate between the opposition leaders.

She referred to a report published by the Wriglesworth Consultancy and lenders Landbay stating that there had been a 1,400% return for buy-to-let landlords since 1996.

But the report’s authors suggested that the calculations and methodology involved were far more complex than the Green Party leader had portrayed.

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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a true guide to property prices rather than rely on any house price index data, but Land Registry data is a few months out of date because the Land Registry only record actual completed residential property sales.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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UK Cities With Best and Worst Property Investment Yields

UK Cities With Best and Worst Property Investment Yields

Best And Worst UK Property Investment Hotspots

Rental returns on buy to let properties are best in cities like Southampton, Manchester and Nottingham, where as many as one in four properties are owned by landlords in the private rented sector.

Portfolio landlords and property investors are looking beyond London to identify regions where rental yields are almost three times as high as in the capital.

Rental yield is calculated by measuring the rental income against the properties cost

The latest data on buy-to-let yields provided by the HSBC bank, also shows the proportion of properties in each area that are already owned by landlords, with landlords already owning more than one in four properties in many of the top-yielding areas.

HSBC’s report draws on official data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the UK Land Registry with rental data provided by Home.co.uk.

Top Property Investment Hotspots Revealed

Top Property Investment Hotspots Revealed

  • Southampton, currently tops the list for rental returns with rental yields of 8.73% Manchester has rental yields of around 7.98%
  • Nottingham has rental yields of around 7.67%
  • Blackpool has rental yields of around 7.63%
  • Hull has rental yields of around 7.47%

In all of these areas, except Hull, private rental sector (PRS) landlords already own more than one in five properties.

These areas offer relatively low property prices and have strong demand for rental property from large student and young professional populations – the characteristics that the experts say make for excellent buy-to-let investments.

Top 10 Property Investment Hot Spots By Rental Yields

Rank

Location

Housing privately rented (%)

Average house price

Average monthly rent

Gross rental yield (%)

1 Southampton 23.42 £143,011 £1,040 8.73
2 Manchester 26.85 £104,244 £693 7.98
3 Nottingham 21.64 £86,000 £550 7.67
4 Blackpool 24.16 £77,899 £495 7.63
5 Kingston upon Hull 19.02 £68,243 £425 7.47
6 Coventry 19.02 £110,029 £650 7.09
7 Oxford 26.11 £254,514 £1,489 7.02
8 Portsmouth 22.28 £146,709 £795 6.50
9 Liverpool 21.75 £91,175 £494 6.50
10 Cambridge 23.91 £185,414 £1,001 6.48

The lowest rental yields were registered in areas such as London where recent property price rises have outpaced the growth in rental yields and in some areas like Westminster 38% of property is privately rented.

Worst 10 Property Investment Areas By Rental Yield

Location

Housing privately rented (%)

Average house price


Average monthly rent

Gross rental yield (%)

Kensington and Chelsea 33.97 £1,236,605 £2,968 2.88
Thanet 21.96 £189,362 £524 3.32
Hastings 27.19 £184,787 £520 3.38
Haringey 30.33 £425,541 £1,200 3.38
Westminster 37.56 £890,272 £2,578 3.47
Hammersmith and Fulham 30.05 £685,797 £2,004 3.51
Richmond upon Thames 20.55 £540,379 £1,699 3.77
Camden 30.46 £715,831 £2,383 3.99
Ipswich 18.75 £158,925 £546 4.12
Lincoln 19.36 £124,789 £433 4.16

Head Of Mortgages at HSBC Peter Dockar, said: “House prices in the top-yielding locations – while still out of reach among many first time buyers – are relatively affordable for landlords investing in property and the demand from young professionals has pushed up rents and driven up the returns. London is often seen as the haven of property investment with many believing the streets are paved with gold. However, while the highest rents in the country are an attractive draw for landlords, high house prices in the capital squeeze yields and limit the returns available. As a result, returns can often be far more attractive in other areas so it certainly pays for landlords to do their research.”

 

UK Property Market Bubble Warning

UK Property Market Bubble Warning

OECD Warn About Sustainability Of UK Property Market

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has warned about the sustainability of the UK property market as residential property prices gain more upward momentum across the UK, and continue surging phenomenally in London, prompting growing fear of another property market bubble, as the UK economy continues to recover from the financial crisis in 2008.

A property market bubble occurs when property prices become so over inflated that they become unsustainable and the market collapses

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) also aired concern saying that they are on high alert about the property market in London and the South East of England as house prices surge.

The Bank of England are said to be monitoring the situation, however BOE policy maker, Ben Broadbent reckons there’s no need for alarm over the UK property market as they have already curtailed incentives for home loans through the Funding for Lending Scheme.

Rising property prices are a good thing, they are a good indicator of the overall health of a nation’s economy, and the current government are confident that prices will continue to rise, hence the introduction of financial incentives such as the Help To Buy scheme, encouraging property buyers with loans or guaranteed underwritten mortgages, allowing them to gain a stake in the UK property market.

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BoE Base Interest Rate Set To Remain Low Until 2015

BoE Base Interest Rate Set To Remain Low Until 2015

Base Interest Rates Set To Remain At
Low Levels Until The End Of 2015

A new economic forecast by Ernst & Young’s (EY) independent forecasting group, the Item Club, reckons that Bank of England (BoE) interest rates will remain at their historic low until the end of 2015 as wages start to outstrip inflation.

The Bank of England’s base rate has an impact on mortgage loans on property and savings returns and with the base rate remaining at 0.5%, it expects house prices to rise by 7.4% this year and 7.2% next year.

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Treasury Watchdog Sounds Alarm Over Runaway Property Market

Treasury Watchdog Sounds Alarm Over Runaway Property Market

Treasury Watchdog Sounds Alarm Over Runaway Property Market

  • Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) says speculators are inflating property prices
  • Average price of a London home is expected to jump from £458,000 (GBP) to £650,000 (GBP) by the year 2020
  • Average price of a UK residential property reached £254,000 (GBP) in January

Following on from last Friday’s post about the Government’s independent watchdog the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), the Treasury’s chief watchdog, Robert Chote has spoken out.

Soaring UK property prices are being inflated by speculators banking on further gains, causing Robert Chote, head of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), to issue a warning that the UK is on the verge of a dangerous housing bubble.

Mr Chote told Treasury Select Committee MP’s: “With very rapid house price increases in some parts of the country you might see bubbly activity where people are willing to buy stuff off plan or not intend to live in it. The surge in prices is partly down to soaring demand, driven by rising confidence, increased lending, and government schemes such as Help-To-Buy combined with a general lack of supply. You can explain the increase in house prices by fundamentals without having to resort to saying there is a bubble going on. That doesn’t mean to say there may not be some bubbly components to what is going on in the housing market in particular parts of the country.

Treasury Watchdog Sounds Alarm Over Runaway Property Market as average price of a typical residential property climbed to £254,000 (GBP) in January 2014 – an increase of 6.8% in a year

Treasury Watchdog Sounds Alarm Over Runaway Property Market as average price of a typical residential property climbed to £254,000 (GBP) in January 2014 – an increase of 6.8% in a year

Official figures show the average price of a typical residential property climbed to £254,000 (GBP) in January 2014 – an increase of 6.8% in a year.

Residential property prices were up:

  • 13.2% in London
  • 7.1% in the South East
  • 6.9% in Wales.

As already reported on Spotlight, the OBR expects house prices to rise by more than 30% in the next five years, meaning that the average price of a typical residential property in London is expected to jump from £458,000 (GBP) to £650,000 (GBP) over the next six years.

Mr Chote insisted that the OBR was not “taking a view that house prices are over or undervalued, house price inflation should cool from 8.5% this year to 3.7% in 2017 and 2018.

Steve Nickell, an economist who sits on the OBR with Mr Chote, said: “A bubble arises when demand is being driven by people wanting to get in because of expectations of price growth rather than for somewhere to live. The house price to income ratio has been growing for the last 40 years but that cannot go on forever because everything you consume would become housing and there would be nothing else left.’

But David Ruffley, a Tory MP on the Treasury committee, said forecasters always expect a ‘benign return to equilibrium’ and fail to predict the cycle of boom and bust.

Budget Sparks Property Price Increase Fear

Budget Sparks Property Price Increase Fear

UK property prices set to soar by 30%
Says Office for Budget Responsibility

UK residential property prices could increase sharply over the next five years, fuelled by a rise in the number of savers choosing to invest in property rather than taking annuity.

The forecast comes from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), following the changes announced in George Osborne’s latest Budget which means that people will not be forced to take an annuity when they retire and instead they can choose to invest their money as they wish.

Many people are expected to use their pension pot to invest in property, rather than in currently poorly performing pensions, driving up UK property prices in the process.

The OBR has revised its forecast for UK residential property price growth in the next five years from 27% up to 30.8%.

According to the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast, anticipated UK residential property price growth is expected to be:

  • 8.6% in 2014/2015
  • 7.4% in 2015/2016
  • 4.3% in 2016/2017
  • 3.7% in 2017/2018
  • 3.7% in 2018/2019.

The predictions are the OBR’s best guess, they are not accurate in any way shape or form and should be used as a guide only. These are not fact, just speculation.

The OBR are supposed to be an independent fiscal body, however, they estimate that by the end of their forecast period, UK property prices should be just 0.5% below their pre-crisis peak, and the property price to income ratio is estimated to reach 2.3% below its pre-crisis peak.

The OBR also expects transaction volumes will increase at a faster pace than originally forecast over the coming five years. Estimating 1.28 Million housing transactions in 2014/2015, some 6% higher than the previous OBR forecast in December 2013.

The OBR also predict that Stamp Duty receipts will rise 90% over the next four years from £9.5 Billion (GBP) in 2013-14 to £18.1 Billion (GBP) in 2018-19.

The OBR report said: “House prices have continued to accelerate since our December forecast with annual growth reaching 5.5 % in December 2013. We expect house prices to peak earlier than in our December forecast at 9.2% in the 3rd quarter of 2014, with prices rising by around 30% by 2018-19.”

Property price growth is currently being led by London where even large estate agency groups like Savills forecast property values to surge by almost a quarter over the next five years.

According to a five-year outlook recently published by Savills, a number of risks to the prime property markets, such as Eurozone default, have receded over the past two years and Inner London boroughs could see a growth of 23.1%, and property prices in other areas of the capital could also rise by 22.7%.

Governor of the Bank of England thinks Northern Ireland's House Prices Are Not Keeping Pace With Rest Of UK

Governor of the Bank of England thinks Northern Ireland’s House Prices Are Not Keeping Pace With Rest Of UK

Northern Ireland House Prices Not Keeping Pace With Rest Of UK

Mr Carney told the Andrew Marr programme that “if you look at the UK as a whole, everywhere bar Northern Ireland – we are now seeing house prices begin to recover”

On Sunday 16th February, the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney said in a BBC interview with Andrew Marr said that Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where house prices are not recovering, stating: “If you look at the UK as a whole, everywhere bar Northern Ireland – we are now seeing house prices begin to recover, so it is a more generalised phenomenon”.

However, Mr Carney’s comments provoked a backlash from Northern Ireland’s finance minister Simon Hamilton who reckons that Mr Carney’s remarks were at odds with analysis carried out by Stormont’s Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP).

Mr Hamilton posted on his Twitter account, “Doesn’t tally with DFP analysis. Never thought I’d have to correct a governor of BoE!”

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House Prices Officially Rising Across The UK

House Prices Officially Rising Across The UK

UK House Prices Rising Faster Than Inflation

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has recorded year-on-year house price increases across the UK with property values increasing by:

  • 5.6% in England
  • 5.4% in Wales
  • 2.5% in Scotland
  • 3.3% in Northern Ireland

The increase in house prices and activity in the UK property market has been credited to an increase in first-time buyers (FTB) purchasing residential property using the Government’s Help-To-Buy scheme.

The ONS have revealed that annual house price growth outpaced the cost of living in November 2013, even after removing property market activity in London and the South East of England from the calculations, property prices were up by an average of 3.1%, compared with a 2.1% rate of inflation.

Property price increases in the UK are generally driven by market activity and price increases in London and its surrounding areas, although other regions have started to show accelerating property price increases.

Property prices in London were up by 11.6% in November 2013, compared with a year earlier, and property prices have also increased strongly across the whole of the UK according to official figures

Regional Property Price Increases

  • London: up 11.6%
  • South East: up 4.5%
  • West Midlands: up 4.4%
  • North East: up 4.2%
  • East: up 4.1%
  • Yorkshire and the Humber: up 3.2%
  • South West: up 3.1%
  • East Midlands: up 2%
  • North West: up 0.6%                           Source: ONS annual change, Nov 2013

UK regions are becoming far more buoyant and less reliant on activity in the London property market and the majority of buyers are having to look further afield than central locations to find affordable properties, creating a halo effect on property prices.

The annual increase in UK property prices in November follows on from the 5.5% rise observed in October 2013 and although the annual comparison did not show any acceleration, property prices were higher than the previous month increasing by 0.5% in November compared with October, with an average residential property valued at £248,000 (GBP).

The ONS house price index is based on mortgage completions, and is considered to be more comprehensive than House Price Indices (HPI) produced by mortgage lenders such as the Halifax and Nationwide whose figures are based on their own mortgage data.

UK Property Prices Up £7,000 In Four WeeksUK Property Prices Hit 2008 Peak Values

UK property prices have jumped up £7,000 (GBP) in a month as UK property market activity picks up.

The huge increase in property values over the last four weeks is confirmation that the UK is enjoying another property boom.

The £1,750 weekly uplift puts the price of a typical residential three-bedroom semi detached property at £252,418 (GBP), according to popular property portal, Rightmove.

The biggest increase in property prices was recorded in London where new vendors have added an extra £50,484 (GBP) to average residential property asking prices this month, however property prices in the nation’s capital are over inflated compared to the rest of the UK.

The rise in UK property prices is being driven by first-time buyers and second step buyers following the introduction of the Government’s Help-To-Buy mortgage scheme.

Fears of a housing bubble have also been eased as the number of new property vendors entering the property market has also increased by 8%, however property shortages have driven up property prices in some UK regions.

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