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PRS Rental Prices Keep Going Up

PRS Rental Prices Keep Going Up

PRS Rents Increase 2.5% In The Past Year

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) latest Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, tenants in the UK’s private rental sector (PRS) have seen rents increase by an average of 2.5% in the 12 months up to June 2015,.

Private rental prices increased across the whole of the British isles with rents increasing by:

  • 5% in England
  • 1% in Scotland
  • 8% in Wales

PRS rents increased across all English regions during the year with rental prices increasing by 3.8% in London, while the overall Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation stood at 0% over the same period.

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How Landlords Are Affected By 2015 Pre-Election Budget

How Landlords Are Affected By 2015 Pre-Election Budget

How Landlords Are Affected By 2015 Pre-Election Budget

During the pre-election budget last week, Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne MP announced some significant changes that could have a detrimental impact on landlords the UK’s private rental sector (PRS) and residential property owners.

Below are the highlights of the pre-election budget that are of relevance to landlords and property owners:

  • £13 Billion (GBP) sale announced of the mortgages of UKAR – Northern Rock and Bradford and Bingley (Mortgage Express) to reduce national debt which followed the bailing out of the banks.
  • Introduction of 20 new housing zones.
  • The economy of the North grew faster than the South during 2014.
  • The UK has the highest rate of employment in its history!
    Employment is growing fastest in the North West, Yorkshire having the biggest employment.
  • Living standards are higher in 2015 than 2010.
  • Inflation forecast downgraded to 0.2%.
  • Low interest rates to be “locked in”.
  • Original target of debt reduction set in 2010 budget has been met.
  • 13 years of rising national debt has now been stopped.
  • UK achieved the largest and most sustained debt reduction of any major economy according to the IMF.
  • Government borrowing is falling.
  • The wealthy are making the biggest contributions to reduce debt.
  • End of austerity in 2019.
  • The annual tax return is to be abolished. New digital tax accounts to be created.
  • The personal tax free allowance has been raised to £10,600 (GBP) and will be raised to £11,000 (GBP) in 2017.
  • The higher rate tax threshold will rise to £43,300 (GBP) by 2018.
  • Class 2 national insurance contributions abolished for self-employed.
  • Stronger measures against tax avoidance and tax evasion.
  • Review of avoidance of inheritance tax through deeds of variation.
  • New penalties for tax evasion and those professionals who assist them.
  • Crime down 20%.

There was some good news contained in the 2015 pre-election budget too:

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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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RLA Hit Back At Rent Control Calls

RLA Hit Back At Rent Control Calls

Rent Controls Are Not The Answer
To The UK Housing Shortage

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) have hit back at politicians and housing and homeless pressure groups who are openly calling for rent controls in the UK’s private sector by claiming that private sector rents are falling in real terms following analysis of the official English Housing Survey (EHS).

The English Housing Survey (EHS) results are taken from a continuous survey conducted by the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) and show that average private sector rents increased by just £10 from £153 to £163 (GBP) per week in 2014, representing a rise of 6.5%.

In contrast, average weekly rents in the UK’s social sector increased by more, with weekly rental prices increasing 25.4%, rising by £18 from £71 to £89 (GBP).

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UK Rental Prices Have Not Grown As Much As The Media Hype Suggests

UK Rental Prices Have Not Grown As Much As The Media Hype Suggests

UK Rental Price Growth Has Slowed Down
Everywhere Except London

The hype suggesting spiralling rental prices in the UK’s private rental sector (PRS) are out of control, has been previously used by tenants and even some agents to brow beat private sector landlords into lowering the expected monthly rental prices has been exposed as a myth by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Apart from the ridiculous rental situation in London, where rental prices for single dwellings are getting beyond affordable, landlords across the rest of the UK are lucky if property rental prices just about keep pace with inflation.

Private rental sector rental prices are flat in monetary terms when viewed year on year even if there has been some seasonal adjustment for the Spring & Summer lettings 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.

UK PRS Landlords Expect Tenant Demand To Increase

UK PRS Landlords Expect Tenant Demand To Increase

42% Of UK PRS Landlords Plan 2014 Rent Increases

According to the latest survey by specialist house share website, Spareroom.co.uk, 42% of UK private rented sector landlords expect to increase rental prices over the next 12 months and of those some 26% are planning to increase rents by more than 3%, which is significantly higher than inflation.

In their latest Rental Index, Spareroom revealed the average cost of a double bedroom in a shared house increased by 4.5% in the final quarter of 2013, reaching a new average of £507 (GBP) per calendar month.

Room rents in London also saw a rise in prices, with an increase of 2% over the same time frame, meaning the average cost of a double room in a shared house in the nation’s capital is now at an average cost of £676 (GBP) per calendar month.

Whilst some landlords plan to increase rental prices, 58% of Spareroom’s Rental Index respondents stated that they will not be raising rents and 5% of UK PRS landlords claimed that they intend to reduce rents during 2014. 

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Are You Sat On A Property Time Bomb?

Are You Sat On A Property Time Bomb?

How Can Property Investors And Landlords

Avoid The Property Time Bomb?

As we keep telling you, NOW really is a fantastic time to be investing in UK property, finance is more available, there are plenty of property deals out there and property prices are rising! Many people are beginning to think that we may even be entering a new property boom!

However, is this really good news for existing landlords?

You see, this situation could cause a really BIG problem for any existing landlords and property investors who own rental properties.

Rising property prices will contribute to inflation, which in turn will probably trigger the Bank of England (BoE) to raise interest rates to slow down the economy and this is the potential time bomb if you currently have investment properties.

The issue is that most property investors have become very used to the low Bank of England base rate of 0.5% which, means the repayment rate for many Buy-To-Let mortgages has been around the 2% to 3% mark.

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There Will Never Be A Better Time To Invest In Property

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