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New LHA Rates for 2014 -2015 Published

New LHA Rates for 2014 -2015 Published

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) Rates Change In April

Every year the Government publish Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates that are periodically reviewed and payment levels in some UK regions may change without notice.

The April 2014 – March 2015 LHA rates have now been published and the revised list makes interesting reading for landlords and letting agents who are willing to accept tenants claiming benefits.

UK private rental sector landlords are able to ensure rental property profits by allowing their properties to be let to tenants claiming housing benefit (HB), with local authority rental payments exceeding buy-to-let mortgage payments.

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Property repossessions In the North of England are higher than national average

Property repossessions In the North of England are higher than national average. Property
May Be Cheaper But It Is More Likely To Be Repossessed

4 Of Top 10 Property Repossession Areas
Are In North West of England

A new study by e.surv chartered surveyors has revealed the top 10 hotspots for property repossessions in the UK, and the results show that property owners in the North are less able to keep up with mortgage repayments than property owners in the South.

e.surv’s researchers analysed Ministry of Justice figures for court-ordered repossessions for the 12 months up to 30th June 2013, plus the company’s own data, and found the largest North-South divide since the onset of the financial crisis, with 3.2 repossessions per 1,000 households in the North of England, compared with 2.4 per 1,000 in the South of England.

Four of the UK’s top five “repossession hotspots” are in North-West of England according to the data with Chester, Blackpool, Oldham and Wigan among top five property repossession hotspots.

These areas are among those with the highest proportion of property owners who are struggling to keep up with mortgage repayments.

The data revealed that even despite all the media coverage about surging property prices in and around the capital, two areas within Greater London – Romford (3rd highest number of property repossessions per thousand households) and Croydon came in joint 7th on the repossession hotspot top ten.

Chester is the top UK city for property repossessions by a substantial margin, THREE times the national average!

The rest of the North-West of England does not fair much better with 8 out of 10 towns having above the national UK average number of property repossessions per thousand households.

This news presents an excellent opportunity for new, amateur and seasoned property investors to grab some property bargains as mortgage lenders and banks will be looking to offload these repossessed properties quickly so that they can get their money back, they are not looking to profit!

Lancaster, Liverpool and Carlisle in the North of England showed a lower than the average number of property repossessions, according to the data. However, despite being below the national average, Carlisle had seen a 37% increase in the rate of property repossessions in the 12 months to June 2013.

Other UK regions that also showed huge increases in the volume of property repossessions over 12 months, but remained below the national average are:

  • Taunton in Somerset – 34% increase in property repossessions up to 30th June 2013
  • Brighton – 30% increase in property repossessions up to 30th June 2013
  • Reading – 27% increase in property repossessions up to 30th June 2013

e.surv Director, Richard Sexton, said: “Residential property prices may be high in the capital, and employment prospects may be stronger, but in such densely populated areas, there remain property owners who are struggling with mortgage payments. Many borrowers have seen their finances slowly eroded by high inflation and increasing living costs. This has been particularly potent in London, where less affluent borrowers, by that I mean those who could only just afford to buy, have been badly affected. On a national level repossession numbers are falling as mortgages become cheaper, wages are slowly picking up and the employment market has more vitality. For the UK as a whole, repossessions fell 17% during the 12 month period, with 66,544 repossession orders granted in 2012-13, as opposed to 77,856 in 2011-12. As a region, the north has traditionally depended on public sector jobs, but a squeeze in public sector funding has led to loss of jobs for many, and very slow pay increases for others. Pay increases that are consistently below the rate of inflation have further tightened household budgets, and caused many to fall behind on mortgage repayments. There is still a long way to go before the northern property market returns to its pre-recession health, and all the while the north is still playing catch-up, and falling further and further behind the south.”

Top 10 Property Repossession Areas

 

UK Town / Region

Property Repossessions Per Thousand Households

Total Number Of Property Repossessions In 12 Months To 30th June 2013

1

Chester – North West

8.4

961

2

Blackpool – North West

4.5

570

3

Romford – Greater London

4.4

936

4

Oldham – North West

4.3

829

5

Wigan – North West

4.2

541

=5

Luton – Bedfordshire

4.2

565

7

Bradford – Yorkshire

4.1

1002

=7

Doncaster – Yorkshire

4.1

1356

=7

Croydon – Greater London

4.1

644

10

Northampton – Northamptonshire

3.8

966

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: e.surv 

So what are you waiting for?

There will never be a better time to purchase repossessed properties, there are a great number of deals to be had from the areas listed in the table above.

Think of the table as a treasure map, with 10 UK locations offering repossession property deals direct from the banks and mortgage lenders.

Residential property affordability is at its most favourable in almost a decade, according to the latest Lloyds TSB Affordable Cities Review.

My home town of Salford, in the North West, is the most affordable UK city with an average property price of £102,391 that is 3.81 times the average gross annual earnings.

This partly reflects a 32% fall in house prices in this part of Greater Manchester since 2008.

The average price for a home in a UK city is £173,202 equating to 5.5 times the average gross annual earnings.

This is an improvement on 5.7 times the average gross annual earnings in 2011 and is significantly below the peak of 7.2 times the average gross annual earnings observed in 2008.

10 most affordable UK cities, 2012

UK cities

Region

Price to Earnings ratio

Salford

North West

3.81

Londonderry

Northern Ireland

3.87

Bradford

Yorkshire and the Humber

3.98

Lancaster

North West

4.00

Stirling

Scotland

4.04

Belfast

Northern Ireland

4.08

Durham

North

4.08

Lisburn

Northern Ireland

4.09

Hereford

West Midlands

4.26

Birmingham

West Midlands

4.43

UK cities average

 

5.51

Sources: Lloyds Banking Group, ONS

The marked improvement in affordability in UK cities over recent years has been driven by the significant fall in residential property prices.

Since 2008, the average house price within a city has fallen by 18% (£37,403) from £210,605 in 2008 to £173,202 in 2012.

  • 7 out of the 8 most affordable cities are in Northern Ireland and the North of England.
  • Ely in the East of England is the most affordable city in the south of England (4.60).

The least affordable city in the UK is Truro in the South West where the average property price (£250,489) is nearly ten times (9.71) the average gross earnings in the area. The benefits to the quality of life associated with living in this picturesque part of Cornwall have supported residential property prices in this area for the past decade.

Oxford (8.80) is the second least affordable city, followed by Winchester (8.76). Inverness (5.97) and York (5.95) are the least affordable cities outside Southern England.

Suren Thiru, housing economist at Lloyds TSB, commented: “The improvement in housing affordability within many of our major urban conurbations has been significant during the past few years and reflects the decline in house prices over the period. There is, however, a distinct north-south divide to the locations of the most affordable UK cities. Looking forward, the marked improvement in city affordability is likely to help support demand for those able to enter the housing market. Much of this benefit, however, maybe offset by the continuing difficulties many households face in raising a deposit and uncertainty over the outlook for the UK economy.”

There Will Never Be A Better Time To Invest In Property

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