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Tenant Demand Boosts Landlord Confidence

Tenant Demand Boosts Landlord Confidence

UK Buy-To-Let Landlord confidence has been boosted by continued strong tenant demand and falling property prices, according to the latest landlord survey conducted by LSL Property Services.

• 48% of UK BTL landlords believe that now is a good time to invest in property
• Less than 1% think it is now a good time to reduce their portfolios.
• 82% of landlords who think now is a good time to buy rental property cited attractive property prices
• 53% of UK landlords mentioned strong tenant demand.

The strength of tenant demand has been the major driving force behind recent UK rent rises, with rents at a record high of £725.00 (GBP) in England & Wales in July 2012.

In the past six months,

• 44% of UK landlords have seen a rise in tenant demand,
• 1% of UK landlords have observed a decrease in demand.

UK property investors are hoping that this growth will continue, with 64% of landlords anticipating a further increase in demand over the next twelve months.

40% of landlords expect to increase rents by an average of 4.5% in the coming 12 months, with just 1% expecting that they will be forced to reduce rents.

Sim Sekhon, spokesman for specialist landlord services provider, Legal 4 Landlords also commented on the latest LSL survey: “The findings show what UK Buy-to-Let landlords and property professionals have suspected for a while, that the UK PRS market is gaining strength and investors are able to get realistically good rental yields. Many landlords are taking advantage of the wealth of products and services designed to help them maximise profit and provide peace of mind for both tenant and landlord. Our Rent Guarantee Insurance and Tenant Referencing services have been sought by thousands of UK landlords over the last 12 months, as landlords look to avoid causing their tenants, or themselves, financial stress”.

David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, commented: “House prices are still subdued in many parts of the country and tenant demand is still growing. This is presenting landlords with the opportunity to secure strong yields on properties, and boosting confidence in UK Buy-To-Let as a long-term investment. The majority of landlords expect tenant demand will increase in the future, and as long as lending to first-time buyers remains in the doldrums, and new house building remains subdued, we won’t see demand for rental accommodation tail off. In these conditions, while affordability may increasingly come into play as landlords set rents, they are far more likely to continue to rise than tumble in the coming 12 months.”

Read more about the specialist landlord and letting agent services offered by Legal 4 Landlords

Landlords Need To Educate Themselves To Take Advantage Of Products And Services Designed To Help Them And Their Tenants

Landlords Need To Educate Themselves To Take Advantage Of Products And Services Designed To Help Them And Their Tenants

If you are considering becoming a Buy-To-Let landlord you should calculate the costs involved and do plenty of research before taking any financial risk.

This is according to Sim Sekhon, spokesman for specialist landlord services provider, Legal 4 Landlords, who explained that many new landlords rush in without calculating mortgage repayments or repairs and maintenance to rental property. He said “There are an increasing number of property investors who have been forced to adapt their strategies due to the instability of the UK property market, and they have ended up as reluctant landlords, when they are unable to flip properties. They end up either self managing the property or handing to a letting agent to deal with, often forgetting to calculate running costs. Landlords need to remember that as far as rented property is concerned, profit without Rent Guarantee insurance is a long-term investment, and property maintenance and repairs will be a cash drain.”

Landlords must treat their rental properties as a business and calculate all of the necessary financial requirements of running it before purchasing an investment property, and investors should plan to reap the benefits both in the short and long term.

Mr Sekhon added: “Landlords can increase rental yields and reduce void periods by Tenant Referencing all applicants and using rent Guarantee insurance for all of their tenants. We have developed a range of specialist products and services for landlords and letting agents to get the most from UK Buy-To-Let whilst providing long term reassurance for tenants.”

The full range of all products and services offered by Legal 4 Landlords can be found here

UK residential mortgage lending made a dramatic recovery in May 2012 after the sharp decline caused by the end of the stamp duty concession at the end of March.

The Council for Mortgage Lenders (CML) claimed that the amount of residential mortgage loans advanced to property buyers increased by 33% from in April 2012 to 48,300 in May 2012 resulting in overall mortgage lending being 25% higher than at the same point in 2011

The CML put the rise in first-time buyer activity down to the market bouncing back from the temporary slump that came with the reintroduction of 1% stamp duty at the end of March 2012.

CML’s Director General, Paul Smee, said: “The slump following the end of the stamp duty concession seems to have been short-lived. Lending is similar to late 2011 levels and showing a healthy improvement on the same time last year.”

Despite some 18,100 first-time buyer mortgage loans worth £2.3 Billion (GBP) increasing by more than 20% compared with May 2011.

Mr Smee urged caution amid the ongoing Eurozone crisis stating “Economic uncertainty could affect both the supply of mortgage lending and consumer confidence and we still anticipate a challenging lending environment for the rest of the year.”

The next Landlord & Letting Show – the UK’s Number 1 event for private rented sector professionals comes to

The Barbican, London

Tuesday 4th September 2012 & Wednesday 5th September 2012.

SECC, Glasgow, 10-11th October 2012

Wednesday 10th October 2012 & Thursday 11th October 2012

Stoneleigh Park, Coventry, 28-29th November 2012

Wednesday 28th November 2012 & Thursday 29th November 2012

  • COMPREHENSIVE EXHIBITION
  • OVER 35 FREE SEMINARS
  • NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES

The shows give landlords, letting agents and all associated property professionals access to the best advice, information, products and service deals in the industry.

 Why Attend?
Whatever your involvement in property, our shows are guaranteed to deliver everything you need to help you succeed: keep up-to-date with all the latest legislation; find the best products and service deal on the market; get advice and information from leading players in the industry; network with other property professionals.
What exactly does each show have to offer?
Each of our events offers: a comprehensive product and services exhibition; seminar rooms covering a wide range of topics delivered by leading industry experts; access to information from associations and government bodies; confidential advice clinics.
Who should attend?
Anyone involved in property, either on a professional or personal basis, will benefit greatly from attending, no matter what their level of experience: landlords, prospective landlords, letting agents, investors, developers, service providers and more.

Book your FREE E-tickets:

Gross mortgage lending declined to an estimated £10.2 Billion (GBP) in April 2012.

Mortgage lending fell by 19% from £12.6 Billion (GBP) in March 2012 but was 2% higher than the total of £10.0 Billion (GBP) in April 2011, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

CML chief economist Bob Pannell comments:“Mortgage lending activity has been relatively buoyant in recent months, with stronger lending for house purchase underpinning the more upbeat lending picture. The underlying picture is likely to be a bit stronger than the April figure suggests, because some first-time buyers are likely to have brought forward their transactions to March 2012 to take advantage of the stamp duty concession that was coming to an end in March 2012. Eurozone developments remain highly uncertain and have the potential to undermine UK economic prospects and conditions in our housing and mortgage markets. The underlying picture is likely to be one of easing momentum in the housing market, but with potential for a sharper downwards correction on bad Eurozone news.”

Institutional Investment is needed in UK Buy To Let Sector

Institutional Investment is needed in UK Buy To Let Sector

The Council of Mortgage Lenders, (CML), think the coalition Government’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne should be doing more to encourage institutional investors to take a stake in Buy To Let property in the upcoming Budget.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders are the trade body for all the UK’s major bank and building society residential mortgage lenders.

The CML claim encouraging pension funds and corporate investors is a neglected policy that could provide the cash for more UK homes that can be made available to rent.

The suggestion is part of a wide-ranging Budget review aimed at influencing the Chancellor to ease the mortgage market. The submission also criticises current housing policies, including:

• Stamp duty holidays for first time buyers, which the CML claims creates a boom and bust market around deadline dates
• Paying housing benefits direct to claimants may damage landlord cash flows and lead to unnecessary mortgage arrears and repossessions
• Making better use of housing stock as, the CML states, most of the homes available over the next 20 years have already been built

The CML has told the Chancellor that given the vulnerabilities and uncertainties, it is important to make sure that all avenues, for strengthening and diversifying funding structures, have been explored.

The CML have also noted that the government continues to explore the obstacles to greater institutional investment in the supply of private rental property, but, strangely, the further scope for promoting domestic institutional investor interest in mortgage assets seems to be a neglected area of policy.

The Budget report also points out that UK banks and building societies rely heavily on raising funds from wholesale markets which are currently challenged by the Eurozone debt problems.

“Funding costs remain higher than a year ago, and the UK remains vulnerable to future eurozone developments. Given that current market conditions are somewhat fragile, it is very important that other government policies do not undermine housing market sentiment more generally. We believe that there are a few areas where policies are not as well aligned as they could be.” says the CML.

The CML’s calls echo the sentiment of many existing UK landlords who have had to search for a variety of additional landlord services such as insurance, tenant referencing and tenant eviction services from private sector specialist suppliers, in order to remain in a profitable situation.

With institutional investment into the UK private rented sector (PRS) specialist products and services for landlords will be enhanced for the corporate market and derivatives would be more affordable and even more readily available.

Mortgage approvals, residential property sales and first time buyer numbers increase

Is the UK property market making a comeback?

January figures from a variety of trusted and respected sources offer a major boost for the UK property market as mortgage approvals, first time buyer numbers and residential property sales all increased during January.

Data gathered from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), British Bankers’ Association (BBA), National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is viewed as a major boost to the UK property market.

UK property buyers have been taking advantage of the two-year stamp duty exemption due to end in March 2012, with the number of First-Time Buyers (FTB’s) registering with estate agents also being the highest since May 2011.

The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) say that, 38,092 applications were approved in January, 34% up on the same time last year, and the highest figure seen in two years.

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) figures show that 23% of overall property sales in January were made to First-Time Buyers, a rise from 21% in December, marking the third consecutive monthly increase.

Mortgage lenders have claimed that one of the driving forces behind the increase in activity has been the imminent end of the two-year stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reported that the £10.5 Billion (GBP) loaned in the form of mortgages during January 2012 was the sixth month in a row that the year-on-year figure has risen, and overall mortgage lending in January was up 10% on a year ago.

Despite general consumer caution around borrowing, first-time buyers have flocked to get on the property ladder, showing stamp duty was a major deterrant.

NAEA President, Wendy Evans-Scott, said: “The figures suggest that stamp duty is a key factor for those on tight budgets who are considering a property investment”.

Overall residential sales across the UK property market increased from 5% per branch in December to 6% in January.

The number of residential properties sold in the UK was 12,000 up on January 2011 and also at its highest level for four years.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) figures showed that a total of 64,000 property transactions went through during January, up on the 52,000 deals in January 2011 and the best start to a year since 2008’s tally of 79,000.

David Dooks, BBA statistics director, said: “January saw the high street banks approve more mortgages for house purchase than of late, despite low household confidence, as some people try to complete transactions before the stamp duty holiday ends in March.”

All in all, this is great news for the UK property market and a warning sign to property investors that they are no longer the only people buying property.

275,000 new tenants flooded the UK Private Rental Sector in 2011 – a 24% increase on the previous year.

275,000 new tenants flooded the UK Private Rented Sector in 2011

Latest Government Figures Confirm What savvy UK Property Investors & Landlords already knew

Latest Government figures confirm the steady decline of UK Home ownership and the social rented sector, (Council Houses), together with the indisputable rise of the Private Rented Sector (PRS) following the credit crunch.

The figures confirm what property investors who have been expanding their rental property portfolios already know, Buy-To-Let in the UK is BOOMING!

The new 2010-2011 English Housing Survey shows that in that period;

  • 66% of households (14.5 Million) were owner occupiers, down 1% from the previous year, continuing the downward trend observed since 2007.
  • The social rented sector last year accounted for 17.5% (3.8 Million households)
  • The private rented sector accounted for 16.5% (3.6 Million households).
  • Thirty years ago, there were over 3 Million more tenants in the social housing sector than in the private rented sector.

Now the gap is just 200,000.

Last year, a total of 394,000 new households were formed in England

  • 68% were private tenants forming 268,000 of the new households
  • 14% were owner occupiers (55,000 households)
  • 18% were social renters (71,000 households).

One key difference is that couples with no dependent children were the most common type of household in 2010-11 with 35% in the owner occupied and 43% in the private rental sector.

However, the most common type of household in the social rented sector was a single person aged 60 or over (24%).

17% of tenants in the social sector, were lone parents with dependent children, compared to 12% of tenants in the private rented sector with the same status. The figures compared to just 3% of owner occupiers.

In 2011, private sector rent was around twice that of social rents (an average weekly £160 compared to £79).
In the same period, 63% of social renters and 25% or private tenants received Local Housing Allowance (LHA) or Housing Benefit.

Another key difference is in length of tenure: 54% of private tenants had been in their home for under two years, whilst 59% of owner occupiers and 43% of social tenants had been in their home for ten years or longer.

Chief Executive of Countrywide, Grenville Turner, said of the survey: “Successive governments have widely encouraged home ownership but the impact of the recession has led to a structural change in the property market. The impact of this has caused an additional 275,000 new tenants to flood the private rental sector in 2011 – a 24% increase on the previous year. Current demand levels indicate that there will soon be more people in the private rental sector than social housing, which will only add to the already saturated demand and supply imbalance in the market.”

BTL landlords can cash in on the current rental property boom by utilising the wide range of landlord and letting agent services offered by Legal4Landlords.com to ensure thorough tenant vetting and cashflow, including Tenant Referencing, Landlord Insurance, Rent Guarantee Insurance as well as Debt / Rent Recovery and Eviction services.The full report contains information about overcrowding, occupancy patterns, energy use and decent homes and can be found at the link below.

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/corporate/statistics/ehs201011headlinereport

BTL mortgage arrears feared by UK landlords as tenant rent arrears increase

PRS Rent Arrears Set To Rise Again in 2012

Rent Arrears are set to rise in the UK Private Rented Sector, (PRS), during 2012 as more landlords face dealing with tenants who cannot afford the rental payments on their residential property.

The UK media reported at the end of last year that the number of court orders to evict tenants had risen by 11% during 2011.

In fact, in the last quarter of 2011:
• 78,970 tenants had rent arrears, with 11,400 more tenants over 8 weeks in arrears than in the same period of 2010, a rise of 18%.
• 24,966 tenants were in the process of dealing with eviction notices, an increase of 11% (22,558 in 2010).

A growing number of tenants face deepening financial difficulties, with many tenants jobs and prospects affected by the UK’s economic malaise and with the implementation of the Government’s Welfare Reforms, the number of tenants facing severe arrears and eviction is set to rise further.

The growing level of tenant’s rent arrears has yet to filter through into Buy-To-Let mortgage payment problems for landlords, but this could change in 2012.

In the last quarter of 2011, the number of Buy-To-Let mortgages more than 3 months in arrears fell by 7% compared to the previous quarter, representing an annual decline of 17%.

However, at 26,300, there are still more than five times as many Buy-To-Let mortgages in severe arrears compared with the same quarter of 2006.

Record low, 0.5% Bank of England (BoE) interest rates have kept monthly payments low for those with BTL mortgages tracking the base rate, but there has also been a change in the behaviour of UK landlords. With a healthy rental income becoming the most important component of a property investor’s annual return. Rental income that is sufficient to not only cover the landlord’s mortgage but also provide the landlord with some cashflow.

Landlords are becoming less tolerant of tenants payment problems, and many are seeking eviction as soon as the tenant’s rent arrears reach 8 weeks, using court orders to replace tenants quickly in expectation of finding a financially sound substitute.
UK landlords anticipate that in 2012 due to a growing number of factors, both overall rent arrears and severe rent arrears will rise, leading to increased tenant evictions, hampering the landlords ability to meet their monthly mortgage costs.

This situation that could lead to many disgruntled landlords leaving the Private Rented Sector and a huge increase in Buy-To-Let repossessions.

Legal 4 Landlords offer UK landlords a number of solutions to help them manage their rental property business better.

As well as being the fastest growing UK eviction specialists, Legal 4 Landlords offer a wide range of landlord services including specialist insurance for landlords and Rent Guarantee Insurance.

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