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National Housing Federation Reveals Most Unaffordable UK Areas To Rent Property

National Housing Federation Reveals Most Unaffordable UK Areas To Rent Property

National Housing Federation Reveals
Most Unaffordable UK Areas To Rent Property

Towns and cities such as Oxford and Brighton have overtaken many London borough’s as the most unaffordable places in the UK to rent, according to the National Housing Federation.

London boroughs may have the monopoly on the most expensive rents in the UK’s private rental sector (PRS), but when factored against average local earnings, UK towns and cities such as Oxford, Brighton and Bath are calculated to be more unaffordable than many London boroughs.

The most expensive area outside of London is the Three Rivers area in Hertfordshire, where the average PRS rent swallows up over 50% of the average income of residents in the area.

Other places such as Oxford, South Bucks and Brighton are now more unaffordable than London boroughs such as Greenwich and Lewisham, with renters spending over half their salary on rent before they’ve covered any other bills.

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Dramatic Fall In Number Of Empty UK Properties

Dramatic Fall In Number Of Empty UK Properties

UK Empty Property Numbers At All-Time Low

According to campaigning charity Empty Homes, there has been a dramatic fall in the number of empty residential properties in the UK.

The new research shows that the number of empty residential properties in the UK dropped by 75,000 during 2013, the largest-ever annual fall in numbers.

The substantial fall has reduced the total number of empty properties in the UK to 635,127, the lowest recorded level ever, according to campaigning charity Empty Homes.

The biggest falls in the number of empty properties were observed in the North West of England and London.

There was also a large fall in the number of long-term empty residential properties, with figures dropping by over 27,000 to a new record low of 232,600.

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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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HMO Secrets WorkshopThe HMO Secrets Workshop is presented by Matthew Moody, one of the leading authorities on HMO’s in the UK.

The HMO Secrets Workshop teaches property investors the 7-step system that allowed Matthew to become financially free by the age of 31 and to have managed over 500 units and taken over £16.5 Million (GBP) pounds worth of HMO’s in just 18 months.

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On The HMO Secrets Workshop investors will learn how to

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UK attracting Overseas Property Investors

UK attracting Overseas Property Investors

High Rental Yields Producing Property Profits

Chinese, Malaysian and Far East property investors are buying large swathes of investment properties in the UK as they are being drawn in by strong rental yields and weak economy as the price of Sterling (GBP) is overshadowed by the strong Yen.

This influx of Far Eastern property investors is driving the demand for new build investment properties in the UK’s major regional cities and their appetite for property profit is outpacing demand from Greek, Italian, German and other European property investors who are also keen to snap up property bargains.

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Government Welfare Reforms Stumble

Government Welfare Reforms Stumble

The UK Coalition Government plans to cap benefits will still be fully implemented despite the parliamentary defeat in the House of Lords on Monday this week.
A defeat that saw 26 Lib-Dem peers rebel against the Government’s wishes.

Although, the Government have admitted that whilst disappointed by the result, they still intend to push through the plans for welfare reform in full.

The plans have caused deep unease in the Lords and prompted a number of Church of England bishops to launch a bid for the reforms to be curbed, backed by a majority of 15.

Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, the Right Reverend John Packer introduced the amendment and following its success, said: “It cannot be right for the cap to be the same for a childless couple as for a couple with children. Child benefit is the most appropriate way to right this unfairness.”

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith led the Government’s call for all benefit payments limited to a maximum £26,000 a year per household, claiming that it will save approximately £600 Million (GBP) towards the UK’s multi Billion pound economic deficit.

Lord Paddy Ashdown joined 25 other Lib Dem peers voting for child benefit to be excluded from the cap calculations. The former party leader, previously a loyal supporter of the Government, said that as president of the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF, he was not prepared to back the Government’s plans in their current form, denouncing them as “completely unacceptable”.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has stated that he fully supports the Governments changes to the welfare benefit system, despite the rebellious divisions from within the Lib-Dem ranks.

A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokesman said: “There has to be a limit on the amount of money benefit claimants can receive. We think that limit is set at a fair rate of £26k – the equivalent to someone earning £35,000 before tax, a salary that many working families would be happy to receive.”

Around 67,000 families will lose £83 a week under the cap, which is due to be brought in from 2013 in England, Scotland and Wales.

It is expected that the welfare reforms will result in many families currently claiming housing benefit facing mounting financial pressures and even eviction from their homes, if they are unable to pay the rent.

If UK landlords do find themselves in the unenviable position of chasing bad debts or rent recovery, or if the worst happens, having to evict defaulting tenants then they should use the services of a reputable eviction specialist such as Legal 4 Landlords, to save effort, money, time and stress.

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Banks and building societies have made widespread changes to their UK mortgage rates in recent weeks, with a growing number of lenders raising rates on tracker loans as the escalating Eurozone debt crisis drives up the cost of funding these mortgages.

This week, Nationwide Building Society and Halifax – part of Lloyds Banking Group – became the latest high-street lenders to increase their tracker rates.

Halifax has upped the rates for tracker mortgages by as much as 0.30 percentage points, raising its two-year tracker from 3.04% to 3.34%.

It is available for loans up to 75% of a property’s value, with no fee.

Woolwich, Santander, Northern Rock, Accord & Barclays Wealth are among the other lenders to have raised their rates over the past month.

Not all mortgage rates are heading upwards.

At the same time as increasing several tracker rates, Nationwide Building Society cut the cost of some fixed-rate products – including its five-year fix, which was reduced from 3.69% to 3.59%.

Other mortgage lenders have eased their criteria and launched attractive products. On Wednesday, Barclays re-entered the 90% loan-to-value market, after it stopped offering these loans three years ago.

Coventry Building Society also launched a new range of fixed and capped rate products that come with no early redemption charges this week.

These are the current ‘best-buy’ mortgages deals available now.

Remortgages

While tracker rates have been going up, mortgage brokers say there are still a number of competitive deals available. Santander has a two-year tracker at 1.95% – Bank of England (BoE) base rate plus 1.45% – available up to 60% loan-to-value with a £1,995 fee. It comes with a free valuation and free legal work.

For those who want a longer-term tracker,

HSBC’s lifetime tracker at 2.49% – BoE base rate plus 1.99% – is a fabulous deal. It comes with no fees and no early repayment charges, which means borrowers can remortgage to a fixed-rate deal at any point during the mortgage term.

Fixed-rate deals remain cheap and have not seen any major rate movements. Leeds Building Society is still offering its 2year fix at 1.99%, available up to 75% loan-to-value (LTV), with a £1,999 fee.

Chelsea Building Society’s five-year fix at 3.29%, available up to 70% loan-to-value (LTV) with a £1,495 fee, is the market leading longer term fix.

First-time buyers: 90% deals

Barclays’ move to increase its maximum loan-to-value from 85 per cent to 90 per cent has provided first-time buyers with more options. According to Moneyfacts, the financial data provider, there are now 253 mortgages requiring only a 10% deposit, compared with 206 in October 2010 and just 101 in October 2009.

It is offering a three-year fix at 4.99% with no fee or a five-year deal at 5.49%, with a £499 fee. Its maximum loan size is £500,000.

Cambridge Building Society and Melton Mowbray Building Society are also offering five-year deals at 5.39%.

Large loans

Competition has increased in the large-loan market recently, with more high-street lenders offering these type of mortgages.

RBS Private Banking has a two-year tracker at 2.19% – BoE base rate plus 1.69% – available up to 50%loan-to-value, with a £999 fee.

NatWest has a two-year fixed-rate at 2.65%, available up to 60% loan-to-value, with a £999 fee.

Most wealthy borrowers will typically be better off opting for Barclays Wealth’s two-year tracker at 2.49%.”

Self-employed

Skipton Building Society has some of the most competitive deals for self-employed borrowers as it will consider retained profits in a limited company. It offers a two-year tracker at 1.98% – BoE base rate plus 1.48 percentage points – available up to 60% loan-to-value, with a £1,995 fee. It also has a two-year fix at 2.48%.

Read the Full FTSE article here

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