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UK landlords are societies new favourite target for criticism

UK landlords are societies new favourite target for criticism

Everyone Appears To Be Taking A Pop At Landlords

I don’t think I am becoming paranoid but have you noticed that public attitude towards landlords has changed over the last couple of years?
I know opinion can be like the property cycle and generally rolls around, but have you spotted a few subtle and not so subtle digs being aimed at our profession?

Targeting the private rental sector and the landlords who provide tenants with much needed housing used to be the reserve of newspapers such as the Daily Mail, but now the derision is much more widespread.

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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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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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TV Show 'Benefits Street' Stigmatising The LHA MarketTV Show ‘Benefits Street’ Stigmatising
The LHA Market

 Channel 4’s highly controversial ‘Benefits Street’ is stigmatising the LHA market and misrepresenting tenants according to Aki Ellahi, Director of Dssmove.co.uk and his statement has sparked a huge debate on PIN Academy, a private members forum. 

The heated debate also covers the fallout after Fergus Wilson, the Kent-based professional landlord, recently announced that he will no longer be accept benefit tenants due to increasing rent arrears. 

Many property investors feel that the Channel 4 docu-soap and the media rhetoric surrounding Mr Wilson’s decision are giving a heavily distorted impression of the UK’s LHA market, much to the chagrin of other property professionals. 

Aki Ellahi has stated that:

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Will Your Property Be Affected By Fracking?

Will Your Property Be Affected By Fracking?

Fracking Concerns Ignored By Local Authorities And Government

There is a great deal of speculation and controversy surrounding the latest methods for extracting natural gas from under our feet, a process known as “Fracking” where a toxic mixture of chemicals are pumped into well heads to release gases trapped in the underlying bedrock.

The process is designed to fracture the rock strata, allowing gas to escape and rise to the surface and the controversial method is already being exploited widely in some states in the USA, with alarming results. Minor earth tremors are being caused and ground water is becoming saturated with methane and other flammable gases and some residents living near the remote drilling sites have to rely on bottled supplies to be able to drink and water cattle, however the companies controlling the drilling are happy to pay people off and ignore what they are being told.

Here in the UK, gas companies have identified potential sites that they reckon hold enough natural gas reserves to last for the next 30-40 years, unfortunately these areas are also heavily populated, not like in the USA.

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UK Property Growth Cycle Has Already Started

Cash In On The UK Property Boom!

Cash In On The UK Property Boom!

Unless you are a professional property investor, you may not know that the next property growth cycle has already started and the media would have us believe that the UK will see another property boom!

The recent Budget put the property market back in the spotlight, while better mortgage deals have already been delivered by the Funding for Lending scheme (FLS). 

So now, thanks to the easing of the tough mortgage restrictions, UK residential property may be set for a historic run.

For the first time since the previous 2007 peak of the property market, millions of first-time buyers and owner occupiers will have the chance to purchase property without the ultra tough lending requirements and large deposits that have discouraged property purchasers for the last 5 years.

Cash In On The UK Property Boom!

Cash In On The UK Property Boom!

And according to the latest media reports, they’re likely to do that in droves.

So what does that mean for you as a property investor?

Please click here for the details.

  • UK property prices pushed up due to market activity?
  • Government intervention inflating a national property price bubble?
  • Difficulty in buying a reasonable priced residential property?
  • Discounts disappearing? (This is a big one…)
  • The beginning of the end?

So the BIG question is…

Is now the time to purchase as many cheap discounted properties as you can, before it’s too late?

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Interest Only Mortgages Are A Ticking Time Bomb

Interest Only Mortgages Are A Ticking Time Bomb

Over 1 million landlords and homeowners with interest only mortgages could face financial difficulties when reach the end of their tenure and they have to pay them off, according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The FCA estimates that around half of the 2.6 million or so UK property owners with interest only mortgages, which represents about a third of all UK mortgage holders, will not have savings or other funds to cover the final bill.

With these mortgage holders only paying enough to cover the monthly mortgage interest on the amount borrowed, the average shortfall is £71,000 (GBP) per person, according to FCA research.

The FCA, the successor of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) as the sector’s watchdog, commissioned research to give a clear indication of what borrowers face when mortgages mature between now and the year 2041.

Market research firm GfK NOP questioned 1,103 interest only mortgage borrowers to consider how prepared they were to repay their loans.

The study found that 37% of borrowers with an interest only mortgage faced a shortfall in their plans to pay back the lump sum of the home loan, based on their own calculations.

But the FCA believes that many people have seriously underestimated the severity of the financial problem and believe the true percentage to be around 48% of all residential property owners with interest only mortgages will face a shortfall.

The vast majority of interest only mortgages were taken out by property investors and residential homebuyers before the financial crash, according to Martin Wheatley, Chief Executive of the FCA, who stated: “It’s just that people were optimistic about the future. My advice to borrowers is not to bury their head in the sand. This report is a call to action.”

The interest-only mortgage time bomb is a serious problem for property investors without an exit strategy and potentially terrifying for homeowners who have no means in place to repay the capital of the original loan.

The media have already stirred up a fervour of anguish with overemphasised coverage on the negative aspects of taking out an interest only mortgage, almost as if they are acting in the interests of the mainstream mortgage lenders attempting to get property owners to switch to repayment mortgages immediately.

The media coverage suggests that interest-only mortgages are a disaster waiting to happen for property investors and residential homeowners with at least 60,000 borrowers facing capital repayments by 2020 without any means of being able to pay back the loan and another 260,000 facing the same financial crunch over the next 30 years.

Graham Lock of House Network said that the FCA is guilty of scaremongering, stating: “People use interest-only mortgages to get on the ladder and they can choose to switch to a repayment option at any time once it becomes affordable. Wage inflation will take care of most of this added with the fact that most of us will work until we’re 70 means there is plenty of time to switch to repayment in the future.”

Executive Director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), Peter Williams, added: “By confirming that nine in every ten interest-only (IO) mortgage borrowers have a repayment strategy in place, the FCA’s research should put an end to misguided reports of a mis-selling scandal when the market boomed between 2002 and 2007. Having said that, as both the Experian report for the FCA and the GfK report shows, there are issues for the industry to deal with.”

Help To Buy Could Boost UK Property Market

Help To Buy Could Boost UK Property Market

The Help To Buy mortgage indemnity scheme proposed by Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, in the budget announcement made last week is expected to raise both property transaction levels and property prices.

The Help To Buy mortgage indemnity scheme which kicks in next January is designed to generate £3.5 Billion (GBP) of new lending, could be administered by ‘bad banks’ Northern Rock Asset Management and Bradford & Bingley, now in the umbrella of UK Asset Resolution.

Lenders would have to pay to participate in the scheme, but the price has not yet been set.

Estate agents expect Help to Buy to enable people to buy both existing properties and new build homes with 95% mortgages.

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UK Is A Buyers Market As Property Values Increase

UK Is A Buyers Market As Property Values Increase

UK property investors have known that the day would come when the rest of the country’s population would cotton on to the fact that there is money to be made from property.

With newspapers and television media reporting that UK property values are experiencing the strongest annual growth for nearly two years, there is little doubt that the UK public will be able to ignore the facts for very long.

The media reports are based on data from the UK Land Registry, showing the average cost of residential property in England and Wales increased by as much as 1.1% to £162,561 in September 2012, the biggest year-on-year rise since November 2010

The majority of the public have been made aware of the upward trend in house values and now believe that the UK housing market will favour buyers rather than sellers, over the next year.

The thoughts of the general UK public are also backed by new research from the Halifax, however, only 9% of people feel truly positive about buying and selling property in the near future, suggesting the UK market may still remain quiet for some time yet.

56% of respondents think it will be a good time to buy property within the next year, and just 11% believe it is the right time to put one on the market.

Halifax said that the UK was gradually becoming more optimistic about property price rises, although most people still believe any price variation within 2013 will be relatively small, with two thirds expecting fluctuations of around 5%.

The national average property valuation has begun climbing gradually again since May 2012, after a year-on-year price drop was recorded in every month between January 2011 and April 2012

62% of people believe one of the biggest challenges remains finding the money for a deposit on property, and 30% said mortgage availability would still be a challenging obstacle.

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the number of empty UK properties still increasing

The Number of UK Empty Properties Continues To Rise

Despite campaigns from all quarters of the media and industry bodies, the number of empty homes in the UK increased significantly in 2011, new research has shown.

Data from the Communities and Local Government department, (CLG),the Office for National Statistics, (ONS), and Halifax’s own housing statistics database, the study revealed a 1.8% rise in empty residential dwellings.

According to the Halifax Empty Homes survey, which takes into account all private and public empty residential abodes, including those that have been vacant for under six months – leapt from the 650,127 recorded in April 2010 to 662,105 for the same period earlier this year.

Despite this trend, the study also revealed some more positive movement, with the amount of long-term empty private homes, those that have been without occupants for at least 6 months, dropping to the lowest levels since 2008.

These properties account for 44% of all empty residences, underlining the significance of the improvement.

It was shown that April 2011 that there were 292,313 examples of this kind of home, which represented a 1.1% decline on the 295,519 reported in the same four-week period 12 months earlier.

Stephen Noakes, Mortgage Director at Halifax,(a division of Bank of Scotland), said: “The findings show the considerable impact empty properties can have on the overall housing market, claiming it is therefore necessary for action to be taken to address the issue. Long-term empty homes account for about 1.6% of all private homes in England. And at a time when first-time buyers are still facing numerous obstacles to getting on the ladder, it is imperative we look further at the issue as an industry.”

The issue of empty homes that are fit for purpose remains a particular problem in a number of areas across the UK, where the proportion of void occupancy is double the national average. Even the UK’s Private Rented Sector is not unaffected. Landlords with properties requiring substantial improvements are lying empty due to the current lack of available finance.

UK property owners and landlords are reminded that they should have appropriate <a href=”http://www.legal4landlords.com/insurance-services/”>insurance</a>, in order to protect their property assets. However, that insurance may still be invalid if the property is unoccupied for a lengthy period of time (see the small print) and specialist insurance may be required.

<a href=”http://www.legal4landlords.com/”>Legal 4 Landlords</a> offer <a href=”http://www.legal4landlords.com/insurance-services/”>Un occupied BTL</a> insurance for Buy To Let Landlords with empty properties.

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