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New research by LloydsTSB group has revealed over 200 roads in the UK with properties valued over £1 Million (GBP)

High value properties can be found in almost every region in England and locally they are most often known as Millionaire’s rows.

However, despite the UK still in the process of recovering from a double dip recession, there are over 200 roads in Britain where properties command £1 Million+ (GBP) asking prices.

The country’s most expensive streets are within the London boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea and Egerton Crescent in

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PRS Rents have fallen back for the first time since March across most of UK, says LSL

PRS Rent falls for first time in 8 months

PRS Rent falls for first time in 8 months

Private Rented Sector (PRS) Rents fell in November 2012 for the first time in eight months, but still remain 3.4% higher than in November 2011.

The latest LSL rental survey, which measures PRS asking price rents, says that the average rent was £741 (GBP) last month.

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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.”

Despite the economic downturn still affecting the country’s economy during 2011, private rental sector landlords witnessed increasing rental yields in all parts of the UK.

Monthly Buy To Let property rents increased by 4.8% in 2011, giving property investors a rental yield of 6.1%.

The average monthly private rented sector (PRS) residential property rent climbed up from £682 in 2010 to £716 in 2011.

Figures from BM Solutions (part of Lloyds Banking Group), show that in East Anglia residential property rents increased by 8%.

In the North of England rents were up by 6.9% but property rents in Greater London saw slower growth and only increased by 5.6%, although the average residential property rent in London ended the year 69% higher than the national average at £1,212 per calendar month.

The areas with the lowest average PRS residential property rents in the UK during 2011 were:

  • Wales – £474
  • The North – £488
  • Yorkshire & Humber – £488
The professional letting agent - Castledene Property Management Ltd

Good Agents Don't Happen By Accident

It is widely thought that anyone with an interest in property and business can set up a property management company or a lettings agency. But, are there pitfalls in the process for new letting agents?

Over the last few years, the UK media have run countless news stories about letting agents failing their landlord clients and closing down, taking hundreds of thousands of pounds of client funds with them.

Many landlord investors seem to think that all lettings agents in the UK are equal, but is this the case? Does it take a certain kind of person to make a property lettings business successful?

A Good Letting Agent needs to be:

  • A Good communicator – Must be able to speak to investors and landlords as well as tenants
  • Customer orientated –both landlords AND tenants are your customers, so you need to find a happy balance
  • Analytical –Especially if you are dealing with the rents
  • Systematic – Capable of following systems and dealing with problems
  • Sales driven – you need to sell your services to prospective landlords and tenants to generate business.

Unless the business is in the fortunate position of being able to employ staff, with the relevant skill sets needed, from day one, then you as the business owner will need to be master of all of the above skills, or at least be competent, otherwise you will lose business as a result of your failings.

When starting any type of new business, you need to know what the main aims and objectives of the venture are and what niche will it operate in. If you don’t, how can you expect to be able to push the business forward and in the right direction?

There are already thousands of UK letting agents managing Billions of pounds (GBP) worth of property out there, so what separates you from them? Why should landlords and property investors choose your letting agency instead of anyone else’s? Are you a HMO specialist, do you manage top end properties? Do you deal with LHA tenants?

New letting agents often spring up and disappear again within 6-12 months because the business owners did not know enough about the local property market, the lettings industry in general, the niche market of the area they were operating in or even the demographic of their client base, in other words they did not have enough forethought to be able to survive and profit.

If information and responsibility is not handled correctly, it can be a very steep and expensive learning curve for a new property lettings business, leading to a host of financial and legal issues that interfere with your client’s expectations and obligations. Such matters could also force the closure of the business, costing your landlord clients dearly.

Landlords with an ill advised or ill equipped letting agency, who have been forced to close because they failed to move with the times, can find themselves with no tenancy agreements, (AST), no gas certificates (CP12), no rental income, no deposit and no fallback plan.

In fact, in some cases reported by the media, some failing letting agents had stopped paying rents to Landlord clients several months prior to closing, meaning that the landlords ended up falling foul of the law and many thousands of pounds out of pocket.

To be successful in property lettings, as with any business, you have to have knowledge and experience, not only the practical side of property management but also on the legal side, and keeping up with the latest government legislation, including all welfare reform changes and their impact on landlord clients, can be a minefield at times, but knowledge is power and only the strongest survive.

In business, failure to plan is planning to fail and monetising your skills and knowledge is not a crime. Knowledge and experience are the keys to success so business owners need to realise where their knowledge is lacking and plug the gaps with employees or other members of a support network, such as solicitors, insurance brokers, mortgage advisor, builders etc. Letting agents can also get help is by joining the National Approves Letting Scheme (NALS) and/or the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

If you have property for rent anywhere in the North of England or Wales contact Castledene Property Management Head Office on 0191 527 4000 who will be more than happy to help!

A new study by UK mortgage lender Halifax reckons that optimism is picking up among property investors, with more investors predicting a boost in the fortunes of UK residential property market than those predicting a dramatic fall in UK property values.

Just under 30% of those surveyed by the Halifax feel that UK property prices will increase in the next 12 months, up from nearly 28% from October 2011.

22% say UK property prices will decline, a fall of 8% on October 2011’s figures.

However, most people are predicting a year of stability in the UK housing market rather than any major changes, with 66% not expecting to see a rise or fall in property prices of more than 5%.

With the real possibility of an influx of overseas investors as the Olympics draw closer, optimism is high with many hoping that the hosting of the games in the nation’s capital will give the UK property market a much needed boost. Meanwhile, people in the North East are the least hopeful of price rises.

Halifax Chief Housing Economist, Martin Ellis, said: “The modest improvement in consumer confidence in the outlook for house prices reflects the resilience of the UK housing market over recent months in the face of a weak economic recovery and the deterioration in the outlook for both the UK and global economies.”

The UK residential property market currently puts house buyers firmly in the driving seat, according to almost 60% of those moving home.

Figures from property website Rightmove, show that 6 in 10 of those planning to move home feel that property buyers are in a far more commanding position over property vendors.

Rightmove’s survey suggests that 30% of the country feels that UK property prices will decline in the coming 12 months and just 25% believe property prices will be higher by February 2013.

With the Olympic Games set to be hosted in London this summer, UK capital residents appear to be less negative about the housing market’s future prospects, with 1 in 3 London residents predicting that property prices in the nation’s capital will be higher than they currently are this time next year.

Director of Rightmove Miles Shipside, said: “Our survey shows that sellers in the South should have more reason to be confident than those in the North, though even within regions there is evidence of variations in confidence in local micro-markets.”

Property Valuations In UK on the Increase

UK Residential Property Values Increase Across the UK

According to Nationwide 9 out of 13 regions in the UK recorded residential property price rises in 2011, with London the best-performing region (+5.4%) and Northern Ireland the worst-performing region (-8.9%).

Property prices in Scotland are down 0.8% on the year, having remained steady in the final quarter of 2011, in Wales prices ended 2011 up 1.5% despite having lost 0.9% in the final three months.

For the UK as a whole, the typical value of home stood at £164,785 in December, following a 0.3% increase during Q4 which helped produce an annual price rise of 1.1%.

However, at 5.2, the average house price to earnings ratio remains above the long-term average of around four, although down from a peak of 6.4 in 2007.

Due to continued property price falls, Northern Ireland is now the cheapest UK region in terms of average prices, and also the most affordable relative to average earnings.

The North remains the most affordable English region, while annual price growth of 5.4% has consolidated London’s position as the least affordable region, with a house price to earnings ratio of 7.4.

In 2012 the market is likely to be dominated by fears over rising unemployment, the squeeze on household incomes and the Eurozone finance crisis.

Forecasts for 2012 are for property values to remain stagnant at best.

Shortage of suitable property supply should continue to underpin the market, although Halifax recently reported that there were only 187,000 First-Time Buyers (FTB’s) in 2011 – the lowest annual total since the lenders’ records began in 1974.

The latest UK report from Rightmove has found property asking prices in the South are now more than double the property asking prices in the North, creating a record divide.

Home owners in the South are putting their homes on the market for £336,743, compared with £164,347 in the North, sparking thoughts of a “two-tier twist” that could stall more widespread growth in the UK property market.

The monthly index revealed an overall 2.8% increase in asking prices, a jump of £6,533 from mid September to reach £239,672 in mid October.

The whopping £170,000 difference in property prices is the largest (in monetary terms) since Rightmove’s records began in 2002.

The property price rise was driven by the South, including London, the South East, the South West and East Anglia, which experienced a 4.7% overall upsurge in property values.

Meanwhile, the North (including Wales), the West Midlands, East Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside, the North West and the North of England, saw property values go the other way and prices fell back by 0.7% in the space of a month to levels similar to May 2005.

There Will Never Be A Better Time To Invest In Property

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