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Property Optimism Falls To Lowest Level For 18 Months

Property Optimism Falls To Lowest Level For 18 Months

Property Optimism Falls To Lowest Level For 18 Months

UK property price optimism among private rental sector landlords and residential property owners has dropped to the lowest recorded level for 18 months after buy to let mortgage lending in January was reported to be decidedly sluggish.

Traditionally, the UK property market generally experiences a slow start that incrementally builds to a summer buying frenzy before reaching another plateau and then a further period of increase followed by a gradual easing at the end of the year.

The latest Halifax House Price Index (HPI) found that UK property prices increased by just 2% in January 2015, reaching a new UK average property price of £193,130 (GBP).

Combined with figures released by the Department of Communities and Local Government, showing a slowdown in the number of new homes being built, and it is clear why landlord and residential property owners optimism has fallen.

60% of landlords and property owners, surveyed for the lender’s latest housing market confidence tracker report, expected the average property price to be significantly higher in 12 month’s time.

This means that house price optimism has fallen by 10 points from 62 to +52, the lowest level of consumer confidence since June 2013, when 52% of private rental sector landlords and residential property owners expected a large rise in property prices.

So what’s different?

  • In June 2013 UK inflation was at 2.9% compared to the current 0.3%
  • Employment was just over 30 Million compared to today’s figure of 30.9 Million
  • Mortgage lending levels were at £15 Billion (GBP) compared to the current £17 Billion (GBP).

Despite the fact that the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2014 increased by 2.6% and all members of the Bank of England’s (BoE) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to hold interest rates at 0.5%, the dip in confidence levels over UK property prices reflects public concern over the UK economy in general.

Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at the Halifax said that “More than half of consumers still believe UK property prices will be higher than they are now in a year’s time; however optimism has continued to weaken. Despite this we’re now seeing a return to the seasonal trend for house price activity”.

But he pointed out that of more concern are the figures from the Department of Communities and Local Government showing a slowdown in the number of new homes being built. ‘It’s widely acknowledged that the UK needs an increase in the amount of new housing being built,’ said McKinlay.

‘The Lloyds Banking Group Commission on Housing targeted 2 to 2.5 million new homes built by 2025 new homes to be built before 2025. If we are to address demand the increase in new homes coming onto the market needs to be sustainable,’ he explained.

Letting Agent Complaints On The Rise According To Property Redress Scheme

Letting Agent Complaints On The Rise According To Property Redress Scheme

Complaints About Lettings Agents  On The Rise
According To Property Redress Scheme

Due to the fact that more tenants and property owners are now aware of their consumer rights, especially the right to redress, there has been a month on month increase in the number of complaints being made against lettings agents, property management companies and estate agents.

The Property Redress Scheme, (PRS), is just one of three consumer redress schemes set up by the Government to provide fair and reasonable resolutions to disputes between the public and property agents.

From 1 October 2014 it became a legal requirement for all lettings agents, property managers and estate agents, as defined by legislation, in England to belong to one of the three Government approved redress schemes, which are:

The number of complaints raised with the PRS is increasing month on month. Of the complaints raised so far,

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UK Property Market Predictions For 2015

UK Property Market Predictions For 2015

What Will Happen To
The UK Property Market In 2015?

Happy New Year to all our readers, and welcome to the usual confusion over what the year ahead will bring for the UK property market.

Property prices are still predicted to rise in 2015, albeit at a much slower pace than in 2014, with economists and property experts providing forecasts ranging from 3% to 5% property price growth.

However, there are a few events that might affect the UK property market in 2015, namely the general election that will be held in May and the growing probability of Bank of England (BoE) raising the base interest rate.

Regarding the general election, it all could depend which party wins or what coalition combination is named to form the Government, after Labour recently confirmed that they would introduce a mansion tax if they come to power. Meaning that the changes to Stamp Duty that were announced in the 2014 Autumn budget would be negated if Labour win.

Less clear is what will happen with Bank of England interest rates. It had been predicted that a small rise, either by a quarter to half of a percent, was going to be introduced before the end of 2014, but that didn’t happen. Then it was going to be early 2015 but that is now also looking very unlikely.

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Bank Of England States That 2% Interest Rate Rise Would Put 480,000 Property Owners Into Mortgage Arrears

Bank Of England States That 2% Interest Rate Rise Would Put 480,000 Property Owners Into Mortgage Arrears

Bank Of England States That 2% Interest Rate Rise Would Put 480,000 Property Owners Into Mortgage Arrears

UK property buyers have an average mortgage debt of around £83,000 (GBP) plus many will have unsecured loans of up to £8,000 (GBP), however many are typically earning less than £43,000 (GBP) a year

The Bank of England has warned that up to half a million property owners could be at risk of falling into mortgage arrears once interest rates rise from their historic 0.5% low.

The BoE said the number of UK property owners expected to run into difficulties would increase by a third to approximately 480,000 in the event of a two-percentage-point increase in the cost of borrowing.

The BoE stressed the proportion of borrowers having trouble paying their mortgage loans should remain well below the record mortgage arrears levels of the early 1990’s, when the UK suffered its worst post-war property crash, provided that earnings incomes rose alongside interest rates.

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Is Your Property Business Stuck In A Rut?

Is Your Property Business Stuck In A Rut?

Is Your Future Being Held Back By
Property or Business Issues? 

Opportunity to share your property or business challenges and frustrations with a successful property and business guru in a very small intimate group setting where you can get tailored advice to help you with your own unique situation.

If you’re in London, Manchester or Northampton and you are struggling to make good money from this crazy property business (and by good – more than £50,000 a year), then come and join Matthew Moody at an exclusive “Leaders Briefing”

Matthew will be hosting exclusive meetings on:

  • Manchester on Wednesday 8th May
  • Northampton on Thursday 9th May
  • London on Friday 10th May 

CLICK HERE to book your place

If you are:

  • Operating a business right now that eats at your time and doesn’t give you room to enjoy life
  • Own a bunch of properties, maybe looking at deals but there is no congruity in what you do
  • Wanted to get a really good hold of what your business is doing and where its going
  • Have a lack of good quality consistent leads coming in
  • Wanted to get started in business but just not sure where to start or what to focus on
  • You figure there must be more to this crazy business and life than you’re getting right now 

If you identify with one of the above descriptions, then you need to be at Matthew Moody’s Leaders Briefing.

You’ll also have the opportunity to learn more about Matthew’s “Six Figure Business Circle Programme” which starts again later this month where he will be working with investors and property owners to accelerate their businesses to the next level. (whatever that may be for you).

Do yourself a favour this year and make your property business achieve the goals you always dreamt of, I did and the results have been great, I rediscovered my focus and got my property investments back on track, to the point where the deals are flowing straight to me.

If you are serious about building a property business and want some proven and very effective short-cuts but also some one-to-one support from Matthew, then do not delay but book your place right now.

Matthew will only be meeting with a limited number of investors per meeting so once the spaces have gone, the spaces have gone.

Spend 90 minutes with Matthew and see how you can transform your business using simple step-by-step strategies that work time and time again.

CLICK HERE to book your place

PS. Matthew has made room in his diary to come out and meet everybody that needs help with their property business so if you are struggling, don’t struggle alone.

Come and meet Matthew at one of the three locations and let him see how he can help you build your property business up to be a success!

CLICK HERE to book your place

BoE Base Interest Rate Set To Remain Low Until 2015

BoE Base Interest Rate Set To Remain Low Until 2015

Base Interest Rates Set To Remain At
Low Levels Until The End Of 2015

A new economic forecast by Ernst & Young’s (EY) independent forecasting group, the Item Club, reckons that Bank of England (BoE) interest rates will remain at their historic low until the end of 2015 as wages start to outstrip inflation.

The Bank of England’s base rate has an impact on mortgage loans on property and savings returns and with the base rate remaining at 0.5%, it expects house prices to rise by 7.4% this year and 7.2% next year.

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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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Owning Property Is Better For Financial Security

Owning Property Is Better For Financial Security

Mortgage Payments Vs Savings: Property Provides Better Returns Over Traditional Saving Methods

There was a report in the Daily Express last week that said property owners have saved more than others with traditional savings accounts and ISA’s.

The report reckoned that the Bank of England’s record low interest rate has saved property owners almost £20,000 (GBP) over the last six years in inflated mortgage payments. However traditional savers have lost out by almost the same amount, prompting calls for more help for savers and warnings that borrowing could create a new debt crisis.

Bank of England statistics reveal that the record low interest rate of 0.5%, reached 5 years ago today, has been a mixed blessing for the UK.

Interest rates started to tumble back in 2008 and by March 2009 the Bank of England’s base rate had reached 0.5%, promoting cheaper borrowing.

Property owners with a £100,000 Standard Variable Rate (SVR) mortgage could have saved almost £20,000 (GBP), because mortgage payments were around £3,300 (GBP) a year lower than they were in early 2008 before the financial crash ended the previous property boom.

Savers with £100,000 (GBP) in cash ISAs lost around £18,500 (GBP) over the same period.

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Interest Rate Rises Could Stall UK Rental Property Market

Interest Rate Rises Could Stall UK Rental Property Market

Interest Rate Rises Could Decimate
UK Rental Property Market

The recent changes in the dynamics of the UK property market are forcing a number of mortgage lenders and property investment specialists to advise clients how they can better protect themselves.

The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has claimed that the BoE has no immediate plans to increase the base interest rate, currently remaining at the 0.5% record low, however this situation could change within the next twelve months.

The UK property market remains in a fairly delicate state and affordable residential properties are being bought with amazing speed, as the UK economy continues to improve but property prices are predicted to rise considerably over the next few months.

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Flooding Spells Trouble For PRS Landlords

Flooding Spells Trouble For PRS Landlords

Post Flood Checks for PRS Landlords
Of Properties Affected By Flooding

The recent flooding observed in the South of England this winter have seen a large number of landlords and home owners properties damaged by flood water with around 6,500 properties damaged by flood water since December 2013.

This has meant that both landlords and tenants have had to put in a great deal of time and effort to put things right, with landlords spending a substantial amount of time contacting their landlord insurance providers to inform them of the situation and trying to arrange repairs.

However, there are some landlords who remain unsure of where to start when it comes to flood damage, so we take a look at what landlords can do if property has been affected by flooding:

  • Wear waterproof clothing, boots and a face mask
  • Get a qualified person to switch off electricity at mains – don’t touch sources of electricity while standing in water
  • Remove water using pump and generator – position generator outside as it produces carbon monoxide fumes which can kill
  • Only pump out water when flood levels outside house start to be lower than inside – this reduces the risk of structural damage
  • Houses can be cleaned and disinfected using ordinary household products
  • If drying property naturally, keep doors and windows open, if using dehumidifiers, close external doors and windows

Severe Flood Damage

Unfortunately, if you own property in the South of England there is a good chance they have been severely affected by flooding, especially if they are located near the Somerset levels or by the River Severn or River Thames.

The Environment Agency (EA) issued 16 severe flood warnings (meaning severe flooding with a danger to life) and 76 flood warnings (meaning immediate action should be taken) in January 2014 for the South West and South East of England.

If your rental properties have been affected by severe flooding then there is the likelihood that the tenants will have already been evacuated.

UK PRS landlords may find that they have to foot the bill to re-house tenants while their property is unfit to live in, and even after the flood waters have receded and it could still take months for damage to be repaired.

It is important for landlords to keep in constant contact with their landlord insurance provider and their tenants in order to make sure the restoration process runs as smoothly as possible.

Traditional brick or concrete walls will generally dry out well so long as they are clear for ventilation.

Wall cavities need to be inspected by an expert to ensure walls are secure and any damaged wall-cavity insulation will also need to be removed.

Internal walls, damaged plaster, plasterboard and wallpaper will have to go. Holes might also need to be drilled through plasterboards or dry linings to drain trapped water and aid ventilation, and timber partitions may rot if not dried properly and property owners are advised not to redecorate for at least three months after walls have dried and repairs have been done.

Modern wiring can withstand a short period of flooding, but if a property has been flooded for more than a few hours, it will probably need rewiring – downstairs at least. An electrician will also need to give junction boxes, socket outlets, light switches and ceiling connections a thorough check to ensure there is no water trapped inside them.

Moderate Flood Damage

Properties have been affected across the whole of the UK, even though properties worst affected by flooding are mainly in the South West and South East of England. Many of these properties are still habitable, however there are a number of other issues that landlords have to deal with.

Flooding can destroy the fabric and structure of property if left and it’s hard to be sure how solid a property’s foundations are after flooding, as some problems may take years to materialise.

There can be subsidence – which causes foundations to “sink”, and heave – which forces foundations upwards. Subsidence occurs when the ground under a building “shrinks” through lack of water, whereas heave occurs when the ground expands because of excess water. There is also the possibility of sinkholes and signs to watch out for are cracks and general movement in the building, but both can often remain undetected for some time.

Other indicators of structural damage include buckling of walls, bulging or dislodged sections of property and new cracks above windows or doors

Tenants will often get in contact immediately if they feel that their property is affected by flood water, and landlords should try to get as much information as possible about the amount of damaged caused.

Small amounts of water in rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms are less disastrous than in carpeted areas such as bedrooms or living rooms, and if it is safe to do so you can advise your tenants on how to contain flood water.

Landlords should keep in regular contact with tenants in the worst hit areas to monitor the situation and make preparations to re-home them if necessary.

Minimal Flood Damage

Rental properties built on high ground, away from lakes and rivers, will probably be unaffected by flooding. However, with the high winds and increased rainfall over the past few months there is still a danger of damage, so landlords need to make sure that basic checks are carried out to assess the damage when they are able to.

Roof tiles, chimney stacks, gutters soffits, and window frames can be adversely affected by strong winds and continuous heavy rainfall. If left in unchecked these minor issues can become major problems in the future.

Tenants may have noticed small leaks in garages and lofts during heavy rainfall, which should be treated as warning signs.

Unfortunately, nearly every landlord across the UK right now needs to have some sort of plan in place in case their properties are affected by flooding; otherwise they could find themselves in a difficult situation.

The Environment Agency website is updated on a regular basis with information concerning flood warnings and what to do in an emergency.

The new “Flood Re” proposals intended to replace the current statutes of the Water Bill will leave landlords high and dry as insurance companies withdraw insurance for rental properties in areas prone to flooding.

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