Thursday, August 27, 2015

The 'Mixed Bag' Bingham Property market

Despite the UK economy heading in the right direction with record low mortgage rates and unemployment  figures dropping,  the rate of property prices rising in Bingham have tempered since the start of the year. 

This slow but sure downward trend in the rate of growth has been in evidence since mid-2014.  Property value increases continue to outpace the growth in salaries, however the gap is closing, helped by a lift in salaries over the last 6 months.  Property values in the East Midlands region as a whole are 2.9% higher than a year ago.  Compare this to the neighbouring regions of the West Midlands at 3.5% higher and Yorkshire at 1.1%, the majority of the country continue to see annual house price gains - the exception being Wales which recorded a slight  decline of -0.6%.

Even with the tempering in house price inflation, it does not necessarily change my outlook that property prices are likely to be firmer over the second half of 2015 amid heightening activity in the Bingham property market.  As stated in a previous article, there is a current shortage of properties on the market, restricting supply, which in turn will provide stability and support to Bingham property prices. Therefore, my overall opinion is that Bingham property prices will rise by 5% over 2015 and roughly the same in 2016.

Property investment is a long term business.  Buying the right sort of property is vital. I have recently been speaking with a number of Bingham landlords about the importance of a balanced portfolio, when buying and renting out property. The balance between buying properties that offer good monthly returns (high yields) but quite often offer poor capital growth (i.e. they don't increase in value that much over the years compared with the average) verses properties that do go up in value quicker but often offer a lower yield. 

So, what type of properties have performed best over the last few years in Bingham, especially in terms of their capital growth?
When comparing  what the average price of detached, semi detached, terraced and flats were selling for back at the start of the Millennium to the present.  The results are quite remarkably different, as the different types of property have performed poles apart over the last 15 years:
·         Detached Houses in 2000 were selling on average for £114,738 and so far in 2015, they have been selling on average in Bingham for £279,625 a rise of 144%
·         Semi -Detached Houses in 2000 were selling on average for £81,217 and so far in 2015, they have been selling on average in Bingham for £154,238 a rise of 90%
·         Terraced Houses in 2000 were selling on average for £52,719 and so far in 2015, they have been selling on average in Bingham for £142,363 a rise of 170%
·         Flats and Apartments in 2000 were selling on average for £51,000 and so far in 2015, they have been selling on average in Bingham for £118,000 a rise of 131%

Moving forward, what should new and existing buy to let landlords do with this information?  Well, the questions I seem to be asked on an almost daily basis by landlords are:

·         “Should I sell my property in Bingham?”
·         “Is the time right to buy another buy to let property in Bingham and if not Bingham, where?”
·         “Are there any property bargains out there in Bingham to be had?”

Many other Bingham landlords, who are with both us and other Bingham letting agents, like to pop in for a coffee,  pick up the phone or email us to  discuss the Bingham property market, how Bingham compares with its closest rivals (Nottingham, West Bridgford and Grantham), and hopefully answer the three questions above.  I don’t bite, I don’t do hard sell, I will just give you my honest and straight talking opinion and look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bingham Landlord’s mortgages top £23 million!

The Brits can’t stop talking about property. The hot topic of discussion at the posh dinner parties of Orston, Scarrington and Car Colston’s movers and shakers is the subject of the Bingham Property market, but in particular, buy to let. 

These people are buying up buy to let properties quicker than an ace Monopoly player .. or so it would seem if you read the Sunday papers. So is the buy to let market a sure fire way to make money?  Is it something everyone should be jumping into? The answer is Yes and No to all those questions!

A landlord only has to flick through Rightmove or Zoopla, pick any property at random and agree a price. Then, find a modest deposit of 25% (often by remortgaging their own home) which for an average Bingham terraced house, would mean finding £35,590 for the deposit (as the average Bingham terraced house is currently worth £142,363) and borrow the rest with a low interest rate buy to let mortgage. Finally, the landlord would rent out the property in a matter of hours for top dollar and live happily ever after, with the rent then covering the mortgage payments, with loads of money to spare and come retirement have a portfolio of property that would have quadrupled in value in fifteen years. Sounds wonderful – doesn’t it? Or does it???

Let us not forgot that the half of one per cent Bank of England base rate is artificially low. The international money markets can be fickle and if interest rates do rise quicker and higher than expected because of some unforeseen global economic situation, that monthly profit will soon turn into a loss as the mortgage will be more than the rent. Even though tenants are staying longer in their rental property, tenants still come and go and my guidance to landlords is they should allow for void periods, plus the maintenance costs of a rental property and of course, agents fees. All things that eat into that profit.

Interestingly, by my calculations, there are approximately 124 Bingham landlords owing in excess of £23 million in mortgages on those Bingham buy to let properties.  An impressive amount when you consider Bingham only has 0.012% of all the rental properties in the country. It really does come down to a number of important factors going forward to ensure you are water tight for the future. A lot of my existing landlords are fixing their mortgage rates. One told me that the Metro Bank are currently offering a 5 year fixed BTL remortgage rate at 3.79% for 5 years (based on a 75% loan). I don’t give financial advice, so you must speak with a qualified mortgage advisor.. but that sounds very fair!

However, one thing I do know is that buy to let is a long term investment, it’s a ten, fifteen, twenty year plan and property prices will go down as well as up. You wouldn’t dream of investing in the stock market without advice, so why invest in the Bingham Property Market without advice? We give bespoke detailed advice to our landlords to enable them to spot trends in the Bingham Property Market before others, enabling them to buy better properties at better prices. 

For example, did you know that terraces are selling for around 27% lower than 12 months ago in Bingham yet flats are selling for 17% more (with every other type in between). This means we can advise on which properties will go up in value better (or lose less if property prices drop), we can also advise which have lower voids and which properties have higher maintenance issues.  

Information on the local property market and ability to process it is the strongest asset we can give you. As Lois Horowitz, the famous author says, ”Not having the information you need when you need it leaves you wanting. Not knowing where to look for that information leaves you powerless. In a society where information is king, none of us can afford that”. If you are considering investing in the Bingham property market, please give me a call for honest advice and opinion on potential rental returns - 01949 714101.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Family home in Bingham could make a sound BTL investment

This 3 bedroom family home on Carnarvon Place in Bingham, is on the market for sale with Frank Innes.  It has recently been refurbished throughout and has no chain, so it should be a fairly easy purchase as a buy to let investment.

Take a look at the photos below and arrange a viewing to extend your portfolio, or make a step closer to becoming a landlord today:

Friday, August 14, 2015

George Osborne – The Bingham landlord’s friend?

Well the last few weeks has been rather hectic as Bingham landlords, some who use us to manage their properties and other landlords who just read our Bingham Property Blog, have been sending me emails or picking the phone up to me about the new rules on buy to let taxation announced in the recent budget. 

George Osborne confirmed in the recent summer budget that the tax relief given to landlords on mortgage interest payments, on their buy to let (BTL) properties, would be reduced over the coming years for higher rate income tax payers. The Chancellor said the tax relief that private buy to let landlords (who pay the higher rate of income tax) would change in 2017 from the current 45%/40% and would steadily reduce over the following four years to the existing 20% by 2020.

With 10.6% of residential property in Bingham being privately rented (as there are 414 privately rented properties in the town), these changes are potentially something that will not only affect most Bingham landlords, but also the tenants and the wider property market as a whole. The choice of rental properties could drop, especially at the top end of the market which could push up rents.

However, Bingham landlords could protect themselves by reassigning one or more rental properties into a company structure (e.g., a Limited Company, Partnership or Sole Trader) and by doing so, the total tax paid is greatly reduced, because a company only pays tax on the profit. Nonetheless, before everyone goes off setting up companies for their BTL portfolios, it must also be noted, if a sole trader firm is started, stamp duty needs to be paid, yet if the owner is in business with a partner, they could enjoy some stamp duty relief.  

The biggest tax variation is Capital Gains Tax (CGT) where the tax bill will be much higher when you come to sell your portfolio. In essence, by going into business with your BTL properties, you will potentially have a modest stamp duty to pay when you start, but you will have a lot less monthly tax to pay, irrespective of the interest rate, but the CGT bill will be much higher when you come to sell ... as you can see, it is not a ‘get out of jail card’. Now it must be remembered, I am not a tax advisor, so you must take advice from a qualified person (more of that later).

Those planning to purchase a BTL property will have to factor these new rules into their calculations, and this could affect the offers they are willing to make. However, I am not that concerned, as the scaremonger reports fail to see the fact that two out of three BTL properties that have been bought since 2007 have been purchased without the support of BTL mortgage. With those two thirds of landlords paying cash for the purchase of their rental properties, that means two thirds of landlords will be totally unaffected by the changes.

So what of the future? The British love their bricks and mortar, it’s an asset that they can touch and feel and has a 70 year track record of capital growth that has out stripped inflation. Buy to let will still be attractive to Bingham investors and let me explain why. If you invested £30,000 in Bingham property in September 1987, today it would be worth £132,797. If you had invested the same £30,000 in to the London Stock Market (the FTSE 100 to be exact), it would be only be worth £85,879 today, whilst Inflation would have taken the original £30,000 and pushed it up to £62,345.

It’s true some central London landlords relying solely on the tax breaks rather than high yields may be forced out of the market, but even those landlords could seek to recoup any losses by increasing rents. However, those landlords may leave the market and this could constrict the availability of rented houses even more than it is already, increasing rents and thus pushing yields even higher for landlords and BTL investors still in the market... thus attracting new landlords into the market because of those higher yields.

The reality is, there is too much demand and not enough supply of homes for people to live in the town. Official figures show the population in Bingham is rising by 44 persons per year (i.e., demand rising), but only 20 properties are being built each year (i.e., supply is low). This sets up the Bingham (and UK) property market to continue to create strong and steady returns, irrespective of any tax loophole being there (or not as the case maybe).

If the demand is there, I am happy to organise an informal seminar with a local Bingham accountant one evening, whereby they can show you the options available and what might be best for you. Therefore, if you are interested in attending, please drop me an email and we will be able to get something organised very soon.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Potential 7% return on a £94,000 investment property in East Bridgford...

Don't overlook this 2 bed maisonette that Rex Godding have just listed - for sale at £94,000. It is in the lovely village of East Brigdford and has a garden, Gas CH and has been finished to a great standard. It would really suite a professional couple having plenty of space and being close to Nottingham and the A46.
Due to the size and location this would let for £550 pcm easily - giving a potential return of 7%!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Are ‘would be’ Bingham homeowners warming to the idea of renting?

I was reading a report the other day produced by the Halifax, about the UK property market and why more and more of the younger generation seem to be renting rather than buying. I find it fascinating that over the last ten years, the British obsession of buying a house almost as soon as you left school, and the fact that if you rented you were seen as a second class citizen, has turned on its head. It is now at the point where the hopes and dreams to own a nice home will be replaced by the ambition simply to live in one.

In the latter half of the 20th Century, you left school, got a job, bought a small house and kept buying and selling property, constantly upgrading until eventually they carried you out in a box. However, the perceived shame and stigma of renting is no longer the case, as it seems that the British are now beginning to accept a lifetime of renting.

This is a very important consideration for both Bingham homeowners and Bingham landlords as it will transform the way the Bingham property ladder looks in the future and I might ask whether or not it will exist at all for some people? The make up of households is one important factor, especially in the Bingham property market. The normal stereotypical married couple, two kids and dog of the 1970’s and 80’s has changed. More and more we have the need for larger houses where two families come together after divorces (+ kids) and need a property to house everyone through to an increase in the number of one person households.

Looking at the data for Bingham, of the 381 private rental properties in the Rushcliffe Borough Council area, 31.49% of those rented properties are one person households (120 properties). However, when we compare the number of one person Bingham households who have bought their own property with a mortgage (ie therefore they are still in work), of the 2,969 owner occupied households in the area, only 273 of those properties are a one person household (ie 9.19%).

Compared to a decade ago, this explosion in demand for decent high quality rental properties that one person households require has not been met with an increase in supply of such properties.  More and more I believe Bingham landlords need to consider this change in the make up of Bingham households, as I believe this could be an opportunity. As an aside, another interesting stat that raised an eyebrow was that 21.52% of those 381 rental properties (82 properties) are lone parents households as well. Again, another possible opportunity that Bingham landlords might want to consider in their future investment plans.

It is true that the Governments introduction in 2013 of the Help to Buy scheme, where first time buyers only needed a 5% deposit, changed the perception of peoples’ ability to buy without having to save ten’s of thousands of pounds for a deposit. However, it might surprise you, 95% mortgages were re-introduced within six months of the Credit Crunch in late 2009, so again it comes down to people’s own perception. Many youngsters think they won’t get a mortgage, so don’t even bother trying.

Coming back to the deposit, it’s still a fact that once you start renting it becomes that much harder to save for a deposit, regardless of the size. Interestingly, 7 out of 8 renters polled by the Halifax (86% to be exact) refuse to sacrifice the quality of accommodation they currently live in to reduce the amount of rent they pay in order to save for a deposit.  This is the crux and the real reason why people aren’t buying but renting... and why demand for renting will continue to grow in the future (ie good news for landlords).

Bingham tenants can upgrade the quality and size of the property they live in for a minimal rent increase. The average rent of a two bed property in Bingham is £556pcm, a three bed is £181pcm more at £737pcm, whilst the average four bed rent is £1,048pcm. If you had to make that jump when buying, the monthly mortgage payments would be stratospherically more than that!  Without any social pressure and better quality rental properties compared to a decade ago, we will become a nation of renters within the next generation, as the UK is becoming more like Europe, where renting is ‘the norm’. Who is going to supply all these properties to rent?

Landlords! Whether you are an existing landlord looking to grow your portfolio or looking to become a ‘first time landlord’, my thoughts are take advice from as many people as possible. However, as the majority of landlords buy their buy to let properties in the same town they live, you will need specific advice about Bingham itself. If you would like to discuss the Bingham property market please do not hesitate to give me a call on 01949 714101.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Nearly New Mallow Way, Bingham - Every Tenant's Dream Property

These modern 3 storey properties let like hot cakes!  The development is very popular with young families and professionals.  This family home has 3 double bedrooms, fab master suite with dressing area and en-suite, and a tidy, easy to maintain garden.

Have a look below, trust me it will not be around for long:

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