With Tamworth Annual Property Values 11.3% Higher, This is My 2018 Forecast

 

Looking at the newspapers between Christmas and New Year, it seemed that this year’s sport in the column inches was to predict the future of the British housing market. So to go along with that these are my thoughts on the Tamworth property market.

With the average 5-year fixed rate mortgage at 1.98% (down from 3.47% in 2014) and 2-year fixed rate at 1.47% (down from 2.37% in 2014), mortgage interest rates offered by lenders are at an all-time low (even with the slight increase on the Bank of England base rate a few months ago). Added to this, there has been a low unemployment rate of 3.5% in Tamworth, which has contributed to maintain a decent level demand for property in Tamworth in 2017 (interestingly – an impressive 1,229 Tamworth properties were sold in last 12 months), whilst finally, the number of properties for sale in the town has remained limited, thus providing support for Tamworth house prices, meaning …

Tamworth Property Values are 11.3% higher than a year ago

However, moving into 2018, there will be greater pressures on people’s incomes as inflation starts to eat into real wage packet growth, which will wield a snowballing strain on consumer confidence. Interestingly though, information from the website Rightmove suggested over a third of property it had on its books in October and November had their asking prices reduced, the highest percentage of asking price reductions in the same time frame, over five years. Still, a lot of that could have been house-sellers being overly optimistic with their initial pricing.

In terms of what will happen to Tamworth property values in the next 12 months, a lot will be contingent on the type of Brexit we have and the impact on the whole of the UK economy. A lot of people will talk about the Central London property market in the coming year, and if the banking and finance sectors are negatively affected with a poor Brexit deal, then the London market is likely to see more of an impact.

Nevertheless, the bottom line is Tamworth homeowners and Tamworth landlords should be aware of what happens in the rollercoaster housing market of Central London, but not panic if prices do drop suddenly there in 2018. Over the last 8 years, the Central London property market has been in a world of its own (Central London house prices have grown by 89.6% in those last 8 years, whilst in Tamworth, they have only risen by 35.5%). So we might see a heavy correction in the Capital, whilst more locally, something a little more subdued.

Hindsight is always better than foresight and predicting anything economic is all well and good when you know what is around the corner. At least we have the Brexit divorce settlement sorted and, as the UK economy and the UK housing market are intertwined, it all depends on how we deal as a Country with the Brexit issue. However, we have been through the global financial crisis reasonably intact … I am sure we can get through this together as well?

Oh, and house prices in Tamworth over the next 12 months? I believe they will end up between 0.4% lower and 1.2% higher, although it will probably be a bumpy ride to get to those sorts of figures.

If you would like to read more articles on my thoughts on the Tamworth property Market – please visit the Tamworth Property Market Blog

If you want to learn about the Tamworth Property Market , one source for information is the Tamworth Property Blog authored by yours truly at https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/Hallandthompsonestateagents/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyF9OUR3g6E8HywCx7tU4DA

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorrainethompson2/

http://www.hallandthompson.co.uk

https://twitter.com/hallandthompson

Legislation the Government has planned for 2018 with Tamworth Landlords – day 2

You can make property management a lot easier if you know the legislation and adhere to it.  Today’s will ensure that if you need to serve a section 21 and have provided the “Right to Rent Guide” you have a better chance of having the S21 validated.

paperwork

Day 2  – How to Rent Guide

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has published a new “How to Rent guide”.

This booklet must be provided to assured shorthold tenants whose tenancy started or was renewed from 17 January 2018 onwards.

Thinking of Selling your property now or in the near future? Maybe you’re a landlord with property to Rent?

Contact us NOW for a FREE Valuation and find out what Hall and Thompson Estate Agents can do for you.

https://www.facebook.com/Hallandthompsonestateagents/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorrainethompson2/

Landlord Legislation the Government has planned for 2018

This year  2018 will be a busy year for legislation if you are a landlord.

So over the 12 days we will be giving you a daily outline of the upcoming legislation. Some of the legislation is in the pipeline and  may not come into force until next year, however it’s good to be aware.

no surcharge

Day 1 – Electronic payment charges

From 13 January 2018 a landlord or agent for that matter, can no longer add a surcharge when taking electronic payments  from your tenants i.e Paypal, credit, debit card or mobile phone payments.

 

Can’t find a Tamworth buy to let deal? Visit the Tamworth Property Blog at www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk where I am finding some gems.

https://www.facebook.com/Hallandthompsonestateagents/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyF9OUR3g6E8HywCx7tU4DA

http://www.hallandthompson.co.uk

Sealed bids in the Tamworth property market – A good or bad thing?

As competition  is getting tougher for Tamworth house hunters, are sealed bids the answer to secure a house sale?

Sealed bids are supposedly a quick way to proceed and can offer advantages  to both buyers and sellers.

Without knowing what the competition is offering, bidders are asked to put their offer in a sealed  envelope,  a bit like the Masons, where everything is  built around secrecy. Nobody knows what anyone else is up to and many sleepless hours are spent awaiting the vendors decision. 

sealed bid
sealed bid

On the appointed day, the envelopes are opened and the vendor and agent go through them, the vendor then accepts the offer of his choice. Not necessarily the highest offer!

This however  is not a guarantee that the sale will complete. The vendor may suddenly decide to accept a different offer or the purchaser may come to the conclusion that the rather hasty offer made was totally too much.

 Guidelines for buyers..

  •  Research recently achieved prices in the area. This will serve as a useful guide when deciding on your bid offer.
  •  Offer what you are prepared to pay. Don’t take a chance with a very low bid.
  • Have a survey done in advance as vendors like offers that are not “subject to survey”.
  •  When deciding on a figure to offer, perhaps offer slightly more and as an uneven figure. People tend to round up, so your irregular figure could just seal the deal.
  •  Make sure you have all your finances in order.
  • When submitting your bid, send a covering letter which provides all the facts – bid offer, buying position, proof of funds, proof of mortgage offer, details of your conveyance solicitor, your proposed timings for exchange and completion.
  •  Hand deliver your bid offer to the agent.

Guidelines for sellers..

  • Consider all the offers on the table.  Your aim may be to achieve the highest possible price. But is the highest bid  the best buyer for your position.
  • How soon can they move?  Are the buyers prepared to wait if there is a delay in selling, for whatever reason.
  • Are they in a chain?
  • Have they appointed a conveyancing solicitor?
Remember, a property is only “worth” what any one person is prepared to pay for it.

Unhappy with your Property Manager? The best time to switch Letting Agents is mid-tenancy. Take us up on our offer and allow us to take care of the switching process.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyF9OUR3g6E8HywCx7tU4DA

https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

My thoughts on the future of the Tamworth Buy-To-Let Market

 I was recently reading a report by the Home website which suggested that hordes of landlords are selling their buy-to-let investments due to increasing burdens on them in the buy-to-let market. Their findings suggest the number of new properties that came onto the market nationally (for sale) jumped by 11% across the UK as a result.

Those increasing burdens include new tax rules coming in over the next 3 to 4 years and the announcement that all self-managing landlords (i.e. landlords that don’t use a letting agent to look after their buy-to-let property) will soon need to register with a compulsory redress scheme to resolve tenant arguments and disputes; as Westminster wants to heighten standards in the Private Rented Sector.

Interestingly I was chatting with a self-managed landlord from Bonehill, when I was out socially over the festive period, who didn’t realise the other recent legislations that have hit the Private Rented sector, including the ‘Right to Rent’ regulations which came in to operation last year. Landlords have to certify their tenants have the legal right to live in the UK. This includes checking and taking copies of their tenant’s passport or visa before the tenancy is signed. Of course, if you use a letting agent to manage your property, they will usually sort this for you (as they will with the redress scheme when that is implemented).

If you are a self-managed landlord though, the consequences are severe because if you let a property to a tenant who is living in the UK illegally, you will be fined up to £3,000. That same Bonehill landlord met me for coffee at Druckers  in the New Year, and I checked all his paperwork and ensured he was on the right side of the law going forward – and I offer the same to any landlord in the Tamworth area if you want me to cast my eye over your buy to let matters (and at no cost)

But what of all these extra properties being dumped onto the market in Tamworth? When I looked at the records the number of properties on the market in Tamworth now, as opposed to a year ago, the numbers tell an interesting story …

 

1st Jan 2017 1st Jan 2018
Detached 110 162 47%
Semi 90 105 17%
Terraced 43 35 -19%
Flat 33 45 36%
Plots +
Other
7 10 43%
Total 283 357 26%

Overall, Tamworth doesn’t match the national trend, with the number of properties on the market actually rising by 26% in the last year.  It was particularly interesting to see the number of detached increase by 47%, yet the number of terraced on the market drop by 19%.

However, speaking with my team and other property professionals in the town, the majority of that movement in the number of properties and the types of properties on the market isn’t down to landlords dumping their properties on the market. The whole property market has changed in the last 12 months, with the majority of the change in the number and type of properties for sale due to the owner-occupier market, not landlords (a subject I will write about soon in my Tamworth Property Market blog later this Spring?). You see, for the last ten years, each month there has always been a small number of Tamworth landlords who have been releasing their monies from their Tamworth buy to let properties – as is the nature of all investments!

Nationally, the number of rental properties coming on to the market to rent fell by 16% in Q4 2017 compared to Q4 2016 .. but that isn’t because there are 16% less rental properties to rent – it’s because tenants are staying in their rental properties longer meaning less are coming on the market to be RE-LET.

Nevertheless, some Tamworth landlords will want to release the equity held in their Tamworth buy to let properties in 2018. All I suggest is that you speak with your letting agent first, as putting a rental property on the open market often spooks the tenants to hand in their notice days after you put it on the market (because they don’t like the uncertainty and also believe they will become homeless!). This means you have an empty property, costing you money with no rent coming in.  However, some letting agents who specialise in portfolio management have select lists of landlords that will buy with sitting tenants in. If you have a portfolio in the Tamworth area and are considering selling some or all of them – drop me a line as I might have a portfolio landlord for you (with the peace of mind that you won’t have any rental voids).

If you want to learn about the Tamworth Property Market , one source for information is the Tamworth Property Blog authored by yours truly at https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/Hallandthompsonestateagents/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyF9OUR3g6E8HywCx7tU4DA

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorrainethompson2/

http://www.hallandthompson.co.uk

https://twitter.com/hallandthompson

Ask Lorraine – My tenants have left owing hundreds in utility bills

Ask Lorraine  – We  had been renting our Tamworth  property out to a couple who really did seem to be respectable and trustworthy.

Tenants owe utility bills
Tenants owe utility bills

Once they had  moved out we found  they had left owing over £600.00 in utility bills.

Apparently the lady had contacted the utility suppliers and said they were only renting a room from us and  we were  responsible for the bills.

This was simply not true, the couple were renting the whole property. For the past 3 months, we have been in talks with the utility suppliers however as the couple have now  disappeared  we are being pressed to settle these bills. We have been burying our heads in the sand. Please help.

Anna

Bills

Lorraine’s answer  – Hi Anna,

Did you take meter readings and inform the utility companies before the tenants moved in?

Did you also inform the water company and council when the tenants moved in?

As the Landlord and owner of the property, you should really take responsibility to advise the relevant companies when  tenants move in and out. Don’t rely on others to do this!

You need to contact the Utility suppliers and explain that the tenants were liable for the bills, send them the Tenancy Agreement confirming this and make sure they change the owing accounts into the tenants names.

This will ensure their contracts are between them and the tenants plus it should prevent them coming to the property to install credit meters to claw back the outstanding debt from you.

For future reference, you can ask to become an additional name on the account (‘Third Party User’) the tenant has to request this but you can make the tenancy agreement conditional upon this. The landlord would not be liable for the bills, it would give the landlord a way to monitor the tenants account and perhaps be aware of any issues unfolding.

Good Luck.

Until next week

Don’t Forget you can keep up to date with all our articles on the Tamworth property Market here.

https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/Hallandthompsonestateagents/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyF9OUR3g6E8HywCx7tU4DA

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorrainethompson2/

http://www.hallandthompson.co.uk

 

Ask Lorraine – My Tamworth agent has given me 14 days to vacate my house

Ask Lorraine – Hello hun,

I’m after a little advice as I don’t have many options. My agent gave me a Section 21 on 19th January and has told me I’ve got 14 days to leave the property. I’ve been renting my home for nearly 2 years.

I have nowhere to go and 14 days is not long enough to find another property and pack up my stuff.  I will end up sofa surfing, yes I have paid the rent a few days late on the odd month but I’m currently up to date.

How can an agent treat me like this,  surely this can’t be right?

Name was supplied

14 days to leave

Lorraine’s Answer – I am sorry that you find yourself in this unpleasant situation and I hope that you do find somewhere to live.

I don’t know if communication has broken down between you and the agent/landlord or if there are underlying issues as to why the landlord requires the property back.

I will do my best to answer your question assuming that you are now on a periodic tenancy agreement.

Section 21

A landlord has the legal right to retain possession at the end of a tenancy but they must follow the correct legal procedure. This includes serving a valid section 21 notice which is the  easiest way for an agent/landlord to recover a property.

For a S21 to be valid there are a number of pieces of information that you should have been given during your tenancy, If not the notice will not be legal and cannot be enforced.

The notice to leave must be at least two calendar months or the same period for which rent is paid, whichever is longer. The notice should end on the last day of a rental period (the day before rent is due).

I do not have all the facts but would certainly recommend that you take your tenancy agreement, complete with any additional paperwork in your possession, to the Council. If the Council cannot help, Citizens Advice will be able too.

Please do this as soon as possible.

Please see below tenants guide to private renting, this will give you lots of helpful advice.

https://www.gov.uk/private-renting

I hope things turn out well for you.

Until next week.

If you enjoyed reading my blog and are interested in our other online portals,  feel free to take a look.

https://www.facebook.com/Hallandthompsonestateagents/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorrainethompson2/

http://www.hallandthompson.co.uk

https://twitter.com/hallandthompson

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyF9OUR3g6E8HywCx7tU4DA

http://www.Tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

50.48% of Tamworth is Built on … Building Plot Dilemma or Not?

Well the fallout from the recent Budget is still continuing.  I was chatting to a couple of movers and shakers from the Tamworth area the other day, when one said, “There isn’t enough land to build all these 300,000 houses Philip Hammond wants to build each year”.

…and if you read the Daily Mail, you would be forgiven for thinking the Country was at bursting point … or is it?

It was 60 years ago the first satellite was launched (Sputnik). All the Superpowers have used them to take high definition pictures of each other for decades, but now satellites and their high-powered cameras are being used for more peaceful purposes. The European Environment Agency (EEA) have been taking high definition pictures of the UK from outer-space to give us a focused picture of what every corner of the Country really looks like … and the findings will come as a surprise.

As my blog readers know, I always like to ask the important questions relating to the Tamworth property market. If you are a Tamworth landlord or Tamworth homeowner, this knowledge will enable you to make a more considered opinion on your direction and future in the Tamworth property market. Like every aspect of all economic life, it’s all about supply and demand, because over the last twenty or so years, there has been an imbalance in the British (and Tamworth) housing market, with demand outstripping supply, meaning the average value of a property in Tamworth has risen by 293.74%, taking an average value from £46,300 in 1995 to £182,300 today.

Using the information from the EEA and data crunched by Sheffield University with their Corine-Land Cover project, I posed them a few questions about the local area, interesting questions I would like to share with you …

  1. What proportion of the whole of Tamworth is built on?

50.48%

That surprised you, didn’t it! In the study, land classified as ‘urban fabric’ defined has land which has between 50% and 100% of the land surface is built on, (meaning up to a half might be gardens or small parks, but the majority is built on).

  1. How much land is intensively built on locally?

Of that amount mentioned above, how much of it is high-density urban fabric? (i.e. where 80% to 100% is built on – still leaving 20% for gardens)  Less than 0.1%  – again I bet that surprised you!

  1. So how is the land used locally?

 

Sports Facilities                    1.88%

Green Urban Areas             4.99%

Industry                                 11.34%

Arable Farmland                  19.98%

…the rest being made up of various other types such as pastures and waterways, etc.

Tamworth and the surrounding areas are greener than you think! In fact, I read that property covers less of the UK than the land revealed when the tide goes out. The assumption that vast bands of our local area have been concreted over doesn’t stand up to inspection. However, the effect of housing undoubtedly spreads beyond its actual footprint, in terms of noise, pollution and roads.

Now I am not suggesting for one second we concrete over every inch of the locality, but the bottom line is we, as a country, are growing at a quicker rate than the households we are building. I appreciate the emotional effect of housing is greater than other land use types because most of us spend the vast majority of our time surrounded by it. As Brits, we live our lives driving along roads, walking on footpaths and working and living in buildings meaning we tend, as a result, to considerably overemphasise how much of it there is.

In fact, I was only flying home recently back from a short break abroad, when I looked down and I was reminded just how green Britain actually is!

The bottom line is Tamworth people and the local authorities are going to have to put their weight into building more homes for people to live in. There is going to have to be some give and take on both sides, otherwise house prices will continue to rise exponentially in the future and Tamworth youngster’s won’t be able to buy their own Tamworth home, meaning Tamworth rents and demand for private rented accommodation in Tamworth can (and will) also grow exponentially.

If you want to learn about the Tamworth Property Market , one source for information is the Tamworth Property Blog authored by yours truly at https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/Hallandthompsonestateagents/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyF9OUR3g6E8HywCx7tU4DA

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorrainethompson2/

http://www.hallandthompson.co.uk

https://twitter.com/hallandthompson

Tamworth Property Market and Hammond’s Budget Promise to Build 300,000 more homes

I miss the good old days of George Osborne as Chancellor, with his hardhat and hi-vis jacket. He must have visited every new home building site in the UK with his trademark attire! For the last few years, the nearest Philip Hammond got to donning a ‘Bob the Builder’ outfit was at his grandchild’s birthday party. However, with what appears to be a change in focus by the Tories to ensure they get back in power in 2022, they appear to have fallen in love with house building again with the Chancellor’s promise to create 300,000 new households in a year.

Nationally, the number of new homes created has topped 217,344 in the last year, the highest since the financial crash of 2007/8. Looking closer to home: in total there were 160 ‘net additional dwellings’ in the last 12 months in the Tamworth Borough Council area, a decrease of 36% on the 2010 figure.

The figures show that 89% of this additional housing was down to new build properties. In total, there were 142 new dwellings built over the last year in Tamworth. In addition, there were 10 additional dwellings created from converting commercial or office buildings into residential property and a further nine dwellings were added as a result of converting houses into flats.

While these all added to the total housing stock in the Tamworth area, there was 1 demolition to take into account.

Net additional dwellings in Tamworth in the last 12 months
New build Conversions Change of use Demolitions Net Additions
142 9 10 -1 160

I was encouraged to see some of the new households in the Tamworth area had come from a change of use. The planning laws were changed a few years back so that, in certain circumstances, owners of properties didn’t need planning permission to change office space in to residential use.

With the scarcity of building land available locally (or the builders being very slow to build on what they have, for fear of flooding the market), it was pleasing to see the number of developers that had reutilised vacant office space into residential homes in the local council area. Converting offices and shops to residential use will be vital in helping to solve the Tamworth housing crisis especially, as you can see on the graph, that the level of building has hardly been spectacular over the last seven years!

Now we have had the autumn budget, Theresa May and Philip Hammond have set out their stall with housing as their key focus. I was glad to see the Government introducing a variety of changes to improve housing, including more funding for the supply side and an injection of urgency into the planning system.

The biggest question is, just where are the Government going to build all these new houses? Maybe a topic for a future article?

Back to the main point though and the focus on the housing market by the Tory’s is good news for all homeowners and buy to let landlords, as it will encourage more fluidity in the market in the longer term, sharing the wealth and benefits of homeownership for all. However, in the short term, demand still outstrips supply for homes and that will mean continued upward pressures on rents for tenants.

If you want to learn about the Tamworth Property Market , one source for information is the Tamworth Property Blog authored by yours truly at https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/Hallandthompsonestateagents/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyF9OUR3g6E8HywCx7tU4DA

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorrainethompson2/

http://www.hallandthompson.co.uk

https://twitter.com/hallandthompson

Ask Lorraine – My problem tenant

Ask Lorraine – One of my Tamworth tenants who has

ask lorraine my problem tenant
ask lorraine my problem tenant

been renting off me for nearly there years is on housing benefit. I gave this lady a chance when others would not take benefit tenants. Five months ago she became a nightmare tenant, she is now causing the neighbours problems and I am getting so many phone calls from them asking that I  resolve the situation. Three weeks ago I received a visit from two of her neighbours demanding that I  evict her. Unfortunately I live on the same Tamworth estate as my tenant.

ask lorraine mad woman

I served a section 21 notice straight away and after receiving notification from the housing benefit department I returned the £500.00 deposit. It appears that the council are on her side as they are now saying that my section 21 is invalid and they have told her not to move out. I have been advised that I must provide evidence that the deposit was protected in accordance with regulations.

For the sake of my tenants neighbours, I need this lady out of my life as soon as possible and hope that you can advise on the best course of action in order to evict her.

Help  A.J.

Lorraine’s Answer

Hi  A.J.

It sounds as though the deposit wasn’t protected within 30 days of being received, if at all?

If you served the section 21 before returning the deposit, you will need to serve  a new one as the council are correct, it is invalid.

In order to serve a valid section 21 there is also legislation paperwork that must be issued (and signed for) at the start of the tenancy. I would recommend checking out the government website      https://www.gov.uk/renting-out-a-property     to ensure you did issue this. Once you have your ducks in a row, serve a new section 21.

Good luck in your quest.

Until next week

If you are interested in the Tamworth Property Market and haven’t signed up to the Tamworth Property Blog you are missing out on critical/ important information that all landlords should consider when renting out their property.  Visit the Tamworth Property Blog at www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk and click the ‘Follow’ button for automatic sign up.

https://www.facebook.com/Hallandthompsonestateagents/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorrainethompson2/

https://twitter.com/hallandthompson

http://www.hallandthompson.co.uk

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyF9OUR3g6E8HywCx7tU4DA