361 First Timer Buyers in Tamworth Bought Their First Home in 2017

A little bit of good news this week on the Tamworth Property Market as recently released data shows that the number of first time buyers taking out their first mortgage in 2017 increased more than in any other year since the global financial crisis in 2009. The data shows there were 361 first time buyers in Tamworth, the largest number since 2006.

I expect in 2018 that this increase of first time buyers will level out and maybe dip slightly as, nationally, figures demonstrate that first time buyer’s average household income was £40,691 and this represented 17.3% of their take home pay. Although, it might surprise readers that it is actually cheaper to buy than it is to rent at the ‘starter home’ end of the housing market. Many of you can remember mortgage rates at 12% … even 15%. Today, at the time of writing this article, I found on the open market, 189 first time buyer mortgages at 95% (meaning only a 5% deposit was required) with 3 year fixed rates from a reputable High Street bank at 2.49% … they even did a 3 year fixed rate 100% mortgage for 2.89%!

Interestingly, looking at the other end of the market, the buy-to-let investment in Tamworth was subdued, with only 74 buy-to-let properties being purchased with a mortgage. However, I must stress, whilst there is no hard and fast data on the total numbers of landlords buying buy-to-let, as HM Treasury believes only 30% to 40% of buy-to-let property is bought with a mortgage. This means there would have been further cash only buy-to-let purchases in Tamworth – it’s just that the data isn’t available at such a granular level.

In terms of the level of mortgage debt in Tamworth, looking specifically at the B77 to B79 postcodes, there has been a steady rise in borrowing over the last couple of years.

This is pleasing to see, as new mortgage debt is created by first time buyers, buy-to-let landlords and home movers themselves, that is being roughly equalled by the amount being paid off with mature mortgaged homeowners in their 50’s and 60’s finally paying off their mortgage.

So, what does all this mean for the Tamworth Property Market?  Well, the stats paint a picture, but they don’t inform us of the whole story. The upper end of the Tamworth property market has been weighed down by the indecision around the Brexit negotiations and rise in stamp duty in 2014, when made it considerably more expensive to buy a home costing more than £1m. The middle part of the Tamworth property market has been affected by issues of mortgage affordability and lack of good properties to buy, as selling prices have reached the limit of what buyers can afford under existing mortgage regulations. The lower to middle Tamworth property market was hit by tax changes for buy-to-let landlords, although this has been offset by the increase in first time buyers.

If you are in the market and selling now and want to ensure you get your Tamworth property sold, the bottom line is you have to be 100% realistic with your pricing from day one and you might not get as much as you did say a year ago (but the one you want to buy will be less – swings and roundabouts?). I know it’s not comfortable hearing that your Tamworth home isn’t worth as much as you thought, but Tamworth buyers are now unbelievably discerning.

So, if you are thinking of selling your Tamworth property in the coming months, don’t ask the agent out a few days before you want to put the property on the market, get them out now and ask them what you need to do to ensure you get maximum value in the shortest possible time. I, like most Tamworth agents, will freely give that advice to you at no cost or commitment to you.

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

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Tamworth Buy-to-Let Return / Yields – 3% to 8.5% a year

The mind-set and tactics you employ to buy your first Tamworth buy to let property needs to be different to the tactics and methodology of buying a home for yourself to live in. The main difference is when purchasing your own property, you may well pay a little more to get the home you (and your family) want, and are less likely to compromise. When buying for your own use, it is only human nature you will want the best, so that quite often it is at the top end of your budget (because as my parents always used to tell me – you get what you pay for in this world!).

Yet with a buy to let property, if your goal is a higher rental return – a higher price doesn’t always equate to higher monthly returns – in fact quite the opposite. Inexpensive Tamworth properties can bring in bigger monthly returns. Most landlords use the phrase ‘yield’ instead of monthly return. To calculate the yield on a buy to let property one basically takes the monthly rent, multiplies it by 12 to get the annual rent and then divides it by the value of the property.

This means, if one increases the value of the property using this calculation, the subsequent yield drops. Or to put it another way, if a Tamworth buy to let landlord has the decision of two properties that create the same amount of monthly rent, the landlord can increase their rental yield by selecting the lower priced property.

To give you an idea of the sort of returns in Tamworth…

The average buy to let yields in Tamworth
The average buy to let yields in Tamworth

 

Now of course these are averages and there will always be properties outside the lower and upper ranges in yields: they are a fair representation of the gross yields you can expect in the Tamworth area.

As we move forward, with the total amount of buy to let mortgages amounting to £199,310,614,000 in the country, landlords need to be aware of the investment performance of their property, especially in the era of tax increases and tax relief reductions. Landlords are looking to maximise their yield – and are doing so by buying cheaper properties.

The average range of buy to let yields in Tamworth
The average range of buy to let yields in Tamworth

 

 

However, before everyone in Tamworth starts selling their upmarket properties and buying cheap ones, yield isn’t the only factor when deciding on what Tamworth buy to let property to buy.  Void periods (i.e. the time when there isn’t a tenant in the property between tenancies) are an important factor and those properties at the cheaper end of the rental spectrum can suffer higher void periods too. Apartments can also have service charges and ground rents that aren’t accounted for in these gross yields. Landlords can also make money if the value of the property goes up and for those Tamworth landlords who are looking for capital growth, an altered investment strategy may be required.

In Tamworth, for example, over the last 20 years, this is how the average price paid for the four different types of Tamworth property have changed…

  • Tamworth Detached Properties have increased in value by 229.3%
  • Tamworth Semi-Detached Properties have increased in value by 252.1%
  • Tamworth Terraced Properties have increased in value by 237.3%
  • Tamworth Apartments have increased in value by 243.2%

It is very much a balancing act of yield, capital growth and void periods when buying in Tamworth. Every landlord’s investment strategy is unique to them. If you would like a fresh pair of eyes to look at your portfolio, be you a private landlord that doesn’t use a letting agent or a landlord that uses one of my competitors – then feel free to contact me and let’s have a chat. What do you have to lose?

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Are there any pitfalls of selling a house in tamworth that’s in need of modernisation?

When you  come to sell or purchase a house the location is probably the most important factor with the condition coming in a close second. It’s these factors that determine the value of a property and how much one is willing to pay to live there.

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We have most likely all seen the property programmes on television and with Homes under the Hammer being as popular as every, many people are either looking to add to their retirement pot after the government stuffed us  big time or they are hoping to become property tycoons.

Sellers need to consider a few simple things when selling a property in need of refurbishment i.e clearing up the gardens – that foot high grass will put prospective buyers off. How about ensuring there are no rusting cars  on the driveway, discarded or broken childrens toys  or bins overflowing with rubbish. You get the idea! inexpensive but certainly worthwhile small things, can be be carried out to ensure the front of the property alone does not deter potential buyers from crossing the threshold.

Are the renovation works likely to exceed  several thousand pounds and is the write up on the property a true and factual piece of writing.

It doesn’t matter what price the vendor is hoping to achieve, if the surveyor has no comparable prices to work on, the property may be down valued and the purchaser may struggle to acquire the mortgage required on the property.

So now you have a few very interested parties, which way do you turn, who’s going to be your choice of the day.

If you are selling your property through an agent, the agent must carry out due diligence on the buyers market position – do they have a property to sell and if so is it being marketed  yet. Do they require a mortgage, have they a mortgage in principal already. Are they experienced at refurbishing properties and the bigger picture – do they have planning consent for their 10 bed home of multiple occupation? A good agent will find out as much information as possible about the buyer and what they are hoping to achieve with the property.

The seller will have then have a uniformed approach on each prospective buyer and be able to make their decision based upon the information from the agent.

Which ever purchaser you decide to go with, there are no guarantees that things will run smoothly from start to finish or that they will not pull out of the transaction, you can only do your best and choose an agent that works for you.

Happy days.

 

If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one for the first time and you want to read more articles like this about the Tamworth Property Market, together with regular postings on what I consider the best buy to let deals in Tamworth (out of the many of properties on the market, irrespective of which agent is selling it) then feel free to get in touch!

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