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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How to prepare your Tamworth home for photographs

Yes, it is true. A photo speaks a thousand words. Great photos attract buyers whereas poor photos can put buyers off.

At Hall & Thompson, we believe in clear photography that shows off the whole room. Here are a few of our top tips to help you get ready for your photo shoot!

The kitchen

Declutter your workspaces and clear away anything stored on top of kitchen cupboards. Get rid of the bin! Ensure the hob is clean and find a hiding place for the dish drainer and scouring pads.
Why not add fresh flowers or a bowl of fruit. 

The bathroom  

Remove spare toilet rolls, razors and toothbrushes.
Put down the toilet seat, hide shampoo bottles and bath toys. .  Remove grime limescale that has built up and grout.
Display fresh towels.                       

The bedroom’s

Clear away any clutter including anything that is stored on top of wardrobes. Bedside tables should be clear of clutter, ever heard of the term less is more!
Try dressing your bed with nice linen and add a touch of luxury with quality cushions.

General areas

Ensure all curtains and blinds are open. Clean your windows.  Store old shoes in plastic boxes with lids.  De-personalising the house by removing other personal effects, ornaments etc. Tidy away the kids toys and if possible, move pet paraphernalia and litter boxes to a garage or shed. Why not ask a relative or friend to look your pets while viewings are taking place.

Outside your home

Move your car from the drive or house front. Tidy the garden and move the wheelie bins out of sight. Put up hanging baskets to add colour and if you have a garden, plant some seasonal  bedding flowers.

Our team’s favourite tips – How to prepare your home for photos!

Jody's tips
Jody’s tips

Switch on lights.  A lamp can brighten up a  gloomy corner and add atmosphere to a room.  See how lighting transforms a room! Add  bedside lamps to make your bed the focal point of your bedroom. Make sure each room in your house has a purpose. Buyers want to envisage their belongings in your home. Clean up by renting a storage unit for knickknacks, photos, extra furniture and other personal items.

Lorraine's tips
Lorraine’s tips

If you want to use scent to help sell your home, try using a hint of a single-note organic one such as: orange, lemon, vanilla, cinnamon, or cedar.

When you’re in the  estate agency business, you want someone to walk in and want to stay in the house. You want the home to feel familiar and welcoming. Sometimes it may take more than one visit  to decide to buy a home  so you  want to encourage people to feel at ease and want to revisit.

Jackie's tips
Jackie’s tips

Make sure your home feels
warm and inviting when buyers come around.  If it’s chilly outside put your heating on a timer so it switches on an hour before they arrive.  Buyers love the glow of a fire in the winter so if you have a fire, switch that on a few minutes before the buyer is due. Fit brighter light bulbs and mend that broken light switch or socket.

And lastly, make yourself scarce when your agent arrives.

If you would like any help in how to prepare your home for photos, please get in touch. We would love to help. We can create a bespoke plan just for you, which is ultimately designed to help your home attract a buyer easier, and at a better price.

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