Live in Tamworth? About to Retire and Privately Rent? You Could be £4,100 a Year Worse Off!

You read the personal finance pages of the newspapers and it all seems to be the impending pensions crisis … where people aren’t saving enough for their retirement. But it’s not the lack of Tamworth peoples’ future pension incomes that are my immediate concern. The fact is that so many of the future retirees in Tamworth over the coming decade, who never bought their home in the Millennial years of the 1990’s and 2000’s, will have to make some tough decisions regarding what house they live in when they retire anytime between now and 2038.

In Tamworth, there are 488 privately rented households, where the head of the household is between 50 years and 64 years of age (meaning they will be retiring anytime between now and 2038). They are working now and easily paying the rent, yet what happens when they retire?

A Tamworth retired couple, who currently privately rent and who have paid their fully qualifying NI stamp over the last few decades are likely to retire with the couples State Pension of £1,091 per month plus a tiny bit of private pension if they are lucky. Given that the average rent in Tamworth is £741 a month – a lot of that pension will be lost in rent. This means taxpayers will have no alternative but to step in and top up the rent payments with Housing Benefit, yet…

The maximum housing benefit for a couple in Tamworth is currently £393.90 per month … leaving a significant gap when you consider the average rent in Tamworth is £741 per month

It is most people’s opinion that retirees are either council tenants or own their home outright. Looking at these figures though, it looks like both these ‘mature’ private renters could be having to make some decisions on their lifestyle and where they live, possibly looking at downsizing the home they rent to make things more affordable in their old age. Also, the government will be in for a horrible surprise as more of Tamworth people retire and continue to rent from a private landlord. Numerous Tamworth private renters, with little or no savings, will have to rely on Housing Benefit, which will put greater pressure on the public purse.

The average Tamworth retiree will need to find £4,165 pa to stay in their privately rented home after retirement

A recent report from Scottish Widows suggested that 1 in 8 OAP’s will be privately renting by 2032, up from the current one in 15.47 OAP’s whom currently private rent (or 6.47%). In fact, in that report they said the equivalent of more than one-third of the whole annual NHS budget would be spent on Housing Benefit for OAP’s in retirement living in private rented property.

What does this mean for mature Tamworth homeowners? I see many using equity release schemes to stay in their homes to pay for a better retirement and others more open to downsizing, selling their large home to a family that needs it and moving into a smaller apartment or bungalow … yet lets be frank – they aren’t building bungalows in large numbers in Tamworth anymore.

And for the Tamworth landlords? Well with the younger Millennials showing no appetite in jumping onto the homeownership bandwagon anytime soon, it can only result in the demands on the buy to let market from Tamworth tenants rising substantially. Of course, many Millennials will inherit money from their home owning parents in the coming few decades, yet a lot won’t as it will be spent on nursing home care and any leftovers (if any) split between siblings.

The solution to all this is to build more homes, of course. Last year we created/built just over 217,000 households in the UK, up from a post Millennial average of just under 150,000 households a year. We need to get back to the building booms of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when on average 300,000 households were built … but back to reality … that won’t happen so it looks like we are turning into a nation of renters, which is of course good news for Tamworth buy to let landlords!

For those retiring in post 2050/2060, there is better news as official reports suggest those retirees will enjoy a State Pension approximately similar to today’s pensioners with auto-enrolment into top-up private pensions through their employer.

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Tamworth ‘Home Owning’ Movers and Shakers in 2018

It’s now commonly agreed amongst economists and the general public that the dramatic rise in Tamworth property prices of the last six years has come to an end.

Read the National newspapers, and they talk of doom and gloom in the British housing market with such things as strained buyer affordability (as property prices have increased over the past six years at a far faster pace than average salaries), a lack of new properties being built and the Brexit uncertainties over the last two and half years being blamed for the slow down – yet in the last 12 months, people have still been moving, buying and selling in Tamworth at levels similar to the last six years – something tells me we have a case of ‘bad news selling newspapers’.

So instead, let me share with you what, exactly, is happening in the Tamworth property market, and more specifically, who is moving and why in Tamworth. The majority of sales in Tamworth during the last twelve months were semi-detached properties, selling for an average price of £187,200. Detached properties sold for an average of £294,800, with terraced properties fetching on average £157,100.

In Tamworth, in the homeowner sector in 2018 (i.e. owner occupation), 528 households moved within the tenure (i.e. sold the home they owned and bought another one) and 103 new households were created (i.e. they moved from living with family/friends and bought their first home without privately renting).

What does this mean for Tamworth buy to let landlords? Well looking at the graph, it appears bad news for landlords. There were 246 households that moved into the home owning (owner occupation) tenure from the private rented sector, whilst on the other side of the coin, 193 Tamworth households moved to the private rented sector from owner occupation … which appears on the face of it, a reduction in the private sector.

My research has calculated that in 2018, an additional 256 new households in the Tamworth private rental sector were created

…and it will continue to grow at those levels for the foreseeable future.

I have one final thought and opportunity for you Tamworth property investors. 127 owner occupied households in Tamworth sold in last year where the homeowners had passed away. These properties can be a potential goldmine and offer great returns. The reason being is some members of the older generation who have owned these homes for decades have spent money on high capital items (double glazing / central heating etc.) but not spent money on more superficial low-ticket items such as up to date carpets, kitchen, bathroom and decorating (vital if you want to sell your property for top dollar). These properties can often be bought cheaply because most buyers can’t see past the avocado or brown bathroom suite from the 1970’s and the dated decor, so if you were to buy wisely and do the works, you could sell it on for a healthy profit.

So, whatever is happening in the world with Brexit, Trump, China, and the Stock Market … the Tamworth housing market is in decent shape for the medium to long term. If we do have small corrections in values in the next 12 to 18 months, in the long term, house prices have always returned … and returned with vengeance. Like I say to anyone buying a property, be they a first time buyer, landlord or homeowner … property is a long game … and if you play the long game, you will always win (although isn’t that true in most aspects of life?).

Many of you reading my blog ask why I say these things. I want to share my thoughts and opinions on the real issues affecting the Tamworth property market, warts and all. If you want rose tinted glasses articles – then my articles are not for you. However, if you want someone to tell you the real story about the Tamworth property market, be it good, bad or indifferent, then maybe you should start reading my blog regularly.https://www.Tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

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Decreasing Numbers of Younger Homeowners in Tamworth

Kelvin Palmer, 35-year-old father of two from Tamworth, was out house hunting. It was a pleasant September Saturday afternoon, and our man cycles along on his bike. He cycles up a street of suburban semis, where he spots a few retired mature neighbours, chatting to each other over the garden fence. He leans his bicycle against a lamp post and launches softly into his property search.

Anyone on the road contemplating moving?” Mark asks, “I am not a landlord or developer, I’m just a Tamworth bloke trying to get out of renting, buy a house, do it up and live in it with my wife and two children

The only way I will leave here is in a box”, answers an 80-something lady, wearing her fading Paisley patterned housecoat from the 1970’s.

I‘ve lived here since before you were born, it’s lovely up here .. we aren’t moving, are we Doris? (as her neighbour sagely shook his head at his wife).

Kelvin, like many Tamworth people born in the late 1970’s to the early 1990’s, is keen to get a slice of prime Tamworth real estate. Yet people like Kelvin in Generation Y (or the Millennials as some people call them i.e. born between 1977 and 1994 and needing family housing now) are discovering, as each year passes by, they are becoming more neglected and ignored when it comes to moving up the property ladder.

Looking at the graph for the UK as whole …

Percentage of each age group that are home owners 1981 to today
Percentage of each age group that are home owners 1981 to todayOver 75 percent of Brits aged 65 and above (the baby boomers) are owner-occupiers, the biggest share since records began and a proportional rise of over 48.3% since the early 1980’s. Looking at those Baby Boomers (the current 65+year olds).. moreover roll the clock back 36 years (to when they were in their 30’s and 40’s and two thirds (65.6%) of them owned their own home.

Whilst today, just under a half of 25 to 49 year olds (47.3%) own their own home.

 

However, the biggest drop has been in the 18 to 24-year old’s, where homeownership has dropped from a third (32%) in the 1980’s to less than one in ten (8.9%) today. Looking at the Tamworth statistics, the numbers make even more interesting reading.

Tamworth statistics
Tamworth statistics

 

Government policy contributes to the generational stalemate. Stamp Duty rules prevent older Brits from moving as the price of land and planning rules make it harder to build affordable bungalows that are attractive to members of the older generation who want to move.

variable graph
variable graph

 

The average value of an acre of prime building land in the UK is between £750,000 and £800,000 per acre. Bungalows are the favoured option for the older generation, but the problem is bungalows take up too much land to make them profitable for new homes builders. The housing market is gridlocked with youngsters wanting to get on (then move up) the property ladder whilst the older generation, who want to move from their larger houses to smaller, more modern bungalows, can’t. The problem is – there simply aren’t enough bungalows being built and the high price of land, means they are prohibitive to build.

So, what is my point? Well, all I would say to the homeowners of Tamworth is that one solution could be to start to talk to your local councillors, so they can mould the planners’ thoughts and the local authority thinking in setting land aside for bungalows instead of two up two down starter homes? That would free the impasse at the top of the property ladder (i.e. mature people living in big houses but unable to move anywhere), releasing the middle aged gridlocked people in the ladder to move up, thus releasing more existing starter homes for the younger generation.

… and to you Kelvin … the wandering new home searcher – if things are going to change, it will be years before they do .. so keep going out and spreading the word of your search for a new home for your family.

Many of you reading my blog ask why I say these things. I want to share my thoughts and opinions on the real issues affecting the Tamworth property market, warts and all. If you want rose tinted glasses articles – then my articles are not for you. However, if you want someone to tell you the real story about the Tamworth property market, be it good, bad or indifferent, then maybe you should start reading my blog regularly. https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

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Tamworth Homeowners and their £1.19 billion Debt

Over the last 12 months, the UK has decided to leave the EU, have a General Election with a result that didn’t go to plan for Mrs May and to add insult to injury, our American cousins elected Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. It could be said this should have caused some unnecessary unpredictability into the UK property market.

The reality is that the housing and mortgage market (for the time being) has shown a noteworthy resilience. Indeed on the back of the Monetary Policy pursued by the Bank of England there has been a notable improvement of macro-economic conditions! In July for example it was announced that we are witness to the lowest levels of unemployment for nearly 50 years. Furthermore, despite the UK construction industry building 21% more properties than same time the previous year, there has still been a disproportionate increase in demand for housing, particularly in the most thriving areas of the Country. Repossessions too are also at an all-time low at 3,985 for the last Quarter (Q1 2017) from a high of 29,145 in Q1 2009. All these things have resulted in…

Property values in Tamworth according to the

Land Registry are 7.34% higher than a year ago

So, what does all this mean for the homeowners and landlords of Tamworth, especially in relation to property prices moving forward?

One vital bellwether of the property market (and property values) is the mortgage market. The UK mortgage market is worth £961,653,701,493 (that’s £961bn) and it representative of 13,314,512 mortgages (interestingly, the UK’s mortgage market is the largest in Europe in terms of amount lent per year and the total value of outstanding loans). Uncertainty causes banks to stop lending – look what happened in the credit crunch and that seriously affects property prices.

Roll the clock back to 2007, and nobody had heard of the term ‘credit crunch’, but now the expression has entered our everyday language.  It took a few months throughout the autumn of 2007, before the crunch started to hit the Tamworth property market, but in late 2007, and for the following year and half, Tamworth property values dropped each month like the notorious heavy lead balloon, meaning …

The credit crunch caused Tamworth property values to drop by 16.8%

Under the sustained pressure of the Credit Crunch, the Bank of England realised that the UK economy was stalling in the early autumn of 2008. Loan book lending (sub-prime phenomenon) in the US and across the world was the trigger for this pressure. In a bid to stimulate the British economy there were six successive interest rates drops between October 2008 and March 2009; this resulted in interest rates falling from 5% to 0.5%!

Thankfully, after a period of stagnation, the Tamworth property market started to recover slowly in 2011 as certainty returned to the economy as a whole and Tamworth property values really took off in 2013 as the economy sped upwards. Thankfully, the ‘fire’ was taken out of the property market in Spring 2015 (otherwise we could have had another boom and bust scenario like we had in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s), with new mortgage lending rules. Throughout 2016, we saw a return to more realistic and stable medium term property price growth. Interestingly, property prices recovered in Tamworth from the post Credit Crunch 2009 dip and are now 41.9% higher than they were in 2009.

Tamworth property values before & after the credit crunch
Tamworth property values before & after the credit crunch

Now, as we enter the summer of 2017, with the Conservatives having been re-elected on their slender majority, the Tamworth property market has recouped its composure and in fact, there has been some aggressive competition among mortgage lenders, which has driven mortgage rates down to record lows. This is good news for Tamworth homeowners and landlords, over the last few months a mortgage price war has broken out between lenders, with many slashing the rates on their deals to the lowest they have ever offered.  For example, last month, HSBC launched a 1.69% five-year fixed mortgage!

Interestingly, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the level of mortgage lending had soared to an all-time high in the UK.

In the Tamworth postcodes of B77, B78 & B79, if you added up everyone’s mortgage, it would total £1,199,374,481!

Since 1977, the average Bank of England interest rate has been 6.65%, making the current 323 year all time low rate of 0.25% very low indeed. Thankfully, the proportion of borrowers fixing their mortgage rate has gone from 31.52% in the autumn of 2012 to the current 59.3%. If you haven’t fixed – maybe you should follow the majority?

In my modest opinion, especially if things do get a little rocky and uncertainty seeps back in the coming years (and nobody knows what will happen on that front), one thing I know is for certain, interest rates can only go one way from their 300 year ultra 0.25% low level … and that is why I consider it important to highlight this to all the homeowners and landlords of Tamworth. Maybe, just maybe, you might want to consider taking some advice from a qualified mortgage adviser? There are plenty of them in Tamworth.

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Tamworth’s ‘Generation Trapped’ and the £3.77bn legacy

 

Last week, I wrote an article on the plight of the Tamworth 20 something’s often referred to by the press as ‘Generation Rent’. Attitudes to renting have certainly changed over the last twenty years and as my analysis suggested, this change is likely to be permanent. In the article, whilst a minority of this Generation Rent feel trapped, the majority don’t – making renting a choice not a predicament. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) predicted that the private rental sector is likely to grow substantially by 1.8m households across the UK in the next 8 years, with demand for rental property unlikely to slow and newly formed households continuing to choose the rental market as opposed to buying.

However, my real concern for Tamworth homeowners and Tamworth landlords alike, as I discussed a couple of months ago, is our mature members of the population of Tamworth. In that previous article, I stated that the current OAP’s (65+ yrs in age) in Tamworth were sitting on £1.43bn of residential property … however, I didn’t talk in depth about the ‘Baby Boomers’, the 50yr to 64yr old Tamworth people and what their properties are worth – and more importantly, how the current state of affairs could be holding back those younger Generation Renters.

In Tamworth, there are 6,042 households whose owners are aged between 50yrs and 64yrs and about to pay their mortgage off. That property is worth, in today’s prices, £1.21bn. There are an additional 5,570 mortgage free Tamworth households, owned by 50yr to 64yr olds, worth £1.12bn in today’s prices, meaning…

Tamworth Baby Boomers and Tamworth OAP’s are sitting

on £3.77bn worth of Tamworth Property

Tamworth property

Tamworth property  these Tamworth Baby Boomers and OAP’s are sitting on 18,701 Tamworth properties and many of them feel trapped in their homes, and hence I have dubbed them ‘Generation Trapped’.

Recently, the English Housing Survey stated 49% of these properties owned by the Generation Trapped, as I have dubbed them, are ‘under-occupied’ (under-occupied classed as having at least two bedrooms more than needed). These houses could be better utilised by younger families, but research carried out by the Prudential suggest in Britain it’s estimated that only one in ten older people downsize while in the USA for example one in five do so.

The growing numbers of older homeowners who want to downsize their home are often put off by the difficulties of moving. The charity United for all Ages, suggested recently many are put off by the lack of housing options, 19% by the hassle and cost of moving, 14% by having to declutter their possessions and 14% by family reasons such as staying close to children and grandchildren.

Helping mature Tamworth (and the Country) homeowners to downsize at the right time will also enable younger Tamworth people to find the homes they need – meaning every generation wins, both young and old. However, to ensure downsizing works, as a Country, we need more choices for these ‘last time buyers’.

Theresa May and Philip Hammond can do their part and consider stamp duty tax breaks for downsizers, our local Council in Tamworth and the Planning Dept. should play their part, as should landlords and property investors to ensure Tamworth’s ‘Generation Trapped’ can find suitable property locally, close to friends, family and facilities.

If you spot a property and would like a second opinion then feel free to get in touch with me. My only interest is to make sure you get the best outcome from your investment. Rest assured I have no motive to try and sell you a house and I will not be biased towards any one vendor.

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!

Email me on Lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk or call on 07531484956.

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