Japanese Knotweed – The Scourge Of Tamworth Landlords

Japanese knotweed, the invasive plant brought over to Britain in the 19th Century is a perennially herbaceous plant. It can grow up to 20cm a day in the summer and has been known to  develop a stubborn root system that can establish itself over 2 metres deep into the ground.

japanese knotweed picture
japanese knotweed picture

Introduced to the UK as an ornamental plant in the Victorian era, it was widely used to hide unsightly railway line features, causing the weed to spread rapidly throughout the rest of the country.

It is a known fact that Knotweed  threatens millions of pounds worth of property transactions in the UK.

While knotweed is a problem for homeowners to treat, it poses considerable challenges for estate agents as well, they  stand to lose out from  sales falling through.

Japanese knotweed
Japanese knotweed

So, what do you need to know about knotweed, and how should you approach the issue?

Japanses Knotweed grows rapidly and is able to grow through cracks in concrete and can undermine the structural integrity of a building.

Recent research conducted by the Crop Protection Association  revealed that: –

  • One in ten people lost money on a property following an infestation of knotweed.
  • One in seven people  saw a property deal fall through because of the presence of knotweed.
  • One in five saw the value of their house drop because of the presence of the weed.

Any attempts by sellers not to declare knotweed can cause problems for estate agents if a prospective buyer spots the plant.  Agents are also obligated to inform a prospective buyer of the presence, as this may affect their decision to buy the property.

One of the biggest knotweed problems confronting agents is it being wrongly diagnosed as Japanese knotweed when in fact it could easily be Himalayan Balsam, Bind Weed or Russian Vine.

The Crop Protection Association  revealed that: –

  • Less than a third of people felt confident that they’d be able to recognise knotweed.
  • One in six people said they had a good understanding of the plant.
  • Over one in four people stated that they knew nothing at all about knotweed.

If knotweed is found to be present, homeowners should be reassured that it does not necessarily have to affect a sale. If a proper remediation strategy is in place with warranties and insurance, the legal guarantees can demonstrate to solicitors that the knotweed issue is under full control.

For more information about Japanese knotweed, visit: http://www.japaneseknotweedcontrol.com

Don’t Forget you can keep up to date with all our articles on the Tamworth property Market on our other media sites:-

https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

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

https://www.facebook.com/hallandthompsonestateagents

Until next time, Happy house hunting

 

23% More Tamworth Home Owners Wanting to Move Than 12 Months Ago

As I have mentioned a number times in my local property market blog, with not enough new-build properties being built in Tamworth and the surrounding area to keep up with demand for homes to live in (be that tenants or homebuyers), it’s good to know more Tamworth home sellers are putting their properties on to the market than a year ago.

At the start of 2007 there were 899 properties for sale in Tamworth but by March 2008, when the credit crunch was really beginning to bite, that number had risen to 1,645 properties on the market at a time when demand was at an all-time low, thus creating an imbalance in the local property market.

Basic economics dictates that if there is too much supply of something and demand is poor (which it was in the Credit Crunch years of 2008/9) … prices will drop. In fact, house prices dropped between 15% and 20% depending on the type of Tamworth property between the end of 2007 and Spring 2009.

However, over the last five years, we have seen a steady decrease in supply of properties coming onto the market for sale and steady demand, meaning Tamworth property prices have remained robust.  A stable housing market is one of the foundations of a successful British economy, as it’s all about getting the healthy balance of buyer demand with a good supply of properties. Nevertheless, if you had asked me a couple of years ago, I would have said we were beginning to see there was in fact NOT enough properties coming on to the market for sale … meaning in certain sectors of the Tamworth property market, house prices were overheating because of this lack of supply.

So, it is pleasing to note, looking at the recent numbers …

There are 23% more properties for sale in Tamworth today than a year ago

There were 323 properties for sale 12 months ago, and today that stands at 398. Definitely a step in the right direction to a more stable property market.

Even better news, since the Chancellor announced the stamp duty rule changes for first time buyers (FTB), my fellow agents in Tamworth say that the number of FTB’s registering on the majority of agent’s books has increased year on year. That has still to follow through into more FTB’s buying their first home, however, with the heightened levels of confidence being demonstrated by both Tamworth house sellers and potential house buyers, I do foresee the Tamworth Property Market will show steady yet sustained improvement during the first half of 2018.

What does this mean for Tamworth landlords or those considering dipping their toe into the buy to let market for the first time? Landlords will need to keep improving their properties to ensure they get the best tenants. It is true that demand amongst FTB’s is increasing, albeit from a low base. Even with the new landlord tax rules, buy to let in Tamworth still looks a good investment, providing Tamworth landlords with a good income at a time of low interest rates and a roller coaster stock market.

If you are thinking of investing in bricks and mortar in Tamworth, it is important to do things correctly as making money won’t be as easy as it has been over the last twenty years.  With a greater number of properties on the market .. comes greater choice. Don’t buy the first thing you see, buy with your head as well as your heart … and don’t forget the first rule of Buy To Let Investment …..

I will tell you that 1st rule in a couple of weeks!

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’s £72,380,160 “Rentirement” Property Market Time Bomb

Yes, I said ‘rentirement’, not retirement … rentirement and it relates to the 488 (and growing) Tamworth people, who don’t own their own Tamworth home but rent their home, privately from a buy to let landlord and who are currently in their 50’s and early to mid-60’s.

The truth is that these Tamworth people are prospectively soon to retire with little more than their state pension of £155.95 per week, probably with a small private pension of a couple of hundred pounds a month, meaning the average Tamworth retiree can expect to retire on about £200 a week once they retire at 67.

The average rent in Tamworth is £618 a month, so a lot of the retirement “income” will be taken up in rent, meaning the remainder will have to be paid for out their savings or the taxpayer will have to stump up the bill (and with life expectancy currently in the mid to late 80’s, that is quite a big bill …  a total of £72,380,160 over the next 20 years to be paid from the tenant’s savings or the taxpayers coffers to be precise!

You might say it’s not fair for Tamworth tax payers to pick up the bill and that these mature Tamworth renters should start saving thousands of pounds a year now to be able to afford their rent in retirement.  However, in many circumstances, the reason these people are privately renting in the first place is that they were never able to find the money for a mortgage deposit on their home in the first place, or didn’t earn enough to qualify for a mortgage …and now as they approach retirement with hope of a nice council bungalow, that hope is diminishing because of the council house sell off in the 1980’s!

For a change, the Tamworth 30 to 40 somethings will be better off, as their parents are more likely to be homeowners and cascade their equity down the line when their parents pass away.  For example, that is what is happening in Europe where renting is common, the majority of people rent in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, but by the time they hit 50’s and 60’s (and retirement), they will invest the money they have inherited from their parents passing away and buy their own home.

So, what does this all mean for buy to let landlords in Tamworth?

Have you noticed how the new homes builders don’t build bungalows anymore … in fact some would said the ‘bungalow storey’ is over.  The waning in the number of bungalows being built has more to do with supply than demand.  The fact is that for new homes builders there is more money in constructing houses than there is in constructing bungalows.  Bungalows are voracious when it comes to land they need as because bungalow has a larger footprint for the same amount of square meterage as a two/three storey house due to the fact they are on one level instead of two or three.

That means, as demand will continue to rise for bungalows supply will remain the same.  We all know what happens when demand outs strips supply … prices (i.e. rents) for bungalows will inevitably go up.

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/

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Tamworth Homeowners Are Only Moving Every 20 Years (part 2)

In the credit crunch of 2008/9 the rate of home moving plunged to its lowest level ever. In 2009 the rate at which a typical house would change hands slumped to only once every 31.5 years. The biggest reason being that confidence was low and many homeowners didn’t want to sell their home as Tamworth property prices plunged after the onset of the financial crisis in 2008. However, since 2009, the rate of home moving has increased (see the table and graph below), meaning today:

The average period of time between home moves in

Tamworth is now 20 years.

This is an increase of 58.94 per cent between the credit crunch fallout year of 2009 and today, but still it is a 38.27 per cent drop in moves by homeowners, compared to 15 years ago (The Noughties).

Average Length of Time (In Years) between Home Moves in the

Tamworth Borough Council Area

1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
17.46 15.89 13.75 13.98 12.72 13.14 13.98 12.29 14.58 13.78 16.21
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
12.94 13.24 25.90 31.63 35.02 30.34 30.13 25.87 20.33 21.51 19.90

So why aren’t Tamworth homeowners moving as much as they did in the Noughties?

The causes of the current state of play are numerous. In last weeks article I talked about how ‘real’ incomes and savings had been dropping. Another issue is the long-term failure in the number of properties being built. Only a few weeks ago in the blog, I was discussing the draconian planning rules meaning house builders struggle to locate building land to actually build on.

Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s, as a country, we were building on average 300,000 and 350,000 households a year. The Barker Review a few years ago said that for the UK to stand still and keep up with housing demand (through immigration, people living longer, a just under 50% increase in the number of households with a single person since the 1980’s and family makeup (i.e. divorce makes one household now two)) we needed to build 240,000 households a year. Over the last few years, we have only been building between 135,000 and 150,000 households a year.

Finally, as the UK Population gets older, there is no getting away from the fact that a maturing population is a less mobile one.

So, what does this mean for Tamworth homeowners and landlords? 

Well, if Tamworth people are less inclined to move or find it hard to sell a property or acquire a new one, they are probably less likely to move to an improved job or a more prosperous part of the UK.

Many of the older generation in Tamworth are stuck in property that is simply too big for their needs. The fact is that, in Tamworth, nearly five out of every ten (or 48.6 per cent) owned houses has two or more spare bedrooms; or to be more exact …

10,571 of the 21,733 owned households in the Tamworth

area have two or more spare bedrooms.

So, as their children and grandchildren struggle to move up the housing ladder, with those young families bursting at the seams in homes too small for them i.e. overcrowding, we have a severe case of under-occupation with the older generation – grandparents staying put in their bigger homes, with a profusion of spare bedrooms.

Regrettably, I cannot see how the rate of properties being sold will rise any time soon. Many commentators have suggested the Government should give tax breaks to allow the older generation to downsize, yet in a recent White Paper on housing published just weeks before the General Election, there was no reference of any thoughtful and detailed policies to inspire or support them to do so.

This means that there could be an opportunity for Tamworth buy to let landlords to secure larger properties to rent out, as the demand for them will surely grow over the coming years. As for homeowners; well those in the lower and middle Tamworth market will find it a balanced sellers/buyers market, but will find it slightly more a buyers market in the upper price bands.

Interesting times ahead!

If you enjoyed reading my article, feel free to take a look my other online resources below:

Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Tamworth Youtube Channelhttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyF9OUR3g6E8HywCx7tU4DA

Follow The Buy-To-Let Property Investment Market in Tamworth https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

Lorraine’s Tamworth Property Market LinkedIn Page https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorrainethompson2/

Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Tamworth Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Hallandthompsonestateagents/

Tamworth Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Twitter Page  https://twitter.com/hallandthompson

Slowing Tamworth Property Market? Yes and No!

My thoughts to the landlords and homeowners of Tamworth…

The tightrope of being a Tamworth buy-to-let landlord is a balancing act many do well at. Talking to several Tamworth landlords, they are very conscious of their tenants’ capacity and ability to pay the rent and their own need to raise rents on their rental properties (as Government figure shows ‘real pay’ has dropped 1% in the last six months). Evidence does suggest many landlords feel more assured than they were in the spring about pursuing higher rents on their properties.

During the summer months, historic evidence suggests that the rents new tenants have had to pay on move in have increased. June/July/August is a time when renters like to move, demand surges and the normal supply and demand seesaw mean tenants are normally prepared to pay more to secure the property they want to live in, in the place they want to be. This is particularly good news for Tamworth landlords as average Tamworth rents have been on a downward trend recently. So look at the figures here…

Rents in Tamworth on average for new tenants moving in have risen 2.7% for the month, taking overall annual Tamworth rents 2.4% higher for the year

However, several Tamworth landlords have expressed their apprehensions about a slowing of the housing market in Tamworth. I think this negativity may be exaggerated.

Before we get the Champagne out, the other side of the coin to property investing is capital values (which will also be of interest to all the homeowners in Tamworth as well as the Tamworth buy-to-let landlords).  I believe the Tamworth property market has been trying to find some level of equilibrium since the New Year.  According to the Land Registry…

Property Values in Tamworth are 8.2% higher than they were 12 months ago, rising by 2.51% last month alone!

Property values and rents in Tamworth
Property values and rents in Tamworth

Yet, I would take those figures with a pinch of salt as they reflect the sales of Tamworth properties that took place in early Spring 2017 and now are only exchanging and completing during the summer months.

The reality is the number of properties that are on the market in Tamworth today has risen by 20% since the New Year and that will have a dampening effect on property values. As tenants have had less choice, buyers now have more choice … and that will temper Tamworth property prices as we head towards 2018.

Slowing property market?

Be you a homeowner or landlord, if you are planning to sell your Tamworth property in the short term, it is crucial, especially with the rise in the number of properties on the market, that you realistically price your property when you bring it to the market … with the increase in choice of properties, the balance of power during negotiation generally sways towards the buyer. Given that everyone now has access to property details, including historic stats for how much property have sold for, they will be more astute during the offer and negotiation stages of a purchase.

However, even with this uplift in the number of properties for sale in Tamworth, property prices will remain stable and strong in the medium to long term. This is because the number of properties on the market today is still way below the peak of summer of 2008, when there were 1,386 properties for sale compared to the current level of 360 (if you recall, prices dropped by nearly 20% in Credit Crunch years of ‘08 and ‘09).

Compared to 2008, today’s lower supply of Tamworth properties for sale will keep prices relatively high…and they will continue to stay at these levels for the medium to long term.

Less people are moving than a few years ago, meaning less property is for sale. Fewer properties for sale mean property prices remain relatively high and this is because of a number of underlying reasons. Firstly, buy-to-let landlords tend not sell their properties as often than owner-occupiers, consequently removing the property out of the housing market selling cycle. Secondly, Stamp Duty is much higher compared to 10 years ago (meaning it costs more to move). Next, there is a dearth of local authority rental housing so demand for private rented housing will remain high. Then we have the UK’s maturing owner occupier population, meaning these older people are less likely to move (compared to when they were younger). Another reason is the lack of new homes being built in the country (we need 240k houses a year to be built in the UK and we are currently only building 145k a year!) and finally, the new mortgage rules introduced in 2014 about how much a person can borrow on a mortgage has curtailed demand.

Some final thought’s before I go – to all the Tamworth homeowners that aren’t planning to sell – this talk of price changes is only on paper profit or loss. To those that are moving … most people that sell, are buyers as well, so as you might not get as much for yours, the one you will want to buy won’t be as much, (swings and roundabouts as Mum used to say!)

To all the Tamworth landlords – keep your eyes peeled – I have a feeling there may be some decent buy-to-let deals to be had in the coming months. One place for such deals, irrespective of which agent is selling it, is my Tamworth Property Blog … https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

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

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

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1627669040852754/

 

Tamworth’s New 3 Speed Property Market

“What’s happening to the Tamworth Property Market” is a question I am asked repeatedly.  Well, would it be a surprise to hear that my own research suggests that there isn’t just one big Tamworth property market – but many small micro-property markets?

According to recent data released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), I have discovered that at least three of these micro-property markets have emerged over the last 20+ years in the town.

For ease, I have named them the …

  1. lower’ Tamworth Property Market.
  2. lower to middle’ Tamworth Property Market.
  3. ‘middle’ Tamworth Property Market.

    Tamworth's 3 speed local property market
    Tamworth’s 3 speed local property market?

The ‘lower’ and ‘lower to middle’ sectors of the Tamworth property market have been fuelled over the last few years by two sets of buyers. The first set, making up the clear majority of those buyers, are cash rich landlord investors who are throwing themselves into the Tamworth property market to take advantage of alluringly low prices and even lower interest rates. The other set of buyers in the ‘lower’ and ‘lower to middle’ Tamworth property market are the first-time buyers (FTB), although the FTB market is in a state of unparalleled deadlock as it’s been trampled into near-immobility and incapacity by the new 2014 stricter mortgage affordability regulations and also fewer mortgages with low deposits.

Some of you may be interested to know how I have classified the three sectors ..

  1. lower’ Tamworth housing market – the bottom 10% (in terms of value) of properties sold
  2. lower to middle’ Tamworth housing market – lower Quartile (or lowest 25% in terms of value) of properties sold
  3. middle’ Tamworth housing market – which is the median in terms of value
Change in house prices in Tamworth borough Council area between 1995 and 2017
Change in house prices in Tamworth borough Council area between 1995 and 2017

 

 

 

 

 

…. and if one looks at the figures for Tamworth Borough Council area you can see the three different sectors (lower, lower/middle and middle) have performed quite differently.

Tamworth Borough Council Property Market – Sold Prices Price Paid in 1995 Price Paid in 2017 Percentage Uplift

1995 – 2017

Lower (Bottom 10%) £32,000 £110,000 243.75%
Lower to Middle (Lower Quartile) £39,000 £131,000 235.90%
Middle (The Median) £49,954 £178,445 257.22%

You can quite clearly see that it is the ‘middle’ market that has performed the best.

You might ask, what do all these different figures mean to homeowners and landlords alike?  Quite a lot – so let me explain. The worst performing sector (with the lowest Percentage uplift) was the ‘lower to middle’ housing market. Therefore, interestingly, if we applied the best percentage uplift figure (i.e. from the ‘middle’ market percentage uplift), to the ‘lower to middle’ 1995 housing market figure, the 2017 figure of £131,000, would have been £139,316 instead.

Now, I have specifically not mentioned the upper reaches of the Tamworth housing market for several reasons.  Firstly, the lower or middle market is where most of the buy to let investment landlords buy their property and where the majority of property transactions take place. Secondly, due to the unique and distinctive nature of Tamworth’s up-market property scene (because every property is different and they don’t tend to sell as often as the lower to middle market), it is much more difficult to calculate what changes have occurred to property prices in that part of the Tamworth property market – looking at the stats for the up-market Tamworth property market from Land Registry, only 6 properties in Tamworth (and a 3 mile radius around it) have sold for £1,000,000 or more since 1997.

Uplift percentage
uplift percentage

So, what should every homeowner and buy to let landlord take from the information that there are many micro-property markets? Well, when you realise there isn’t just one Tamworth Property Market, but many Tamworth “micro-property markets”, you can spot trends and bag yourself some potential bargains. Even in this market, I have spotted a number of bargains over the last few months that I have shared in my Property Blog and to my landlord database, especially in the ‘lower’ and ‘lower/middle’ market. If you want to be kept informed of those buy to let bargains, have a look at my blog  .. https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk  it’s free to do so and I’m sure you wouldn’t want to miss out – would you?

I would love to know if you have spotted any micro-property markets in Tamworth.

Email me  on lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk or give me a call on 07531484956. We can always meet up for a chat and a coffee, we can even walk the dog.

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

http://www.hallandthompson.co.uk

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

The Unfairness of the Tamworth Baby Boomer’s £2,573,260,000 Windfall? (Part 1)

Recently I was having a chat with one of my second cousins at a big family get-together. The last time I had seen them their children were in their early teens. Now their children are all grown up, have partners, dogs and children. Gosh – how time flies!

So, I got talking over a glass of wine with my 2nd cousins and a couple of their children, about the times of 15% interest rates and how the more mature members of our family had to endure the 3 day week, 20% inflation and the threat of nuclear annihilation in 4 minutes .. so, foolishly, I said what with all the opportunities youngsters had today, they had never had it so good!

Trust one of my cousin’s children to have gained some financial/economics qualifications before going to Law School, as they debated with me the genuine economic predicament of Millennials and how a combination of student debt, unemployment, global proliferation, EU migration and rising house values is reducing the salaries and outlook of masses of the UK’s younger generation, causing an unparalleled disparity of wealth between the generations. So of course I asked why that was?

Baby Boomers and the Tamworth property market
Baby Boomers and the Tamworth property market

They said Millennials were paying the price for the UK’s most spectacular bookkeeping catastrophe to date (bigger than the Bank bailout after the Credit Crunch). Back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, nobody predicted us Brit’s would live as long as we do today, and in such abundant numbers. The OAP pensions that were promised in the past (be that Government State Pension or Company Final Salary Schemes) which appeared to be nothing fancy at the time, are now burdensome and  over-lavish, and that is hurting the Millennials of today and will do so for years to come.

Bringing it back to property, the young 2nd cousin once removed ‘soon to be’ lawyer, stated that baby boomers born between 1945 and 1965 have been big recipients of the vast rising house prices over the 1970’s/80’s/90’s and 2000’s. Add to that their decent pensions, meaning cumulatively, their wealth has grown exponentially through no skill of their own.

This disparity of wealth between the older and younger generations could have unparalleled consequences for the living standards of younger Millennials…. So Houston Tamworth – do we have a problem??

Well Tamworth Property Blog readers, you know I like a challenge. I can’t disagree with some of what the younger family member said, but there are always two sides to every story, so I thought I would do some homework on the matter ..

Since 1990, the average value of a property in Tamworth has risen from £72,000 to its current level of £209,600. As there are a total of 18,701 homeowners aged over 50 in Tamworth; that means there has been a £2.57bn windfall for those Tamworth homeowners fortunate enough to own their own homes during the property boom of the 1990s and early 2000’s.

Average value of property in Tamworth 1990 - 2017
Average value of property in Tamworth 1990 – 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I must admit that the growth in property values in the 1990’s and 2000’s certainly helped many of Tamworth’s baby boomers. The figures do appear to put into reverse gear the perceived wisdom that each generation gets wealthier than the previous one  … and so with all this wealth, the figures do back up the youngsters argument that Millennials are being priced out of home ownership.

Or do they? Are they?

Next week, I will carry on this discussion where I will give the Baby Boomer’s defence to the prosecution’s case!

 

If you are looking for an agent with experience that can help you find the right tenant for your property, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

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

www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

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

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

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

 

Council House Waiting List in Tamworth Drops by 43.7% in last 8 years

Should you buy or rent a house? Buying your own home can be expensive but could save you money over the years. Renting a property through a letting agent or private landlord offers less autonomy to live by your own rules, with more flexibility if you need to move.

Tamworth Council Offices
Tamworth Council Offices

Yet, there is third way that many people seem to forget, yet it plays an important role in the housing of Tamworth people. Collectively known as social housing, it is affordable housing, which is let by either Tamworth Borough Council or a housing association to those considered to be in specific need, at rents below those characteristic in the private rental market.

In Tamworth, there are 5,869 social housing households, which represent 19.31% of all the households in Tamworth. There are a further 1,598 families in the Tamworth Borough Council area on their waiting list, which is similar to the figures in the late 1990’s. The numbers peaked in 2008, when it stood at 2,842 families, so today’s numbers represent a drop of 43.7%.

Number of families on Tamworth's housing list
Number of families on Tamworth’s housing list

Nevertheless, this doesn’t necessarily mean that more families are being supplied with their own council house or housing association property. Six years ago, Westminster gave local authorities the authority to limit entitlement for social housing, quite conspicuously dismissing those that did not have an association or link to the locality.

Interestingly, the rents in the social rented segment have also been growing at a faster rate than they have for private tenants. In the Tamworth Borough Council area, the average rent in 1998 for a council house/housing association property was £181.65 a month, whilst today its £350.05, a rise of 93% in 19 years.

When comparing social housing rents against private rents, the stats don’t go back to the late 1990’s for private renting, so to ensure we compare like for like, we can only go back to 2005. Over the last 12 years, private rents have increased nationally by a net figure of 19.7%, whilst rents for social housing have increased by 59.1%.

So, what does this all mean for the homeowners, landlords and tenants of Tamworth?

Rents in the private rental sector in Tamworth will increase sharply during the next five years. Even though the council house waiting list has decreased, the number of new council and housing association properties being built is at a 70 year low. The government crusade against buy-to-let landlords together with the increased taxation and the banning of tenant fees to agents will restrict the supply of private rental property, which in turn using simple supply and demand economics, will mean private rents will rise – making buy to let investment a good choice of investment again (irrespective of the increased fees and taxation laid at the door of landlords).  It will also mean property values will remain strong and stable as the number of people moving to a new house (and selling their old property) will continue to remain restricted and hence, due to lack of choice and supply, buyers will have to pay decent money for any property they wish to buy.

Interesting times ahead for the Tamworth Property Market!

My advice to the prospective landlord as is to you – is do your homework.  One such website, which only talks about the Tamworth buy to let Property Market, is the Tamworth Property Blog,     https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk  another source of info many Tamworth landlords use is me! What many Tamworth landlords do, irrespective of whether you are a landlord of ours, a landlord with another agent or a DIY landlord, if you see any property in Tamworth, that catches your eye as a potential buy to let property, be it a terraced house, semi or flat … email me lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk  I will email you back with my thoughts (although I will tell you what you need to know .. not what you want to hear!)

If you enjoyed reading my article, feel free to take a look my other online resources below:

Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Tamworth Youtube Channel

Follow The Buy-To-Let Property Investment Market in Tamworth

Lorraine’s Tamworth Property Market LinkedIn Page

Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Tamworth Facebook Page

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Should the 8,064 home owning OAP’s of Tamworth be forced to downsize?

This was a question posed to me on social media a few weeks ago, after my article about our mature members of Tamworth society and the fact many retirees feel trapped in their homes. After working hard for many years and buying a home for themselves and their family, the children have subsequently flown the nest and now they are left to rattle round in a big house. Many feel trapped in their big homes (hence I dubbed these Tamworth home owning mature members of our society, ‘Generation Trapped’).

So, should we force OAP Tamworth homeowners to downsize?

Well in the original article, I suggested that we as a society should encourage, through building, tax breaks and social acceptance that it’s a good thing to downsize. But should the Government force OAP’s?

Well, one of the biggest reasons OAP’s move home is health (or lack of it).

Looking at the statistics for Tamworth, of the 8,064 homeowners who are 65 years and older, whilst 4,113 of them described themselves in good or very good health, a sizeable 2,841 home owning OAPs described themselves as in fair health and 1,110 in bad or very bad health.

13.76% of Tamworth home owning OAP’s are in poor health

Tamworth Home Owners 65Years +

Tamworth Home Owners 65Years + HealthBut if you look at the figures for the whole of Tamworth Borough Council, there are only 119 specialist retirement homes that one could buy (if they were in fact for sale) and 568 homes available to rent from the Council and other specialist providers (again- you would be waiting for dead man’s shoes to get your foot in the door) and many older homeowners wouldn’t feel comfortable with the idea of renting a retirement property after enjoying the security of owning their own home for most of their adult lives.

My intuition tells me the majority ‘would be’ Tamworth downsizers could certainly afford to move but are staying put in bigger family homes because they can’t find a suitable smaller property. The fact is there simply aren’t enough bungalows for the healthy older members of the Tamworth population and specialist retirement properties for the ones who aren’t in such good health … we need to build more appropriate houses in Tamworth.

 The Government’s Housing White Paper, published a few weeks ago, could have solved so many problems with the UK housing market, including the issue of homing our aging population. Instead, it ended up feeling annoyingly ambiguous. Forcing our older generation to move with such measures as a punitive taxation (say a tax on wasted bedrooms for people who are retired) would be the wrong thing to do. Instead of the stick – maybe the Government could use the carrot tactics and offered tax breaks for downsizers. Who knows – but something has to happen?

.. and come to think about it, isn’t the word ‘downsize’ such an awful word?  I prefer to use the word ‘decent-size’ instead of ‘down-size’- as the other phrase feels like they are lowering themselves, as though they are having to downgrade themselves in their retirement (and let’s be frank – no one likes to be downgraded).

The simple fact is we are living longer as a population and constantly growing with increased birth rates and immigration. So, what I would say to all the homeowners and property owning public of Tamworth is … more houses and apartments need to be built in the Tamworth area, especially more specialist retirement properties and bungalows. The Government had a golden opportunity with the White Paper – and were sadly found lacking.

And a message to my Tamworth property investor readers whilst this issue gets sorted in the coming decade(s)  – maybe seriously consider doing up older bungalows – people will pay handsomely for them – be they for sale or even rent? Just a thought!

If you are looking for an agent with experience that can help you find the right tenant for your property, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

Email me  on lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk or give me a call on 07531484956. We can always meet up for a chat and a coffee, we can even walk the dog.

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