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 Baby Boomers vs. Tamworth Millennials (Part 2)

Well last week’s article “The Unfairness of the Tamworth Baby Boomer’s £2,573,260,000 windfall?” caused a stir. In it we looked at a young family member of mine who was arguing the case that Millennials (those born after 1985) were suffering on the back of the older generation in Tamworth. They claimed the older generation had seen the benefit of the cumulative value of Tamworth properties significantly increasing over the last 25/30 years (which I calculated at  £2.57bn since 1990). In addition many of the older generation (the baby boomers) had fantastic pensions, which meant the younger generation were priced out of the Tamworth housing market.

 

 

 

 

I replied there should be no surprise though that the older members of our society hold considerably more of our country’s wealth than the younger generation. This wealth is accrued and saved across someone’s life, and reaches it’s peak about the time of retirement. If we are to comprehend differing wealth levels between generations we need to compare ‘apples with apples’. It is much more important to track the wealth held by different generations at the same age, i.e. what was ‘real’ wealth of the 30-something couple in the 1960’s compared to a 30-something couple say in the 1980’s or 2010’s?

Looking back over the last 120 years at various economic studies, this growth in wealth from one generation to the next (at the age range), only happened over a 30 year period of between 1960 and late 1980’s. Since the 1990’s, wealth has not improved across the generations, in the same age range.

So could it be all about these people saving? The fact is, in the last 10 years, UK households have saved on average 7.5% to 8% of the household income into savings accounts, compared to an average of 6% to 7% in the late 1960’s and 1970’s. The baby boomers haven’t been actively squirreling away their cash for the last 30 or 40 years in savings accounts to accumulate their wealth. Most of their gains have been passive, lucky bonuses gained on the back of things out of their control (unanticipated and massive property value rises or people living longer making final salary pensions more valuable) – it’s not their fault!

…and herein lies the issue … it is assumed that these Millennials aren’t buying property in the same numbers like the older generation did in the past (because most of their wealth has come from house price inflation). The Millennials have often been described as ‘Generation Rent’, because they rent as opposed to buying property – because we are told they cant buy.

However, when Tamworth mortgage payments are measured against monthly income, home ownership is affordable by historic standards because mortgage rates are currently so low. As you can see, the ratio of average house price to average earnings in Tamworth hasn’t vastly changed over the last decade …

  • 2008 average house price to average earnings of a single person in Tamworth 6.21 to 1
  • 2017 average house price to average earnings of a single person in Tamworth 6.75 to 1

average house price to average earning ratio of a single person in Tamworth
average house price to average earning ratio of a single person in Tamworth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(i.e. in 2008, the average house price in Tamworth was 6.21 times more than the average person’s salary in Tamworth and this has only risen to 6.75 in 2017 – and all this off the property boom of the early 2010’s)

95% first-time buyer mortgages were reintroduced in 2010. The average interest rate charged for those 95% FTB mortgages has slowly dropped from around 5.5% in 2009 to the current 4% rate. Back in the 1980’s/1990’s mortgage interest rates were between 8% and 10%, and one time in the early 1990’s, reached 15%! The main difference between the two periods was the absolute borrowing relative to income is greater now than in the 1980’s. They call this the ‘mortgage to joint household income ratio’. In the 1980’s the mortgage was between 1.8x to 2x joint income; today it is 3.4x to 3.6x salary.

The simple fact is, in the majority of cases, it is still cheaper for a first-time buyer to buy a property with a 95% mortgage, than it is rent it. The barrier for these Millennials, has to be finding the 5% mortgage deposit – instead of being able to afford monthly mortgage outgoings at the current 95% mortgage rates?

Millennials make up 5,567 households in the Tamworth Borough Council area (or 17.6% of all households in the area).  However, behind the doom and gloom, surprisingly, 42.5% did save up the 5% deposit and do in fact own their own home (that surprised you didn’t it!)

Nonetheless, the majority of Millennials in the area still do rent from a landlord (1,735 Millennial households to be exact). Yet, they have a choice. Buckle down and do what their parents did and go without the nice things in life for a couple of years (i.e. the holidays, out on the town two times a week, the annual upgraded mobile phones, the £100 a month Satellite packages) and save for a 5% mortgage deposit … or live in a lovely rented house or apartment (because they are nowadays), without any maintenance bills and live a life with no intention of buying (because renting doesn’t have a stigma anymore like it did in the 1960’s/70’s (secretly hoping their parents don’t spend all their inheritance so they can buy a property later in life – like they do in central Europe).

Neither decision is right or wrong – although it is still a choice. Until Millennials decide to change their choices – that is the reason why the country’s private rental sector will continue to grow for the next 30 years – meaning happy tenants and happy landlords.

If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one 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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192 Tamworth Households Occupied by OAP Renters

Recent statistics published by the Office of National Statistics show that there are 267,704 private rented households in the Country that are occupied by people aged 65 and older, meaning 4.39% of OAP’s are living in private rented property.

It got me thinking two things. How many of these OAP’s have always rented and how many have sold up and become a tenant?  In retirement, selling up could make financial sense to the mature generation in Tamworth, potentially allowing them to liquidate the equity of their main home to enhance their retirement income.  I wanted to know why these older people rent and whether there was opportunity for the buy to let landlords of Tamworth?

The Prudential published a survey recently that said nearly six out of ten OAP renters had never owned a home.  Two out of ten OAP renters were required to sell up because of debt, just about one in ten OAP renters sold their property to use the money to fund their retirement and the remaining one out ten OAP renters, rented for other reasons.

Funding retirement is important as the life expectancy of someone from Tamworth at age 65 (years) is 18.4 years for males and 20.7 years for females (interesting when compared to the National Average of 18.7 years for males and 21.1 years for females).  The burdens of financing a long retirement are being felt by many mature people of Tamworth.  The state of play is not helped by rising living costs and ultra-low interest rates reducing returns for savers.

So, what of Tamworth?  Of the 7,239 households in Tamworth, whose head of the household is 65 or over, not surprisingly 5,236 of households were owned (72.33%) and 1,631 (22.53%) were in social housing.  However, the figure that fascinated me was the 192 (2.65%) households that were in privately rented properties.

Tenure: Owned; Tenure: Shared ownership (part owned and part rented); Tenure: Rented from council (Local Authority Tenure: Private rented; Tenure: Living rent free;
72.33% 0.26% 22.53% 2.65% 2.22%

Anecdotal evidence, by talking to both my team and other Tamworth property professionals is that this figure is rising.  More and more Tamworth OAP’s are selling their large Tamworth homes and renting something more manageable, allowing them to release all of their equity from their old home.  This equity can be gifted to grandchildren (allowing them to get on the property ladder), invested in plans that produce a decent income and while living the life they want to live.

These Tamworth OAP renters know they have a fixed monthly expenditure and can budget accordingly with the peace of mind that their property maintenance and the upkeep of the buildings are included in the rent.  Many landlords will also include gardening in the rent! Renting is also more adaptable to the trials of being an OAP – the capability to move at short notice can be convenient for those moving into nursing homes, and it doesn’t leave family members panicking to sell the property to fund care-home fees.

Tamworth landlords should seriously consider low maintenance semi-detached bungalows on decent bus routes and close to doctor’s surgeries as a potential investment strategy to broaden their portfolio.  Get it right and you will have a wonderful tenant, who if the property offers everything a mature tenant wants and needs, will pay top dollar in rent!

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.

My work experience person.

 

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

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£23m a year black hole in the Tamworth Property Market – Is Buy to Let Immoral? (Part 2)

 

An Englishman’s Home is His Castle as Maggie Thatcher lauded – everyone should own their own home. In 1971, around 50% of people owned their own home and, as the baby-boomers got better jobs and pay, that proportion of homeowners rose to 69% by 2001. Home ownership was here to stay as many baby boomers assumed it’s very much a cultural thing here in Britain to own your own home.

But on the back of TV programmes like Homes Under the Hammer, these same baby boomers started to jump on the band wagon of Tamworth buy to let properties as an investment. Tamworth first time buyers were in competition with Tamworth landlords to buy these smaller starter homes … pushing house prices up in the 2000’s (as mentioned in Part One) beyond the reach of first time buyers. Alas, it is not as simple as that. Many factors come into play, such as economics, the banks and government policy. But are Tamworth landlords fanning the flames of the Tamworth housing crisis bonfire?

I believe that the landlords of the 3,300 Tamworth rental properties are not exploitive and are in fact, making many positive contributions to Tamworth and the people of Tamworth. Like I have said before, Tamworth (and the rest of the UK) isn’t building enough properties to keep up the demand; with high birth rate, job mobility, growing population and longer life expectancy.

According to the Barker Review, for the UK to standstill and meet current demand, the country needs to be building 8.7 new households each and every year for every 1,000 households already built. Nationally, we are currently running at 5.07 per thousand and in the early part of this decade were running at 4.1 to 4.3 per thousand.

It doesn’t sound a lot of difference, so let us look at what this means for Tamworth …

For Tamworth to meet its obligation on the building of new homes, Tamworth would need to build 264 households each year. Yet, we are missing that figure by around 110 households a year.

For the Government to buy the land and build those additional 110 households, it would need to spend £23,199,927 a year in Tamworth alone. Add up all the additional households required over the whole of the UK and the Government would need to spend £23.31bn each year … the Country hasn’t got that sort of money!

The bottom line is that, as the population grows, there aren’t enough properties being built for everyone to have a roof over their head. Rogue landlords need to be put out of business, whilst tenants should expect a more regulated rental market, with greater security for tenants, where they can rely on good landlords providing them high standards from their safe and modernised home. As in Europe, where most people rent rather than buy, it doesn’t matter who owns the house – all people want is a clean, decent roof over their head at a reasonable rent.

So only you, the reader, can decide if buy to let is immoral, but first let me ask this question – if the private buy to let landlords had not taken up the slack and provided a roof over these people’s heads over the last decade .. where would these tenants be living now? ….. because the alternative doesn’t even bear thinking about!

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.

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

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

Tamworth Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Twitter Page