As 42.3% of Tamworth Property on the Market is Sold Are there any bargains because of Brexit?

Bargains – well yes and no – and let me explain why. To find a bargain you need to know the ‘market’, yet there is not one ‘property market’ in the UK. In fact, the British property market is like a fly’s eye, it looks one whole but in fact it is split into lots of fragmented pieces and the same goes for the Tamworth property market as that too is split into different patches… in fact it can even come down to two streets adjacent to each other, one street selling like hot cakes for top dollar whilst the next street can stick and at comparatively lower prices (i.e. if there is a school catchment boundary or differing postcode).

According to Coutts, property values in ‘Prime London’ have dropped by 14.7% in the last 5 years … yet look closely at those stats and Prime London is considered anything within a 1,500m radius of Kensington High Street above £4.6m – a totally different world to the average property in Tamworth, which is worth just under £230,000 and has risen in value over those same 5 years by 31.5%  .. a different world!

I have noticed that the top end of the market above £500,000 in Tamworth and the surrounding areas is proving a little tougher to shift than a few years ago, yet this can’t all be blamed on Brexit, as buyers have long been flinching at overestimated asking prices and excessive stamp duty rates.

In Tamworth, 25.3% of properties for sale have reduced their asking price in the last 3 months by an average of 4.5%

A lot less than the reductions that are being seen in central London. In fact, the property market in Tamworth is looking reasonably good with

42.3% of properties on the market in Tamworth being shown as under offer and Sold subject to contract

…Interesting when compared with the aforementioned London Prime market where only 5.86% of the properties for sale are sold .. some bargains to be had there!

So, where are the bargains in Tamworth? Well, to start with, it’s all about knowing the local Tamworth market. It’s all about comparing and contrasting property, so to start with, check out the property web-portals such as Zoopla and Rightmove to see what’s for sale. The art here is to click on the ‘include Sold stc’ in the filters .. then arrange them in price order. Then you will get a feel for what properties are roughly selling for. Also look at recent sales, so in Rightmove click on ‘House Prices’ on the main menu, on the proceeding drop down menu click on ‘Find Sold House prices’ and now you can type in a street, or even a street plus 0.25miles/0.5miles .. click on ‘List View’ and they are in date order. There is a similar function in Zoopla (feel free to contact me if you need a hand with that).

Then once you have found what you think is a bargain .. view it. Ask the agent why the sellers are moving.  By doing your research on the seller, seeing how long it has been on the market, whether they have reduced the asking price (if you ask an agent they have to tell you and by how much)  — you could cut a better deal if they are compelled to sell. Push home your advantage i.e. if you are a first-time buyer, don’t have a property to sell, chain free or cash purchaser it can all make a difference.

Looking at the numbers above, some savvy Tamworth landlords and home buyers are taking advantage of the doom and gloom newspaper headlines as property owners’ expectations are probably at the lowest they have ever been since the Credit Crunch, especially if they are in the ‘got to sell’ category instead of the ‘would like to sell’ category.

Like anything in life .. buying a property bargain comes down to putting the hard-work in, doing your homework and jumping at opportunities.

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How Did Brexit Affect the Tamworth Property Market in 2018 – and its Future for 2019?

A few weeks ago, I suggested property values in Tamworth would be between 1.3% and 2.1% different by the end of the year. It might surprise some people that Brexit hasn’t had the effect on the Tamworth property market that most feared at the start of 2018.

The basis of this point of view can clearly be seen in the number of property transactions (i.e. the number of property sold) that have taken place locally since 2008. The most recent property recession was the Credit Crunch years of 2008/2009/2010.

In property recessions, the headline most people look at is the average value of property. Yet, as most people that sell also go on to buy, for most home movers, if your property has gone down in value, the one you want to buy has also gone down in value so you are no better or worse off. If you are moving up market – which most people do when they move home – in a repressed market, the gap between what yours is worth and what you will buy gets lower … meaning you will be better off.

Yet, most property commentators, including myself, suggest (and I have mentioned this before in some of my other blog articles) a better measure of the health of the property market is the transaction numbers (i.e. the number of people selling and buying). So, I decided to look at the 2018 statistics, and compare them with the Credit Crunch years (2008 to 2010) and the boom years (2014 to 2017). The results can be seen in the table below.

Then, I looked at the average quarterly figures for those chosen date ranges … and created this graph …

In that 2008 to 2010 property Credit Crunch recession, the average number of properties sold in the Tamworth area were 59 per month. Interesting when we compare that to the boom years of 2014 to 2017, when an average of 93 properties changed hands monthly … yet in the ‘supposed’ doom laden year of 2018, an impressive average of 91 properties changed hands monthly … meaning 2018 compared to the boom years of 2014 to 2017 saw a drop of 1.6% – yet still 55.1% higher than the Credit Crunch years of 2008 to 2010.

The simple fact is, the fundamental problems of the Tamworth property market are that there haven’t been enough new homes being built since the 1980’s (and I don’t say that lightly with all the new homes sites dotted around the locality). Also, the cost of buying your first home remaining relatively high compared to wages and to add insult to injury, all those issues are armor-plated by the tougher mortgage rules which were introduced in 2014 and the current mortgage market conditions.

It is these issues which will ultimately determine and form the rather unexciting, yet still vital, long term outlook for the Tamworth (and national) housing market, as I feel the Brexit issue over the last few years has been the ‘current passing diversion’ for us to worry about. Assuming something can be sorted with Brexit, in the long term property values in Tamworth will be constrained by earnings increases with long term house price rises of no more than 2.5% to 4% a year.

 Fundamentally, the question I am asked by many Tamworth buy to let landlords and Tamworth homebuyers is … “should I wait to buy or not?”

As a Tamworth homebuyer, one shouldn’t be thinking of what is happening in Westminster, Brussels, Irish Backstop, China or Trump and more of your own personal circumstances. Do you want to move to get your child in ‘that’ school or do you need an extra bedroom for your third child? For lots of people, the response is a resounding yes – and in fact, I feel many people have held back, so once we know what is finally happening with Brexit and the future of it, there could a be a release of that pent-up demand to move home as people humbly just want to get on with their lives.

There is little to be lost in postponing a house purchase until there is better clarity on the situation. If it isn’t Brexit it will something else – so just get on with your lives and start living. We got through the global financial crisis/Credit Crunch in ‘08/’09, Black Wednesday in ’92 where mortgage interest rates went from 8.5% to 15% in one day, we got through the worst stock market crash with Black Monday in ’87, hyperinflation, power shortages, petrol quadrupling in price in less than a year and a 3 day week in the ‘70’s … need I go on?

Tamworth Landlords? Well, where else are you going to invest your money? Like I said earlier in the article, we aren’t building enough homes to keep up with demand … so as demand outstrips supply, house values will continue to grow. Putting the money in the building society will only get you 1% to 2% if you are lucky. In the short term though, there could be some bargains to be had from shortsighted panicking sellers and in the long term … well, the same reasons I gave to homeowners also apply to you.

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Tamworth Tenant’s Deposits held total £2,458,500

With the Government preparing to control tenant’s deposits at five weeks rent, Tamworth landlords will soon only be protected in the event of a single month of unpaid rental-arrears, at a time when Universal Credit has seen some rent arrears quadrupling and that’s before you consider damage to the property or solicitor costs.

It can’t be disputed that the deposits Tamworth tenants have to save for, certainly raises the cost of renting, putting another nail in the coffin of the dream of home ownership for many Tamworth renters. At the same time, those same deposits being unable to provide Tamworth landlords with a decent level of protection against unpaid rent or damage to the property.

In fact, the total of all the tenants’ deposits in

Tamworth, deposited or protected, is £2,458,500

When you consider the value of all the privately rented properties in Tamworth total £705,361,800, the need for decent landlord insurance to ensure you are adequately covered as a Tamworth landlord is vital.

However, I want to consider the point of view of the Tamworth tenant.  Several housing charities believe spending more than a third of someone’s salary on rent as exorbitant, yet for the tenants they find themselves in that very position.  I feel especially sorry for the Tamworth youngsters in their 20’s who want to rent a place for themselves, as they face having to pay out the rent and try and save for a deposit for a home.

The average 22 to 29-year-old in Tamworth spends 33% of their typical salary on a one bed rental property

….and 39% of their salary for a 2-bed home in Tamworth.

40 years ago, British people who rented spent an average of 10% of their salary on rent, and only 14% in London.  Looking in even greater detail, according to the ONS, over the past 60 years the proportion of total spending on all housing (renting and mortgages) has doubled from 9% in the late 1950’s to 18% today.  Whilst on the other hand, the proportion of total expenditure on food has halved (33% to 16%), as has the proportion of total spending on clothing (10% to 5%) … it’s a case of swings and roundabouts!

Yet landlords also face costs that need to be covered from rents including mortgages, landlord insurance (especially the need for the often-inadequate deposits to cover the loss of rent and damage), maintenance and licensing.  In fact, rents in the last 10 years have failed to keep up with UK inflation. So in real terms, landlords are worse off when it comes to their rental returns (although they have gained on the increase in Tamworth property values – but that is only realised when a property sells).

There are a small handful of Tamworth landlords selling some/or all of their rental portfolio as their portfolios become less economically viable with the recent tax changes for buy to let landlords, which will result in fewer properties available to rent.

However, this will reduce the supply and availability of Tamworth rental properties, meaning rents will rise (classic textbook supply and demand), thus landlords return and yields will rise.  Yet, because tenants still can’t afford to save the deposit for a home (as we discussed above) and we are all living longer, the demand for rental properties across Tamworth will continue to grow in the next twenty to thirty years as we turn to more European ways where the norm is to rent rather than buy in the 20’s and 30’s age range. This will mean new buy-to-let landlords will be attracted into the market, buy properties for the rental market in Tamworth and enjoy those higher yields and returns … isn’t it interesting that things mostly always go full circle?

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Tamworth Property Market – Outlook for 2019

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Tamworth property values are unexpectedly 4.8% higher than at the end of 2017, notwithstanding the uncertainty and threats over the potential impact of Brexit in 2019. This has exceeded all the predictions (aka guesses) of all the City of London economists, in an astonishing sign of strength for the local Tamworth and wider national economy.

Nevertheless, the statistics from the Land Registry come after a lethargic year for the number of properties in Tamworth compared to the actual prices achieved for those properties.  All this against a framework of amplified political ambiguity and ensuing years of rising Tamworth property values that have reduced the affordability of homes in the locality.

The average value of a Tamworth property today

Currently stands at £225,400

Looking in finer detail, it isn’t a surprise that 1,216 property sales in Tamworth over the last 12 months is somewhat lower than the long-term average over the last 20 years of 1,550 property sales per year in Tamworth as the long-term trend of people moving less has meant a decline in the number of property transactions.

I believe locally, Tamworth property value growth will be more reserved in 2019 after two decades of weaker wage rises. One of main drivers in the demand (and thus the price people are prepared to pay for a home) is the growth of peoples wage packets. Interestingly, wage inflation over the last six months has risen from 2.4% in the late summer to its current level of 3.3% (which is higher than the average since the Millennium, which has been a modest 2.1%). One of the reasons why wages are growing in the short term is the unemployment rate in the country currently only stands at 4.1%, continuing to stay close to its lowest level since the 1970’s.

However, even though Tamworth salaries and wages are rising comparatively higher than they were last year, looking over the long term, Tamworth property values are 139.61% higher than they were in January 2002, yet average salaries are only 76.1% higher over the same time frame. This means over the last few years, with average property values so high comparative to salary/wages, many Tamworth potential buyers have been priced out of being able to purchase their first home.

At first glance, these stats are actually rather positive during this reported time of political uncertainty and the height of Brexit commotion … because I genuinely believe that to be the case. The press have always looked for the bad news (well they do say it is that that sells newspapers), and whilst I am not entering into the pros and cons of Brexit itself, the numbers do stack up quite well since the Brexit vote took place nearly 3 years ago.

Moving forward, when taken with the recent reduction in short to medium term number of property transactions (i.e. the number of Tamworth properties sold), it should be noted that a lot of the this buoyant house price increase has a lot more to do with a shortage of properties on the market rather than an uplift in the Tamworth housing market generally.

And we can’t forget that Tamworth isn’t in its own little bubble, as there are noteworthy differences across the UK in property value inflation. House prices in London and the South East have hardly risen or even fallen in some places, whilst in the Midlands, North and other parts of the country they have generally increased. 

Looking forward, I would say to the homeowners and buy to let landlords of the locality that I expect Tamworth house price growth to remain stable between 1.3% and 2.1% by the end of this year (although they could dip slightly during the summer) … as long as nothing unexpected happens in the world economically or politically of course.

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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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The £2,752,893 Ticking Time Bomb for Tamworth Landlords

I just love looking over and keeping up to date the 108 pieces of legislation that govern the rental of residential property in the UK”  

…No Tamworth Landlord, ever

If you are one of the 1,287 Tamworth landlord’s that manages your own property, would it surprise you to know that there are 108 separate pieces of legislation that govern the rental of private houses to tenants. Oh, and on top of the 108 pieces of law, there are further 300+ regulations in the mix. Whilst Tamworth landlords may once have preferred to manage their Tamworth buy-to-let properties themselves to boost their profits, many Tamworth landlords are starting to see this as a false economy.

In the last four years, an additional 495 landlords in Tamworth have converted from self-managed to having their property managed by a letting agent in Tamworth, taking the total number of properties under management in Tamworth to 2,013 (out of a total of 3,300 private rental properties in Tamworth).

Now, don’t get me wrong, self-managing your Tamworth rental property can be a very fulfilling experience, allowing you, as a Tamworth landlord, to build a deep relationship with your tenant and your emergency 24 hour plumber, builder (happy to do small jobs at a drop of a hat), decorators, first name terms with their deposit provider, lawyer and EPC provider to name but a few. (Wow!)

Also, did you know if your tenants deposit isn’t registered, or doesn’t continue to be registered after the end the periodic tenancy upon renewal … you could be fined up to three times your deposit? With the average rental deposit in Tamworth being £713, each self-managed landlord in Tamworth could be fined £2,139 per tenancy if the deposit isn’t currently registered. Therefore…

…if every deposit of every Tamworth self-managed landlord’s property wasn’t registered, the total fines would amount to £2,752,893

Now of course, I am not suggesting for one minute all the self-managed landlords of Tamworth haven’t registered their deposits, yet almost on a daily basis, I come across horror stories to that effect. Another two (but by no means all) hot issues that the Courts are cracking down on, are doing immigration ‘Right To Rent’ checks on all tenants (yes all tenants) and confirmation proving the tenant received the ‘How to Rent’ guide. If that second issue cannot be proved (a ‘sent’ email won’t suffice), the landlord cannot serve the Section 21 Notice, meaning the tenant cannot be served notice to vacate the property.

To many, it’s really a case of DIY or getting a qualified professional in … as those additional Tamworth landlords mentioned above have done since 2014. You might say, “Of course you are going to say all this – you are a Letting Agent”. Well the choice really comes down to your time and your knowledge. If a Tamworth landlord is not equipped, or able, to devote time keeping up-to-date of legislation and law nor doesn’t want to be bothered 24/7/365 about a blown light bulb, dripping taps, have that confrontational conversation with their tenants about missing rental payments, or arbitrate arguments and disagreements between your tenant and the neighbours, it is perhaps better to pass this accountability/responsibility onto a letting agent.

One thing I would say is all letting agents aren’t the same. Would it surprise you to know that letting agents aren’t regulated?

Tamworth landlords that do use a letting agent should not forget that passing over management to a letting agent doesn’t mean they can disregard legislation and they are still responsible for deposit/rent repayment legal directives, civil fines or action if the letting agent makes a mistake. Therefore, it’s important to pick a respectable letting agent from the start.

Nevertheless, for those Tamworth landlords that see their job as a professional landlord and want to be intricately involved in the day to day administration of their rental properties, it can be worthy pursuit.

If you are a self-managed landlord in Tamworth, and want to know if your paperwork is in order please feel free to drop me a line and I am more than happy to do an ‘MOT’ on it to ensure you are the right side of the law.

Contact me on 01827 425195 or lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk

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2 bed or 3 bed homes – Which Sell the Best in Tamworth?

A few months ago, I wrote an article on the Tamworth Property Blog about the length of time it took to sell a property in Tamworth and the saleability of the different price bands (i.e. whether the lower/middle or upper local property markets were moving slower or quicker than the others). For reference, a few months ago it was taking on average 34 days from the property coming on the market for it to be sold subject to contract (and that was based on every Estate Agent in Tamworth) … and today … 77 days  .. does that surprise you with what is happening in the UK economy?

Well, a number of Tamworth landlords and homeowners, who are looking to sell in the coming months, contacted me following that article to enquire what difference the type of property (i.e. Detached/Semi/Terraced/Apartment) made to saleability and also the saleability of property by the number of bedrooms) As I have said before, whether you are a Tamworth landlord looking to liquidate your buy to let investment or a homeowner looking to sell your home; finding a buyer and selling your property can take an annoyingly long time… but anything you can do to mitigate that is helpful to everyone.

So, I did some research on the whole of the Tamworth property market .. and these were my findings …  to start with by type (i.e. Detached/Semi/Terraced/Apartment)….

As you can see, the star players are the terraced/town house and semi-detached variants of Tamworth property, whilst detached seem to be sticking in Tamworth.

Next I looked at what the number of bedrooms does to the saleability of Tamworth property..

… and as you can see the four bed properties seem to be taking the longest time to sell ..and to answer the question in the title .. it’s three bed properties!

So, what does this mean for Tamworth buy-to-let landlords and homeowners?  

There is no doubt that there is a profusion of properties on the market in Tamworth compared to 18 months ago … it’s not because more houses are coming on to the market, it’s because they are also taking a little longer to sell. This makes it slightly more a buyer’s market than the seller’s market we had back in 2014/5/6. Therefore, in some sectors of the Tamworth property market, it is much tougher to sell, especially if you want to sell your Tamworth home fast.

Therefore, to conclude, on the run up to the New Year, if you are looking to buy and plan to stay in the buy to let market a long time, perhaps take a look at the Tamworth properties that are sticking as there could be some bargains to be had there? Want to know where they are .. drop me a line and I will tell you a nifty little trick to find all the properties that are sticking.

Contact me 01827 425195 lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk

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Top 25 Most Saleable Streets in Tamworth B77 Postcode

Following on from my last article, if you recall I said that Tamworth Road had the most properties sold in the B77 Tamworth postcode, yet I felt that this information wasn’t telling the whole story, as some roads in Tamworth have more properties on them than others. Therefore, I promised that I would compare the average number of properties sold by the actual number of properties on that street, to find out the streets whose owners proportionally moved (or sold) more often than the rest of the locality.

To give some foundation to the article, in 2017 Tamworth homeowners had, on average, lived at their existing address for 17 years and 6 months. However, when I looked at the difference between homeowners with and without a mortgage; Tamworth homeowners without a mortgage had lived in their Tamworth home for an average of 23 years and 9 months compared with 10 years and 1 month for homeowners with a mortgage. Interestingly, Tamworth’s Council house tenants have on average resided at their present home for 11 years and 4 months, whilst finally for those who rent from a private landlord, tenants generally have lived in their property for an average of 3 years and 11 months (up from 3 years 5 months only five years ago).

The B77 street in the top 25 saleable streets with the highest number of households on it is Tamworth Road, which has 548 residential addresses (including surrounding villages). Yet since 1995, only 510 properties have changed hands (some multiple times!)  .. which means the street’s saleability or churn rate is 93.1%.

However, the street or road that has the highest saleability or churn rate is Celandine … which has 105 households on it, yet since 1995 there have been 254 house sales … a saleability rate of 241.9%. Here is the full breakdown of the top 25 streets …

So, as you can see, some interesting statistics and a lot more correlation between saleability rate and property values (unlike the article last time where we compared value to ‘out and out’ raw sales figures).

Therefore, what does this all mean to Tamworth homeowners and Tamworth landlords?  Well these 25 streets are the best performing streets out of the 609 streets in the Tamworth (B77) area so if you live/own a property on those 25 streets … you are sitting on a very saleable street. If you want to find out how saleable your street is .. please drop me a line and we can discuss this further.

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Tamworth House Prices vs Tamworth Rents since 2006

The Tamworth housing market is a fascinating beast and has been particularly interesting since the Credit Crunch of 2008/9 with the subsequent property market crash. There is currently some talk of a ‘property bubble’ nationally as Brexit seems to be the ‘go-to’ excuse for every issue in the Country. Upon saying that, looking at both what we do as an agent, and chatting with my fellow property professionals in Tamworth, the market has certainly changed for both buyers and sellers alike (be they Tamworth buy to let landlords, Tamworth first time buyers or Tamworth owner occupiers looking to make the move up the Tamworth property ladder).

Tamworth house values are 7.67% higher than a year ago, and the rents Tamworth tenants have to pay are 1.6% higher than a year ago

When we compare little old Tamworth to the national picture, national property values have risen by 0.4% compared to last month and risen by 3.0% compared to a year ago, and this will surprise you even more, as nationally, property values are 19.8% higher than January 2015 (compared to 11.4% higher in the EU in the same time frame).

However, if we look further back…

Since 2006, Tamworth house values are 35.36% higher, yet the rents Tamworth tenants have had to pay for their Tamworth rental property are 17.7% higher

Rent Vs House Prices
Rent Vs House Prices

 

…which sounds a lot, yet UK inflation in those 12 years has been 42%, meaning Tamworth tenants are 24.3% better off in ‘real spending power terms’.

Looking at the graph, the rental changes have been much gentler than the roller coaster ride of property values. I particularly want to bring to your attention the dip in Tamworth house values (in red) in the years of 2008 and 2009 … yet as Tamworth property values started to rise after the summer of 2009, see how Tamworth rents dipped 6/12 months later (the yellow bars)…. Fascinating!

So, we have a win for tenants and a win for the homeowners, as they are also happy due to the increase in the value of their Tamworth property.

However, maybe an even more interesting point is for the long-term Tamworth buy to let landlords. The performance of Tamworth rental income vs Tamworth house values has seen the resultant yields drop over time (if house prices rise quicker than rents – yields drop).

Whilst, it’s true Tamworth landlords have benefited from decent capital growth over the last decade –with the new tax rules for landlords – now more than ever, it’s so important to maximise one’s yields to ensure the long term health of your Tamworth buy to let portfolio. More and more I am sitting down with both Tamworth landlords of mine and landlords of other agents who might not be trained in these skills – to carry out an MOT style check on their Tamworth portfolio, to ensure your investment will meet your future needs of capital growth and income. If you don’t want to miss out on such a MOT check up, drop me a line – what have you got to lose? 30 minutes of time against peace of mind – the choice is yours.

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3.3% Drop in the Tamworth Property Market

The number of residential property transactions in Tamworth will be 3.3 per cent lower in 2018, compared to 2017. 

According to my research, the seasonally adjusted statistics for our local authority area suggest with the number of properties already sold in 2018, and the number of properties currently under offer or sold subject to contract (allowing for property sales to fall through before exchange of contracts) we, as an area, will end the year 3.29 per cent lower compared to 2017.

So why are transaction numbers so important to Tamworth homeowners, Tamworth landlords and potential first-time buyers?

Many economists and property market commentators believe transaction numbers give a more precise and truthful indicator of the health of the property market than just house values. In the six years before the Credit Crunch in 2007/8, the average number of completed property transactions in the local area (the local authority covered by Tamworth) stood at 1,548 per year .. yet in the three years following the Credit Crunch, on average, only 668 homes were changing hands per year in the area.

Roll the clock forward to more recent times and last year, in 2017, 1,192 homes changed hands (i.e. transacted and sold) in the area, not far off the local authority’s 23 year overall average of 1,250 homes per year.

In the past, a reduction in the number of properties selling has often been believed to be the first signal of a down turn in the housing market as a whole. Although, the down turn of the credit crunch years (2007/2008) was more a free-fall than a subtle down turn. Look at the graph and the ‘so-called’ halcyon days of the 2000 to 2006 property market were a roller coaster when it came to the number of transactions. House prices were rising in the six/seven years before the credit crunch (2000 to 2006), albeit, the rate of growth of Tamworth house prices did slow in late 2005 and 2006 (which does fit in nicely with the graph).

In other articles, I have mentioned the change in the number of houses for sale today compared to last year and further back. Although, the market has seen in recent months (i.e. the short term) an increase in the number of properties for sale, fundamentally, in the medium term, there has been an underlying trend in the reduction of properties coming onto the market for sale in Tamworth (and nationally) and this has been one of the main drives behind the lack of properties selling .. Tamworth people aren’t moving as much as they were 30 years ago meaning fewer houses are selling each year.

However, this short-term increase in properties for sale hasn’t been even across the board. In certain sectors of the Tamworth property market, there is a glut of properties on the market at the moment and so prices and values are dropping on those types as sellers compete for the limited amount of buyers… yet, there are other sectors of the Tamworth property market where there is a dearth, a shortage of property, and buyers are fighting tooth and nail with silly offers to try and secure the sale. This means, there are some bargains for you Tamworth buy to let landlords. If you look hard enough, you could spot the same trends I have seen in Tamworth and find the individual property micro markets that fall into that first sector (with its glut).

So, if you want the inside track on the Tamworth property market, whether you are a landlord of ours or another agent, I am more than happy to guide you in the right direction if you drop me a line or an email (contacts details are easily found on this page – and I don’t bite or do hard sell – promise!).

So, to conclude, I believe we will finish on 1,153 housing transactions by the end of the year in the area .. not too far off last year’s figure or the long-term 23-year average. Looking at the short term future, now it’s true some (not all) but some potential purchasers of property in Tamworth may be exhibiting more caution because of concerns that the Bank of England will continue to put up interest rates– to which I reply – yes of course they will when they are only ultra-low at 0.75%. Anyway, that is the reason why 90%+ of new mortgages over the last nine months have been on a fixed rate. Also, if they do go up a few percentage points – they are nothing compared to the 12%, 14%, even 15% mortgage rates many of my landlords saw in the early 1990’s.

We can all speculate (and I appreciate the irony of that as I write this article) but all I say to any Tamworth landlords, Tamworth homeowners or Tamworth first time buyers is act according to your own life cycle, budget on a modest increase in interest rates in the coming few years (yet protect yourself by fixing it), consider your own circumstances and finally, what you can afford.

If you are thinking of getting into the property rental market and don’t know where to start, speak to us for impartial advice and guidance to get the best return on your investment. For more information about other potential investment properties that we could introduce you to, or to ask about our thoughts on your own investment choices, call us now on 01827 425195, you can always email me on Lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk

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