Tamworth First Time Buyers Need 7.1 Times Annual Salary to Get on Housing Ladder

welcome to Tamworth
welcome to Tamworth

What is it to be British? Our stubbornness, long-suffering stoicism, our vexation at injustice, our obsession with football and rugby, we are weather obsessed external awkward noncommittal modest people whilst underneath seething like a volcano because someone jumped the queue….. and our No.1 obsession is with the property ladder.

This ‘love affair’ with owning our own home has been both good and bad for the UK as a whole. This has given people financial freedom in their later years whilst also reducing the quantity (and quality) of housing provision whilst adding the extra pressure of a ‘them and us’ society. Strong words I know .. but let me explain more.

I honestly believe that most Governments since the end of the 1970’s, Conservative and Labour, have attempted to nourish our addiction to home ownership (to keep the housing market on track) with the Council House Right to Buy sell off in the 1980’s, tax relief of mortgages, relaxation of the mortgage rules in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s and most recently, the Help to Buy scheme.

But the Brits haven’t always had this obsession.

Roll the clock back 100 years and, in 1918, just under a quarter of all Brits owned their own homes and the other 77% rented. Go back 50 years to 1968, and only 46% of people owned their own home, the rest rented. This homeownership thing is quite a recent phenomenon.

According to my research, anyone looking to get a foot onto the property ladder as a first-time buyer in Tamworth today, AS A SINGLE PERSON, would need to spend 7.1 times their earnings on a Tamworth first time buyer property.

Using the numbers from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the average value of a first-time buyer property in Tamworth today is £139,000, compared to £116,000 in 2007. If we divide those property values by the average annual earnings of first time buyers – in 2007, that was £17,281 pa and that has risen to £19,673 pa .. giving us the ratio of 7.1 to 1.

However, what must be remembered is that these are raw statistics from the ONS and don’t take into account other factors, like most people buy their first home as a couple. Also, mortgage rates are at an all-time low and who can remember mortgage rates of 15%+ in the 1990’s, meaning borrowing today is relatively cheap. Also, 95% Loan to Value first time buyer mortgages have been available since the end of 2009  (i.e. you only need to save a 5% deposit) and first time buyer rates of 2.19% fixed for 5 years can be obtained (correct at time of writing this article)… it is cheaper to buy than rent .. fact!

I believe there has been a mind-set change to owning a home. Home ownership was the goal of the youngsters in the latter half of the 20th century. Britain is changing to a more European model of homeownership, where people rent in early to mid-life, wait to inherit the money from their parents when in their 50’s and then buy.. thus continuing the circle – albeit in a different way to the last Century.

This means the demand for privately rented accommodation will, in the long term, only continue to grow. If you would like to know more about where the hot spots are for that growth in Tamworth, then one place would be my property blog www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk or if you want to drop me an email or telephone call, feel free to pick my brain on the best places to buy (and not to buy) in Tamworth to ensure your rental investment gets you want you want. The choice is yours!

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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Extra Funding Is Required for Affordable Homes in Tamworth

In my blog about the Tamworth Property Market I mostly only talk about two of the three main sectors of the local property market, the ‘private rented sector’ and the ‘owner occupier sector’. However, as I often stress when talking to my clients, one cannot forget the third sector, that being the ‘social housing sector’ (or council housing as some people call it).

In previous articles, I have spoken at length about the crisis in supply of property in Tamworth (i.e. not enough property is being built), but in this article I want to talk about the other crisis – that of affordability. It is not just about the pure number of houses being built but also the equilibrium of tenure (ownership vs rented) and therein, the affordability of housing, which needs to be considered carefully for an efficient and effectual housing market.

An efficient and effectual housing market is in everyone’s interests, including Tamworth homeowners and Tamworth landlords, so let me explain ..

An average of only 36 Affordable Homes per year have been built by Tamworth Borough Council in the last 9 years

The requirement for the provision of subsidised housing has been recognised since Victorian times. Even though private rents have not kept up with inflation since 2005 (meaning tenants are better off) it’s still a fact there are substantial numbers of low-income households in Tamworth devoid of the money to allow them a decent standard of housing.

Usually, property in the social housing sector has had rents set at around half the going market rate and affordable shared home ownership has been the main source of new affordable housing yet, irrespective of the tenure, the local authority is simply not coming up with the numbers required. If the local authority isn’t building or finding these affordable homes, these Tamworth tenants still need housing, and some tenants at the lower end of the market are falling foul of rogue landlords. Not good news for tenants and the vast majority of law abiding and decent Tamworth landlords who are tarnished by the actions of those few rogue landlords, especially as I believe everyone has the right to a safe and decent home.

Be it Tory’s, Labour, SNP, Lib Dems, Greens etc, everyone needs to put party politics aside and start building enough homes and ensure that housing is affordable. Even though 2017 was one of the best years for new home building in the last decade (217,000 home built in 2017) overall new home building has been in decline for many years from the heady days of the early 1970s, when an average of 350,000 new homes were being built a year.  As you can see from the graph, we simply aren’t building enough ‘affordable’ homes in the area. 

The blame cannot all be placed at the feet of the local authority as Council budgets nationally, according to Full-Fact, are 26% lower than they have been since 2010.

So, what does this mean for Tamworth homeowners? Well, an undersupply of affordable homes will artificially keep rents and property prices high. That might sound good in the short term, but a large proportion of my Tamworth landlords find their children are also priced out of the housing market. Also, whilst your Tamworth home might be slightly higher in value, due to this lack of supply of homes at the bottom end of the market, as most people move up the market when they do move, the one you want to buy will be priced even higher.

Problems at the lower end of the property market will affect the middle and upper parts. There is no getting away from the fact that the Tamworth housing market is all interlinked .. it’s not called the Property ‘Ladder’ for nothing!

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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Decreasing Numbers of Younger Homeowners in Tamworth

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

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

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

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

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

Looking at the graph for the UK as whole …

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

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

 

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

Tamworth statistics
Tamworth statistics

 

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

variable graph
variable graph

 

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

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

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

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

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323 Properties For Sale in Tamworth … is this an issue?

2017 has started with some positive interest in the Tamworth property market.  Taking a snap shot of the Tamworth property market for the first quarter of 2017, the picture suggests some interesting trends when it comes to the number of properties available to buy, their asking prices and what prices properties are actually selling for.

Number of properties on the market 12 months ago
Number of properties on the market 12 months ago

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let us first consider the number of properties for sale, compared to 12 months ago:

property for sale today vs 12 months ago

Property for sale today vs 12 months ago

 

So when we add in building plots and other types of properties that don’t fit into the four main categories, that means there are 323 properties for sale today compared with 286 a year ago, a rise of 13%.

Next, Tamworth asking prices, compared

to the same as a year ago, are 4% higher.

property in Tamworth

What is property actually selling for in Tamworth

 

With that in mind, I wanted to look at what property was actually selling for in Tamworth. Taking my information from the Land Registry, the last available six months property transactions for B77 show an interesting picture (note the Land Registry data is always a few months behind due to the nature of the house buying process and so November 2016 is latest set of data). The price shown is the average price paid and the number in brackets is the number of properties actually sold.

So what does all this mean for the property owning folk of Tamworth?

Well, with more property on the market than a year ago and asking prices 4% higher, those trying to sell their property need to be mindful that buyers, be they first timers, buy to let landlords or people moving up the Tamworth property ladder, have much more price information about the Tamworth property market at their fingertips than ever before.

Those Tamworth people who are looking to sell their property in 2017, need to be aware of the risks of over pricing their property when initially placing it on the market. Over the last 12 months, I have noticed the approach of a few Tamworth estate agents is to suggest an inflated asking price to encourage the homeowner and secure the property to sell on their books. The down side to this is that when offered to the market for the first time, buyers will realise it is overpriced and wont waste their time asking for a brochure. They won’t even view the property, let alone make an offer. So when the price is reduced a few months later, the property has become market stale and continues to be ignored.

Whilst the Tamworth property-market has an unassailable demand for property – there is one saying that always rings true – as long as the property is being marketed at the right price it will sell.

 If you want to know if your Tamworth property is being marketed at the right price, send me a web link and I will give you my honest opinion. lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk

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