Before you are ready to launch your home on the sales market, there are several things to consider when setting your price:
Does your agent support it? If you set your asking price way above that which the agents recommends, their lack of support could well be evident in the way they talk about your property to their team and to potential buyers. If they are strongly against your preferred asking price, it may be time to rethink your choice of agent or your price.
Is there precedent? If you home is unique, there may well be a lack of comparable properties, therefore you may well have more flexibility in the price your decide to market your home at. However, if you are in a row of similar properties, chances are that there will be plenty of historical evidence to guide you into choosing an asking price that fits in with those of your neighbouring properties.
Does it fit in with an online search? Nowadays more than 90% of property searches are conducted online, so you need to select an asking price that will ensure your home is found by the maximum number of buyers searching the property portals. To maximise the number of buyers who will see your property, stay clear of the 9’s such as £199,999, instead choose a rounded figure that fits in with the price banding the online portals all use, such as £200.000.
At Hall and Thompson, this is a strategy that we embrace fully. All our properties, wherever possible, are priced to show an the maximum number of online property searches. All the better to sell houses!
If your home is on the market already, and you`re not getting serious interest from buyers, one option most estate agents will suggest to their client is to drop the asking price of your property. However, it`s not always the only option: there are some improvements that can help you sell more effectively without spending a fortune and often can be implemented easily and not that costly:
New flooring in ‘wet` rooms – By ‘wet` rooms, I mean kitchens, utility rooms, cloakrooms and bathrooms. The general rule of thumb with the flooring in these rooms is that it needs to be ‘moppable` – in other words, a hard floor. It doesn`t need to be expensive, in fact there are some fabulous reasonably priced vinyls available. The difference in how a buyer will see your home is high. A bathroom that is carpeted will look dated to a modern buyer, regardless of whether it is or not. These are also the rooms buyers expect to be super clean and by having new flooring will immediately confirm to them that they are.
Updating your soft furnishings – Cushions, bedding, even curtains, can radically improve and update your home for a relatively moderate spend. Why not purchase some new cushions and bedding which can be put out just for viewings and then put away after? This way you will always have that brand new showroom look.
New carpets – Carpets can make a house look dated more than any other area, and they can also give a buyer a reason to make a low offer. A good quality, neutral carpet throughout the house can add several times its cost in the perception that the house has been kept up to date. Re-carpeting an average-sized house will not be cheap but it will almost certainly be a very worthwhile investment.
Declutter more – Sometimes it might just be that people cannot see the true potential and space of your property. If you have a lot of furniture or personal items it might be a good idea to see if you can remove some into storage whilst your property is on the market. Remember, the larger you can make your property feel the more appealing it will be to a buyer, not just because they feel they are getting more property for their money but often it also allows them to work out exactly where their own furniture would go if they bought your home.
So, as you can see, giving the buyer what they need is not always about price. A few changes may result in increasing its value and you may even get your home sold for more!. It is also worth noting that if you do decide to drop the price your agent would have to drop it by at least £10,000 to make any real impact, so perhaps trying a few basic changes first could be the best route to try before changing the price.
Is your property on the market and not getting the interest you hoped it would? then why not get in touch and see how we can help 01827 425195 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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’
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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The government has pledged to build 300,000 new build homes to try and tackle the national property shortage, they are even giving incentives when you buy a new build home.
For as little as a deposit of 5% and a government loan of between 15% and 40%, depending on where in the UK you live, using the Help to Buy equity loan scheme you can get on the property ladder.
The added benefit is, new-build properties should be better insulated than period homes so your energy bills could well be cheaper than buying a period home.
If you’re buying off-plan ( before it’s been built), you may be able to choose certain aspects of the design i.e your kitchen or whether you have a fireplace of not.
However, there are some disadvantages to buying new-build homes, including the fact that it can sometimes be more difficult to get a mortgage.
What’s included in a new-build property?
Exactly what’s included varies depending on the developer and what they are offering. You may get the white goods – washing machines or dishwashers thrown in, as well as wooden flooring. Others may offer to install flooring or carpet but at an additional cost.
One of the great
advantages of buying a brand-new property is that, often, many of the fixtures
and fittings you’d otherwise have to fork out for are included in the
Developers often try to upsell you extra items. Be wary here – the price of these could be inflated, and it may be much cheaper for you to source and pay for them yourself.
Today’s building rules and regulations mean that there are standards developers have to meet to make your property as energy efficient as possible. Energy-efficient features could include double or even triple-glazed windows, insulated walls, roofs, and doors, and energy-efficient heating.
Can you negotiate on new-build prices?
Prices for a
development’s one, two and three-bedroom properties are
often plastered all over the hoardings when properties are being
Of course, the developers will tell you that this is the price you’ll have to pay nethertheless it is only an asking price, and you should be prepared to try and negotiate.
The likelihood of
success will depend on a number of things, such as where the property is and
the level of demand, as well as how far along the development is.
It pays to do your research, looking at sale prices of similar properties nearby using online sites like Rightmove and Zoopla.
If your attempt at getting a discount fails, there are other ways to potentially reduce your costs. You could ask the developer to cover your stamp duty costs or negotiate ‘extras’, such as flooring or furniture, for free.
Is there a new-build premium?
You might have heard of the ‘new-build premium’, a term used to describe the fact that new-build properties tend to be pricier than older, but otherwise similar, properties. The reason for this difference is that everything is new and unused, energy efficient and built to a high-quality specification.
Some people believe
that, on top of the standard new-build premium, developers have been charging
an even greater ‘Help to Buy premium’ to those using the government’s equity loan scheme.
Try to stay level-headed and don’t be too wowed by a new-build show home. Do your research, find out about similar properties in the area and on developments, and make sure you don’t offer more than you can afford.
For most Tamworth people, a mortgage is the only way to buy a
property. However, for some, especially Tamworth homeowners who have paid off
their mortgage or Tamworth buy to let landlords, many have the choice to pay
exclusively with cash. So the question is, should you use all your cash, or
could a mortgage be a more suitable option?
Well, looking at the numbers locally…
1,784 of the 6,890
property sales in the last 7 years in Tamworth were made without a mortgage (i.e.
Interesting when compared with the national average of 31.9% cash purchases over the last seven years. Next, I wanted to see that cash percentage figure split down by years. As you can see from the graph, this level of cash purchases vs mortgage purchases has remained reasonably constant over those seven years…
Next, if you are going to go for a mortgage, the next question has to be whether you should fix the rate or have a variable rate mortgage. In the last Quarter, 90.57% of people that took out a mortgage, had a fixed rate mortgage at an average interest rate of 2.27%, although what did surprise me was only 65.79% of the £1.429 trillion mortgages outstanding in the whole of the UK were on a fixed rate.
The level of mortgage debt compared to the value of the home itself (referred to as the Loan to Value rate – LTV) was interesting, as 61.9% of people with a mortgage have a LTV of less than 75%. Although, one number that did jump out at me was only 4.33% of mortgages are 90% and higher LTV – meaning if we do have another property slump, the number of people in negative equity will be relatively small.
Next, looking at the actual number of properties sold, it
can be clearly seen the number of house sales has dipped slightly in 2018…
So those are the numbers … let us have a look at the pros and cons of taking a mortgage, with specific focus on Tamworth buy to let landlords.
Taking a mortgage will help a landlord increase their investment across more properties to maximise the return, rather than putting everything into one Tamworth buy to let property. This will enable the landlord to ensure if there a void in the tenancy, there should still be rent coming from the other properties. The flip side of the coin is that there is a mortgage to pay for, whether or not the property is let.
The other great motivation of taking a mortgage is that landlords can set the mortgage interest against the rental income, although that will only be at the basic rate of tax by 2021 due the recent tax changes. Banks and Building Societies will characteristically want at least a 25% deposit (meaning Tamworth landlords can only borrow up to 75%) and will assess the borrowing level based on the rental income covering the mortgage interest by a definite margin of 125%.
A lot will depend on what you, as a Tamworth landlord, hope to attain from your buy to let investment and how relaxed you would feel in making the mortgage payments when there is a void (interestingly, Direct Line calculated a few months ago that voids cost UK landlords around £3bn a year or an average of £1000 per property per year). You also have to consider that interest rates could also increase, which would eat into your profit … although that can be mitigated with fixing your interest rate (as discussed above).
So, with everything that is happening in the world, does it make sense to buy rental properties? Now we help many newbie and existing landlords work out their budgets, taking into account other costs such as agent’s fees, finance, maintenance and voids in tenancy.
The bottom line is we as a country aren’t building enough property, so demand will always outstrip supply in the medium to long term, meaning property values will keep rising in the medium to long term. That’s not to say property values might fall back in the short term, like they did in 2009 Credit Crunch, the 1988 Dual MIRAS crash, the recession of the early 1980’s, the 1974 Oil Crisis, the early 1930’s Great Depression … yet every time they have bounced back with vigour. Therefore, it makes sense to focus on getting the best property that will have continuing appeal and strong tenant demand and to conclude, buy to let should be tackled as a medium to long term investment … because the wisest landlords see buy to let investment in terms of decades – not years.
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With constant advances in technology, medicine and
lifestyles, people in the Tamworth area are, on average, living longer than
they might have a few decades ago. As Tamworth’s population ages, the problem
of how the older generation are accommodated is starting to emerge. We, as a
town, have to consider how we supply decent and appropriate accommodation for Tamworth’s
growing older generation’s accommodation needs while still offering a lifestyle
that is both modern and desirable.
In 1997 in Tamworth, around one in every nine people (11%)
were aged 65 years and over (and the local authority area as a whole), increasing
to more than one in every five people (18%) in 2017 and it is projected to
reach one in every four people (26%) by 2037, meaning..
Over the next 19
years, the growth of the over 65 population in Tamworth will grow by 44.4% – whilst
the overall growth population of Tamworth is expected to decrease by 1.0% over
the same time frame.
In fact, the number of those over 90 is expected to more
than double in our local authority from 495 (0.6%) in 2017 to 1,394 (1.8%) by
And looking at the proportional percentage changes over those years..
at Tamworth and the local authority as a whole, there is a distinct under supply
of bungalows and retirement living (i.e. sheltered)
accommodation. The majority of sheltered accommodation fit for retirement is in
the ex-local authority sector whilst the majority of private sector bungalows
were built in the 1960s/70s/80s and are beginning to show their age (although
that means there is often an opportunity for Tamworth investors and Tamworth
buy to let landlords to buy a tired bungalow, do it up and flip it/rent it out).
the medium to longer term, we need to build more bungalows and sheltered
accommodation and, if we do that, that won’t only be of benefit to the elderly
population of Tamworth – it will have a direct knock-on effect to the younger
and middle-aged population by unlocking those family homes the older generation
homeowners live in.
There have been 17 Housing Ministers since
1997. No one ever seems to stay in the job long enough to create a consensus
and direction in Government Policy on the vital issue of the country’s housing
shortage, yet the sound bites and White Papers seem only to focus exclusively
on first-time buyers when there is an even more severe and disregarded shortage
in suitable housing for the older generation.
scantiness affects both mature homeowners trapped in unsuitably big family
properties, unable to find smaller bungalows or suitable retirement apartments,
whilst the waiting list for Council sheltered accommodation is putting a strain
on other aspects of social care. In both circumstances, policy coming (or not
coming) out of Government is repressing the supply and type of accommodation mature
people desire, need and want, whilst at the same time, increasing the cost (and
taxes) for social and NHS care.
Maybe we need tax breaks for people to downsize or planning permissions that stipulate bungalows only. Whichever way you look .. There are challenging times ahead for us all.
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
So, what does this mean for Tamworth
buy-to-let landlords and homeowners?
There is no doubt that there is a
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 email@example.com
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It’s now commonly agreed
amongst economists and the general public that the dramatic rise in Tamworth property
prices of the last six years has come to an end.
Read the National newspapers,
and they talk of doom and gloom in the British housing market with such things
as strained buyer affordability (as property prices have increased over the
past six years at a far faster pace than average salaries), a lack of new
properties being built and the Brexit uncertainties over the last two and half
years being blamed for the slow down – yet in the last 12 months, people have
still been moving, buying and selling in Tamworth at levels similar to the last
six years – something tells me we have a case of ‘bad news selling newspapers’.
So instead, let me share with you what, exactly, is happening in
the Tamworth property market, and more specifically, who is moving and why in Tamworth.
The majority of sales in Tamworth during
the last twelve months were semi-detached properties, selling for an average
price of £187,200. Detached properties sold for an average of £294,800, with
terraced properties fetching on average £157,100.
in the homeowner sector in 2018 (i.e.
owner occupation), 528 households moved within the tenure (i.e. sold the home they owned and bought
another one) and 103 new households were created (i.e. they moved from living with family/friends and bought their first
home without privately renting).
What does this mean for Tamworth buy to let landlords? Well looking at the graph, it appears bad news for landlords. There were 246 households that moved into the home owning (owner occupation) tenure from the private rented sector, whilst on the other side of the coin, 193 Tamworth households moved to the private rented sector from owner occupation … which appears on the face of it, a reduction in the private sector.
My research has
calculated that in 2018, an additional 256 new households in the Tamworth
private rental sector were created
…and it will continue to grow at those levels for the
I have one final thought and opportunity for you Tamworth property
investors. 127 owner occupied households in Tamworth sold in last year where the
homeowners had passed away. These properties can be a potential goldmine and
offer great returns. The reason being is some members of the older generation
who have owned these homes for decades have spent money on high capital items
(double glazing / central heating etc.) but not spent money on more superficial
low-ticket items such as up to date carpets, kitchen, bathroom and decorating
(vital if you want to sell your property for top dollar). These properties can
often be bought cheaply because most buyers can’t see past the avocado or brown
bathroom suite from the 1970’s and the dated decor, so if you were to buy
wisely and do the works, you could sell it on for a healthy profit.
So, whatever is happening in the world with Brexit, Trump, China, and the Stock Market … the Tamworth housing market is in decent shape for the medium to long term. If we do have small corrections in values in the next 12 to 18 months, in the long term, house prices have always returned … and returned with vengeance. Like I say to anyone buying a property, be they a first time buyer, landlord or homeowner … property is a long game … and if you play the long game, you will always win (although isn’t that true in most aspects of life?).
Many of you reading my blog ask why I say these things. I want to share my thoughts and opinions on the real issues affecting the Tamworth property market, warts and all. If you want rose tinted glasses articles – then my articles are not for you. However, if you want someone to tell you the real story about the Tamworth property market, be it good, bad or indifferent, then maybe you should start reading my blog regularly.https://www.Tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk
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.
As we head for the winter months, some interesting statistics have come to light on the Tamworth Property Market which will be thought provoking for both homeowners and buy to let landlords alike.
Over the last 12 months 1,190 households have changed hands in Tamworth, interesting when compared with the 10-year average of 1,128 households per year.
Yet, for the purpose of this week’s article, I want to discuss the pricing of the current crop of Tamworth’s property sellers and the prices they are asking for their homes and the prices they are achieving (or not as at the case may be). It is so important for all property owners to know the real story, so they can judge for themselves where they stand in the current Tamworth housing market, thus enabling them to make suitable and informed decisions… and that is why, in my blog about the Tamworth Property Market, I pride myself in telling the people of Tamworth the real answers, not just the ones they want to hear.
The national average of homes selling at or above the asking price currently stands at around 10%, so around 90% go below the asking price – but by how much? Well according to Rightmove, in the Tamworth area, the average difference between the ‘FINAL asking price’ to the price agreed is 2.5% … yet note I highlighted the word FINAL in the last statement.
You see some Estate Agents will deliberately over inflate the suggested initial asking price to the house seller, because it gives them a greater chance to secure the property on that agent’s books, as opposed to a competitor. This practice is called overvaluing. Now of course, each homeowner wants to get the most for their property, it is quite often their biggest asset – yet some agents know this and prey on those house sellers. You might ask, what is the issue with that?
Well, you only get one chance of hitting the market as a new property. Everyone has access to the internet, Rightmove and Zoopla etc, and your potential buyers will know the market like the back of their hand. If you have a 3 bed semi that is on the market for a 3 bed detached house price.. those buyers will ignore you.
If your Tamworth property sticks on the market, potential buyers will keep seeing your Tamworth property on Rightmove each week, then start to think there is something wrong with it, dismiss it even further, until you, as the house seller have to reduce the asking price so much (to make it appear inexpensive) to get it away. According to our own research, the average house buyer only views between 4 and 5 houses before buying – so don’t assume viewers will come round your optimistically priced (i.e. overvalued) property, thinking they will knock you down – no quite the opposite!
So how widespread is overvaluing in Tamworth? The results might surprise you …
32.8% of properties in Tamworth, currently on the market, have reduced their asking price by an average reduction of 4.8% (which equates to £11,600 each)
So, all I ask is this.. be realistic and you will sell at a decent price to a decent buyer. First time – every time – enabling you to move on to the next chapter of your life.