Tamworth Property Market – Which Houses are Actually Selling?

Beast from the East, Russia, Facebook, Brexit, Trump, House prices up, House prices down … the Press is full of column inches on Brit’s favourite subjects of politics, scandal, weather and not forgetting (and I appreciate the irony of this!) the property market. As an agent belonging a national group of letting and estate agents, talking to my fellow property professionals from around the UK, the one thing that is immediately apparent is the UK does not have one property market. It is a hodgepodge patchwork (almost like a fly’s eye) of lots of small property markets all performing in different ways.

… And that made me think … is there just one Tamworth Property Market or many?

I like to keep an eye on the property market in Tamworth on a daily basis because it enables me to give the best advice and opinion on what (or not) to buy in Tamworth, be that a buy-to-let property for a Tamworth landlord or an owner occupier house for a home owner.  So, I thought, how could I scientifically split the Tamworth housing market into segments, so I could see which part of the market was performing the best and the worst.

I decided the best way was to split the Tamworth property market into four equal size price bands (into terms of households for sale). Each price band would have around 25% of the property in Tamworth, from the lowest in value (the Lowest Quartile or 25%) all the way through to the highest 25% in terms of value, the Upper Quartile.  Looking at the market, I have calculated that these are the price bands in Tamworth are as follows:

  • Lowest Quartile (lowest 25% in terms of value) … Up to £150,000
  • Lower/Middle Quartile (25% to 50% Quartile in terms of value) … £150,000 to £190,000
  • Middle/Upper Quartile (50% to 75% Quartile in terms of value) … £190,000 to £250,000
  • Upper Quartile (highest 25% in terms of value) … £250,000 Upwards

So, having split the Tamworth Property Market approximately into four equal sizes, the results in terms what price band has sold (subject to contract or stc) the most is quite enlightening –

Tamworth  Available Sold STC % Sold
Up to £150,000 69 107 60.8%
£150,000 to £190,000 79 112 58.6%
£190,000 to £250,000 102 95 48.2%
£250,000 Upwards 180 79 30.5%

Although the results are close, the best performing price range in Tamworth is the lower market. As I would expect, the upper quartile (the top 25%) is finding things toughest. Interestingly for Tamworth landlords, with the lower market and the middle market selling well, it looks like there are plenty of Tamworth landlords buying properties to add to their buy to let portfolios. Even though the number of first time buyers did increase in 2017, it was from a low base and the vast majority of 20 something’s cannot buy, so need a roof over their head (hence the need to rent somewhere).

It is a fact that British (and Tamworth’s) housing markets have ridden the storms of Oil crisis in the 1970’s, the 1980’s depression, Black Monday in the 1990’s, and latterly the Credit Crunch together with the various house price crashes of 1973, 1987 and 2008. No matter what happens to us Brexit or anything else … unless the Government starts to build hundreds of thousands extra houses each year, demand will always outstrip supply … so maybe a time for Tamworth landlord investors to bag a bargain?

Want to know where those Tamworth buy to let bargains are?  Follow my Tamworth Property Blog or drop me an email because irrespective of which agent you use, myself or any of the other excellent agents in Tamworth, many local landlords ask me my thoughts, opinion and advice on what (and not) to buy locally … and I wouldn’t want you to miss out on those thoughts … would you?

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Tamworth’s ‘Millennials’ set to inherit £329,700 each in property!

That got your attention … didn’t it!

But before we start, what is Generation X, let alone Generation Z, Millennials, Baby Boomers  … these are phrases banded around about the different life stages (or subcomponents) of our society. But when terminologies like this are used as often and habitually as these phrases (i.e. Gen X this, Millennial that etc.), it appears particularly vital we have some practical idea of what these terms actually mean. The fact is that everyone uses these phrases, but often, like myself, they are not exactly sure where the lines are drawn …until now…

So, for clarity …

Generation Z:              Born after 1996

Millennials:                 Born 1977 to 1995

Generation X:              Born 1965 to 1976

Baby Boomers:            Born 1946 to 1964

Silent Generation:       Born 1945 and before

My research shows there are 8,064 households in Tamworth owned by Tamworth Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964) and Tamworth’s Silent Generation (born 1945 and before). It also shows there are 15,494 Generation X’s of Tamworth (Tamworth people born between 1965 to 1976). Looking at demographics, homeownership statistics and current life expectancy, around two-thirds of those Tamworth 15,494 Generation X’s have parents and grandparents who own those 8,064 Tamworth properties.

… and they will profit from one of the biggest inheritance explosions of any post-war generation to the tune of £1.726bn of Tamworth property or £166,970 each but they will have to wait until their early 60’s to get it!

However, it’s the Millennials that are in line for an even bigger inheritance windfall.

There are 11,299 Millennials in Tamworth and my research shows around two thirds of them are set to inherit the 11,612 Tamworth Generation X’s properties. Those Generation X’s Tamworth homes are worth £2.485bn meaning, on average, each Millennial will inherit £329,700; but not until at least 2040 to 2060!

While the Tamworth Millennials have done far less well in amassing their own savings and assets, they are more likely to take advantage of an inheritance boom in the years to come. This will probably be very welcome news for those Tamworth Millennials, including some from poorer upbringings who in the past would have been unlikely to receive gifts and legacies.

However, inheritance is not the magic weapon that will get the Millennials on to the Tamworth housing ladder or tackle growing wealth cracks in UK society, as the inheritance is unlikely to be made available when they are trying to buy their first home…but before all you Tamworth Millennials start running up debts, over 50% of females and around 35% of men are going to have to pay for nursing home care. Interestingly, I read recently that a quarter of people who have to pay for their care, run out of money.

So, if you are a Tamworth Millennial there potentially will be nothing left for you.

Of course, most parents want to give their children an inheritance, the consideration that what you have worked genuinely hard for over your working life won’t go to your children to help them through their lives is a really awful one … maybe that is why I am seeing a lot of Tamworth grandparents doing something meaningful, and helping their grandchildren, the Millennials, with the deposit for their first house.

One solution to the housing crisis in Tamworth (and the UK as a whole) is if grandparents, where they are able to, help financially with the deposit for a house. Buying is cheaper than renting – we have proved it many times in these articles … so, it’s not a case of not affording the mortgage, the issue is raising the 5% to 10% mortgage deposit for these Millennials.

Maybe families should be distributing a part of the family wealth now (in the form of helping with house deposits) as opposed to waiting to the end… it will make so much more of a difference to everyone in the long run.

Just a thought?

if you would like to read more articles on my thoughts on the Tamworth property Market – please visit the Tamworth Property Market Blog

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Why Tenancy Agreements are Important to Tamworth Landlords

Yes, It is possible to create a tenancy without actually signing a tenancy agreement but who is crazy enough to do that?

Well you would be surprised –  Recently I  have been contacted twice by landlords who allowed tenants to move into their properties without having a tenancy agreement in place.

One of the landlords I am afraid to say does not want me to mention his case in my blog, apparently he is the butt of his friends jokes over his little issue. I have given him my advice and the rest is now up to him!Spit Handshake

The other landlord contacted me when his tenants failed to pay the deposit and rent. He allowed this “lovely” couple to take the keys and move in with the promise of paying the monies owed when they got paid, two days later.

When monies were not forthcoming and the landlord chased, he was told, this “lovely” couple were going to pay their rent in arrears and they knew nothing about any agreement to pay a deposit.

So we now have a frustrated landlord asking  “Can they pay their rent in arrears and what about the deposit?

Yes, they can, unfortunatley.

Under common law, rent is payable in arrears unless there is a tenancy agreement in place and the agreement states rent is payable in advance.

With regards to the deposit, the landlord has no recourse, where is the proof.

By using a properly drafted tenancy agreement Landlords go a long way to protecting their position. It is unwise to add and remove clauses without legal advice  as they can be classed as unfair terms .

For example a clause will normally be unfair if it takes away a right which a tenant would normally have in law.

If you want to prohibit something a tenant would normally be able to do, such as re-decorate the property, your clause must contain wording providing for the tenant to request permission to do whatever they are wanting to do and must state that “the permission will not be unreasonably refused”.

Countless landlords have invalidated their pets clauses by removing this wording on the basis that “no pets allowed in this property under any circumstances”.

A tenant can request permission for something but it does not mean that you have got to agree to it. It may be reasonable to refuse your permissionm, that is your right as a Landlord. But if you deny tenants the chance to request permission – this will invalidate the clause, meaning that there is nothing to stop them keeping whatever pets they like.

Tenancy agreements need to be fair and written in plain English, they can include clauses to protect the landlord’s position. i.e. –

Notifying tenants that you will provide their details to utilities if they default on payment. You should also note down that you may also use tracing agents if they leave owing you money.

Everyone living in the property, including all children are named in the tenancy agreement and there should be a clause saying that no one else is allowed to live in the property.

Remember doing business on spit and a hand shake is no longer good practice 🙁

until next week.

Landlords, would you like a second opinion on a potential Buy-to-Let property or do you have nagging concerns – please feel free to contact us on 01827 425195 or 07531484956.We are here to help you on your property journey.

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Trust me you would not want to buy your home off the internet

My close friends and family know that I dislike self service tills and the impersonal detachment of Internet shopping. I will be honest and admit that I hate it.

People say buying houses is stressful.  Believe me, when I say it’s nothing compared to online shopping.

Birthday gifts haven’t arrived on time, clothes which looked lovely on the internet model are not what I had hoped for – sack of spuds springs to mind!

A long awaited Christmas present for my mom was delivered by courier to my house and because no one was home they very kindly left it in a safe place….. the recycling bin which was emptied on the same day. 

So I’m sticking to high street shopping in the future.  Thank goodness we don’t buy houses online.  Can you imagine it!

According to a recent nationwide  study by Vivo Property Buyers, people find the task of selling their home more stressful than other life events like getting a divorce, death of a spouse or being made bankrupt. How stressful would it be to buy your next house directly off the internet?

Luckily the Internet doesn’t sell houses. Can you imagine logging onto the internet, finding a house that you want to purchase and adding it to your shopping cart. Checking the delivery address is correct. Deciding whether to pay by PayPal or credit card  and then  finally, excitedly, waiting for the courier to deliver it.

The internet doesn’t sell houses it sells viewings. Properties are advertised there with pictures to capture your interest and entice you to pick up the phone and book a viewing.  The real selling of a home is done in the property itself, person to person.

buy your house off internet
buy your house off internet

Buying any house is an emotional heartfelt experience.  Buying a home is special. You will feel an instant warmth and connection with the house. You will see your furniture in the house, your personal items dotted about and your loved ones curled up on the sofa. You need to see it. You need to explore it. You want to be able to see yourself in the house, no not a house –  a home and maybe your new home.

Would an agent’s photos online show you all you want to see. The best photos cannot possibly show you everything, would you be able get a clear picture  in your mind of the house from just a description.

What about those questions you have about your future home. An estate agent will have lots of useful information to share with you, especially if you are new to the area. We do.

We like to know about the houses we are selling.  We like to know about the area and the neighbours.  We want to tell you the history of the house, if you were buying a second hand car, you would want the full-service history, wouldn’t you?  Why should a house be different?

Selling houses is about people and customer service.  Online shopping is cold and impersonal. What happened to my moms present you may ask, I phoned and phoned and each time I hit a brick wall with an automated message. That was a stressful time!

So my advice, stick to the high street for things that are really important.

Have you had a similar experience which has made you reflect and think?  If so I would love to hear about them.  My name is Lorraine.  I am here to help you move.  Call me on 01827 425195.

Happy house hunting.

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Legislation the Government has planned for 2018 with Tamworth Landlords – day 2

You can make property management a lot easier if you know the legislation and adhere to it.  Today’s will ensure that if you need to serve a section 21 and have provided the “Right to Rent Guide” you have a better chance of having the S21 validated.

paperwork

Day 2  – How to Rent Guide

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has published a new “How to Rent guide”.

This booklet must be provided to assured shorthold tenants whose tenancy started or was renewed from 17 January 2018 onwards.

Thinking of Selling your property now or in the near future? Maybe you’re a landlord with property to Rent?

Contact us NOW for a FREE Valuation and find out what Hall and Thompson Estate Agents can do for you.

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Landlord Legislation the Government has planned for 2018

This year  2018 will be a busy year for legislation if you are a landlord.

So over the 12 days we will be giving you a daily outline of the upcoming legislation. Some of the legislation is in the pipeline and  may not come into force until next year, however it’s good to be aware.

no surcharge

Day 1 – Electronic payment charges

From 13 January 2018 a landlord or agent for that matter, can no longer add a surcharge when taking electronic payments  from your tenants i.e Paypal, credit, debit card or mobile phone payments.

 

Can’t find a Tamworth buy to let deal? Visit the Tamworth Property Blog at www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk where I am finding some gems.

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My thoughts on the future of the Tamworth Buy-To-Let Market

 I was recently reading a report by the Home website which suggested that hordes of landlords are selling their buy-to-let investments due to increasing burdens on them in the buy-to-let market. Their findings suggest the number of new properties that came onto the market nationally (for sale) jumped by 11% across the UK as a result.

Those increasing burdens include new tax rules coming in over the next 3 to 4 years and the announcement that all self-managing landlords (i.e. landlords that don’t use a letting agent to look after their buy-to-let property) will soon need to register with a compulsory redress scheme to resolve tenant arguments and disputes; as Westminster wants to heighten standards in the Private Rented Sector.

Interestingly I was chatting with a self-managed landlord from Bonehill, when I was out socially over the festive period, who didn’t realise the other recent legislations that have hit the Private Rented sector, including the ‘Right to Rent’ regulations which came in to operation last year. Landlords have to certify their tenants have the legal right to live in the UK. This includes checking and taking copies of their tenant’s passport or visa before the tenancy is signed. Of course, if you use a letting agent to manage your property, they will usually sort this for you (as they will with the redress scheme when that is implemented).

If you are a self-managed landlord though, the consequences are severe because if you let a property to a tenant who is living in the UK illegally, you will be fined up to £3,000. That same Bonehill landlord met me for coffee at Druckers  in the New Year, and I checked all his paperwork and ensured he was on the right side of the law going forward – and I offer the same to any landlord in the Tamworth area if you want me to cast my eye over your buy to let matters (and at no cost)

But what of all these extra properties being dumped onto the market in Tamworth? When I looked at the records the number of properties on the market in Tamworth now, as opposed to a year ago, the numbers tell an interesting story …

 

1st Jan 2017 1st Jan 2018
Detached 110 162 47%
Semi 90 105 17%
Terraced 43 35 -19%
Flat 33 45 36%
Plots +
Other
7 10 43%
Total 283 357 26%

Overall, Tamworth doesn’t match the national trend, with the number of properties on the market actually rising by 26% in the last year.  It was particularly interesting to see the number of detached increase by 47%, yet the number of terraced on the market drop by 19%.

However, speaking with my team and other property professionals in the town, the majority of that movement in the number of properties and the types of properties on the market isn’t down to landlords dumping their properties on the market. The whole property market has changed in the last 12 months, with the majority of the change in the number and type of properties for sale due to the owner-occupier market, not landlords (a subject I will write about soon in my Tamworth Property Market blog later this Spring?). You see, for the last ten years, each month there has always been a small number of Tamworth landlords who have been releasing their monies from their Tamworth buy to let properties – as is the nature of all investments!

Nationally, the number of rental properties coming on to the market to rent fell by 16% in Q4 2017 compared to Q4 2016 .. but that isn’t because there are 16% less rental properties to rent – it’s because tenants are staying in their rental properties longer meaning less are coming on the market to be RE-LET.

Nevertheless, some Tamworth landlords will want to release the equity held in their Tamworth buy to let properties in 2018. All I suggest is that you speak with your letting agent first, as putting a rental property on the open market often spooks the tenants to hand in their notice days after you put it on the market (because they don’t like the uncertainty and also believe they will become homeless!). This means you have an empty property, costing you money with no rent coming in.  However, some letting agents who specialise in portfolio management have select lists of landlords that will buy with sitting tenants in. If you have a portfolio in the Tamworth area and are considering selling some or all of them – drop me a line as I might have a portfolio landlord for you (with the peace of mind that you won’t have any rental voids).

If you want to learn about the Tamworth Property Market , one source for information is the Tamworth Property Blog authored by yours truly at https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

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Ask Lorraine – My Tamworth agent has given me 14 days to vacate my house

Ask Lorraine – Hello hun,

I’m after a little advice as I don’t have many options. My agent gave me a Section 21 on 19th January and has told me I’ve got 14 days to leave the property. I’ve been renting my home for nearly 2 years.

I have nowhere to go and 14 days is not long enough to find another property and pack up my stuff.  I will end up sofa surfing, yes I have paid the rent a few days late on the odd month but I’m currently up to date.

How can an agent treat me like this,  surely this can’t be right?

Name was supplied

14 days to leave

Lorraine’s Answer – I am sorry that you find yourself in this unpleasant situation and I hope that you do find somewhere to live.

I don’t know if communication has broken down between you and the agent/landlord or if there are underlying issues as to why the landlord requires the property back.

I will do my best to answer your question assuming that you are now on a periodic tenancy agreement.

Section 21

A landlord has the legal right to retain possession at the end of a tenancy but they must follow the correct legal procedure. This includes serving a valid section 21 notice which is the  easiest way for an agent/landlord to recover a property.

For a S21 to be valid there are a number of pieces of information that you should have been given during your tenancy, If not the notice will not be legal and cannot be enforced.

The notice to leave must be at least two calendar months or the same period for which rent is paid, whichever is longer. The notice should end on the last day of a rental period (the day before rent is due).

I do not have all the facts but would certainly recommend that you take your tenancy agreement, complete with any additional paperwork in your possession, to the Council. If the Council cannot help, Citizens Advice will be able too.

Please do this as soon as possible.

Please see below tenants guide to private renting, this will give you lots of helpful advice.

https://www.gov.uk/private-renting

I hope things turn out well for you.

Until next week.

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50.48% of Tamworth is Built on … Building Plot Dilemma or Not?

Well the fallout from the recent Budget is still continuing.  I was chatting to a couple of movers and shakers from the Tamworth area the other day, when one said, “There isn’t enough land to build all these 300,000 houses Philip Hammond wants to build each year”.

…and if you read the Daily Mail, you would be forgiven for thinking the Country was at bursting point … or is it?

It was 60 years ago the first satellite was launched (Sputnik). All the Superpowers have used them to take high definition pictures of each other for decades, but now satellites and their high-powered cameras are being used for more peaceful purposes. The European Environment Agency (EEA) have been taking high definition pictures of the UK from outer-space to give us a focused picture of what every corner of the Country really looks like … and the findings will come as a surprise.

As my blog readers know, I always like to ask the important questions relating to the Tamworth property market. If you are a Tamworth landlord or Tamworth homeowner, this knowledge will enable you to make a more considered opinion on your direction and future in the Tamworth property market. Like every aspect of all economic life, it’s all about supply and demand, because over the last twenty or so years, there has been an imbalance in the British (and Tamworth) housing market, with demand outstripping supply, meaning the average value of a property in Tamworth has risen by 293.74%, taking an average value from £46,300 in 1995 to £182,300 today.

Using the information from the EEA and data crunched by Sheffield University with their Corine-Land Cover project, I posed them a few questions about the local area, interesting questions I would like to share with you …

  1. What proportion of the whole of Tamworth is built on?

50.48%

That surprised you, didn’t it! In the study, land classified as ‘urban fabric’ defined has land which has between 50% and 100% of the land surface is built on, (meaning up to a half might be gardens or small parks, but the majority is built on).

  1. How much land is intensively built on locally?

Of that amount mentioned above, how much of it is high-density urban fabric? (i.e. where 80% to 100% is built on – still leaving 20% for gardens)  Less than 0.1%  – again I bet that surprised you!

  1. So how is the land used locally?

 

Sports Facilities                    1.88%

Green Urban Areas             4.99%

Industry                                 11.34%

Arable Farmland                  19.98%

…the rest being made up of various other types such as pastures and waterways, etc.

Tamworth and the surrounding areas are greener than you think! In fact, I read that property covers less of the UK than the land revealed when the tide goes out. The assumption that vast bands of our local area have been concreted over doesn’t stand up to inspection. However, the effect of housing undoubtedly spreads beyond its actual footprint, in terms of noise, pollution and roads.

Now I am not suggesting for one second we concrete over every inch of the locality, but the bottom line is we, as a country, are growing at a quicker rate than the households we are building. I appreciate the emotional effect of housing is greater than other land use types because most of us spend the vast majority of our time surrounded by it. As Brits, we live our lives driving along roads, walking on footpaths and working and living in buildings meaning we tend, as a result, to considerably overemphasise how much of it there is.

In fact, I was only flying home recently back from a short break abroad, when I looked down and I was reminded just how green Britain actually is!

The bottom line is Tamworth people and the local authorities are going to have to put their weight into building more homes for people to live in. There is going to have to be some give and take on both sides, otherwise house prices will continue to rise exponentially in the future and Tamworth youngster’s won’t be able to buy their own Tamworth home, meaning Tamworth rents and demand for private rented accommodation in Tamworth can (and will) also grow exponentially.

If you want to learn about the Tamworth Property Market , one source for information is the Tamworth Property Blog authored by yours truly at https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

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Tamworth Property Market and Hammond’s Budget Promise to Build 300,000 more homes

I miss the good old days of George Osborne as Chancellor, with his hardhat and hi-vis jacket. He must have visited every new home building site in the UK with his trademark attire! For the last few years, the nearest Philip Hammond got to donning a ‘Bob the Builder’ outfit was at his grandchild’s birthday party. However, with what appears to be a change in focus by the Tories to ensure they get back in power in 2022, they appear to have fallen in love with house building again with the Chancellor’s promise to create 300,000 new households in a year.

Nationally, the number of new homes created has topped 217,344 in the last year, the highest since the financial crash of 2007/8. Looking closer to home: in total there were 160 ‘net additional dwellings’ in the last 12 months in the Tamworth Borough Council area, a decrease of 36% on the 2010 figure.

The figures show that 89% of this additional housing was down to new build properties. In total, there were 142 new dwellings built over the last year in Tamworth. In addition, there were 10 additional dwellings created from converting commercial or office buildings into residential property and a further nine dwellings were added as a result of converting houses into flats.

While these all added to the total housing stock in the Tamworth area, there was 1 demolition to take into account.

Net additional dwellings in Tamworth in the last 12 months
New build Conversions Change of use Demolitions Net Additions
142 9 10 -1 160

I was encouraged to see some of the new households in the Tamworth area had come from a change of use. The planning laws were changed a few years back so that, in certain circumstances, owners of properties didn’t need planning permission to change office space in to residential use.

With the scarcity of building land available locally (or the builders being very slow to build on what they have, for fear of flooding the market), it was pleasing to see the number of developers that had reutilised vacant office space into residential homes in the local council area. Converting offices and shops to residential use will be vital in helping to solve the Tamworth housing crisis especially, as you can see on the graph, that the level of building has hardly been spectacular over the last seven years!

Now we have had the autumn budget, Theresa May and Philip Hammond have set out their stall with housing as their key focus. I was glad to see the Government introducing a variety of changes to improve housing, including more funding for the supply side and an injection of urgency into the planning system.

The biggest question is, just where are the Government going to build all these new houses? Maybe a topic for a future article?

Back to the main point though and the focus on the housing market by the Tory’s is good news for all homeowners and buy to let landlords, as it will encourage more fluidity in the market in the longer term, sharing the wealth and benefits of homeownership for all. However, in the short term, demand still outstrips supply for homes and that will mean continued upward pressures on rents for tenants.

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