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?

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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361 First Timer Buyers in Tamworth Bought Their First Home in 2017

A little bit of good news this week on the Tamworth Property Market as recently released data shows that the number of first time buyers taking out their first mortgage in 2017 increased more than in any other year since the global financial crisis in 2009. The data shows there were 361 first time buyers in Tamworth, the largest number since 2006.

I expect in 2018 that this increase of first time buyers will level out and maybe dip slightly as, nationally, figures demonstrate that first time buyer’s average household income was £40,691 and this represented 17.3% of their take home pay. Although, it might surprise readers that it is actually cheaper to buy than it is to rent at the ‘starter home’ end of the housing market. Many of you can remember mortgage rates at 12% … even 15%. Today, at the time of writing this article, I found on the open market, 189 first time buyer mortgages at 95% (meaning only a 5% deposit was required) with 3 year fixed rates from a reputable High Street bank at 2.49% … they even did a 3 year fixed rate 100% mortgage for 2.89%!

Interestingly, looking at the other end of the market, the buy-to-let investment in Tamworth was subdued, with only 74 buy-to-let properties being purchased with a mortgage. However, I must stress, whilst there is no hard and fast data on the total numbers of landlords buying buy-to-let, as HM Treasury believes only 30% to 40% of buy-to-let property is bought with a mortgage. This means there would have been further cash only buy-to-let purchases in Tamworth – it’s just that the data isn’t available at such a granular level.

In terms of the level of mortgage debt in Tamworth, looking specifically at the B77 to B79 postcodes, there has been a steady rise in borrowing over the last couple of years.

This is pleasing to see, as new mortgage debt is created by first time buyers, buy-to-let landlords and home movers themselves, that is being roughly equalled by the amount being paid off with mature mortgaged homeowners in their 50’s and 60’s finally paying off their mortgage.

So, what does all this mean for the Tamworth Property Market?  Well, the stats paint a picture, but they don’t inform us of the whole story. The upper end of the Tamworth property market has been weighed down by the indecision around the Brexit negotiations and rise in stamp duty in 2014, when made it considerably more expensive to buy a home costing more than £1m. The middle part of the Tamworth property market has been affected by issues of mortgage affordability and lack of good properties to buy, as selling prices have reached the limit of what buyers can afford under existing mortgage regulations. The lower to middle Tamworth property market was hit by tax changes for buy-to-let landlords, although this has been offset by the increase in first time buyers.

If you are in the market and selling now and want to ensure you get your Tamworth property sold, the bottom line is you have to be 100% realistic with your pricing from day one and you might not get as much as you did say a year ago (but the one you want to buy will be less – swings and roundabouts?). I know it’s not comfortable hearing that your Tamworth home isn’t worth as much as you thought, but Tamworth buyers are now unbelievably discerning.

So, if you are thinking of selling your Tamworth property in the coming months, don’t ask the agent out a few days before you want to put the property on the market, get them out now and ask them what you need to do to ensure you get maximum value in the shortest possible time. I, like most Tamworth agents, will freely give that advice to you at no cost or commitment to you.

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

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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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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Slowing Tamworth Property Market? Yes and No!

My thoughts to the landlords and homeowners of Tamworth…

The tightrope of being a Tamworth buy-to-let landlord is a balancing act many do well at. Talking to several Tamworth landlords, they are very conscious of their tenants’ capacity and ability to pay the rent and their own need to raise rents on their rental properties (as Government figure shows ‘real pay’ has dropped 1% in the last six months). Evidence does suggest many landlords feel more assured than they were in the spring about pursuing higher rents on their properties.

During the summer months, historic evidence suggests that the rents new tenants have had to pay on move in have increased. June/July/August is a time when renters like to move, demand surges and the normal supply and demand seesaw mean tenants are normally prepared to pay more to secure the property they want to live in, in the place they want to be. This is particularly good news for Tamworth landlords as average Tamworth rents have been on a downward trend recently. So look at the figures here…

Rents in Tamworth on average for new tenants moving in have risen 2.7% for the month, taking overall annual Tamworth rents 2.4% higher for the year

However, several Tamworth landlords have expressed their apprehensions about a slowing of the housing market in Tamworth. I think this negativity may be exaggerated.

Before we get the Champagne out, the other side of the coin to property investing is capital values (which will also be of interest to all the homeowners in Tamworth as well as the Tamworth buy-to-let landlords).  I believe the Tamworth property market has been trying to find some level of equilibrium since the New Year.  According to the Land Registry…

Property Values in Tamworth are 8.2% higher than they were 12 months ago, rising by 2.51% last month alone!

Property values and rents in Tamworth
Property values and rents in Tamworth

Yet, I would take those figures with a pinch of salt as they reflect the sales of Tamworth properties that took place in early Spring 2017 and now are only exchanging and completing during the summer months.

The reality is the number of properties that are on the market in Tamworth today has risen by 20% since the New Year and that will have a dampening effect on property values. As tenants have had less choice, buyers now have more choice … and that will temper Tamworth property prices as we head towards 2018.

Slowing property market?

Be you a homeowner or landlord, if you are planning to sell your Tamworth property in the short term, it is crucial, especially with the rise in the number of properties on the market, that you realistically price your property when you bring it to the market … with the increase in choice of properties, the balance of power during negotiation generally sways towards the buyer. Given that everyone now has access to property details, including historic stats for how much property have sold for, they will be more astute during the offer and negotiation stages of a purchase.

However, even with this uplift in the number of properties for sale in Tamworth, property prices will remain stable and strong in the medium to long term. This is because the number of properties on the market today is still way below the peak of summer of 2008, when there were 1,386 properties for sale compared to the current level of 360 (if you recall, prices dropped by nearly 20% in Credit Crunch years of ‘08 and ‘09).

Compared to 2008, today’s lower supply of Tamworth properties for sale will keep prices relatively high…and they will continue to stay at these levels for the medium to long term.

Less people are moving than a few years ago, meaning less property is for sale. Fewer properties for sale mean property prices remain relatively high and this is because of a number of underlying reasons. Firstly, buy-to-let landlords tend not sell their properties as often than owner-occupiers, consequently removing the property out of the housing market selling cycle. Secondly, Stamp Duty is much higher compared to 10 years ago (meaning it costs more to move). Next, there is a dearth of local authority rental housing so demand for private rented housing will remain high. Then we have the UK’s maturing owner occupier population, meaning these older people are less likely to move (compared to when they were younger). Another reason is the lack of new homes being built in the country (we need 240k houses a year to be built in the UK and we are currently only building 145k a year!) and finally, the new mortgage rules introduced in 2014 about how much a person can borrow on a mortgage has curtailed demand.

Some final thought’s before I go – to all the Tamworth homeowners that aren’t planning to sell – this talk of price changes is only on paper profit or loss. To those that are moving … most people that sell, are buyers as well, so as you might not get as much for yours, the one you will want to buy won’t be as much, (swings and roundabouts as Mum used to say!)

To all the Tamworth landlords – keep your eyes peeled – I have a feeling there may be some decent buy-to-let deals to be had in the coming months. One place for such deals, irrespective of which agent is selling it, is my Tamworth Property Blog … https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

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Tamworth’s New 3 Speed Property Market

“What’s happening to the Tamworth Property Market” is a question I am asked repeatedly.  Well, would it be a surprise to hear that my own research suggests that there isn’t just one big Tamworth property market – but many small micro-property markets?

According to recent data released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), I have discovered that at least three of these micro-property markets have emerged over the last 20+ years in the town.

For ease, I have named them the …

  1. lower’ Tamworth Property Market.
  2. lower to middle’ Tamworth Property Market.
  3. ‘middle’ Tamworth Property Market.

    Tamworth's 3 speed local property market
    Tamworth’s 3 speed local property market?

The ‘lower’ and ‘lower to middle’ sectors of the Tamworth property market have been fuelled over the last few years by two sets of buyers. The first set, making up the clear majority of those buyers, are cash rich landlord investors who are throwing themselves into the Tamworth property market to take advantage of alluringly low prices and even lower interest rates. The other set of buyers in the ‘lower’ and ‘lower to middle’ Tamworth property market are the first-time buyers (FTB), although the FTB market is in a state of unparalleled deadlock as it’s been trampled into near-immobility and incapacity by the new 2014 stricter mortgage affordability regulations and also fewer mortgages with low deposits.

Some of you may be interested to know how I have classified the three sectors ..

  1. lower’ Tamworth housing market – the bottom 10% (in terms of value) of properties sold
  2. lower to middle’ Tamworth housing market – lower Quartile (or lowest 25% in terms of value) of properties sold
  3. middle’ Tamworth housing market – which is the median in terms of value
Change in house prices in Tamworth borough Council area between 1995 and 2017
Change in house prices in Tamworth borough Council area between 1995 and 2017

 

 

 

 

 

…. and if one looks at the figures for Tamworth Borough Council area you can see the three different sectors (lower, lower/middle and middle) have performed quite differently.

Tamworth Borough Council Property Market – Sold Prices Price Paid in 1995 Price Paid in 2017 Percentage Uplift

1995 – 2017

Lower (Bottom 10%) £32,000 £110,000 243.75%
Lower to Middle (Lower Quartile) £39,000 £131,000 235.90%
Middle (The Median) £49,954 £178,445 257.22%

You can quite clearly see that it is the ‘middle’ market that has performed the best.

You might ask, what do all these different figures mean to homeowners and landlords alike?  Quite a lot – so let me explain. The worst performing sector (with the lowest Percentage uplift) was the ‘lower to middle’ housing market. Therefore, interestingly, if we applied the best percentage uplift figure (i.e. from the ‘middle’ market percentage uplift), to the ‘lower to middle’ 1995 housing market figure, the 2017 figure of £131,000, would have been £139,316 instead.

Now, I have specifically not mentioned the upper reaches of the Tamworth housing market for several reasons.  Firstly, the lower or middle market is where most of the buy to let investment landlords buy their property and where the majority of property transactions take place. Secondly, due to the unique and distinctive nature of Tamworth’s up-market property scene (because every property is different and they don’t tend to sell as often as the lower to middle market), it is much more difficult to calculate what changes have occurred to property prices in that part of the Tamworth property market – looking at the stats for the up-market Tamworth property market from Land Registry, only 6 properties in Tamworth (and a 3 mile radius around it) have sold for £1,000,000 or more since 1997.

Uplift percentage
uplift percentage

So, what should every homeowner and buy to let landlord take from the information that there are many micro-property markets? Well, when you realise there isn’t just one Tamworth Property Market, but many Tamworth “micro-property markets”, you can spot trends and bag yourself some potential bargains. Even in this market, I have spotted a number of bargains over the last few months that I have shared in my Property Blog and to my landlord database, especially in the ‘lower’ and ‘lower/middle’ market. If you want to be kept informed of those buy to let bargains, have a look at my blog  .. https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk  it’s free to do so and I’m sure you wouldn’t want to miss out – would you?

I would love to know if you have spotted any micro-property markets in Tamworth.

Email me  on lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk or give me a call on 07531484956. We can always meet up for a chat and a coffee, we can even walk the dog.

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Tamworth Homeowners and their £1.19 billion Debt

Over the last 12 months, the UK has decided to leave the EU, have a General Election with a result that didn’t go to plan for Mrs May and to add insult to injury, our American cousins elected Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. It could be said this should have caused some unnecessary unpredictability into the UK property market.

The reality is that the housing and mortgage market (for the time being) has shown a noteworthy resilience. Indeed on the back of the Monetary Policy pursued by the Bank of England there has been a notable improvement of macro-economic conditions! In July for example it was announced that we are witness to the lowest levels of unemployment for nearly 50 years. Furthermore, despite the UK construction industry building 21% more properties than same time the previous year, there has still been a disproportionate increase in demand for housing, particularly in the most thriving areas of the Country. Repossessions too are also at an all-time low at 3,985 for the last Quarter (Q1 2017) from a high of 29,145 in Q1 2009. All these things have resulted in…

Property values in Tamworth according to the

Land Registry are 7.34% higher than a year ago

So, what does all this mean for the homeowners and landlords of Tamworth, especially in relation to property prices moving forward?

One vital bellwether of the property market (and property values) is the mortgage market. The UK mortgage market is worth £961,653,701,493 (that’s £961bn) and it representative of 13,314,512 mortgages (interestingly, the UK’s mortgage market is the largest in Europe in terms of amount lent per year and the total value of outstanding loans). Uncertainty causes banks to stop lending – look what happened in the credit crunch and that seriously affects property prices.

Roll the clock back to 2007, and nobody had heard of the term ‘credit crunch’, but now the expression has entered our everyday language.  It took a few months throughout the autumn of 2007, before the crunch started to hit the Tamworth property market, but in late 2007, and for the following year and half, Tamworth property values dropped each month like the notorious heavy lead balloon, meaning …

The credit crunch caused Tamworth property values to drop by 16.8%

Under the sustained pressure of the Credit Crunch, the Bank of England realised that the UK economy was stalling in the early autumn of 2008. Loan book lending (sub-prime phenomenon) in the US and across the world was the trigger for this pressure. In a bid to stimulate the British economy there were six successive interest rates drops between October 2008 and March 2009; this resulted in interest rates falling from 5% to 0.5%!

Thankfully, after a period of stagnation, the Tamworth property market started to recover slowly in 2011 as certainty returned to the economy as a whole and Tamworth property values really took off in 2013 as the economy sped upwards. Thankfully, the ‘fire’ was taken out of the property market in Spring 2015 (otherwise we could have had another boom and bust scenario like we had in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s), with new mortgage lending rules. Throughout 2016, we saw a return to more realistic and stable medium term property price growth. Interestingly, property prices recovered in Tamworth from the post Credit Crunch 2009 dip and are now 41.9% higher than they were in 2009.

Tamworth property values before & after the credit crunch
Tamworth property values before & after the credit crunch

Now, as we enter the summer of 2017, with the Conservatives having been re-elected on their slender majority, the Tamworth property market has recouped its composure and in fact, there has been some aggressive competition among mortgage lenders, which has driven mortgage rates down to record lows. This is good news for Tamworth homeowners and landlords, over the last few months a mortgage price war has broken out between lenders, with many slashing the rates on their deals to the lowest they have ever offered.  For example, last month, HSBC launched a 1.69% five-year fixed mortgage!

Interestingly, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the level of mortgage lending had soared to an all-time high in the UK.

In the Tamworth postcodes of B77, B78 & B79, if you added up everyone’s mortgage, it would total £1,199,374,481!

Since 1977, the average Bank of England interest rate has been 6.65%, making the current 323 year all time low rate of 0.25% very low indeed. Thankfully, the proportion of borrowers fixing their mortgage rate has gone from 31.52% in the autumn of 2012 to the current 59.3%. If you haven’t fixed – maybe you should follow the majority?

In my modest opinion, especially if things do get a little rocky and uncertainty seeps back in the coming years (and nobody knows what will happen on that front), one thing I know is for certain, interest rates can only go one way from their 300 year ultra 0.25% low level … and that is why I consider it important to highlight this to all the homeowners and landlords of Tamworth. Maybe, just maybe, you might want to consider taking some advice from a qualified mortgage adviser? There are plenty of them in Tamworth.

If you are interested in the Tamworth Property Market, you might learn something by visiting the blog. https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

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Supply and Demand Issues mean Tamworth Property Values Rise by 7.34% in the Last 12 Months

The most recent set of data from the Land Registry has stated that property values in Tamworth and the surrounding area were 7.34% higher than 12 months ago and 22.36% higher than January 2015.

Despite the uncertainty over Brexit as Tamworth (and most of the UK’s) property values continue their medium and long-term upward trajectory. As economics is about supply and demand, the story behind the Tamworth property market can also be seen from those two sides of the story.

Looking at the supply issues of the Tamworth property market, putting aside the short-term scarcity of property on the market, one of the main reasons of this sustained house price growth has been down to of the lack of building new homes.

The draconian planning laws, that over the last 70 years (starting with The Town and Country Planning Act 1947) has meant the amount of land built on in the UK today, only stands at 1.8% (no, that’s not a typo – its one point eight percent) and that is made up of 1.1% with residential property and 0.7% for commercial property. Now I am not advocating building modern ugly boxes and high-rise flats in the Yorkshire Dales, nor blot the landscape with the building of massive out of place ugly 1,000 home housing estates around the beautiful countryside of such villages as Elford and  Middleton.

Land usage
Land usage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The facts are, with the restrictions on building homes for people to live in, because of these 70-year-old restrictive planning regulations, homes that the youngsters of Tamworth badly need, aren’t being built. Adding fuel to that fire, there has been a large dose of nimbyism  (the not in my back yard approach) and landowners deliberately sitting on land, which has kept land values high and from that keeps house prices high.

Looking at the demand side of the equation, one might have thought property values would drop because of Brexit and buyers uncertainty. However, certain commenters now believe property values might rise because of Brexit. Many people are risk adverse, especially with their hard-earned savings. The stock market is at an all-time high (ready to pop again?) and many people don’t trust the money markets. The thing about property is its tangible, bricks and mortar, you can touch it and you can easily understand it.

The Brits have historically put their faith in bricks and mortar, which they expect to rise in value, in numerical terms, at least. Nationally, the value of property has risen by 635.4% since 1984 whilst the stock market has risen by a very similar 593.1%. However, the stock market has had a roller coaster of a ride to get to those figures. For example, in the dot com bubble of the early 2000’s, the FTSE100 dropped 126.3% in two years and it dropped again by 44.6% in 9 months in 2007… the worst drop Tamworth saw in property values was just 16.85% in the 2008/9 credit crunch.

Despite the slowdown in the rate of annual property value growth in Tamworth to the current 7.34%, it can be argued the headline rate of Tamworth property price inflation is holding up well, especially with the squeeze on real incomes, new taxation rules for landlords and the slight ambiguity around Brexit. With mortgage rates at an all-time low and tumbling unemployment, all these factors are largely continuing to help support property values in Tamworth (and the UK).

For more thoughts on the Tamworth Property Market, please visit the Tamworth Property Market Blog https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk

If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one for the first time, then feel free to get in touch. If  you want to read more articles like this about the Tamworth Property Market, why not subscribe to our blog or newsletter.

Together with regular postings on what I consider the best buy to let deals in Tamworth, irrespective of which agent is selling it, you will also find hints and tips.

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Higher than the National Average – 1 in 6 Tamworth Properties are Leasehold

There are 23.36 million properties in England and Wales with 64% being owner occupied and 36% being rented either from a private landlord, local authority or housing association.

 

 

 

 

Over nine out of ten of those English and Welsh owner-occupied properties are a whole house or bungalow. Now, most people would assume they would be freehold – however, of those renting nearly half of rental properties, 44% to be precise, lived in other leasehold apartments and flats.

It might be wise to quickly explain the difference between freehold and leasehold. When someone owns the freehold of a property they own it outright, including the land it is built on, whilst with a leasehold property the leaseholder owns the property for the length of their lease agreement. Leaseholders must pay the person who owns land (the freeholder) ground rent and other fees. When the leasehold ends, ownership returns to the freeholder although the leaseholder can extend the lease or they can buy the freeholder out, but there are rules and regulations with regards doing that.

Therefore, it would be safe to assume that houses are freehold and flats are leasehold .. wouldn’t it? Not necessarily! Most houses are freehold but some might be leasehold – usually through shared-ownership schemes – but more and more new homes builders are selling houses on a leasehold as well. The protection of the law afforded to leaseholders who own a flat is massive, but sadly lacking to leasehold houses sold privately.

Looking specifically at the figures for Tamworth, at the last count in B77, 78 and 79 there were 44,686 properties. Since 1995, 36,373 properties in B77, 78 and 79 have changed hands and have been sold. Looking further at those 36,373 transactions in B77, 78 and 79 since 1995, using data from Land Registry and solicitors practice My-Home-Move, 16.06% have been leasehold (higher than the national average of 15%).

However, I am concerned about a few new homes builders selling new houses (not flats – houses) as leasehold. There has been a growing (yet small) trend for new-build houses to be sold as leasehold in recent years. While not all house builders use this model, those that do maintain it helps make developments financially viable.

The issue comes when builders sell the freehold separately to an investment company without informing the lease holder  – which they are legally allowed to do without telling the leaseholder. In England and Wales, the “right of first refusal” to buy the freehold is written in law to leaseholders of flats i.e. the freeholder must offer it to the leaseholders of all the flats of the building first), but not leaseholders of houses.

.. and this is the point I am trying to get across. If you are buying a new home and it’s a house (i.e. not a flat) – please check very carefully indeed whether its freehold or leasehold. If it is a leasehold, whilst you do have rights, they are not as strong as for those people buying a leasehold flat. I appreciate I am only talking about a very small percentage of the property market, but potentially this could end up costing thousands of pounds to those affected.

Tamworth Landlord confidence set to rise again…

If you are looking for an agent with experience that can help you find the right tenant for your property, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

Email me on lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk or give me a call on 07531484956. We can always meet up for a chat and a coffee, we can even walk the dog.

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

Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Tamworth Youtube Channel

Follow The Buy-To-Let Property Investment Market in Tamworth

Lorraine’s Tamworth Property Market LinkedIn Page

Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Tamworth Facebook Page

Tamworth Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Twitter Page

Tamworth Flats Out Perform Property Market Average by 8%

According to the Land Registry’s latest House Price Index for Tamworth and the surrounding locality, the value of apartments/flats are rising at a faster rate than terraced/town houses and semi-detached properties and even detached property.

Values of apartments in Tamworth have increased by 9.42% over the past year, which is proportionally 8% more than the Tamworth average rise of 8.72%. The last time flats/apartments in Tamworth out performed all the other types of property, by such a gulf, was back in the summer of 2005. For comparison, the other property types performed as follows ..

  • Detached homes rose by 9.27%
  • Semi-detached homes rose by 8.88%
  • Terraced/Town-Houses rose by 7.96%

This moderately increasing rate of property value growth is opportune – but no one should confuse it with a strong and vigorous healthy Tamworth property market. Instead, it is somewhat an indicator of the long-lasting lack of property on the market. In fact, I have spoken about the lack of homes for sale in Tamworth on a number of occasions in my Tamworth Property Blog and whilst it isn’t as bad as it was 12 months ago – choice is quite limited for buyers.

The average property value in Tamworth

now stands at £208,200.

When split down into property types ..

  • Tamworth Apartments at £133,600
  • Tamworth Detached at £310,400
  • Tamworth Semi-Detached at £146,400
  • Tamworth Terraced/Town-House at £123,400
Tamworth Flats Out Perform Property Market Average by 8%
Tamworth Flats Out Perform Property Market Average by 8%

So why have Tamworth apartments performed so well, and is it just a Tamworth thing? When I scrutinised the figures for the rest of the UK, it appears that apartments are pacemakers in the clear majority of the country. Of the 379 local authority areas in the UK, the value of apartments is rising faster than detached, semi-detached and terraced houses in 320 of them.

So, should Tamworth apartment owners be getting out the Champagne? Well, I would keep it on ice as the Land Registry figures are notorious for short term fluctuations. It’s hard to have faith in the fact that Tamworth house values rose rapidly last month given that, in the last six months, the Land Registry has frequently made downward revisions to their first published House Price Index figures.

Thankfully, the bigger picture from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) stated that home buying activity last month was up 2% over the same month in 2016 – not bad as we have had the Autumn, Winter and now Spring since Brexit. The CML stated first time buyer’s levels of affordability was being squeezed and that the average amount borrowed by those first-time buyers dropped slightly last month, but the overall amount borrowed (by all buyers) was an impressive 12% higher than the same month in 2016.

So, what next for the Tamworth Property market? I believe the uplift in the values of apartments is a short-term blip. The real issue is with the way wage growth might not keep up with inflation as the effects of 2016 exchange rate sucks in inflation (meaning real wage growth stagnates). This will mean buyer demand growth will be curtailed and with property values already so full, I believe a renewed hastening in house price growth is unlikely.

I believe we are starting to return to the housing market we saw in the mid 1990’s, Steady demand, steady supply – nothing silly when it comes to house price growth. Therefore, I believe, with what is happening around us – this isn’t a bad thing at all. HMS Tamworth Property Market…. “Nice and steady as she goes”, says the Captain.

My advice to the prospective landlord as is to you- is do your homework.  One such website, which only talks about the Tamworth buy to let Property Market, is the Tamworth Property Blog,  https://www.tamworthpropertyblog.co.uk  Another source of info many Tamworth landlords use is me! What many Tamworth landlords do, irrespective of whether you are a landlord of ours, a landlord with another agent or a DIY landlord, if you see any property in Tamworth, that catches your eye as a potential buy to let property, be it a terraced house, semi or flat … email me lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk I will email you back with my thoughts (although I will tell you what you need to know .. not what you want to hear!)

If you are looking for an agent with experience that can help you find the right tenant for your property, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

Email me  on lorraine@hallandthompson.co.uk or give me a call on 07531484956. We can always meet up for a chat and a coffee, we can even walk the dog.

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

Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Tamworth Youtube Channel

Follow The Buy-To-Let Property Investment Market in Tamworth

Lorraine’s Tamworth Property Market LinkedIn Page

Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Tamworth Facebook Page

Tamworth Hall and Thompson Estate Agents Twitter Page

 

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