Should you buy a new-build property in Tamworth?

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 price.

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 built. 

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. 

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25.9% of All Tamworth Properties were Bought Without a Mortgage in the Last 7 Years

Tamworth
Tamworth

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. 25.9%)

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.

Why don’t you download your FREE Landlord eGuide ‘How To Avoid Tenants From Hell’ now by clicking the link below and then ‘Get Started’ & ‘Send it Now’The eGuide will then be messaged to you instantly after a few clicks and your contact details are not needed.

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

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

…No Tamworth Landlord, ever

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t forget to download our free Landlord eGuide ‘How to avoid tenants from hell’ simply click the link in the post and you will get a copy messaged to you instantly and no contact details are needed
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Additional 1,414 Tamworth Rented Homes Required by 2027

I have been doing some research, looking both at National and Regional reports on the demand and supply of property and people together with future projections on the economy, population and family demographics with some interesting results.  According to the Office of National Statistics, in the last financial year nationally, private renting grew by 74,000 households, whilst the owner occupied dwelling stock increased by 101,000 and social (aka council and housing association) stock increased by 12,000 dwellings.

It was the private rental figures that caught my eye.  With eight or nine years of recovery since the Credit Crunch, economic recovery and continuing low interest rates have done little to setback the mounting need for rented housing.  In fact, with house price inflation pushing upwards much quicker than wage growth, this has meant to make owning one’s home even more out of reach for many Millennials, all at a time when the number of council/social housing has shrunk by just over 2.5% since 2003, making more households move into private renting.

There are 7,711 people living in 3,300 privately rented

properties in Tamworth.

In the next nine years, looking at the future population growth statistics for the Tamworth area and making careful and moderate calculations of what proportion of those extra people due to live in Tamworth will rent as opposed to buy, in the next ten years, 3,305 people (adults and children combined) will require a private rented property to live in.

Therefore, the number of Private Rented homes in Tamworth will need to rise by 1,414 households over the next nine years,

That’s 157 additional Tamworth properties per year that will need to be bought by Tamworth landlords, for the next nine years to meet that demand.

… and remember, I am being conservative (with a small ‘c’) with those calculations, as demand for privately rented homes in Tamworth could still rise more abruptly than I have predicted as I would ask if Theresa May’s policies of building 400,000 affordable homes (which would syphon in this 5-year Parliamentary term is rather optimistic, if not fanciful?

So, one has to ask wonder if it was wise to introduce a buy to let stamp duty surcharge of 3% and the constraint on mortgage tax relief could curtail and hold back the ability of private landlords to expand their portfolios?

Well a lot of landlords are taking on these new hurdles to buy to let and working smarter.  Buying the property at the right price and using an agent to negotiate on your behalf (we do this all the time) … and the 3% stamp duty level isn’t an issue.  Incorporating your property portfolio into a Limited Company is also a way to circumnavigate the issues of mortgage tax relief (although there are other hurdles that need to be navigated on that tack), but just look at the growth of proportion of Buy to Let properties in the Country since the Summer of 2016 … something tells me smart Landlords are seeing these challenges as just that … challenges which can be overcome by working smarter.

I have a steady stream of Tamworth landlords every week asking me my opinion on the future of the Tamworth property market and their individual future strategy and, whether you are a landlord of mine or not, if you ever want to send me an email or pop into my office to chat on how you could navigate these new Buy to Let waters … it will be good to speak to you (because you wouldn’t want other landlords to have an advantage over you – would you?)

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Additional 1,414 Tamworth Rented Homes Required by 2027

I have been doing some research, looking both at National and Regional reports on the demand and supply of property and people together with future projections on the economy, population and family demographics with some interesting results.  According to the Office of National Statistics, in the last financial year nationally, private renting grew by 74,000 households, whilst the owner occupied dwelling stock increased by 101,000 and social (aka council and housing association) stock increased by 12,000 dwellings.

It was the private rental figures that caught my eye.  With eight or nine years of recovery since the Credit Crunch, economic recovery and continuing low interest rates have done little to setback the mounting need for rented housing.  In fact, with house price inflation pushing upwards much quicker than wage growth, this has meant to make owning one’s home even more out of reach for many Millennials, all at a time when the number of council/social housing has shrunk by just over 2.5% since 2003, making more households move into private renting.

There are 7,711 people living in 3,300 privately rented

properties in Tamworth.

In the next nine years, looking at the future population growth statistics for the Tamworth area and making careful and moderate calculations of what proportion of those extra people due to live in Tamworth will rent as opposed to buy, in the next ten years, 3,305 people (adults and children combined) will require a private rented property to live in.

Therefore, the number of Private Rented homes in Tamworth will need to rise by 1,414 households over the next nine years,

That’s 157 additional Tamworth properties per year that will need to be bought by Tamworth landlords, for the next nine years to meet that demand.

… and remember, I am being conservative (with a small ‘c’) with those calculations, as demand for privately rented homes in Tamworth could still rise more abruptly than I have predicted as I would ask if Theresa May’s policies of building 400,000 affordable homes (which would syphon in this 5-year Parliamentary term is rather optimistic, if not fanciful?

% of properties bought as BTL since 2016
% of properties bought as BTL since 2016

So, one has to ask wonder if it was wise to introduce a buy to let stamp duty surcharge of 3% and the constraint on mortgage tax relief could curtail and hold back the ability of private landlords to expand their portfolios?

Well a lot of landlords are taking on these new hurdles to buy to let and working smarter.  Buying the property at the right price and using an agent to negotiate on your behalf (we do this all the time) … and the 3% stamp duty level isn’t an issue.  Incorporating your property portfolio into a Limited Company is also a way to circumnavigate the issues of mortgage tax relief (although there are other hurdles that need to be navigated on that tack), but just look at the growth of proportion of Buy to Let properties in the Country since the Summer of 2016 … something tells me smart Landlords are seeing these challenges as just that … challenges which can be overcome by working smarter.

I have a steady stream of Tamworth landlords every week asking me my opinion on the future of the Tamworth property market and their individual future strategy and, whether you are a landlord of mine or not, if you ever want to send me an email or pop into my office to chat on how you could navigate these new Buy to Let waters … it will be good to speak to you (because you wouldn’t want other landlords to have an advantage over you – would you?).

Until next time, happy house hunting.

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