Thank you for your replies for the UK student accommodation and the Caribbean properties – you should receive full details by close of play today. If you do not, please do get back to me.
Hometrack’s latest research – in essence, supply down, demand up, prices up – is all over the media. As ever, the media is playing around with the findings to tell the story they want to tell. Basically, demand is up 10 per cent or so over the past six months whilst supply is down some 0.5 per cent or so; result, prices rise. London and the South-East – two separate markets – lead the way. Strip them out and the figures are not so gung-ho.
Richard Donnell at Hometrack summarises it well, ‘A widening gap between supply and demand continues to put upward pressure on house prices. Average prices increased by 0.5 per cent in November on the back of a 3 per cent increase in demand and a 3.5 per cent contraction in supply. Faster sales rates are eroding the stock of homes for sale adding to the scarcity of housing.’
‘The survey results from the last six months show that demand for housing has grown by 10.2 per cent while supply has, on average, fallen by 0.6 per cent. There are wide regional variations in the relative balance between supply and demand and this impacts the extent and scale of house price growth. London and the South East have the greatest supply/demand mismatch and have seen house prices grow by 4.8 and 3.2 per cent respectively. In contrast, northern regions have negligible imbalance and price rises have been less than 0.5 per cent over the last six months. While the scale of house price growth varies, the overall trend is that a growing number of markets are seeing a general trend of rising prices. In November, 46 per cent of postcodes saw prices rise, the highest level for over nine years (July 2004).’ 100 – 46 = ? Food for thought.
According to AXA Business Insurance, ‘many accidental landlords are not fulfilling their legal duties to maintain their rental properties.’ Their research suggests; 23 per cent of respondents check boilers and other appliances only every three years; 32 per cent get electrics checked only every three years; 65 per cent only get a chimney swept every three years.
‘Accidental landlords are, as the name suggests, people who never really intended to take on a rental property. And it seems that many are not really aware of the responsibilities that come with the role, leaving themselves and their tenants extremely vulnerable. Things like gas and electrics are potential killers and need to be taken seriously.’ Are you an accidental landlord? Drop us a line and we’ll look to sort you some how-to material.
According to the latest forecast by Mortgages for Business, buy-to-let lending is to increase further in 2014. At an estimated £20 billion, lending to buy-to-let investors is up 135 per cent this year compared to the 2009 trough of £8.5 billion but it is still a long way short of the peak of £45 billion in 2007.
David Whittaker at Mortgages for Business offers a commentary, ‘Despite easing conditions for owner-occupiers and first-time buyers, the prevailing conditions mean the private rental sector remains a vital element of the housing mix. The growth in lending to property investors is proof of this and the intention of landlords to expand further demonstrates that demand for rental property shows little sign of waning.’
‘Investment in vanilla residential buy-to-let property is the most popular property type among investors looking to expand in over the next six months with 84 per cent of landlords intending to target these properties. The appetite for expansion is large among property investors. Yields are strong, property prices are rising and demand from tenants shows little sign of slowing.’ Isn’t it time you expanded?
Finally, if you have found this service useful and informative over the past year or longer, could I ask you please to consider making a donation to our Christmas appeal for the children’s hospice, Martin House.
See: www.justgiving.com/iain-c-maitland Thank you.