Streetwise Property Alert 27th February 2014

Welcome to today’s email of news and views. It’s a brief one as I’ve just got back from visiting a student accommodation site with some of you – details still available for the general membership – and am about to set off to visit the JV site, 50-50 profit share, 28 per cent plus profits! I think I’d better say no more replies for that please. Meantime…

Well Done Members!

We ran an introduction for Croydon units to the general membership before Christmas and these were all taken – well done to those who bought in! According to the local paper there, ‘Estate agents have said property prices in Croydon are “spiralling out of control” in the London property boom. ‘

Why? ‘Interest in buying a property in Croydon is high especially with the impending arrival of Westfield and Hammerson to the town centre as part of a £1bn redevelopment. According to statistics from property website Rightmove, an average house price in Croydon is £344,715 compared to £294,058 this time last year.’

Can we source more stock here? Yes, but we are not going to introduce it to the general membership as we get swamped with replies from those who, for one reason or another, are never going to progress to purchase. If you are seriously interested in Croydon – and you have funding in place now – do drop us a line and we can discuss requirements.

Property Market Update

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show that year-on-year, property prices have increased across-the-board – 5.7 per cent in England, 4.8 per cent in Wales, 0.5 per cent in Scotland and 4.8 per cent in Northern Ireland. Also highlighted as seeing strong growth are the East of England, up 4.6 per cent, and the West Midlands,
up 4.3 per cent.

‘There’s certainly an infectious confidence bubbling around the marketplace, with many more aspiring buyers coming into the market. With solid growth in employment, record low mortgage rates and easing credit conditions, the property market is going from strength to strength. First time buyers have been spurred to action by cheaper rates, a boost in the available higher loan to value mortgages and government support in the form of the Help to Buy scheme. However, ultimately, a durable, successful property market requires the government to focus more on new house building in order to increase supply levels and keep up with rising demand.’

London – More News

Of course, as we always say here, an ‘average’ can mask a range of performances. Peter Rollings, chief executive officer of Marsh & Parsons, the agents in London, picks up on the Office of National Statistics figures and draws attention to London, ‘Like chinks of sunlight, house price growth is breaking out across the whole country; however the picture remains gloomier in Scotland and Wales where property prices are yet to surpass the pre-financial crisis peak of January 2008.’

‘The London property market is burning the brightest, with a 12.3 per cent annual house price increase in the capital hugely eclipsing the rate of growth witnessed elsewhere in the UK. In Prime London, the growth is even higher. We saw the average value of two bedroom properties rise by nearly £100,000 during 2013, following a 17 per cent annual growth. Across the capital, the ratio of supply and demand remains out of kilter, which is helping to push prices upwards.’

New BTL Bank

Working from a press release, we note, ‘A new challenger bank has launched with a promise to provide ‘straightforward and competitive’ savings and loans. Paragon Bank, part of the FTSE 250 Paragon Group – a buy-to-let mortgage specialist – has been granted a banking licence by the Prudential Regulation Authority.’ The bank will be headed by Richard Doe, who was at ING Direct UK. He says, ‘Paragon Bank will bring choice and customer focus to the UK banking market, by providing consumers with straightforward, competitive products that are transparent, easy to understand and manage. Our aim is to establish it as a trusted banking partner for our customers and business partners.’ More to come as we get it.

All for now, see you again soon.

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