Whisper it quietly, but the top house builders have all reported profit growth of 33 per cent or more in the most recent year and, what’s more, they are now actively seeking new development land according to industry reports. (That, no doubt, will see another wave of landbanking scams coming soon – watch this space).
Looking at a recent Savills’ report on this subject, we note, ‘There are clear signs of more positive industry sentiment and activity. Latest government house building statistics reveal that private starts in England, at 22,200, were 7 per cent higher in the first quarter of this year than in the final three months of 2012.’
‘House builders, having rebuilt their balance sheets, are looking to secure a pipeline in an improving market. However the market is highly localised and values remain very suppressed beyond the pockets where land is trading, but real opportunities exist in many urban markets for developers able to take a long view.’ More to come.
We’ve signed up to The Rent Check to keep you up-to-date on current and future trends. The Rent Check report monitors rents agreed by more than 1,500 private landlords in England and Wales and who are all members of the National Landlords Association. ‘The Rent Check report will track movements in the private rented market every six months analysing changes in actual rental rates by property type and region.’
‘The data shows 87 per cent of landlords achieve their listed asking rent or higher, 61 per cent are confident in the prospects for their own letting business and 41 per cent have agreed higher rents over the past 12 months compared to 7 per cent who had agreed lower rents. The average tenancy lasts two and half years.’
‘Excluding London, the average monthly rent for a two bedroom flat ranges from £480 in the North East to £695 in the South East. Rent for a three-bedroom property, terraced and semi-detached houses, ranges from £500 in the North East to £935 in the South East. In London, average monthly rents for a two-bed flat are £1,515 in zones one and two, £1,060 in zones three to six, £1,815 for a three-bed property in zones one and two and £1,435 further out in zones three to six.’
We’ve had a huge response to the London property sourcing service and, fingers crossed, we should start matching members and properties soon. I would stress that, although we welcome everyone, this one is really for people who are ready and able to start investing rather than the ‘I want 50 per cent off and no money down’ members.
Catching up on London reading, we note that search consultant Erica Evans makes some interesting comments on ‘open house’ events. ‘In the more sought-after parts of London, such as the South West, West and North West postcodes, we have seen consistently brisk activity levels. We believe that many estate agents are still struggling to understand just how strong demand level is, evidenced by the large number of ‘open house’ viewings that are tending to be arranged. These are little more than on-site auctions where the agent is largely guessing at true demand and price levels.’ Food for thought.