Saturday, 23 November 2013

Economic & Mortgage Market Review from The Nationwide

It’s always interesting to see the Nationwide’s Economic and Mortgage market Review – whilst it’s important to keep in mind that many other factors affect the economy and the housing market in particular, it can be a good indication of how things are going in general.

I have taken the main points from the October review to give you a snapshot of how things are looking as we move into 2014.

House purchase approvals continue to climb

This important if you’re interested in the housing market. I often remind people that their house is their home and that becoming overly concerned about its value is not particularly helpful.  However, anyone who’s been in the difficult position of negative equity will agree that it is important to be aware of any information on how the market is performing in order to inform them of their options. 

When making a decision to sell or buy, I always think that the more information the better.

The housing market in recent years has stagnated but this year has seen prices climb – if a little unsteadily to begin with. According to the review, house purchase approvals continued to climb with 66,700 cases in September compared to 63,400 in August. As this quarter is traditionally the quieter time for house sales, I watch with anticipation how things develop in the first quarter of 2014.

More on house prices 

The main points from Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, when asked to comment

House prices increased by on average 1% during the first half of 2013, increasing to 5.8% in October.

Employment levels have been rising steadily but until recently had not had an impact on confidence levels in the housing market. During the last quarter, it is clear that consumer confidence is improving.

The economy in general is looking healthier – and this in its turn is having a beneficial effect on the housing market.

Rents in private sector hit record high

A survey by LSL Property found that rents in England and Wales have hit a record high of £757 a month, as a result of greater demand.
This is having a knock on effect with more Buy to Let landlords coming into the market as returns are looking more attractive. 
This also shows us that many are still unable to get on to the housing ladder for various reasons, one of which being lack of deposit.  The Government’s Help to Buy Scheme will hopefully assist many to make that first move.
Although the Help to Buy scheme does not come into force until January, lenders are reporting that there is a good deal of interest, which I am confident will give the housing market a much needed boost and enable those who may not have been able to move the vital hand up they need. This is already improving credit availability and there is certainly more choice when it comes to mortgages themselves.

General Outlook

The British economy grew at its fastest pace for three years. Business and consumer confidence is growing.  It is good to see the Bank of England holding interest rates at 0.5%, but it is inevitable that this should rise in the next year or so.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lifted its UK growth projection which adds to the feeling of confidence in the UK economy, added to employment rates reaching a record high of 29.87 million.

The picture is definitely improving.  With retail sales flatlining, it is hoped that the general feeling of confidence will deliver stronger sales over Christmas.  As we move into Spring, we can realistically hope for a positive upward trend – and a busy housing market.

If you are thinking of moving or buying property, getting an agreement in principle is advantageous.

Give me a ring if you’d like to discuss your options

Phil Clark


Sunday, 17 November 2013

Property Guru Publication

Ian Clark our MD was recently featured in Property Guru publication based in Singapore.

Ian was commenting on the topic of guaranteed returns on your investment in property and whether buyers actually end up paying more.  Here is the article and a link to it.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The Pitfalls of Managing Properties to Corporate Clients

When asked recently by the Telegraph for comment on the pitfalls of corporate clients, Andy our  Director at Midas Lettings said:

“In my 15 years of experience corporate clients generally are difficult to deal with.  We find that they put any employee in and the properties get treated like hotels.  A professional couple or family are far more secure tenants and look after the properties better.

The worst client I ever had was corporate. The Director of the Company took on a property, trashed the place leaving an £8000 cleaning and replacement furniture bill. The Company then threw the weight of its legal department behind it and it was months before the landlord got any money back.

I do get landlords saying they want corporate clients as they are under the impression that they are perfect.  The problem is that a company will have a property for a year and put 30 different people in so wear and tear is high.”

The question to ask yourself is: when you stay in a hotel when do you ever worry about the condition you leave it in? If you regard it as your home even for 6-12 months you will invariably treat it with respect!

For a full breakdown of how we manage our properties have a look at our What We Do page on our website

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Is Property Hot or Not Right Now for Investors?

I was asked by the South West Business Insider to provide a short piece on the property market and got a small mention so I thought I'd share it with you.

Click here to view the article.