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Friday, August 22, 2014

Exclusive buy-to-let 2 year fixed rates from 2.39%

Property Hawk Mortgages can offer an exclusive buy-to-let 2 year fixed rates from 2.39% with a free valuation

The range of exclusive 2 year fixed rates are with Mortgage Trust, with rates starting at 2.39% up to 75% LTV and 3.75% up to 80% LTV.

All products have a free valuation for purchases and remortgages. Please note products revert to the lender's SVR plus a margin of 0.25%.

IMPORTANT! Due to current market conditions, lenders are withdrawing and replacing products with little or no notice.  Please check our website regularly to see the most up-to-date products available. 
Search the whole BTL mortgage market free


Tel: 029 2069 5446
 Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgages.  
The Financial Services Authority does not regulate some forms of mortgage.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Oversupply could be a threat to landlords

It's a great thing that buy-to-let is booming and despite the downturn there are now more landlords than ever.  A reputed 1.4 million of us.

Downside of increased supply of rental property

However, there is a downside.  Despite the rise of 'Generation Rent' and the fact there is clearly a growing demand for rental accommodation, particularly for longer term properties for rent.  There is also more properties to rent.  More supply means that for many landlords there are increasing risks of rental voids.  I've recently experienced this.  A 2 bed flat that has always let well has been struggling to find a new tenant.  To a degree this relates to local factors.  There has been a considerable increase in availability in apartments in the area.  But this is not exclusive to where my buy-to-let property is found.  It has also happened in many places in the UK.

Finance is key

The increase in availability of buy-to-let finance means that buying a property to rent out is more attainable than ever before.  With returns on other types of investments such as deposit accounts being at a record low levels newbie landlords are buying property and prepared to accept lower returns.  This opportunity also poses a threat to existing landlords which we need to be aware of.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August's Buy-to-let Mortgage Update

Andy Young, at Property Hawk Mortgages says:

The buy-to-let sector continues to provide excellent prospects for property investors with recent market data supporting this view. According to research by Halifax, property prices have increased, on average, by 8.8% in the last year and the latest LSL BTL Index reports that rents have also increased by 1.4%. These are the two key factors in determining the overall return on a buy-to-let property, which according to LSL is now 11.8% per annum, the highest level since June 2010 and very encouraging news for landlords.

Lenders are continuing to support the buy-to-let sector, providing a wide choice for both existing and first time landlords. However, the marketplace has become more dynamic and we have seen a number of rate changes recently, although these have not followed a single trend. Some lenders have released new ranges at higher prices, perhaps in order to stem the flow of business and likewise some have lowered their rates in order to remain competitive.

BM Solutions and TMW are still the front-runners in terms of business volumes, but there are now so many more options for specialised loan requirements such as HMOs, limited companies, Expats and refurbishment projects.

Interestingly, in mid-July Accord launched 10 new buy-to-let mortgages including cashback and free valuation incentives, but made available for 10 days only. This is an unusual sales initiative which may have limited impact in the marketplace due to the short turnaround time for submitting applications.

Lending criteria remains diverse across the market with lenders taking different approaches to risk, although there is still an overarching level of caution, especially in light of the Mortgage Market Review, even though buy-to-let lending is, in the main, unregulated. Rental income requirements are generally at 125% at 5% or above, however the recent changes by NatWest Intermediary Solutions imposing a 4.99 loan-to-income multiple may be a bit excessive.

On a more positive note, TMW’s removal of their upper age limits for their buy-to-let range earlier this year and the number of options for first time landlords means that buy-to-let property investment is now available to a very wide demographic in the UK.

Property Hawk Mortgages is continuing to see strong demand for remortgages with landlords raising capital to fund the deposit for additional buy-to-let purchases or looking to employ higher gearing in their property portfolios to maximise returns. Although Kent Reliance is still the only lender providing 85% LTV finance, there is now a good range of products available at 80% LTV from a choice of lenders. Some of these products have incentives such as a free valuation/free legal fees and no completion fee options mean that the upfront costs of remortgaging can be quite low.

Overall, the buy-to-let market remains in good shape and is likely to continue in a similar vein for the foreseeable future.

IMPORTANT! Due to current market conditions, lenders are withdrawing and replacing products with little or no notice.  Please check our website regularly to see the most up-to-date products available. 
Search the whole BTL mortgage market free


Tel: 029 2069 5446
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgages.  
The Financial Services Authority does not regulate some forms of mortgage.

Best places to live - interactive map

The Telegraph have ranked 7000 areas in England and Wales, factoring in crime, health, homeownership and economic statistics, then plotted it all on  an interactive map.

Might be of interest to some of you out there.

London tenants less likely FTBs

The supply of tenants in the capital can only increase over the coming years with many 20 - 40 years olds stuck in the private rental sector and increasingly seeing home ownership as an impossible dream.

Latest data show that the average First-time buyers in London needs to put down £19,350 to cover the minimum required 5 % deposit, following a £63k rise of the average starter home to £387,000.

The increase in London property prices means that FTBs are looking to find an additional £3,150 compared with amount required 12 months ago and this is alongside more stringent lending checks.

Mandatory landlord licences in Brent

It appears that Brent landlords are next in line to drink from the chocolate teapot and be made to pay
for a mandatory landlord licence. The proposed licence will cost £350 and will last for five years

Private landlords in Harlesden, Willesden Green and Wembley Central wards will all be expected to pay out for the license.

Cllr Margaret McLennan, Brent Council’s lead member for housing, said: “We want to create a minimum standard for landlords and properties to ensure that residents can expect a good standard of housing."

If the mandatory licensing scheme gets the go ahead, it is expected to come into effect at the start of 2015.

The proposal is to be discussed by Council chief at their next meeting.

A further landlord licence will all be required by those landlords letting out smaller Houses of Multiple Occupation,  starting January 1st, 2015.

Planning changes for home businesses

Proposed changes to legislation, announced by the Business Secretary, Matthew Hancock, aim to boost the start up of new businesses. The changes include a clarification of the planning regulations regards a tenant of a residential rental property running a business from the property.

The changes were announced on Friday, and are hoped to help dismiss concerns that landlords might have over the status of a tenancy agreement when a tenant starts running a business from the property.

The Prime Minister said: “I want us to be a nation of entrepreneurs that really respect entrepreneurialism and enterprise, something that we imbue in young people in our schools. I want this to be the best country in the world to start, to run, and to expand a new business. We are still some way away from that.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Most popular BTL mortgages

Initial Rate
Completion fee
Booking fee
4.99% Fixed
2 Years
Kent Reliance Semi Exclusive
5.99% Discount
2 Years
Kent Reliance Multi Let & Ltd Co. Semi Exclusive
4.99% Fixed
Free valuation
Mortgage Trust Exclusive
3.99% Fixed
Free valuation
Mortgage Trust Exclusive
4.69% Discount
3 Years
Saffron BS Semi Exclusive
5.39% Variable
0 Years
Saffron Light Refurbishment
3.79% Fixed
Free valuation
Mortgage Trust Exclusive
2.75% Fixed
Free valuation
Mortgage Trust Exclusive
5.27% Fixed
Saffron BS Ex-Pat Semi Exclusive
2.45% Discount
2 Years
One free Valuation on properties valued up to £1,000,000
Hinckley & Rugby Exclusive

IMPORTANT! Due to current market conditions, lenders are withdrawing and replacing products with little or no notice.  Please check our website regularly to see the most up-to-date products available. 
Search the whole BTL mortgage market free


Tel: 029 2069 5446

 Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgages.  
The Financial Services Authority does not regulate some forms of mortgage.

ONS House Price Index for June

Average house price increased by 10.2% in the year to June 2014 according to June's ONS House Price Index. 

The ONS data reflects a cooling market, with June's figures dragging the annual average down by 0.2% from the 10.4% of the previous months, May to May figure.

Get all the tables for June's  publication in the June's ONS House price index in this full report.

Tenant immigration checks set to begin

Pull out your old desk light and pull on your black leather boots it seems that landlords are definitely joining the ranks of the UK border control as part of the new Immigration Act 2014.
All private landlords and letting agents will be required to check the immigration status of potential tenants, with failure to do so, potentially resulting in a maximum £3000 fine. 

A pilot of the scheme is set to start in October in a, as yet, unnamed region.

Codes of Practice and more information will be released over the coming months on how these checks should be carried out - so watch this space.

As for now, tenant referencing companies are popping champagne corks as a salute to increased state intervention - so here's to me, watching you, watching them, watching us....

Tenant Eviction: Best Practice Guide

A handy pdf on the best practice to follow when evicting a tenant has been compiled by My Deposits for landlords to download and print out.

The guide entitled Best Practice Guide: Tenant Eviction has been compiled with the help of Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action

Low inflation indicates no rate rise

July's figures for inflation shows a drop to 1.6 per cent and increasing the likelihood that there will be no rise in interest rates this year, particularly after last weeks Inflation Report showing continued low wage growth   - the Daily Mail speculates the inevitable rate rise with charts and such like.

Monday, August 18, 2014

New Scottish letting agent code

The new Housing (Scotland) Act received Royal Assent on 1 August, 2014. 

The Act brings introduces a register for letting agents and a new Code of Practice which is hoped will promote higher standards of service and levels of professionalism by letting agents. 

Husband and wife landlords fined £66,000

Husband and wife landlords from Ilford, Rana Mohammed Irfan and his wife Naheed Rana Irfan,
have been hit with a big, £66,000 fine, for renting out an HMO in Loxford. 

The rental property had been converted into five “studio” flats without seeking the proper planning approval or meeting regulations.

The conversions had been done in such a way that they breached a long list of safety regulations and were in a poor state of repair - electrics were found to be dangerous, their were unprotected escape routes, leaking water and no fire alarms at the property. 

The landlords were first served with an Emergency Prohibition Order in July 2012, but ignored it, and  continued to rent out the property. They then were prosecuted for housing offences by Redbridge Council in March 2013, but despite of this, they continued renting out the property, which then lead to them been found guilty to a further nine offences under the Housing Act in  December 2013. The case was then sent to Snaresbrook Crown Court, where they have each been ordered to pay £32,985, or face an 18 months prison sentence.

Maybe this time they'll listen…??

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Rightmove's August data

Another pointer to a slowing market, with Rightmove' August asking price data showing a drop of 2.9% (-£7,758), according to the property portal this is the biggest August drop  they have recorded.

The drop was largely caused by a 5.9% fall recorded by the London properties released on to the market, another sign of the cooling of the capitals over-heating market, with the average asking price  nearly £10,000 from its peak in June.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst comments: 

“New seller asking prices are good lead indicators of the current mood of the market, and those who have put their property up for sale in the last month are obviously aware that potential buyers are thinner on the ground at this time of year and need to be tempted to act by cheaper prices. A drop in August is typical but it’s steeper than expected this year for two reasons. Firstly, both buyers and sellers are becoming increasingly aware about personal finances, given that the cost of mortgages are going up and regulators are trying to bring availability down. This limits what buyers are willing or able to pay, and helps moderate sellers price expectations. The second factor is the turnaround in London. Having forced national average prices up for the last two years, it’s now pushing them down with three falls in a row, and a real biggie this month. Holidays always cause a big price reverse in the capital, but there is also a massive year-on-year jump in the number of newly-marketed properties, up 20% compared to August last year, and double the figure seen in any other region. More sellers and fewer buyers mean price falls.”

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Annual returns for landlords above 10%

Landlords are still experiencing double digit returns according to the latest Buy-to-Let Index from LSL Property Services with annual returns of 10.3% from the average property.

These figures are derived from figures that show the average return on a property is £17,307 in the last 12 months, with the capital gain of £9,140 outstripping the rental income of £8,168. We have spoken before about the importance of capital growth in overall returns.

These figures have slipped from 11.3% in the year to June despite a modest real increase in rents of 0.1% for the year which marginally outstripped the annual rate of inflation of 1.9%.

Landlord insurance - expert brokers - professional rates

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Rents show real increase

Residential rents are just 2% higher than a year ago according to letting agent LSL. Property Hawks own Rent Index shows that returns are even lower with rents shown as flat over the last 12 months.

The average rent according to LSL is £753 per month in July. This is up 2% over the year and shows a real increase of 0.1% over the last 12 months, the first real increase since May 2013.

These figures challenge again the Labour politicians claims that landlords are exploiting tenants by instigating massive rent rises.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

RICS gloomy forecast on London prices

The London property boom looks to be coming to an end.

Latest forecasts from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) predicts a meagre 1.9 percent growth over the coming twelve months.

"A range of policy initiatives adopted by the Bank of England in recent months alongside heightened expectations surrounding a turn in the interest rate cycle has clearly had an impact on sentiment in the market," said Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist.

Bank of England report on housing market

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This weeks most popular BTL mortgages

Max LTVInitial RateTermCompletion feeBooking feeIncentivesLender
85%5.99% Discount2 Years2.5%£130.00NoKent Reliance Multi Let & Ltd Co. Semi Exclusive
85%5.99% Discount2 Years3%£130.00NoKent Reliance Multi Let & Ltd Co. Semi Exclusive
85%4.99% Fixed2 Years2.5%£130.00NoKent Reliance Semi Exclusive
80%4.99% Fixed2016-10-310%£150.00Free valuationMortgage Trust Exclusive
80%3.99% Fixed2016-10-31£2495£150.00Free valuationMortgage Trust Exclusive
75%4.69% Discount3 Years2%£0.00NoSaffron BS Semi Exclusive
75%3.79% Fixed2016-10-310%£150.00Free valuationMortgage Trust Exclusive
75%2.75% Fixed2016-10-31£2495£150.00Free valuationMortgage Trust Exclusive
65%5.27% Fixed2017-03-312.5%£0.00NoSaffron BS Ex-Pat Semi Exclusive
60%2.45% Discount2 Years£1950£250.00One free Valuation on properties valued up to £1,000,000Hinckley & Rugby Exclusive

IMPORTANT! Due to current market conditions, lenders are withdrawing and replacing products with little or no notice.  Please check our website regularly to see the most up-to-date products available.

Search the whole BTL mortgage market free

Tel: 029 2069 5446

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgages.  
The Financial Services Authority does not regulate some forms of mortgage.

PM3s creates repeat expenses

Another good idea from a landlord goes live!

You may have the same expense item every week, month or quarter for a property. PM3s already had a Multiple Expenses screen. We just added a repeat button, so you fill in details of the first expense, click Repeat, and the system makes copies of the expense, just changing the date.

Filling in the options above, makes the expenses shown below.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Landlords are an amateur lot

Landlords are mainly an amateur lot according to recent research that reveals that only 7 out 10 rely on their rental profits as their main source of income.  We have written before about what makes a professional landlord.

The same data compiled by the NLA also reveals that 27% of landlords have been letting property for less than 5 years whilst 14% have been letting property for less than 2 years.

There are now 1.4 million landlords according to the latest figures.

If you want to find out a little bit more about landlords  and what makes us tick then have a look at this government survey on private landlords and also the recent ARLA survey on residential landlords.

Landlord training - letting essentials

Monday, August 11, 2014

Rents still rising - just

Rents are rising....but only just according to the latest data from the Rentindex. The real time rent tracking website shows that the average monthly rent for private landlords now stands at £628.50.
This represents a rise of 2.7% over the last 3 months. However, this is barely up at all over the last 12 months. Rents are now just 0.6% up over the year, certainly not enough to keep track with current levels of inflation.

We have spoken before about the great rent increase myth.

More landlords and more rental property could mean downward pressure on real rents, even with the rise of generation rent.

Take advantage of our discounted landlord insurance rates

Saturday, August 09, 2014

House prices up 10%

House prices surged by 10% in the year to July according to figures released by Halifax.  This is the biggest annual growth since the financial crisis of 2007.  The average house price now stands at £186,322.  This was helped by a 3.6% rise in prices in May to July.

Dig deeper & picture is mixed
Despite these rises there may be signs of a slowdown.  The Nationwide highlighted the fact that July had the smallest increase in prices over the last 15 months with just a 0.1% rise.  The slowdown in prices is part blamed from government efforts to scale back the help to buy scheme restricting it's availability to larger borrowers.  The government is also indirectly tightening lending criteria through the banks restricting the Loan to Value amounts available to home purchasers.

Whilst the headline figure seems impressive if London and the the South East is taken out of the equations it reveals a much more modest house price inflation in the rest of the UK.  The figures from Halifax and Nationwide also reflect the increasing availability of mortgage finance.  On a broader measure of house prices using the Land Registry figures the annual increase  is shown at only 6.4% with some areas such as Yorkshire and Humber even registering a fall.   This recovery may not be a one way street!

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