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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Housing is on the political agenda


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Lenders pull back from BTL

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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.

BTL mortgage costs drop 3%

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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.

No-frills property developments

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Mortgage graphs - Wales, NI and Scotland

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Deposit disputes over garden maintenance

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Can a couple avoid tax on jointly owned rental?

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BTL Market Intelligence Report

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Coventry BS overhauls BTL criteria




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The Conservative Manifesto for landlords

  • Longer Term Tenancies - incentivising landlords to offer longer term agreements.
  • A Fair Debt Policy - enabling debt ridden tenants to obtain legal protection from further interest, charges and enforcement action for a period of up to six weeks. ( page 60 of the manifesto )
  • Strengthening equality laws - giving more powers to  investigate/prosecute landlords picking tenants on the basis of ethnicity, religion or gender.
  • Energy Efficiency - upgrading of all fuel poor homes to EPC band C by 2030.

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Flats outperform the rest

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Latest mortgage market summary

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Property transactions graph

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London new build sales halved

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Manchester landlord licensing consultation

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Investors pile into property funds

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Monday, May 22, 2017

The struggle of London's single tenants

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Asking prices rise, but are they selling?

Rightmove's asking price data for May 2017 show that prices are still on the up. The portal reports that asking prices rose for the fifth month in a row, up 1.2% (+£3,626) this month alone, bringing the UK's average property asking price to £317,281.

Rightmove's Miles Shipside comments: 

“Whilst all-time high asking prices or economic and political uncertainty could be deterrents to would-be home-buyers, this month shows another strong set of figures. Demand is exceeding supply in many parts of the country and continues to push up the prices of newly-marketed homes. Spring is in the air and home movers are springing up the housing ladder.

We normally see a high proportion of market activity in the first half of the year, and in spite of potentially disruptive events the established pattern is continuing. It remains to be seen how much momentum may drop away in the second half of the year with stretched affordability a problem for potential buyers, though competition among lenders who are keen to lend will help some to push their budgets higher. Those with the greatest motivation to move are often those with growing families, with their need for space or access to schools outweighing uncertainties that might cause others to delay their future housing plans.

As well as that shrinking house feeling, parents with young children also have the pressures of travelling times to amenities as well as the weekday school commute. These have to be balanced against under-pressure finances, even more so when the sector with the property type that suits them best is seeing the biggest price jump. What seems to be happening is that moving pressures are understandably taking priority over electioneering and Brexit worries. For many in this group, it seems that moving is definitely on their manifesto.”

asking prices rightmove may 2017




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HIPS not happening - just a Gove hiccup

'OOPs, Gove did it again.' ( sang to the tune of Britney's classic pop ditty) 

On Friday, Tory naughty boy, Michael Gove, dropped another clanger, having decided to proclaim that his party would look to re-introduce the woeful HIPS in their next term.

However, following Gove's radio proclamation, his party has come out to deny they would be proceeding with any such re-introductions.

“The last Labour government’s attempted reforms were a failure. Labour’s home information packs duplicated costs and no-one trusted them.

Maybe the same could be said for Michael Gove.

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Land Registry transactions updated

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Can the Housing White Paper deliver?

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BTL offering for Ltd Co's doubles

Email:info@propertyhawkbtlmortgages.co.uk
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.

Connells see dip in BTL activity

Connell's surveyors have reported seeing a decline in BTL activity.

The proportion of BTL valuations they carried out during April even fell short of the April 2016's post stamp duty slump.

John Bashaw from Connells Survey & Valuation, observes: 

“The government’s anti-landlord policies have been hitting smaller players. Over the last year, buy-to-let valuations have made up less than 10% of market activity, representing a new low in April.

This could suggest that smaller, private landlords, who typically use buy-to-let mortgages, have not been investing on the same scale as previously seen. Buy-to-let used to be seen as a viable way to gain additional income or to fund retirements, but the gradual removal of buy-to-let mortgage tax relief will make it much harder for the man on the street to invest.

Having said that, buy-to-let valuations only fell 1% month-on-month and so the comparison with the five year average doesn’t always tell the whole story.”


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Re-imagining the humble bungalow

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Renting cheaper than buying

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Friday, May 19, 2017

MT launches 5yr fixed BTL - 3.45%

Email:info@propertyhawkbtlmortgages.co.uk
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.

Transferring BTLs to a company - not easy

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Tories eye comeback for 'home packs'

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MT launches limited edition BTL fix

Email:info@propertyhawkbtlmortgages.co.uk
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.

The main parties housing policies

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Tory Manifesto - housing






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SE London seeing rents rise

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Scotland's property prices flat-line

YourMove Scotland have published their house price data for March 2017.

After reporting a strong February, when prices grew 1.1%, March prices flat-lined, up by just 0.1% / £157. 
This brings Scotland's annual price growth down to 1.8%, from 2.9% in February. 
Despite this underwhelming March, average prices remain at their highest since May 2015 at £173,335.

scotland house price index march2017



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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Libdems 'Rent to Buy' pledge

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Stamp Duty surcharge = BTL lending plunges

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BTL lending drops by 80% in a year

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Landlord Fergus Wilson faces legal action

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UK home buyers down in Q1

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Platform cuts BTL mortgage rates


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Policy changes/housing transactions graph

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Labour's Manifesto impact on landlords

Following yesterday's Len Mclusky speech, evaluating Labour's 2017 Manifesto feels as pointless as spending my time assessing whether flying pigs could make it across the Atlantic.

Regardless, here are the bits that might, but seemingly definitely won't, impact on landlords.
  • Encourage more three-year tenancies in PRS.
  • Introduce an inflation caps on rent rises.
  • Ban letting agency fees for tenants.
  • Hand renters additional consumer rights.
  • Introduce a ‘fit for human habitation' legal minimum standard.
  • Make it easier for tenants to take action for sub-standard accommodation.
  • Reintroduce the Landlords Energy Saving Allowance (LESA)
On tax, Labour would introduce a 45% income tax rate on incomes over £80,000, and a 50% rate on incomes over £123,000. 

They are also banking on Corporation Tax to bring in the receipts, raising it: to 21% from 2018-19, 24% from 2019-20, 26% from 2020-2021. Small-business corporation tax (below £300,000) will be reintroduced at: 20% from 2018-19,  21% from 2020-21.

Some good news: excluding small businesses (under £85k turnover )from the Making Tax Digital scheme.

Finally, just in case you were  hoping they might put a stop to Section 24 restriction on mortgage interest relief, think again; there's no mention of changing course.

As regards flying pigs, crossing the Atlantic would surely be impossible. They'd never be able to carry enough water to sustain a trip like that, and surely, attempting a mid flight re-fuel would be too dangerous. 

Could a pig fly across the Channel? 

Well, maybe just, with a three litre Camelbak strapped to their back, a following wind, and hope in their heart.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Latest PRS rental data from ONS

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House prices to earnings ratio graph

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Landlords warned of Welsh law change

Landlords and agents throughout the UK with properties in Wales are being reminded that they could be unwittingly breaking the law due to changes to the law.

Enforcement powers are now active for Rent Smart Wales. The legislation which came into force last year as a result of the Housing Act (Wales) 2014 now requires all landlords to register themselves and their properties. Additionally, self-managing landlords and agents must obtain a licence following the completion of a relevant training course and passing a ‘fit and proper’ person assessment.

Despite the name, Rent Smart Wales applies to all landlords with property in Wales, not just those who live in Wales themselves. With enforcement powers now active, landlords and agents not compliant could face a variety of sanctions including prosecution, fixed penalty notices rent stopping and rent repayment orders. In addition, landlords may not be able to secure possession of their property using a section 21 notice, if they are operating outside the law themselves.

A searchable register is now available on the Rent Smart Wales website allowing tenants and the wider public to check whether landlords and agents are breaking the law.

The process for complying is straightforward and can be completed online. Once completed, a registration and licence lasts for a period of five years.

Chris Northall, is a private landlord living in Ellesmere, Shropshire but has two rental properties in Wales. Chris recently went through the process,

“Having first heard about Rent Smart Wales on the radio, this prompted me to find out more information about the scheme and whether it was relevant to me, as I’m based over the border in England. Having discovered that I needed to register, I found the process very easy and it has given me peace of mind that I’m not breaking the law.”

Bethan Jones, Operational Manager of Rent Smart Wales added,

“I would urge any landlords or agents with properties in Wales and who have not yet registered or become licensed, to contact us immediately to avoid legal action. We are still keen to assist those who willingly want to comply.

We’ve worked closely with industry experts to develop the Rent Smart Wales scheme, which we firmly believe will help make the private rental sector in Wales a better place for tenants, landlords and agents.”



Further information about the scheme can be found on the website –www.rentsmart.gov.wales – or by calling the helpline on 03000 133344.
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The Labour manifesto

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Zoopla talks up property market

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Savills student housing report

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House prices compared with 2007 peak

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HMRC considers using landlords as custom agents

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More on the 'Leasehold' scandal

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Rental growth slows - Countrywide

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'Right to Rent' possible legal action

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Latest Land Registry price data - March






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'Latest ONS data on rents' - graph

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Drop in landlords looking to buy

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Student property set to soar

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Our most popular BTL mortgages

Visit our free online buy-to-let mortgage service to save time and money!

Max LTVInitial RateTermCompletion feeBooking feeIncentivesLender
80%2.64% Discount2 Years0%£0.00NoHanley Economic Exclusive
80%3.75% Fixed2020-04-30£995£150.00NoParagon Premier Basic Rate & Ltd Company
80%4.89% Discount3 Years2%£0.00NoSaffron BS Semi Exclusive
75%1.95% Fixed2 Years£1495£150.00Free ValuationMortgage Trust Exclusive
75%2.34% Fixed2 Years£995£150.00Free ValuationMortgage Trust Exclusive
75%2.95% Fixed5 Years2%£150.00Free ValuationMortgage Trust Exclusive
75%3.24% Tracker0 Years1.25%£0.00NoN & P Ltd Company
75%3.3% Fixed2022-10-310%£0.00Free standard valuation for purchases and re-mortgages. Free standard legal services for re-mortgages only. Skipton Exclusive
75%3.59% Fixed2019-06-301.5%£0.00NoLandbay Semi-Exclusive
75%4.25% Fixed2022-06-300%£150.00NoParagon Premier Ltd Company
70%3.79% Fixed5 Years1.3%£125.00NoDudley Exclusive

Our free online buy-to-let mortgage service aims to provide you with the most competitive buy-to-let mortgages in the market, whilst helping you choose a product to suit your individual requirements. You can use the free buy-to-let mortgage finder to get an instant personalised quote and apply for your mortgage online.
Below is a selection of the most popular buy-to-let mortgages currently available. For full information on these products, and all other buy-to-let mortgage schemes available to you, please use our free online buy-to-let mortgage finder

If you would like to discuss your requirements with a member of the support team please telephone 029 2069 5446 or you can submit a quick enquiry directly to the team by filling in our online enquiry form.


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

Monday, May 15, 2017

Our BTL Lending Market Report

Developing trends in buy-to-let

Jane Simpson at Property Hawk Mortgages says:

As expected, we have seen some changes recently in the type of buy-to-let mortgage enquiries being received from landlord clients. This has mainly been driven by the tax changes and PRA regulations affecting the buy-to-let sector.

Property Hawk Mortgages (PHM) predicted that there would be a growing interest in longer term fixed rates offering more favourable rental calculations for landlords, but it is quite surprising how pronounced the change in demand has been.

5 year fixed rates

In the first half of 2016, before the market started to change, 2 year rates equated to 80 per cent of PHM’s total buy-to-let business and five year rates equated to only 12 percent. By the end of the second half of 2016, 2 year rates had reduced to 49 per cent of total business and 5 year rates increased to 46 per cent. This was during the period when lenders started to change interest coverage ratios (ICRs) in time for the January deadline.

Year to date in 2017, 2 year rates have equated to 30 per cent of PHM’s applications and 5 year rates made up the majority at 58 per cent. It signals a significant shift in demand and lenders have responded in kind with most providers now offering longer term products to landlords.

Ltd Companies

Similarly, there has also been an increase in demand for limited company products, probably because using a corporate structure enables landlords to avoid the personal tax relief changes that came into effect in April. The change has not been quite as dramatic, but is still indicative of a developing trend in reaction to the new market environment. In the second half of 2016, limited company applications accounted for 12 per cent of PHM’s business and year to date in 2017, this has increased to 21 per cent.

Freehold House Splits

Other recent trends relate to the types of properties that landlords are looking to invest in. PHM has seen an uplift in enquiries about finance for freehold properties split into flats, which can offer higher rental yields in much the same way that HMOs do. There is a good choice of lenders to choose from with several specialist lenders also offering limited company products for freehold splits, including Paragon, Vida Homeloans and Shawbrook Bank. Although most lenders require applicants to be experienced landlords, Kent Reliance will also consider first time landlords for this type of property finance.

New Builds Flats

We have recently noticed waves of enquiries about finance for new build flats, which unsurprisingly coincide with new property developments in the UK. This is a good sign for the housing market and is a niche area of the buy-to-let mortgage market that more lenders are now comfortable with. During the credit crisis in 2008, many lenders felt over exposed and stopped offering buy-to-let finance for new build flats, but in recent years there are more providers to choose from.

Lenders typically consider new build applications on a case-by-case basis depending on the location and size of the block of flats, and may offer lower loan-to-value (LTV) products for this property type. However, there are a few lenders currently offering up to 80 per cent LTV including Mortgage Trust, Paragon Premier and Vida Homeloans.

As a buy-to-let mortgage specialist, Property Hawk Mortgages is used to the dynamic nature of the marketplace and is well placed to help landlord clients to adapt to the ever-changing environment.

Email:info@propertyhawkbtlmortgages.co.uk
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.

Crossrail properties can still make money

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Tories promise more Council Housing

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Landlords add £15.9bn to economy

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Saturday, May 13, 2017

BTL investors feeling the squeeze

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TMW extend portfolio landlord lending

Email:info@propertyhawkbtlmortgages.co.uk
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, May 11, 2017

Bank Rate kept at 0.25%

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Price drops won't dent faith in BTL

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BTL repossessions/arrears remain low

Mortgages arrears remain low according to data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders. 

The CML report arrears for Q1 2017 fell from the previous quarter.

btl mortgage arrears april 2017
There were 92,600 resi-mortgages in arrears, 0.84% of all mortgages, the lowest quarterly rate on record.

Q1 2017 saw BTL mortgage arrears over 2.5% of outstanding balance remain stable at 5000, with just 700 BTL properties repossessed during the period.



repossessions btl property april17



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Surveyors see sales dry up

The country is experiencing a dry spell. 

Surveyors have shared their experiences of the April property market in the RICS UK Residential Market Survey : April 2017; in short, it's sticky, and nothing on the horizon points to things getting any better.

Although, forever the optimists, surveyors believe things might pick up next year....

Key observations -
  • Newly Agreed Sales and New Buyer Enquiries are low, and getting lower.
  • Stock levels remain low, with no sign of any flood of new listings.
  • Sentiment in the industry is this parched market isn't going to change anytime soon.
  • Prices up, but only thanks to the dearth of supply.
Surveyors blame the low level of new instructions on a lack of choice to tempt  sellers, election uncertainty, and recent stamp duty changes.

They predict this slow market to continue over the coming quarter, and as an industry, hope that things might pick up in 2018, rather than citing any actual economic indicators.

Some surveyors highlight the issue of overvaluations; with restricted supply possible forcing agents to scrabble for clients by flattering potential sellers with unrealistic asking prices.

"Over valuing remains the scourge of the market. Buyers are positive but will not be led to a high price plateau without stronger evidence of inflation." commented Neil Foster, Newcastle upon Tyne, Foster Maddison Property Consultants.

So low activity and house prices starting to fall; is a storm brewing or possibly an earthquake?





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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Extortionate fees -London High St agents

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Sharp rise in children living in B&Bs

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Property moguls flood rich list

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FCA warning - fake emails

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BTL rates rise in April

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