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Friday, November 24, 2017

Rent Smart Wales - 4,000 landlords letting illegally

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Rents up 2.4% - YourMove rental data

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Budget maths for BTL landlords

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Assessing a Build to Rent project

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

New stamp duty charges at a glance

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Stamp duty cut to push up prices

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Empty homes -100% council tax increase

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£125m Budget support for renters on benefits

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More property focused Budget reaction

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The Daily Mash sums up Budget policy

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Key Budget points for landlords


Universal credit
£1.5bn to remove seven-day waiting period; new claimant in receipt of housing benefit will get it for two weeks.

Stamp duty
First time buyers will have no stamp duty on homes up to £300,000, or on the first £300,000 of properties up to £500,000.

Rents
£125m of funding over the next two years to help 140,000 people.

Housing
  • 100% council tax premium on empty properties.
  • £28m in three new housing pilot schemes – in the West Midlands, Manchester and Liverpool – to halve rough-sleeping by 2022 and eliminate it by 2027.
  • £44bn of capital funding to help build 300,000 homes annually by mid-2020s.
  • New money for home builders fund.
  • £630m ‘small sites fund’.
  • £8bn of financial guarantees to support private housebuilding.
  • £2.7bn housing infrastructure fund.
  • £1.1bn for new urban regeneration.
  • £34m to train construction workers.
  • A review to be chaired by Oliver Letwin to look at ways to speed up planning permission.
  • Five new garden towns.
  • One million new homes on the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor by 2050.
Budget reaction -

ARLA's David Cox, comments:“There were a number of positive announcements in relation to homes for consumers in today’s Budget. We are pleased that the government will consult on longer term and more secured tenancies, this feels to be in line with the holistic approach they are taking towards the rental market. We also welcome the launch of the Homelessness Reduction Taskforce and look forward to working closely with them in the future.”


Emoov's Russell Quirk comments: “The Treasury’s ‘pledge’ to build more homes is a story we’ve been told many times before, but these well-worn, heady platitudes have not been fulfilled since way, way back in 1969 when the Beatles were topping the charts.
The likelihood of hitting the ambitious target of 1 million homes by 2050 is slim, to say the least, and one that is unlikely to be hit. The ‘urgent’ review of the gap in planning permission and the actual building of houses is also far too little too late and should have been implemented many budgets ago.
A cut in stamp duty for first-time buyers is the only real sign of good intent by Chancellor Hammond and one that may help reignite the property market momentarily, but some may say acts as yet another diversion from the elephant in the room of a continued failure to build a meaningful number of affordable homes. Indeed a cynical electoral bribe.”



Tim Walford-Fitzgerald, private client tax partner at the chartered accountants HW Fisher & Company, comments: “Buy-to-let landlords could be forgiven for pinching themselves. For once they’ve not been the whipping boys of a Budget. After years of being portrayed as the villains of the property market, they’ve escaped further unwanted attention from a Chancellor who has instead chosen to focus on the housing market’s fundamentals rather than seeking scapegoats.


Andrew Turner, chief executive at Commercial Trust Limited comments "The Government’s ambitions for an improved Universal credit process and a consultation into longer-term tenancy agreements and in so-doing has delivered positive affirmation of the importance of buy-to-let for the long-term."










Stamp Duty cut for FTBs

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Budget's key points - at a glance

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ONS - private rental prices rising slowly

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Scotland's new 'Rent Pressure Zones'

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Resi planning apps down by a third

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Relaxing The Green Belt Could Halt The Housing Crisis

Higher interest rates will exacerbate the housing crisis if the government fails to act

With the announcement of the first rise in interest rates in 10 years earlier this month, came speculation about how the news would affect housing markets, homeowners, housebuilders and the wider economy. Uncertainty is endemic.  Beyond this, it is predicted that interest rates will continue to rise throughout 2018, making those in the planning and property industry edgy.

Instinctively, with the rise of interest rates, we expect to see house prices fall and mortgage rates rise. This provides those who build property with an incentive to hold off on building. For a nation in the midst of an acute housing crisis, this could spell disaster.
Councils are already failing to meet social housing targets and have large waiting lists for social housing – reluctant house-builders will only promote the dithering of local councils torn between appeasing residents, developers and government policy.

In reality, the only thing we can expect with any certainty is uncertainty, particularly with the ever-present figure of Brexit looming on the horizon. Uncertainty makes buyers nervous, which in turn will make developers nervous. This will slow down the rate at which housing is being built. Regardless of interest rates, if there isn’t enough property, housing and rent prices will remain high. Those looking to become homeowners or tenants will be faced with even fewer options and this is surely the last outcome the Government wants to achieve.

What can be done?

Those in power still have the ability to prevent the rate of building slowing down. The answer isn’t more borrowing – it’s a serious investigation and emendation of current planning and housing policies. 

As it stands now, housing and planning policies benefit the asset rich and penalise the cash poor. The current restrictions allow developers and councils to avoid providing sufficient social housing. They restrict progress and growth – the repercussions will have knock-on effects for issues such as social mobility and homelessness.

The limiting nature of the policies has been noted, with housing associations imploring the Chancellor and indeed the planning minister to relax planning laws regarding the height of properties; allowing developers to build ‘up not out’. The implication is clear – developers urgently need more space. But it is not as though this space doesn’t exist in the UK; these demands beg the question: why not re-think the principles of the green-belt and at least consider the prospect of building sensibly on greenfield sites?

The rise in interest rates has the potential to bring the housing crisis to head, but the Government are yet to exhaust their options when it comes to changing planning policy – they are yet to come even close. If developers have reason to become more reluctant to build, they don’t need to be faced with policy that allows them to limit the amount of housing – particularly social housing – they need to be encouraged to build.

We are faced with uncertainty in vast quantities. The Government has actions it can take and it is time that it took them. The Government need to fully addresses the flaws in its current planning and housing policies urgently, before its starts borrowing yet more money to address the issue.

We owe it to the future generations to sort this chaotic mess out.

By Monika Juneja, Director of Fortitude Dynamics.

HMO planning restrictions in Wales

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What will the budget hold for landlords?

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tenants expect to move in quickly

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Broker BTL deals defy gloom

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Only 3 in 100 towns building enough

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A BTL tax break could help housing crisis

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Stamp Duty levy hurting but not working

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Resilient market sees house sales climb

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Newcastle slashes BTL mortgage rates

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Does England need 300k new homes?

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Call to scrap Stamp Duty levy form RLA

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Do we really have a shortage of homes?

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Is the Brexit effect finally over?

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Where should I buy a property in London?

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1 in 7 councillors are landlords

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Will new builds continue to rise?

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Gov confirms changes to EPC methodology

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Housing to be at heart of Budget

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Milford Haven letting agent fined £4,500

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Malicious / accidental damage - tenancy deposits

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Hammond pledge - 300,000 homes a year

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Sajid Javid's speech on the Housing Market

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Net additional housing stock in England

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

LendInvest launches into buy-to-let

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Brokers warned over Ltd Co mortgages

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Landlords offloading property

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What will this Budget bring landlords?

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Brexit won't mean lower interest rates

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Tories failing to agree a housing strategy

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England's housing supply 217,350 up

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Change to electricity supply charges

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Landlord threatens mass evictions ahead of UC rollout

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Should my tenant clear the gutters?

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

An age breakdown of UK property

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Remortgaging fuels landlords cash buying

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New rent index from the DPS

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St Ives second home ban upheld

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RLA call for tax incentives on longer tenancies

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Welsh letting agent fined over licence

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PRS data analysis: rents / price growth,

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North/south price divide narrows

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Will longer tenancies restrict rent rises?

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Stamp Duty blocking 45k purchases

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Developing London's roofs - 41,000 new homes

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Gov to extend proposed deposit cap to 6 weeks rent

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BTL mortgage cost remain stable

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Latest rental data from ONS

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New ONS House Price Index

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BTL lending falls

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With BTL on its last legs - what now?

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Pros and cons of BTL in 2017

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Most landlords undeterred by Brexit

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1 in 4 battery powered smoke alarms fail

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Pensioners renting homes may treble by 2035

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Warnings over checking a tenant's Facebook

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Rightmove's November House Price Data

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Where to buy along the Elizabeth Line

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Silver renter numbers to hit one million

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London August rents see slow rise

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What happens when more pensioners become private renters?

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BTL to collapse by 27% over 5 years

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Selective landlord licensing for Walsall

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Thursday, November 09, 2017

How Universal Credit hurts landlords

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Gov publishes PRS electrical safety report

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The housing market is in a deep freeze

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Homelet rental data for October

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RICS surveyors feeling pessimistic

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How much of the UK is built on?

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Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Record global student housing investment

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Deposit disputes over smoking damage

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Landlord in court over 'coloured' tenants ban

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Bournemouth rejects landlord licence scheme

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£30k fines for landlords charging letting fees

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Slow London property price growth of no concern

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Tuesday, November 07, 2017

BTL lenders deny shunning Universal Credit tenants

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Freezing out PRS will lead to homelessness

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TMW pilots Ltd co BTL offering

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Moving on a budget; some handy tips for tenants

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House prices rise at fastest rate since January

Halifax's November house price data has been published.

halifax hpi november 2017


Halifax's, Russell Galley comments:

“The annual rate of growth has continued to rise for the third month in succession, rising from 4.0% in September to 4.5% in October. The average house price is now £225,826 – exceeding last month’s previous high. House prices in the three months to October were 2.3% higher than in the previous quarter, the fastest quarterly increase since January.

The fact that the supply of new homes and existing properties available for sale remains low, combined with historically low mortgage rates and a high employment rate, continues to support house prices and is likely to do so over the coming months. Increasing pressure on household finances and continuing affordability concerns are some of the factors likely to dampen buyer demand. That said we do not anticipate the Base Rate rise will be a barrier to buying a house.”


The latest Halifax House Price Index

Other comment-



Jonathan Hopper of Garrington Property Finders, comments:

“The orthodox view of the property market’s regional polarisation has now been turned completely on its head.

As the climate in London becomes ever more wintry, it’s springtime in many of the regions – with several local markets bursting into bloom as prices rise in response to brisk levels of demand.

Underlying this shift is a steady flight of equity from London – and other overheated regions – to areas with greater affordability.

The net effect is to put downward price pressure on many of the regions which saw the frothiest rates of growth during the boom. The pressure is most acute on high value homes, for which demand has never properly recovered since the imposition of punitive rates of Stamp Duty three years ago.

Against that backdrop, the only sellers gaining substantial traction are those willing to be realistic in their pricing, and on the front line we’re seeing buyers at all price points become deeply price sensitive.

Though supply is often critically low, most buyers will happily walk away from a property they feel is not priced fairly.

While the impact of the base rate rise has yet to be fully felt, Britain’s economic fundamentals – in which real wage growth is now well behind the pace of consumer price inflation – mean that affordability will be a key factor in the coming months.

Nevertheless the prospect of further interest rate rises may nudge hesitant buyers into taking the plunge now to lock into a favourable rate.

The Halifax’s top line rate of growth is solid, but it masks a growing regional divide and a profound price sensitivity among buyers which should ensure price rises stay well shy of the unsustainable rates of growth seen in the boom years.”
House prices rise at fastest rate since January, says Halifax https://t.co/vx9GwXGpYi




Jonathan Hopper of Garrington Property Finders, comments:

“The orthodox view of the property market’s regional polarisation has now been turned completely on its head.
As the climate in London becomes ever more wintry, it’s springtime in many of the regions – with several local markets bursting into bloom as prices rise in response to brisk levels of demand.
Underlying this shift is a steady flight of equity from London – and other overheated regions – to areas with greater affordability.
The net effect is to put downward price pressure on many of the regions which saw the frothiest rates of growth during the boom. The pressure is most acute on high value homes, for which demand has never properly recovered since the imposition of punitive rates of Stamp Duty three years ago.
Against that backdrop, the only sellers gaining substantial traction are those willing to be realistic in their pricing, and on the front line we’re seeing buyers at all price points become deeply price sensitive.
Though supply is often critically low, most buyers will happily walk away from a property they feel is not priced fairly.
While the impact of the base rate rise has yet to be fully felt, Britain’s economic fundamentals – in which real wage growth is now well behind the pace of consumer price inflation – mean that affordability will be a key factor in the coming months.
Nevertheless the prospect of further interest rate rises may nudge hesitant buyers into taking the plunge now to lock into a favourable rate.
The Halifax’s top line rate of growth is solid, but it masks a growing regional divide and a profound price sensitivity among buyers which should ensure price rises stay well shy of the unsustainable rates of growth seen in the boom years.”


Lucy Pendleton of estate agents James Pendleton comments:

“We've since had a rate rise but what you're seeing isn't one last hurrah as people rush to grab the best mortgage rates. It's that same old ball and chain around the UK property market's neck - weak supply.
 The countdown on rates may have helped support demand but mortgage approvals were down. We know stiff competition for homes exists but to see approvals and prices diverge in such dramatic fashion is surprising.
 There will also be an echo from September's back-to-work bounce, as deals brokered before the summer holidays complete in the Autumn, but such a strong second month is uncharacteristic and shows the market in surprisingly rude health."

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