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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Buy-to-let mortgage LATEST

Despite much of the UK being in restful mood this week. Buy-to-let mortgage lenders have been busily adjusting their buy-to-let mortgage products.

Landlord insurance brokers - it pays to have the widest choice

The best rates continue to be offered by the Mortage Works who are the only lender to offer sub 4% rates with the cheapest pay rate of 3.25% available on a 1 year tracker.

For expert buy-to-let mortgage advice

For those landlords wanting a fixed rate they also do a 1 year fix at 3.49%. Both are available on a maximum LTV of 70%. The downside to the very low rate products offered by TMW is the very high fees of 3.25% and 3.5% respectively. A low fee alternative is offered by the Manchester BS with their 4.84% term variable with only a 0.5% fee offered up to 65% LTV. This buy-to-let mortgage is also available for ex council house properties.

Updates courtesy of emoneyfacts:
  • Scottish BS
  • Buy-to-let FIXED RATE of 6.54% for 3 years withdrawn w.e.f. 29.5.09 & replaced with NEW VARIABLE RATES of 5.79% for 3 years & 6.04% for 3 years w.e.f. 1.6.09....more
  • 29 May 2009
  • Platform
  • Buy-to-let FIXED RATE MORTGAGES of 6.99% & 7.49% to 1.6.12 withdrawn w.e.f.29.5.09 & replaced w.e.f. 1.6.09 with products of 5.79% & 6.29% to 1.9.12. ...more
  • 29 May 2009
  • Northern Bank (NI)
  • END DATES on buy-to-let FIXED RATE MORTGAGES extended to 1/2 July, w.e.f. 29.5.09....more
  • 29 May 2009
  • Birmingham Midshires Solutions
  • NEW Buy-to-let FIXED RATE MORTGAGE of 6.50% to 1.7.14, max 75%, fee 2.5% of advance + £275, w.e.f. 27.5.09....more
  • 27 May 2009
  • Exclusive Connections
  • Buy-to-let VARIABLE TRACKER RATE MORTGAGE funded by BM Solutions of 4.95% for 2 years & 5.59% FIXED to 1.7.11 withdrawn & replaced with VARIABLE TRACKER RATES of 4.85% for 2 years & for house purchase only of 4.95% for 2 years & FIXED RATES of 5.29% to 1.7.11 & for house purchase only of 5.70% to 1.7.11, w.e.f. 23.5.09....more
  • 27 May 2009
  • Pink Home Loans
  • Buy-to-let FIXED RATE of 5.59% to 1.7.11 funded by BM Solutions & VARIABLE TRACKER RATE of 4.95% for 2 years funded by BM Solutions withdrawn & replaced with NEW FIXED RATE of 5.29% to 1.7.11; NEW FIXED RATE for house purchase only of 5.70% to 1.7.11, NEW VARIABLE TRACKER RATE of 4.85% for 2 years (BBR + 4.35%); NEW VARIABLE TRACKER RATE for house purchase only of 4.95% for 2 years (BBR + 4.45%), w.e.f. 26.5.09....more
  • 27 May 2009
  • Cheltenham & Gloucester
  • Current Buy-to-let MORTGAGES now available for direct business only & NEW VARIABLE TRACKER RATES launched via intermediaries only of 4.69% to 31.12.12, max 60%, 4.99% to 31.12.12, max 75% & for advances min £500,001 - 5.49% to 31.10.12, max 75%. NEW FIXED RATE MORTGAGES via intermediaries only of 5.19% to 31.10.12, w.e.f. 26.5.09. ...more
  • 27 May 2009
  • Birmingham Midshires Solutions
  • Buy-to-let FIXED RATE MORTGAGES of 5.29% to 1.7.11, 5.39% & 5.59% to 1.7.12, 5.84% to 1.7.14 & 5.99% to 1.7.19 withdrawn & replaced with new rates for house purchase only of 5.40% to 1.7.11 & 5.50% to 1.7.12, w.e.f. 23.5.09....more
  • 26 May 2009
  • Bank of Scotland Mortgages
  • Buy-to-let FIXED RATES of 5.69% to 30.6.12, 5.89% to 30.6.14 & 5.99% to 30.6.14 withdrawn & replaced with NEW FIXED RATE of 5.89% to 30.6.12, w.e.f. 26.5.09....more
  • 26 May 2009
  • Ipswich BS
  • Buy-to-let FIXED RATE MORTGAGE of 4.99% to 31.7.11 withdrawn, w.e.f. 22.5.09....more
  • 26 May 2009
  • Alliance & Leicester
  • END-DATE on Buy-to-let FIXED RATE MORTGAGES extended to 31.8.14, w.e.f. 22.5.09....more
  • 22 May 2009

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Sheffield buy-to-let rents fall by 6% in a year

Sheffield buy-to-let rents fall by almost 6% over the year.

Residential rents in Sheffield have fallen almost 6% in the last year according to website the Rentindex. The average rent in Sheffield is now £440 compared to £468 in 2008.

This compares to the national average rent which is currently £591. This puts the average residential rents in Sheffield at 75% that of the national average.

Rentindex analyses nearly 5000 residential tenancies created over a three month period to produce the daily updated Rentindex. Nationally rents have risen 3% over the last 3 months and 1.4% over the last year.

Chris Horne from the Rentindex comments: “Sheffield like many regional centres has been suffering from an over supply of rental accommodation, especially in the city centre. This has helped to drive rents down as landlords compete to fill vacant property.”

The Rentindex provides the only real time measurement of UK residential rents and aims to provide a barometer of the state of the rental market in the same way that the stock market measures the health of the economy.

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As I Predicted Summertime Bounce in Property Prices

I was only saying the other day that I predict a summertime bounce for property prices and look whats happened.

Yes, a bounce in property prices.

This 'unexpected rise' ( well not by me - I have to say, it's all in the tea leaves ) has seen prices rise by 1.2 per cent, in its strongest monthly gain for 19 months, according to figures from the Nationwide Building Society.

I predict a couple more slight price rises over the coming months as we see more determination by buyers to buy, and with restricted supply of those Ive described as the 'damned' and 'desperate' around to sell.

However, I wouldn't necessarily start celebrating a return to boom, I would predict further falls following the summer bounce through Winter 2009 and Spring 2010.

But for now - it's SUMMERTIME!

Read more in the Times

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Landlords could find a property bargain in the pub

The pub has been historically the place where many bargains have been picked up by
those with a good set of 'lugg holes' as drinkers pick up a knocked down TV or 'nice little runner'.

Now because of the credit crunch the pub itself could be the bargain. Hundreds of pubs have closed because they are no longer viable and many of the companies that have being pubs, the so called pub cos have been selling under performing property.

The result is hundreds of bargain pubs ripe for redevelopment as residential lets or HMOs.

Some of the pubs are available at less than £100,000 and already come with existing residential letting accommodation.

Chris Horne Editor of leading landlord website Property Hawk advises landlords that they will need to obtain planning permission first before being able to convert the pub entirely to residential accommodation.

For a list of pubs for sale residenial landlords should check out Fleurets a specialised business agent.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Property Hawk urges landlords to write to their MP over proposed landlord licence

Leading landlord website Property Hawk has urged all landlords to 'fight' the proposed introduction of the Landlord Licence.

The mandatory licensing of landlords has been proposed in a recent Government Green Paper would require every landlord to pay a fee before they could even try and let their residential property.

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Chris Horne Editor of the free online service for landlords urges all buy-to-let landlords to write to their MP and put pressure on the Government to abandon the proposal.

He comments: "This is such a ridiculous idea. It will not achieve any of the stated aims of improving the rental sector for landlords or tenants. It's a box ticking exercise thought up by bureaucrats and politicians."

"Fundamentally, it strikes at the very heart of a our democracy. The government is saying that law abiding citizen can no longer do with their private property what they want...without getting permission from the state. This undermines a landlords basic rights associated with private property ownership. It's a step too far."

Sign the Property Hawk No.10 petition today!

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Government launches consultations on HMOs 'ghettos'

Landlords with a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) could well be affected by tightening planning powers aimed at curbing the concentration of HMOs in certain areas.

The Government is currently consulting on whether planning laws should be broadened to tackle perceived problems with high numbers of HMOs in certain residential areas.

For more information visit the Communities website.
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NFRL & NLA merger given go-ahead

The controversial merger between the National Landlords Association (NLA)and the National Federation of Residential Landlords (NFRL)has been unexpectedly been given High Court approval.

The merger originally meant to go through in July 08 hit the buffers when several prominent members of the NFRL including the President challenged the way that the merger was conducted.

On Thursday May 21st, Judge Pelling QC, dismissed the legal challenge to the merger and ordered that those who brought the action covered the NLA's costs.

Commenting on the High Court ruling, David Salusbury, chairman of the NLA, said: "It is a relief that this episode is now over.

"The NLA remains wholeheartedly committed to the concept of a unified voice for landlords and we never believed that costly litigation would be in the best interests of members or of the private-rented sector," he added.

Despite the merger the combined organisation still only has 14,000 members which is less than half the usership of Property Hawk with nearly 35,000 individual landlords and property investors.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pigeon Post

There are 18 million feral pigeons in the UK.

The same species as white doves, they are sociable, pair for life and can live for 30 years.

Pigeons understand people. Many are happy to give them what they want: crisps, burgers, salted peanuts, biscuits. Most people wouldn’t dream of giving food to a rat yet they are happy to walk around in public scattering bread crusts and actively promoting the pigeon population. World War II was the only time in recent history when pigeon numbers declined and that’s only because food was scarce.

Fanciable and adaptable as they are, pigeons can cause all sorts of problems for property managers and tenants.

Pigeons can spot your weaknesses.

They have a good understanding of building maintenance and construction. They will know where your roof has a loose tile. They will get into the roof space, causing water penetration and decay. Their acidic droppings can damage stonework and their feathers and debris can block downpipes. They know that their nests will make your poorly maintained gutters worse, blocking them up in no time.

A pigeon will know when your property is unoccupied. They will want to move in immediately
. They will get into upstairs rooms and take over, and invite a whole flock of friends round causing more mess and decay.

Pigeons enjoy living in city centres and will happily take over your brand new balcony. They will know that you are out at work most of the time and hardly ever open the balcony doors. They will think you are not making the most of your safe outdoor space and will make good use of it for you, cooing to their heart’s content from 4.00AM onwards.

If you are troubled by pigeons what’s the solution? It seems that there are a lot of companies specialising in controlling them. There’s even a
Pigeon Control Advisory Service company that provides a lot of information on the methods most suitable for a building including nets, spikes, sprung wires and repellent gels. Spikes would seem to be the most effective for residential buildings and they are approved by the RSPCA. They discourage pigeons from landing.

Property Sparrow does not have any direct experience of any of these products herself but the pigeons she knows thinks that these sound
cheap at 66p each and there’s a good choice of spike for all types of buildings and balconies.

Cutting down on junk food is good too.

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Letting agents could 'go bust' if Foxtons case lost

A recent article in Property Week draws attention to the fact that many letting agents could 'go to the wall' if Foxtons loose their case against the Office for Fair Trading. The judgement expected by the end of July is into whether Foxtons and other letting agents are able to charge a renewal fee for renewing a tenancy even when they have not actually carried out the renewal of the tenancy for the landlord.

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Bullish Forecast for Future Property Prices

A bullish argument on property prices from the FT, to bring cheer to the hearts of landlords seeking light from the grey cloud that has been following us around for the the past 18 months.

The bad news is that I could of just as easily plucked an article predicting further property price falls.

Does anyone really knows which way property prices will go?

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Peterborough Landlords Struggles To Get Rent from LHA Tenants

A PETERBOROUGH private landlord has hit out at changes to housing benefit rules – claiming some tenants are "taking their rent money and running".
Altaf Hussain says he has been swindled out of £2,500 since the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) came in last April, which saw housing benefit paid directly to private tenants rather than landlords. - Read more in the Peterborough Telegraph

The National Landlords Association backed his claims, revealing they had been inundated with calls from landlords out of pocket since the LHA came into force.

Are you struggling to get the rent out of your LHA tenants?

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Adult Ninja Turtles Confront their Landlord over a Rent Rise

The Mutant Hero Turtles are all grown up.

In this episode they are forced to confront their landlord who has sent notification of a rent rise even though they have signed a 12 month tenancy agreement.

Maybe they would of been better off not renting from their old enemy, Shredder, who seems to be committed to not signing up for any mandatory landlord licensing scheme.

WARNING - Some potty mouthed internet language might offend more sensitive landlords.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Buy-to-let Bovey keen to make a come back

A recent report in Property Week announced a comeback by Grant Bovey, partner of Anthea Turner and founder of Imagine Homes the buy-to-let investment company which packaged and sold new buy-to-let properties to investors.

His new ventures is called The Distressed Property Company which is described by Bovey as a 'super estate agency' will work entirely online. Customers pay a joining fee of £250, although Distressed will earn most of it's income from fees negotiated with the developers or banks that provide the new build stock.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Buy-to-let mortgage LATEST - best long-term fixed rates

Paragon one of the UKs leading buy-to-let mortgage providers recently called on the government to help buy-to-let landlords as only 2 out of the 10 leading buy-to-let lenders in 07 remain in the market.

At the same time this week one of the biggest buy-to-let mortgage brokers Mortgages for Business urged landlords that it may be time to consider a long term fix following indications in the FT that fixed rate mortgage rates may be rising.

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In light of this I went in search of some of the best long-term fixed rate buy-to-let mortgages currently available:

The best five year fix is currently available from BM SOLUTIONS which is offering a 5.84% fixed rate until July 2014 with an APR of 4.9% and a £1250 fee. LTV is upto 75%.

BM SOLUTIONS now part of the enlarged Lloyds group are also offering the best 10 year fix with a 5.99% product. LTV is also 75% and the fee is £1500.

A new lender to the market is Whiteaway Laidlaw Bank part of Manchester BS that has launched a 5 year fixed rate again at 5.99% but with a fee of only £999. They will only lend a maximum of 70% LTV and within a 100 miles of Manchester.

For those less keen on the high fees the Post Office does a 6.3% 5 year fixed until the end of May 2014 with a fee of £599 also offering 75% LTV.

For more expert FREE advice on buy-to-let mortgages

Latest news this week on buy-to-let mortgages provided by emoneyfacts:

  • Whiteaway Laidlaw Bank
  • NEW to Moneyfacts Buy-to-let lender Whiteway Laidlaw has launched a FIXED RATE MORTGAGE of 5.99% for 5 years. W.e.f. 20.5.09. ...more
  • 21 May 2009
  • Loughborough BS
  • NEW buy-to-let DISCOUNTED VARIABLE RATE MORTGAGE of 3.99% for 1 year, w.e.f. 18.5.09. ...more
  • 18 May 2009
  • Principality BS
  • Buy-to-let FIXED RATE MORTGAGE of 4.99% to 31.3.12 withdrawn & replaced with new rate of 5.19% to 30.6.12, w.e.f. 16.5.09....more
  • 15 May 2009
  • The Mortgage Works
  • Buy-to-let FIXED RATE MORTGAGES of 4.74%, 4.89%, 4.98% & 5.69% to 31.5.12, 5.84% & 6.34% to 30.4.14 and for remortgage only of 5.34% to 31.5.12 & 5.99% to 30.4.14, withdrawn w.e.f 15.5.09....more
  • 15 May 2009
  • Bank of Ireland (NI)
  • Buy-to-let FIXED RATE MORTGAGE of 6.29% to 30.6.14 withdrawn. FIXED RATE of 6.19% to 30.6.12 withdrawn & replaced with rates of 5.79% & 5.99% to 31.8.12, w.e.f. 14.5.09....more
  • 15 May 2009

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Property Woman of the Year Awards

Property Woman of the Year Awards - if you know a woman who is good with property,.... well I don't know - strikes me as pretty patronising..... but I'm not a woman, so maybe they see it differently.

It also stinks of costly back slapping but I don't pay any subs to the NLA. But if I did ......

Aren't these award ceremonies a bit of a wasteful joke - I mean a black tie do, that celebrates 'best pasties with a beef filling' of the year - surely these awful awards events have had their day. .........How very noughties.

Good luck to the lady that wins it, and then can we return to just award events for glamorous things like film and music and lose this indulgent celebration of mediocrity.

Let's face it we can't all be film stars - get over it!

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Our sub-prime mortgage problems could be worse than the US

Our sub prime loans are subber than the sub prime loans of the US.

We are so sub prime that we need a submarine to get sub enough.

Read more in this Bloomberg article on the U.K. Home-Loan Delinquencies Worse Than for Subprime

Many sub prime borrowers can be found eating subs at Subway.

Does that make me a snob?

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Estate Agents Cream off HIPS - Naughty!

Those sneaky old estate agents are at it again.

This time they are creaming off £100 referrals from each HIP they organise.

Naughty boy, dirty boy, go to your bed boy!

Read more on the naughty scoundrels in the Telegraph.

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Rents fall on apartments but stabilise on houses

The fortunes of the rental market becomes further split.

Rents on houses are holding up with the supply dropping by 1.5pc, with rents for larger properties seeing a rise in rents for the second consecutive month according to recent stats.

However the over supply of the poor old city centre apartment ( not so glamorous now )has seen a further increase in supply of 2.8pc available for rent, leading to a drop in rental values of 0.7pc. Ouch.

This follows predictions that city centre apartments will continue to see the worst of any future property price falls. Double ouch.

The double ouch might lead to more and more BTL investors throwing in the towel leading to large scale repossession on BTL property.

The Rent Index of average rent on all rental property types in England and Wales has stabilised at £589.75.

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Property Market Discussion

Property price discussion from 'Telegraph TV?'

Discussion on the importance of the Buy-to-Let sector on future house prices, follows the predictions that city centre apartments will be worst hit by falls in property values and traditional suburbs will hold on better to values.

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Who does make the best landlords - women or men?

Its a sweeping generalisation but I suspect its true.

Lady landlords or should we say landladies are better at the detail. Exact dates, exact meter readings, the exact cost of a new curtain rail and the exact cost of cleaning the lounge carpet.

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Our own Property Sparrow is testament to this detail. She seems to have a clear handle on every minutiae of her buy-to-let empire.

My approach is slap dash, management on the run, remembering 80% and having to blag or redue or rework something.

A recent survey of 500 property women by the NLA revealed that women are radically re-vamping the sector with increased professionalism, attention to detail and superior customer service as the credit crunch demands a new approach. Over half (58%) admit to upping their game with the current economic climate – 63% are providing a rent freeze for long term tenants, 10% have reduced rent while 27% are introducing added extras including:

* Offering a free life coach, debt counselling or after care service
* Learning new languages to attract non-English speaking tenants
* Flowers and wine for tenants
* Free monthly window cleaner
* Introducing flexible payment schemes
* Flat screen TVs and free broadband
* Accepting pets
* Considering DSS tenants

Guys it looks like we are facing stiff competition. So who does make the best landlords - women or men?

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

First Time Buyer New Mortgage to Help Kick Start the Property Market

A new mortgage product from Lloyds for first time buyers is hoped to get them jumping on the property ladder.

The "Lend a Hand" mortgage, was launched today, and is hoped to help first time buyers, who have been unable to find affordable mortgage deals since the onset of the credit crunch.

Available up to 95 per cent LTV, with a rate of 4.39 per cent fixed for three years. It is available on loans up to £350,000.

Relatives or friends are required to offset 20 per cent of the size of the mortgage loan in a linked savings account which pays a rate of 3.5 per cent for three and a half years.

We will see.......

Read more in the Times

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Property Millionaire Scam - closed down.

I can make you a property millionaire - just pay me £5000 and I will share my special, magic property investment secrets with you.

For a further £5000 you can join my special magic property investors inner gold circle and I will show you further secrets that will make you five times more money and you will receive a special gold plated inner gold circle membership card that will give you access to the worlds best property deals...........EVER!!

Wow. Show me where to sign and who shall I make the £10 grand cheque to?

Strange, but true. We have been forever warning wannabe property investors of the world of the property guru who will fleece you on the way to property investment enlightenment, but there's one born every minute.

One such scam promised to help wannabe property investors become instant millionaires has been wound up in the High Court on grounds of public interest following an investigation by Companies Investigation Branch (CIB).

Potential investors were invited to attend free "Secrets 2 Success" seminars advertised with the line "no risk, no effort" and were encouraged to join with "little or no money" an "Instant Millionaire Programme." They were told they could learn more about becoming a property millionaire by attending further seminars described as "Negotiate 2 Win" at a cost of £1,000, the "No Money Down" course at a cost of £2,000 and the "Freedom 2 Fortune" course at a cost of £4,000.

Ouch ... my heart goes out to all those characters who were scammed, and let's hope that it a lesson learned.

Our FREE advice as ever, is do your research, do your sums and try to keep it local.

Property management is not ideal from a distance, it requires common sense and hard work, not special magical powers or secret formulas.

Read more on the property millionaire scam controlled by the now bankrupt Mr Spencer Michael.

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Property Ladder Follows the Slide

A new series of Property Ladder is coming soon to Channel 4.

It will be interesting to see the projects turning out in a falling property market.

One thing that will remain the same is, I'm sure Sarah Beeny will be as smug as ever.

Nobody likes a know-it-all.

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Landlords letting to pets

The pet / tenant debate rages on.

Should landlords let to tenants with pets or not? The latest contribution comes from the Dogs Trust who are promoting their let with pets campaign.

The Lets with Pets campaign aims to encourage landlords and letting agencies to accept pets, offering pet owners the opportunity to keep their beloved pets, while amplifying rental income for struggling buy-to-let landlords. The campaign website provides advice booklets and practical tips for landlords and tenants alike.

Haven't they heard? The government actually think that tenants are a landlords pet. This is why we are all being forced to have a landlord licence before we are trusted to handle these delicate creatures.

Thinking creatively, could this be away around the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

How about taking the tenants pet as as hostage. "Ok Mr tenant, give me your rent or Fido gets it!"

Don't tell Clarrissa at the Dogs Trust about our suggestion or we'll all be in the 'Dogs House' again.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Buy-to-let is stranded in a desert and circled by vultures

The press continue to circulate the death of Buy-to-Let.

As I've mentioned before a blood bath could happen over the next couple of years if interest rates take off.

The vultures are circling the overstretched landlords with high LTV's who clambered for fame and fortune and over expanded portfolios in recent years.

CityWire reflects on the troubles of landlord world.

Money, money, money - it's so funny.

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Landlords are no longer Britains most hated

Thank goodness for the corrupt actions of the politicians.

Thankfully they have managed to steal the mantle from landlords of 'most hated Britains'.

I feel relieved to be once again preferred above others, and no longer despised for the crimes I have committed against society. ie, Stopping nurses and youths from being able to get on the property ladder.

And as with the tradition of emotive, knee jerk, victimisation, I will turn most viciously on my replacements.

Here's to raw, non-intellectual, reactionary, press lead hysteria.

"Let's get the dirty, thieving, rotten scum"

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Death of the BMV industry

Many landlords will have heard of the so called BMV property. The concept has spawned a whole industry which promise to deliver to landlords bargain properties that they can ten remortgage at the full market value. A landlord was then able to take out any of their equity tied up in the property they have just bought.

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During the heady days of buy-to-let lending some landlords were able to grow their portfolio rapidly and at little cost to themsleves.

The reality is that the BMV industry is dead, dead, dead!

The whole business was based on landlords exploiting a loophole that enabled them to get the mortgage surveyor to agree a valuation on the property substantially above that they had paid for the property. During the boom there were a number of buy-to-let mortgage companies that would do same day back to back remortgages. A landlord could therefore complete a purchase at say £100k. On the same day they would have a mortgage lined up with a mortgage valuation of say £125k. Using a 80% mortgage this would allow a landlord to leave no equity in the property which they would then recycle to buy another BMV property.

This route is no longer open to landlords because mortgage company surveyors are sticking strictly to the RICS code of valuation which requires them to use the agreed sale price as the value of the property however cheap that might appear.

This means the whole BMV industry is dead. The price of a property is it's market value. Don't let any property wide boy or speculators tell you otherwise.

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Landlords nightmare as student tenant murdered

According to a report this weekend in thisismoney a landlord has endured a 'nightmare' after one of his tenants was murdered by a crazed German David Heiss in Nottingham.

The landlord Chris Browne had been letting property for 18 years explained that this was by far the first thing that had happened to him during his letting career.

Twenty year old student Matthew Pyke had been stabbed 86 times in September 08 following an arguement over an internet computer game.

Landlord devastated at human cost

Chris was obviously devasted at the horrible human cost of the murder and the effect on Matthews friends and family but as the landlord he was also left with the financial and administrative costs of dealing with the aftermath.

Financial costs to landlord

Following the murder Chris was forced by the Police to rehouse his existing tenants at a cost to him of over the 3 weeks of £1200.

Then their was the cost of cleaning up the property of the blood stains which would come to £250 the voluntary excess, but Chris went for a more thorough redecoration of the flats which cost £1500 and have been disputed by his landlord insurance company.

Because of forensic tests the apartment of the murder victim had to remain empty for over 6 and a half months costing Chris the landlord over £3250 in rent. Chris is seeking compensation from the police for this.

The trial is over and the flat now redecorated but Chris is now left with the prospect of having to try and relet a property which is associated with such horrible events. This could make it very difficult to let for many years to come.

Our thoughts and sympathies obviously must go out to Matthew Pyke's friends and family who are ultimately the ones that have suffered most from this horrendous act.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Granite to Jewel

Property Sparrow has received two letters about the wholly non-toxic mortgage on one of her flats.

The first was from the Royal Bank of Scotland. They are quite matter of fact. They are pleased to let Property Sparrow know that her mortgage is being transferred to ‘Topaz Finance plc.’

Two days later a letter from ’Topaz Finance plc’ who say that they are very happy that she has joined them as a customer in what they hope will be the start of a long and mutually beneficial relationship.

The two letters contain identical sentences about the payments and the interest rate. ‘The terms and conditions of your loan remain as before, including the rate of interest currently charged, however as part of the transfer a new number has been allocated to your loan account. Your payments will continue to be collected by Direct Debit and the only change you will notice is the name associated with your mortgage payment on your bank statement will change.’
Property Sparrow understands that these remarks are intended to sound reassuring but feels unsettled to have ended up with a mortgage from a company she’s never heard of.

‘We are here to help, so please call our Customer Services Department on 0845………..if you have any questions or concerns.’ Property Sparrow wonders if she should phone to ask why this transfer has taken place. She has no idea. Perhaps it’s some sort of loan sale and RBS are offloading some of their mortgages.

All she can tell you about Topaz Finance Plc is that the headed notepaper is quite pretty; there’s a twinkle to the top left of the ‘T.’

She hopes it’s a jewel.

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Summer time bounce for property prices

I predict that we will see a bounce in property prices over the next six months.

Call me mad, and I might be wrong.

However i think I will probably be right.

The property market over the passed 12 months has been made up of sellers that would mainly fit under the titles of either 'damned' or 'desperate'.

The 'damned' have been forced to sell due to facing repossession or changes in circumstance and the 'desperate' have wanted to move NOW for whatever reason, relocation, excitement or need for change.

These 'damned' and 'desperates' have been ready to settle at any price.

However as the property market starts to move again we will start to see resistance by the more 'settled sellers' to sell at any price. With a shortage of supply we could see a bounce in average selling prices.

This is not to say that property prices will start to whiz up again. I would not be surprised by further falls over the next couple of years.

But we could easily see a summer bounce in property values.

I only heard the other day of one property investor who bought a property last year for £360k only to sell it this month for £410k without any refurbishment work.

So let's see.

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Council of Mortgage Lenders figures grim for landlords

The Council of Mortgage Lenders report offers confirmation of what mot landlords already new - ie, Lifes not great for landlords at the moment.

The report shows an increase in landlord property repossessions and a drop in the number of mortgages agreed for buy-to-let landlords, for the sixth consecutive quarter to 22,400 in the three months to the end of March.

No surprises there then.

Read a further article in the Scotsman on the figures.

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WestBrom BS - the Baggies are feeling the pinch.

West Brom are down after losing to Liverpool at the weekend.

Now it's the turn of the building society, who are allegedly not so 'baggy' with their assets and are finding their financial cloth starting to pinch.

Less the 'Baggies' and more the 'Skinnies' then.

Frailties in the balance sheet of the West Bromwich Building Society has meant that rumours of FSA talks at a merger have been denied by the West Brom.

We will wait and see how things unfold at the building society which has a high percentage of Buy-to-Let mortgages on its allegedly fragile books.

So it up to landlords to keep their toxic debts clean and prevent then from bubbling over.

More on the squeeze at the Baggies BS.

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Spare a thought for Paris's landlord

It appears that existing residents of Hollywood Hills Street LA are less than pleased with their new celebrity neighbour Paris Hilton.

The party loving 'celeb' has caused a bit of a rumpus following a house warming party on Monday 11 May when the Police were called following reports of damage to several luxury cars on the street.

Just days later the police were called again because of reports that her and her boyfriend Doug Reinhardt were making too much noise.

The upside for the landlord is that one neighbour is so fed up that he has offered her landlord an extra $5,000 in rent if the landlord evicts them according to TMZ.COM.

It appears in these tough times with talk of falling rents that there may be some advantages to having a celebrity tenant after all!

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