Monday, 16 May 2022

BUY-TO-LET DEAL OF THE WEEK:  3 bed house in Chichester, £300,000, 4.8% yield

Summary:
3 bed house in Chichester
Listed for sale on 06/05/22 @ £300,000
Rent = £1,200pcm
Yield = 4.8%
Last sold for £205,000 in 2013 (+46% in 9 years)

The property is on the market with Nexa Properties and full details can be found on Rightmove via the following link: www.rightmove.co.uk/properties/85266834






Thursday, 12 May 2022

£936m spent on property in Chichester in 2021


…£935,975,501 to be precise.

That was the huge amount of money spent on property in Chichester in 2021, according to recently released Land Registry data. That is a massive 39% increase compared to 2020 (which itself had risen slightly on 2019 i.e. the year before the coronavirus pandemic began).

Interestingly, the large increase came from both a rise in property prices and an increase in the number of transactions. Whereas property prices have risen year-on-year for a while now, it is a reversal in fortunes when it comes to the number of sales, having previously seen six years of declining property transactions in Chichester. 

Do you remember when people were pulling out of purchases early on in the pandemic, as the media suggested house prices were set to crash? Well, those people really missed out, with property prices in Chichester ending 2021 up by 15% (on top of the 7% increase in 2020). The average price paid throughout the year also sits at a new record high (£416,415, which was an increase of 5% on the 2020 average).

One year ago, I estimated the number of transactions would rise in 2021, bucking the trend since 2014. Whilst I was correct, I’m amazed to see the figure has jumped by a more than a third compared to the 1,697 properties sold in 2020, with 2,274 properties changing hands in Chichester in 2021. That figure is very close to the 2014 level, after which the number of transactions started to fall year-on-year (2,376 properties were sold in Chichester in 2014).


If you think we’re at the peak now though, perhaps think again. Consider all the new-build properties being built in the area, alongside the fact that an average of 2,525 properties were sold in Chichester each year between 2000-2007 (the last ‘boom’ phase for property). It therefore seems clear to me that we are still below the number of transactions you would expect from an overly-frothy property market in Chichester that is about to burst.

Furthermore, there are currently 693 properties on the market in Chichester, with 385 showing as sold (subject to contract). This time last year there were 757 properties on the market, with 367 having been sold. This suggests there is a lack of stock on the market but with an ever-growing demand…which typically leads to higher prices and more sales! Could the buyers of property in Chichester be set to spend over £1 billion this year for the first time?

To find out and to keep on top of the latest happenings in Chichester’s property market, sign up to the free weekly Chichester Property News e-mail at www.bit.ly/ChiPropertyNews


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Monday, 2 May 2022

BUY-TO-LET DEAL OF THE WEEK:  3 bed house in Chichester, £237,500, 5.8% yield


Summary:
3 bed house in Chichester
Listed for sale on 21/04/22 @ £237,500 (NEEDS REFURBISHMENT)
Rent = £1,150pcm
Yield = 5.8%

The property is on the market with Coast & Country and full details can be found on Rightmove via the following link: www.rightmove.co.uk/properties/122666951






Thursday, 28 April 2022

How much are Chichester’s landlords spending on property maintenance?


As another tax year recently came to a close, annual account statements were sent out to all of my landlords who use my fully managed service. It’s something I include (free of charge) as part of my lettings service, but I think it will make my landlords (or their accountants!) lives easier come self-assessment time.

The statement breaks down the total rent they have received in the tax year for each property, along with any deductions that were made e.g. CRJ Lettings’ management fees and any maintenance costs. It’s similar to what they receive each month when the rent comes in, but this time for the whole tax year.

Not only is this a nice overview for the landlord, whilst again demonstrating my complete transparency in regards to fees, but it also ensures all costs are accounted for so that they can claim the maximum tax relief. This is increasingly important when the deduction of mortgage interest has been taken away, having been replaced by a (often lesser) ‘tax credit’.

It also gives me some great figures to analyse, which I wanted to share with you.

The average rent my landlords are achieving is £1,090pcm, which is on par with the current average rent in Chichester of £1,100pcm. Just as importantly, they have received all of the rent due to them. This time last year, I questioned whether I’d be able to make that statement again, as the government’s financial support relating to the fallout from Covid-19 softened. 

What’s more is that my unique fixed-fee structure is proving to be excellent value for my landlords; demonstrated by an average charge of just 8.9% for an award-winning full management service. One landlord is paying just 5.7% as their property achieves a particularly high rent, meaning my fixed fee proves to be even better value for them.

What is also interesting to see is that my landlords are spending an average of just £460 a year on property maintenance, which is only 3.5% of the total rent they receive. Common lettings advice is to set aside 10% of your annual rent to account for property maintenance, so it seems my landlords are doing far better than this. 


I suspect this is partly because I tend to manage more modern properties, which should inherently have fewer issues, but also because I tend to endorse the attitude of ‘prevention being better than cure’ i.e. spending a little in the short-term to save a lot in the long-term.

I hope it’s also partly down to the carefully selected maintenance contractors I use, who offer good value for money, plus the fact I don’t add a mark-up to maintenance costs or charge additional commission on such works. I’ll also typically run through a few simple steps with tenants when issues do occur, in case we can resolve them without the need for paid help.

Landlords; let me know how much you’re spending on maintenance and where you’re spending it (fencing companies made up a good chunk of our maintenance spend due to the storms earlier this year!). And if you’d like to discuss the ins and outs of how I can make the management of your rental property a little bit easier and perhaps more cost-effective, please get in touch.


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Monday, 18 April 2022

BUY-TO-LET DEAL OF THE WEEK: 3 bed house in Chichester, £325,000, 5.8% yield



Summary:
3 bed house in Chichester
Listed for sale on 06/04/22 @ £325,000
Rent = £1,560pcm (Student let)
Yield = 5.8%

The property is on the market with Nexa and full details can be found on Rightmove via the following link: www.rightmove.co.uk/properties/122032337






Thursday, 14 April 2022

House prices rise three times faster than incomes in the past twenty years


In 2002 the median salary in the UK had just broken through the £20,000 mark for the first time. Twenty years later and that median salary has increased by 54% to now stand at £31,461. Unfortunately, in a world of ever-rising prices, that won’t buy you 54% more stuff, with housing costs one of the most notable testaments to that fact. In the same two decades the average UK house price has increased by 180% (from £97,623 to £273,762), which is more than three times greater than salaries.

That means whereas it would have taken the average earner in 2002 a little under five years to afford to buy the average home (ignoring taxation), it would now take nearer nine years to do so. Plus, the deposit required has increased too, so that the fairly standard 10% deposit required has almost tripled from £9,762 in 2002 to £27,376 today.



It’s interesting to note that salaries have been fairly steady in their rise, compared to the sharper fluctuations of house prices. Only once did average salaries not increase compared to the year before, whereas house prices saw that happen for several years during the ‘credit crunch’. That one time drop in salaries (of 0.6%) came in 2020, which was almost certainly due to covid stymieing incomes. Their biggest annual increase (4.7%) came in 2007, just before the credit crunch hit. In comparison, the annual change in house prices has been far less predictable, ranging from a drop of 15.4% (in 2008) to an increase of 27.9% (in 2002). 


The past decade has been a little steadier for house prices than the first decade of the millennium though; with their year-on-year change ranging from an increase of just 1.1% (in 2012) to 9.6% (in 2021). Notably, prices have ramped up in the past couple of years, with 2021’s gain having followed a 7.7% increase in 2020. That’s despite doom-mongers predicting a crash when Covid’s first lockdown was announced two years ago, with many would-be buyers even pulling out of purchases as a result. Since then, house prices have risen 18%, whereas incomes are still slightly below where they were when Covid struck.


The sudden jump in house prices these past two years, against a background of static incomes and other fast-rising costs (think energy and petrol prices), is why many are feeling the strain in their personal finances. Consider as well that our pound sterling has been decreasing in value against many other currencies, meaning our buying power is even weaker on a global basis. It is also why a lot of foreign money has come to the UK to sniff out property bargains (in their currency at least), making it even tougher for local workers to be able to afford local homes.


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Monday, 4 April 2022

BUY-TO-LET DEAL OF THE WEEK: 3 bed house in Westhampnett, £425,000, 4.2% yield



Summary:
3 bed house in Westhampnett
Listed for sale on 07/03/22 @ £450,000
Now = £425,000
Rent = £1,500pcm
Yield = 4.2%

The property is on the market with White & Brooks and full details can be found on Rightmove via the following link: www.rightmove.co.uk/properties/120751595