Thursday, 23 January 2020

How did property fare in the last decade?

Nationwide have released their house price averages for December 2019, which means another decade of data from them is complete. Having started the decade at £162,887, UK house prices increased an average of 33% in the 2010’s to finish at £215,925.

In nominal terms an increase of just over £50,000 seems like a huge jump. In percentage terms though, that 33% rise in ten years is actually the lowest house price growth in a decade since the 1990’s, which is currently the weakest performing decade on record (with a rise of 21%). When you consider house prices in the 1980’s rose 180% and in the 2000’s they grew by 117%, you might wonder why the media portray house prices as out of control.
The problem is that wage growth only rose by 20% in the 2010’s i.e. around a third less than house prices. So, whilst rocketing house prices aren’t necessarily the problem, affordability very much is. In fact, the UK first-time buyer house price to earnings ratio currently stands at 5.0, up from 4.4 at the end of 2009, and is edging ever closer to 2007’s record high of 5.4. This means saving for that all-important deposit has become increasingly difficult; a typical 20% deposit is now equivalent to the entire pre-tax income of an average earner.

The last decade also saw a significant widening in the gap between the least affordable and most affordable regions. Whilst the whole of the UK was hit by the 2007-2009 financial crisis, London was quicker to recover, whereas many regions (particularly up North and in Northern Ireland/Scotland/Wales) have struggled. This is demonstrated by London being the top performer in the 2010’s, with house prices rising an average of 66% i.e. twice as much as the UK average. In contrast to this, house prices in Northern Ireland are a mere 2% higher now than they were at the end of 2009.
The only saviour to rising house prices has been a strong fall in interest rates. At the beginning of the decade the average new mortgage rate was around 5%, whereas by the end of 2019 this had more than halved to 2.4%. This meant first-time buyer mortgage payments as a percentage of take-home pay dropped throughout the decade in every region except London and the Outer Metropolitan area.

So, buying a property definitely became tougher in the 2010’s, with house prices accelerating higher than wage growth. And because of this rise in nominal terms, the amount of money needed by way of a deposit grew, making home ownership seem further away for many. If you could get over that hurdle though, huge drops in interest rates meant servicing the mortgage on a monthly basis became cheaper. And it seems first-time buyers are fighting back, with more than double the 155,000 recorded in 2009 jumping onto the property ladder in 2019.


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If you are looking for an agent that is well establishedprofessional and communicative in Chichester, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

E-mail me on clive@crjlettings.co.uk or call 01243 624 599.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous buy-to-let deals and Chichester Property News articles:

c/o CRJ Lettings, 30B Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1DP



Chichester rental valuation

Monday, 20 January 2020

BUY-TO-LET DEAL OF THE WEEK: 1 bed flat in Chichester, £120,000, 6.8% yield

1 bed flat, Chichester
kitchenlounge
Summary:
1 bed flat in Chichester
Listed for sale on 13/01/20 @ £120,000
Rent = £675pcm
Yield = 6.8%


Taking a look at the cheapest property in Chichester that's on the market is always a decent start for a potential buy-to-let deal. Doing so brings us to this one-bedroom flat on the Arundel Park estate that has been listed this week for £120,000.

The advert suggests the flat is in need of updating, but from the photos it appears to be in good condition - with double glazing, gas central heating, a white bathroom suite, modern kitchen and neutral d├ęcor and carpets. So unless the agent's photography or photoshopping skills are second-to-none, I'd be saying the flat is in a ready to rent condition. The only thing I can see as a stumbling block is the lack of a shower over the bath, but as the tiling is already full-height this shouldn't be too difficult an addition to make.

These flats may be amongst the cheapest properties in Chichester when it comes to the sales and rental market, but even so one-bedroom flats start from around £650pcm in Chichester. Looking in decent condition and being a fair size (including a double bedroom) could see this flat rent for £675pcm, which would be a fantastic 6.8% rental return based on the £120,000 asking price. Something to consider with flats of course is the ground rent and service charge, as well as the length left of the lease, for which there are no details in the advert.

Taking the advert and photos at face value though, this ground floor flat seems to be a good prospect for a landlord who prefers to deal in the cheaper end of the market. That's not for everyone, but with a generous rental yield on offer you can understand why someone could be tempted.

The property is on the market with PMS and full details can be found on Rightmove via the following link:
https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-67604853.html


If you are looking for an agent that is well establishedprofessional and communicative in Chichester, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

E-mail me on clive@crjlettings.co.uk or call 01243 624 599.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous buy-to-let deals and Chichester Property News articles:

c/o CRJ Lettings, 30B Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1DP



Chichester rental valuation

Thursday, 16 January 2020

What’s in store for Chichester’s landlords in 2020?

Last year the government rolled out new laws enforcing the ‘fitness for human habitation’ of rental properties, along with the multi-faceted Tenant Fees Act. Due to the political toing and froing of the past 12 months a lot of new legislation is now up in the air, but it seems there are still many changes afoot for the lettings market:

Final tax relief reductions - confirmed
Until a few years ago a landlord could offset the interest on their buy-to-let mortgages against rental income. This relief has slowly been reduced, whilst from April 2020 it will be removed entirely (in place of a reduced ‘tax credit’).

Changes to capital gains tax also come into effect from April, whereby some lettings reliefs have been reduced and the time you have to pay the tax has been shortened to 30 days.

Minimum energy efficiency rules extended - confirmed
From April 2018 all new tenancies could only go ahead in a property with at least an ‘E’ rating according to their EPC (Energy Performance Certificate). There was a two-year grace period for existing tenancies…which means the rules apply to ALL tenancies from April 2020. Ignoring this can lead to steep fines (starting from £2,000), so check whether any energy upgrades are required to comply with the new laws.


Letting agents must have Client Money Protection - confirmed
Introduced last year, there was a 12-month grace period that ends this April. From then on all letting agents must have this insurance, which covers the misappropriation of their landlords and tenants money, so check they have it!

Electrical safety checks - highly likely
Electrical safety checks every five years are already mandatory in larger shared houses and it stands to reason this will be expanded to the entire rental sector, much like the annual gas safety certificate.



Removal of Section 21 - likely
This has become something of a political football, as its use in evicting tenants ‘without fault’ gains traction in the media. Whilst technically correct, the reason Section 21 is typically used by landlords is to eject bad tenants, knowing that to do so via the courts and having to prove fault is a much trickier process. Supposedly rules to evict non-paying or problematic tenants are to be shored up to counteract this, but if not a lot of landlords will be worried by a significant shift in power towards tenants, regardless of their behaviour.




Impact of Brexit - who knows!!




With all these sticks being thrown at landlords, whilst few carrots get dished out, it’s no surprise that research from RICS shows a falling number of landlords (even though there’s a rising number of tenants). However, I believe those landlords and letting agents who adapt and provide a good-quality product and service to a more-demanding pool of tenants will be in a good position to bear the fruits of their hard work.

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If you are looking for an agent that is well establishedprofessional and communicative in Chichester, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

E-mail me on clive@crjlettings.co.uk or call 01243 624 599.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous buy-to-let deals and Chichester Property News articles:

c/o CRJ Lettings, 30B Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1DP



Chichester rental valuation

Monday, 13 January 2020

BUY-TO-LET DEAL OF THE WEEK: 4 bed house in Chichester, £347,500, 4.8% yield

4 bed house, Longacres Way, Chichester
kitchenlounge

Summary:
4 bed house in Chichester
Listed for sale on 26/07/19 @ £375,000
Now = £347,500
Rent = £1,400pcm
Yield = 4.8%


This good-sized townhouse is on the Shopwyke Lakes development to the East of Chichester's city centre. It's only a couple of years old, so it retains everything you would expect from a new build, although this four bedroom end terrace also has a decent-sized garden, driveway and garage.

It's been on since July and I'm a little surprised to see it still on the market six months later whilst the (more expensive) new houses have sold around it (there's only a couple left of the first phase of the development now). Especially when it was originally listed at £375,000 (which seemed reasonable value for a property of this size and age) and it has been reduced in price a couple of times since - most recently the week before Christmas, bringing it down to £347,500.

Although the bedrooms aren't the biggest (notably bedroom four is labelled as a study on the floorplan) being spread out over three floors does mean a total floorspace of just over 1,000 square feet, which makes it a sizable home for the price. In fairness, three bedroom townhouses are of a similar overall size, by way of turning what is currently a fair sized double and a small single on the top floor with a shared bathroom, into one large en-suite master bedroom. Even if you think of the house like that (and effectively use bedroom four as a dressing room), it still offers good accommodation for the price.

A professional couple or young family may well use the property with that type of set-up in mind, so you'll be competing with three-bedroom houses that are a similar size. Even so, it remains a four-bedroom house and based on it being relatively new it is likely to attract a premium rent, in the region of £1,400pcm. If it does it would achieve a 4.8% rental yield, which is strong for such a new freehold property in Chichester.

The property is on the market with Bell & Blake and full details can be found on Rightmove via the following link:
https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-83546993.html


If you are looking for an agent that is well establishedprofessional and communicative in Chichester, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

E-mail me on clive@crjlettings.co.uk or call 01243 624 599.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous buy-to-let deals and Chichester Property News articles:

c/o CRJ Lettings, 30B Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1DP



Chichester rental valuation

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Chichester’s Monopoly board

The Christmas decorations have been packed away for another year and so too, after a few epic Christmas battles, has the Monopoly board. Owning Mayfair for a mere £400 seems a distant dream, but then again the game did come out in 1935 (although it was originally released in 1903 entitled ‘The Landlord’s Game’). But as 2020 kicks off, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how Chichester’s modern-day Monopoly board would look.

With around 454 streets in Chichester (PO19 postcode district only), it would take a long time to get around the full board, so I’ll pick out a few notable mentions.

Let’s start with Old Kent Road; the cheapest space on the board. In Chichester that spot would go to Lennox Road, with the average property on the street valued at £158,000. Located close to the hospital, the street mainly consists of flats; many housing just a single person, the majority of which are renting (with a mixture of social and private tenants).

The Strand is halfway across the Monopoly board and today in Chichester this spot would be occupied by Deer Close. It’s a pleasant close off of The Meadows in Donnington, to the South of Chichester as you make your way out towards Birdham. Built in 2006, there are 23 properties in the close with an average value of £380,000, which closely matches Chichester’s average property value as a whole.

And what’s the Mayfair of Chichester? The most expensive street in the City? Well that honour falls to North Pallant, whereby the average property in the street will set you back £1,114,000. Located in the heart of the city, with Pallant House Gallery on its doorstep, North Pallant is home to some 171 people, most of whom own their property (74% without a mortgage).

So, what type of Monopoly player are you? It’s always interesting to note the different styles of play, which seem to mimic landlords’ real-life dealings. Some like to accumulate the cheaper properties, receiving multiple rents, whilst others prefer to save up for the premium plots, every so often bringing in a king’s ransom.

If you’re thinking of getting into the ‘landlord’s game’ for real, be sure to follow my Chichester property market updates throughout 2020 by visiting www.tinyurl.com/ChiPropertyNews or give me a call to discuss how you’re thinking of playing it.

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If you are looking for an agent that is well establishedprofessional and communicative in Chichester, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

E-mail me on clive@crjlettings.co.uk or call 01243 624 599.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous buy-to-let deals and Chichester Property News articles:

c/o CRJ Lettings, 30B Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1DP



Chichester rental valuation

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Community Focus: West Sussex Wellbeing - Dry January

Dry January is the UK’s one-month booze-free challenge - are you in?


After the excesses of Christmas and New Year’s, a popular New Year’s resolution is to lower the
amount of alcohol we drink. West Sussex Wellbeing is here to help with this, as part of the charity
Alcohol Change and their annual push to promote a Dry January. Their aim is to get people thinking
and talking about their drinking habits and to reassess them.

Research shows that participants lose weight, sleep better, feel better overall and save money.
So ditch the hangover, reduce the waistline and save some serious £££ by giving up alcohol for 31
days.

For help achieving this, visit 
#DRYJANUARY


Chichester Property News - Issue 46 - January 2020


Featuring the articles:
"How much of Chichester can you buy with £105million?",
"Which streets in Chichester have had the most sold signs?",
"The basics when letting a property'",
"Community Focus: West Sussex Wellbeing - Dry January"

and "Buy-to-let deal of the month: 3 bed house in Westhampnett, £335,000, 4.5% yield"

➕ Plus, the latest average property values, rents and yields in Chichester!