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Your Move Property Blog

Thoughts, Opinions & Analysis of the UK Property Market

April 2014 Tenant Arrears Tracker

April 4, 2014 10:40 by YOUR MOVE

Households facing serious rent arrears fall by a third 

- Cases of tenants severely behind on rent have fallen by one third (35%) in last twelve months
- 68,000 households remain seriously behind with rent payments, compared to mid-2012 peak over 116,000
- Number of landlords in mortgage arrears reaches lowest level since mid-2008
- Progress starts to be reflected in number of evictions, as court orders fall 3% in final months of 2013

Overview
Tenants struggling with late rent have made significant progress in the last twelve months, according to the latest Tenant Arrears Tracker by LSL Property Services plc, owners of Templeton LPA, the specialist practice of LPA Receivers.   (Based on analysis of LSL and English Housing Survey data.  Data subject to revision. Quarterly figures revised since last edition as more data became available)

As of the first quarter of 2014, the number of tenants in severe arrears – those more than two months behind on their rent – stands at 68,000, down from 105,000 in the same period last year.  Representing a 35% annual improvement, this comes despite an 11.1% seasonal increase in cases of severe arrears between Q4 2013 and Q1 2014.)  

Comment
Paul Jardine, Director and Receiver at Templeton LPA, comments: “Personal finances are finally defrosting across the UK, with many people experiencing the first real financial spring for half a decade.  Tens of thousands of households are looking forward to a slightly more comfortable year in 2014, without the lurking anticipation of serious rental arrears.

“It’s true there remains a long way to go.  Certainly, for any particular tenant still facing serious hardship, this won’t yet feel like an improvement.  And the seasonal difficulties of the festive period and New Year have taken their usual toll.  But a clear positive trend is emerging.   With three successive quarters showing a sharp annual improvement in the number of such cases, the chance of tenants falling so far behind is receding.  Slowly but surely a brighter economic picture is breaking through the gloom and is starting to make a real difference to purse strings across the country.”

Read the full tracker
 

 




Top Tips to Beat the Crowd

April 1, 2014 09:34 by YOUR MOVE

With at least three buyers for every property in London and the surrounding areas, the housing market is red hot at the moment, and would be homeowners are being outbid and missing out on their dream homes.

I am constantly being asked by clients and friends how to increase their chances of beating the crowd and be successful in securing an offer before anybody else.

Here are my top tips

1)      Don’t rely on property websites, you may already be too late ! Register with as many agents as you can,  and if possible meet them in person. Give them a clear idea on your requirements. Help them to help you.

2)      Your Estate agent is your new best friend ! Contact them on a regular basis to show them how keen you are. You will be at the forefront of their minds when that right property becomes available.

3)      Be open minded. View as much as you can, this will give you a good idea on what your money will get you. Be prepared to compromise, you will never get the perfect property. Would you be prepared to buy a property needing work in the best street in the town or a much larger property in a slightly cheaper street ? BE AWARE. If you take too long in making a decision, prices will rise and you will have to pay more the longer you look.

4)      Make sure your mortgage is in place. At the very least meet with the estate agents mortgage advisor. This will give the estate agent confidence to introduce you to one of their sellers homes.

5)      Have a solicitor or conveyancer in place before you offer. You will look a more attractive buyer if you are organised and ready to go ! Your estate agent maybe able to suggest the best solicitors to deal with the property you intend to buy.

6)      Go out of your way to view something quickly. Can you dash out in your lunch hour ? If possible take a friend or relative with you to give you a second opinion.

7)      Be aware of any issues with the property. Ask the agent if there is anything you should be made aware of. Knowing any issues now will avoid problems arising at a later stage. The last thing you need is to have to start looking again for another property several months later when prices have risen.

8)      Be prepared to make an immediate offer. Make it clear to the agent on how quickly you can move, and provide them with how you intend to finance the purchase including those solicitor details. You may need to be qualified by the estate agents financial advisor .

9)      Avoid negotiating ! This can take days of going backwards and forwards to agree a price, another buyer can come in and beat you to it ! The best advice is to offer the asking price, you could even offer £500 over to show how keen you are to the seller. Be prepared to enter a bidding war with other buyers. Offer your highest possible figure you’re comfortable with and stick to it.

10)   The longer a sale takes to go through the greater the temptation to the seller to try and get a better price. Don’t take your time ! Implement your mortgage application urgently and ensure you chase your solicitor on a regular basis to turn the legal paperwork around straight way. Your estate agent will help you with this.

 

Good Luck and happy house hunting !

 

by Phil Gulvin, Branch Manager Your Move Sutton, Surrey

 

 




March 2014 First Time Buyer Barometer

March 28, 2014 09:45 by YOUR MOVE

House price expectations fuel first-time buyer spending

- The number of first-time buyers rises 42% year-on-year to 22,400, boosted by Help to Buy
- 81% of first-time buyers anticipate further price rises in the next 12 months
- Average first-time buyer deposit falls to 16 month low of £25,773

Overview
The number of monthly first-time buyers increased 42% year-on-year in February, as buyers snapped up property in anticipation of future price rises and took advantage of better mortgage availability according to the latest First Time Buyer Opinion Barometer from LSL Property Services. There were 22,400 first-time buyer transactions in February 2014, up 42% from 15,800 in February 2013.

Comment
David Newnes, Director of estate agents Your Move, part of LSL Property Services group, said: “The reason first-time buyers are taking advantage of Help to Buy in such numbers is that they expect prices to keep rising. That’s pushing up demand in the short term, which is supporting prices in the long term. Rising prices and growing transaction numbers are encouraging house building, which will boost the country’s housing stock. The question is whether supply will now catch up with demand of its own accord – or does the government need to do more to boost building? It may be time for an overhaul of the planning rules which have hampered house-building in the UK, delivering lower levels of house building at a time when the need for more new housing keeps growing. We asked first-time buyers what they thought house prices will do over the next 12 months and over 80% said they think prices will rise reflecting the fast growth in buyer confidence in the housing market.”

Read the full Barometer




February 2014 Buy-to-Let Index

March 26, 2014 09:30 by YOUR MOVE

 

Rent rises accelerate in February
-Rents across England and Wales rise by 1.6% in twelve months to February
-After first month-on-month rise since October, rents now average £743 per month
-Seven in ten regions see higher rents in February than January
-Second best month on record for tenant finances as proportion of late rent falls to 6.9%
-Landlords earn average annual return of 9.7% (or over £16,000) over last twelve months          

General overview
Annual rent rises across England and Wales have accelerated, according to the latest Buy-to-Let Index from LSL Property Services plc, which owns Your Move.
As of February, the average rent across England and Wales is now 1.6% higher than twelve months ago, currently standing at £743 per month.
This is the fastest annual increase since November 2013, and compares with a year-on-year rise of 1.4% in January this year.
On a monthly basis, rents increased by 0.1% (or approximately £1) between January and February. This represents the first month-on-month increase in residential rents since October 2013.


Regional Snapshot
Seven out of ten regions saw rents rise on a monthly basis between January and February, in line with the monthly increase across England and Wales as a whole.
The sharpest monthly rises were seen in Yorkshire & the Humber and the West Midlands, where in both regions rents rose by 1.2% on a monthly basis. The next fastest monthly rise was in Wales, with a 1.0% increase, while the East Midlands saw rents rise 0.6% between January and February.
Of the three regions to see a monthly fall in rents, the fastest drop was in the South East, down by 1.5% since January. Meanwhile rents fell by 0.6% on a monthly basis in the East of England, and by 0.1% in the North West.

Monthly rents in February: By region
A majority of regions also saw higher rents on an annual basis. The South West saw the quickest rise, up 4.7% from February 2013. This was followed by 3.1% in London and annual rent increase of 2.2% in the North West.
By contrast, rents in the East of England now average 3.1% less than a year ago, followed by a 2.3% annual drop for Wales and a 1.9% annual fall in the West Midlands.

 Read the full index

 




How will the recent budget affect the property market?

March 26, 2014 09:23 by Your Move Chris Stonock

The housing market in the UK is already in recovery mode. The North East has been one of the last regions to feel the benefit but there is no question the market is on the up. Transaction numbers are rising and whilst house prices are just starting to move into positive territory in terms of growth the outlook is brighter than it has been for a number of years.

Confidence in the property market

One of the fundamental drivers of the property market is confidence. People need to feel confident to commit to a housing transaction. It's likely to be the biggest single transaction most people will make and therefore one of the key measures in the budget for the property market is to try and assess whether the budget is likely to increase confidence in the house buying public.

Support economic growth…

Whilst the budget is probably not a game changer for the property market in the North-East the impact is unlikely to hurt the market and there are number of factors which may help. Setting aside the additional support from the help to buy initiative there is good news for business in terms of investment which hopefully will lead to more jobs and support economic growth. There is also positive news in terms of tax thresholds and changes to pensions which should help to boost confidence.

Help to Buy…

The help to buy scheme has been given greater longevity and whilst we need to see the detail this proposal will help the property market by encouraging house building which will be good for the employment market as well as helping the supply of new homes and in turn the choice for homebuyers.

Stamp Duty…

One of the areas that could have been tackled but has been ignored in the budget is the issue of stamp duty. Many commentators believe the growth in house prices has caused stamp duty levels to be artificially high and the thresholds should rise in line with house price inflation to reduce their impact. Such a change would certainly have helped the property market.

Bearing in mind where we are in the economic and political cycle with an election next year this is probably the budget that the property market expected and therefore we should see the current trend of gradual improvement continue. In the light of what we have been through since 2007 that may not be a bad thing




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YOUR MOVE is a multi-award winning estate and letting agent with branches across England and Scotland

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