How Is This Going To Play Out

The great student crisis of Smithdown road

According to the newspapers, backed up by recent university figures, thousands fewer students have applied for university places this autumn and the usual clearing scramble for places after A-level results was much lower than expected.  It has been stated by some universities that there will be a drop of about seven per cent in the numbers applying this September, rising to nine or 10 per cent when applications from English students are counted separately.  last year we had record numbers of applicants trying to beat the £9,000 a year tuition fee hike, but as expected this year has been poor in relation to application.

What This Means

The families I’ve spoken to indicated that the uncertainty in the job market fueled by volume of graduates unable to get a job (let alone a job which reflects the academic qualifications) have also been a factor. If you localise this in term of property to rent in Liverpool, and how the city has been built on an influx of students flocking to a vibrant city, and freely spending on food, drink, good times and most importantly rented accommodation… the good times maybe over.

In the USA, families have attempted to save for their child’s ferociously expensive education, this has led to a save culture in further education. As the exponential rise in tuition fees have been brought on at pace, this is not the case in the UK. It’s reasonable to assume that housing areas that have been regenerated by the student pound where vast amounts of HMO accommodations are available may now be under-threat.

If a three year course costs £27,000 in fees, placing this figure against the last intake cost of £9,000 over the same three year period, will the students choose to live away from home? Would students wish to incur another substantial cost. Areas that have survived and regenerated because of the student housing boom, could now struggle as the demand is sure to reduce, until families have time to implement a university savings plan.

What Should Happen If You Own A Student Rental

We have three possible outcomes to this problem

1) Stay the same, reduce prices and hope the students, who now have market forces on their side, choose your HMO.

2) Sell your home.

3) Convert your asset to a standard rental property.

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Promoting Your Property

How Can I Promote My Property?

Here at Property management Liverpool, we know you’re looking to promote your property to rent in Liverpool.

It can be advantageous if you’re in close proximity to a venue or institution that people love to visit. If you’ve houses to let in Liverpool or a flat to rent at the Albert Dock, then I’m sure the Tate Liverpool fits the bill. E.g. Currently the Tate has the ‘Turner Monet Twombly’ exhibition, and this a remarkable exhibit.

Here is a little bit of information about it, we feel if you’re promoting your property then you should promote local places of interest.

This ambitious exhibition brings together works by J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851), Claude Monet (1840–1926) and Cy Twombly (1928–2011), three of the most prolific and well-known artists of all time. Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings explores the similarities between these artists in style, subject and artistic motivation during the last 20–30 years of their lives.

Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings will feature iconic works such as Monet’s fabulous Water Lilies and Turner’s much loved Romantic landscapes. The exhibition will also include a major work from Twombly’s vibrant and well-received series, Blooming: A Scattering of Blossoms and Other Things, shown in the UK for the first time.

Alongside Turner’s compelling, atmospheric works and the beautiful and emotive art of Monet, Twombly’s original contemporary style adds a fresh and exciting dimension to the exhibition.

For those already familiar with the artists’ work, this exhibition is a revelation; for new audiences, it is a fascinating introduction. Not to be missed.

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More Hidden Costs When Buying A Home

Our experience in the property market, and particularly with property to rent in Liverpool means we’ve become accustomed to the house buying process. This post continues along the theme of hidden costs and how to make savings.

Making an offer and negotiating

If you’re making an offer on a particular property, the asking price must always be treated as a guide. The seller, like most negotiators, is trying to get the best possible deal and may not be expecting you to meet the asking price. It is very important to remember there will almost certainly be a counter off.

Deciding on an opening offer can be a precarious state of affairs. Too low and you risk alienating the seller or being outbid. Too high and you could end up paying too much for the property. It is prudent to firstly determine your maximum amount you’re willing to offer, and then consider how low you’d like to start your offer on the property.

To find this amount, glean as much information as you can about the sellers, the previous cost of the house (can be found on property aggregation sites) and the prices other homes in the area have sold for an current costs

Saving for a deposit

There are obvious benefits to putting down a large deposit when you start the home-buying process. The obvious one is that it will make it that much easier for you to get a mortgage. You’ll also immediately have equity in your property. The larger your deposit, the more protected you are in the event of your property dropping in value; the property would have to experience a drop in value the size of your entire deposit before you were in negative equity.

The first obvious step to saving a deposit for your home is to write yourself a budget. The second obvious step, and the one that will no doubt prove the more difficult, is sticking to that budget.

Evaluate all of your expenditure. Determine what is necessary (rent, council tax, etc) and what you could possibly cut back on or eliminate altogether.

Think about this;

  • Can I afford Sky TV?
  • Do i need to eat out more than once a week, can I bring food from home for lunch.
  • Do I make a lot of expensive phone calls?
  • Do I have too many credit cards? Should I consolidate my debt?
  • The gym membership i never use
  • Do I really need that new book/magazine/car/plasma TV/outfit etc, or do I just want it?

Thinking hard about these extra costs could really help you with paying a mortgage

Alternatively, If you’re looking for a house for rent Liverpool. Visit our sponsors at Bluerow Lettings.

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Why Would You Buy A Property… Hidden Costs

Do you know the full cost of buying a home?

 

Here are some expenses you will have to keep in mind.

The cost of your property isn’t the only price you see on in the estate agents window. For example, a lot of buyers, especially first-timers, go over budget on the purchase of their house simply because they haven’t factored in stamp duty.

This means if you have a property to let in Liverpool, you’re in a strong position, as prospective buyers simply wouldn’t be able to afford the full cost of buying a property… particularly first timers.

Here is what a buyer needs to think about;

Home Insurance

Costs vary with this one. It’s a postcode lottery, the same city and depending on your property could mean you pay as little as £170 or as much as per £700

You probably won’t be able to get a mortgage without having it, or at least having the intention too.

To keep costs down;

  • Shop around
  • Consider switching from your mortgage company to a general insurance provider;
  • Use a good broker that will shop around at renewal time for competitive quotes;
  • Fit high-quality locks on exit doors and windows;
  • Fit a smoke alarm and insurer-approved burglar alarm;
  • Join your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme;
  • Keep valuables to a minimum.

Stamp Duty

Stamp duty is a tax levied by the government on the transfer of properties. Depending on the cost of your property this will be a big one;

  • 1%: Properties of £125,000 to £250,000, but first-time buyers are exempt until 24 March
  • 3%: £250,000 to £500,000
  • 4%: More than £500,000
  • 5%: More than £1m, residential property only

If the purchase price of your house is less than £125,000 you won’t need to pay stamp duty.

Furnishings

Obviously these costs are subjective, but we all know that a bed alone can cost over £1000 and the same for a couch. If you haven’t budgeted, you’re new property could look really really minimal.

You don’t have to buy your furniture all at once, but I’d imagine a minimum of £10,000 to have a standard amount of furniture and fittings.

Moving Costs

If you have a few houses to let Liverpool, you’ll be very aware already of the moving costs. Few people realise that estate agent’s fees can be massive! I’ve heard of fee’s as much as 6% of the value of the property. Remember these are open to negotiation and can vary between 1% and up to 3% of the purchase price, depending on where you live and the state of the market in your area.

Actually moving will incur costs, and some of you may need a storage solution. You’ll need to be proactive in adding these costs to your budget.

Solicitor’s Fees

Expect to pay solicitors fees of around £550 for a house with a purchase price of £100,000.

So if you want to have a regular income and you have a property available to let, you’re in a very good position.

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Stamp Duty and Mansion Tax?

It Might Be In The Budget

In this blog we discuss all the possible situations that may impact on your houses to let in Liverpool… this is no exception.

It is possible the government may use the Budget to announce they’ll build more homes. Will they overhaul the stamp duty system to help first-time buyers or will in concentrate on a mansion tax!

A few days ago, the NewBuy scheme was unveiled by the government, a new-build home could be purchased with a deposit of just 5 or 10 per cent. Obviously this is aimed at helping first-time buyers but what about other socio-economic groups struggling to recover from the economic slowdown. In our experience many homeowners not just first-timers are also struggling to recover from the slowdown.

Alongside this George Osborne is expected to unveil new plans that target the ‘super rich’ with a so called ‘mansion tax’. Around 45,000 homes in England and Wales are thought to be worth at least £2million and would be impacted, with roughly 80 per cent located in London.

Conversely, The Chancellor will also use the Budget to signal a major housebuilding programme which goes hand-in-hand with the NewBuy scheme, with plans for around 500,000 new homes and a relaxation of planning laws.

Many believe that property in the UK is over-taxed in comparison to neighbouring European countries and the Government should be focusing its attention on stamp duty to help get the property market moving. The Chancellor must take more urgent action to make it easier for first-time buyers to get on the first rung of the housing ladder – and to also make it less expensive for existing homeowners to move.

Although the impact of the duty is seen as particularly harsh above the £250,000 threshold, a price level which includes a quarter of first-time buyers in London and the South East the leafier suburbs of Liverpool, Merseyside and Cheshire will also be affected.

The numbers show that even buying a home for £275,000 for example, would see £8,250 go to the Government in the form of stamp duty. This will impact on the rental market, so if you have a house to rent Liverpool, you’ll be rooting for a stamp duty restructure.

We’ll have to wait till Wednesday to find out more.

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Is This The Right Time To Buy?

Well… Should we buy?

Down the line, we care about Liverpool property to rent. But it’s important that buyers can actually get on the property ladder, so we do have rental properties to market. The news from those who know such things, is that property transactions are at an 18 month high.

The stamp duty holiday has nearly ended (end of March) and buyers believe that house prices are no longer expected to fall!

The impact of the stamp duty holiday finishing at the end of March means that market activity is currently at a frenzied rate, with savvy buyers hoping to beat the government, and get a good deal.

We’ve spoken to brokers and they believe that now is a time for renewed housing market optimism. Our contacts around the county are reporting confidence for the future, and a belief that the housing market has finally stabilised. Buyers believe the market won’t drop any further… in fact they feel prices are starting to rise.

Conversely, if you have property to rent in Liverpool, you need to work harder to market this property. You should look at a property management company who are experienced in marketing rental properties.

With the property market, sustainability is key, banks need to be flexible and this can only be reflected in affordable mortgage finance. This may still be a little out of reach for first-time buyers.

The good news for buyers is that increasing confidence hasn’t yet led to higher prices.

Therefore maybe now is the best time to buy… if you’re a first timer.

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The 2012 Rental Market

What Does 2012 Rental Market Look like?

Looking ahead to 2012, lettings agents predict the market will be similar in terms of strong demand, but that property stocks will begin to improve as investors turn to the PRS as a viable alternative to the volatile stock market and low interest rates. “We are seeing a small but significant increase in enquiries from buy to let landlords seeking our advice at the initial stage of purchasing which suggests that investment in the PRS will increase,” comments Ms Thompson. “Those who are investing now are benefiting from the lowest purchase prices for years and can expect yields of 5 or 6 per cent with good prospects for capital gains in the long term. We are also seeing a number of larger scale investors return to the market, diverting capital back into property. However, due to the financial climate, investors are being very cautious over their choice of property and will only proceed where they can secure a very competitive purchase price.”

In addition to new investment, we expect more rental properties to come onto the market in the coming months from people giving up on the sales market, and from people who inherit property choosing to let rather than sell in the current market… good news if you wish to rent a flat in Liverpool. We are also seeing some long-term tenants moving out of the sector once they have saved a deposit to buy their own homes which is freeing up accommodation for new tenants. “An increase in rental properties will benefit everyone in the lettings market and facilitate more movement for those relying on the PRS over the medium to long-term, says Ms Thompson. “Many couples and families need to move up the rental ladder to larger properties which will ensure continued demand across all property types.”

Whilst market conditions for houses to let Liverpool will remain positive for landlords, they look set to improve for tenants in 2012. But we have a warning about the continued lack of legislation in the industry. Says Ms Thompson: “2011 saw the government confirming that it has no plans to regulate letting agents, a decision we are very disappointed by. At a time when more people than ever are turning to this sector, landlords and tenants need protection from unscrupulous and incompetent letting agents. Many are unaware that there is no proper regulation governing letting agents, despite the plethora of legislation that applies to letting itself. If letting agents do not know and comply with the regulations, properties can be unsafe, client money can be at risk and the landlord’s and tenant’s interests unprotected during the tenancy.

With formal regulation of letting agents unlikely, our advice to landlords and tenants is simple: only use an agent with many years experience, a good reputation and above all, that is a member of a professional body such as ARLA, NAEA or RICS. These organisations are self-regulating and ensure that member agents comply with a rigorous code of conduct and that clients’ money is held in separate, properly protected accounts.

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More On The Lettings Market 2011

The Lettings Market 2012 in detail

 

If you have flats to rent in Liverpool, then you’ll know that this has been a bumper year! We want to provide information for prospective landlords who may wish to rent a house in Liverpool, to give them an indication of how last year really was a successful one regarding letting a property.

The lettings market during 2011 has been characterised by exceptionally high demand for accommodation with many tenants having to compete for a limited supply of properties. This has led to rising rents, attractive yields and greater confidence in the market for landlords. The UK’s largest independent letting specialist, Leaders, looks back at the market during 2011 and makes its predictions for 2012.

“A consistent theme throughout 2011 has been insufficient property to meet demand,” says Leaders’ director, Allison Thompson. “Whilst this has been frustrating because we have not been able to help as many tenants as we would like, it has been very positive for landlords who have seen their properties let quickly and for good rents.

“The slow sales market has been fuelling the rental market, pushing more people into either renting, letting or both while they wait it out. The start of 2011 saw the greatest shortage of property across all price ranges but stocks gradually improved over the year, bringing more balance to the market. That said, the New Year will, as always, be a busy time, and good quality properties will not stay available long.”

Leaders reports that all types of property let well during 2011, particularly newly built and better presented properties. Tenants are renting for longer, on average 18-24 months. Many are saving a deposit to buy their own home or are not moving because of the costs involved and the lack of choice in the sales and rental markets. This is good for landlords’ security but does mean that tenants are more discerning and will only consider well presented properties with modern kitchens and bathrooms and good quality, neutral décor.

Across Leaders’ 60 branches, demand has generally been highest for one and two bedroom properties and three bedroom family homes in the low-to-mid rent range, with lower demand for bigger, more expensive properties. Higher value properties of £1500 + per month have been slower to let. However, 2011 has seen signs of improvement in the corporate market for executive apartments, with demand now similar to pre-recession levels in 2007/08.

“Many of our landlords have seen their rental income increase significantly this year and we have consistently secured higher rents when re-letting properties,” says Ms Thompson. “However it should be remembered that these rent increases follow a period of falling or static rents from 2007-10, when supply exceeded demand and it was a tenants’ market. We expect the rise in rents to slow in 2012 to a more sustainable level but to remain strong. Despite the high demand, it is crucial that rents reflect these cost-conscious times; if a property is priced too high it will not let. An independent expert is key to valuing the property to ensure the best possible rent is achieved without risking costly void periods.”

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Rental Market Review 2011

2011 Rental Market Review: Tenant demand increases by 15%

If you have apartments in Liverpool to rent, you may already know that the number of new tenants looking for rental accommodation has substantially grown this past year. In fact the market has grown by 15% in Q3 2011 compared to the same period last year, according to Countrywide, the UK’s largest lettings and property services Group.

The Group’s quarterly research into the private rental sector found that despite marginal increases in new rental properties coming to the market, demand continues to outstrip supply with an average of five tenants competing for each available rental property.

In fact, this high demand has fuelled tenants to snap up properties in record average of 13.3 days – half a day quicker than in Q2 2011, even though the number of rental properties available has increased since Q1 2011.

Countrywide, also uncovered some significant changes the types of properties available to rent, measuring an influx in the availability of larger family homes across the UK. Nationally, 3+ bedroom properties now account for 41% of all rental properties, compared to less than a third of properties in Q2 last year (32%), suggesting the return of buy-to-let investors and sellers looking to let out their unsold family homes.

Regionally, the areas that have seen the biggest leap in the proportion of 3+ bedroom properties available to rent are the North West ( good news if you have a house to let in Liverpool) and West Midlands. 3+ bedroom properties now account for half of all rental properties in the North West, compared to a mere 28% in Q3 2010. These larger properties also make up 45% of all rental stock in the West Midlands, compared to 21% last year. In comparison, the type of rental properties available in London has barely changed over the twelve months, with around a third of properties falling into the 3+ bedroom category.

“Feedback from our branches shows that lots of unsuccessful sellers have chosen to ‘let-to-move’, tempted by the prospect of a quicker return on investment by letting out their property. Interestingly, some sellers may also be looking to ‘rent-to-move’ whilst they wait for both a realistic offer on their unsuitable property and their ideal home to come along at the right price.”

“Whilst future house price movements remain uncertain and as the mismatch of buyer & seller expectation continues, we are seeing landlord void periods fall and expect this high level of demand to continue.  Viewings are at record highs and there is still an average of five tenants competing for each available rental property, so although the location, price and condition of the property remain important, property undoubtedly remains a sound investment for those hoping to take advantage of high tenant demand.”

Regional highlight:

- North West: In this region, there is an average of 3.9 applicants vying for each available property, unchanged from Q1 2011. In Q2, 31.3% of all properties let were three bedroom homes.

If you’re after a property management company in Liverpool, who can help you to take advantage of this trend then call  us on 0151 709 9638

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We Hope You All Know

Didn’t you know, Home information packs (HIPS) have been scrapped?

Home-owners selling properties are no longer be required to produce a home information pack (HIP), after the government announced they will be scrapped in May 2010.

In 2007 the government launched HIPS, and they became compulsory for anyone selling a home, they’ve been continually criticised by estate agents for adding to complexity of the buying and selling process. With price tags ranging from £200 – £400, we’re not surprised.

The Government hoped this action would encourage property sellers to get back onto the marketing and grow the economy.

EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates) are still mandatory under EU law, but the cost is around £60. Estate Agents, unreservedly welcomed this news!

A drawback, instead of a stimulus, we’ve now put lots of businesses responsible for HIPS creation, out of work. Some critics believed that home-buying process would become more expensive as a result of the abolition of the packs, with buyers having to pay for the searches contained within the HIP.

A year and 6 months on…

Has it worked? As we have lots of properties to let in Liverpool, we regularly look at local housing market reports.

We can’t be sure! The general cost of housing has reduced in most price brackets, the criteria for borrowing has tightened as borrowing factors are more stringent.

How are people expected to get on the property ladder when mortgages are more difficult to obtain for low and middle income families? Employment is rising and the banks cost of borrowing is growing at epic proportions.

The lettings market has certainly come out on top. It is still highly regulated, but demand for furnished properties is at a high.

It may not be the time to sell your property, dependent on your personal financial situation, but if you have a property to rent or even better a flat to rent in Liverpool, I can imagine you’ll get your hand bitten off.

Remember, becoming a landlord, is for some a full time occupation as demands placed on the home-owner are substantial.

Lettings agents are a quick, easy, to get the most out of your property and most importantly, hassle free!

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