Tag Archives: Housing market

Autumn Statement 2013 and the housing market Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property Market News

The Chancellor, George Osborne in his Autumn Statement 2013 has confirmed that as from April 2015 foreign owners of UK property will pay Capital Gains Tax.

Foreign investment into the London property market in particular has been hotly debated including in Property118 as a cause for concern. The London market has been rising out of step with the rest of the country with fears of a housing bubble and inflationary pressures putting at risk the UK’s economic recovery.

Indeed it lead to the Bank of England withdrawing its support of the Funding for Lending Scheme to the whole of the UK’s housing market recently in an effort to cool future prices.

Mr Osborne said, “Britain is an open country that welcomes investment from all over the world, including investment in our residential property, but it’s not right that those who live in this country pay capital gains tax when they sell a home that is not their primary residence  while those who don’t live here do not.”

However I do think it is less about what is fair and more about protecting us from boom and bust pressures caused by the transient nature of foreign investment. Wealthy investors in particular from China and Russia have been buying properties in London as have Eurozone citizens hedging against a possible break up of the single currency.

There was also acknowledgement by Mr Osborne that housing supply must be encouraged to support a stable market and that £1billion will be offered in loans to boost housing developments in Manchester and Leeds, among other sites. Also that the Help to Buy Scheme will be further supported increasing demand and hopefully encouraging supply with Aldermore and Virgin Money adding to the availability of loans to residential purchasers.

Also the Housing Revenue Account borrowing limit which allows councils to borrow against its housing stock is to rise by £300m allowing greater flexibility in the provision of Social Housing. Councils will also be encouraged to sell off the most expensive social housing, Council Right to Buy Schemes will be further supported and rundown urban housing estates regenerated.

On the Banking side, which also has a direct effect on the supply and demand of housing, from the 1st of January 2014, the rate of the bank levy will rise to 0.156%. This is estimated to raise £2.7bn in 2014-15 and £2.9bn each year from 2015-16. Mr Osborne said that it was only right that the banking system continues to support the UK’s recovery.

£100 million of the fines raised from the Banking Libor manipulation scandal will also be given to military and emergency services charities.

Looking purely at Macro economics, growth forecasts for GDP this year increased from 0.6% to 1.4%. Next year revised up from 1.8% to 2.4%, and also up for the following four years to 2.2%, 2.6%, 2.7% and 2.7%. This would place GDP growth exactly where the Bank of England is targeting for the medium term without putting inflationary pressure on interest rates.

Government borrowing and how it is spending public finances and raising taxes is of a wider more political nature and not something I really want to get into in this report.Autumn statement 2013


Funding for Lending Scheme withdrawn for household market Latest Articles, Property Market News

The Bank of England have withdrawn their support for the Funding for Lending Scheme, but only to the household market.

The Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) has been successful in reducing the cost of lending for banks in the mortgage market and contributed to a fall in the cost of borrowing to homeowners. However the Bank of England (BoE) have decided to pull back on stimulating mortgage lending by stopping the FLS scheme which allowed banks to borrow £1 from the BoE at very low rates for every £1 they lend to households.

The concern is the impact a fall in house prices would have on household and bank balance sheets if average household debt was to continue to rise. This was triggered by the latest three month figures showing average  house prices have increased by 6.9%. The BoE did comment that this was mostly localised to the South East, but they were “concerned about the prospective evolution of the market in the absence of some of these changes.”

The potential risk to UK financial stability as borrowing grows in the housing market is a consideration rather than an immediate fear and why it is prudent to take the foot off the accelerator now, but since the credit crisis the Banks have all recapitalised, so the long term risks to their balance sheets and a future crises is now much lower.

£17.6bn was withdrawn under the FLS in 11 months by banks and building societies, but lending to businesses continues to decline.

The FLS will continue to provide support to business lending by offering £5 of cheap BoE funds for every £1 banks lend and with the target for these funds skewed towards SMEs.

Mr Carney said “the changes announced today refocus the FLS where it is most needed – to underpin the supply of credit to small businesses over the next year – without providing further broad support to household lending that is no longer needed.”

The Bank of England are being cautious with the continued recovery not to over stimulate one market by using the tools they have at their disposal with a light touch.

As ever though it is always more complicated with London being the driver of the market growth and a unique economic micro climate compared to the rest of the country. Might a possible alternative or additional solution be making foreign investors pay Capital Gains Tax. This would certainly take some heat out of the London market and increase tax revenues, but by how much, and do we need foreign investment into the country more than the problems it causes in one localised market.

Answers on a postcard please (well actually comments below would be easier).Funding for Lending Scheme


ONS report record average house price now £247,000 Latest Articles

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) have reported the average house price in Britain is now £247,000. This figure reported for August 2013 is 0.3% higher than the previous record in 2008.

Year on year house price inflation increased from 3.3% in July to 3.8% in August this year

However the Bank of England are warning that the Governments Help to Buy scheme could cause an artificial distortion of the market pushing up prices.

Martin Weale, a member of the monetary policy committee (MPC), confirmed average house price rises were “appreciably more rapid” than the Bank of England had expected. Weale said “if the mortgage-guarantee element of Help to Buy is not priced satisfactorily, it will add to demand while supply is weak leading to increased pressure on prices.”

“Rising house prices may make people feel cheerful and more prosperous, thereby supporting household spending, but rising house prices impose a burden on those who do not yet own houses but aspire to in the future. Like government borrowing, rising house prices can crowd out productive investment.”

Sir Jon Cunliffe, deputy governor of the Bank of England said he would keep a “very firm eye” on lenders, but “it is too early to say we are entering into a bubble.”

The Bank of England are however, known to be critical of short term artificial manipulation of the mortgage/housing market in favor of more sustainable long term growth of available lending provided by the finance markets themselves.

ONS key Findings:

  • In the 12 months to August 2013 UK house prices increased by 3.8%, up from a 3.3% increase in the 12 months to July 2013.
  • House price growth remains stable across most of the UK, although prices in London are increasing faster than the UK average.
  • The year-on-year increase reflected growth of 4.1% in England, 1.1% in Northern Ireland and 1.0% in Wales, offset by a fall of 0.7% in Scotland.
  • In August 2013, the UK HPI surpassed its previous peak in January 2008 (185.5) by 0.3%.
  • Annual house price increases in England were driven by London (8.7%), the East Midlands (3.8%) and the West Midlands (3.5%).
  • Excluding London and the South East, UK house prices increased by 2.1% in the 12 months to August 2013.
  • On a seasonally adjusted basis, UK house prices increased by 0.5% between July and August 2013.
  • In August 2013, prices paid by first-time buyers were 4.9% higher on average than in August 2012. For owner-occupiers (existing owners), prices increased by 3.3% for the same period.

However Economist are reporting overall activity to be well below levels recorded before the financial crisis and it is only London prices that are causing a concern as to whether they are sustainable or not.

If you take the weighting effect of high London prices most house prices around the country are still 10-15% below their pre-crunch peak and we are a long way off seeing a market wide housing bubble.average house price


Buy to Let Mortgages to remain legal announces EU Latest Articles, NLA - National Landlords Association

The Mortgage Directive, officially known as the ‘Credit Agreements Related to Residential Property Directive’ (CARRP) attempted to create a single regulatory framework which would govern all mortgages within the European Union. The EU lobbied hard for this directive so that EU citizens would understand the regularity regimes when purchasing properties in different member states.

However, in constructing the Directive, the EU Commission didn’t take into account the nuances of unusual mortgage products such as buy-to-let that exist in some member states. Therefore, when the Directive was sent to the European Parliament, the text would have made buy-to-let mortgages illegal. This would have been catastrophic for the UK’s private-rented sector.

Had the Directive passed in its original form, it would have been disastrous for landlords operating in the UK’s private-rented sector and the economy as a whole. Buy to Let Mortgages to remain legal announces EU

The final text is now going through the trialogue process which involves all 27 Heads of State and the European Parliament who will analyse the new text before voting on the new Directive to sign it off.

David Cox, Senior Policy Officer for the NLA says:

“The NLA is very pleased with the EU’s decision to exclude buy-to-let mortgages from the Directive. We have lobbied hard to ensure the UK’s main facility for investing in property to rent can remain in place.

“The private-rented sector is currently the only growing part of the UK’s housing market and I am certain that a mortgage Directive including buy-to-let mortgages would have prohibited this.

“This really is a success for the NLA and its European colleagues.”


Housing Bubble fears – genuine or an overreaction? Latest Articles, Property News

There has been a great deal of commentary in the press the last couple of days raising fears of a housing bubble.

Rightmove increased its forecast for the year from 4% to 6% leading to headlines calling for government to do something about concerns of a debt fuelled crisis in the housing market.

Yes prices are rising, but we are seeing sustained recovery for the first time since the credit crisis outside the economic microcosm of London?

It is this recovery for most of the country, in areas where prices have fallen or been static for a long time and not just one area, that has surely seen the forecast rise recently.

Rightmove report asking prices in London are up 8.2% on a year ago with:

West Midlands up 6.8%

South East  up 5.6%

Wales up 3.8 %

East Anglia up 0.8%

The North 0%

Yorkshire and Humberside fell 1.3%.

Overall in the UK asking prices are 4.5% higher than this time last year and have increased on average by £16,000 so far in 2013.

So the questionare:-

  • are we right to be worried?
  • what factors are involved
  • and can we do anything about it?

First of all we need to consider what is really causing prices to rise. Is it demand lead where we are all earning more money, unemployment is down and mortgages are easier to obtain?

Alternatively is it the lack of supply in new housing that is putting the upward pressure on prices?

In terms of industry sector contribution to GDP (Gross Domestic product – the output of the economy) it is the building industry that suffered the worst during the recession and is taking the longest to recover.

In terms of scale, the supply side of new housing has suffered more than any recovery in the economy recently, so it may be this which is the biggest factor for the country as a whole. However, in London there have been many reports that foreign money, especially from Arab states and China, is being invested into the London housing market and could be an external factor fuelling demand lead increases that we can’t control.

At some point limiting factors such as purchasers income and the size of deposits required will come into play with income multipliers and maximum LTVs only able to sustain a certain level of house prices before demand slows back down. This is where regulation of lending could dampen an over heating market putting in place restrictions on lending criteria.

One of the biggest and most immediate fears of property investors is the Bank of England increasing the Bank Base Rate to curb any house price inflation. This is now less likely as the BofE are no longer just targeting inflation levels, but also have the wider remit of encouraging the growth of GDP. Therefore it is less likely that they would consider harming the recovery by increasing interest rates, and more likely that they would look to use regulation of lending to control this specific inflationary pressure.

The Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee will meet tomorrow, when it will reportedly discuss the issue of a housing bubble and what action it could take.

I certainly see no evidence that we need to panic yet, but it would be very interesting to get readers thoughts on this subject.Housing Bubble


Rics want a 5% annual price rise cap House Prices, Latest Articles

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) want a 5% annual price rise cap for houses that triggers restrictions on mortgage  income multipliers or maximum Loan to Value.

Although Rics did say that sellers  under their plans would not face a limit on how much they could sell their homes for.

Joshua Miller, senior economist at Rics, wants to halt a debt-fuelled house price advance and said “the Bank of England now has the ability to take the froth out of future housing market booms, without having to resort to interest rate increases. Capping price growth at, say, 5% is one way of doing this.”

“This cap would send a clear and simple statement to the public and the banking sector, managing expectations as to how much future house prices are going to rise. We believe firmly anchored house price expectations would limit excessive risk taking and, as a result, limit an unsustainable rise in debt.”

Sir Howard Davies,  a former deputy governor of the Bank, does not think this kind of cap would work and said “The problem is that we are not building enough homes.”

This is a good point as it is clearly the lack of supply that is pushing up house prices especially in the capital rather than increased demand because we are all better off now than before the recession started.

Then there is the question of regional differences. Do you smother any potential housing market recovery in areas outside London that have not seen the same rises and if not how do you tell an National high street bank to have different criteria and systems in different parts of the country.

This would be clearly unrealistic, unworkable and unpalatable for lenders.

The Housing Market is very mature and almost free to work on the pure economic principles of prices being dictated by supply and demand. It is therefore very difficult to control directly without looking at all the factors that influence it.

Rics may be naive in thinking simplistic one sided controls like this are the answer to the problems of a very complex housing market and its demographic and social issues.Rics


A call to convert 66,000 student HMO’s back to family homes? Latest Articles

I have been having a catch up on my on-line reading over this weekend and I have just come across an article which, in my opinion is very ill-informed. A call to convert 66,000 student HMO's back to family homes

Housing supply in many UK cities is being restricted by the conversion of family housing to student lets and local tenants are being prices out, according to new research. International real estate adviser Savills estimates that 66,000 properties or Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO) now occupied by students could be freed up for conventional family housing through the delivery of more purpose built student accommodation”

The first thing that I would say is that only students want to live near students and the last place I would want to bring up my family is in an area that is highly populated by students.  I love my students tenants but they do not keep regular hours and often return late at night in a happy and noisy mood. There are other issues too but I won’t go into those, most of us who let to students will know what I mean.

For me, the most important point that has been missed is that the cost of converting a family home into a student HMO is colossal and this, coupled with the purchase prices in popular areas, means that landlords have invested a massive amount of money in their properties – will families really want to pay the prices that would cover this investment and also convert the property back to a family home?

In my book “Will You Survive the Mayhem”, I talk about the future of the student market where student numbers are reducing in many areas and there is an oversupply. I have given my predictions of the future of the market and I have warned landlords that we may need a plan “B”.  Plan “B” must, however, take into account that many landlords have big debts on their properties and could not afford to use them for family lets because of the reduced income. There are other markets for which these properties could be used which are realistic and would help to increase supply but Savills are dreaming if they really think that building more purpose built student accommodation is the answer to the shortage of family homes.  They have also overlooked the fact that students can’t wait to get out of “institutional” accommodation and share little houses, at least for their middle year, and there are many empty rooms in purpose build student accommodation in areas where the student population has receded since the increase in University fees.

The article goes on to say

The result is a double whammy for local non student tenants and aspiring home owners. Not only do students price other tenants out of many family housing areas in major UK towns and cities, credit conditions post downturn have favoured landlord investors rather than less equity rich potential owner occupier buyers. ‘Local council coffers would also gain. We calculate that reinstating these student HMOs to homes for non student residents would boost council tax returns by around £1.5 million per town or city, since student only houses are council tax exempt,’ said Savills research analyst, Neal Hudson.”

All local authorities get increased Government funding to cover the cost of Council Tax exemptions for students, the local authority would not be better off if these properties were converted back to family homes, they would in fact be worse off because they would lose the additional “automatic” income and would have to recover it from the families who live there.

The one statement I do agree with in this article is this

“Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning Act proposes restricting new HMO supply which could push students and associated landlord demand into smaller properties, pricing out other occupier and tenant groups.”

I also talked about this in my book because Article 4 Directions are ill-conceived and, in my opinion, will soon sigh and die.

Finally the article says

“For the institutional investor in student housing the UK market offers a mature, counter cyclical investment opportunity”.

Wrong again, I have given a lot of evidence in my book that shows how the student market will continue to recede in all but the Red Brick university areas, many of those are already building campi in the most popular sending countries, and many investors will catch a cold by investing in purpose built student blocks in the next few years.

I am struggling to understand why investors are not being encouraged to put their cash into funds to build more family homes, since we all agree that this is an area of increasing demand and it is very unlikely that the demand will do anything other than grow year on year?

Am I missing something, do Savills know something that I don’t know?

Follow me on Twitter @landlordtweets

My book, where I warn about the storm clouds that are gathering for landlords is here >>> http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1484855337


Rightmove report holiday season price drop Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Rightmove report a drop in August of 1.8% (-£4,459) in new sellers’ asking prices, which is the first monthly fall recorded in 2013.

However the recovering market means the traditional holiday season price dip is less pronounced than usual as the underlying recovery in the housing market continues, with the price of property coming to market up by an average of 8.8% (+£20,210) in the first eight months of the year.

August also saw a new record asking price for ‘flats and apartments’ property type. Buyer demand is set to increase further when Help to Buy starts assisting purchasers of second-hand property in January, highlighting the need for greater property supply to meet growing demand and mitigate unsustainable upwards price pressure. It is imperative that Government communications around January’s extension of Help to Buy do not neglect the need to stimulate supply as well as demand.

  • Demand from home-movers is already returning with the number of email leads sent from Rightmove to agents and developers up 17% year-to-date.
  • Property transactions are also up 5% while the supply of property coming to market lags behind increasing by a mere 0.2% so far this year – record prices for flats highlight the issue.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst comments:

“A holiday season price dip is the norm in August, with an average drop in the last five years of over 2%. Even with this month’s below par 1.8% fall, the national average asking price is still up by more than £20,000 so far in 2013. Demand is already on the up, and that’s before the roll-out of phase two of the Help to Buy stimulus. It is now critical that the supply of property improves so that the goal of a significant increase in transaction numbers is not over-shadowed by an unsustainable boom in property prices. Flats are most in demand by first-time buyers and buy-to-let investors and we have seen prices for this property type hit their highest ever level as supply fails to keep up with an increase in demand at the bottom of the market.”

The peak holiday month of August is traditionally volatile, with asking price falls recorded every year since 2007. Fewer sellers come to market, down 8% on last month, with discretionary sellers more focused on holidays and content to wait for the busier Autumn selling season. Sellers who do come to market during August tend to have a more pressing reason to sell and consequently price more aggressively.

Shipside observes: “The underlying recovery in the housing market continues, with the price of property coming to market up in seven out of the first eight months of the year. However, outside of London and the South East it is weaker than the 5.5% annual gain headline figure suggests. Prices in the capital are 10.2% higher than this time last year compared with an average of just 2.8% for the rest of the country. While prices are up, transaction volumes still remain constrained by risk-averse lenders’ high deposit requirements and a lack of fresh property supply”.

We are already seeing early signs of demand outstripping supply and the Government needs to ensure that the current new build Help to Buy scheme, and its extension in January to second-hand homes, deliver more properties onto the market as well as boosting demand. The number of properties coming to market so far in 2013 is up just 0.2% on the same eight months in 2012, an increase of just 1,664 properties. However, this marginal improvement in fresh supply is outstripped by a 5% jump in transactions1 and a 17% annual increase in email leads to agents and developers from Rightmove so far this year. The natural lag between an increase in demand and a corresponding increase in supply could cause a short-term step-up in house price inflation over and above what is currently being seen. When, or if, property supply responds will be key in determining how long and how marked any inflationary period might be.

It is therefore vital that the Government’s communication around the January extension of Help to Buy encourages sellers to take advantage of increased demand and put their property on the market, thus increasing supply. Economic recovery, low interest rates and Help to Buy are all positive factors boosting housing demand. However, to improve muted transaction volumes further and satisfy pent-up demand it needs to be balanced by more existing home-owners trading up, more landlords selling, more homes

Rightmove house price index

 

 

 

 

 

 

.


CML reports 26% growth in Mortgage Lending Landlord News, Latest Articles, Mortgage News

The Council of Mortgage Lenders CML reports that total gross mortgage lending increased to £15 billion in June, which is 2%  more than £14.7 billion in May this year and 26% higher than the total of £11.9 billion in June 2012.

This is the highest monthly figure for gross lending since October 2008.

Gross lending for the second quarter of 2013 was therefore an estimated £42 billion. This represents a 24% increase from the previous three months and is the highest quarterly estimate since Q4 2008.

CML chief economist Bob Pannell said:

“Improvements in the cost and availability of mortgage credit are underpinning a meaningful recovery in the housing market. In recent months, we have seen the strongest performance for mortgage lending since 2008.

“However, although the pace of first-time buyer activity is approaching a quarter of a million per annum, it is worth bearing in mind that this is still barely half of activity rates a decade earlier, and so far below what might be considered normal levels.”CML


NUS also report on The Private Rented Sector Review Landlord News, Latest Articles

The National Union of Students (NUS) has welcomed The Private Rented Sector review from the Communities and Local Government Select Committee on which has set out a series of proposals to correct serious flaws in the private rented housing market.

One of the report’s recommendations, which NUS suggested in its evidence, is to bring the level of regulation for letting agents up to the same level as that for estate agents. The report also proposes that agents be required to publish a full-breakdown of fees in adverts and that they be prevented from charging both tenants and landlords for the same things.

Students, often renting for the first time, can be the victims of unscrupulous letting agents and would be a major beneficiary should the government take the proposals forward.

Among the Select Committee’s recommendations are calls for tenants’ rights and responsibilities to be more widely promoted to them. This is an area where NUS and students’ unions could play a significant role as students are often not yet well versed in their rights and tend to move at similar times making the timing of promotional work easier.

NUS gave both written and oral evidence to the Committee during their inquiry in May 2013.

Colum McGuire, NUS Vice-President (Welfare), said:

“Substandard letting agents have been able to get away with overcharging and shoddy practice for far too long and it is imperative that the government quickly take forward these proposals.

“Tenants should be able to expect the same standards when they rent a home as they would if they were buying. The cost of student housing is rising at an alarming rate and while standards are improving in some places with the introduction of students’ union run landlord accreditation schemes, students need to know that their agent is not ripping them off.

“It is a pity that the Select Committee have not recommended a national registration which would be able to shut down bad landlords who operate nationwide but nonetheless their proposals would be a huge leap forward for beleaguered tenants.”students


NAEA report 14 percent rise in house hunters Latest Articles, Property News

The latest figures from the National Association of Estate Agents NAEA housing market report revealed another monthly increase in the average number of sales made by NAEA members. Average sales increased from nine per branch in April to ten in May. This follows a continued rise from the beginning of the year, where in January the number of sales reported by NAEA members was only seven per branch.

The NAEA also report a 14% rise in the average number of house hunters compared with last year’s figures – up from an average of 274 per branch in May 2012 to 313 in May 2013. This is in addition to a month-on-month improvement, up from an average of 310 in April 2013 and 286 in March 2013.

Meanwhile, the average number of first time buyers (FTBs) has dropped from 23 per cent in April to 20 percent in May, which suggests more still needs to be done to help this section of the market. The supply of properties also saw a slight decrease from 61 average properties for sale per branch in April to 60 in May, possibly due to the record sales figures in recent months.

Mark Hayward, Managing Director of the National Association of Estate Agents, said:

“These really are encouraging figures; serious house hunters are continuing to enter the market and are intent on buying. The current low lending rates have created attractive conditions for those with sizable deposits who are thinking of buying or moving home. The story is reversed for first time buyers though with figures down on last month, suggesting that there are still issues surrounding access to finance for this group.

“We are hopeful that this positive trend will continue, with the sunny weather likely to bring even more house hunters to the market; plus if banks continue to compete on rates and offer increasingly attractive deals, savvy homebuyers may find their options in the market increase.”

House hunters graph


Rightmove doubles 2013 forecast for house prices Latest Articles, Property Market News, Property News

Rightmove doubles 2013 forecast for house prices as it reports ‘aggregation of marginal gains’ fueling a predicted 4.8% annual growth.

There have been seven monthly rises on the trot and two consecutive record months as the price of newly marketed property increases by 0.3% (+£860) in July boosting year-on-year growth to 4.8% (+£11,561)

Rightmove’s 2013 forecast has been increased from 2% to 4% as latest increases fuel recovery of the housing market.

There are signs finally of a broader-based recovery with all regions up year-on-year for the first time in nearly three years contributing to the positive national picture. Confidence in the market is said to be on the up with the proportion of people expecting average prices to be higher a year from now doubling compared to this time last year, now at 62% from 31%.

Rightmove reports an increase in movers and predicts more to come as property transactions are already up 5% year-to-date and lead indicators suggest more in the pipeline. Email enquiries to agents and developers are up 18% on 2012, new sellers up 5%, mortgage approvals up 6%.

It has already been reported that Surveyors are struggling to cope with the increase in demand with waiting lists for surveys pushing up into weeks. This is however also due to the number of Surveyors who have left the market since the Credit Crunch.

Rightmove along with many financial analysts predict a positive borrowing window as markets do not expect a base rate rise for three years. Funding for Lending competition is easing rates and availability of finance, plus the ‘brick-shortage success’ of Help to Buy!


New NLA Chairman is Carolyn Uphill Landlord News, Latest Articles, NLA - National Landlords Association

The National Landlords Association welcomes the new NLA Chairman, Carolyn Uphill, to the helm of the organisation.

Carolyn, formerly the NLA Deputy Chairman, joined the Board of Directors in July 2011 having worked as a Local Representative in Manchester since 2010.

Carolyn has extensive experience as a successful businesswoman and professional landlord letting student and private residential accommodation in and around Manchester.

Having established her own business in 1978, Carolyn successfully developed the enterprise to become a leading construction equipment manufacturer with a seven figure turnover.

In addition to running the business, which she sold in 2008, Carolyn has served as president of the Stockport Chamber of Commerce and continues to shares her wealth of business experience as a business growth consultant and mentor.

As NLA Chairman, Carolyn is keen to ensure the NLA serves and supports the private-rented sector (PRS) by pushing for continuous improvement of standards, greater recognition of landlords’ contribution to society and the economy as well as more cohesion between the private-rented sector’s representative bodies.

Carolyn takes over from David Salusbury, who is stepping down as NLA Chairman but remaining a Director and continuing as Chairman of my|deposits and the UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA). David has led the NLA as Chairman since 2003 and has taken the organisation from a modest membership base of around 4,000 as the Small Landlords Association to a national body working with 39,000 landlords, 21,500 of which are full paying members. As part of its expansion, the NLA has grown to offer a wide range of services and represents landlords’ interests to both local and national government.

Carolyn Uphill, NLA Chairman, says “it is a great honour to be NLA Chairman at such an exciting time for the private-rented sector. During David’s time as Chairman the NLA has become an incredibly useful resource for landlords and an organisation respected by government. I look forward to building upon his success, supporting landlords in their journey towards continually improving standards and ensuring our voice is heard by policy makers.”

David Salusbury, NLA Director and outgoing Chairman, says “chairing the NLA and watching it grow and develop in response to the changing housing market over the last ten years has been a privilege. There have been many challenges along the way and there continue to be hurdles, such as landlord licensing and additional regulations, to address. I am confident that under Carolyn’s leadership the NLA will continue to grow and represent the needs of landlords throughout the country. I look forward to watching the NLA adapt to the needs of the evolving private-rented sector over the coming years.”

The change of Chairman coincides with the celebration of the NLA’s 40th Birthday.NLA logo colour


Labour plans for a National Register of Private Landlords Landlord News, Latest Articles, NLA - National Landlords Association, Property News

labour partyThe Labour Party policy review paper indicated:

The Party is considering creating a national register of private landlords so that people found guilty of criminal acts could be banned from being landlords, by being struck off the register.

The review said there was a small minority of criminal landlords who deliberately prey on the vulnerable with Councils reporting up to 1,500 serial bad landlords. However this is out of a total 3.6 million households in the UK who live in private rented housing.

Jack Dromey, the shadow housing minister said “The private rented sector has an important role to play in meeting housing need, but too many tenants are in poor and sometimes dangerous homes. That’s why Labour has set out proposals to drive standards up and bad landlords out.”

The review also wanted to stamp out the use of “retaliatory eviction” against tenants who complain about the conditions of their property and chase HMRC estimates of £500 million of tax evasion by private Landlords.

Click Here to for full Labour Party review document

 

Chris Norris, Head of Policy at the National Landlords Association (NLA), says:

“The NLA welcomes the Labour Party Policy Review’s focus on ridding the private-rented sector (PRS) of the criminal minority who blight towns and cities throughout the UK. However, we are deeply concerned about the impact of the initiatives discussed on levels of desperately needed investment in private housing. Too often the brunt of regulation intended to combat criminality and bad practice is borne by the professional majority, while a minority of rogue operators continue to evade detection and exploit vulnerable people.

“We look forward to the opportunity to work with politicians on all sides of the debate to identify genuine solutions to the challenges faced by those living and working in the PRS. We believe it is essential that the debate addresses the problems which exist in the housing market, without neglecting the positive role played by private landlords.”

 

The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) warns that tenants in England could soon be less well protected than their Scottish and Welsh counterparts, due to lagging rental regulation.

According to ARLA, with 36% of households in England now renting, regulation of the private rental sector (PRS) – or the lack thereof – is an issue that affects more of the population than ever before.

The Scottish Government will announce a review of its strategy for the PRS on 30 May, while the Welsh Government is due to introduce a Housing Bill before the end of this Assembly term, legislating for a compulsory licensing scheme for all letting agents in Wales, as well as a code of practice.

These announcements contrast with the current Westminster Government’s opposition to regulation of the sector. If this opposition continues, tenants in England are still at risk from rogue letting agents and landlords.

Ian Potter, Managing Director, ARLA, said: “The PRS remains an unregulated industry, and in the event of something going wrong consumers still only have limited options. ARLA has been calling for regulation of the sector for a number of years now, and as more and more people rent, rather than own their home, it is vital that legislation in England is at least in line with its neighbours.

“Of course we welcome the Labour Party’s latest policy review and share their ambition to improve standards in the PRS – the case studies the report outlined are a stark reminder of the unacceptable conditions that are thriving in the absence of regulation – but these reforms need to be proportionate. More importantly, what we really need is actual policy not proposals; and it must be policy that is consistent and able to keep step with legislative developments elsewhere in Britain.

“Renting should be a positive experience and tenants should know that not only is their money safe but so is the property they live in. All ARLA members must offer a redress service and client money protection to help protect tenants if something goes wrong.”

 


The 2013 Budget and how it affects Landlords and property Investors Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Budget 2013The 2013 Budget is hoped to boost the housing market and construction industry. Yesterday Chancellor George Osborne announced new plans to help people buy their first homes homes with the Help To Buy Scheme and an extension of the previous NewBuy Guarantee scheme to include older houses as well as new-builds.

For three years from the start of 2014 the government will support £130bn of first time buyer mortgages by guaranteeing 15% of the loan leaving borrowers at risk of losing only their 5% deposit and lenders liable for only 80% of the purchase price.

Lenders taking part should therefore be happier to accept smaller deposits as security for loans, but it is still a relatively small proportion of the total mortgage market worth £1.2 trillion, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

The theory is that giving more people the ability to purchase a home will increase demand for property resulting in an increase in price and promoting an increase in supply (more construction) to fill the demand. It is very simple Supply and Demand economics that will work, but it is the amount that it works by that is the question.

Of all the sectors that contribute to the UK’s GDP it is the construction industry that has been most badly affected helping to drag us back into a double dip recession and a stagnating economy, so it makes sense for the government to try and stimulate demand for construction.

The Housing Market is also a very important barometer for confidence in the economy and when people feel confident they spend money and invest in business which includes Landlords.

Any kind of confidence boost in the housing market has got to be a good thing for Landlords and property investors in the long run. If the value of property strengthens then lenders will feel more confident to lend on better rates and Loan to Values. Landlords may eventually be able to remortgage again after the death of the remortgage market for the last four years. We will no longer be stuck locked into existing lenders and at the mercy of their desire to either get rid of Buy to Let mortgages or fleece Landlords for greater profit margins as the Bank of Ireland are trying to do.

A competitive Buy to Let market is essential for the long term planning of Landlords taking control back from the banks and into the hands of investors once again.

However we cannot get too excited as it all depends on the degree by which government support works that is all important, and with the revision of GDP growth forecasts halved it would indicate that there is a long road to recovery to travel yet.


A winning plan for property for The Budget 2013? Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

A winning plan for property for The Budget 2013Naomi Heaton, CEO of London Central Portfolio Limited has shared her four point plan which she’s asked Chancellor George Obsourne to consider for the forthcoming Budget. 

With days to go until the 2013 Budget, time is running out for Osborne to make a real difference in his Budget mandate. Naomi says her plan could help the Conservatives get back in favour, whilst providing some much needed Viagra to both the UK economy and the housing market. Listen closely George; it is time for the Government to do something positive! Continue reading A winning plan for property for The Budget 2013?


Stamp Duty set to triple for 10% of UK home buyers Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Stamp Duty set to triple for 10% of UK home buyersAround 80,000 people in England and Wales, 10% of the market, could find themselves paying three times more Stamp Duty this year as the average property price looks set to breach the £250,000 mark.

For these buyers, Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) will jump up from 1% to 3%, a massive increase from £2,500 to £7,500. The Government will need to urgently re-evaluate the 1% Stamp Duty ceiling which has remained unchanged for over 15 years whilst the average price of a house has increased three fold from £79,242 to £249,958. Continue reading Stamp Duty set to triple for 10% of UK home buyers


Why Glasgow is a Buy to Let hotspot Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property For Sale, Property News

According to Savills there is a shortage of 42,760 student bed spaces in Glasgow. That’s why Glasgow is a buy to let property hotspot and also why we expect these superb central Glasgow Buy to Let Studio’s for the student letting market to sell fast.

  Reception - Glasgow Buy to Let Studio's for the student letting market   Glasgow Buy to Let Studio's for the student letting market - Exterior        Entertainment Room- Glasgow Buy to Let Studio's for the student letting market        Rooms - Glasgow Buy to Let Studio's for the student letting market

Central House, Glasgow is a new purpose built student accommodation development located in the heart of one of the UK’s most under supplied student housing markets offering 9.2% net yield assured for 3 years. Continue reading Why Glasgow is a Buy to Let hotspot


ARLA Predictions for 2013 Landlord News, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property News

ARLAThe Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) today revealed its predictions for the UK property market over the next 12 months.

Ian Potter, Managing Director of ARLA, said the Private Rented Sector (PRS) will continue to see demand outstrip supply throughout 2013, particularly in London and the South East. The lack of affordable mortgage finance coupled with borrowing caution from consumers will result in more families choosing to rent rather than buy in the next twelve months. Continue reading ARLA Predictions for 2013


Novice Landlords Vulnerable to Deposit Disputes warns AIIC Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Market News, Property News

Novice landlords are at risk of deposit disputes as many are failing to prepare all the correct paperwork, warns the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC).

There has been a huge increase in the number of accidental landlords over the last few years as many home-owners have been forced into renting their property, due to range of circumstances from negative equity to the depressed housing market and divorce. Continue reading Novice Landlords Vulnerable to Deposit Disputes warns AIIC


Property Forum and News website where UK landlords and letting agents share best practice