Welcome to the monthly overview of the goings on in the property industry.
Lots to cover this last month, from the energy price hike to an increased return to the workplace and a new Housing Secretary announced, a new lease of life (pun not intended) has been injected into the property market. Here are a few areas of interest.
Buy to let: According to Property Market Forecast, the North East of England around Washington, Hartlepool, Newcastle and Sunderland has seen the largest increase in value for the buy to let market. Areas that have traditionally been cheaper and feature many houses below the national average in rental and purchase costs are starting to rise more in line with national averages.
This potentially presents a great opportunity for would be buy-to-letters, as part time home working is seeing tenants move away from economic hubs and out to suburbs and neighbouring towns and villages. This also lowers the barriers to entry for new landlords on a budget.
Housing in Politics: Michael Gove was announced as the new Housing Secretary in Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle this month. A statement was released suggesting a continuation of the policy of building more homes to house more people to confront the housing shortage the UK faces. The government set a target of building 300,000 homes per year, though in reality the figure has not exceeded 123,000. Hence the ‘leveling up’ scheme under the ‘build back better’ mantra has been reinforced with this appointment.
Energy prices: As demand grows from other economies following the tail end of the pandemic, prices have soared, but so far it appears to be a short term shock that will balance itself out. For this reason there are price caps to protect consumers against short term shocks in the market. Gas prices are still nowhere near their all time highs set in 2007, pre-financial crisis. Still, there are more inventive new ways to save energy, for landlords and tenants alike.
Conserving Energy: A waste water heat recovery system (WWHRS) can be used to extract up to 60% of heat energy from drained water and can be stored for later use. Up to one third of our heating is lost to uninsulated walls. Imagine the savings potential, so it it definitely something to consider.
Buy to let Student Property: We all know September as the start of the academic year and for thousands of students across the UK and this means accommodation has to be found. Paragon Bank’s new research report revealed Swansea offered a 9.56% property yield, followed by Hull at 8.68% per annum, with Plymouth’s offering following closely behind. Student properties represent a promising investment for upcoming landlords with their lower entry costs and higher yields. In Liverpool, landlords letting to students earned on average 13% compared to 9% for landlords who did not in Q3 2021. As a result, international investors have been joining the landlord market in recent years. We do stress that knowledge of HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) is essential as well as obtaining a license to let out HMOs.
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