Tuesday, 7 August 2007

property investment

An enterprising UK estate agents have started videoing sale properties and placing them on Ifilm.com. I wonder if this is improving their response rates?

Oh I forgot to mention and I will pass the previous link onto the owner of Letaroom.co.uk where you can rent a room and list your properties for rent for FREE.

Until next time, happy property hunting

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Spanish property investment

HiFX, a Spanish foreign exchange company have released details suggesting that Spain is still the favourite destination for property investment abroad. There have been a number of share price collapses in Spanish property firms recently which have fuelled speculation that there will be a market crash. However property experts believe that this is more hype than based on anything factual.

A few parts of Spain have seen a decrease in property investment, which could be termed a ‘slow down’ but one could suggest that investors who were willing to do their research properly may make a profit from these areas. However we are talking mid to long term, not in the next few months.

Mark Bodega of HiFX was quick to point out that although some areas of the country had suffered in recent months due to oversupply other areas "still have much to offer". With the abundance of low cost airline flights which continue to serve Spain, it looks certain to remain as a holiday favourite for some time to come, and thus buying a holiday home to rent, would not be a bad bet, especially in the less subscribed areas.

Simple Property Investments expert, Ros is just as quick to point out that “investing in homes in the UK can also be considered a good bet especially is proper research is conducted and potential property yields calculated”. In addition she mentioned the impending launch of a property area report, which would soon be launched, in order to bring together all of the information available for a current post code.

Buy to let market healthy

As reported in the Telegraph earlier, Bradford and Bingley the mortgage specialists have conducted a survey and found that in fact the higher interest rates “have no impact” on the longer term health of the buy to let market.

The survey found that more than half of all land lords still intend on enlarging the size of their property investment portfolio. Only 4 per cent were considering actually realising some of their assets and decreasing the size of their portfolios over the next six months.

Would you believe that the most popular place in the UK to buy property to let is Brighton, with almost a third of land lords surveyed, owning a property within the limits of that costal city. The recent spurt of growth is believed to be fuelled by the huge student population and the fact that it is so close to London. It is technically only 1 hour by train from the centre of London.

Hailed as the "jewel in the South East's crown", Bradford and Bingley claims Brighton is "enjoying the fastest rate of growth" at the moment, driven by its large student population and close proximity to London.

The majority of land lords who were surveyed are "everyday people" seeking capital growth and a means to supplement their ever diminishing pension reserves.

The Director of Mortgages at Bradford and Bingley, Andy Wiggans, said "Higher interest rates may have an effect on cash flow but they have no impact on long-term capital returns."

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Seaside town property

Apparently there is an element of symbiosis between the UK property market and the redevelopment of seaside towns, which many would be property investors might want to take advantage of.

The Co founder of PropertyFinder.com and property expert, Nick Leeming said that the booming market meant investors were prepared to pay for property in areas including Padstow and Rock on the Cornish coast, or the Isle of Wight. Additionally they are prepared to pay the prevailing high prices, knowing that it is in fact a good buy to let prospect, and should be relatively easy to keep tenanted.

Regeneration of the seaside towns is a key feature in the growth of property by the seaside, but as with anything property investment related Caveat Emptor should be the buzz word, as these types of towns can be “hugely variable”. The buoyancy of the property market is the driver of regeneration of areas which previously were not economically viable.

Ok well anyone who has been to somewhere like Brighton recently will be well aware of the cost of property and the fact that it is very popular with Londoners, many of whom commute. For this reason you might want to use the free property search tool to check out a few of the other costal towns which might be a bit cheaper.

Monday, 4 June 2007

Deansgate apartments | investment property

According to an investor who published an advert in Landlord Expert, a new apartment/flat just off Deansgate, which is prime real estate near the City centre of Manchester, would produce an estimated return of between 816 and 1077 percent in two years. In addition the information given suggests that it could be rented out to tenants for at least £1100 per month.

Hmmm… I wouldn’t want to cast any aspersions on anybody, but perhaps they might want to find out just how many apartments are currently available and being built in the centre of Manchester. The term over supply springs to mind, and that would mean those calculations were well out.

Investors are advised to look further a field, perhaps just outside the city centre, like the new development of Pulse apartments near Old Trafford. These are taking advantage of the excellent transport links especially using the Metrolink tram system, that currently serve the sporting venues in the area.

Those looking to invest in property are advised to always do their own research into market trends in the area, and the viability of buying property there.

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Housing Planning Applications

Last week the UK government announced plans to modify the planning process in this country. Amongst the key changes mooted, are plans to remove the requirements to get permission for extensions and conservatories; as long as they pass a local impact test. This may well be good news for property investors and home owners alike.

A standard single planning application form is to be created, and the planning process would be streamlined from 16 to a maximum of 8 weeks. The Government is also adamant that changes to proposed plans should not mean that plans have to be resubmitted and thus incur additional planning fees. More funding is being made available for Planning Departments so that these changes can take effect.

UK property investors could benefit greatly from the proposed plans which would make the prospect of undertaking renovation and extending property a much more attractive prospect. Thus easily adding value to the property and allowing greater profits to be secured on sale.

The price of property is still showing very little signs of slowing which as we have discussed is due to the lack of supply of quality housing for rent. Property investors have known for years that an improvement work such as an extension can boost the value of a property significantly.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

House prices on the up

So house prices are still charging northwards according to reports of the state of the housing market during the first quarter of this year – meaning that those of us in the buy to let sector can continue to battle on.

Should house prices begin to go back down, this will not be that bad for property investors, as long as they have done their homework. If you have properly researched your property then they should almost always have people desperate to rent your property. The latest official statistics from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), suggest that the average house price in the UK is now £206,890 - a figure that has risen more than £2,000 since February. Not bad for a couple of months work.

The Bank of England also appear to be on our side having raised interest rates by an additional 0.25 percent recently. In addition the minutes from that particular meeting suggest that some members would actually have liked to raise the rate by half a percent, so I guess more rate rises are on the cards then.

So which group is hardest hit by this rate rise? Our target market of young professionals and first time buyers of course. Young professionals can very rarely afford to buy their own property, whilst first-time buyers often rent for a period before taking the plunge into the housing market.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

HIPs u turn

Ok so the title is not very original, but it's true. First of all I read with amusement on the BBC News site that HIPs (Home Information Packs) have basically been stopped by a Judge's ruling.

Ruth Kelly, Communities Secretary announced yesterday to MPs that the packs would be delayed for two months whilst more assessors were being trained. Apparently of the 2000 that are required, only 520 are fully trained. opps!

Then this morning I find out that in fact only houses with four bedrooms or more will have to have the packs initially.....err that would be after the two month delay then :-) Because the number of assessors will still not be up to the figure required.

Dubai property hotspot

I was reading about Dubai Property over at Shorttermrentals.wordpress.com and I remembered a conversation I had with a friend only yesterday. We were talking about Dubai and how their tax laws basically allowed you to pretty much take home what you earn, then we started discussing property investment there.

It seems like a very good place to start looking for property to invest in abroad, especially as a lot of the country's current residents are not property owning citizens. However, i've always been a bit wary of buying something when I don't really have that much information on it; especially if it is a big purchase.

If i'm buying a property in the UK, I can see what the house prices in the street have been for the past couple of years, what the schools are like, is it near a train station, what the current resident demographics are; and maybe that just makes me a bit warey.

Some good news, I'm soon going to be able to release info on opportunity for a few more people to get into the property investment game. The best bit is the rental income is guaranteed. Leave a comment and I can send you the info as soon as it's released.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Housing market still boyant?

New figures relaesed today show that mortgage approvals and mortgage lending have dropped finally. Experts claim that this is not in fact a sign of the house prices falling, because the small supply of property that people want is still keeping the market boyant. Gotta love market forces :-)

The fall of 8% in April of mortgage approvals compared with the same time last year was announced by the Building Societies Association.

To be fair, after having been kicked by the last four interest rate rises, thats probably what the Bank of England were expecting to happen. Reports are also circulating taht the Bank of England is planning to raise rates again soon.

Planning application time cut

Ruth Kelly, the UK Communities and Local Government Secretary has released a new white paper which outline splans for a new independent planning commision to make decisions on major building projects such as airports, motorways and power stations.

Kelly cited the example of Heathrow Terminal Five which had to wait seven years for planning approval. A nine month limit on planning applications is set to be imposed, although some projects may stretch this limit. An additional stipulation is that a new legal requirement be put upon developers to consult with the public on big projects.

Although if the state of tendering in this country is anything to go by, then the developers will find ways around any legal thresholds. As it stands at present, many big companies try exceptionally hard to split OJEC projects up into different projects to avoid the economic thresholds.

It should be interesting to watch though.

Friday, 18 May 2007

Skyrocketing UK house prices in May

Skyrocketing UK house prices in May

Your Move, the property people, have released information which appears to be forecasting a 1.65% increase in the exchange price of the average UK property in May 2007.

How is the predictor worked out?

Your Move's agreed sales data (Jan / Feb) which is adjusted to reflect the Land Registry's sales distribution in those months is used to calculate this figure. The predictor anticipates the average house price when it exchanges will rise 1.65% to £179,750 over May 2007, as the market picks up after a slight drop in February.

As agreed prices (the value agreed when a buyer's offer is accepted) continue to rise, this suggests that demand will remain strong in the coming months. Actual agreed prices - typically reached eleven weeks prior to exchange – rose 1.64% on average in April, to £183,761 from £180,803 in March. This follows the same longer term trend of an upward swing in agreed prices, which have risen 7.00% year-on-year.

The data being analysed indicates that agreed prices were also significantly closer to those of sellers' asking prices this month. As a percentage of asking prices, agreed prices were up to 91.83% compared with 91.35% for March 2007.

There is growth in new property coming onto the market, which is believed to be driven by the rush to beat the introduction of HIPs in June. Property agents across the UK are already experiencing an uplift.

The reality is investment in property still seems to remain a very good long term investment.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

French or Spanish property for sale?

Rightmove, recently released information suggesting that Spain is loosing it’s crown as the place that most British investors are looking to buy property investments. Instead Provincial France is becoming the hot favourite.

Rachael Porter from online property investment house Simple Property Investments commented that “it is interesting to see buyers looking abroad both in Spain and France for high yielding rentals, when the UK still offers some really good investments.”

However given the close proximately of France to the British Isles, many investors are looking for second homes ‘en France’ to provide a holiday home or base for travel to London. Whereas the Spanish market is still primarily for pure investment and rental purposes, rather than leisure.

Friday, 11 May 2007

Property investment rental

Property Investment Rental

I recently read a post from way back in July of last year about the fact that the BBC reported that new laws affecting HMO’s were due to come in.

It was on the 6 July 2004 that new rules which govern the upkeep of large rental property, including but not limited to student houses, in England came into force.

A report stated that residents in houses of multiple occupation (HMO) statistically suffer a higher incidence of injury and death as a result of accidents, than other types of property.

The normal Governmental response was to introduce legislation in the form of the Housing Act 2004 to improve the quality and safety of rental properties.

Now HMOs must meet particularly rigorous fire standards. They require fire doors, emergency lights, alarms in the mains power supply, signs on the walls for the escape routes and door locks will have to be fitted. More details about this can be found on the government website above.

Some types of HMOs will require a licence to be granted by the local authority.

Sceptics will argue that charging a landlord £1100 for a license may not infact make the house safer, but I think good on whoever supported this exceptional piece of legislation.