Bexhill’s ‘Generation Rent’ to grow by 720 households by 2021

The growth of the private rented sector, and the arrival of an investor class of buy to let landlords within it, is an issue that won’t be going away anytime soon, no matter what you read in the Daily Mail”, I said, as I chatted over a coffee with a landlord client of mine at Blueberries Coffee Shop on Endwell Road in Bexhill-On-Sea. Whether you are a landlord of mine (or not as the case maybe), I am always happy to look over any properties you are thinking of buying for buy to let purposes and more so over a coffee!

Some commentators are saying buy-to-let is about to die, with the new stamp duty changes and how mortgage tax relief will be calculated. Some say 500,000 rental properties will flood the market nationally in the next 12 months as investors leave the rental market. Have you heard the phrase ‘Bad news sells newspapers’? Let me explain why buy-to-let in Bexhill is only going in one direction – and not the direction the papers say they are going.

According to Sheffield University, buy-to-let investors will continue fuelling the growth of the private rented sector in the coming decades. By their estimates (and they are considered a centre of excellence on the topic), the rate of homeownership nationally will fall to 50% (today it is 87.4% in the Bexhill area) by 2032, while the rate of private sector renting will increase to 35% (interestingly, in the Bexhill area it stands at 17.1% today).

Therefore, the demand for rental accommodation in Bexhill and the TN39/40 postcode area will grow by 720 households in the next five years … and these are the reasons why, irrespective of the distractions set out in the newspapers

Bexhill property values over the last six years have risen a lot more than average wages/salaries, meaning as homeownership and mortgage availability is dependent on your ability to pay has served to push home ownership further out of reach for many, at a time when the stock of council houses has actually withered. (Nationally, the number of council houses in the last ten years has dropped from 3.16m to 2.18m households – a drop of 31.1%).

Now it’s true the Tory’s efforts to fix the deficiency of affordable housing have focused on those who want to buy a home, ranging from Help to Buy, their much vaunted Help to Buy ISA and Starter Homes Scheme, an initiative offering a 20% discount for first time buyers … but if you are unable to save for the deposit, none of this means anything to the ‘20 something’s’ of Bexhill and they still need a roof over their heads!

Currently, 7,437 people live in private rented accommodation in Bexhill and TN39/40 area

So whilst it appears Bexhill “Generation Rent” youngsters will continue to rent and to not to buy for the reasons set out above, Bexhill buy-to-let landlords will be lifted by the projections of greater rental demand. Bexhill and the area around it still offers the prospect of strong economic growth forecasts and has a reputation as a lively and desirable place to live.

So, by 2021, the number of rental properties in Bexhill and TN39/40 will rise to 4,950

This prediction in growth of the Bexhill rental market is even on the back of the government clamping down on tax reliefs for landlords. The point is this, gone are the days of making guaranteed returns on BTL property. For the last 20 to 30 years, irrespective of which property you bought, making decent money on buy to let property was like shooting fish in a barrel – anyone could do it – but not now. You must take a more considered approach to your existing and future portfolio, especially in Bexhill. The balance of capital growth and yield, especially in this low interest rate world we live in, means Bexhill landlords need to do more homework to ensure the investment in property gives the desired returns. One place for Bexhill landlords and homeowners to visit for such information is the Bexhill Property Market Blog at www.bexhillpropertyblog.com

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£200,000 inheritance – Is buying Bexhill Property still the best place for my windfall?

I had an interesting email from someone in Bexhill a few weeks ago that I want to share with you. In a nutshell, the gentleman lives in Little Common, he is in his mid 60’s and still working. He has a decent pension, so that when he does retire in a couple of years’ time, it will give him a comfortable life. He had recently inherited £200,000 from an elderly aunt. One option he told me was put it into a savings account. The best he could find was a 2 year bond with the Post Office which paid 1.9%; meaning he would get £3,800 in interest a year. One of his other options was to buy a property in Bexhill to rent out and he wanted to know my thoughts on what he should buy, but he had concerns as he didn’t want to take a mortgage out at his time of life. He was also worried about all the tax changes he had read about in the papers for landlords.

Notwithstanding the war on Bexhill landlords being waged by George Osborne, the attraction of bricks and mortar endures for many. As our man is a cash buyer, he would not have to deal with the intricate cut to mortgage interest tax relief that will diminish, or even eradicate, the profits of many Bexhill landlords. It’s true he would face the extra 3% in stamp duty to buy a second property, but with some good negotiation techniques, that could soon be mitigated.

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2,203 Bexhill Homes bought by private landlords in the last 20 years – Is this the end for first time buyers?

There I was, out with the family at Egerton Park last weekend, when a smart gentleman approached me. ‘Hello’, he said, ‘You’re the person that writes that Property Blog aren’t you? We have met before at that Chamber of Commerce meeting in Bexhill a few months ago’. I then recognised him and, whilst I won’t mention his name, he runs a small well known independent retailer in the town … It’s amazing who you see when out walking! Anyway, I was at a loose end for five or ten minutes as the other half was sorting things with the family, so we had a chat.

He wanted to know my thoughts on the future of the Bexhill property market, and I would now like to share with you that conversation, my Bexhill property Blog reading friends. People are always going to need a roof over their heads and somewhere to live will never go out of fashion – it’s a necessity for every single person. The 22 to 30 year olds of the town have a choice to what type of roof they have … they rent from the Council, they can rent from a private landlord or finally they can get a mortgage and buy one. In the 1970’s/80’s and 90’s, the expected thing was to save like mad for two years for the deposit (going without luxuries) whilst living at home or renting a cheap two up two down, then buy your first house. However, more recently fewer Bexhill youngsters have been buying, choosing to rent instead – mainly from private landlords (as Councils have been selling off council housing on the Right to Buy Schemes). The numbers are truly staggering … and I want to share them with you.

Continue reading “2,203 Bexhill Homes bought by private landlords in the last 20 years – Is this the end for first time buyers?”

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Doom and Gloom for Bexhill Property Market?

One of my landlords rang me last week from South Cliff, after he had spoken to a friend of his. Over Christmas, they were discussing the Bexhill property market and neither of them could make their mind up if it was time to either sell or buy property. If you read the newspapers and the landlord forums on the internet, there is a good slice of doom and gloom, especially with changes in the taxation towards landlords, new legislation on checking tenants and the general uncertainty in the world economic situation.

I would admit, there are certain landlords in Bexhill who have over exposed themselves in the last few years with high percentage loan to value mortgages. Those mortgages, with their current (yet artificially low) interest rates, will start to suffer, as their modest monthly positive cash flow/profit, i.e. income (rent) less costs (mortgage, fees, tax), will become negative when the tax and mortgage rates rise throughout 2017 and beyond.

It appears to me these landlords seem to have treated the Bexhill Buy to Let market as a sure bet and have not approached this as a business and, as a result, they will suffer as they thought “Buy a house – rent it out so it covers the mortgage and make a few quid on top”.  These are the people who will be thinking twice. I see opportunity everywhere and won’t be stopping, I’m here to stay. It’s going to be an exciting new year.

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8.6% rise in Bexhill Property Values adds weight to the Town’s Housing Crisis

Bexhill’s continuing housing shortage is putting the town’s (and the Country’s) repute as a nation of homeowners ‘under threat’, as the number of houses being built continues to be woefully inadequate in meeting the ever demanding needs of the growing population in the town.   In fact, I was talking to my Brother-in-law the other day at a family get together; the subject of the Bexhill property market came up in the conversation (as I am sure it does at many family parties in Bexhill) after the weather and politics. My Brother-in-law said it used to be that if you went out to work and did the right thing, you would expect that relatively quickly over the course of your career you would be buying a house, you would go on holiday every year, you would save for a pension. But now things seem to have changed?

Back in the Autumn, George Osborne, used the Autumn Statement to double the housing budget to £2bn a year from April 2018 in an attempt to increase supply and deliver 100,000 new homes each year until 2020.  The Chancellor also introduced a series of initiatives to help get first time buyers on the housing ladder, including the contentious Help to Buy Scheme and extending Right to Buy from not just Council tenants, but to Housing Association tenants as well.

Continue reading “8.6% rise in Bexhill Property Values adds weight to the Town’s Housing Crisis”

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