The Bexhill Property Market and The Euro 2016 Football Tournament

With the Referendum on EU membership out of the way, our households can concentrate on something European that doesn’t involve party political broadcasts or politician’s treating us all like children – the Euro 2016 Football Tournament. Bexhill is home to all different backgrounds and nationalities so if you’re not lucky enough to be jetting off to France for the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament, have no fear! For a bit of fun (although there is a serious side to this – you know there would be with me!) I have taken a look at which European people live in Bexhill so I know who to soak up the best atmosphere with!

During my research some interesting numbers appear. Going into the Euro 2016 tournament, France were 3/1 tournament favourites, then Germany 7/2, third were Spain at odds of 11/2, then England 9/1, Italy 16/1, Poland 50/1, Romania and Wales at 100/1, Ireland at 150/1 and Northern Ireland 500/1 (although Leicester were 5000/1 at the start of last season) and we all know how that season ended!

Of the 100,727 residents of the Bexhill and Battle Constituency, of the Home Nations going into the competition, 91,894 of them are from England, 912 from Wales, 325 from Northern Ireland and 613 from Ireland, although I do feel sorry for the 1,312 Scots who didn’t get into the finals. Now interestingly, looking at the Mainland Europeans residents in the Bexhill and Battle Constituency, it might not surprise you that they make up 1.74% of the population as a whole in the Bexhill and Battle area.

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58.8% of voters in Rother District voted to leave the EU– What now for the 19,199 Bexhill-On-Sea landlords and homeowners?

It is 5.50am, and as I start to type this article, David Dimbleby has just announced that the UK will be leaving the EU as the final votes are counted and verified.  As most of the polls suggested a Remain winning outcome, it came as a surprise to most people, including the analysts in the City. Sterling Pound has dropped 6% this morning after the City got their predictions wrong and MP’s from the Remain camp are now starting to use words like “challenging times ahead”.

So, now the vote has been made and the people of our country have spoken, what is next for the 14,498 Bexhill homeowners especially the 5,124 of those Bexhill homeowners with a mortgage?

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160% increase in property values in Bexhill since the millennium

Bexhill house prices since the Millennium have risen by 160%, whilst average salaries in Bexhill have only grown by 51% over the same time frame.

This has served to push home ownership further out of reach for many Bexhill people as they have to battle against raising considerable deposits and meet sterner lending criteria, as a result of new mortgage regulations introduced in 2014/5.  The private rental market in Bexhill has grown throughout the last twenty years with buy-to-let investors purchasing a high proportion of newly built residential properties that were built and designed for the owner occupier sales market.  For example, in the Bexhill and Battle Constituency, roll the clock back 20 years and there were 37,948 properties in the Constituency, whilst the most recent set of figures show there are 44,589 properties – a growth of 6,641 properties.

However, anecdotal evidence suggests that a large number of those 6,641 were bought by Bexhill buy-to-let landlords, as over the same 20-year time frame, the number of rental properties has grown from 2,648 to 6,288 in the Constituency – a rise of 3,640 properties.

Nevertheless, some say this historic growth of the Bexhill rental market might start to change with the new tax rules for landlords introduced by Mr. Osborne over the last seven or eight months. However, the numbers tell another story. Across the board, mortgage borrowing climbed to a 9 year peak in March this year as the British property markets traditional Easter rush corresponded with landlords hurrying to beat George Osborne’s new stamp duty changes – buy-to-let landlords borrowed £7.1bn in March 2016 (the latest set of figures released) which was 163% up on the £2.7bn borrowed in the previous March.

You see, from my point of view, I don’t think things will get worse in the buy-to-let market in Bexhill and these are the reasons why I believe that:

Firstly, what else are Bexhill landlords going to invest in if it isn’t property – the stock market? Since the Millennium, the stock market has risen by an unimpressive total of 5.54%, quite different to the 160% rise in Bexhill property prices.

Secondly, its true the 3% stamp duty is the first blow on top of a number of other tax changes to be phased in between 2017 and 2021, such as landlords facing a constraint in their ability to offset mortgage interest and, if sizeable numbers of landlords do take the decision to sell their portfolios, this will lead to a substantial amount of second hand properties being put up for sale. Yet that might not be a bad thing, as I have mentioned in previous articles there is a serous shortage of properties to buy at the moment in Bexhill; the stock of property for sale being at a six year all time low.

Thirdly, if there are fewer rental properties in Bexhill, as supply drops and demand remains the same (although ask any letting agent in Bexhill and they will say demand is constantly rising) this will create a squeeze in the Bexhill rental market and as a result rents will rise. In fact, I predict even if landlords don’t sell up, Bexhill rents will rise as Bexhill landlords seek to compensate for increased costs, which means more investors will be attracted back.

For more of my thoughts on the Bexhill Property Market and to read articles like this, you might find the Bexhill Property Market blog of interest which can be found at www.bexhillpropertyblog.com

 

 

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Asking Prices of Bexhill Property up 2% since December

I had an interesting question the other day from a homeowner in the Old Town who asked me the difference between asking prices and values and why it mattered. When it comes to selling property, there must be an agreement between the purchaser (buyer) and seller (vendor) for a property sale to take place. The value a buyer applies to a property can massively differ from the value a seller or mortgage company places upon it. The seller, the buyer and the mortgage company must find an agreeable value to assign to a property so the sale can proceed.

In many of my articles about the Bexhill property market, I talk about values, i.e. what property in Bexhill actually sells for, but I haven’t spoken about asking prices for while. Now asking prices are important as they are one of the four key matters a potential buyer will judge your property on (the others being location, bedrooms and type). Price yourself too high and you will put off buyers. So let’s take a look at the Bexhill numbers.

Over the last 12 months asking prices (i.e. the price advertised in the paper and on Rightmove) in Bexhill have increased by 12%, taking the average asking price in Bexhill to £290,000 (up from £259,700 twelve months ago).

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42% of Bexhill Tenants are White Collar Middle Class

With young people in Bexhill-On-Sea still struggling to buy their own property and get on the property ladder, my research suggests just how important the role of the private rented sector has been at housing people has been in this town. This is especially at a time of increasing affordability problems for first time buyers, growing difficulties faced by social housing providers in their ability to secure funding from Westminster who also then have to compete against the likes of the Bovis’s and David Wilson’s of this world to be able to buy highly priced building land for new developments.

Renting isn’t like it was in the 1960’s and 70’s, where tenants couldn’t wait to leave their rack-rent landlords, charging sky-high rents for properties with Second World War wood chip wallpaper, no central heating and drafty windows. Since 1997 with the introduction of buy-to-let mortgages and a new breed of Bexhill landlord, the private rented sector in Bexhill has offered increasingly high quality accommodation for younger Bexhill households.

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0.28% rise in East Sussex Property Transactions

In this post credit crunch world of sub terrain, low interest and annuity rates, the growth of the buy-to-let property market since 2009 has been phenomenal. So much so, there has been an evolution and a new motivation in the purchase of property in the UK from that of just buying the roof over one’s head to that as well of a buy-to-let investment where it is seen as a standalone financial asset to fund current and future investment (i.e. pensions). So recently, a few days before the release of latest Land Registry data of property transactions, quite a few market commentators were anticipating a huge increase in the number of properties sold in January as the new stamp duty deadline in April 2016 got ever closer.

Looking at the most recent set of data from the Land Registry, it seems there has been a drop in the number of completed property sales in the East Sussex County Council area. Year on year, completed property sales in January 2016 (the latest set of data released) rose very slightly by 0.28 % to 702 compared with 700 in January 2015. Nationally, the number of completed house sales fell by 5% in January 2016 compared with January 2015.

Some might say this counters the reports that there was a rush by landlords to buy ‘buy-to-let’ property ahead of the stamp duty deadline but where was the stampede that many expected?

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