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31% more homes for sale in Bexhill than a year ago


One of the key factors of the health of the Bexhill property market is the number of properties for sale at any one time.

The issue with housing is that when demand goes up, unlike with a chocolate bar factory, that can add a couple of hours overtime to increase its supply/production to satisfy demand, it takes a good 18 months to two years from planning permission to someone moving into a new home.

I have talked at length (and proved) in previous articles that we are still not building enough homes in the long term in the Bexhill area. Yet for the short term, a good indicator is the number of properties for sale and how long they have been on the market.

How long a property has been on the market is important as a guide to how the property market is performing – potential buyers can always find this information on the Rightmove and Zoopla listings (if you don’t know where – drop me an email or message and I can let you know).

So, let’s have a look at what is happening in Bexhill, both in terms of the number of properties for sale and how long they have been on the market compared to a year ago, then discuss what that means for the current state of play of the Bexhill property market.

So, to start, let’s look at the number of properties for sale in Bexhill compared to a year ago.

Interestingly, you can see there has been a proportional increase of 89% in terraced properties on the market in Bexhill, yet only a 3% increase in apartments. Overall in the last year there are 31% more properties on the market in Bexhill, compared to a year ago. Now, let’s look how long they have been on the market ..

Interesting to see that the biggest jump in the number of days on the market is terraced houses, from 62 days to 86 days … demand and supply working again. Also, the length of time an average Bexhill property has been on the market has increased by 10% in the last year.

So, what does this all mean for Bexhill Buy To let landlords and Bexhill homeowners looking to buy and sell? Well, if you are thinking of selling, as the number of properties on the market has increased and the length of time Bexhill properties are on the market has also increased – you have to be mindful that realistic pricing is the key to get the property sold. If you are a buyer, that means you find yourself in a better position to negotiate a good deal on your Bexhill property purchase.

There is an argument to suggest that property buyers see excessive days on the market as an indication that the seller is becoming desperate to sell because the property hasn’t sold. Buyers are also mindful to believe that there might be something wrong with the home, a defect that caused other buyers to pass it up. This can concern them when they view the property – if they view it at all, as that possible and perhaps made-up defect is on their minds, even if it is sub-consciously.

Normally, both assumptions are wrong. A property can loiter on the market for several reasons. The most common reason for a property sticking on the market is overvaluing or overpricing. In an effort to get the property on the market, some estate agents may have convinced the seller into believing the property was worth more than the property market will bear.

Don’t get me wrong, if you don’t ask, you don’t get and homeowners naturally want to get the best price for their home, and so test the market. Yet, if you aren’t getting a steady stream of viewers after a few weeks, then that testing can backfire. You see, by setting the asking price too high to see if they can find someone to pay that inflated price, then finding there is nobody in the market that will pay the price, here lies the biggest trap for house sellers on keeping the inflated asking prices for too long.

Sellers can also get stuck on an asking price and they are willing to wait out the market until it catches up to what they want for their property – yet we aren’t in that type of property market now. Consumer champion “Which” said that if you have to reduce your asking price by 5% or more, it adds an extra 64 days to the sales process meaning you might lose the property of your dreams.

Also, I have seen countless times, house sellers insist on an inflated asking price, reduce 12 weeks later, yet buyers think there is something wrong with it so the homeowner gets fed up and accepts a lower offer to get the property sold, whereas if the house seller had gone onto the market at the right asking price, they would get much nearer to what they deserve for their property.

So, if you are looking for a bargain to buy – all the Portals (Rightmove, Zoopla and On the Market) allow you to search and sort by the length of time on the market as well as the asking price. Who knows – there could be a bargain waiting for you!

If you would like to discuss the worth of your property and how my team can help you, call us on 01424 224242. For more articles go online to www.bexhillpropertyblog.com. Kind regards Patrick Stappleton.

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Unemployment – the Secret Driver of the Bexhill Property Market?

If you have been reading my articles on the Bexhill property market recently, you will see that in the three years since the referendum of the ‘B’ word (that word is banned in our household), we have proved beyond doubt that it (whose name shall remain nameless) has had no effect on the Bexhill property market (or the UK as a whole).

So, one might ask, what does affect the property market locally? Well many things on the demand side include wages, job security, interest rates, availability of mortgages, confidence in the economy, inflation, speculative demand … the list goes on. Yet as my blog readers will note, I like to delve deeper into the numbers and I have found an interesting correlation between unemployment and the number of properties sold (i.e. transactions).

Why transaction levels and not house prices? Well just looking at Bexhill house prices as a bellwether has flaws. Many property market commentators and economists believe transaction numbers (the number of properties sold) give a more accurate and candid indicator of the health of the property market than just house values alone.

The reason is twofold. First most people when they sell also buy, so if property values have dropped by 10% or risen by 10% on the one you are selling, it would have done the same on the one you are buying – meaning to judge the health of a property market is very one dimensional. Secondly, the act of moving is very much a human thing. Property habitually conveys a robust emotional connection with homeowners – a connection that few would attribute to their other investments like their savings or stock market investments.

Moving home could be described as a human enterprise, moving from one chapter of one’s life to another. When people move home, it shows they are moving forward in their lives and so this gives a great indicator of the health of the property market.

Looking at Rother’s figures on the graph, you can see an inverse relationship between unemployment and housing transaction levels.

Property transactions in Bexhill dropped by 44.81%, whilst unemployment in Bexhill rose by 28.81% during the 2007 to 2009 Global Financial Crash.  There is clearly a relationship between conditions in the Bexhill job market and the number of people who move home … interesting don’t you think?

Now I am not saying unemployment is the only factor influencing the Bexhill property – but it must be said there is a link.

As a country (and indeed here in Bexhill) over the last 40 years, we have seen a shift in the outlook over the purpose of housing and the development of the religion of following house prices (and I appreciate the irony of me writing these articles on Bexhill – feeding that habit!) Yet, when did owning a home turn from buying a roof over your head to an out and out investment vehicle?

I do wish people would stop fretting about their intrinsic value being associated with their Bexhill home. Now of course, I am not dismissing the current levels of Bexhill house prices – we just must take into consideration other metrics alongside them when judging the health of the property market locally.

One final thought, looking on a broader scale in the UK, those towns and cities whose property markets bounced back after the Global Financial Crash had high levels of employment and low unemployment whilst places with high unemployment and relatively low employment have, on the other hand, typically underperformed.

So, the next time you are considering a house move or buying a buy to let property in Bexhill … don’t make your judgement on house price growth alone.

Now if you would like to discuss this topic in more details give me a call on 01424 224242 or send me an email on patrick@redwell-estates.co.uk. Hope you enjoyed reading it.  Best wishes Patrick Stappleton Author of the Bexhill Property Blog.com
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Statistics taken from.
Unemployment stats – ONS.

Property Sales – Land Registry

 

 

 

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Which Bexhill Properties are Selling the Best?

Moving home is said to be the third most stressful life event, following a member of your family dying or getting divorced. So it is always best to keep your stress levels down by investigating and doing your homework on both the particular area of Bexhill (or nearby conurbations) where you live (i.e. where you are selling) and where you want to search for your next Bexhill home. Being mindful of how fast (or slow) the different aspects of the Bexhill property market is moving is key.. because it could save you much heartache and many thousands of pounds.

You see, if you know you are selling a property in a sluggish price range and buying in a faster moving price range in Bexhill then putting your property on the market first is vital, otherwise you will always find the one you want to buy tends to sell before your property sells – there is nothing worse than pondering over a property only to find that someone else has bought it. Being primed with all the knowledge is key. On the other side of the coin, if you are selling in a fast moving market and buying in a sluggish market .. you can probably get a better deal on the one you are buying.

For buy to let landlords in Bexhill, this evidence is particularly critical as purchasing a high-demand property in a well-liked area of Bexhill will safeguard a surfeit of availability of tenants, as well as respectable house price growth. 

Being an agent in Bexhill, I like to keep an eye on the Bexhill property market on a daily basis because it enables me to give the best advice and opinion on what (or not) to buy in Bexhill; be that a buy to let property for a landlord or an owner occupier house.  So, I thought, how could I scientifically split the Bexhill housing market into sections, so I could analyse which part of the Bexhill property market was doing the best (or the worst).

I took the decision that the preeminent way was to fragment the Bexhill property market into roughly four uniform size price bands (in terms of properties for sale). Each price band would have roughly around 25% of the property in Bexhill available for sale .. then add up all the sold (stc) properties and see which sector of the Bexhill property market was performing best? … And these were the results ..

It’s not unexpected that the upper end of the property market (the top 25%) in Bexhill is finding things a little tougher compared to the others. Remarkably for Bexhill landlords, the lower market is doing reasonably well, but it’s not the best, so maybe there could be some property deals out there for buy to let investment? Even though the number of first time buyers in 2018 did increase over the 2017 levels, it was from a low starting point and the large majority of 20 to 30yo’s don’t want to or can’t buy their first home and the local authority has no money to build Council houses meaning an increase in demand as private landlords take up the slack – because everyone needs a roof over their head!

If you would like to pick my brains on the Bexhill Property Market – pop in for a coffee or drop me a line on social media or email.

The best performing price range in Bexhill is the lower to middle market £190,000 to £280,000 where 43.1% of all property in that price range has a buyer and is sold stc. There are plenty of articles here for you to read and catch up on the Bexhill Property Market or if you want a chat, call me on 01424 224242.

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Cooden Drive, Bexhill… …the road where people move the most

Many folks say moving home is the most stressful thing. Moving home is like someone (and that someone is usually you and you are the cause of this devastation) has collected all your worldly goods, put them into brown boxes and into a lorry making your whole life look like a Amazon delivery van, only to spend the next six months unpacking it all, whilst unable to find important things like your bank cards, Continue reading “Cooden Drive, Bexhill… …the road where people move the most”

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How Would a Hard Brexit Affect Bexhill House Prices?

I have been asked several times recently what a hard Brexit would mean to the Bexhill property market. To be frank, I have been holding off giving my thoughts, as I did not want to add fuel to the stories being banded around in the national press. However, it’s obviously a topic that you as Bexhill “buy to let” landlords and Bexhill homeowners are interested in … so I am going to try and give you what I consider a fair and unbiased piece on what would happen if a hard Brexit takes place in March 2019.

After the weather and football, the British obsession on the UK property market is without comparison to any other country in the world. I swear The Daily Mail has the state of the country’s property market on its standard weekly rotation of front-page stories! Like I have said before on my blog, there are better economic indexes and statistics to judge the economy (and more importantly) the property market. If you recall, I said the number of transactions was just as important, if not more, as a bellwether of the state of the property market.

Worries that the Brexit referendum would lead to a fast crash in Bexhill (and national) property values were unfounded, although the growth of property values in Bexhill has reduced since the referendum in the summer of 2016.

Now, it’s true the Bexhill property market is seeing less people sell and move and the property values are rising at a slower rate in 2018 compared to the heady days of the first half of this decade (2010 to 2015), but before we all start panicking, let’s ask ourselves, what exactly has happened in the last couple of years since the Brexit vote?

Rother and Bexhill house prices have risen by 13.71% since the EU Referendum…

…and yes, in 2018 we are on track (and again this is projected) to finish on 1,948 property transactions (i.e. the number of people selling their home) … which is less than 2017 … but still higher than the long term 12-year average of 1,911 transactions in the local council area.

So, it appears the EU vote hasn’t caused many major issues so far, however, if there was a large economic jolt, that could be a different game, yet how likely is that?

The property market is mostly influenced by interest rates and salaries.

A hard Brexit would subdue wage growth to some degree, yet the level of the change will depend on the undetermined type of Brexit deal (or no deal). If trade barriers are imposed on a hard Brexit, imports will become more expensive, inflation will rise, and growth will fall, although at least we are not in the Euro, meaning this could be tempered by the exchange rate of the Pound against the Euro. In plain language, a hard Brexit will be worse for house prices than a deal.

So why did the Governor of the Bank of England suggest a disorderly hard Brexit would affect house prices by up to 35%?

I mean it was only nine years ago we went through the global financial crisis with the credit crunch. Nationally, in most locations including Bexhill, property values dropped in value by 16% to 19% over an 18-month period. Look at the graph and if we had a similar percentage drop, it would only take us back to the property value levels we were achieving in 2015.

And let’s not forget that the Bank of England introduced some measures to ensure we didn’t have another bubble in any future property market. One of the biggest factors of the 2009 property crash was the level of irresponsible lending by the banks. The Bank of England Mortgage Market Review of 2014 forced Banks to lend on how much borrowers had left after regular expenditure, rather than on their income. Income multipliers that were 8 or 9 times income pre-credit crunch were significantly curtailed (meaning a Bank could only offer a small number of residential mortgages above 4.5 times income), and that Banks had to assess whether the borrower could afford the mortgage if interest rates at the time of lending rose by three percentage points over the first five years of the loan … meaning all the major possible stumbling blocks have been mostly weeded out of the system.

So, what next?

A lot of Bexhill homeowners might wait until 2019 to move, meaning less choice for buyers, especially in the desirable areas of Bexhill. For Bexhill landlords, Bexhill tenants are also likely to hang off moving until next year, although I suspect (as we had this on the run up to the 2015 General Election when it was thought Labour might get into Government), during the lull, there could be some Bexhill buy to let bargains to be had from people having to move (Brexit or No Brexit) or the usual panic selling at times of uncertainty.

Brexit, No Brexit, Hard Brexit … in the whole scheme of things, it will be another footnote to history in a decade. We have survived the Oil Crisis, 20%+ Hyperinflation in the 1970’s, Mass Unemployment in the 1980s, Interest Rates of 15% in 1990’s, the Global Financial Crash in 2009 … whatever happens, happens. People still need houses and a roof over their head. If property values drop, it is only a paper drop in value … because you lose when you actually sell. Long term, we aren’t building enough homes, and so, as I always say, property is a long game no matter what happens – the property market will always come good.

Growth in UK property values as well as in Bexhill seems fated to slow over the next five to ten years, whatever sort of Brexit takes place. If you are worried about the value of your property and whether Brexit will have an effect on your property, give me a call on 01424 844081, Im Patrick Stappleton, Author of the bexhillpropertymarketblog.com

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Bexhill First Time Buyers Need 10.8 Times Annual Salary to Get on Housing Ladder.

What is it to be British? Our stubbornness, long-suffering stoicism, our vexation at injustice, our obsession with football and rugby, we are weather obsessed external awkward noncommittal modest people whilst underneath seething like a volcano because someone jumped the queue…. and our No.1 obsession is with the property ladder. Continue reading “Bexhill First Time Buyers Need 10.8 Times Annual Salary to Get on Housing Ladder.”

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Bexhill House Prices vs Bexhill Rents since 2006

The Bexhill housing market is a fascinating beast and has been particularly interesting since the Credit Crunch of 2008/9 with the subsequent property market crash. There is currently some talk of a ‘property bubble’ nationally as Brexit seems to be the ‘go-to’ excuse for every issue in the Country. Continue reading “Bexhill House Prices vs Bexhill Rents since 2006”

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7 Reasons Why Bexhill Buy To Let Landlords Shouldn’t Be Criticised

There is no escaping the fact that over the last couple of decades, the rise in the number buy to let properties in Bexhill has been nothing short of extraordinary. Many in the “left leaning” press have spoken of a broken nation, the fact many youngsters are unable to buy their first home with the rise of a new cohort of younger renters, whom have been daubed ‘Generation Rent’ as landlords hoover up all the properties Continue reading “7 Reasons Why Bexhill Buy To Let Landlords Shouldn’t Be Criticised”

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49 Days to Sell a Property in Bexhill

Whether you are a Bexhill landlord looking to liquidate your buy to let investment or a homeowner looking to sell your home, finding a buyer and selling your property can take an annoyingly long time. It is a step-by-step process that can take months and months. In fact, one of the worst parts of the house selling process is not knowing how long you might be stuck at each step. Continue reading “49 Days to Sell a Property in Bexhill”

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Value of Bexhill Property Market rises £81.2m

The combined value of Bexhill’s housing market has risen by £81,160,560 in the last 6 months, meaning the average value of a Bexhill property has increased in value by an average of £6,084.

This is great news for Bexhill first time buyers and Bexhill buy to let landlords, as property prices have risen despite a slight hesitation in the market because of the uncertainty over Brexit. Continue reading “Value of Bexhill Property Market rises £81.2m”

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‘Taxing’ Time for the 1,991 Bexhill Buy To Let Landlords

Over the last twenty years, there has been a shift in the way the Bexhill (and the UK’s) property market works. In the 1960’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, a large majority of twenty somethings saved up their 5% deposit, went without life’s luxuries of going out and holidays etc., for a couple of years and then bought their first home with their hard earned savings.

By 2000, 47.2% of Bexhill 25 to 29 years owned their own home (compared to 46% Nationally (and 66% of Bexhill 30 to 34 year olds in 2000 owned their own home – again compared to 64.2% nationally) whilst the remaining youngsters mostly rented from the Council and in some rare cases, privately rented.

Now it’s 2018, and those levels of homeownership have slipped dramatically and now only 25.2% of Bexhill 25 to 29 year olds own their own home and 44.4% of Bexhill 30 to 34 year olds own their own home (interestingly mirroring the National picture of 24.5% for the younger age cohort and 64.2% for the older 30 to 34 year cohort).

Capture 228 graph

There was concern in Government since the late Noughties that this shift from homeownership to private renting wasn’t good for the well-being of the Country and things needed to change, to make it a more level playing field for first time buyers. House prices needed to be more realistic and there needed to be a carrot and stick for both landlords and first time buyers.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, interest rates were the weapon of choice of Government to cool or heat up the UK housing market – and it did work – up to a point. It’s just interest rates also affected so many other sectors of the UK economy (and not always a in good way). The policy of interest rates to control the economy is called ‘Monetary Policy’. Monetary policy is primarily concerned with the management of interest rates (and the supply of money) and is carried out by the Bank of England (under direction from the Government).

It’s just in this post Credit Crunch, Brexit environment, the use of higher interest rates wouldn’t directly affect landlords (as around two thirds of buy to let properties are bought without a mortgage). Therefore, an increase in interest rates would have hardly any effect on landlords and hit the first time buyers – the people the Government would be trying to help!

Also, given muted growth of real income (i.e. real income being the growth salaries after inflation) in the past few years, an uplift in interest rates (from their ultra-low 0.5% current levels) would have a massive effect on Britain’s household disposable incomes. Yet, over 90% of new mortgages in 2018 being taken are fixed rate and with such low rates, it has made buying a property comparatively attractive.

Instead, over the last 8 years, the Government has encouraged first time buyers and clipped the wings of landlords with another type of economic policy – Fiscal Policy (Fiscal Policy is the collective term for the taxing (and spending) actions of the Government). First time buyers have had the Help to Buy Scheme, Stamp Duty Exemption and contributions to their deposit by HMRC. On the other side of the coin, landlords have had the way they are able to offset the tax relief of their mortgage payments against income change (for the worse), an increase in Stamp Duty (for the worse) and they will be hit with additional costs as the Government will be phasing out fees to tenants in the next 12 to 18 months.

So, what does this all mean for the 1,991 Bexhill landlords?

The days of making money in Bexhill “buy to let” with your eyes closed are long gone.

There are going to be testing times for Bexhill landlords, yet there is still a defined opportunity for those Bexhill landlords who are willing to do their homework and take guidance from specialists and experts.

It’s all about looking at your Bexhill portfolio (or getting a property professional to do so) and ascertaining if your current portfolio, mortgage and gearing are designed to get what you want from the investment (because that is what it is – an investment) in terms of income now and income in the future, capital growth and when you plan to dispose of your assets.

I have seen many Bexhill landlords (both who use me and my competitors) to manage their rental property or find them tenants – and on many occasions recently, I have told them to SELL – yes sell some of their portfolio to either reduce mortgage debt or buy other types of property that match what they want in the short and long-term from their investments. I know that sounds strange – but my role isn’t just to collect the rent .. it’s also to give strategic advice and opinion on the landlord’s portfolio to help them meet their current and future investment goals.

The opportunities will appear in the Bexhill property market for Bexhill landlords from gentler growth in property values linked with a restrained Bexhill property market, meaning if you put in the time, there will be deals and great bargains to have. Many landlords in Bexhill (both clients and non-clients) send me Rightmove links each week, asking my opinion on the suitability of the investment. Some are exceptional – whilst others are duds.

The bottom line is, private renting will continue to outgrow first time buyers in the next 5 to 10 years and as we aren’t building enough homes in the UK, it means rents can only go in one direction – upwards!

Whats your plan for the next 5 years? If you would like to discuss it call me on 01424 844081or email me at patrick@redwell-estates.co.uk. Thank you for reading my latest blog, there are more articles available on my blog at www.bexhillpropertyblog.com. Kind regards, Patrick Stappleton.

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The Bexhill Bank of Mum and Dad Lent £3.44m Last Year

My analysis has shown that up to the end of the last quarter, Bexhill first time buyers purchased 277 Bexhill properties. With wages rising at 2.8%, unemployment at a low rate of 4.2% (down from 4.6% from a year earlier and the joint lowest since 1975), national GDP rising at 1.87% and inflation at 2.3%, tied in with indifferent house price growth (compared to a few years ago), this has given first time buyers a chance to get a foot hold on the Bexhill property market.

Over the last year, the average purchase price of a Bexhill first time buyer property has been £175,700 and the average deposit was £28,463. Furthermore, my calculations show the average Bexhill parents contributed £12,453 of that £28,463 figure.

You see “The Bank of Mum and Dad (Bexhill Branch)” is for countless Bexhill twenty something’s, perceived to be the only way they will ever be able to afford their first home. In fact, Bexhill parents put up a substantial £3.44m in the last 12 months to help their nearest and dearest progeny onto the property ladder. This assistance towards the deposit makes a huge difference, enabling Bexhill youngsters who thought they couldn’t get on the housing ladder more able to do so.

With mortgage rates at all-time lows, few Bexhill twenty something’s would struggle to make mortgage repayments, but it is the requirement of the deposit which is the issue, although as parents (and grandparents) are helping out where they can, it does little to address the real problems of the housing market, whether for people renting or buying their first home.

If you think about it, as a Country we have been fortunate that the older generation who control the biggest share of the nation’s wealth are so plentiful to those following after. We need to remember, though, that this generosity is
 a sign of the issues of the British housing shortage, not its solution.

But before I leave this article … note I used the word PERCEIVED in a previous paragraph. Yes, the average first time buyer deposit is 16.1%, but that is an average. Did you know 95% mortgages returned to first time buyers in late 2009 and have been available ever since? Also, lenders like Barclays and many local Building Society’s now offer 100% mortgages (i.e. no deposit) at 2.75% fixed for three years.

The perception is you need 15%, 20% even a 25% deposit to be a first-time buyer – you don’t! You don’t need any deposit, but (there is always a but!)…

Over the last decade, many renters have upgraded themselves into homes that they (or any generation before them) could never have ever afforded as a first time buyer in the past. You see the British housing market started to change with the dawn of the new Millennium and I am seeing a slow but steady attitude change when it comes to renting. Those tenants have found the price difference of upgrading from the typical 1970’s TV show Rigsby “Rising Damp” style rental property to plush terraced house or even semi-detached home, with all the mod cons, comparatively inexpensive (when compared to the increase in mortgage payments if they had to make the move as buyers).

Renting isn’t seen as the poor man’s choice, as many young (and increasing older) people are becoming more at ease and comfortable with the flexibility offered by private renting a property rather than jumping ‘lemming like’ into home ownership. Bexhill landlords will continue to see growth in sector, and like Germany, todays renters will become homeowners in 20 years’ time – when they will inherit the wealth of their parent’s home. Let me know how your plans are going especially if you are a first time buyer, call me at my Little Common Office on 01424 844081 or email me at patrick@redwell-estates.co.uk. Kind regards, Patrick Stappleton. END

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How Affordable is Property for Bexhill’s Average Working Families?

The simple fact is we are not building enough properties. If the supply of new properties is limited and demand continues to soar with heightened divorce rates, i.e. one household becoming two, people living longer and continued immigration, this means the values of those existing properties continues to remain high and out of reach for a lot of people, especially the blue collar working families of Bexhill.

Looking at some recent statistics released by the Government, the ratio of the lower quartile house prices to lower quartile gross annual salaries in Rother District Council has hit 10.98 to 1.

What does that mean exactly and why does it matter to Bexhill landlords and homeowners?

If we ordered every property in the Rother District Council area by the value of those properties, the average value of the lower quartile properties (i.e. lowest 25%) would be £196,500. If we then did the same, and ordered everyone’s salary in the same council area, the average of the lowest quartile (lowest 25%), the average salary of the lowest 25% is £17,892 pa, thus dividing one with the other, we get the ratio of 10.98 to 1.

Assuming there is one wage earner in the house, the chances of a Bexhill working family being able to afford to buy their own home, when it’s just under eleven times their annual salary, is very slim indeed. The existing affordability crisis of people wanting to buy their own home is the unavoidable outcome of the decade on decade failure to build enough homes to keep up with demand. Nevertheless, improving affordability is not a case of just constructing more homes. Rother District Council needs to ensure more properties are not only built, but built in the right locations and of the right type and at the right price to ensure the needs of these lower income working families are met, because at the moment, they presently have few options apart from the private rental sector.

Looking at the historic nature of the ratio, it can clearly be seen in the graph below that this has been an issue since the early to mid 2000’s.

Capture 218 GRAPH XXXXXXXXXXXX

However, if one looks at the historic data, those on the bottom rung of the ladder (those in the lower quartile of wage earners) used to be housed by the local authority instead of buying. However, the vast majority of council houses were sold off in the 1980’s, meaning there are much fewer council houses today to house this generation.

Many of the lower quartile working class families were given a lifeline to buy their own homes in middle 2000’s, with 100% mortgages, but the with the credit crunch in 2009, that rug (of 100% mortgages) was rudely pulled from under their feet. You see it is cheaper to buy than rent … it’s the finding of the 5% deposit that is the challenging issue for these Bexhill working class families. So unless the Government allow 100% mortgages back, the fact is, demand for rental properties will outstrip supply.

In the long term, to alleviate that, I would suggest the Bexhill community hold their local politicians at Rother District Council to account for the actions they could take to ensure the affordability of housing and the extent to which they work with private developers and housing associations and aggressively use the planning tools at their disposal to safeguard the local community getting the new households we need. Rother District Council could make certain parcels of residential building land for private rented development only, eliminating the opportunity of the land being bought to develop large executive homes, which do not solve the current problem.

Yet in the short term, all this means is demand for rental properties will continue to grow, keeping Bexhill house prices high and Bexhill rents high. For any Landlords who would like to discuss this article or discuss the rental market in Bexhill, call in and see me at my Little Common office or email me at patrick@bexhillpropertyblog.com or call me on 01424 224242. Hope you enjoy the read. Kind regards, Patrick.

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Extra Funding Is Required for Affordable Homes in Bexhill

In my blog about the Bexhill Property Market I mostly only talk about two of the three main sectors of the local property market, the ‘private rented sector’ and the ‘owner occupier sector’. However, as I often stress when talking to my clients, one cannot forget the third sector, that being the ‘social housing sector’ (or council housing as some people call it).

In previous articles, I have spoken at length about the crisis in supply of property in Bexhill (i.e. not enough property is being built), but in this article I want to talk about the other crisis – that of affordability. It is not just about the pure number of houses being built but also the equilibrium of tenure (ownership vs rented) and therein, the affordability of housing, which needs to be considered carefully for an efficient and effectual housing market.

An efficient and effectual housing market is in everyone’s interests, including Bexhill homeowners and Bexhill landlords, so let me explain ..

An average of only 58 Affordable Homes per year have been built by Rother District Council in the last 9 years

The requirement for the provision of subsidised housing has been recognised since Victorian times. Even though private rents have not kept up with inflation since 2005 (meaning tenants are better off) it’s still a fact there are substantial numbers of low-income households in Bexhill devoid of the money to allow them a decent standard of housing.

Usually, property in the social housing sector has had rents set at around half the going market rate and affordable shared home ownership has been the main source of new affordable housing yet, irrespective of the tenure, the local authority is simply not coming up with the numbers required. If the local authority isn’t building or finding these affordable homes, these Bexhill tenants still need housing, and some tenants at the lower end of the market are falling foul of rogue landlords. Not good news for tenants and the vast majority of law abiding and decent Bexhill landlords who are tarnished by the actions of those few rogue landlords, especially as I believe everyone has the right to a safe and decent home.

Be it Tory’s, Labour, SNP, Lib Dems, Greens etc, everyone needs to put party politics aside and start building enough homes and ensure that housing is affordable. Even though 2017 was one of the best years for new home building in the last decade (217,000 home built in 2017) overall new home building has been in decline for many years from the heady days of the early 1970s, when an average of 350,000 new homes were being built a year. As you can see from the graph, we simply aren’t building enough ‘affordable’ homes in the area.

Capture 216 GRAPH XXXXXXXXXXX

The blame cannot all be placed at the feet of the local authority as Council budgets nationally, according to Full-Fact, are 26% lower than they have been since 2010.
So, what does this mean for Bexhill homeowners? Well, an undersupply of affordable homes will artificially keep rents and property prices high. That might sound good in the short term, but a large proportion of my Bexhill landlords find their children are also priced out of the housing market. Also, whilst your Bexhill home might be slightly higher in value, due to this lack of supply of homes at the bottom end of the market, as most people move up the market when they do move, the one you want to buy will be priced even higher.

Problems at the lower end of the property market will affect the middle and upper parts. There is no getting away from the fact that the Bexhill housing market is all interlinked .. it’s not called the Property ‘Ladder’ for nothing! Interesting stuff when you think about it. Anyway, if you would like to discuss this article or any other of my pieces, then email me on patrick@bexhillpropertymarket.com or call into Redwell Estates in Little Common where I will be delighted to see you. Kind regards, Patrick Stappleton, Author of the Bexhill Property Blog.
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Bexhill Council Tax Payers Stung by 64.42% above Inflation Rise

Buying and selling a home in Bexhill isn’t the easiest or cheapest thing you will ever do. Estate Agent fees, Solicitors fees, Survey fees, Mortgage fees, Removal Van … the costs just mount up throughout every step of the move. Last week, a Bexhill landlord asked me whether the Council Tax Band made a difference to a property’s appeal, be it tenanted or to owner occupiers, when it comes to being sold on the open market and whether extensions or improvements made a difference to the tax banding? Continue reading “Bexhill Council Tax Payers Stung by 64.42% above Inflation Rise”

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Homeownership Amongst Bexhill’s Young Adults Slumps to 46.60%

The degree to which young Bexhill people are locked out of the Bexhill housing market has been revealed in new statistics.

A Bexhill landlord was asking me the other week to what effect homeownership rates in Bexhill in the early to middle aged adult age range had affected the demand for rental property in Bexhill since the Millennium. Continue reading “Homeownership Amongst Bexhill’s Young Adults Slumps to 46.60%”

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282 First Timer Buyers in Bexhill Bought Their First Home in 2017

A little bit of good news this week on the Bexhill Property Market as recently released data shows that the number of first time buyers taking out their first mortgage in 2017 increased more than in any other year since the global financial crisis in 2009. The data shows there were 282 first time buyers in Bexhill, the largest number since 2006. Continue reading “282 First Timer Buyers in Bexhill Bought Their First Home in 2017”

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Bexhill’s ‘Millennials’ set to inherit £408,183

That got your attention … didn’t it!

But before we start, what is Generation X, let alone Generation Z, Millennials, Baby Boomers … these are phrases banded around about the different life stages (or subcomponents) of our society. But when terminologies like this are used as often and habitually as these phrases (i.e. Gen X this, Millennial that etc.), it appears particularly vital we have some practical idea of what these terms actually mean. Continue reading “Bexhill’s ‘Millennials’ set to inherit £408,183”

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Bexhill’s £139,776,000 “Rentirement” Property Market Time Bomb

Yes, I said ‘rentirement’, not retirement … rentirement and it relates to the 728 (and growing) Bexhill people, who don’t own their own Bexhill home but rent their home, privately from a buy to let landlord and who are currently in their 50’s and early to mid-60’s.

The truth is that these Bexhill people are prospectively soon to retire with little more than their state pension of £155.95 per week, Continue reading “Bexhill’s £139,776,000 “Rentirement” Property Market Time Bomb”

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Bexhill Private Rents hit £10.10 per sq. ft.

As I am sure you are aware, one the best things about my job as an agent is helping Bexhill landlords with their strategic portfolio management. Gone are the days of making money by buying any old Bexhill property to rent out or sell on. Nowadays, property investment is both an art and science. The art is your gut reaction to a property, but with the power of the internet and the way the Bexhill property market has gone in the last 11 years, science must also play its part on a property’s future viability for investment. Continue reading “Bexhill Private Rents hit £10.10 per sq. ft.”

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£910.64pm – The Profit made by every Bexhill Property Owner over the last 20 years

As we go headlong into 2018, I believe UK interest rates will stay low, even with the additional 0.25% increase that is expected in May or June. That rise will add just over £20 to the typical £160,000 tracker mortgage, although with 57.1% of all borrowers on fixed rates, it will probably go undetected by most buy-to-let landlords and homeowners. I forecast that we won’t see any more interest rate rises due to the fragile nature of the British economy and the Brexit challenge. Even though mortgages will remain inexpensive, with retail price inflation outstripping salary rises, it will still very much feel like a heavy weight to some Bexhill households.

Now it’s certain the Bexhill housing market in 2017 was a little more subdued than 2016 and that will continue into 2018. Property ownership is a medium to long-term investment so looking at that long-term time frame; the average Bexhill homeowner who bought their property 20 years ago has seen its value rise by more than 334%.

This is important, as house prices are a national obsession and tied into the health of the UK economy as a whole. The majority of that historic gain in Bexhill property values has come from property market growth, although some of that will have been added by homeowners modernising, extending or developing their Bexhill home.

Taking a look at the different property types in Bexhill and the profit made by each type, it makes interesting reading.

Capture 201 FIGURES

Capture 201 Graph

However, I want to put aside all that historic growth and profit and look forward to what will happen in the future.

I want to look at the factors that could affect future Bexhill (and the Country’s) house price growth/profit. One important factor has to be the building of new homes both locally and in the country as a whole. This has picked up in 2017 with 217,350 homes coming on to the UK housing ladder in the last year (a 15% increase on the previous year’s figures of 189,690. However, Philip Hammond has set a target of 300,000 a year, so still plenty to go!

Another factor that will affect property prices is my prediction that the balance of power between Bexhill buy-to-let landlords and Bexhill first-time buyers should tip more towards the local first-time buyers in 2018.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders expects the number of buy to let mortgages to drop by 34% from levels seen in 2015. This is because of taxes being increased recently on buy-to-let and harder lending criteria for buy to let mortgages, which means I foresee a gradual move in the balance of power in favour of first-time buyers rather than buy-to-let landlords. First time buyers will also be helped by The Chancellor Eradicating Stamp Duty for all properties up to £300,000 bought by first-time buyers in the recent budget.

This means Bexhill buy-to-let landlords will have to work smarter in the future to continue to make decent returns (profits) from their Bexhill buy-to-let investment. Even with the tempering of house price inflation in Bexhill in 2017, most Bexhill buy to let landlords (and homeowners) are still sitting on a copious amount of growth from previous years.

The question is, how do you, as a Bexhill buy to let landlord ensure that continues?

Since the 1990’s, making money from investing in buy-to-let property was as easy as falling off a log. Looking forward though, with all the changes in the tax regime and balance of power, making those similar levels of return in the future won’t be as easy.

Over the last ten years, I have seen the role of the forward thinking letting agents evolve from a ‘rent collector’ and basic property management to a more holistic role, or as I call it, ‘landlord portfolio strategic leadership’. Thankfully, along with myself, there are a handful of letting agents in Bexhill whom I would consider exemplary at this landlord portfolio strategy where they can give you a balanced structured overview of your short, medium and long-term goals, in relation to your required return on investment, yield and capital growth requirements. If you would like such advice, speak with your current agent – or whether you are a landlord of ours or not – without any cost or commitment, feel free to drop me a line by letter or email to redwell Estates, 44b Cooden Sea Road, Little Common Bexhill TN39 4SL or email me at patrick@redwell-estates.co.uk

For more Articles about the Bexhill Property Market click onto www.bexhillpropertymarket.com and read away to your hearts content.  More interesting news from Bexhill soon.
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Bexhill Homeowners Are Only Moving Every 14 Years (part 2)

In the credit crunch of 2008/9 the rate of home moving plunged to its lowest level ever. In 2009 the rate at which a typical house would change hands slumped to only once every 20 years. The biggest reason being that confidence was low and many homeowners didn’t want to sell their home as Bexhill property prices plunged after the onset of the financial crisis in 2008. However, since 2009, the rate of home moving has increased (see the table and graph below), meaning today: Continue reading “Bexhill Homeowners Are Only Moving Every 14 Years (part 2)”

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Moving from a 2 bed Bexhill Property to a 4 bed will cost you £873 pm

Moving to a bigger home is something Bexhill people with growing young families aspire to. Many people in two bedroom homes move to a three-bedroom home and some even make the jump to a four-bed home. Bigger homes, especially three bed Bexhill homes are much in demand and it can be a costly move.

If you live in Bexhill in a two-bedroom property and wish to move to a four-bedroom house in Bexhill, you would need to spend an additional £220,908 (or £872.59 pm in mortgage payments (based on the UK Bank average standard variable rate)). Continue reading “Moving from a 2 bed Bexhill Property to a 4 bed will cost you £873 pm”

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Slowing Bexhill Property Market? Yes and No!

My thoughts to the landlords and homeowners of Bexhill…

The tightrope of being a Bexhill buy-to-let landlord is a balancing act many do well at. Talking to several Bexhill landlords, they are very conscious of their tenants’ capacity and ability to pay the rent and their own need to raise rents on their rental properties (as Government figure shows ‘real pay’ has dropped 1% in the last six months). Evidence does however suggest many landlords feel more assured than they were in the spring about pursuing higher rents on their Bexhill buy-to-let properties. Continue reading “Slowing Bexhill Property Market? Yes and No!”Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutubeinstagram

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Bexhill Property Market and Mysterious Politics of the General Election

As the dust starts to settle on the various unread General Election party manifestos, with their ‘bran-bucket’ made up numbers, life goes back to normal as political rhetoric on social media is replaced with pictures of cats and people’s lunch. Joking aside though, all the political parties promised so much on the housing front in their manifestos, should they be elected at the General Election. In hindsight, irrespective of which party, they seldom deliver on those promises.  Continue reading “Bexhill Property Market and Mysterious Politics of the General Election”Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutubeinstagram

Home Ownership among Bexhill young people has nearly halved in 20 years

The proportion of 25 to 34-year olds who own their home in Bexhill has nearly halved in the last 20 years, so what does this mean for all the existing Bexhill landlords and homeowners together with all those youngsters considering buying their first home?

Well, looking at the numbers in greater detail, in Bexhill there has been a 43.5% proportional drop in the number of 25 to 34-year olds owning their own home between 1999 and 2019 .. and a corresponding, yet smaller drop of 21.2% of 35 to 44-year olds owning their own home over the same time frame.

So, if you were born in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s, the dream of owning a home in Bexhill has reduced dramatically over the past 20 years as young adults’ wages and salaries are now much lower in relation to Bexhill house prices. Nationally, average property values have grown by 186.9%, whilst average incomes have only risen by 44.8%, yet that doesn’t allow for inflation. However, whilst not over the same 20 years (it’s close enough though), the Institute of Fiscal Studies said recently the average British home was just over 2.5 times higher in 2015/6 than in 1995/6 after allowing for inflation; yet the average household income (after tax) of 25 to 34-year olds grew by only 22% in ‘real-terms’ over those 20 years.

Yet, even though property prices are at record highs, on the other side of the coin, the monthly cost of mortgage payments has actually fallen because interest rates have remained low. In 1999, the average mortgage rate paid by UK homeowners was 6.54% whilst today it’s more than halved to 2.64% – a drop of 59.4%. Many of you reading this will remember the 15% mortgage rates of 1992!

The fact is, mortgage repayments take up a considerably smaller proportion of take home pay, on average, than they did before the Credit Crunch or in the late 1980’s. Although the risk that mortgage rates will increase if the Bank of England put up interest rates might leave some homeowners in a difficult position – hence I might suggest (if you haven’t already) you seriously consider fixing your mortgage rate (remember to take advice from a professional before you do).

Yet look at the data in even greater detail and you will see, going back

to the 1960’s, we weren’t always the huge homeowning nation we always thought we were.

Today, 4.5% less 35 to 44-year olds and 33.5% more 45 to 54-year olds own their own home compared to 1969. So as the younger generation in Bexhill has seen homeownership drop in the medium term, they will in fact end up inheriting the homes of their parents. We are turning into a more European (especially German) model of homeownership, where people buy their first home in their 50’s instead of their 20’s.

My message to first time buyers of Bexhill is go and get some mortgage advice!  The cost of renting smaller starter homes is between 20% and 25% more than the mortgage payments would be. 95% mortgages (meaning a 5% deposit is required) have been available since late 2009 and some banks even do 100% mortgages (i.e. no deposit) .. I suggest that you don’t assume you can’t get a mortgage – for the sake of a 45 minute chat with a mortgage adviser – you get a straight answer and all the information you need.

Therefore, what does this mean for homeowners and landlords of Bexhill? Well, for many tenants, renting is a positive choice and as we aren’t building enough homes to meet current demand, let alone eating into the lack of building over the last 35 years, demand will outstrip supply, home values will, over the medium to long term, rise above inflation – meaning it will be a good overall investment as demand for rental properties increases. Good news for Bexhill landlords and Bexhill homeowners alike.

The single biggest issue in the Country (and Bexhill) today is that we aren’t building enough homes. I know it seems the local area is covered with building sites – yet looking at the actual numbers – we still aren’t building enough homes to live in. Residential property only takes up 1.2% of all the land in the Country – and whilst I’m not suggesting we build housing estates on National Trust land or cut down forests, until we realize that we aren’t building enough .. this issue will only continue to get worse.

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Bexhill Property Market vs London Property Market

Anyone would think that national news, especially when it comes to talking about the property market, is just focused on London centric. In fact, over the last 5 years, the London property market has really manipulated the UK on averages to such an extent that many lenders like the Halifax and Nationwide publish two indices, a national one without London and one with.

Now it’s true the London property market has undergone some quite acute property price falls. In the upmarket areas of Mayfair and Kensington, the Land Registry have reported values are 11.3% lower than a year ago, yet in the UK as a whole they are 1.3% higher. Yet look around the different areas and regions of the UK and Northern Ireland, property values are up 5.8% year on year, whilst over the same time frame, the East Midlands is 3.9% up and Yorkshire is 3.7% up. So, what exactly is happening locally in Bexhill and what should Bexhill landlords and homeowners really be concerned about?

Well, to start with, as I have been saying for a while now, property is a long game, and making decisions on the short-term fluctuations is something that could cause a nervous breakdown.

I wanted to look at how Bexhill had performed over the long term, when compared to London and the UK as a whole.  Yet it is hard to compare differing locations when the average value of a property in Bexhill differs greatly to one in the capital.  I decided if I wanted to compare like for like, I needed to see what would happen if I had spent £100 on property in London in 1979 and what would that £100 be worth today, and then do the same exercise for the UK. So, looking over the last 40 years …

See how the growth of that £100 was broadly similar between 1979 and 2007 on all three strands of the graph and then we had the credit crunch drop between late 2007 and 2009? However, after 2009 London went on a different trajectory to the rest of the UK. Whilst Bexhill (and the UK) were generally subdued between 2009 and 2012, London kicked on. All areas of the country had a temporary blip in 2012, yet whilst Bexhill and the UK went up a gear again 2013, London went into overdrive and up like a rocket!

Now you can see London has dipped slightly in the last year, so the hot question for everyone has to be – are price falls likely to spread (as they did in the previous property recessions of 1989 and 2007) to Bexhill and other places in the UK? The Bank of England’s opinion is that a London house price drop is unlikely to be the beginning of a countrywide trend. Looking at the graph again, it can be seen London has been in decline for 2 years, whilst the rest of the country has been moving forward.

So, what does all this mean for Bexhill

homeowners and landlords?

Well what happens in London does have an impact, but there are other issues that will have a bigger impact on the local property market. The simple fact is over the last 40 years, we have had 392.9% inflation, yet looking at a typical Bexhill terraced house…

A Bexhill terraced house has jumped in

value from an average of £21,784 to £234,400

since 1979 – a rise of 1062.2%

Property has in the long term been a good bet. Yes, we might have some short-term blips and as long as you play the long game – you will always win. In the short term, my concern isn’t over monthly up or down property values, Brexit or another General Election. With property values still rising faster than salaries in many parts of the country, what really matters is how much of householder’s take home pay goes into housing costs as opposed to other spending items. If housing gets too expensive – other things will suffer, like holidays and the nice things in life to spend your money on. Only time will tell!

P.S. Wonder what that Bexhill terraced would be worth if it had gone by London house prices? Here’s your answer – £341,143.

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How Did Brexit Affect the Bexhill Property Market in 2018 – and its Future for 2019?

A few weeks ago, I suggested property values in Bexhill would be between 0.8% and 1.6% different by the end of the year. It might surprise some people that Brexit hasn’t had the effect on the Bexhill property market that most feared at the start of 2018.

The basis of this point of view can clearly be seen in the number of property transactions (i.e. the number of property sold) that have taken place locally since 2008. The most recent property recession was the Credit Crunch years of 2008/2009/2010.

In property recessions, the headline most people look at is the average value of property. Yet, as most people that sell also go on to buy, for most home movers, if your property has gone down in value, the one you want to buy has also gone down in value so you are no better or worse off. If you are moving up market – which most people do when they move home – in a repressed market, the gap between what yours is worth and what you will buy gets lower … meaning you will be better off.

Yet, most property commentators, including myself, suggest (and I have mentioned this before in some of my other blog articles) a better measure of the health of the property market is the transaction numbers (i.e. the number of people selling and buying). So, I decided to look at the 2018 statistics, and compare them with the Credit Crunch years (2008 to 2010) and the boom years (2014 to 2017). The results can be seen in the table below.

Then, I looked at the average quarterly figures for those chosen date ranges … and created this graph …

In that 2008 to 2010 property Credit Crunch recession, the average number of properties sold in the Bexhill and Rother area were 120 per month. Interesting when we compare that to the boom years of 2014 to 2017, when an average of 183 properties changed hands monthly … yet in the ‘supposed’ doom laden year of 2018, an impressive average of 151 properties changed hands monthly … meaning 2018 compared to the boom years of 2014 to 2017 saw a drop of 17.6% – yet still 25.6% higher than the Credit Crunch years of 2008 to 2010.

The simple fact is, the fundamental problems of the Bexhill property market are that there haven’t been enough new homes being built since the 1980’s (and I don’t say that lightly with all the new homes sites dotted around the locality). Also, the cost of buying your first home remaining relatively high compared to wages and to add insult to injury, all those issues are armor-plated by the tougher mortgage rules which were introduced in 2014 and the current mortgage market conditions.

It is these issues which will ultimately determine and form the rather unexciting, yet still vital, long term outlook for the Bexhill (and national) housing market, as I feel the Brexit issue over the last few years has been the ‘current passing diversion’ for us to worry about. Assuming something can be sorted with Brexit, in the long term property values in Bexhill will be constrained by earnings increases with long term house price rises of no more than 2.5% to 4% a year.

Fundamentally, the question I am asked by many Bexhill buy to let landlords and Bexhill homebuyers is … “should I wait to buy or not?”

As a Bexhill homebuyer, one shouldn’t be thinking of what is happening in Westminster, Brussels, Irish Backstop, China or Trump and more of your own personal circumstances. Do you want to move to get your child in ‘that’ school or do you need an extra bedroom for your third child? For lots of people, the response is a resounding yes – and in fact, I feel many people have held back, so once we know what is finally happening with Brexit and the future of it, there could a be a release of that pent-up demand to move home as people humbly just want to get on with their lives.

There is little to be lost in postponing a house purchase until there is better clarity on the situation. If it isn’t Brexit it will something else – so just get on with your lives and start living. We got through the global financial crisis/Credit Crunch in ‘08/’09, Black Wednesday in ’92 where mortgage interest rates went from 8.5% to 15% in one day, we got through the worst stock market crash with Black Monday in ’87, hyperinflation, power shortages, petrol quadrupling in price in less than a year and a 3 day week in the ‘70’s … need I go on?

Bexhill Landlords? Well, where else are you going to invest your money? Like I said earlier in the article, we aren’t building enough homes to keep up with demand … so as demand outstrips supply, house values will continue to grow. Putting the money in the building society will only get you 1% to 2% if you are lucky. In the short term though, there could be some bargains to be had from shortsighted panicking sellers and in the long term … well, the same reasons I gave to homeowners also apply to you.

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Bexhill House Prices up 29.3% in the last 5 Years

Over the last 5 years, we have seen some interesting subtle changes to the Bexhill property market as buying patterns of landlords have changed ever so slightly.

The background to this story was the recently published set of buy-to-let (BTL) lending statistics. Roll the clock back 12 months and 6,700 BTL mortgages were granted (in the same month) for £900m, meaning the average BTL mortgage was £134,200. Looking at last month’s figures, and as one might expect with the Brexit issue overhanging the property market, the lending figures were down, yet not by the amount I originally thought. Last month, just over 6,100 new buy-to-let mortgages were granted for a total sum of £800m (meaning the average landlord mortgage was a respectable £131,100). Yet, when I looked back to the boom year of the 2014 property market, in the corresponding same month, only £1,030 million was borrowed on 8,300 buy-to-let properties (meaning the average buy-to-let mortgage was £124,100). It seems Brexit is having no effect on landlords buying habits.

Looking closer to home in Bexhill, throughout 2018, I have been regularly chatting to more and more landlords, be they seasoned professional Bexhill BTL landlords or FTL’s (first time landlords) and their attitude is mostly positive. Instead of reading the scare-papers (oops sorry newspapers), those Bexhill landlords that look with their eyes, will see the Bexhill property market is doing reasonably well, with medium term rents and property values rising; as quite obviously from the mortgage figures .. landlords are still buying.

The question I get asked all the time is .. “What type of buy-to-let property should I buy?  You can make money from property through both the rent (expressed as a yield when compared to the value of the property) and how the actual value of the home itself changes.

Since 2014, property values in Bexhill have risen by 29.3%.

We have records of what each type of property (i.e. Detached/Semi/Terraced/Apartments) has achieved per square metre going back 20 years … and looking back over the last 5 years, these are the numbers ..

They all look to have similar percentage uplifts, however as you can see from the table there is in fact some variation throughout and although only slight this can equate to thousands of pounds in monetary terms.

This has proved that semis and terraced houses have performed the best .. although like the £/Sq.M figures, these are just averages. When investing, whilst Bexhill apartments haven’t been the best performers in terms of capital growth, they do tend to generate a slightly better yield than houses, probably because several sharers can afford to pay more than a single family. But houses tend to appreciate in value more rapidly and may well be easier to sell, simply because there are fewer being built.

Now these are of course averages, but it gives you a good place to start from. The bigger picture here though is this – irrespective of what is happening in the world, be it Brexit/no Brexit, China, Trump, whatever, Bexhill people still need a roof over their heads and we as a Country haven’t built enough homes to keep up with the demand since the late 1980’s. This means even if we have a short term wobble in 2019 when it comes to property values ..in the medium term, demand will always outstrip supply and prices and rents will increase – because, I doubt the local authority, let alone Westminster, have the billions of pounds required to build the one hundred thousand Council houses per year nationally for the next decade to fix this issue – meaning as the population increases, the only people who can fulfil the demand for accommodation in the medium term is the private BTL landlord.

Before I go …on average, housing associations and local authorities have built around 26,500 houses each year since 2010. The Labour government had a lower average, building about 19,000 homes per year, yet in the 1960’s, under both administrations, 180,000 councils were built per year!

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Bexhill Property Market – Outlook for 2019

Bexhill property values are currently 1.9% higher than at the end of 2017, notwithstanding the uncertainty and threats over the potential impact of Brexit in 2019. This has exceeded all the predictions (aka guesses) of all the City of London economists, in an astonishing sign of strength for the local Bexhill and wider national economy.

Nevertheless, the statistics from the Land Registry come after a lethargic year for the number of properties in Bexhill compared to the actual prices achieved for those properties.  All this, against a framework of amplified political ambiguity and ensuing years of rising Bexhill property values that have reduced the affordability of homes in the locality.

The average value of a Bexhill property today,

currently stands at £291,900

Looking in finer detail, it isn’t a surprise that 793 property sales in Bexhill over the last 12 months is somewhat lower than the long-term average over the last 20 years of 1,094 property sales per year in Bexhill as the long-term trend of people moving less has meant a decline in the number of property transactions.

I believe locally, Bexhill property value growth will be more reserved in 2019 after two decades of weaker wage rises. One of main drivers in the demand (and thus the price people are prepared to pay for a home) is the growth of peoples wage packets. Interestingly, wage inflation over the last six months has risen from 2.4% in the late summer to its current level of 3.3% (which is higher than the average since the Millennium, which has been a modest 2.1%). One of the reasons why wages are growing in the short term is the unemployment rate in the country currently only stands at 4.1%, continuing to stay close to its lowest level since the 1970’s.

However, even though Bexhill salaries and wages are rising comparatively higher than they were last year, looking over the long term, Bexhill property values are 132.9% higher than they were in January 2002, yet average salaries are only 76.1% higher over the same time frame. This means over the last few years, with average property values so high comparative to salary/wages, many Bexhill potential buyers have been priced out of being able to purchase their first home.

At first glance, these stats are actually rather positive during this reported time of political uncertainty and the height of Brexit commotion … because I genuinely believe that to be the case. The press have always looked for the bad news (well they do say it is that that sells newspapers), and whilst I am not entering into the pros and cons of Brexit itself, the numbers do stack up quite well since the Brexit vote took place nearly 3 years ago.

Moving forward, when taken with the recent reduction in short to medium term number of property transactions (i.e. the number of Bexhill properties sold), it should be noted that a lot of the this buoyant house price increase has a lot more to do with a shortage of properties on the market rather than an uplift in the Bexhill housing market generally.

And we can’t forget that Bexhill isn’t in its own little bubble, as there are noteworthy differences across the UK in property value inflation. House prices in London and the South East have hardly risen or even fallen in some places, whilst in the Midlands, North and other parts of the country they have generally increased. 

Looking forward, I would say to the homeowners and buy to let landlords of the locality that I expect Bexhill house price growth to remain stable between 0.8% and 1.6% by the end of this year (although they could dip slightly during the summer) … as long as nothing unexpected happens in the world economically or politically of course. 

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Bexhill Homeowners 120% More Likely To Live in a Home with 3+ Bedrooms than those that Privately Rent

The conventional way of categorising property in Britain is to look at the number of bedrooms rather than its size in square metres (square feet for those of you over 50!). My intuition tells me that homeowners and tenants are happy to pay for more space. It’s quite obvious, the more bedrooms a house or apartment has, the bigger the property is likely to be. And it’s not only the tangible additional bedrooms, but those properties with those additional bedrooms tend to have larger (and more) reception (living) rooms. However, if you think about it, this isn’t so surprising given that properties with more bedrooms would typically accommodate more people and therefore require larger reception rooms.

In todays Bexhill property market, the Bexhill homeowners and Bexhill landlords I talk to are always asking me which attributes and features are likely to make their property comparatively more attractive and which ones may detract from the price. Over time buyers’ and tenants’ wants and needs have changed.

In Bexhill, location is still the No. 1 factor affecting the value of property, and a property in the best neighbourhoods can achieve a price almost 50% higher than a similar house in an ‘average’ area. Nevertheless, after location, the next characteristic that has a significant influence on the desirability, and thus price, of property is the number of bedrooms and the type (i.e. Detached/Semi/Terraced/Flat).

The number of bedrooms for owner-occupiers very much depends on the size of the family and the budget, whilst Bexhill landlords have to consider the investment opportunity. In this article, I have analysed Bexhill’s housing stock into bedrooms and tenure. Initially looking at Bexhill homeowners..

And now the Private rented sector …

It can quite clearly be seen that Bexhill owner-occupiers tend to occupy the larger properties with more bedrooms. This would be expected due to the demographic of homeowners and people that privately rent.

However, this shows there could be opportunities for Bexhill buy to let landlords to purchase larger properties with more bedrooms to attract tenants requiring properties with more bedrooms. However, before you all go buying larger 4 bed and 5 bed mansions to rent them out, a lot of bigger properties in Bexhill don’t make financial sense when it comes to buy to let. For numerous years Bexhill buy to let landlords have been the lone buyers at the smaller one and two bed starter homes of the market, as they have been lured by elevated tenant demand and eye-catching returns. Some Bexhill landlords believe their window of opportunity has started to close with the new tax regime for landlords, whilst it already appears to be opening wider for first time buyers. This is great news for first time buyers .. but one final note for Bexhill landlords .. all is not lost .. you can still pick up bargains, you just need to be a lot more savvy and do your homework ..one source of such information with articles like this is the Bexhill Property Market Blog

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Bexhill Homeowners Have Made an Annual Profit Of £11,023 Since the Millennium

As we go full steam ahead into 2019, it’s certain that the Bexhill housing market in 2018 was a little more restrained than 2016 and 2017 and I believe this will continue into 2019. Property ownership is a medium to long term investment so, looking at the long-term, the average Bexhill homeowner, having owned their property since the Millennium, has seen its value rise by more than 255%.

This is important, as house prices are a national obsession and tied into the health of the UK economy as a whole. The preponderance of that historical gain in Bexhill property values has come from the growth in Bexhill property values, while some of it will have been enhanced by extending, modernising or developing their Bexhill home.

Taking a look at the different property types in Bexhill, and the profit made by each type, makes interesting reading..


However, we can’t forget there has been just over 60% inflation over those 18 years, which eats into the ‘real’ value (or true spending power of that profit) … so if we take into account inflation since 2000, the true spending power of that profit has been lower.

 So the ‘real’ value of the profit, after inflation, in Bexhill has been £6,730 per year.. still nothing to sniff at.

I wanted to show you that even though we had the 2008/09 Credit Crunch property market crash where, depending on the type of Bexhill property, property values dropped between 15% and 20% in 18 months … Bexhill homeowners over the long term are still better off than those renting.

Moving forward, the question I get asked time and again is what will happen in the future to the Bexhill Property market? Irrespective of what is happening in the World, Europe or even Central London, the biggest factor over the medium to long term to ensure that this level of house price growth is maintained in Bexhill is the building of new homes both locally and in the country as a whole. Whilst we haven’t had the 2018 stats yet, Government sources suggest this will be nearer 180,000 to 190,000, a decrease from the 2017 figure of 217,350 new households being created. When you consider that we need to build 240,000 households to equal demand (immigration, people living longer, higher divorce rates and people co-habiting later in life etc) … demand will outstrip supply and unless the Government start to spend billions building council houses .. this trend will continue for years (and decades to come).

Another factor is that whilst Bexhill landlords have been hit with higher taxes to enable them to actually be a landlord most, in every national survey, still intends to increase their portfolio in the medium to long term. The youngsters of Bexhill see renting as a choice, giving them flexibility and options that being tied to a home cannot give… thus meaning demand will continue to grow and landlords will be able to enjoy increased rents and capital growth, although those very same Bexhill buy to let landlords will have to work smarter in the future to continue to make decent returns (profits) from their buy to let investments. Even with the tempering of house price inflation in Bexhill in 2018, most Bexhill buy to let landlords (and homeowners) are still sitting on a copious amount of growth from previous years.

The question is, how do you, as a Bexhill buy to let landlord, ensure that continues?

Since the 1990’s, making money from investing in buy to let property was as easy as falling off a log. Looking forward though, with all the changes in the tax regime and balance of power, making those similar levels of return in the future won’t be so easy. Over the last ten years, I have seen the role of the forward thinking agents evolve from a person collecting the rent to a more all-inclusive role; I call it, ‘strategic portfolio leadership’. Thankfully, along with myself, there are a handful of agents in Bexhill whom I would consider exemplary at this landlord portfolio strategy where they can give you a balanced structured overview of your short, medium and long-term goals, in relation to your required return on investment, yield and capital growth requirements. If you would like such advice, speak with your current agent – whether you are a landlord of ours or not – without any cost or commitment.

Drop me a line at patrick@redwell-estates.co.uk or call my office at 01424 224242 and we can discuss this further. Kind regards, Patrick Stappleton, author of the Bexhill Property Blog.com, Managing Director of Redwell Estates.

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