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.

END

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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
END

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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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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