I was having a lazy Saturday morning, reading through the newspapers at my favourite Blueberries coffee shop in Bexhill. I find the most interesting bits are their commentaries on the British Housing Market. Some talk about property prices, whilst others discuss the younger generation grappling to get a foot-hold on the property ladder with difficulties of saving up for the deposit. Others feature articles about the severe lack of new homes being built (which is especially true in Bexhill!). A group of people that don’t often get any column inches however are those existing homeowners who can’t move! Continue reading “23.4% Drop in Bexhill People Moving Home in the Last 10 Years”
Recently I was having a chat with one of my second cousins at a big family get-together. The last time I had seen them their children were in their early teens. Now their children are all grown up, have partners, dogs and children. Wow – how time flies!
So, I got talking over a glass of lemonade with my 2nd cousins and a couple of their children, about the times of 15% interest rates and how the more mature members of our family had to endure the 3 day week, 20% inflation and the threat of nuclear annihilation in 4 minutes … so, foolishly, I said what with all the opportunities youngsters had to day, they had never had it so good! Continue reading “The Unfairness of the Bexhill Baby Boomer’s £3,403,330,000 Windfall? (Part 1)”
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”
The good old days of the 1970’s and 1980’s eh … with such highlights lowlights as 24% inflation, 17% interest rates, 3 day working week, 13% unemployment, power cuts … those were the days (not)… but at least people could afford to buy their own home. So why aren’t the 20 and 30 something’s buying in the same numbers as they were 30 or 40 years ago?
Many people blame the credit crunch and global recession of 2008, which had an enormous impact on the Bexhill (and UK) housing market. Predominantly, the 20 something first-time buyers who, confronting a problematic mortgage market, the perceived need for big deposits, reduced job security and declining disposable income, discovered it challenging to assemble the monetary means to get on to the Bexhill property ladder.
However, I would say there has been something else at play other than the issue of raising a deposit – having sufficient income and rising property prices in Bexhill. Whilst these are important factors and barriers to home ownership, I also believe there has been a generational change in attitudes towards home ownership in Bexhill (and in fact the rest of the Country).
If I were a buy-to-let landlord in Bexhill today, I might feel a little bruised by the assault made on my wallet after being (and continuing to be) ransacked over the last 12 months by HM Treasury’s tax changes on buy-to-let. To add insult to injury, Brexit has caused a tempering of the Bexhill property market with property prices not increasing by the levels we have seen in the last few years. I think we might even see a very slight drop in property prices this year and, if Bexhill property prices do drop, the downside to that is that first time buyers could be attracted back into the Bexhill property market; meaning less demand for renting which means meaning achieved rents could go down.
Yet, before we all run for the hills, all these things could be serendipitous to every Bexhill landlord, almost a blessing in disguise.
Bexhill has a population of 41,203, so when I looked at the number of people who lived in private rented accommodation, the numbers astounded me …
|Bexhill – Accommodation Type and the Number of Occupiers|
|Owned outright – Bexhill||Owned with a mortgage – Bexhill||Shared ownership (part owned and part rented) – Bexhill||Social rented (aka Council Housing) – Bexhill||Private rented – Bexhill||Living rent free – Bexhill|
Yields will rise if Bexhill property prices fall, which will also make it easier to obtain a buy-to-let mortgage, as the income would cover more of the interest cost. If property values were to level off or come down that could help Bexhill landlords add to their portfolio. Rental demand in Bexhill is expected to stay solid and may even see an improvement if uncertainty is protracted. However, there is something even more important that Bexhill landlords should be aware of: the change in the anthropological nature of these 20 something potential first time buyers.
I have just come back from a visit to my wife’s relations after a family get together. I got chatting with my wife’s nephew and his partner. Both are in their mid/late twenties, both have decent jobs in Bexhill and they rent. Yet, here was the bombshell, they were planning to rent for the foreseeable future with no plans to even save for a deposit, let alone buy a property. I enquired why they weren’t planning to buy? The answers surprised me as a home owner and it will you. Firstly, they don’t want to put cash into property, they would rather spend it on living and socialising by going on nice holidays and buying the latest tech and gadgets. They want the flexibility to live where they choose and finally, they don’t like the idea of paying for repairs. All their friends feel the same. I was quite taken aback that buying a house is just not top of the list for these youngsters.
So, as 17.9% of Bexhill people are in rented accommodation and as that figure is set to grow over the next decade, now might just be a good time to buy property in Bexhill – because what else are you going to invest in? Give your money to the stock market run by sharp suited city whizz kids – because at least with property – it’s something you can touch – there is nothing like bricks and mortar!
For more views and opinions on the Bexhill Property Market – visit the Bexhill Property Market Blog at www.bexhillpropertyblog.com
Well, it doesn’t seem like two minutes ago that it was Christmas – and now it’s all over! Happy New Year to you all.
One cold December morning, after arranging the office’s Christmas cards I thought I would nip out for a quick festive coffee and mince pie at my favourite local coffee shop, Blueberries Coffee Shop in Endwell Road. I met an old client of mine in the coffee shop and we got talking about the Bexhill Property Market. I had just completed my research for my next blog article and I would like to share with you the parts of the conversation relating to the Bexhill property market.
He asked me what my thoughts were about the last half of the year in regard to the Bexhill property market and if there were any great buy-to-let deals around. In reply I said that, in my view, shrugging off the uncertainty of the initial post Brexit vote, I have seen an increase in supply and a rise in the number of properties selling at the lower to middle end of the market, meaning both first time buyers and buy-to-let landlords have been returning in the last few months – proof the market is beginning to bounce back.
A few weeks ago I was asked a fascinating question by a local Councillor who, after reading the Bexhill Property Blog, emailed me and asked me – “Are Bexhill Landlords meeting the challenges of tenanted families bringing up their families in Bexhill?”
What an interesting question to be asked.
Irrespective of whether you are tenant or a homeowner, to bring up a family, the most important factors are security and stability in the home. A great bellwether of that security and stability in a rented property is whether tenants are constantly being evicted. Many tenancies last just six months with families at risk of being thrown out after that with just two months’ notice for no reason.
Some “left leaning politicians” keep saying we need to deal with the terrible insecurity of Britain’s private rental market by creating longer tenancies of 3 or 5 years instead of the current six months. However, the numbers seem to be telling a different story. The average length of residence in private rental homes has risen in the last 5 years from 3.7 years to 4 years (a growth of 8.1%), which in turn has directly affected the number of renters who have children. In fact, the proportion of private rented property that have dependent children in them, has gone from 29.1% in 2003 to 37.4% today.
There’s a whole legion of wannabe Bexhill first-time buyers keen to get on the property ladder and they now have a 3% price advantage over the previously quicker responding army of Bexhill landlords with cash at the ready. Since the start of April, buy to let landlords have had to pay an additional 3% stamp duty so whilst demand from some Bexhill buy to let landlords has dropped away, in the interim, it offers Bexhill first time buyers (FTB’s) a chance to fill the vacuum with less competition from cash rich landlords (over two thirds of BTL properties were purchased without a mortgage in the last 7 years) who could bid more and complete quicker.
Looking at the average value of a terraced house in Bexhill currently standing at £195,900, that means if our Bexhill FTB went up against a Bexhill landlord, the landlord would have to pay an additional £5,877 in stamp duty. Early antidotal evidence from fellow property professionals in the town is suggesting landlords are reducing their offers slightly on Bexhill properties to reflect the extra stamp duty.
Whilst on the face of it, it appears landlords are being punished by No.11 Downing Street, I actually believe this increase in stamp duty for landlords is a good thing for the Bexhill property market as a whole.