Category Archives: Peterborough Branch

Tenants Want Video Views To Remain – We’re Happy To Help

While landlords should have a clear vision of what they wish to achieve in the lettings market, it is vital to know what tenants want. When you can tailor your service, or rental property, to meet the needs and demands of the rental market, you enhance your chances of success. Continue reading Tenants Want Video Views To Remain – We’re Happy To Help

7 Essential Tips for New Landlords

Becoming a landlord for the first time is an exciting prospect, with not only the opportunity to bring in some additional income but also the chance to expand your portfolio further and perhaps even start up your own property business.

However, it can be tricky to know where to start once you have invested in your first property and you don’t want to be making too many costly mistakes.

Fortunately, you can avoid the most common landlord pitfalls by simply following our seven essential tips for new landlords.

 1.  DO YOUR GROUNDWORK

Before you start to market your rental property and look for potential tenants, if you haven’t done so already, you first need to research the local area thoroughly.

Is your property near good local schools? Is it near a university or college?

This can be helpful in deciding what type of tenants your property will appeal to, for example, families, students or working professionals.

It is also a good idea to find out how much similar properties in the area are currently renting for, as this can act as a benchmark for your own chosen monthly rental price.

2.  TAKE OUT INSURANCE

Although landlord insurance isn’t a legal requirement for renting out a property, it is highly recommended as it covers everything from accidental damage to structural issues caused by hazards such as fire, snow or strong winds.

You may also want to take out rent guarantee insurance which protects you if your tenant fails to pay their rent. It can also cover the cost of any legal fees if you need to evict a tenant.

Your tenants are responsible for taking out their own content insurance to cover their belongings.

3.  FIND RELIABLE TENANTS 

One of the easiest ways to find good tenants is through word of mouth. Speak to your family, friends and work colleagues to see if they are aware of anyone who is looking to rent a property. You can also advertise for tenants on a variety of reputable websites or use a letting agency.

To attract the best possible tenants, ensure your listing describes the property in full and includes good quality photographs as well as advertising your property at a competitive market rate.

You should always check a potential tenant’s rental history and credit score, as well as perform a criminal background check. If the results are preferable, it now comes down to your natural instincts.

How do you feel about the tenant in question? Do you feel like you can trust them?

If yes, you’ve found your first tenants. Congratulations!

4.  CREATE A TENANCY AGREEMENT

Once you have found your tenants, you now need to draw up a written tenancy agreement which details all the terms and conditions of the tenancy and gives you as the landlord, and your tenants rights.

This is extremely important as it will ensure the protection of your property, set out the obligations of your tenants and help prevent any future disputes.

If you have found your tenants through a professional letting agency, the tenancy agreement can be professionally drawn up through the agent.

5.  PLACE THE DEPOSIT IN A TDP SCHEME

Landlords are now legally required to place their tenant’s deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme. This was created to stop rogue landlords from refusing to give back their tenants’ deposits after they have moved out.

You must place your tenant’s deposit in a scheme within 14 days of receiving it and you also have to inform your tenants of which scheme you have chosen within 30 days.

6.  ENSURE YOUR PROPERTY IS ENERGY EFFICIENTE

You should also strive to improve your property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), to reach the minimum energy efficiency standard (effective April 2020).

Ways in which you can make your property more energy efficient include:

  • Upgrading your boiler
  • Sealing windows and doors
  • Installing double glazing
  • Installing loft and wall cavity insulation
  • Using energy efficient light bulbs
  • Installing smart meters

Since April 2016, tenants have the right to ask their landlords to make their properties more energy efficient, and furthermore, as a landlord, you are legally required to make adequate improvements.

7.  MAINTAIN A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR TENANTS

Arguably one of the most important aspects of becoming a good landlord is ensuring that you are able to build and maintain a healthy relationship with your tenants. Effective communication, on both sides, is crucial if you want to avoid any problems or disputes.

Try and respond as quickly as possible to any requests from your tenants and listen to any concerns that they may have. Once you find reliable tenants who pay their rent on time and look after your property, you don’t want to lose them!

If you are considering letting your property in Peterborough call our team at Just Lets on 01733346255 for friendly help and advice on all rental aspects.

Peterborough Property Market – Which Houses are Actually Selling?

Beast from the East, Russia, Facebook, Brexit, Trump, House prices up, House prices down … the Press is full of column inches on Brit’s favourite subjects of politics, scandal, weather and not forgetting (and I appreciate the irony of this!) the property market. As an agent belonging a national group of letting and estate agents, talking to my fellow property professionals from around the UK, the one thing that is immediately apparent is the UK does not have one property market. It is a hodgepodge patchwork (almost like a fly’s eye) of lots of small property markets all performing in different ways.

… And that made me think … is there just one Peterborough Property Market or many?

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

I decided the best way was to split the Peterborough property market into four equal size price bands (into terms of households for sale). Each price band would have around 25% of the property in Peterborough, from the lowest in value (the Lowest Quartile or 25%) all the way through to the highest 25% in terms of value, the Upper Quartile.  Looking at the market, I have calculated that these are the price bands in Peterborough are as follows:

  • Lowest Quartile (lowest 25% in terms of value) … Up to £140,000
  • Lower/Middle Quartile (25% to 50% Quartile in terms of value) … £140,000 to £180,000
  • Middle/Upper Quartile (50% to 75% Quartile in terms of value) … £180,000 to £240,000
  • Upper Quartile (highest 25% in terms of value) … £240,000 Upwards

So, having split the Peterborough Property Market approximately into four equal sizes, the results in terms what price band has sold (subject to contract or stc) the most is quite enlightening –The best performing price range in Peterborough is the middle market. Interestingly for Peterborough landlords, the lower market is also selling well, meaning there are plenty of Peterborough landlords buying properties to add to their buy to let portfolios. As I would expect, the upper quartile (the top 25%) is finding things toughest. Even though the number of first time buyers did increase in 2017, it was from a low base and the vast majority of 20 something’s cannot buy, so need a roof over their head (hence the need to rent somewhere).

It is a fact that British (and Peterborough’s) housing markets have ridden the storms of Oil crisis in the 1970’s, the 1980’s depression, Black Monday in the 1990’s, and latterly the Credit Crunch together with the various house price crashes of 1973, 1987 and 2008. No matter what happens to us Brexit or anything else … unless the Government starts to build hundreds of thousands extra houses each year, demand will always outstrip supply … so maybe a time for Peterborough landlord investors to bag a bargain?

Want to know where those Peterborough buy to let bargains are?  Give me a call or drop me an email because irrespective of which agent you use, myself or any of the other excellent agents in Peterborough, I am a local landlord too…so I have my own thoughts and opinion on what (and not) to buy locally … and I am always happy to share them with you.

4% More Peterborough Home Owners Wanting to Move Than 12 Months Ago

As I have mentioned a number times in my local property market blog, with not enough new-build properties being built in Peterborough and the surrounding area to keep up with demand for homes to live in (be that tenants or homebuyers), it’s good to know more Peterborough home sellers are putting their properties on to the market than a year ago.

At the start of 2007 there were 2,442 properties for sale in Peterborough but by May 2008, when the credit crunch was really beginning to bite, that number had risen to 4,889 properties on the market at a time when demand was at an all-time low, thus creating an imbalance in the local property market.

Basic economics dictates that if there is too much supply of something and demand is poor (which it was in the Credit Crunch years of 2008/9) … prices will drop. In fact, house prices dropped between 15% and 20% depending on the type of Peterborough property between the end of 2007 and Spring 2009.

However, over the last five years, we have seen a steady decrease in supply of properties coming onto the market for sale and steady demand, meaning Peterborough property prices have remained robust.  A stable housing market is one of the foundations of a successful British economy, as it’s all about getting the healthy balance of buyer demand with a good supply of properties. Nevertheless, if you had asked me a couple of years ago, I would have said we were beginning to see there was in fact NOT enough properties coming on to the market for sale … meaning in certain sectors of the Peterborough property market, house prices were overheating because of this lack of supply.

So, it is pleasing to note, looking at the recent numbers …

There are 4% more properties for sale in Peterborough today than a year ago

There were 1,240 properties for sale 12 months ago, and today that stands at 1,293 (as at Apr 18). It doesn’t sound a lot, yet this is a small step in the right direction to a more stable property market.

Even better news, since the Chancellor announced the stamp duty rule changes for first time buyers (FTB), my fellow agents in Peterborough say that the number of FTB’s registering on the majority of agent’s books has increased year on year. That has still to follow through into more FTB’s buying their first home, however, with the heightened levels of confidence being demonstrated by both Peterborough house sellers and potential house buyers, I do foresee the Peterborough Property Market will show steady yet sustained improvement during the first half of 2018.

What does this mean for Peterborough landlords or those considering dipping their toe into the buy to let market for the first time? Landlords will need to keep improving their properties to ensure they get the best tenants. It is true that demand amongst FTB’s is increasing, albeit from a low base. Even with the new landlord tax rules, buy to let in Peterborough still looks a good investment, providing Peterborough landlords with a good income at a time of low interest rates and a roller coaster stock market.

If you are thinking of investing in bricks and mortar in Peterborough, it is important to do things correctly as making money won’t be as easy as it has been over the last twenty years.  With a greater number of properties on the market .. comes greater choice. Don’t buy the first thing you see, buy with your head as well as your heart … and don’t forget the first rule of Buy To Let Investment …..

What is the FIRST RULE of BTL Investment…..call my office and lets chat!
Tel: 01733 346255

Peterborough Property Market Worth More Than Standard Life Aberdeen

The value of all the homes in Peterborough has risen by more than 262% in the past two decades, to £12.358bn, meaning its worth more than the stock listed company Standard Life Aberdeen, which is worth £11.134bn.

Those Peterborough homeowners and Buy-to-Let landlords who bought their homes twenty or more years ago have come out on top, adding thousands and thousands of pounds to the value of their own Peterborough homes as the younger generation in Peterborough continue to be priced out of the market.  This is even more remarkable because, in those twenty years, we had the years of 2008 and 2009 following the global financial crisis, where we saw a short term drop in Peterborough house prices of between 15% and 20% (depending on the type of property). And although there have been a number of consecutive years of growth in property values recently in Peterborough it hasn’t been anywhere near the levels seen in the early 2000’s.

Twenty years ago, the total value of Peterborough property was worth £3.412bn. Over those twenty years, total property values have increased by £8.946bn, meaning today, the total value of all the properties in Peterborough is worth £12.358bn. Even more remarkable, when you consider the FTSE100 has only risen by 40.84% in the same time frame. Also, when I compared it with inflation, i.e. the UK Retail Price Index, inflation had risen by 72.2% during the same twenty years.

So, what does this all mean for Peterborough?  Well as we enter the unchartered waters of 2018 and beyond, even though property values are already declining in certain parts of the previously over cooked central London property market, the outlook in Peterborough remains relatively good as over the last five years, the local property market has been a lot more sensible than central London’s.

Peterborough house values will remain resilient for several reasons. Firstly, demand for rental property remains strong with persistent immigration and population growth.  Secondly, with 0.25% interest rates, borrowing has never been so cheap and finally, the simple lack of new house building in Peterborough. Not even keeping up with current demand, let alone eating into years and years of under investment mean only one thing – yes it might be a bumpy ride over the next 12 to 24 months but, in the medium term, property ownership and property investment in Peterborough has and always will, out ride out the storm.

In the coming weeks, I will continue to look in greater detail at my thoughts for the 2018 Peterborough Property Market along with the latest news and views for Peterborough Landlords and Investors.

As always these current and previous articles can be found at www.justlets.com/news

Homeownership Amongst Peterborough’s Young Adults Slumps to 44.99%

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

A Peterborough landlord was asking me the other week to what effect homeownership rates in Peterborough in the early to middle aged adult age range had affected the demand for rental property in Peterborough since the Millennium. I knew anecdotally that it affected the Peterborough rental market, but I wanted some cold hard numbers to back it up. As you know, I like a challenge when it comes to the stats.. so this is what I found out for the landlord, and I’d like to share them with you as well.

As anyone in Peterborough, and most would say those born more recently, are drastically less likely to own their own home at a given age than those born a decade earlier, let’s roll the clock back to the Millennium and compare the figures from then to today.

In the year 2000, 45.6% of Peterborough 28-year olds (born in 1972) owned their own home, whilst a 28 year old today born in 1990) would have a 24.3% chance of owning their own home. Next, let’s look at someone born ten years before that. So, going back to the Millennium, a 38 year Peterborough person (therefore born in 1962) would have a 67.2% chance of owning his or her own home and a 38 year today in Peterborough (born in 1980) would only have a 52.4% chance of owning their own home.

Since the Millennium, overall general homeownership in the 25 to 44 year old age range in Peterborough has reduced from 62.22% to 44.99%

 

If you look at the graph below, split into the four age ranges of 25 year olds (yo) to 29yo, 30yo to 34yo, 35yo to 39yo and finally 40yo to 44 yo, you will quite clearly see the changes since the Millennium in Peterborough. The fact is the figures in Peterborough show the homeownership rate has proportionally fallen the most for the youngest (25yo to 29yo) age range compared to the other age ranges.

The landlord suggested this deterioration in homeownership in Peterborough across the age groups could be down to the fact that more of those born in the 1980’s and 1990’s (over those born in the 60’s and 70’) are going to University and hence entering the job market at an older age or those young adults are living with their parents longer.

I read some national homeownership statistics of different age groups with the same number of years after they left education (rather than at the same age) and that gave an identical dip to the graph above.  Neither are these drops in homeownership related with a significant increase in the number of young adults living with their parents. Again, nationally, that has hardly changed over the last 20 years as the percentage of 30-year-olds living with Mum and Dad only increased from 22% of those born in the early ‘70s to 23% of those born in the early ‘80s.

So, what does this mean for the rental market in Peterborough?

Only one thing .. with the local authority not building Council houses, Housing Associations strapped for cash to build new properties and the younger generation not buying, there is only one way these youngsters can obtain a roof over their head and have a home of their own .. through the private landlord sector. Now with the new tax rules and up and coming licensing rules, Peterborough landlords will have to work smarter to ensure they make the investment returns they have in the past. If you ever want to pick my brains on the future direction of the Peterborough rental market .. drop me a line or pop in next time you are passing my office.

1,009 First Timer Buyers in Peterborough Bought Their First Home in 2017

A little bit of good news this week on the Peterborough 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 1,009 first time buyers in Peterborough, the largest number since 2006.

I expect in 2018 that this increase of first time buyers will level out and maybe dip slightly as, nationally, figures demonstrate that first time buyer’s average household income was £40,691 and this represented 17.3% of their take home pay. Although, it might surprise readers that it is actually cheaper to buy than it is to rent at the ‘starter home’ end of the housing market. Many of you can remember mortgage rates at 12% … even 15%. Today, at the time of writing this article, I found on the open market, 189 first time buyer mortgages at 95% (meaning only a 5% deposit was required) with 3 year fixed rates from a reputable High Street bank at 2.49% … they even did a 3 year fixed rate 100% mortgage for 2.89%!

Interestingly, looking at the other end of the market, the buy-to-let investment in Peterborough was subdued, with only 207 buy-to-let properties being purchased with a mortgage. However, I must stress, whilst there is no hard and fast data on the total numbers of landlords buying buy-to-let, as HM Treasury believes only 30% to 40% of buy-to-let property is bought with a mortgage. This means there would have been further cash only buy-to-let purchases in Peterborough – it’s just that the data isn’t available at such a granular level.

In terms of the level of mortgage debt in Peterborough, looking specifically at the PE1 to PE5 postcodes, you can see there has been a steady rise in borrowing over the last few years.

This is pleasing to see, as new mortgage debt is created by first time buyers, buy-to-let landlords and home movers themselves, that is being roughly equalled by the amount being paid off with mature mortgaged homeowners in their 50’s and 60’s finally paying off their mortgage.

So, what does all this mean for the Peterborough Property Market?  Well, the stats paint a picture, but they don’t inform us of the whole story. The upper end of the Peterborough property market has been weighed down by the indecision around the Brexit negotiations and rise in stamp duty in 2014, when made it considerably more expensive to buy a home costing more than £1m. The middle part of the Peterborough property market has been affected by issues of mortgage affordability and lack of good properties to buy, as selling prices have reached the limit of what buyers can afford under existing mortgage regulations. The lower to middle Peterborough property market was hit by tax changes for buy-to-let landlords, although this has been offset by the increase in first time buyers.

If you are in the market and selling now and want to ensure you get your Peterborough property sold, the bottom line is you have to be 100% realistic with your pricing from day one and you might not get as much as you did say a year ago (but the one you want to buy will be less – swings and roundabouts?). I know it’s not comfortable hearing that your Peterborough home isn’t worth as much as you thought, but Peterborough buyers are now unbelievably discerning.

So, if you are thinking of selling your Peterborough property in the coming months, don’t ask the agent out a few days before you want to put the property on the market, get them out now and ask them what you need to do to ensure you get maximum value in the shortest possible time.