Yearly Archives: 2019

Doncaster Property News

The £2.8 billion mortgage debt of Doncaster homeowners

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Irrespective of the shenanigans and political goings on in Westminster recently, the housing market (for the time being anyway) shows a striking resilience, fostered by the on-going wide-ranging monetary policy by the Bank of England. With interest rates and unemployment low, UKplc is heading into 2020 in reasonable condition.  Additionally, despite the UK’s new homes industry improving its year on year new build figures (building 173,660 new homes this year to date – notably 8% more new homes than at the same time last year), there has been an unequal increase in demand for housing, especially in the most thriving areas of the Country.

With the discussion on whether the younger generation can afford to buy, it is true the average cost of a UK property in the early 1970’s was 3.8 times the average salary yet, nationally, it now stands at 8.4 times. On the face of it that doesn’t look good in anyone’s books – yet that isn’t the full story because it doesn’t reflect inflation and interest rates when it comes to the cost of borrowing money in relation to a mortgage for property.

The current level of mortgage interest rates has not been seen for many generations, meaning there are whole cohorts of the Doncaster home-owning population who have no appreciation of the pandemonium that will eat into their household budgets should we ever return to the average historical cost of borrowing (interest rates jumped to 15% in 1992 – which wasn’t that long ago and between 2003 and 2007 they were on average 4.9%).

Now, once first-time buyers have jumped the hurdle of saving enough for a 5% deposit, which is hard with rents and many carrying loans of personal debt (unsecured loans), first-time buyers are currently spending an average one sixth of their salary on their mortgage, meaning mortgage arrears are at historical lows. However, on the other side of the coin repossessions have started to grow, with 6,180 repossession orders made in the last quarter, a 55% jump from 2017, yet nowhere near the 2009 high of 29,145 in the first quarter of 2009.

Therefore, this week’s discussion on the Doncaster property market is – where are we with lending (mortgages and unsecured loans) and how is it affecting the Doncaster, and national, property market?

One vital measure of the property market (and economy) is the mortgage market. If all the mortgages were added up, they would total £968.1bn; a lot when you consider the UK’s GDP is only £2,190.1bn. Mortgages are important as uncertainty causes building societies and banks to curtail lending (remember what happened in the Credit Crunch) and that seriously affects property prices. Then we have unsecured personal loans; interestingly the average Brit owes £991.42 in unsecured loans, a total of £36.1bn.

Lending is the lifeblood of our economy. Go back to 2007, and the phrase ‘Credit Crunch’ hadn’t been invented, yet now the term has entered our everyday language. In the autumn of 2007 it took a couple months before the crunch began to affect the Doncaster property market, but in early 2008, and for the following year and half, Doncaster property values dropped each month like a stone.

Mercifully, after a phase of sluggishness, in 2011 the Doncaster property market started to recover slowly as certitude returned to the economy as a whole and in 2013 Doncaster property values started to rise as the economy sped upwards. Happily, the Bank of England recognised the start of another boom and bust cycle, so in Spring of 2015, new rules for mortgage lending were introduced and for the following few years we have seen a reappearance to more credible and steady medium-term property price growth.

Doncaster Property Values are 14.3% higher since the Credit Crunch

And what of the other side of the coin in terms of excess lending in Doncaster?

Since 1977, the average Bank of England interest rate has been 6.65%, making the current low rate of 0.75% very low indeed. Yet the issue isn’t the amount of lending, as much as the persons ability to pay. Therefore, whether a person’s mortgage is fixed or not is more important than the amount owed.

Thankfully, the proportion of borrowers fixing their mortgage rate has gone from 31.5% in the autumn of 2012 to the current 70.2%. If you haven’t fixed your mortgage – maybe you should follow the majority?

The total cost of mortgages owed by people in Doncaster is £2,895,090,334

(Based on the DN1 – DN12 postcodes)

In my modest opinion, if things do get a little rocky and uncertainty seeps back in the coming years (and nobody knows what will happen on that front), interest rates can only go one way from their current ultra low level of 0.75% ….and that is why I consider it important to highlight this to all the homeowners and landlords of Doncaster. Maybe, just maybe, you might want to consider taking some advice from one of the many qualified mortgage advisors in Doncaster?

Doncaster Property News

37,010 People Live in Rented Accommodation in Doncaster

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That number surprised you didn’t it? With the General Election done, I thought it time to reflect on renting in the manifestos and party-political broadcasts and ask why?

As the best way to tell the future is to look at to the past, so we decided to look at the number of people who rented a century ago (1920’s), and surprisingly 76% of people rented their home in the UK (as renting then was considered the norm). Yet in the latter part of the 1920’s, builders of the suburban housing estates with their bay fronted semis started to sell the dream of home ownership to smart renters.

Up until the mid 1920’s, the mortgage had been seen as a millstone around your neck. Now, due to some clever marketing by those same builders, it was started to be seen as a shrewd long-term investment to buy your own home with a mortgage. It fuelled the ambitions and goals of the up and coming well-to-do working class who reclassed themselves as lower-middle class. Meanwhile, the Government encouraged (through tax breaks) people to save in Building Societies whom in turn lent the money to these up and coming new homeowners thorough mortgages.

Roll the clock forward to the decade of the young Elvis, Chuck Berry, and Bill Haley (1950’s) and still 72% of Brits rented their home. Homeownership had boomed in the preceding 30 years, yet so had council house building. Then, as we entered the 1960’s and 1970’s homeownership started to grow at a higher rate than council housing.

The rate of homeownership started to drop substantially after the mid 1990’s, and now we roll the clock forward to today, there is no stigma at all to renting … everyone is doing it. In fact, of the…

108,215 residents of Doncaster, 37,010 of you rent your house

from either the council, housing association or private landlords – meaning 34.2% of Doncaster people are tenants. Yet read the Daily Mail, and you would think the idea of homeownership is deeply embedded in the British soul?

69,518 Doncaster people live in an owner-occupied property

(or 64.2%)

So, we have a paradox – homeowners or renters? The reason I suggest this, is, I noticed on the run up to the Election that housing was used at the General Election as way to get votes. This is nothing new, as all parties have always used housing to get votes, although previously it was about which party would build more council houses in the 1950’s through to council Right to Buy with Thatcher (and everyone since) – running election campaigns promising everybody their own home in one way or another.

Yet, did you notice at this election something changed? The parties weren’t talking so much about increasing homeownership but about protecting the tenant. It seems the link between homeownership as the main goal of British life is starting to change as we are slowly turning to a more European way of living. Renting is here to stay in Doncaster and incrementally growing year on year. You see, in Britain there is no property tax based on ownership, which many other western countries have. Instead Council Tax is paid by the occupier of the home (meaning the tenant pays – not necessarily the owner).

Both parties wanted to end no-fault evictions (which is a good thing), yet Labour went further and mentioned rent controls in their manifesto. As I have mentioned before in other articles on the Doncaster property market, rents since 2008 (even in central London) have not kept up with inflation – so again was that another headline to grab votes/election bribe? The fact is the majority of new British households formed since the Millennium can now expect to rent from a private landlord for life – therefore the parties focus on this important demographic.

Yet even with the new mortgage relief tax rules for landlords and the 200+ of legislation that govern the private rental sector, buy to let is still a viable investment option for most investors in Doncaster. There has never been a better time to purchase buy to let property in Doncaster … but buy wisely. Gone are the days when you would make a profit on anything with four walls and a roof. Most importantly do your homework, take advice and consider your options.

Doncaster Property News

Labour Party’s U-turn on the £269,988,910 grab on Doncaster landlord’s wallets

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Well, with the General Election just over the horizon and having been asked by a number of Doncaster homeowners and Doncaster buy to let landlords what the different main parties would do to the local property market, in this week’s article we focus on Labour’s contentious Right to Buy proposal for private tenants. Launched in September, the plan was designed to force landlords to sell their buy to let investments to their tenants who wished to buy them…. at a substantial discount.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell told the FT in September that, under a new Labour government, tenants would be given the Right to Buy their tenanted home with a hefty discount – just like the Tory Right to Buy policy for Council house renters that came into force after the 1979 General Election.

Yet it was not certain who would have been expected to pay for discounts on buy to let homes sold to tenants. Four years ago, Jeremy Corbyn advocated using the £14bn of tax allowances that UK landlords had at the time to pay for these discounts, allowing tenants to buy their tenanted home at the same discount as they would a local authority home without leaving the landlord out of pocket.

However, these tax allowances have been substantially reduced with the changes in the way mortgage interest relief on landlords’ mortgages is calculated, meaning that this method of funding would no longer be feasible. In fact, bankrolling a project at a modest 20% discount for the whole of the UK would cost £177.84bn; a lot more than the £14billion quoted by Mr Corbyn. So, what would that policy cost Doncaster landlords?

Labours policy of 20% Right to Buy discount could

cost Doncaster landlords £269,988,910

 … and if Doncaster tenants got the maximum discount of 35% that Council tenants have with the Right to Buy scheme that would cost Doncaster landlords £472,480,590

However, it appears Mr McDonnell has re-considered the original suggestion and done a (slight) U-turn, stating it should apply only to the richest landlords and not those who only own a couple of rental properties. He was quoted in The Times as saying, “There’s a large number of individuals or families who have bought another property as an asset for the future and we wouldn’t want to endanger that”.

Yet, even this somewhat watered-down account still creates threats to the private rental sector and Doncaster’s overall stock of private rented homes. John McDonnell seems to have altered his initial thought to permit all private tenants the right to buy from their landlords to apply only to those with more than a couple of buy to let properties. The shift appears to be aimed at pacifying middle England small time landlords who are probably swing voters with smaller property investments and instead, Labour’s focus is on the larger scale buy to let investors. Looking at the stats, and being generous that we are only looking at landlords with 6 or more (not the couple that Mr McConnell suggested) ……

Of the 8,419 rental properties in Doncaster, 2,298 are owned by Doncaster landlords with 6 or more properties in their portfolio

To target these larger scale landlords, who would unquestionably leave the property market in their hordes if their buy to let investments could be so easily destabilised. There would be mass sell offs before the legislation became law, thus making the tenants homeless (and who would house them??) ..and even if that didn’t happen, it would be very damaging and someone (probably landlords) would have to stump up the £48.54bn national bill (£73,694,560 in Doncaster alone).

If Labour want to fix the property market, it needs long term certainty and confidence, yet even these revised policies would instantly challenge this

And don’t think I am just Labour bashing here as the Tory 2014 Help to Buy scheme hasn’t really helped either as their scheme which gave first time buyers (FTB) a 20% interest free loan, if they put down a 5% deposit, has been a boon for new home builders.

The Tory’s announced recently another £10bn of taxpayer’s money will be pumped into a scheme which, quite frankly, wasn’t needed to boost an already decent property market. The banks were already giving 95% first time buyer (FTB) mortgages from 2010 and the Help to Buy scheme was only allowed on new homes purchases, meaning it didn’t help the larger second-hand market. That £10bn could have been better spent building Council houses, not helping the large plc builders line their pockets with Government cash.

Doncaster Property News

Are the Tory’s Selling Off the Final Part of the Family Silver? 1,422 Doncaster Housing Association Households & the Right to Buy Their Homes

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In 1979, Margaret Thatcher was voted in on a Tory landslide with the ‘right to buy your own council house’ being a mainstay of Conservative policy. She encouraged people to buy their own their own council flats and houses, although it might interest you to know, that the council tenant right to buy idea was first proposed in the late 1950s and formed part of the manifesto of the Labour party. Yet Maggie’s version was based on massive discounts for tenants and 100% mortgages (i.e. no deposit). However, the real bugbear was that half the monies raised form the house sales went to central Government and the other half to the local authorities … but that money had to be used to reduce the local authorities debt rather than building new houses – so houses were being sold and not replaced.

19,782 council homes in the Doncaster area have been

bought in the last 40 years (an average 495 per year)

Interestingly, the Tories relaxed the rules in 2012 for right to buy and raised the highest discount on a property to £75,000 (it has subsequently increased further, to £100,000, in some parts of the UK) meaning 625 council houses have been sold locally since the rule change, raising £30,761,957 since 2012 alone.

The issue, stated by many existing council house tenants, is that those tenants turned homeowners subsequently sell on their ex-council homes at a huge a huge profit, meaning the demographics of those areas has become ever more transient, more specifically, properties that were once council homes are now owned by buy-to-let landlords who rent them out on a short-term basis.

Yet up to this point in time, nothing has been said about ‘other’ type of social housing – housing association properties. Whilst council houses are properties owned by the local authority providing low cost social housing, housing associations also provide lower-cost social housing for people in need of a home, yet they are private, non-profit making organisations.

The Tory’s state one of the biggest divides in our British society is between those who can and cannot afford their own home, so plan to establish a new national model for shared ownership which allows people in new housing association properties to buy a proportion of their home while paying a lower/subsidised rent on the remain part – helping thousands of lower income earners get a step onto the housing ladder.

So, what for the tenants of the existing 1,422 housing association households in Doncaster? The Conservatives have said they will work with housing associations on a voluntary basis to determine what right to buy offer could be made to those Doncaster tenants, although there are already existing rules which give most housing association tenants the right to buy their home, yet with only modest discounts of £9,000 to £16,000 depending on where you live. So, what does all this mean for the current homeowners and landlords of Doncaster properties?

The Tory’s sold off 13,102 council houses in Doncaster whilst in power between 1979 and 1997

This really created waves in the housing market in the 1980’s and was a contributary factor to the housing crash of 1987 when Dual-MIRAS tax relief was removed by Nigel Lawson. By the selling off of council housing in those years they were accused of selling off the family silver cheaply, thus created the foundation of the buy-to-let boom of the early to mid 2000’s, because of major shortage of affordable housing being sold in the previous two decades.

Yet this time round, note the Tory’s state it is just for new housing association properties, not existing. Also, that tenants will have the right to go into shared ownership – NOT OUTRIGHT OWNERSHIP. This means this policy will have hardly any effect … unlike the Thatcher policies of 1979.

Doncaster Property News

Doncaster Buy to Let – Past, Present and Future

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Investing in a Doncaster buy to let property has become a very different sport over the last few years.

In the glory days of the five years after the turn of the Millennium, where we had double-digit house price growth, mortgage companies (notably Northern Rock, HBOS and their ilk) desperate to get on the buy to let mortgage bandwagon with rates so low it would make the belly of a snake seem high and an open mildness to give loans away with not so much more than a note from your Mum and with hardly any regulatory intervention… anyone could make money from investing in property – in fact it was easier to make money than fall off a log! Then we had the unexpected flourish of the property market, with the post credit crunch jump in the property market after 2010,when everything seemed rosy in the garden.

Yet, over the past five years, the thumbscrews on the buy to let market for British (and de facto) Doncaster investors have slowly turned with new barriers and challenges for buy to let investors. With the change in taxation rules on mortgage relief starting to bite plus a swathe of new rules and regulations for landlords and mortgage companies, it cannot be denied some Doncaster landlords are leaving the buy to let sector, whilst others are putting a pause on their portfolio expansion.

With the London centric newspapers talking about a massive reduction in house prices (mainly in Mayfair and Prime London – not little old Doncaster) together with the red-tape that Westminster just keeps adding to the burden of landlords’ profit, it’s no wonder it appears to be dome and gloom for Doncaster landlords … or is it?

One shouldn’t always believe what one reads in the newspaper. It’s true, investing in the Doncaster buy to let property market has become a very different ballgame in the last five years thanks to all the changes and a few are panicking and selling up.

Doncaster landlords can no longer presume to buy a property, sit on it and automatically make a profit

Doncaster landlords need to see their buy to let investments in these tremulous times in a different light. Before landlords kill their fatted calves (i.e. sell up) because values are, and pardon the metaphor, not growing beyond expectation (i.e. fattening up), let’s not forget that properties produce income in the form of rent and yield. The focus on Doncaster buy to let property in these times should be on maximising your rents and not being preoccupied with just house price growth.

 

Rents in Doncaster’s private rental sector increased

by 2.02% in the past 12 months

 

Rents in Doncaster since 2008 have not kept up with inflation, it is cheaper today in REAL TERMS than it was 11 years ago and some landlords are beginning to realise that fact with our help.

Looking at the last few years, it can be seen that there is still a modest margin to increase rents to maximise your investment (and it can be seen some Doncaster landlords have already caught on), yet still protect your tenants by keeping the rents below those ‘real spending power terms’ of the 2008 levels.

Buy to let must be seen as a medium and long-term investment ….

Rents in Doncaster are 6.66% higher than they were 3 years ago and property values are 10.17% higher than Jan 2016

…and for the long term, even with the barriers and challenges that the Government is putting in your way – the future couldn’t be brighter if you know what you are doing.

Investment is the keyword here… In the old days, anything with a front door and roof made money – yet now it doesn’t. Tenants will pay top dollar for the right property but in the right condition. Do you know where the hot spots are in Doncaster, whether demand is greater for 2 beds in Doncaster or 3 beds? Whether town centre terraced houses offer better ROI than suburban semis? With all the regulations many Doncaster landlords are employing us to guide them by not only managing their properties, taking on the worries of property maintenance, the care of property and their tenants’ behaviour but also advising them on the future of their portfolio. We can give you specialist support (with ourselves or people we trust) on the future direction of the portfolio to meet your investment needs (by judging your circumstances and need between capital growth and yields), specialist finance and even put your property empire into a limited company.

If you are reading this and you know someone who is a Doncaster buy to let landlord, do them a favour and share this article with them – it could save them a lot of worry, heartache, money and time.

Doncaster Property News

Doncaster Property Values 2% Higher Year-on-Year

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It seems that quite a few Doncaster homeowners and Doncaster landlords have become acclimatised to living with the uncertainty of Brexit throughout most of 2019, as figures show many of them decided to get on with living life, started reinvesting their money into Doncaster property and buying and selling their Doncaster homes and BTL investments. Land Registry stats confirm that. Current data shows that…

Doncaster property values are 2% higher than 12 months ago

Whilst the newspapers were stating prime central London property values were now 17% below the levels being achieved a couple of years, that message seems not to have been heard by certain sectors of the Doncaster property market!

Speaking with other property professionals in Doncaster, many weren’t expecting the usual autumn rebound after the summer holidays. Many were anticipating a dormant Doncaster property market on the run up to Christmas believing many Doncaster home-movers would put off the their home moving activities until the new year, yet in many sectors of the local property market, I have seen (and the stats back this up) that those Doncaster property buyers who are able to hold their nerve (whereas others were hesitant) have found themselves in a better negotiating position to get a great property deal. Putting aside the fluff of newspaper headlines, the real foundations of Doncaster housing market remain sound with record low unemployment, ultra-low interest rates and low inflation.

Interestingly, there are 11% less homes for sale in Doncaster compared to two years ago

However, there are still parts of the Doncaster property market that remain stagnant, with some homeowners being slightly unrealistic with their marketing pricing. To them, the property market appears to be slow, as they stare at their ‘for sale’ board for months on end, yet nothing could be further from the truth.

The key to a balanced (and healthy) property market is realistic pricing by the homeowners when they place the property on the market, mortgage affordability for buyers (which was discussed a couple of weeks ago in the Doncaster Property Blog) and buy to let landlord activity which creates and maintains forward momentum. One measure of momentum is how long a property remains on the market, and interestingly…

The current average length of time a Doncaster property remains on the market is 90 days, down slightly from 98 days two years ago

Now the number of properties sold locally is slightly down year on year (even though we had a burst of property sales in the summer locally) and interestingly, Rightmove reported recently that nationally, the number of properties sold in the UK was only just over 3% less year on year, so a similar picture nationally.

So, what does all this mean for Doncaster homeowners and Doncaster landlords?

We have always had issues that were game changers for the housing market; for the last few years it’s been Brexit, 10 years ago the credit crunch, 18 years ago the dot com crash, the ERM and 15% interest rates issue 27 years ago, dual MIRAS 32 years ago, hyper-inflation 40 years ago, the 3 day week 45 years ago – the list goes on. Everyone needs a home to live in, the local authority just has not got the money to build council houses, so buy to let will continue to grow for the foreseeable future which in turn creates a stable foundation for all homeowners. Maybe you should use this time, like many are in Doncaster to take advantage of the property deals to be had in Doncaster.

Doncaster Property News

The money to buy a new iPhone11 represents just under a fourth of a Doncaster first-time buyers mortgage deposit

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Many mature readers of this Doncaster property market blog will remember buying their first home as 20 or 30 somethings, probably in Doncaster many years ago, yet read the newspapers now and feel it is all doom and gloom for todays’ first-time buyers.

So, I wanted to look at the facts, instead of newspaper headlines.

Back in 1995, the average Doncaster first time buyers house cost £19,800, whilst official figures state today it is £69,900

So, looking at today’s property prices, it could be perceived that owning a home is beyond the reach of most Doncaster first time buyers and that renting is the only way for younger members of Doncaster society to have a roof over their head .. or is it?

100% mortgages (so no deposit needed to be saved) were rife in the 2000’s and Northern Rock were famous for their 125% mortgages (i.e. you borrowed 25% more than what you were paying for the house, again with no deposit). Yet when the credit crunch hit in 2008 such mortgages disappeared overnight – ending the dream of homeownership for many. Yet would it surprise you to hear that 95% mortgages (i.e. the first-time buyer would need to save a 5% deposit) have been available since late 2009 and 100% mortgages (i.e. no deposit) were made available in 2016.

It is £65 per month cheaper to buy a typical Doncaster first-time buyer home than to rent the equivalent property.

Prospective Doncaster first-time buyers could make a saving of £775 per year on average if they moved from renting to owning. My calculations assume that first-time buyers raise a deposit of just 5 per cent and make mortgage payments over 35 years with the Barclays 95% mortgage with a fixed interest rate of 2.48 per cent interest. At this level…

Today, the average deposit needed by a

Doncaster first-time buyer is £3,495

Those able to raise that deposit, would pay £246 pm on average in mortgage payments, while the average rent for the same property would be £311 pm and the household income to support such a mortgage would only need to be from £14,757 pa.

Of course, buying your first home is a massive financial commitment and investment with up-front costs to ponder on, yet long-term the financial benefits can be substantial. With annual savings of £775 a year, this can really mount up over time and, of course, once the mortgage is paid off, one will have a valuable asset.

Yet, the elephant in the room is the raising of the 5% deposit

Well most first time buyers, even most of you who are now in your 50’s and 60’s may have used the Bank of Mum and Dad to help with the deposit, yet it’s only fair that most parents still expect their offspring to contribute to the deposit and this is where it comes down to choice. I have spoken to many of my friends and family to reconfirm my initial thoughts that it comes down to priorities and choices in life. To save the deposit mentioned above, sacrifices are required to save that amount of money.

According to a survey in 2018, the average millennial goes out two nights a week and spends on average £63.36 per night out, that’s nearly £6,600 per year – a very expensive hobby. Nearly a third of millennials surveyed had smashed their mobile phone in the last 12 months. Then there is the obsession of having the latest tech, with the need to constantly be upgrading one’s mobile phone. In fact, the cost of the brand new iphone11, recently released, is just shy of £900. Even those on contracts can expect to pay upwards of £80 per month for the newest phone upgrade, yet if they kept their old phone after two years, a sim only deal with the same minutes and data would set them back no more than £25 per month … it comes down to choices. Save for a deposit and reduce your expenditure on socialising and mobiles etc and have a valuable asset at the end of your mortgage or continue as you are.

I am not here to make a judgement – everyone is free to make their own choices in life – all I am doing is highlighting the real situation – so you are aware of the full story.

Doncaster Property News

Is This the End of No-Fault Section 21 Evictions for the 20,060 Doncaster Tenants?

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In the late spring, the Government announced that they were planning to end no-fault evictions for tenants living in private rented accommodation.

I have had a number of Doncaster landlords contact me anxious that removing a tenant from their Doncaster buy-to-let property in the future had possibly become a lot more problematic. Yet, at the launch of the consultation on the changes to the piece of legislation relating to no-fault evictions (called the Section 21 amendments), the Government wanted to assure British landlords that they would be protected by the bolstering of the existing Section 8 legislation. The current Section 8 allows landlords grounds for recovery of their properties for reoccupation of the landlord, non-payment of rent and other legitimate factors.

8,419 Doncaster landlords are affected by this

 potential change in the law

Yet, it is comforting for Doncaster landlords and tenants in the fact that most competent letting agents very rarely have to evict a tenant. In the worst-case scenarios the tenant needs evicting (normally because rent hasn’t been paid) or because the landlord is either selling their buy-to-let investment or moving back into their property. Look at the consultation – it has been indicated that those grounds will not be removed from section 8 powers during the government’s consultation and the talk is they will be bolstered and improved. To put the removal of Section 21 notices into some context…

Only 22,527 section 21 notices made it to Court last year, out the 4.5million private rented households

Scotland banned no fault evictions (i.e. their own version of a Section 21) two years ago, and the model suggested by Westminster is similar to that of the new Scottish system. Landlords, tenants and agents have had to adapt north of the border, and there hasn’t been the mass exodus of landlords from the market since then.

Yet the call in the lettings and legal profession is … if the Government is intent on making these changes, we need well-funded courts which specialise in housing and tenancy matters (like there are for family law and children). Especially when the landlord manages the property themselves (without an agent), the issue of eviction comes about from a breakdown in communication between landlord and tenant. The courts could use their mediation skills to make it simpler and faster for tenants and landlords to obtain quick and available justice instead of the existing drawn out procedures under Section 8, which helps no one (not even tenants). This is important as the demand for Doncaster rental properties is growing and people need a home to live in – fact.

Doncaster needs an additional 401 buy-to-let properties per year

for the next decade to meet the demand from Doncaster tenants

As an agent in Doncaster, I know most Doncaster landlords consider buy-to-let in Doncaster as a long-term investment, with the average landlord looking to retain their buy-to-let property for at least 10 years and beyond. Talking to other agents around the country, over 90% of Section 21 notices are made by the tenant, not the landlord. Removing the Section 21 notice could affect tenants more than landlords.

Replacing Section 21 with a process that requires a landlord to firstly have a good reason, and secondly go through due process, will likely remove the more unprincipled landlords from the property market. That is great news as those unprincipled landlords will either sell their properties to new buy-to-let Doncaster landlords, or to tenants who want to buy them. So, it could be a small win for people looking for a new Doncaster home, and a disappointment for unprincipled landlords simply looking for a cash cow ‘have no care about the property or tenant’ investment vehicle.

If you are a Doncaster landlord and want to know more about this, whether you are a landlord of ours, a Doncaster landlord with another Doncaster agent or a self-managing landlord, feel free to drop me a line or pick up the phone (I don’t bite) to chat about the implications of this and other legislative changes that are on the horizon.

Doncaster Property News

Mending the Broken Doncaster Property Market

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The long-lasting issue of the Doncaster property market are laid bare as the final 2018 property transaction figures have just been published and they continue the post credit crunch trend of less people moving.

37.3% less of Doncaster people are selling their homes annually since the credit crunch, when compared to the post Millennium years of 2000 to 2005

This is not just an issue of the Doncaster housing market slowing down since the credit crunch – the challenge is to split out shorter-term factors such as Brexit and the elections from longer-term structural issues of the UK society, because when these most recent property transaction figures are seen against longer-term trends for Doncaster, they suggest more significant issues in the Doncaster housing market.

In the late 1990’s, 4,432 properties were sold annually in the Doncaster area, then in the same area, the Millennium boom saw transactions rise to 6,240 per annum. Property sales then more than halved to 2,825 per annum in the challenge of the global financial crash and subsequent retrenchment of the mortgage market. Post credit crunch (2012 and beyond) locally, on average, 3,915 properties have sold annually.

So, whilst there was a recovery from 2013 onwards, it was rather uninspiring when compared to the pre-credit crunch years, with a lacklustre performance in property transactions since mid 2010’s.

You might ask why we should be concerned about the number of property transactions and not the change in property values?

The number of transaction numbers are a far more exact bellwether for the health and potency of the local housing market.

As less people have been selling their homes locally, this is not only bad for the Doncaster housing market but for the economy locally, especially when you consider how many allied businesses (builders, decorators, solicitors, removal vans, estate agents, mortgage arrangers and other people) lose out as a result.

Some say the deficiency of supply of property, mainly affordable first-time buyer property, is the chief reason why transaction figures remain stubbornly low. Others suggest the absence of suitable housing stock up the property ladder (particularly bungalows for the older generation), combined with rising demand, is causing a bottleneck in our local housing market.

I know there has been much talk from Westminster about grand home-building programmes, yet we now require them to deliver on these undertakings and even then, it will be a few decades before we see a seismic change in the Doncaster property market.

In the short-term, a quicker improvement may come from modifications to stamp duty. First time buyers don’t need to pay Stamp Duty up to a certain level, yet those Stamp Duty concessions could be extended to those mature homeowners looking to downsize. This could liberate a meaningful number of mature family homes occupied principally by these mature generation and the tax lost through Stamp Duty could be replenished by a revaluation of the Council Tax bands?

Council Tax bandings were set in 1991 and the seven bands, the highest band starts at £320,000 (based on 1991 values). It seems irrational to us that upper value band, set in the 1991 revaluations, has not been increased, particularly as house prices in London have risen by over 400 per cent during in the last 25years.

That would mean higher tax for those who don’t move yet less tax for those that do move – because we believe it would boost a far more liquid Doncaster property market.

Just a thought of mending the local property market – what are your thoughts?

Doncaster Property News

How long is an average Doncaster property on the market for?

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If you are either selling or buying a property in Doncaster, there are a few reasons why it may be taking some time to sell your Doncaster home or find that perfect place to call your new home. It may be taking longer than you thought to find a buyer for your home because of the current state of the property market or finding that perfect Doncaster home may be taking too long because of a lack of properties to buy.

So, taking everything into consideration, all of these factors invite an obvious question; how long is too long to persist in the Doncaster property market?

If you are looking to sell your Doncaster property, it may have become infuriating when your home has been on the market for longer than you anticipated. Perhaps the property market is purely in a position where it’s challenging to get a property sold quickly, or sold at the price you want to achieve for it. If you do live in a Doncaster home that is towards the upper reaches of the price band, you have to be open to the idea that because it’s worth so much more than the average property in Doncaster and so more than most individuals can afford, you will have to wait longer to get it sold.

Your Doncaster home might be taking longer to sell because your asking price is simply too high. Even if you are prepared to take a realistic offer, if you have an unrealistic asking price your overpriced Doncaster property will undoubtedly turn off potential buyers from even being inclined to book a viewing.

Looking at the market in Doncaster compared to a year ago makes very interesting reading…

When it comes to the average length of time on the market, it’s the semi-detached, terraced and apartments in Doncaster that appear to be taking longer to sell, yet the length of time Doncaster detached homes seem to be on the market has dropped.

 

The overall average length of time a Doncaster property remains on the market has risen by 7.8%, from 90 days a year to 97 days today

The question that remains is, if you are having no luck selling should you leave your Doncaster property on the market or not? This is basically down to your personal circumstances – a big decider has to be if you are moving up market or downsizing.

Buyers will compare your Doncaster property to all the other homes on the market using the portals such as Rightmove, On the Market and Zoopla and even if your asking price is realistic, if your marketing (brochures, pictures, even video walk through) isn’t top dollar, they will dismiss your property.

 

Remember, the average buyer only views 4.5 properties before they buy and on average, each buyer will only spend just over 25 minutes viewing each home  …

The more properties that are on the market, the greater the choice for buyers (yet more competition for house sellers), so we wanted to look at how many homes were for sale in Doncaster now, compared to 12 months ago.

As you can see, there is not a huge difference between the property types in Doncaster.

As for buying a Doncaster property, searching for that dream house can take time as you have to consider the needs of your spouse, children, schooling, etc., what you can realistically afford and whether your current location can accommodate you until you find that perfect Doncaster home.

Don’t forget that upwards of 10% of homes do not make it to the portals (the portals are Rightmove, Zoopla and On the Market), so don’t just rely on the portals to let you know what is coming on the market. The number of times I speak to disappointed buyers who missed out because other buyers registered directly with the agent for property, whilst they relied on the portals.

When it comes to buying a Doncaster home, and so you do not make any decisions you will regret later on, taking your time is always the more practical option. The amount of money that is involved in buying a home and all the costs connected with it means that you should not rush into buying or selling without due consideration.