Sunday, 24 June 2018

Royal Tunbridge Wells 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 Royal Tunbridge Wells Property Market or many?
I like to keep an eye on the property market in Royal Tunbridge Wells on a daily basis because it enables me to give the best advice and opinion on what (or not) to buy in Royal Tunbridge Wells, be that a buy-to-let property for a Royal Tunbridge Wells landlord or an owner occupier house for a home owner.  So, I thought, how could I scientifically split the Royal Tunbridge Wells 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 Royal Tunbridge Wells 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 Royal Tunbridge Wells, 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 Royal Tunbridge Wells are as follows:
·      Lowest Quartile (lowest 25% in terms of value) … Up to £280,000
·      Lower/Middle Quartile (25% to 50% Quartile in terms of value)...  £280,000 to £400,000
·      Middle/Upper Quartile (50% to 75% Quartile in terms of value)... £400,000 to £650,000
·      Upper Quartile (highest 25% in terms of value) ... £650,000 Upwards
So, having split the Royal Tunbridge Wells 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 results are close, but the best performing price range in Royal Tunbridge Wells is the middle market. As I would expect, the upper quartile (the top 25%) is finding things toughest. Interestingly for Royal Tunbridge Wells landlords, the lower market is also selling well, meaning there are plenty of Royal Tunbridge Wells landlords buying properties to add to their buy to let portfolios. 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 Royal Tunbridge Wells’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 Royal Tunbridge Wells landlord investors to bag a bargain? 

Want to know where those Royal Tunbridge Wells buy to let bargains are?  Follow my Royal Tunbridge Wells Property Blog or drop me an email because irrespective of which agent you use, myself or any of the other excellent agents in Royal Tunbridge Wells, many local landlords ask me my thoughts, opinion and advice on what (and not) to buy locally … and I wouldn’t want you to miss out on those thoughts ... would you?

Sunday, 17 June 2018

37% More Royal Tunbridge Wells 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 Royal Tunbridge Wells 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 Royal Tunbridge Wells home sellers are putting their properties on to the market than a year ago. 

At the start of 2007 there were 873 properties for sale in Royal Tunbridge Wells but by July 2008, when the credit crunch was really beginning to bite, that number had risen to 1,273 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 Royal Tunbridge Wells 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 Royal Tunbridge Wells 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 Royal Tunbridge Wells 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 37% more properties for sale in Royal Tunbridge Wells today than a year ago

There were 473 properties for sale 12 months ago, and today that stands at 648. Definitely a 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 Royal Tunbridge Wells 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 Royal Tunbridge Wells house sellers and potential house buyers, I do foresee the Royal Tunbridge Wells Property Market will show steady yet sustained improvement during the first half of 2018.

What does this mean for Royal Tunbridge Wells 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 Royal Tunbridge Wells still looks a good investment, providing Royal Tunbridge Wells 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 Royal Tunbridge Wells, 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 …..

I will tell you that 1strule in a couple of weeks!

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Royal Tunbridge Wells Property Market Worth More Than Sage Software

The value of all the homes in Royal Tunbridge Wells has risen by more than 270% in the past two decades, to £7.753bn, meaning its worth more than the stock listed software company Sage Group, which is worth £7.481bn.

Those Royal Tunbridge Wells 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 Royal Tunbridge Wells homes as the younger generation in Royal Tunbridge Wells 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 house prices in Royal Tunbridge Wells 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 Royal Tunbridge Wells it hasn’t been anywhere near the levels seen in the early 2000’s.

Twenty years ago, the total value of Royal Tunbridge Wells’ property was worth £2.091bn. 

Over those twenty years, total property values have increased by £5.662bn, meaning today, the total value of all the properties in Royal Tunbridge Wells is worth £7.753bn. 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 Royal Tunbridge Wells?  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 Royal Tunbridge Wells remains relatively good as over the last five years, the local property market has been a lot more sensible than central London’s. 

House values in Royal Tunbridge Wells 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 Royal Tunbridge Wells. 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 Royal Tunbridge Wells has and always will, out ride out the storm.

In the coming weeks, I will look in greater detail at my thoughts for the 2018 Royal Tunbridge Wells Property Market. As always, all my articles can be found at the Royal Tunbridge Wells Property Market Blog 

Sunday, 3 June 2018

£1,161 pcm – The Average Royal Tunbridge Wells Rent

The rents paid by Royal Tunbridge Wells tenants are now standing at £1,161 per calendar month (PCM), a rise of 0.42% year on year and 0.5% higher month on month.

However, this attention-grabbing monthly rent figure masks stark differences in the various different parts of the Royal Tunbridge Wells rental market. Demand in Royal Tunbridge Wells for high quality family homes with two or three bedrooms in good catchment areas for schools remains really robust due to tenants wanting access to the schools.  Other influencing factors that make certain areas popular are the proximity to transport links. However, I have noticed a drop in demand (and thus rents achieved) for property where the landlord hasn’t kept the property fresh; in terms of decoration, carpets, replacement windows and poor heating. 

So, what does all this mean for Royal Tunbridge Wells landlords and tenants?

With the new tax rules for landlords, many believed that the number of rental properties would narrow throughout 2017, as landlords sold up their Buy to let properties and looked to invest their money elsewhere, but evidently this hasn’t happened (yet).  Feasibly Royal Tunbridge Wells landlords are re-mortgaging their Royal Tunbridge Wells buy to let properties instead, as they still believe it’s a safer investment than looking, say at the stock market?

However, demand remained strong in 2017 for Royal Tunbridge Wells private rental properties, meaning the rents being achieved were at a decent level for landlords. Keeping your outgoings low is also an important consideration and so I looked on a well-known financial services comparison site this morning and found a High Street bank offering a 5-year fixed rate for Buy to let landlords with a 40% deposit/equity for 2.17% … I can remember (as I am sure many of my readers of this blog can) when mortgage rates were at 15% - this is cheap money!

Looking at property values in Royal Tunbridge Wells, over the last 12 months and specifically at the lower of the market where buy to let landlords tend to buy their rental properties.  Flats/apartments have risen in value by 0.69% whilst terraced properties have risen by 0.35%.

Some Royal Tunbridge Wells landlords have seen the yields they are achieving remain squeezed. 

However, most landlords can start to feel assured that as capital growth in Royal Tunbridge Wells remains at a more realistic figure (good for long term stability in the property market) and long-term rents are on the rise, the overall corresponding annual return on investment (Annual ROI being annual capital + annual yield) has stabilised in all areas and is now starting to grow. 

With additional people seeing renting as a long-term option, even with the challenges of the new tax regime, Royal Tunbridge Wells landlords, with the support of a good advice and opinion, should continue to see renting as a good investment vehicle.