July Newsletter - Buyer and seller activity is on the rise

July Newsletter - Buyer and seller activity is on the rise

In this month's edition, we start off with the news that buyer and seller activity is on the increase, alongside the news that a lack of new stock is driving rental numbers up. 

We also look at why Buy to Let remains a great investment opportunity for vendors and landlords, you'll find top tips to help you before you sign off on your mortgage, we detail the top design ideas from 2019 so far, what you should look for when house hunting and finally, we offer a comprehensive guide to what you need to know about lending money from your parents when purchasing a property. 

Buy to Let remains a great investment opportunity

Since 2016, there have been several changes to the property market across the United Kingdom – predominantly to the lettings sector. Despite these alterations to taxation, stamp duty and bureaucracy around rental properties, most buy-to-let investors are still finding the market to be lucrative, with stable returns.

With a number of landlords departing the market when initial government changes took place in 2016, competition in the marketplace is greatly reduced and the professionalism of the sector has blossomed.

Chris Baguley, Commercial Director at buy-to-let lender Together, said: “As casual owners exit the sector, buy-to-let is becoming ever more professionalised, as individuals and companies adopt a more rigorous approach to acquiring the right properties in the right areas, and getting them ready to rent within a limited time frame on a tight budget. Perhaps most notably in the housing sector, the balance of today, there is therefore notably less competition than there was before.

“Even if we don’t see the capital growth which has been evident over the past two decades, the income available from property investment can still be attractive compared to other asset classes.”

With rental incomes increasing – the Office of National Statistics announced this month that private rents rose 1.3% on an annual basis in May, increasing once more from April – the opportunities for buy-to-let investors are evident. Additionally, financing your properties has become easier with specific buy-to-let mortgages now offered by a plethora of lenders, who are fiercely competing with one another to keep their market share, providing investors with an opportunity to obtain extremely attractive rates.

A recent survey of more than 5,000 investors found that almost three-quarters of those surveyed considered buy-to-let to be the best, least volatile long-term investment. Indeed, some 83% of buy-to-let investors who were questioned stated that it was either unlikely or very unlikely that they would sell their property over the next year, with almost 60% going on to state that they had no intentions of selling for the next five years.

If you would like to discuss your rental investment options, then please feel free to contact us and we can advise you of the best local areas to invest your money in, as well as which property types and audiences are likely to provide you with the best possible rental yield.

Buyer and seller activity is on the rise

In what appears to be a reaction to the most recent Brexit delay, the housing market is experiencing a pronounced period of activity, according to figures provided by NAEA Propertymark.

Property demand from prospective buyers was at an eight month high during May, with the number of registered property hunters increasing by an average of 16% during the month from 265 to 307. This represents the highest level of registrations since September of last year, another significant statistic in a period where increased levels of public activity are being seen across the market.

The supply of available housing has also seen an increase in line with this increased activity, with an average increase from 35 properties per member branch on offer in April to 41 in May. This also represents a year-on-year increase of four properties from the same month last year. Average sales per branch also saw a brief increase, from 8 in April to 9 in May.

So, what’s caused the increased activity? Seasonal demand appears to have played a part, alongside the aforementioned Brexit delay which won’t see Britain exit the European Union before October 31st at the earliest. With that in mind, buyers and sellers appear keen to progress with their plans and transactions during this period of relative political calm.

“It is encouraging to see the housing market bouncing back, with supply and demand rising to the highest levels seen since last year,” noted Mark Hayward, Propertmark’s chief executive.

“It's evident that buyers and sellers are no longer waiting for the outcome of Brexit and want to get things moving, particularly as many sellers are realising that it's a buyers' market in certain areas of the country.”

Five things should you double check before signing a mortgage offer

With nearly half a million homeowners admitting to finding the home-buying process confusing, online broker Trussle has outlined what you need to know. 

Click here to read Five things should you double check before signing a mortgage offer.

Lack of new stock continues to drive rental numbers up

According to the latest data released by haart, the number of tenants entering the market across England and Wales has risen by 6.7%.

Click here to read Lack of new stock continues to drive rental numbers up.

The best design ideas to spruce up your home in 2019

Whether you want to add value to your home in preparation for sale or you just want to make your property a more appealing place to live, redecorating and incorporating the latest trends is a worthwhile endeavour. Take a look through some of our picks of the best home design ideas emerging through 2019…

Embrace the industrial
One of the key trends throughout the year so far has been the embracing of industrial materials in the home environment. Typically, steel beams in the ceiling space would be covered, with their utility overshadowing their relative beauty. In line with new trends, these beams would be left exposed; their harsh texture a welcome juxtaposition to the surrounding soft surfaces in the home. Similarly, materials such as concrete are being embraced this year; simply polished to a high shine and then left exposed for a striking floor covering. Rather than exposing interior workings as a sign of minimalism or modernism, this newest trend is about adding new textures and colours into your home.

Bring the outdoors, indoors
In these modern days, we are constantly bombarded with new studies and surveys showing us the benefits of spending more time outdoors, and whilst these are of course to be heralded, it can be difficult to get the right amount of time alfresco. This desire for more outdoor space is being met head-on by designers who are incorporating more of the outdoors, indoors. The inclusion of bi-folding doors which concertina into themselves are being incorporated into modern homes in order to bridge this gap, and the additions of conservatories or orangeries are also ways to flood your home with light from the outdoors. A non-budget-busting method for incorporating more of the outdoors into your home’s design aesthetic would be to include more plants around your home and at different levels – on the floor, on tables or in very on-trend macramé hanging pots.

Let there be lights
Nobody starts out their interior design plans looking to create dark interiors with limited light; we all like natural light-sources to balance a room’s feel. Natural light and the inclusion thereof is a recurring theme no matter what year it is, but balancing the natural light with artificial light is high on the trend list for 2019. Hidden lighting and light-sources are a key inclination this year; with recessed lights, under stair lights and uplighters all proving very popular.

Au naturale
In years gone by, interior trends have revolved around overly designed rooms with “feature walls” and striking pieces, yet this year the natural finish is having something of a revival. The use of materials such as clay plaster offer a more interesting and textured finish, with no need to be covered once applied which creates an organic and natural feel to an interior.

Storage woes
A major concern for interior design this year is that of storage and how to incorporate the most innovative storage space into the home. Kitchens are key in this trend – with the inclusion of central islands adding storage, high cupboards drawing the eye further up the walls to create the feel of taller ceilings and the resurgence of pantries to hide away ingredients. Around the home, under stair storage is a massive trend as this space is often wasted, and similarly storage underneath baths is increasingly being utilised.

What you need to know about lending from the Bank of Mum & Dad

There are huge lenders in the mortgage market around the United Kingdom, with high-street names competing fiercely with one another for potential business. One of the largest current lenders may well surprise you, however, as rather than a large financial institution it is the bank of mum and dad which sits at 11th in the list of largest mortgage lenders in the UK.

Parents and family members are set to lend more than £6bn in 2019, which amounts to a higher amount in mortgage pay-outs than well-known brands such as the Co-Operative Bank and Skipton Building Society. With deposits becoming ever-increasingly difficult to amass, many people are now counting on their relatives to help them take that first step onto the property ladder; recent research from Legal & General and Cebr has found that nearly 20% of all property transactions are now aided by parents and grandparents.

Those lucky enough to be able to tap into this valuable resource will be aided predominantly by cash gifts, with some releasing the equity in their homes in order to help their children (16%).

Nigel Wilson, Group Chief Executive at Legal & General, says: “The Bank of Mum and Dad continues to be the ‘iceberg’ mortgage lender beneath the surface of our housing market – all but invisible yet exerting a massive influence, funding purchases across the country and helping people to defy the economics of affordability and realise their housing dreams.”

If you are thinking of using the bank of mum and dad, then there are a few considerations to take into account:

Banks and building societies will accept a deposit, or part thereof, that has been gifted to you – some may require confirmation in writing that the money is indeed a true gift.
If cash is gifted to you then this may be subject to Inheritance Tax (IHT) if the gift giver is deceased within seven years of the gift.
Inheritance limits are £3,000 per year, and previous years’ allowances may be utilised before IHT comes into play. For example, two parents could gift £18,000 with no IHT due as long as they had not gifted anything in the previous three years.
If the money is a loan, then this will need to be declared to your potential mortgage provider detailing repayments, interest, timescales and caveats.

Which warning signs should you look for when house hunting?

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a property developer after your next investment, it's vital to be vigilant when house viewing.

Click here to read Which warning signs should you look for when house hunting?.