After 10 years in Lettings and Management across Nottinghamshire and the last 3 years in Woodthorpe, we have seen more and more accidental landlords considering selling when tenants are starting to vacate and rather than giving the business to other agents, we have chosen to accommodate these clients by offering sales through our new sales division.
Many clients ask whether we do sales and until now we have had to pass them to other companies, but rather than lose the client we can now provide a seamless approach to selling their property as well, whether it be as a tenanted investment or otherwise.
Rather than dilute our internal lettings and management structure to accommodate the sales function, we have chosen to launch our sales division separately under the PWR Residential brand with a dedicated team focusing purely on selling properties. This way we have specialist people on both sides of the business, focused on their own function, but with cross communication lines within the business. It is therefore an opportunity for expansion in the area for PWR and to build on our already well established reputation and to provide existing and new clients with a Unique Estate Agency experience.
The UK's private rented sector (PRS) could learn from its counterpart in Germany.
This is according to the joint managing director of Grainger Deutschland, who said there is a "deep cultural acceptance" of renting in the European nation compared to a heavy focus on homeownership and house price inflation in Britain.
There is much the UK could learn from the German rented residential market, but one must be careful and not assume that we can simply transplant the German model into the UK.
Nonetheless, there are features of the German rental market such as longer term tenancies and a culture of professional management, which help explain why it is such a successful investment asset class.
The British Property Federations (BPF) recent conference saw the organisation call on British councils to do more to support the construction of properties built with long-term renting in mind and to move away from a fixation with home ownership.
A keynote speaker at the event was Roberta Blackman Woods, Labour's shadow planning minister, who said she believes the PRS can do more to help the UK overcome its current housing crisis.
Ms Blackman Woods claimed Labour is committed to improving standards in the rental sector, especially for the 1.3 million families with children who currently rent their home.
Following the event, the BPF has released a report alongside legal firm Addleshaw Goddard that calls for more purpose-built PRS accommodation to be developed.
Entitled 'Making Renting Viable', the publication sets out a number of recommendations for how this can be achieved. These include strong and clear guidance from the National Planning Policy Framework and earmarking public land for PRS development.
Other suggestions include defined local authority targets for the building of rental homes and making it easier for councils to raise the necessary finance to construct PRS properties.
The BPF and Addleshaw Goddard want the government to provide official formal guidelines on the building of specialist rental developments.
A shortage of homes coming onto the nation’s housing market is seriously hampering growth and pushing prices higher in many parts of the country, says the RICS January Residential Market Survey.
During January, the number of houses coming up for sale across the UK hit its lowest point since July 2012, despite the amount of potential buyers continuing to surge ahead in most areas. However, despite vendor numbers not having seen any sustained increase for some months, some surveyors note that supply is expected to increase as we enter the traditional ‘spring bounce’.
However, last month, with the gap between listless supply and rising demand not seeing any considerable change, prices continued to grow in every part of the UK. During January, a net balance of 53% more respondents across the country reported growing prices (from +56% in December). The cost of a home in the UK has now been rising for just under a year.
Moving on to transactions, the number of homes sold per chartered surveyor reached 21.1* over the preceding three months. Although historically relatively low, this represents a sizable increase on the same time last year when respondents were selling a mere 16.
Across the UK, the biggest increases in activity have been seen in the South West and Yorkshire and Humberside where sales numbers jumped 50% and 40% respectively since January last year.
Looking ahead, the more positive outlook continues with a net balance of 32% more chartered surveyors predicting transaction numbers to increase over the coming three months, while expectations for future prices are also strongly positive.
*Homes sold per surveyor (by branch over the preceding three months).
After 5 years, sales transactions are starting to increase, consumer confidence is on the rise, the economy is improving and the full impact of Help to Buy is still to come, making the outlook appear brighter. However, high deposit requirements, restricted levels of lending and possible interest rate rises could check growth.
Indeed, PWR Residential our sister company are experiencing high levels of demand from would be buyers, with us agreeing the sale of 5 of the first 10 instructions within only weeks of the properties coming to the market.
Modest growth looks likely but fears of a bubble seem misplaced, especially with the Bank of England keeping an eye on things.
Mortgage approvals are also on the rise, though they remain below peak levels. Approvals in the third quarter of 2013 were at their highest for 6 years, however, new lending rules, in force from April 2014, following the mortgage market review will prevent a return to some of the lending practices seen before the credit crunch.
New instructions remain a challenge with numbers well below 2008 levels and with demand on the up and new builds falling well short of the targets put forward by the experts, the short supply is likely to fuel price growth in the short term.
Lending to buy to let investors is on the rise and is helping to take the pressure off the supply issues in the rental market. With capital values rising in many parts and high deposit requirements likely to underpin demand from tenants frozen out of the sales market, prospects look good for investor Landlords who do their homework.
Four out of five people think that average asking prices will be higher in 12 months time proving that consumer confidence is at its highest level in four years.
With so much positivity in the market, 2014 should be a good year for not only the sales market but also the rental market too.
As Landlords it is important to properly understand what it is that tenants want when it comes to renting property. Thankfully, there is no shortage of tenants willing to say exactly what they want.
Savills and YouGov has polled 2,300 private sector tenants in the UK to discover that the top priority is location, with just over half – 52 per cent of tenants – looking to live within five minutes of their nearest public transport. This rises to 73 per cent if you expand the catchment to 10 minutes.
Unsurprisingly, the report reveals that affordability is also crucial for tenants, while flexibility is also a highly important factor.
This is particularly true in London, where respondents to the research said that they are prepared to travel for longer to get to work, thus highlighting the affordability pressures of the London market. Some 60 per cent of London respondents travel for more than half an hour to work, compared to just 30 per cent of other respondents.
The research also found that tenants are renting for longer and the profile of those tenants is changing to include more families with children.
Families with children found it more important to be close to good schools (48 per cent), and 42 per cent of them were willing to pay more. Higher income households found it important to be close to a gym (12 per cent) and 13 per cent were willing to pay more.
Having more space is also significantly more important to families with children (47 per cent) but less important to those without children or sharers. Sharers and renters on higher income are more willing to pay more to have an en suite for every bedroom.
The greatest difference between high-income renters and those on lower incomes relate to the following amenities (in this order), on-site gym, on-site pool, on-site cleaner to hire, 24 hour concierge, hotel-style lobby, Wi-Fi internet and 24-hour security.
Source : Property Drum
Most UK tenants believe their rent provides good value for money, a new survey has revealed.
A poll undertaken by the National Landlords Association (NLA) found close to three-quarters (73 per cent) of respondents think the amount they pay for their home provides either good or very good value.
Only a fifth of tenants sad they think their rent is poor value for money, while just three per cent claimed it is very poor.
Carolyn Uphill, NLA chairman, stated: "It's pleasing to see that so many tenants perceive their rent as good value because landlords face a lot of unjustified criticism for the rising costs of living."
The organisation's survey also revealed close to three-quarters of landlords (72 per cent) have not raised their rents over the past 12 months, while three per cent have actually lowered prices.
Some 85 per cent of renters said they are happy with the length of their tenancy agreement and this is evidenced by the fact 79 per cent either renewed their current contract or carried on through a rolling statutory periodic tenancy when the original period came to an end.
"On the whole the findings are encouraging for tenants … very few feel pressured to move out or actually have their tenancy terminated by their landlord - a common misconception," Ms Uphill stated.
Just one per cent of the renters surveyed said their last contract had been ended by the landlord, while only 0.6 per cent claimed they were forced to move out due to rent becoming too expensive.
Ms Uphill said the overall message provided by this research should be that the majority of operators in the private rented sector (PRS) are providing a quality and affordable service with sustainable tenancies.
This study should help to dispel some of the myths regarding the PRS as it shows rents are not as excessively high as certain media reports have suggested.
Source : National Landlords Association
HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC) fears that a significant number of private landlords fail to disclose all of their income on their tax returns.
With upto 1.5 million private landlords, it estimates that as much as £500 million in tax may be lost. In a press release on 19th September 2013, HMRC offered landlords the chance to put their affairs in order before HMRC comes to them in a clampdown on the market.
Indeed, landlords of bonefide letting agents should also be aware that HMRC usually request details of all landlords dealt with by the agency on an annual basis, which we as agents have to priovide by law, meaning that there is no escape for those landlords and it is better to disclose all of your income and expenditure than risk having a HMRC investigation, however, little your income may be.
We are pleased to announce the launch of the employee of the month award. We have decided that on a monthly basis we will reward one member of staff for their achievements or performance within the month. The candidates will be assessed as to who best deserves the award on an all round basis. The winner for each month will be nominated and selected by the Heads of Department at their monthly meeting.
Craig Newton is the first recipient of the ‘Top Dog’ award and the voting panel were unanimous in giving him the prize for January 2014. We have been extremely impressed with Craig of late. Not only has he individually completed 16 check outs and 26 property visits in one month but his attitude towards his role and his performance has improved overall.
He has made a smooth transition during the split of lettings and property management and has impressed us by transferring his new found confidence onto the newer members of staff, giving them guidance and support where necessary and ensuring that PWR’s high standards are maintained whilst they are training. We have been particularly impressed with Craig’s new found confidence and the way he has embraced the obvious need within the branch to take on responsibility as some experienced members of staff have moved onto different roles.
We recognise that all our staff do a great job but for us, Craig has stood out in January, he thoroughly deserves the award.