Thursday 20 June 2024

Bank of England Update: June 2024

 


Ladies and Gentlemen, brace yourselves, for the Bank of England has once again wielded its mighty scepter of monetary policy, and the ripples are being felt across the land, from the bustling streets of London to our very own Warrington. Yes, you heard it right, the Bank Rate remains firmly planted at 5.25%, as decided in the recent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting. So, what does this mean for us, the humble denizens of the residential property sector? Let's dive in and find out!

National Overview
Nationally, the decision to maintain the Bank Rate at 5.25% is rooted in a delicate dance between inflation and economic stability. The headline CPI inflation has finally hit the target of 2%, down from the dizzying heights of previous months. However, don't pop the champagne just yet, as the MPC warns that inflationary pressures are still lurking in the shadows. The labour market, while showing signs of loosening, remains tight compared to historical standards. Wage growth is easing, but not fast enough to declare victory over inflation just yet.

Local Perspective: Warrington
Now, let's bring it closer to home. Warrington, like many parts of the UK, is feeling the effects of these national trends. Property prices have remained relatively stable, but the volume of transactions has seen a slight dip as potential buyers tread cautiously. The local market sentiment is a mix of cautious optimism and a bit of nail-biting. On one hand, stable interest rates mean predictability for mortgage holders. On the other hand, high borrowing costs are still a hurdle for first-time buyers and those looking to upgrade.

Market Sentiments and Trends
Across the UK, market sentiment is akin to a cat on a hot tin roof – cautious and ready to leap at any sign of trouble. The MPC's decision to keep rates unchanged reflects a broader trend of playing it safe amidst economic uncertainties. Industry experts, like Sarah Smith of the UK Property Guild, quip, "It's like trying to bake a soufflé in a storm – you need to keep everything just right to avoid a collapse."

The property market is seeing a shift towards longer-term fixed-rate mortgages as buyers look to lock in rates amidst fears of future hikes. In Warrington, estate agents have noticed a slight uptick in rental property inquiries, suggesting that some potential buyers are opting to rent until the economic waters calm down.

Facts and Figures
According to the latest data, UK GDP grew by 0.6% in Q1 2024, with government services output accounting for a significant chunk of this growth. The services consumer price inflation stood at 5.7% in May, a slight dip from March's 6.0% but still higher than expected. Mortgage approvals have seen a slight decline after six consecutive months of increases, indicating a cooling housing market.


12-Month Outlook
Looking ahead, the next 12 months are set to be a rollercoaster. The Bank of England's MPC is committed to keeping monetary policy restrictive until they are confident that inflation will stay at the 2% target sustainably. This means we can expect the Bank Rate to hover around the current level for the foreseeable future. The property market in Warrington, much like the rest of the UK, will likely continue its cautious pace. Buyers and investors are advised to keep an eye on economic indicators and be prepared for a dynamic market environment.

In Conclusion
While the Bank of England's recent announcement might not be the most thrilling news, it underscores the importance of stability and caution in these uncertain times. As we navigate the choppy waters of the property market, it's essential to stay informed and make decisions based on the latest data and trends. So, keep your ears to the ground and your eyes on the charts, and together, we'll weather this economic storm with a smile (and perhaps a dash of humour)!

For more detailed information, you can always refer to the Bank of England's latest monetary policy summary and minutes​ (Bank of England)​​ (Bank of England)​.

  

Friday 14 June 2024

The Risks of Being a Rogue Landlord: Understanding Banning Orders and Penalties

 


The Risks of Being a Rogue Landlord: Understanding Banning Orders and Penalties

Being a landlord is no walk in the park. It's more like a brisk jog through a field of legal minefields. Step in the wrong place, and you might find yourself at the receiving end of a banning order or hefty penalties. If you've ever fancied playing a real-life game of Monopoly, remember: it's all fun and games until someone lands on "Jail" and can't pass "Go." So, let’s navigate the treacherous terrain of property law with a smile and some seriousness, shall we?

The Housing Act 2004: The Bane of Bad Landlords
The Housing Act 2004 is like that super-strict headteacher you had in school – stern, no-nonsense, and always ready to dish out a good scolding. This act introduced banning orders, which can effectively bench landlords for a period of time. If you think of yourself as the David Beckham of property management, consider a banning order the equivalent of a red card.

These orders can be issued for offences such as failing to comply with improvement notices, illegally evicting tenants (a big no-no per the Protection from Eviction Act 1977), or falling foul of HMO regulations. It's the law’s way of saying, "Shape up, or ship out!"

Housing and Planning Act 2016: The Enforcer
Enter the Housing and Planning Act 2016, the brawny bouncer of the property world. This act beefed up the enforcement of banning orders and created a rogue landlord database. Imagine having your name on a public "naughty list" – not exactly great for business.

Additionally, the act allows local authorities to slap civil penalties on landlords as an alternative to prosecution. These penalties can go up to £30,000 per offence. Yes, you read that right. If you think fines are just a slap on the wrist, think again. It’s more like a swift kick in the bank account.

The Deregulation Act 2015: Eviction Ethics 101
Now, let's talk about the Deregulation Act 2015 – a lifesaver for tenants and a wake-up call for landlords who believe in retaliatory evictions. This act makes it illegal to evict tenants for complaining about the property’s condition. So, if you were planning on evicting Mrs. Smith for pointing out that the ceiling is caving in, think again. The law's got her back, and it's got a magnifying glass on you.

Also, the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 demands that landlords keep properties in good nick. If your rental looks like it belongs in a horror movie, you’re in for some legal jump scares.

Tenant Fees Act 2019: Fees-Free Fun
Speaking of tenant protections, the Tenant Fees Act 2019 puts a kibosh on all those sneaky fees you might have thought about charging. Want to charge a tenant for breathing? Too bad! This act ensures tenants are not nickel-and-dimed for everything under the sun. Violate it, and you'll be facing fines faster than you can say "administration fee."

Consumer Rights Act 2015: Transparency is Key
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 wants landlords to be transparent, honest, and straightforward. Think of it as the act that forces you to play with your cards on the table. Misrepresenting your property or hiding behind unfair terms in tenancy agreements can land you in hot water. You know that feeling when you realise your poker face isn't working? That's this act, in legal form.

The Granddaddies: Rent Act 1977 and Protection from Eviction Act 1977
The Rent Act 1977 and the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 are like the wise old owls of property law. The Rent Act regulates rent increases and provides security of tenure, ensuring tenants aren't kicked out on a whim. Meanwhile, the Protection from Eviction Act criminalises illegal evictions and harassment, ensuring tenants can sleep easy without worrying about sudden, unlawful booting.

The Bottom Line: Don't Be a Rogue Landlord
If there’s one thing to take away from this, it's that being a rogue landlord is not worth the hassle. The legal landscape is littered with traps for the unwary and the unscrupulous. Banning orders and penalties are there to make sure that landlords play by the rules and maintain a decent standard of living for their tenants.

To avoid falling foul of the law, landlords should:
  • Keep properties in good condition (no haunted house vibes, please).
  • Respond promptly to tenant complaints.
  • Avoid charging sneaky fees.
  • Be transparent and honest in all dealings.
  • Respect tenant rights and privacy.

Remember, the goal is to create a positive living environment where tenants are happy and landlords can sleep at night without fearing a knock on the door from the legal enforcers. So, play nice, follow the rules, and keep that property portfolio in the green. After all, no one wants to be the rogue landlord on the evening news, right?

In conclusion, navigating the complexities of property law requires diligence, respect for tenant rights, and a commitment to maintaining high standards. By understanding and complying with the relevant legislation, landlords can avoid the pitfalls of banning orders and penalties, ensuring a smooth and profitable operation. And remember, when in doubt, consult with a legal expert – it's better than learning the hard way!

So, if you're a landlord or investor ready to stay on the right side of the law and make your property dreams come true, why not drop us a line? At Hamlet Homes, our kettle is always on, and we've got a biscuit tin with your name on it. Give us a call at 01925 235 338, email us at staff@hamletwarrington.co.uk, or swing by our office at Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, Warrington WA2 8TX. Let's brew up some success together! ☕🏡


Wednesday 5 June 2024

Warrington Rental Property Update, June 2024



Greetings, landlords, tenants, and those simply curious about the wild world of rental properties! Let’s take a light-hearted yet insightful dive into the rollercoaster ride that is the UK rental market, with a special spotlight on our lovely town of Warrington.

### The National Scene: UK Rental Prices
Let’s start with the big picture. Nationally, the rental market has been on a steady climb. Over the past year, the average UK rental price has risen from £1,140 to a cool £1,250. That’s a 9.6% increase, and while it might make some tenants sigh, it’s music to the ears of landlords.


Tuesday 4 June 2024

Warrington Property Update - June 2024

 




Hello there, property enthusiasts! Gather around as we delve into the fascinating world of property prices, both nationally and locally in our beloved Warrington. Buckle up, because while the figures might seem dry, we're here to make them sizzle with a dash of humour and a sprinkle of insight!

National Property Market:

Let's start with the big picture. Over the past 12 months, the UK property market has been a rollercoaster, and not the fun kind you find at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. 


Tuesday 9 May 2023

Warrington Property April Report March 2023

Spring has definitely arrived, and the property market around Warrington, just like the local bees, is buzzing. According to mortgage industry technology company Twenty7tec, March saw overall mortgage search records set, and this has been reflected in the amount of activity in the local property market.

The King's Coronation has led to the addition of another Bank Holiday to the calendar this month, giving house hunters even more time to look for their dream home. With this in mind, we expect this month to be even busier than the last so if you are considering putting your property on the market, don't miss out on this royal opportunity.

Let’s take a brief look at what’s been happening over the last month in the local Warrington property market.

There are currently 453 properties available for sale in Warrington. While this is 5 fewer properties than were available last month, it is a 5% increase in the number of properties available since December, when there were 430 available.

Of the 458 properties that are currently available, 61 came on the market in the last two weeks. In March, 82 properties came onto the market; in February, there were 65; in January, there were 73; and in December, there were 33. A steady stream of properties coming onto the market each month is great news for buyers, as it means that they have more choice.

The average price of properties in Warrington is £274,555. This is an increase of 5% since February, when the average house price was £261,154. Last month, the average price was £269,292.

Most of the properties available are in the £100,000 to £200,000 bracket, with 148 currently on the market. In March there were 161; in February 182; in January, there were 192; and in December, there were 191.

There are 36 properties available in the £500,000 to £1 million bracket, and they are spending on average 128 days on the market.

Properties in the £400,000–£500,000 bracket are currently the fastest movers, spending on average only 86 days on the market.

They are closely followed by properties in the £300,000 to £400,000 bracket, which are now taking on average 90 days to sell.

One-bedroom properties had a median price of £95,000 in January and December. In February and March, the median price of a one-bedroom property in Warrington was £90,000 with an average price of £96,476. In April the median price rose again to £95,000 and the average price settled at £96,304. They are currently sitting on the market for an average of 263 days, down from 281 days in March.

This is another example of how selling property can take longer than people often imagine. If you’re looking to upsize from your first home, or are an investor looking to change your portfolio, please bear this in mind when planning.

Two-bedroom properties were the fastest movers in Warrington in March, spending an average of only 90 days on the market. They currently have an average price of £174,448 and a median price of £160,000.

Let’s take a look at the annual figures now.

Properties around Warrington had an overall average price of £242,119 over the last year.

The majority of sales around Warrington during the last year were semi-detached properties, selling for an average price of £248,408. Terraced properties sold for an average of £173,012, with detached properties fetching £393,630.

Overall, sold prices around Warrington over the last year were 4% up on the previous year and 10% up on the 2020 peak of £220,043.

This shows the high levels of activity in the local Warrington property market, which are likely to increase or, at the very least, remain strong as we head towards summer. There is a lot of demand and plenty of people looking to move around Warrington.

If you’re thinking of selling your property, feel free to contact us. If you’re thinking of buying, letting or renting a Warrington property, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call 01925 235 338 or email staff@hamletwarrington.co.uk.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORTH FOR FREE
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Tuesday 11 April 2023

The Best Thing Landlords Can Do


The rising cost of living is squeezing everyone’s budgets, which means it is more important than ever for landlords to do everything they can to try to ensure that they help their tenants manage their energy use and reduce their bills. Doing so will not only benefit their tenants but may also help them avoid rental voids, as their tenants will be less likely to be left unable to pay the rent.

Landlords of privately rented properties will also be required to make sure their rental properties have an EPC rating of at least C in order to continue taking on new tenants under the regulations, which are expected to become law in England and Wales in 2025.

How can landlords both help their tenants to reduce their bills and improve the EPC ratings of their properties?

Smart meters

These allow tenants to have visibility of their energy usage in real time so that they know exactly how much they are spending each day.

Smart thermostats

These allow tenants to have more control over how they use their heating every day. Some smart thermostats will even turn the heating off when they identify that a property is empty and then turn it back on when the tenants return, thus saving tenants from paying to heat an empty home. Research has indicated they can help reduce heating bills by between 12 and 23%.

Eco features

Many boilers have an ‘eco mode’ which stops water from being preheated. This means that it takes a little longer for hot water to come out of the tap, but it does save money.

LED bulbs

Before renting out their property, landlords should make sure to replace all of the bulbs with LED ones. If they already have a tenant then they should make sure that they know that they could save an average of £40 every year just by using LED bulbs.

Radiator thermostats

These allow tenants to choose to boost the heat in the room that they are in rather than having to heat the whole property all the time, which will help to reduce their bills.

Insulate

Twenty-five per cent of heat loss is through the roof, so landlords should make sure that the loft is well insulated. Doing so will also have a positive effect on the property’s EPC rating.

Double-glazed windows

Properties with double-glazed windows lose, on average, just 10% of their heat through their windows. According to research, single-glazed windows are responsible for up to 70% of a property's heat loss! Investing in double-glazing can have a large effect both on a tenant’s bills and the EPC rating of the property.

Insulate the hot water cylinder

Check the thickness if you already have a jacket that fits over your tank. If it isn't at least 80mm thick, think about getting a new one. Increasing the insulation from 25mm to 80mm thick can save up to £70 per year.

We have seen a definite increase in the importance of EPC ratings to tenants who are wary of renting properties that cost a fortune to heat. If you are looking to rent out your property and would like some advice on how to make your property more energy efficient please give us a call on 01925 235 338 and we will be happy to advise you.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORTH FOR FREE
Hamlet Homes Warrington, your local Estate Agent
Follow my Warrington Property Market Blog
Hamlet Homes Warrington LinkedIn Page
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Wednesday 5 April 2023

Warrington Property Market Report March 2023


Encouraged by the slow but steady return of warmer weather, homebuyers and sellers are coming out of hibernation, and the local property market is getting increasingly busy. It is something that estate agents fondly refer to as The Spring Rush!

Homebuyers who wish to be settled in their new homes in time for Summer know that they are now in a race against the clock to find a property and give themselves enough time for the purchase to be completed.

Let’s have a brief look at what’s been happening over the last month in the local Warrington property market.

There are currently 458 properties available for sale in Warrington. This is a 6% increase in the number of available properties since December when there were 430 available. Last month, there were 447 and the month before there were 445.

Of the 458 properties that are currently available, 82 came to the market in the last two weeks. That is 17 more than were put on the market in February. In January, there were 73 properties that were new to the market; in December there were 33; in November, there were 48; and in October, there were 71. This is good news for buyers and shows that the market has changed from a sellers' market to a buyers' market. Buyers now have more choice and feel less rushed into making a decision.

The average price of properties in Warrington is £269,292. This is an increase of 3% since last month, when the average house price was £261,154. The median price is £235,000.

Most of the properties available are in the £100,000 to £200,000 bracket, with 161 currently on the market. This is down from 182 last month. In January there were 192, in December there were 191, and in November there were 170 available.

There are 37 properties available in the £500,000 to £1 million bracket and they are spending on average 124 days on the market.

Properties in the £300,000 - £400,000 bracket remain the fastest movers, reducing the amount of time they spend on the market from 87 days in February to 64 days in March. In January, they spent an average of 61 days on the market. In December, they spent on average 80 days on the market. In November, properties in the £100,000 to £200,000 bracket were the fastest movers; they were on the market for 92 days.

They are closely followed by properties in the £400,000 to £500,000 bracket, which are now taking on average 92 days to sell, down 5 days since last month. This is a decrease of 111% since November, when they were spending on average 194 days on the market.

One-bedroom properties had a median price of £95,000 in January and December, up from £90,500 in November. In February and March the median price of a one-bedroom property in Warrington was £90,000 with an average price of £96,476. They are currently sitting on the market for an average of 281 days, down from 290 days in February. In January they sat on the market for an average of 297 days; in December, 288 days; and in November, 289.

This is another example of how selling property can take longer than people often imagine. If you’re looking to upsize from your first home, or are an investor looking to change your portfolio, please bear this in mind when planning.

Three-bedroom properties were the fastest movers in Warrington in March, spending an average of only 89 days on the market. They currently have an average price of £246,071 and a median price of £240,000.

Let’s take a look at the annual figures now.

The majority of sales in Warrington during the last year were semi-detached properties, selling for an average price of £249,947. Terraced properties sold for an average of £181,028, with detached properties fetching £420,874.

Overall, sold prices in Warrington over the last year were 4% up on the previous year and 11% up on the 2020 peak of £230,796.

This shows the high levels of activity in the local Warrington property market, which are likely to increase or, at the very least, remain strong as we head towards summer. There is a lot of demand and plenty of people looking to move around Warrington.

If you’re thinking of selling your property, feel free to contact us. If you’re thinking of buying, letting or renting a Warrington property, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call 01925 235 338 or email staff@hamletwarrington.co.uk.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORTH FOR FREE
Hamlet Homes Warrington, your local Estate Agent
Follow my Warrington Property Market Blog
Hamlet Homes Warrington LinkedIn Page
Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Facebook Page