Thursday, 17 May 2018

Warrington Property Market – Asking Prices Up 3.9% in the Last 12 Months


The average asking price of property in Warrington increased by 3.9% or £7,151 compared to a year ago, with particularly good demand from landlords and home-movers in the first few months of the year. This takes the current average asking price to £189,338, compared with £182,187 this time last year.

The rise in asking prices is being aggravated by buyers jumping into action looking to benefit from potential stamp duty savings (especially first-time buyers) or beat impending mortgage interest rate rises later in 2018. Of the numerous Warrington buyers starting their property hunting in the usually active spring market this year, many face paying even more than ever for the property of their dreams, although as I mentioned a few weeks ago, there are more properties for sale in Warrington compared to 12 months ago.

Looking at the different sectors of the Warrington property market, splitting it down into property types, one can see what is happening to each sector of the market with regard to their average asking prices now compared to a year ago. Firstly, looking at the Pound note amounts …


  
Interestingly, when one looks at the percentages, the most upward average asking price pressure is in the terraced and semi-detached property type sectors, with both first-time-buyer and second-time-buyer properties at new Warrington asking price highs. 


Now, I must stress this growth in the asking prices of Warrington property doesn’t mean the value of Warrington property is going up by the same amount ... nothing could be further from the truth.  Only time will tell if the current levels of Warrington asking prices is a catch-up abnormality after a couple of months of restrained asking price rises in the first few months of 2018, or is it an initial sign that we are in for a better 2018 Warrington Property market than all of us were expecting at the start of the year? 

I believe these asking prices must be viewed with a pinch of salt, as it will be fascinating to see whether Warrington properties actually sell at these higher asking prices. Just because house sellers (be they owner-occupiers or landlords liquidating their assets) are asking for more money it doesn’t mean buyers will be enthusiastic to part with their hard earned cash. Like my Mum and Dad used to say to me all those years ago, “You can ask ... but you might not get”.

Also, Warrington homeowners and landlords wanting to sell their property need to be aware of progressively strained buyer mortgage affordability and the more those sellers increase asking prices, the more buyers will hit their maximum on the amount they are able borrow on a mortgage.

However, those Warrington buyers who need a mortgage (be they owner-occupier or landlord), will paradoxically benefit from lower mortgage payments before interest rates rise … maybe another reason for the uplift in the number first time buyers and landlords buying? Only time will tell!

Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235338. If you are in the area, feel free to pop into the office – we are based on G5, Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.


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




Thursday, 3 May 2018

Warrington Millennials Have Spent £97,729 On Rent By The Age of 35




The Millennials were born between the mid 1980’s and late 1990’s thus making them between the age of around 22 to late 30’s. They are the imaginative, artistic youngsters who grew up with the newest tech and computers and who are huge aficionados of music festivals, gourmet pizzas, emoji’s, selfies and old school nostalgia. Also known as Generation Rent, many Millennials have discovered that renting is a good choice for their shelter and accommodation needs without the hassle that comes from buying a home. Nonetheless, that is not the only reason they don’t buy property. When they should be concentrating on their profession, putting down roots and starting a family, Millennials are still going through the pressure and strain of student loan liabilities whilst, at the same time, finding it tough to pay rent.

The hot topic at the moment is the cost of renting, as both political parties have seen mileage in wooing these Millennial Generation Renters. The average rent in Warrington is currently £672 per month making this a big-ticket item on the monthly budget. I was inquisitive to find out exactly how much Warrington Millennials will spend on rent by the time they reach their mid 30’s. The average age people leave home in the UK is 22; so looking at a Warrington 22-year-old (or Millennial) who left home in 2005 then between 2005 and today that Warrington Millennial will have shelled out £97,729 in rent.

It’s no wonder local Millennials can’t afford to buy a Warrington home given their tremendous debt. This means younger Warrington Millennials will probably carry on renting for the foreseeable future, simply because the prospect of buying a home is not yet achievable.. that is until you look more deeply at the numbers…



Looking at the chart above, the average rent of a Warrington property in 2005 was £583 per month (pm) … if it had risen by inflation, today, that would be £821 pm. As I have already mentioned in the article, today it only stands at £672 per month. Looking over the last 12 years, adding up all the differences between what the average actual rent was compared to what it should have been if rent had gone up by inflation, the average Warrington Millennial tenant would have paid £110,271.



This means that an average 35-year-old Warrington Millennial tenant, who has been renting since 2005, is better off by £12,542 when comparing the actual rent paid compared to what it would have been if it had risen by inflation. In a nutshell, tenants have done well due to the sub-inflation growth in rents.

In fact, if you recall I mentioned in an article a few weeks ago, the older Warrington Millennials are starting to use those savings and are gradually shifting towards home ownership. They are finally catching up with the British homeownership dream as Bank of Mum and Dad help with the deposit. Also, the scrapping of Stamp Duty from the Government starts to kick in together with the realisation that if the 5% mortgage deposit can be scrapped together (yes, 95% first time buyer mortgages have been available since 2009), it is still a lot cheaper to buy than rent, meaning this will unquestionably drive demand for Warrington homes for sale – good news for Warrington homeowners.

… and what does this mean for Warrington landlords?

Well the vast majority of younger Millennials are still renters and I foresee this to be the case for at least the next ten to fifteen years. Landlords will need to keep improving their properties to ensure they get the best tenants and they will see a much higher rent achieved. Millennials will pay top dollar for a top dollar property. 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 … because as I promised a few weeks ago, the first rule of Buy To Let Investment ….. “You are not going to live in the property yourself”

Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235338. If you are in the area, feel free to pop into the office – we are based on G5, Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.

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

Thursday, 12 April 2018

1% More Warrington 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 Warrington 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 Warrington home sellers are putting their properties on to the market than a year ago.

At the start of 2007 there were 990 properties for sale in Warrington but by July 2008, when the credit crunch was really beginning to bite, that number had risen to 1,850 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 Warrington 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 Warrington 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 Warrington 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 1% more properties for sale in Warrington today than a year ago

There were 427 properties for sale 12 months ago, and today that stands at 432. It doesn’t sound a lot, yet this is a small 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 Warrington 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 Warrington house sellers and potential house buyers, I do foresee the Warrington Property Market will show steady yet sustained improvement during the first half of 2018.

What does this mean for Warrington 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 Warrington still looks a good investment, providing Warrington 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 Warrington, 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 1st rule in a couple of weeks!

Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235338. If you are in the area, feel free to pop into the office – we are based on G5, Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.

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

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Warrington Property Market Worth More Than Old Mutual

The value of all the homes in Warrington has risen by more than 238% in the past two decades, to £13.174bn, meaning its worth more than the stock listed company Old Mutual, which is worth £12.714bn.

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

Twenty years ago, the total value of Warrington property was worth £3.896m. Over those twenty years, total property values have increased by £9.278bn, meaning today, the total value of all the properties in Warrington is worth £13.174bn. 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 Warrington?  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 Warrington remains relatively good as over the last five years, the local property market has been a lot more sensible than central London’s.

Warrington house values 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 Warrington. 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 Warrington 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 Warrington Property Market. As always, all my articles can be found at the Warrington Property Market Blog 

Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235338. If you are in the area, feel free to pop into the office – we are based on G5, Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.
Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

787 First Timer Buyers in Warrington Bought Their First Home in 2017


A little bit of good news this week on the Warrington Property Market as recently released data shows that the number of first time buyers taking out their first mortgage in 2017 increased more than in any other year since the global financial crisis in 2009. The data shows there were 787 first time buyers in Warrington, the largest number since 2006.

I expect in 2018 that this increase of first time buyers will level out and maybe dip slightly as, nationally, figures demonstrate that first time buyer’s average household income was £40,691 and this represented 17.3% of their take home pay. Although, it might surprise readers that it is actually cheaper to buy than it is to rent at the ‘starter home’ end of the housing market. Many of you can remember mortgage rates at 12% ... even 15%. Today, at the time of writing this article, I found on the open market, 189 first time buyer mortgages at 95% (meaning only a 5% deposit was required) with 3 year fixed rates from a reputable High Street bank at 2.49% ... they even did a 3 year fixed rate 100% mortgage for 2.89%!

Interestingly, looking at the other end of the market, the buy-to-let investment in Warrington was subdued, with only 161 buy-to-let properties being purchased with a mortgage. However, I must stress, whilst there is no hard and fast data on the total numbers of landlords buying buy-to-let, as HM Treasury believes only 30% to 40% of buy-to-let property is bought with a mortgage. This means there would have been further cash only buy-to-let purchases in Warrington – it’s just that the data isn’t available at such a granular level.

In terms of the level of mortgage debt in Warrington, looking specifically at the WA1 to WA5 postcodes, there hasn’t been a great deal of change in this over the last few years. 


This is pleasing to see, as new mortgage debt is created by first time buyers, buy-to-let landlords and home movers themselves, that is being roughly equalled by the amount being paid off with mature mortgaged homeowners in their 50’s and 60’s finally paying off their mortgage.

So, what does all this mean for the Warrington Property Market?  Well, the stats paint a picture, but they don’t inform us of the whole story. The upper end of the Warrington property market has been weighed down by the indecision around the Brexit negotiations and rise in stamp duty in 2014, when made it considerably more expensive to buy a home costing more than £1m. The middle part of the Warrington property market has been affected by issues of mortgage affordability and lack of good properties to buy, as selling prices have reached the limit of what buyers can afford under existing mortgage regulations. The lower to middle Warrington property market was hit by tax changes for buy-to-let landlords, although this has been offset by the increase in first time buyers.

If you are in the market and selling now and want to ensure you get your Warrington property sold, the bottom line is you have to be 100% realistic with your pricing from day one and you might not get as much as you did say a year ago (but the one you want to buy will be less – swings and roundabouts?). I know it’s not comfortable hearing that your Warrington home isn’t worth as much as you thought, but Warrington buyers are now unbelievably discerning.

So, if you are thinking of selling your Warrington property in the coming months, don’t ask the agent out a few days before you want to put the property on the market, get them out now and ask them what you need to do to ensure you get maximum value in the shortest possible time. I, like most Warrington agents, will freely give that advice to you at no cost or commitment to you.

Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235338. If you are in the area, feel free to pop into the office – we are based on G5, Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.

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

Thursday, 1 March 2018

An extension could add £42,725 to the value of your Warrington home




As our families grow bigger the need for more space, be that bedrooms or reception rooms, has grown with it. Also, as our older generation lives longer and nursing home bills continue to rise quicker than a rocket on the 5th of November  (the average nursing home bill in the area being £655 per week) many families are bringing two households into one larger one.

So, should you move somewhere larger, or extend your Warrington property to make it large enough for you and your family? In some circumstances the choice has been made for you. If you live in an apartment with no garden, there isn’t much of an opportunity of making it larger. But if you have a house with a garden or an attic with sufficient headroom, extending your home becomes a real prospect.

Even if it makes more sense to extend or move, the choice hangs on a number of different dynamics – your future plans, money (both saved and access to finance), in what way you are emotionally attached to your home, the particular area of Warrington you live in and finally, the type/style of house you prefer.

Interestingly, the average British home is 968 sq.ft, which as you can see from the table, is in the middle of developed nations when it comes to the size of a property. Of the 1.11m homes sold in 2016 in England and Wales, the average floor area of the houses was 1,119 sq.ft – that’s about an eighth the size of an Olympic sized swimming pool. Apartments averaged 530 sq.ft that’s just over ten times bigger than an average garden shed. Looking at apartments and houses together, the average size of properties sold in England and Wales 968 sq.ft  – are slightly smaller than the European average, and much smaller than households in the US. 



So back to the question in hand.. extending does mean you will have a lot of inconvenience whilst the work is being carried out. The location of your Warrington property, the quality of construction, what type of room(s) you want to add, your plot, neighbouring building lines, planning regulations and the overall demand for your type of Warrington home, will make a vast difference to the financial repercussions of extending versus moving.

A medium-sized 270 sq.ft single storey extension (say around 17ft x 16ft) will add on average £42,725 to the value of a property in Warrington

It’s important to note the end result of the extension needs to be a sensible and realistic home. A two bed semi-detached house extended to a four bedrooms with no lawn or driveway, or a home with outsized reception rooms downstairs and miniscule bedrooms upstairs, could be problematic if  and when you come to sell your home in the future. Irrespective of whether your strategy is to live in your extended home for a long time, you will want to side-step outlaying a lot of money on costly building work that will make it tougher to sell.

In terms of what it would cost to build an extension, you can expect to pay on average between £140 to £200 per sq.ft, depending whether the extension is a single or double storey extension and other factors including finish and type of extension (note – I have seen it cost a lot more than these figures – so please speak with a builder) … So taking a mid line figure, that same 270 sq.ft extension on your Warrington home would cost on average £55,080.

However, moving means there are substantial costs incurred - Estate Agency fees, Removal Van, Survey Fees, Legal fees and Stamp Duty on the property you are buying. Neither option is the obvious choice and comparing the costs of extending your Warrington home to that of moving is not a stress-free undertaking.

How realistic each option is will probably come down to one thing .. your mortgage provider. You will need a considerable sum of equity in your Warrington home before you can think of increasing your mortgage more, because most lenders will require you to have at least 10% to 20% equity left in your property after the extension or move has been done.

The best advice I can give .. don’t assume anything …. get advice and opinion from builders, mortgage brokers, architects, mortgage people and of course… an agent. Look at your options and make an educated decision with all the superficial and objective facts in front of you.

Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235338. If you are in the area, feel free to pop into the office – we are based on G5, Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.
Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Warrington Landlord's The Do’s and Don’ts with Carbon Monoxide


Landlords are being urged to step up and ensure that all rented properties and accommodation meet recent laws relating to carbon monoxide alarms.The legislation, which came into effect in Autumn 2015, states that smoke alarms must be installed on every floor of a property and be tested ahead of any new tenancy, with carbon monoxide alarms placed in every room containing a solid-fuel burning appliance, including wood burners and open fires.

However, a survey we carried out identified that only 6% of students are aware that their digs is likely to need a CO alarm whilst only a third (32%) of student accommodation is believed to have a working CO alarm.To stop students being at risk from the ‘silent killer’, landlords and letting agents are being reminded of their obligations to install lifesaving detectors.Servicing of appliances and alarms should also be high on the agenda as new tenants move in, as well as the installation of alarms.Our survey discovered that just one in eight people in rented accommodation were aware of a landlord’s duty to provide a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms with a solid-fuel burning appliance in their properties. This contrasts with the overwhelming four in five people who are aware that a smoke alarm must be provided.

Renters were also shown in the poll to be unaware of a landlord’s responsibility to provide an up to date gas safety certificate. Only four in 10 had asked for this when moving into rented accommodation.
Our research also reveals a worrying lack of knowledge among the public of how to detect CO, the so-called ‘silent killer’.
When asked how you would know the gas is present, 28% of people believe you can smell it, 8% think you can taste it, 6% answered see it, 2% insist you can hear it, while 1% of those asked reckon you are able to touch it.
Key indicators that carbon monoxide is present in your property and things to warn your tenants to look out for are: if the cooker flames are yellow or orange, sooty marks on walls around boilers, stoves or gas fire covers, pilot lights that frequently go out or there is increased condensation inside windows.
True or False: It is possible to smell carbon monoxide being emitted in the home.
Answer: False. Carbon monoxide is both colourless and odourless so is almost impossible to detect without an alarm.
True or False: Carbon monoxide poisoning is extremely difficult to diagnose.
Answer: True. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to that of flu so it makes diagnosis very difficult. They include; headaches, nausea, dizziness, tiredness, confusion and eventually loss of consciousness.
Currently, GPs don’t all have access to equipment to check carbon monoxide levels and the only way to the presence of carbon monoxide is with a blood test. Some 46% of GPs have seen patients with carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms but only 18% say that they wouldn’t consider CO poisoning as a diagnosis. Find out more about the symptoms of CO here.
True or False: Carbon monoxide won’t leak if I have new gas appliances or if I have my appliances serviced regularly.
Answer: False. Although having brand new gas appliances, such as a new hob or boiler, will significantly reduce the chances of them leaking carbon monoxide it doesn’t rule them out.
CO can be emitted from appliances new or old and if you’re worried you should see your GP. Regular servicing of your gas appliances is the best way to reduce the risk of your property being subject to a CO leak and having an alarm fitted is the best way of detecting if and when something has gone wrong.
True or False: Carbon Monoxide can only leak from my boiler.
Answer: False. Carbon Monoxide can leak from any gas appliance in your property. This could include an oven, gas fire, or a boiler.
CO is produced when there is not enough oxygen to form carbon dioxide. For example, when a flame is burnt in a poorly ventilated space. This is why it is extremely dangerous to barbecue in a tent as there is often too little oxygen for carbon dioxide to be produced and so carbon monoxide is released instead.
One of the main things to look out for in your property are if flames on gas appliances burn a yellow or orange colour rather than blue as this could mean that they are not burning properly.
For a more information on how you can keep your tenants safe from the dangers of Carbon Monoxide, visit this webpage.

Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235338. If you are in the area, feel free to pop into the office – we are based on G5, Warrington Business Park, Long Lane, WA2 8TX. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.
Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News.