Sunday, 5 July 2020

The Warrington Post Lockdown Property Market





What have we learned in the first month?

From talking to most of the Warrington estate and letting agents and our own findings, it might surprise many of you that new enquiries from homebuyers, tenants, landlords and home sellers have been at record levels since lockdown was lifted from the property market in mid-May.

There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, we had the pent-up demand for Warrington property from the Boris Bounce in January and February. Next, many Warrington people were planning to move this spring yet were prevented doing so because of lockdown, and finally, surprisingly, an advance wave of home movers seeking to bring their Warrington moving plans forward because of a fear of a second Covid-19 wave later in the year.

So, what does all that look like and how does it compare to the last 12/18 months?

Data from Yomdel, the live chat and telephone answering service for a quarter of UK estate and letting agents, is able to track objective and more current information from across the UK on what is really happening. Each week, they are dealing with thousands of enquiries including:

· Seller enquiries (i.e. house sellers looking to put their property on the market)

· Buyer enquiries (i.e. people looking to view a property on the market with the intention of buying it)

· Landlords enquiries (i.e. landlords looking for tenants for their rental property)

· Tenant enquiries (i.e. people looking to view a property on the market with the intention of renting it)

They have created a rolling weekly average of those enquiries for the whole of the UK for the 62 weeks before the country went into lockdown. Then they compared that 62 week average with specific time frames, namely the 10 weeks of the run up to the General Election, the 8 weeks of Post Boris Bounce in January and February 2020, the weeks of lockdown in March, April and early May and then finally, from mid-May, the post lockdown.

You might ask why tracking estate and letting agency enquiries is so important?

Enquiries in letting and estate agencies are the beating heart of the property market – they are the ECG machine of the estate and letting agency. Of course, house price data has its place and is lauded by the national press as the bellwether of the property market, yet it takes 6 to 9 months for the effects of what is happening today to show in those house price indexes, whilst these enquiries are what is happening now.

Have a look at the data in the graph and table, it can be seen in the 8 weeks up to the General Election, every metric was down. Next, the post Boris Bounce saw house seller and house buyer leads increase yet note how low tenant enquiries were (hardly any change from the run up to the election), everything dipped during lockdown as expected, yet look at all the metrics post lockdown … amazing! (e.g. if a number in the graph/table below is say -25%, that means its 25% below the rolling 62 week average, yet if it were +20%, then that would mean it would be 20% more than the rolling 62 week average)






The numbers speak for themselves! So, what is happening in the Warrington property market? Well, there is plenty of activity in the Warrington property market, yet that doesn’t mean everything is back to normal. Enquiries are an important metric, yet another way to judge the health of the property market is to look at the number of property transactions (i.e. people moving).

Now the Land Registry data isn’t quite as exhilarating, yet it is less volatile. Nationally, it shows that property transactions were at their lowest level since its records began in April 2005. The seasonally adjusted estimate of UK residential property transactions in April and May 2020 was 90,210, 53.4% lower than the 193,500 transactions of May & April 2019. Again though, this was because of the restrictions on moving during Covid-19. The stats for Warrington are still to be released, yet rest assured I will share them in due course.

Looking again at what is happening now, when I look at the number of properties for sale…

303 Warrington properties have come onto the property market in the last 14 days alone, and of those, 49 are already sold subject to contract

So, what of the future of the post-lockdown Warrington housing market? While a stern recession seems almost guaranteed, a housing market crash is not. Many newspapers are predicting property values to fall in 2020, then rise reticently from the ashes in 2021. The fact is, nobody knows. The property market is driven a lot by sentiment. Buying a home is not like buying stocks and shares - it’s a home to live in … and those Warrington landlords who are looking for an investment opportunity, often let their heart rule the head (again sentiment) when investing in property.

Property always has, and always will be, a long-term investment. Many of you Warrington people reading this, especially potential Warrington first time buyers, have been putting off buying your first home because of Brexit, now its Covid-19, and in a few years, it will be something else. There will always be ‘something else’… and you could get to your 50’s and 60’s, still renting, waiting for the ‘next thing’ to pass before you buy … and end up buying nothing.

Nobody knows what the months or years ahead will bring ... yet what I do know is, people will always need a place to live. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments. Tell us what your experiences are as a Warrington landlord or homeowner, tenant or buyer so we can all learn from each other.

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your property. Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235 338.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Is This the Beginning of the End for Buy to let in Warrington?



In 2019, the private rented sector accounted for just over four and a half million households or 19.9% of UK households, no change from the year before. Interesting, when compared to the proportion of private rented households in the 1980’s and 1990’s, when the proportion of private rented households was stable at around 9.5% to 10.8%.

Most of that growth in the private rented sector came in three main spurts. The first growth spurt was between 1999 and 2003 and that was caused when property values were increasing at 20% per annum, the second came from the migration of 1.69m people from the EU8 countries after 2004 and the final growth spurt came about because of the property crash of 2008/9. When I look at the local stats…

4.3% of Warrington properties in 1991 were privately rented,

whilst the most recent stats stand at 11.6%

Apart from social housing, the other pillar of home tenure is owner occupation. Owner occupation is made up of two separate groups: outright owners and those who own their home yet are buying the property with a mortgage.

In 1991, 23.8% of Warrington households owned their property outright and 49.7% of Warrington households were buying with a mortgage, whilst current stats show 30.1% of Warrington households are outright owners and only 39.3% are buying their Warrington home with a mortgage

Looking at these numbers, two things are clear-

1, The increase in the proportion and number of Warrington outright owners is at least somewhat caused by Warrington’s baby-boomer population retiring, being able to pay off their mortgages and thus going into outright homeownership.

2.    2, Overall homeownership is down. These figures will be of no surprise to many readers with heightened barriers to home ownership, as saving for the deposit became the prevailing hurdle to getting on the housing ladder together with a substantial increase in the amount of private rented accommodation, provided by an ostensibly ever-growing cohort of buy to let investors.

So, on the face of it, everything looks rosy for Warrington buy to let landlords with the private rented sector growing ever upwards.

This is not the case though, because these stats on private rented and homeownership on Warrington are from the last census. However, the Government have a number of in-depth annual surveys on the property market and since 2016, the proportion of privately rented properties has remained stagnant at between 19% and 20%. Also, over the same time frame, the proportion of homebuyers with a mortgage has increased quite considerably from 30.7% of all households nationally to 35.5% last year. This increase is mainly attributed to an increase in first time buyers.

So, why have we seen an increase in the number of first time buyers?

Firstly, the government introduced their Help to Buy Scheme in 2013 helping first time buyers get on the property ladder with interest free loans and mortgage guarantees. Secondly, the wide availability of 95% mortgages since the mid 2010’s (meaning first time buyers only need to find a 5% deposit), and finally the continued increasing reliance of deposits from the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ have helped to support this growth.

Interestingly, age is an important factor in these stats, as it’s the 25 to 35-year olds that have seen the biggest increase in home ownership, yet it’s decreased for those in the 35 to 45-year old bracket.

So, what does all this mean for Warrington landlords and Warrington homeowners?

In the next six months, I believe the growth in first-time buyer numbers will ease slightly. The pent-up demand of the Boris Bounce in January and February has now been released, and whilst the early signs are very good, we are still to see the effects of the curtailing of the furlough scheme on the people’s ability to move home. 

Many doom-mongers were predicting the banks would remove 95% mortgages after Covid-19, yet looking on a well-known comparison website, at the time of writing, there were 183 ‘95% mortgages’ available to first time buyers, with eye watering low rates of 1.53% with the Halifax on a 2 year fixed rate and 5 year fixed rate with the Skipton at 1.83%. The Bank of Mum and Dad might be a tougher nut to crack for first time buyers’ deposits - the fall in the FTSE and the repercussions this will certainly have on older households’ pensions income may restrict its availability.

This means even though the Warrington property market is doing reasonably well, Warrington homeowners wanting to sell shouldn’t get carried away and ‘over-egg’ their asking prices. The information available today at all buyers’ fingertips means your property can so easily be overlooked as being overpriced, and thus become ignored.

My advice to Warrington landlords is, even though the proportion of private rented properties isn’t growing, in real numbers it is, as we created 230,000 residential homes in the country last year alone, so we aren’t seeing a mass exodus out of private renting.

Yet, now might be the time to consider spending money on upgrading what you already own instead of buying another property. Depending on the type and location of your Warrington rental property, the return on investment of certain upgrades can be in the order of 20% to 30% per annum. Don’t fall for the trap many Warrington landlords fall into and upgrade without speaking to a property professional. Whether you are a client or not, I am always here at the end of the phone to give you my advice and opinion.

Please do let me have your thoughts on the matter – thank you in advance.


If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, then contact us at Hamlet Homes and find out how we can get the best out of your property.  Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235 338.

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Saturday, 13 June 2020

Are Buy to Let Landlords to Blame for Warrington’s Housing Crisis?




Isn’t it funny that nobody boasts they are a buy to let landlord anymore? Roll the clock back to the early millennium and you couldn’t go to the local golf club or shop at a Waitrose without someone dropping buy to let into the conversation as easily and as often as the weather.

Yet now, Warrington buy to let landlords have almost pariah status, as they place a brown paper bag over their head when they enter a letting agency, lest they be recognised as such. They can easily be recognised though, as the average age of a UK tenant in a property is 32 years old, whilst the age average of a UK landlord is between 40 and 61 years old.

Joking aside, if it wasn’t for buy to let landlords – Warrington and the UK would be in a rather difficult position when it comes to housing our local people. Many people believe that if you take buy to let landlords out of the loop of the UK property network, then it would be the land of milk and honey for first-time buyers priced out of the market. Those Warrington landlords provide those Warrington tenants with a mixture of homes to live in and using market forces, ensure the right number of Warrington homes are available. In fact, the stats show that…

Warrington buy to let landlords provide 8,189 Warrington homes for 18,046 Warrington tenants

Yet the retort from many tenant organisations would be that Warrington landlords are wealthy middle-class people, voraciously exploiting the failing Warrington property market for their profit and greed. Of course, the demographic of an average Warrington landlord is they tend to come from more fortunate backgrounds, with 3 in 4 of Warrington landlords aged between their late 40’s to late 60’s and 4 in 10 having a degree level qualification.

It also wouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that those who invest in a buy to let Warrington property are likely to be better off than those who have not yet been able to buy a home. Yet, that is the nature of the country we live in and it’s a consequence of a competitive free market economy (the alternative didn’t go too well in the Soviet bloc). Indeed, asserting that the buy to let landlords represent a transfer of wealth and money from tenants to landlords is like saying that the pub represents a transfer of wealth from drinkers to the pub landlord.

Don’t get me wrong, the tax loopholes for landlords up until 3 or 4 years ago were a little ‘too’ generous, still these were closed by the Tory’s themselves. However, should the Government try to place even more burden on landlords like some are suggesting, forcing them to sell, I am certain some Warrington first time buyers would find it cheaper to buy their first Warrington home. This is because they wouldn’t be in competition with Warrington landlords to buy the starter homes both types of buyers crave, meaning house prices would drop (simple economics would dictate that).

Yet, if the supply of Warrington privately rented homes contracted at a greater rate (because landlords were selling up) than demand, this would make renting more expensive (again simple economics) for the vast majority of Warrington tenants who were still renting a Warrington home. Irrespective of whether property values dropped, it might take years for a tenant to save for a deposit, whilst the rental properties the landlords want to sell, the tenants only need to be given two months’ notice to leave so the property can be put on the market.

One might ask why don’t the local authorities build more council houses?

Well, Government funding has been tight because of the credit crunch deficit since 2009 and going forward because of the current situation with Covid-19, it will get even worse. In fact, of the 617,230 new homes built in the Country over the last 4 years, only 8,270 or 1.33% were built by local authorities, meaning only just over 1 in 100 of all new properties built in the last 4 years were built by the local authorities.

This is important as the number of people in rented property has been growing over the last 20 years. In fact, when you look at all the tenants in council and private rented accommodation locally…

26.5% of Warrington people live in a rented property

Interestingly, the demographic of a council house tenant is totally different to that of a tenant in a private rented home. The average age of a council house tenant is 52 years old (compared to 32 years for a private rented tenant), so it appears the older generation have the upper hand on council houses. So again, who exactly is going to house the people of Warrington, especially the younger generation that can’t afford to buy?

Local authorities haven’t got the money, housing associations get their money from central Government, so the only other source of housing is private landlords. The problem existed before private landlords filled the gap. No doubt many Warrington landlords have certainly gained from the problem, especially between 2000 and 2007, yet at the same time, they have helped home millions of people.

Consequently, are Warrington landlords greedy and selfish? For most law abiding Warrington landlords, who look after their tenants and their properties really well, nothing could be further from the truth… and yes they have made some money – yet if you take into account property maintenance, mortgage finance, taxation, agent fees, surveys and inspections – it’s really not the gold mine many think it is.

Not until all the political parties stop using the housing issue as a political football will this issue be sorted. For example, it makes sense to allow mass building in the South East, again driving up supply and making property more affordable, yet that would wind up the Tory voting home county heartlands. It’s a shame because we do have the room to build more homes, in fact…

Only 1.2% of the country is built on with houses

The country needs a massive root and branch change to sort things out, yet I have grave misgivings that any politician has the stomach or the political resolve to do anything about it.

If Covid-19 does affect the confidence in the property market, that will be in fact good news for Warrington landlords, as long as Government doesn’t put its big ‘size 9’s in to the rental market by taking even more money out of landlords pockets.

Historically, ambiguity in the property market typically results in an expansion in activity in the private rental market. Prospective home movers will rent in between selling their home and buying the next one, while budding first time buyers typically postpone their purchase and stay in the private rental market for marginally longer … which all increases demand for rental property.




If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, then contact us at Hamlet Homes and find out how we can get the best out of your property.  Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235 338.










Sunday, 31 May 2020

Is This a Good Time to Buy Your First Home in Warrington?



Should you wait to buy your first home in Warrington or buy now? What sort of mortgages are available? What sort of deposit is required? These are questions all Warrington buyers are asking at the moment, yet this week I would like to focus on Warrington first-time buyers and what it means directly and indirectly to Warrington homeowners looking to move up the Warrington property ladder and Warrington buy to let landlords.

Well quite frankly, to answer that question it’s contingent on what Warrington property you are looking to move into and even more significantly, how long you are hoping to live in that property.

We have many armchair economists and even professional economists predicting Armageddon when it comes to the property market, yet the Warrington (and UK) property market is essentially very sound. Don’t forget the Chancellor himself, George Osborne warned that if we voted to leave the EU two things would happen. Firstly, the UK property market would crash, and property values would drop by 18% in the two years after the vote. Secondly, there would be an ‘economic shock’ to the country’s economy that would increase the cost of mortgages (through increased interest rates as there would be a run on the Pound). UK GDP rose by £132bn in the two years after the referendum and interest rates actually dropped and locally, with regard to property values…

Warrington house prices rose by 8.4% in the 2 years following the Brexit vote

Lloyds have predicted an enormous 30% fall in property prices over the next 36 months whilst Savills have suggested a short dip of 5% during the summer, based on very low transaction numbers, with property prices bouncing back to be just over 15% higher in 5 years’ time. This assumes that the UK plc economic downturn is short & sharp, and that no substantial gap opens up between supply and demand in the property market (i.e. everyone doesn’t dump their property market all at the same time).

Warrington property values after the 2008 Credit Crunch crisis plummeted 13.6% between 2008 and the end of 2009.

Yet, the circumstances of the 2008/9 property crash were fundamentally different to today. Many ‘armchair economists’ assume there will be a re-run of the 2008/9 and 1988 property crashes in the coming 12 months in terms of house value falls. Yet, dissimilar to the last recession, this dip has not been led by previous years of strong property price growth like the other two crashes. House prices in many parts of the UK have been down in the last 12 months.

You would think Warrington first-time buyers who have already saved their deposit could grab a bargain in the coming months, as you would believe they would have less competition in the market because of landlords holding back buying additional rental properties. This is because of the press speculation that rent arrears are sky high from tenants who are unable to pay their rent. Yet evidence from many professional bodies in the private rental sector state rent arrears across the whole of the country are appearing to be very low indeed, despite Covid-19.

Interestingly, the firm Yomdel who handles ‘web live chat’ and ‘phone support’ for thousands of estate and letting agents have reported national activity is higher than the two months of the Boris Bounce (in January and February 2020). The number of new buyer enquiries for the last two weeks is double (108.9% higher to be precise) than the 2019 yearly rolling average. New landlord enquiries are 32.1% higher than the 2019 average and tenants are 150.1% higher than the 2019 average ... these are all great signs and go against the doom monger economists.

My best advice to all Warrington property buyers is, be they second time buyers, first-time buyers, landlords ... whatever number buyers, they should buy with a medium-term view of future Warrington property values, instead of an expectation of always looking to making a quick few pounds flipping a property (i.e. selling it quickly).

Let’s not forget that mortgage Interest rates are another important factor: they are at a 325-year low, so borrowing money has never been so inexpensive. If you know you are going to be living in your first (or second) Warrington home for five years and you want the peace of mind of knowing precisely what your mortgage payments will be, then it’s very attractive. At the time of writing, Barclays are offering any first-time buyer a 95% mortgage on a 5-year fixed rate of 2.95%. The average value of an average terraced house in Warrington is £143,600 and so with the 5% deposit of £7,000 on a 35-year term the…

Mortgage payments on a typical Warrington terraced house would only be £522 per month (i.e. much cheaper than renting)

Many lenders are lending money even if you are on furlough, yet you may find you won’t be able to borrow as much pre Covid-19. Interestingly, some mortgage companies will even take into account total income, where your employer is topping up the Government’s furloughed amount, whilst other lenders will consider mortgage applications on a case-by-case basis. The best advice I can give is, don’t assume what you can or can’t borrow. Speak to a whole of market mortgage broker, to see what is possible – not what your friend on Facebook tells you what you can or can’t borrow.

You only need to put down a 5% deposit for the property you would like to buy

If you think about it, it’s inconsequential if Warrington property values drop or not, or if they do drop whether they bounce back quickly (or not as the case maybe) because it’s impossible to know the bottom of the property market. I would say if you find the right Warrington property for you, at the price that feels right, that will be your home together and you are going live in that Warrington property for the next five to ten years, it’s not a bad time to be buying. It’s like waiting for the next piece of tech – there will always be a better model or an assumed better time. We are talking about your home here – a home for you and your partner and family, be that your kids, dog, cat, pet or favourite pot plant because…

Spending money on rent is all wasted money – at least when you buy your own home, you start to pay your mortgage off from day 1

So many first-time buyers use the Bank of Mum and Dad to help with their deposit, yet I have spoken to many parents who wouldn’t want to interfere in their mature children’s life and subsidise day to day expenditure yet are embarrassed to offer help with the deposit. If you don’t ask …you don’t get!

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your property. Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235338.

Sunday, 24 May 2020

The Lockdown Landlords of Warrington



Despite Government regulations that have been in place since the 26 March 2020, where in-person viewings have been illegal, Warrington buy to let landlords have during that time been chomping at the bit to build their property empire by looking at buying additional properties to their Warrington buy to let portfolio.

There are plenty of investors who think nothing of legally committing to buying a property ‘off plan’ before it’s built – yet over the last few weeks, it has become the norm in the second-hand Warrington property market and they have now stolen a march and bagged some property bargains.

Normally, the face to face viewing is step one of the second-hand house buying process ... yet now it’s becoming the ‘new normal’ that have meant some Warrington agents are carrying out semi-professional video viewings or 360-degree video tours. Even homeowners are getting in on the act and managing a Facetime or Zoom video viewing by walking around their house with their mobile phone.

Yet the Government announced on Wednesday, 13th May 2020 that the Estate & Letting Agency industry could reopen meaning people could view houses, visit agents and move home be they tenants, buyers, landlords or home sellers. This is all subject to general and specific social distancing rules, specific hygiene regulations and suitable PPE being used.

What has been happening in the last few weeks in the Warrington property market?

The average time between sale agreed and exchange/completion of contracts on a house sale (i.e. the keys and monies get sorted) is 17 to 19 weeks, which means buying today would mean you wouldn’t be getting your hands on the property until late September or October at the earliest.

Spring is the time when most properties come onto the market, yet as one would expect, the number of Warrington properties coming onto the market has been somewhat reduced since lockdown as…

Only 145 Warrington properties have been
put up for sale in the last month

This reduction in supply of new properties coming onto the market, combined with this pent-up demand from both Warrington landlords and the ‘Boris-Bounce’, could in fact be good news for the Warrington property market, let me explain…

Rightmove stated that people going to their website initially dropped by 40% at the start of lockdown, yet now has recovered with a near doubling of people searching for properties with gardens (for both sales and renting). For many Warrington buy to let landlords (and in fact Warrington homebuyers), now is the very best time to do research into the Warrington
property market. All the portals have access to 25 years of property sales with pictures, so you can compare and contrast what has happened to various different property types around Warrington to spot those under-priced bargains, meaning you can get moving quickly after lockdown.
Rather than feeling trapped or powerless, this time can be used fruitfully by Warrington buyers and Warrington sellers to get their ducks in a row

One of the biggest barriers in April was mortgage lending. In the early days of the pandemic, most mortgage lenders removed many of their best deals and enormously restricted their capacity. Currently though, we are seeing a revitalisation in the mortgage market. In May, with many mortgage products becoming accessible again for borrowers and with many mortgage companies integrating more digital processes (including Virtual Surveyor Mortgage Valuations in some cases) the mortgage market now has plenty of options available to those who are keen to obtain borrowing.

There is no doubt the Warrington housing market got off to a sturdy start in 2020. With Brexit at least partly resolved, the ‘Boris-Bounce’ was starting to take off. With Warrington house prices being robust and rental demand was high, the Warrington property market was already in a good place to deal with the subsequent Covid-19 issue.

I know there are a few doom mongers in the National Press spouting about a massive crash in the UK property market. There is a natural tendency for newspapers to latch onto the worst-case scenario in any economic forecast. Who can forget the country received similar projections in the lead-up to the 2016 Brexit vote with HMRC itself stating that UK house values would drop by at least 10% in the first 12 months should the UK vote for Brexit and 20% in two years!

With the rollercoaster of the stock market in recent months, investing one’s money into good old-fashioned bricks and mortar has started to seem a good place again.

Buying a property for investment means you have a tangible asset, something you can touch and feel (and understand). The returns from investing in property come from both capital appreciation and income from the rent, and yes whilst property values can go up as well as down, successful buy to let landlords are inclined to take a long-term view on their property investments.
£516 per month
The average gross profit from a Warrington terraced/town house

To give you an example of the current buy to let returns, the average Warrington terraced/town house sells for £143,600. By taking the ‘The Mortgage Works’ BTL 5-year fixed rate of 1.64%, with only £1,772 in up-front fees, a 20-year repayment mortgage would cost you £433 per month or interest only mortgage would just cost £121 per month ....
considering the average rent for a terraced/town house in Warrington is £637 per month ... even before management, tax, maintenance and other associated costs, that’s a decent gross profit (the £516 gross profit is an illustrative example using the interest only mortgage and the capital element would need repaying at the end of the term).

Isn’t it funny the newspapers aren’t latching on to some reports to say the property market might go in the other direction? Remember – bad news sells newspapers!

So, should you wait to buy your Warrington buy to let investment?

Before you buy, consider factors like the strength of your financial future, your credit score and the current state of the property market and even more importantly, the state of the mortgage market. Look at the current interest rates, they have never been so low and deliberate the experts’ opinions and just as equally your own opinions as to whether Warrington property values are on the rise, will stay the same or are likely to fall.

Interest rates are at record lows, meaning borrowing money is cheap money now, so it may be a good time to buy, as you will pay a reduced cost for the pleasure of borrowing money to buy that investment. Yet, if you waited and Warrington property values are on the decline, it may be a good idea to wait, as you could end up getting a better deal on the same type of home, yet if that happens, access to the cheap finance might dry up (meaning you could save some purchase price, but the cost of borrowing could go up). It can be very hard to accurately predict what interest rates or property values will do, so these shouldn’t be deciding factors – but they are worth considering.

So, what will happen to the Warrington (and UK) property market?

To be honest – nobody knows. What I do know is the Swine Flu in 2009 caused some volatility in the UK property market, but the market stabilised within months. Even in disaster scenarios such as the current one, property remains comparatively stable and will continue to be one of the best places to invest in.

Yes, we could see unemployment rise in the next 6 months (yet the Furlough Scheme has been extended until the autumn) and historically, it has been proved house price falls are not caused by high unemployment; yes GDP will drop drastically because of lockdown yet it could bounce back like it has in China; yes, the number of property transactions will drop, yet that will only really effect the pockets of Warrington removal people, Warrington solicitors & estate agents and the Chancellor of the Exchequer in lost stamp duty receipts; yes there is £82bn worth of property sales on ice during this lockdown (some of which might not complete) ... it’s all ifs, buts and maybes.

Calamity changes things: with every predicament, humanity shifts to become more productive - it’s the way it’s always been

The national debt at the end of the Napoleonic Wars of 1815 in today’s money was an eye watering £4,421,000,000,000 (£4.42 trillion) and even with the eye watering borrowing to
fund Covid-19, it stands at £1,821.3 trillion – we have been here before and we came out stronger.

The Bank of England failed in 1825, yet we recovered stronger, the Great Depression of the 1930’s cut the Stock Market by 90%, yet we recovered, WW2 took national debt to 200% of GDP like it had in the Napoleonic Wars in the early 1800’s – yet we recovered, the oil crisis quadrupled oil prices in the 1970’s – and we came back …. the list goes on with hyper-inflation in the 1970s of 25%, mass unemployment in the 1980’s, Black Monday in 1987, Dot-com bubble in 2001 and credit crunch in 2008/9.

With every economic crisis, the long-term effects of them make people look at their decision making differently

The simple fact is for decades, demand for homes has outstripped supply – hence why property values have remained so robust. People are living longer (71.1 years in 1960 and 81.1 years nowadays), the mass exodus of EU nationals has not taken place since Brexit and the birth rate has increased by 9.1% since the Millennium, which means since 2000, the country has needed at least 240,000 households more per year to satisfy the demand. On average, we have only built 150,000 households a year, meaning we have a shortfall of 90,000 households each year for 20 years … a true shortfall of 1.8m households ... and until we start building anything over that 240,000 requirement … demand will always outstrip supply – and we all know what happens to prices when that happens!

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property. Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235338.


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Sunday, 17 May 2020

925 Warrington Families in Limbo Due to Coronavirus




An immediate fallout of the Coronavirus pandemic is that it has placed many Warrington families house moves on hold. Government guidelines state all house buyers and house sellers who are in the process of selling their Warrington home and moving to a new house must adapt to these temporary arrangements, adjusting their usual practices, agreeing different dates to the house move after the removal of the stay at home actions we are all adopting. In essence, putting the house move ‘on ice’ during lockdown.

However, where the house being moved into is vacant, Government guidance states that you can continue with this transaction although you must observe the Governments guidance on house removals. There are also exceptions allowed where existing accommodation becomes un-fit to live in (e.g. flood or fire) or occurrences of domestic violence. Thankfully, the Government have asked mortgage companies to extend the expiry date of any mortgage offer and the Law Society have implemented a standard legal process for delaying completion dates.

So, what does all this mean for the people of Warrington?

This means the house moves of 925 Warrington families have been put on hold since the coronavirus restrictions brought the UK housing market mainly to a halt in late March.

These are Warrington properties where a sale was agreed between October 2019 and February 2020. During the time between sale agreed and completion, the properties are classified as sold subject to contract. Interestingly, it has been taking upwards of 14 to 19 weeks from agreeing a sale to the move-in over the last few years. This means typically, these 925 property transactions mentioned above would have completed between April and June/July 2020, yet have now been placed on hold after the Government asked buyers and sellers to delay house moves where possible.

The value of Warrington property sold
subject to contract amounts to £208,125,000

The pandemic hit just as the Warrington market had been experiencing the Boris Bounce following his General Election landslide in December. It appears talking to my team and other agents in Warrington, just about every buyer and seller is happy to wait until the restrictions are lifted because they had been holding back their house move because of Brexit. Interestingly, many of the Warrington homeowners in limbo mentioned above are moving up the property ladder, and whilst being ‘in limbo’, it has made them realise more than ever that the houses they are moving from are too small for their needs and they are keen to crack-on with the sale
once restrictions are lifted.

Finally, we cannot forget the tenants of Warrington. Currently there are 76 families looking to make that move, yet unable to as tenants are under the same restrictions as house-buyers. This means they too cannot do a physical viewing nor can they move house during lockdown unless the existing accommodation becomes un-fit to live in e.g. flood or fire or occurrences of domestic violence or the person moving is an essential worker. That doesn’t mean tenants cannot view the property and prepare the paperwork in advance. In fact many agents think the first Friday after lockdown will be the busiest ever moving day in the history of the UK as there will be a huge pent up demand to move on that date.

For more information on the Warrington Property Market – please follow me on social media for more up to date articles on the local property market.

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property. Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235338.


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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Sunday, 3 May 2020

8.1% of Warrington Workers Worked From Home Before Covid-19 – Wonder How Many More Do Now?



Before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, 6,727 Warrington people worked mainly from home, or about 8.1% of Warrington’s 83,137 workforce (compared to the national average of 14.9%). Yet over the last few weeks, many hundreds, even thousands more Warrington workers have joined them in their spare rooms or at their kitchen or dining room tables.

Amongst warnings from the Government that some lockdown constraints could stay in place into 2021, businesses are dealing with an unexpected cultural shift in how many of us do our work. Talking to many Warrington people who have been asked to work from home, for many it has been a pleasant success.

Working from home does have some negatives though. I have found myself still working at 8pm/9pm and beyond as I have forgotten to clock out and whilst many people might think working from home means doing less work, more often than not, the reverse is true for industrious and hardworking employees. When you don’t have that break of the commute the office, the workday can blend into the home life. Talking of commuting, the average British worker has a daily commute of 11.9 miles, whilst locally…

The average daily commute for a Warrington worker is 8.8 miles

A least working from home, the commute is only to the dining room table or spare bedroom. Speaking to some friends of mine that are new to working from home, they said to me that they can feel out of the office-loop as they miss the ‘water-cooler’ moments or spur-of-the-moment brainstorming session over a brew, it’s tough to reproduce that from home.

Don’t forget to get into your garden (if you have one), stretch those legs. Ensure you are taking advantage of the daily exercise allowance. I see so many people walking around our neighbourhood daily who I haven’t seen before. Let’s hope they keep up the habit once lockdown is removed. You have to admit, it’s quite nice especially as there are far less cars on the road.

Warrington workers commute 627,110 miles a day to work
That’s like travelling more than 3 times to the moon – every day!

Some people find it difficult to adjust to working from home and feel guilty if they don’t reply to co-worker’s emails or phone calls straight away. My friends stated that they didn’t want their team-mates to wonder if they were taking it easy rather than pulling their weight. The best advice I can give from working with my team is to overcommunicate, and I suggested (as I do to you) to tell their bosses and colleagues what you are doing and share their accomplishments using those video conferencing software packages.

The really hard part is having a dedicated space in your home. Attempt to set up a workspace and make it out of bounds to the rest of your household while you are working (although that is very difficult when you have children, or your partner is having to work from home as well). Is there anything worse than being on an important call to your boss or a client, only to have a delivery driver knocking on the door or having your kids and dogs yelling and barking in the background? It’s a balancing act!

Interestingly, looking at the stats and this internment in Warrington people’s homes could be a catalyst for people wanting to move home later in the year be it for rent or for sale, thus giving a vital boost to the Warrington property market. Would it surprise you that…

15,624 Warrington households are either at full capacity
or officially overcrowded?

The definition of full capacity is when the household has enough bedrooms for the occupants. The definition is set out in ‘The Allocations Code of Guidance’, which recommends that the 'bedroom standard' is adopted as a minimum measure of overcrowding.

This means one bedroom should be provided for

each adult couple.
any other adult aged 21 or over.
two adolescents of the same sex aged 10 to 20.
two children regardless of sex under the age of 10

That means 22.16% of Warrington households do not have
a spare bedroom for their occupants to work from
(compared to the national average of 16.64% of household)

Even worse, I suspect there are many Warrington families with two teenage boys or two teenage girls, and guidance is suggesting they can share a bedroom – do they live in the real world? This means there are probably even more Warrington households that are at full capacity or even more overcrowded than the stats suggest, meaning plenty of people will be working from dining room tables (if they have a dining room that is) and quite probably the kitchen table … a recipe for even more people wanting to move home later in the year.

So, I don’t know how many Warrington people are working from home, yet looking at the newspapers the consensus is that it has at least doubled. For all the reasons mentioned in this article, this looks like we could have a pressure cooker scenario of demand for Warrington property once the restrictions have been fully lifted.

Meanwhile, a message to all you new homeworkers in Warrington. Working from home is a tough one. The best advice I can give is to change your way of thinking. I know many friends  
who are missing their offices right now, yet is office-working really so great? Consider the relentless risk of disturbance when you are trying to finish that important project, the recirculated air conditioning with its germs, the shortage of quiet meeting rooms and as I have already mentioned before, the drawn-out and expensive commute.

Try breaking the cycle that being at work - time is productive and not being at work - time is only leisure. The new way of thinking that accepts the concessions of home-working and discards the traditional 20th Century conventions of office working. Yes, the downside is that as humans we are very sociable creatures and we acutely feel the need to be in face to face contact with each other often, meaning lockdown is quite tough for many of us. Yet, if we are able to connect the positive prospects for the future working and the situation that Covid-19 offers us, then together as a society we should be able to find the right balance between working from home and coming together. In the meantime, be considerate of each other and keep safe we are all in this together and we will all overcome this together.

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property. Email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk or call on 01925 235338.


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


Follow The Buy-To-Let Property Investment Market in Warrington

Warrington Property Market LinkedIn Page

Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Facebook Page

Hamlet Homes Estate Agents Warrington Twitter Page