Friday, 23 August 2019

Is Warrington Too Densely Populated?




Has England’s green and pleasant land all of a sudden become England’s green and overcrowded land?

With the nation’s ever-increasing population and the double whammy that people are now living longer, this means as each year goes by, there is an ever-growing strain on public services and in particular my favourite topic - housing. It’s no wonder some people are saying things are at crisis point when it comes to infrastructure (like roads, schooling etc) and in particular housing.  I hear it all the time, people complaining that Warrington looks like a building site and, we are packing people in like sardines into our Warrington homes. Yet I wanted to find out exactly what the truth was.

Starting with the UK as a whole, there 698 people per square mile whilst in England, there are 1,103 people per square and finally in Greater London 14,587 people per square mile  … these all sound quite awful numbers, until you drill down and realise a square mile is an awfully big area - there are only 93,600 square miles in the whole of the UK and that includes the wilderness areas of Scotland!

Let’s look at more realistic areas of land ... and I want to look at my favourite - the acre. To those born after the mid 1970’s, an acre is roughly half the size of a football pitch or a square roughly 63 metres by 63 metres and there are just less than 2.5 acres in a hectare.

The population of Warrington is 165,456 and the total area of Warrington is 11,092 acres, meaning 14.92 people live per acre in Warrington

So, how does that compare to neighbouring areas and towns...

  
As you can see, only just under 15 people live per acre in Warrington, interesting when compared to both Greater London, which has density of 23.26 people per acre and London’s most crowded suburb, Pimlico at 92.32 people per acre. Yet even Pimlico is nothing to the Collblanc district in Barcelona, which has 214.8 people living it per acre.

So, is Warrington over populated? Yes, it seems that way at school time or rush hour when sitting in traffic that Warrington is over populated – yet the stats show - we aren’t.

Evidently, we are never going to have an even spread of population as can be seen from the figures in the table, and the remote nature of some parts of the Country would not be able to withstand high densities of new people without enormous infrastructure investment.
Yet could we accommodate a much larger population in the UK (and Warrington) although there would be trade-offs? Look back at the 17th and 18th century and certain sectors of society were warning about population growth. The population of the UK in 1801 was 10.5 million and even with the growth of the population since then, only 1.2% of the UK is currently built on for housing purposes.

The question, it seems to me, is not can we manage but how
would a larger Warrington population change our way of life,
both for better and possibly worse?

The planners have a responsibility to ensure Warrington provides its fair share of new homes to accommodate this population growth in the coming years. The local authority has a responsibility towards adequate provision of the infrastructure of roads, hospitals and schools etc., to match the growth in housing. This is not a political topic and I hope once the ‘B’ word is finally sorted we can get on with addressing the shortage of affordable new homes for future generations.

 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. 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.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Which Street in Warrington has seen the most homeowners moving in the last 3 years?



Lots of people say moving home is one of the top ten most stressful events in your life. Fortunately, there is a way to mitigate your stress. In a nutshell, start as early as you can, plan ahead and do everything you can to make it easy on yourself, your family and even the family pet. As an agent in Warrington, my team and myself have been helping homeowners, landlords, buyers and tenants move, sell and let their Warrington homes for many years. So I thought I would share some top tips for making your move as stress free as possible – then find out which streets in Warrington have moved the most in the last 3 years.
The first tip is to plan ahead and write a list; because whilst it is taking between 15 and 20 weeks at the moment from finding a buyer to moving, those few weeks will fly by in no time as day to day life carries on. Next, get yourself a decent home removal company as they are worth their weight in gold on moving day – and if you need to know a good one in Warrington - drop me a line and I will let you know who my clients are raving about.
Next, a cluttered Warrington home doesn’t sell or let well, so maybe consider decluttering before you market the property. It will sell/let better and when it comes to the move – the job will be so much easier. Know where you plan to put all your important documents (like Passports and Bank PIN etc). Tell your utility providers and it is a good idea to create electronic copies of significant documents by scanning and saving them onto a USB stick and don’t forget to get your mail redirected.

On the day of moving home stress levels will be high and I know you will want to get everything packed away and have the tea on by 5.30pm! Those who have moved many times know that isn’t the case. Be realistic, as it’s doubtful you are going to unpack all your boxes in your new home by the end of the first day.
Make sure to keep your ‘Moving Day Survival Equipment’ close by, change of clothes, wash equipment, cold bottles of water, biscuits, kettle, tea/coffee/milk, crisps (even G&T??) to keep your spirits, morale and energy up – you will be fine.. but it will take a few days to completely unpack and get your new Warrington home the way you would like it to be. As long as you have your bed set up and made by the end of moving day - you can have the rest of the weekend to get ship shape. 
So, which street or road in Warrington (WA2 to be more precise) has put themselves through one of the most stressful moments in their life over the last 3 years? Which street has seen the most home moves and experienced the trials of moving home.
Poplars Avenue comes in at the top spot, with 39 home movers in the last 36 months with a total property value of £4,117,000 sold, interestingly there are 517 properties on the road … so have a look at the top 20 and see if your street is in the Top 20!
… but before you go, if you do need any help or guidance about moving home or advice about the current state of the Warrington property market, then feel free to drop me a line or read the other articles in my blog on the Warrington 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. 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, 18 July 2019

The Warrington Monopoly Board


CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORTH FOR FREE



Board games seem a thing of the past for youngsters nowadays with their consoles and mobile phones yet a family favourite in our household that will bring young and old together is Monopoly.

Mayfair is the square everyone wants to buy and whilst it is the most expensive to buy – it offers the greatest returns. Mayfair was the must have London address when the Monopoly board game was made in 1935 when, at the time, it was the most expensive street to buy houses at £400 each. A member of my family asked me what a property today would be worth in Mayfair and how much it would cost to buy them all. Readers will know I like a challenge. My research shows that a typical house in Mayfair today costs on average £2.8m - whilst the total value of all the property in the Mayfair area currently stands at £11.8bn.

The fun part of Monopoly was to build more houses and ultimately a hotel to extract the maximum rent from the other players who landed on the square. That made me think, instead of looking at the average value of a property on the street, what if we looked at the total value of property on the whole street. So, I carried out some research on all the 340 streets in WA1 and calculated the top 20 streets in terms of their total value of all properties on the street..  and just for fun, colour coded them as if they were on a Monopoly board 


Mayfair and Park Lane are represented by Manchester Road and Padgate Lane. Surprises in the mix include Cliftonville Road and Willis Street. They are rightly in the list because of the sheer size of those streets; because whilst the value of those homes are much lower than the posher streets, the total value of the whole street means they make the top 20 list.


  
Now of course whilst drawing a comparison between a 1935 board game and the actual total house values on those Warrington streets and roads provides a light hearted point of view of the Warrington property market, it does present a credible picture of Warrington’s most popular streets. Next time I will get back to writing an article with a little more seriousness and deeper issues on the Warrington housing market … but this week, I hope you enjoyed my little bit of fun!

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. 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, 4 July 2019

5.0% of all Properties Sold in Warrington are New Builds


CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORTH FOR FREE


Of the 9,400 houses and apartments sold in Warrington (WA1) since 1995, 1,100 of those have been new homes, representing 5.0% of property sold. So, I wondered how that compared to both the regional and the national picture …and from that, the pertinent questions are: are we building too many new homes or are we not building enough?

Roll the clock back a few years and in 2013 the Government expressed its disappointment that, as a Country, builders weren’t building enough new homes to house our citizens. They promised to hasten new homes building to the fastest rate since the 1980’s when the Country was building on average 168,100 private households a year. The Housing Minister stated he wanted the private sector to build in excess of 180,000 households a year, a figure which seemed unachievable at the time. In 2013, private house building was in the depths of a post Credit Crunch dip, with just 96,550 private new homes being built that year. Yet, in the five years since then, private new-build completions have climbed steadily, rising by 59.5% to 154,100 new home completions in 2018..so on appearances alone, whilst the growth is impressive, the new homes builders haven’t met their targets….. or have they?

In addition to the 154,100 new homes completions in 2018, the private sector also provided an additional 29,700 new households gained from change of use between office, industrial and agricultural buildings to residential homes meaning, last year, the private sector created 183,800 new households. When we look at the public sector, there were 30,300 Housing Association new homes and 2,950 Council houses built last year, meaning after making a few other minor adjustments, the total number of new households/dwellings created in the UK in 2018 was 222,190.

Most of the growth can be credited to an improving economic framework, though continued help for first time buyers with the Help to Buy Scheme has enabled some younger buyers to bypass the issue of saving for a large deposit for a mortgage when buying a home, thus supporting confidence among new home builders to commit to large building schemes. Yet there is more to do. The Government wants the Country to return to the halcyon days of the 1960’s where, as a Country, we were building 300,000 additional homes a year  .. and they want that to happen by 2025, a 36% increase from current levels.

In 2019, the country will create 257,500 households, so we are on our way to meeting that target but maintaining this level of house building will be a test. Even the Governments’ Auditors (the Office of Budget Responsibility) is predicting net additional dwellings will plateau at about 240,000 in the first few years of the next decade.

So, how does Warrington sit within this framework?

The UK currently has 27.2m households, of which 2.45m (9%) of those have been built since 1995, whereas in Warrington, of the 11,000 households in WA1, 1,100 were built since 1995 (representing 10.0% of all households), meaning Warrington has a higher proportion of new homes building in the last couple of decades than the national figures.


I certainly feel there is an over reliance on the private sector to meet the Country’s housing needs. Local Authority’s need to step up to the plate and build more houses, and its true central government has released more cash for them to do just that, but probably only 20% to 25% of what is required. In the meantime, unless the Country starts to build 300,000 households a year, property prices will retain and improve their value in the medium to long term – which is good news for Warrington landlords and Warrington homeowners.

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. 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, 13 June 2019

Warrington Council House Waiting List Drops by 69.5% since 2011


CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOUR WARRINGTON HOME IS WORHT FOR FREE



In 1979, more than 4 in 10 British people lived in a council house, yet today that figure is only 1 in 12, whilst according to Shelter 65% of families on the Council House waiting lists had been on those lists for more than a year and 27% had been waiting for more than five years.

One solution to the housing crisis has always been for the local authority to build more homes, yet should the state provide people with secure and dependable places to live – or is that an out-dated point of view? To look at this objectively, let’s take a step back.

After WW2, both Tory and Labour governments were building council houses in massive numbers, yet it might surprise you to know that more Council houses were built per year under Tory Governments than Labour ones between the years 1945 and 1970.  

Everything changed in 1979, when Margaret Thatcher delivered the right for Council tenants to buy their Council House (called the Right To Buy Scheme). Interestingly, Right To Buy was a Labour Party idea from one of Labour Manifestoes of the late 1950’s (although they lost to the Tory’s). Mrs Thatcher’s idea was based on massive discounts and 100% mortgages for those buying … but this was the real issue that has come back to bite us all these years later! Half the proceeds of the property sales went back to Westminster and the other half went back to the local authority – but the Councils half could only be spent on reducing their debt – not to be spent on building more Council houses.. hence why we have a shortage of council houses.

In 2011, Central Government gave local authorities the power to limit people’s entitlement for social housing (aka Council Housing), hence removing those people that did not have an association or link to the locality.




Today, in Warrington, the Council House Waiting List has dropped by 69.5% since 2011, meaning

3,345 families are waiting for a Council House
in Warrington

Interestingly though, if our local Council House Waiting List had changed by the same amount as the national one, the waiting list figure would be 6,698 instead, because nationally Council House waiting lists are only 38.6% lower than 2011.

So where are these Warrington families all living and what does this mean for Warrington homeowners and Warrington Landlords?

Quite simply, private landlords have taken up the slack and housed all those people that were on the waiting list. This is important as more and more tenants are stopping longer in the Private Rented Sector - the average length of time of a tenant stays in the same property is now 4 years. Renting is becoming a choice for many, as the years of this Millennium roll on. So much so, would it surprise you to know that renting a house can be more expensive than buying it as we have these ultra-low mortgage rates and 95% mortgages freely available?

Rents in the Rental Sector in Warrington will increase steadily during the next five to ten years. Even though the Council House Waiting List has decreased, the number of new council and housing association properties being built is at a 75-year low. The government campaign against buy to let landlords together with the increased taxation and the banning of tenant fees to agents will restrict supply of private rental property, which in turn using simple supply and demand economics, will mean private rents will rise – making buy to let investment a good choice of investment vehicle again (irrespective of the increased fees and taxation laid at the door of landlords). 

..and for home owners (and landlords) Warrington property values will remain strong and stable in the medium term, as the number of people moving to a new house (and selling their old property) will continue to remain limited, meaning that due to lack of choice and supply Warrington buyers will have to pay decent money for any property they wish to buy (especially ones in good locations and presented well).

Interesting times ahead for the Warrington 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. 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, 30 May 2019

Warrington House Prices Up 4.2% in a Year What does that mean for local Landlords and Homeowners?





The balancing act of being a Warrington Buy To Let landlord is something many do well at. Talking to numerous Warrington landlords, they are very aware of their tenants’ capability to pay the rent and their own need to raise rents on their rental properties.  Despite the ‘perceived ‘dark clouds of Brexit, evidence suggests many landlords feel more confident than they were in the Summer and Autumn of 2018 about aiming to push rents higher on their Warrington Buy To Let properties.

Looking at the data for the last 7 years, this shows that throughout the Summer months, the rents new tenants have had to pay on move in have increased at a higher rate than during the colder months of Winter.  This is because the Summer months are normally a time when renters like to move, meaning demand increases for rental properties yet supply remains pretty ridged.

Yet the Winter stats buck that trend and this is great news.

Rents in Warrington on average for new tenants moving in have risen 0.7% for the month, taking overall annual Warrington rents 2.9% higher for the year

However, several Warrington landlords have expressed their apprehension about a slowing of the housing market in Warrington and I believe, based on this new evidence, they may be overstated.  Before we get the bubbly out though, the other part of investing in property is what is happening to capital values (which will also be of interest to all the homeowners in Warrington as well as the Warrington Buy To let landlords).   I believe the Warrington property market has been trying to find some form of balance since the New Year.   According to the Land Registry….

Property Values in Warrington are 4.2% higher than they were 12 months ago

Yet, these figures reflect the sales of Warrington properties that took place in the late Autumn of 2018 and now are only exchanging and completing during the Winter / early Spring months of this year.

The reality is the number of properties that are on the market in Warrington today has risen by 2% since the Autumn


and that will have a dampening effect on the property market.  As tenants have had less choice, buyers now have more choice .. and that will temper Warrington property prices as we head into the middle of 2019.

Be you a Warrington landlord or Warrington homeowner, if you are preparing to sell your Warrington property in 2019, it’s important, especially with the rise in the number of properties on the market, that you are pricing your property realistically when you bring it to the market.  With the likes of Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket on everybody’s mobile phones and laptops, buyers have access to every property on the market and they will compare and contrast your home with other properties like yours – and will more than likely dismiss your property rather than view it.

To all the Warrington homeowners that aren’t planning to sell though – this talk of price changes is only on paper profit or loss.  To those that are moving .. most people that sell, are buyers as well, so as you might not get as much for yours, the one you will want to buy won’t be as much.  Look at the deal as a whole, the difference between what you sell yours for and what you buy at.  Finally, all the Warrington landlords – keep your eye’s peeled – I have a feeling there may be some decent Warrington buy to let deals to be had in the coming months.


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. 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.


Friday, 17 May 2019

Unemployment - the Secret Driver of the Warrington Property Market?



If you have been reading my articles on the Warrington property market recently, you will see that in the three years since the referendum of the ‘B’ word (that word is banned in our household), we have proved beyond doubt that it (whose name shall remain nameless) has had no effect on the Warrington property market (or the UK as a whole).
So one might ask, what does affect the property market locally? Well many things on the demand side include wages, job security, interest rates, availability of mortgages, confidence in the economy, inflation, speculative demand ... the list goes on. Yet as my blog readers will note, I like to delve deeper into the numbers and I have found an interesting correlation between unemployment and the number of properties sold (i.e. transactions).
Why transaction levels and not house prices? Well just looking at Warrington house prices as a bellwether has flaws. Many property market commentators and economists believe transaction numbers (the number of properties sold) give a more accurate and candid indicator of the health of the property market than just house values alone. The reason is twofold. First most people when they sell also buy, so if property values have dropped by 10% or risen by 10% on the one you are selling, it would have done the same on the one you are buying - meaning to judge the health of a property market is very one dimensional. Secondly, the act of moving is very much a human thing. Property habitually conveys a robust emotional connection with homeowners - a connection that few would attribute to their other investments like their savings or stock market investments. Moving home could be described as a human enterprise, moving from one chapter of one’s life to another. When people move home, it shows they are moving forward in their lives and so this gives a great indicator of the health of the property market.

Looking at Warrington’s figures on the graph, you can see an inverse relationship between unemployment and housing transaction levels.
 Property transactions in Warrington dropped by 60.08%, whilst unemployment in Warrington rose by 69.75% during the 2007 to 2009 Global Financial Crash


There is clearly a relationship between conditions in the Warrington job market and the number of people who move home ... interesting don’t you think?
Now I am not saying unemployment is the only factor influencing the Warrington property - but it has to be said there is a link.

As a country (and indeed here in Warrington) over the last 40 years, we have seen a shift in the outlook over the purpose of housing and the development of the religion of following house prices (and I appreciate the irony of me writing these articles on Warrington - feeding that habit!) Yet, when did owning a home turn from buying a roof over your head to an out and out investment vehicle? I do wish people would stop fretting about their intrinsic value being associated with their Warrington home. Now of course, I am not dismissing the current levels of Warrington house prices - we just have to take into consideration other metrics alongside them when judging the health of the property market locally.

One final thought, looking on a broader scale in the UK, those towns and cities whose property markets bounced back after the Global Financial Crash had high levels of employment and low unemployment whilst places with high unemployment and relatively low employment have, on the other hand, typically underperformed. 
So the next time you are considering a house move or buying a buy to let property in Warrington ... don’t make your judgement on house price growth alone.


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. 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.