Thursday, 17 December 2015

Has 2015 been a good year for Warrington landlords?



This is a question I have been asked often over the last few weeks by landlords.

I think most of you will give a resounding yes to this question!

Substantial property value increases have given good capital growth to most landlords, by tens of thousands of pounds in many cases.

 Improved income through increased rents and reduced void periods has benefitted most.

Further, many landlords have been able to reduce costs by re mortgaging and taking advantage of the many low fixed rates available in the mortgage market, protecting their cost base for the future against an impending rate rise.

Some landlords have taken advantage of the above positive factors and added to their portfolio through 2015.

However there are a few clouds on the horizon. Extra Stamp Duty for second home purchases, changes to tax relief for buy to let landlords, extra costs for landlords to meet the raft of new and pending legislation.

Many of these factors are not news… we are all aware and they have been much reported in the media. But what we are not sure of is the impact they will have on the market.

Miles Shipside Rightmove Director ‘this is December’s best post-financial crash performance, signalling another round of price rises in 2016. Despite the shortage of suitable stock in many parts of the market, demand for housing is on the up. Although the average price of property coming to the market is already up by a hefty 7.4% compared to a year ago, Rightmove forecasts that prices will reach and breach new records next year’.

Rightmove’s 2016 forecast is for new seller prices to rise by 6%.

Will there be an assault on the market from landlords trying to buy before the new Stamp Duty regime applies in April?

Will first time buyers hold back from buying until after April in the hope prices will reduce once the new Stamp Duty puts landlords at a financial disadvantage and the competition for stock is reduced?

Will there be a rush of landlords through 2016 trying to sell and reduce their gearing in light of pending tax changes? Will this new stock be in sufficient volume to drive down prices as supply outstrips demand?

Will America put up interest rates and will we follow? Or will Janet Yellen back off at the last minute as previously?

I imagine we each have our own views. What we do about it will depend on our own prevailing circumstances and financial situation…I would love to hear from you with your opinions.

Some landlords I have spoken to recently have some interesting thoughts. One landlord intends to invest money into his existing portfolio by moving kitchens into the lounge and where possible turn the kitchen in to a bedroom making one bedroom units into two bedroom units and enhancing the rent (reflecting many of the new builds/conversions that have a similar layout).

Another is remortgaging his whole portfolio to fixed rate schemes with a view to driving his expenses down to offset any increase in his tax bill.

Interestingly I have not spoken to any landlord that intends to sell his portfolio, after all most of us bought a buy to let for the long haul…either to help our retirement income in years to come or in many cases to help  our children when the time comes.

Whatever your view as always it is essential to buy right. There are very few bargains to be had but buying a property that will let well and have a good chance of sensible value growth is essential. There are many new flats on the market and many more waiting to come to market, all at high prices. Whilst these will let well I struggle to see the option for capital growth being as good as a freehold house where supply is much more limited.

As always the Warrington Property Blog will keep you touch with market trends.

If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming one for the first time, and you want to read more articles like this about the Warrington Property Market together with regular postings on what I consider the best buy to let deals in Warrington, out of the many of properties on the market, irrespective of which agent is selling it, then feel free to get in touch!  email me on manoj@hamletwarrington.co.uk  if you are in the area feel free to pop into the office we are based on6 Bankside, Crosfield St, WA1 1UP 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. 

Website, http://www.hamlethomeswarrington.co.uk/

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