While there has been a lot to focus on with respect to the property market in the final couple of months of 2017, there has been a lot of attention on the London property market. In October 2017, there were headlines about London house prices falling while property prices in the rest of the UK were on the rise.
This led to property firm JJL releasing an article and press release enquiring as to whether “the golden age of London property was over”. This is exactly the sort of topic that people involved in the property market love to discuss and while professionals in and around London had genuine concerns to consider, some property specialists around the country were probably enjoying the situation. The golden age of London property was probably over in the last decade Of course, you have to question whether it has been a golden age of London property in the first place. If you have been keen to buy a home or flat but found yourself priced out of the market, a golden age would be the last term you’d use for the recent situation. There is also the fact that the period between the 1980s and the 2008 crash will probably be seen as the golden era. The London property market has rebounded well since the ’08 crash but the market hasn’t really reached the previous expectation levels.
However, when you consider Brexit and all of the other political and economic influences on the market in recent times, you have to say that the London property market has held up rather well. In the wake of the EU Referendum, some specialists were predicting Armageddon in the UK property market. This hasn’t panned out and in reality; we’ll probably look back at this era as one where performance outstripped expectations.
Prices are still going to rise in London Of course, while there is no expectation that the golden age will continue, there is an expectation that prices will continue to rise. A price rising at a slower rate isn’t the same as prices falling and between 2017 and 2022, it is expected that house prices will rise by 2.5% on an annual basis.
Looking at the different areas of London, there is still growth expected. In “prime central London”, the growth is expected to be 8.7% while in central London; the rate of growth for house prices is tipped to be 9.8%. In Greater London, 11.4% is the expected rate of house prices. Given that the average increase for the UK has been classed as 12.6%, you can see that all of the London areas come in at less than the UK average.
Of course, given that London house prices are generally much higher than prices around the rest of the country, it is not as though this is going to result in many savings in the English capital. Your viewpoint on the changing fortunes of the London property market will depend on your location and what your next moves in the property market are likely to be.
No matter what you aim to do next in the London property market, get in touch with Loft Style Properties and we will do our best to ensure you receive the best guidance and information.
Northwest London Christmas Activities 2017 There is a lot to look forward to at Christmas and there is a great deal to be said for spending time with friends and family members. You can bet that there will be many people looking forward to relaxing at home and socialising indoors but there are also many events outside your home that you can plan for. There is a great range of Christmas activities on offer in Northwest London this year so if you want to make sure that you don’t miss out on a brilliant event, let Loft Style Properties show you what you are looking for.
A Christmas Fair is often a fantastic way to spend your time in December If you are in Kentish Town, Sunday the 10th of December sees the Christmas Fair take place. The event starts at midday and Santa is scheduled to arrive at 12.15. This is a very affordable day out because entry costs £1 for adults and 50p for children. It costs £3 to enter Santa’s Grotto where no doubt there will be a present for the kids and there will be pony rides from half past one. The adults can enjoy a selection of mulled wine and hot toddies if the weather is bracing.
There will be live music from little Venice and you can expect plenty of cakes, baking goods and a tombola with plenty of prizes on offer. If you’re looking for a great day out with people from the local community, this is sure to be a brilliant way to go about things.
If you fancy a more traditional event in the run-up to Christmas, you will find that the Candlelit Christmas Carol Service on Sunday the 17th of December is more likely to be to your taste. There will be hymns, reading, music, mulled wine and mince pies on the go, so you’ll be able to enjoy all the festive trimmings.
Enjoy a Carol service Another chance to enjoy a carol service comes on the 7th of December with a Concert of Carols by Candlelight in Harrow at St Mary the Virgin Church. There is fee admission for people aged 16 and under at this event, so if you are looking for a family event that won’t break the bank, this could be worth checking out.
Of course, many people associate the Christmas period with pantomimes or big shows and there are a number of popular shows running in the northwest of London this year. If you are near Harrow On The Hill, Beauty and the Beast is playing in the Ryan Theatre on Yew Walk.
Alternatively, Cinderella can be enjoyed at the Compass Theatre in December, so that could be of interest to people familiar with this tale. There is also Robin Hood, which will be taking place at the Beck Theatre in Hayes over the festive period, so there are plenty of options for you to consider.
Then again, it may be that arranging a trip to see Santa is a top priority for your family and if it is, Ruislip Manor Library could come to your rescue. There will be visits on the 6th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 15th, 18th, 19th and 21st of December and with free entry, you don’t need to break the bank to see your kids’ faces light up.
We hope you find an event or two that will help you to look forward to Christmas in the northwest of London this year.
Landlords Prepares For 2018 EPS Regulation Changes? Landlords have had to consider many matters that impact on their ability to do their job but if you were hoping that 2018 was going to be easier, you may be in for a shock or surprise. This is because there is a major change coming in April of 2018 for landlords. This change relates to the EPC, or the Energy Performance Certificate. There is a requirement to meet new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) regulations and a landlord that fails to comply with the regulations could face a sizable fine.
As of April 2018, all properties for a new let or renewed let will have to hold an EPC rating of at least an E. if the property fails to comply with this regulation, and it doesn’t hold an exemption, the landlord could face a fine of up to £5,000. This is obviously a sizable punishment so it is important that landlords are aware of the change in situation. There is also the fact that as of April 2020, this minimum requirement will apply to all lets, including existing lets, so over time, all landlords will need to ensure their property is up to scratch.
Landlords should look to comply with regulations You can see why landlords should be looking to comply with these regulations. Improving the energy efficiency rating of a home can add value to a property and it will make it more attractive to a tenant. This may see a landlord being able to charge a higher rental fee per month or they could find that their void periods are minimised.
With respect to the tenant, improving the energy efficiency rating of a property saves money on energy bills. The average cost of the annual energy bills for property with an EPC rating of G is said to be £2,860 while the average cost of annual energy bills for property with an EPC rating of E is said to be £1,710. Making this improvement can save a tenant more than £1,000 on their energy bills, so the tenant will be happier to rent this property.
There are opportunities to enjoy an exemption When it comes to exemptions, it may be possible for a landlord to let a property that doesn’t hold an EPC rating of an E. Exemptions include:
All possible repairs and upgrades have been undertaken and the property is still classed as less than an E rating
Any work undertaken on the property would have a negative impact
If an independent review determines that work to improve the EPC rating would lower the property value by at least 5%
If permission has to be obtained from an external party and this has been denied
If the landlord is unable to carry out the work at no extra cost
There are grants and funding available for the work required to improve the EPC rating of property and landlords are not expected to be out of pocket for any improvements they make. The change in regulations is being undertaken in an attempt to improve rental standards as opposed to punishing landlords.
If you need guidance in ensuring your property complies with the MEES regulations or you are a landlord looking to provide the best standard of service, contact Loft Style Properties.
Will Interest Only Mortgages Make A Comeback? Given that obtaining a mortgage is one of the most difficult elements of buying property, it is understandable that people would like as many options as possible. There is always a personal element to what range of mortgages you can choose from, with the amount of savings you can muster and your credit score having an impact on what you can afford, so it is vital that you speak to professionals and obtain tailored information with respect to what mortgage you can choose.
However, there is nothing wrong with examining the market, and at the moment, it would be fair to say that fixed rate mortgages are the most popular option. Anyone holding a fixed rate mortgage wouldn’t have been overly concerned at the Bank of England increasing their interest rates in November of 2017. The move from 0.25% to 0.5% saw mortgage holders with a variable rate mortgage seeing their monthly payments increasing but for now, fixed rate mortgage holders can be content that their payments remain the same.
Fixed rate mortgages are popular Of course, when the fixed rate period ends, there is a need for mortgage holders to agree to a new mortgage because the standard variable rate mortgage will see them pay a higher amount each month. Then again, there is some talk that there is another style of mortgage coming back to prominence and this may be of interest to some property buyers.
This is because there is some discussion that interest only mortgages are making a comeback. Given that mortgage holders will only pay the interest element of their mortgage, not the capital element, there is a genuine chance to reduce the amount of money a mortgage holder has to pay each month. This is great news but the twist comes with the fact that the capital element has to be paid off in full at the end of the mortgage period.
Interest rate mortgages can cause problems If the property increases in value, it can be sold with the proceeds paying off the mortgage and then leaving something extra. However, as the property owner will usually have to find somewhere else to live, they could struggle to find somewhere new if the profit on the property isn’t that high. There is also the fact that the home may actually lose value which means that selling the property still leaves a shortfall to contend with, which creates a difficult situation for property owners.
It is this scenario that drove down the supply of these mortgages. There was a concern that people were being put at risk or that they failed to comprehend the consequences of an interest only mortgage. Given that there was a general tightening of the mortgage market, it is no surprise that there was a drop in the number of interest only mortgages that were offered.
It would be wrong to say that this style of mortgage was completely removed from the market. Lenders still had the opportunity to offer it to borrowers and if the lender deemed the borrower to be a suitable risk, they could offer it. It is this backdrop that has seen the volume of interest only mortgages rising in recent times and there are some specialists who predict that these mortgages will continue to be offered in 2018.
This isn’t going to be a suitable mortgage option for every buyer but there will be some parties who hold an interest in interest only mortgages. If you would like to discuss interest only mortgages, get in touch with Loft Style Properties and we will be happy to help.
Kentish Town Rental Market: 2018 Expectations With the New Year looming, it is understandable that people are looking at property market predictions. Anyone with a stake in the market is keen to know what is likely to happen and this is as true for the rental market as it is for the property market. The Kentish Town rental market, as you’d expect from an area in the Northwest of London and in the London borough of Camden, is highly competitive.
As of December 2017, in figures provided by Zoopla, the average value of property in Kentish Town stands at £890,920 and the average price paid for property in the past 12 months stands at £841,022. The average value for property in the London borough of Camden, again according to Zoopla for December 2017, stands at £1,127,700 while in the past 12 months; the average price paid for property is classed as £1,241,066. This means that while property prices in Kentish Town are expensive and above the London average, they are more affordable than the average prices for the borough they are located in.
Always check the expected rental yield for an area Landlords and property investors will hold an interest in the expected rental yield from property in the Kentish Town area. A one bedroom property offers an expected rental yield of 4.56% while a two bedroom property provides an expected rental yield of 3.79%. A three bedroom property provides an expected rental yield of 3.35% while four and five bedroom properties in Kentish Town offer expected rental yields of 3.14% and 3.52% respectively.
Figures provided by the home.co.uk website suggest that the average rent on offer in Kentish Town comes in £2,419 per calendar month, pcm. For a one bedroom property, the average rent stands at £1,766 pcm and for a two bedroom property, the average rent is listed as £2,415 each month. A three bedroom property carries an average rent of £3,129 pcm while a four bedroom property is expected to carry an average rent of £3,752 pcm. For a five bedroom property, the average rent is listed as £6,052 pcm, which is clearly a lot of money, and a big step up from the three and four bedroom property average rents.
Rental fees should rise in Kentish Town Much like expectations for property prices in 2018, there are expectations that rental fees will rise, but not by much. Elements like the demand for rental property, the level of pressure being placed on landlords, including rising costs in this profession, and a general rising in the cost of living suggest that there will be an increase in rental fees. However, and this is particularly true for some of the more expensive areas in London, there is a feeling that there is a ceiling when it comes to rental fees.
If tenants are unable to pay more, landlords could find that demand for their property falls, which means that this market needs to be handled carefully. Property prices are expected to rise at a slow rate in Inner London and it would be natural to see rental fees increase in the same way. There isn’t going to be a reduction in the demand for rental property in Kentish Town and it is unlikely that there will be any significant change in the supply of rental accommodation, so all things being equal, it is likely that rents will rise moderately in Kentish Town in the year that lies ahead.
No matter what aims or ambitions you have in the Kentish Town rental market in 2018, come and speak to Loft Style Properties and we will do what we can to help you achieve your goals.