News round up

Posted: 9th Apr 2019

For all the uncertainty and instability in other sectors, the property market and prospects for buy to let landlords remain as buoyant as ever.

Bearing this out, here is our latest round-up of some of the latest property and landlord news stories.

Which cities are best for young renters?

Just ten years ago, 73% of households owned their own home, now it is just 63% – the percentage is even lower among the younger generation, revealed a recent study – meaning more households must rent. But where?

The research rated the top 10 cities for renters in terms of average earnings, rates of employment, house prices, and average rents for a one-bedroom flat – to provide some surprising results. Glasgow, for example, topped the list because, though earnings are only average, property prices are cheap and so rents are low. In second-placed London, on the other hand, both wages and property prices are high, so, for landlords, rental yields are also high.

Bristol and Gloucester take the middle spots and Middlesbrough comes in at number 10.

New energy laws not affordable for one in three landlords

New Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) came into force for landlords with effect from the beginning of this month and a third of them cannot afford the work needed to bring their let properties up to scratch, said the Telegraph newspaper on the 1st of April.

The new rules mean that any property let for the first time must achieve at least an E energy rating – so ratings F and G disqualify landlords from letting the accommodation, on pain of a fine of up to £5,000.

The Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA) has calculated that the average cost of the alterations that need to be made by affected landlords is £5,800.

Where the actual costs exceed £3,500, landlords may apply for exemption from the new rules, so it may be that councils should expect a flood of such applications.

BTL mortgage costs remain stable

While the face of the mortgage market may be changing, the cost of buy to let mortgages has remained more or less constant and stable over the past 3 months, according to a press release from the Mortgage Brain.

While the cost of a 70% loan to value (LTV) five-year fixed buy to let mortgage and a 70% LTV tracker mortgage fell by 1% and 2% respectively, 70% LTV three-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 2% – changes that point to overall stability in the market.The analysis also revealed the price differential between buy to let and regular residential mortgages. This ranges from as much as 25% to as little as 8% higher for a buy to let mortgage, depending on the TV, the length of any fixed-rate, and whether it is a tracker mortgage.

Commuters will move home in order to be closer to work

Commuters are likely to move home to reduce their journey times into work, suggests a study cited by the Property Wire on the 4th of April.

By shortening their commute and moving closer to their place of work, 70% of people surveyed believed that moving home would lead to an improved work life balance.

This contrasts with 8% of people who are already living in rural settings and the report noted some marked regional differences. Though 47% of those working in London would consider moving home, for example, only 40% of Birmingham’s workers would do so, 37% in Oxford, and 33% of those who work in Newcastle or York.

City-dwellers least likely to think about moving closer to work, on the other hand, were found to be those living in Southampton, Aberdeen or Belfast.