At the time of the last census in 2011, there are 3,401,675 properties in England that were privately rented, of which it is estimated, were owned by over 1.25 million private landlords. The rapid growth of buy-to-let is hugely controversial, especially as only ten years before that, there were only 1,798,864 properties under private renting in England. Buy to let landlords have been held responsible for forcing up property prices and preventing our younger generations from being able to buy. There is also growing resentment toward the billions of pounds in tax relief (estimated to be nearly £10 billion) landlords claim on their mortgage interest tax relief not available to home-owners.
They may be asset rich thanks to recently rising property values, but let us not make the landlords the warlocks they could easily be called! They are not quite on a par with the traffic rangers who raise around £1.4 million a year for the Council! Despite all these benefits enjoyed by private landlords, let us not forget the good they have done, especially in Walsall.
Property values today in Walsall are still 11.5% below the 2007 property boom levels (2007 being the peak of last property boom before everything dropped in 2008/9), yet inflation has risen by 26% in the same time frame, so in real terms, properties today are 37.5% CHEAPER than they were in 2007. Just think how low they would be without landlords buying all those rental properties in the city.
Interest rates are at an all time low (and have been for a while), and first time buyers only need to save a £6,000 deposit to secure a lovely 2 bed town house in Tamebridge or Reedswood with a 95% mortgage. Forget what the papers say, first time buyers can borrow money on a 95% mortgage and, nine times out of ten, it’s cheaper to buy than rent. So why aren’t people buying?
The number of people choosing to rent, either for lifestyle or economic reasons, has grown over the last 15 years. I also believe they will continue to grow for some time to come, as does every report on the subject. In fact I would go as far to predict the number of rental properties in Walsall will have risen from the 15,943 properties recorded in 2011 to 21,800 by 2021. Sound fanciful? Well in 2001, there were only 6,739 privately rented properties in Walsall.
It is a fact that we as a Country are more and more turning into a European model when it comes to home ownership, where the norm is renting for the first ten years, as opposed to the norm from the 1960’s to 1990’s, where first time buyers were encouraged to buy as soon as they left school and got a job.
Tenants, in particular, will also feel the benefit from potential changes in the market. The likelihood of interest rate increases in late 2015, existing economic conditions, combined with the uncertainty of new Government manifestos will result in low demand for people to buy yet also put a dampening effect on increases in rent. As long as landlords buy the right sort of property, that allows for a reasonable yield, decent capital growth, everyone will be a winner.
If you want a chat about what would make the best sort of property that would offer the best returns in Walsall & the surrounding area, then please email me or call me.
Phone: 0345 257 9850