Are We Building Enough Affordable Homes in Walsall?

Are We Building Enough Affordable Homes in Walsall?
Are We Building Enough Affordable Homes in Walsall?

Before we begin… no, that’s not a location picture of Walsall-on-Sea!!

Within my blog about the Walsall Property Market I mostly only talk about two of the three main sectors of the local property market, the ‘private rented sector’ and the ‘owner occupier sector’. However, as I often stress when talking to my clients, one cannot forget the third sector, that being the ‘social housing sector’ (or council housing as some people call it).

In previous articles, I have spoken at length about the crisis in supply of property in Walsall (i.e. not enough property is being built), but in this article I want to talk about the other crisis – that of affordability. It is not just about the pure number of houses being built but also the balance of tenure (ownership vs rented) and therein, the affordability of housing, which needs to be considered carefully for an efficient and effectual housing market.

An efficient and effectual housing market is in everyone’s interests, including Walsall homeowners and Walsall landlords, so let me explain ..

Continue reading

£90,348 spent in Rent by Walsall Millennials Age 35

Walsall Rent Inreases Outstrips Inflation Since 2005
Walsall Rent Inreases Outstrips Inflation Since 2005

Millennials were born between the mid 1980’s and late 1990’s making them between the age of around 22 to late 30’s. They are the imaginative, artistic youngsters who grew up with the newest tech and computers and who are huge enthusiasts of music festivals, gourmet pizzas, emoji’s, selfies and old school nostalgia AKA…generation rent.

Countless Millennials have discovered that renting is a good choice for their shelter and accommodation needs without the hassle that comes from buying a home. Nonetheless, that is not the only reason they don’t buy property. When they should be concentrating on their profession, putting down roots and starting a family, Millennials are still going through the pressures and constraints on their finances of student loan liabilities whilst, at the same time, finding it hard-hitting to pay rent.

The hot topic at the moment is the cost of renting, as both our main political parties have seen mileage in wooing these Millennial Generation Renters. The average rent in Walsall is currently £618 per month making this a big-ticket item on the monthly budget. I was inquisitive to find out exactly how much Walsall Millennials will spend on rent by the time they reach their mid 30’s. The average age people leave home in the UK is 22; so looking at a Walsall 22-year-old (or Millennial) who left home in 2005 then between 2005 and today that Walsall Millennial will have shelled out £90,348 in rent.

Continue reading

“Will the Walsall Property Market Crash…?”

Will the Walsall Property Market Crash
Will the Walsall Property Market Crash…?

A question posed by a local portfolio landlord of mine last week.  Who would be the gainers and losers…?

Those Walsall people wanting property values to drop would be those 30 or 40 something’s, sitting on a sizeable amount of equity and hoping to trade up (because the percentage drop of your current ‘cheaper’ property will be much less than the same percentage drop of the more expensive property– and trading up is all about the difference). If you have children planning to buy their first home or you are a 20 something wanting to buy your first home – you want them to drop.  Also, Walsall landlords looking to add to their portfolio will want to bag a bargain (or two) and they would love a drop!

Yet, if you have recently bought a Walsall property with a gigantic mortgage, you’ll want property values to rise. If you are retired and are preparing to downsize, you will also want Walsall property values to rise (because you will have more cash left over after the move).  Also, if you, a landlord looking to sell your portfolio or a Walsall home owner, who has remortgaged to raise money for other projects (meaning you have very little equity), you will want property values to rise to enable you to put a bigger deposit down on the next purchase.

So, before I discuss my thoughts on the future, it’s important to look at the past…

Continue reading

GDPR & Walsall Landlords

GDPR and Walsall Landlords
GDPR and Walsall Landlords

Don’t know about you but I had heard so much about the new GDPR laws which came into force towards the end of May 2018 that I thought many of my Blog reading friends wouldn’t wish to hear another word on the matter!!  On the contrary…I’ve received several requests to clear matters up for you guys especially, around your personal responsibility when it came to staying on the right side of the law.

If you are letting a property in Walsall or indeed the UK for that matter, GDPR for landlords certainly affects you in a few key ways.  Before I address these major changes, let’s take a quick look at how we got to this point.

A brief history of UK data protection

In essence, data protection regulation has been enforced in the UK as a way to ensure that businesses and business owners do not abuse or misuse the data of their customers.  The purpose is to ensure it is not just used correctly but also stored safely.  In the UK, the first Data Protection Act was introduced in 1984.

It has been subsequently revised over the years and in 1993, a famous case was brought forward which saw PC Brown being prosecuted for mishandling data.  Though the ruling was eventually overturned, it was a landmark case and UK businesses seemed to start taking data protection more seriously.

Continue reading

Do Walsall Landlords need Letting Agents?!

Do Walsall Landlords need Letting Agents?!
Do Walsall Landlords need Letting Agents?!

So far 2018 has been hectic or what…??!!  Time seems to be running through my hands like water.  As a landlord and a property manager my daily workload is varied and that’s what I like about my life (afterall, as the saying goes – ‘variety is the spice of life’).  The planned stuff mixed in with the unplanned keeps a working day interesting.  However, if you are prone to anxiety attacks and don’t like uncertainty of a day in the life of a property manager, then perhaps you would be best advised to seek out the assistance of an expert…

So, the short answer to the question posed by a friend of mine (who is also a self-managing Walsall landlord) is that landlords don’t need to use the services of a Walsall letting agent.  Many Walsall landlords decide to be hands-on and undertake the whole lettings process themselves.

I started investing in Walsall buy-to-let property nineteen years ago in 1999 and I was keen to learn and control the whole process myself.  I was wary of entrusting others with what was ultimately my financial future and my thoughts were that no agent could possibly care about my Walsall property as much as me.

Continue reading

The ‘Hodgepodge’ of Walsall Property Mini Markets

The ‘Hodgepodge_ of Walsall Property Mini Markets
The ‘Hodgepodge_ of Walsall Property Mini Markets

A Royal Wedding, Russia, Facebook, Brexit, Trump, House prices up, House prices down … the Press is full of column inches on Brit’s favourite subjects of politics, scandal, weather and not forgetting (and I appreciate the irony of this!) the property market. As an agent belonging to a national group of letting and estate agents, talking to my fellow property professionals from around the UK, the one thing that is immediately apparent is the UK does not have one property market. It is a hodgepodge patchwork (almost like a fly’s eye) of lots of small property markets all performing in different ways.

… And that made me think … is there just one Walsall Property Market or many?

I like to keep an eye on the property market in Walsall on a daily basis because it enables me to give the best advice and opinion on what (or not) to buy in Walsall, be that a buy-to-let property for a Walsall landlord or an owner occupier house for a home owner.  So, I thought, how could I scientifically split the Walsall housing market into segments, so I could see which part of the market was performing the best and/ or the worst.

Continue reading

Walsall Property Market has a ‘Rentirement’ problem.

Walsall Property Market has a ‘Rentirement_ problem.
Walsall Property Market has a ‘Rentirement_ problem.

I think I’ve created a new word! Yes, I said ‘rentirement’, not retirement. Let me define it: rentirement , Renters who are currently in their 50’s and 60’s who don’t own their own home but rent their home, privately, from a buy to let landlord.

In Walsall, there are just under 1416 rentirees and this number is growing steadily! How…?! Read on to find out…

The truth is that these Walsall people are prospectively soon to retire with little more than their state pension of £155.95 per week, probably with a small private pension of a couple of hundred pounds a month, meaning the average Walsall rentiree can expect to bring in about £200 per week once they retire at 67.

The ‘Rentirement’ Time Bomb…

Continue reading