Just before lockdown there were around 400 ‘5% deposit mortgage’ deals and first-time buyers were able to shop around to get the best deal. When the first lockdown hit, 5% deposit mortgages disappeared, meaning that as many Walsall would-be first-time buyers were about to buy their first Walsall home in 2020, the rug was pulled from under their feet.
Today, you can count on two hands the number of mortgage deals which allow a 5% deposit. Even worse, the number of hoops one has to jump through to get a 5% deposit mortgage is very high. On top of that, you have to pay handsomely for the privilege, with mortgage rates of at least 3.95%.
The buy-to-let market in Walsall is about to enter a challenging 12 to 24 months. Yet by looking back at the last recession and what is happening now, there are crucial lessons all Walsall landlords can learn to protect themselves, and in fact create opportunities both in the short term and ultimately the longer term. For the purposes of this article, I would like to split these and look at the challenges and then the opportunities.
So, let’s consider the challenges ahead for Walsall landlords …
The impending rise in unemployment stands to hamper tenants’ ability to pay their rent.
The current rents being achieved pushing affordability in some cases out of reach for many tenants.
The possible Capital Gains Tax changes might mean an increase in tax paid by Walsall landlords when they come to sell their Walsall buy-to-let (BTL) properties.
Since going into lockdown in March, the Government proclaimed a ban on tenant evictions, pledging that no tenant in a private rented home, who had lost their wages due to Covid-19 would be kicked out of their private rented home until the late summer. Fast forward to August and the press were being briefed as late as Wednesday 19th August that this freeze in evictions in England and Wales would cease on the 23rd August. That was until just after 4pm Friday 21st August when Mr Jenrick, the Housing Minister, announced that the eviction ban would be extended for a further four weeks and buy to let landlords must also now give their tenants six months notice to gain possession.
Cue crocodile tears for all the 4,291 Walsall landlords
“So where is the Walsall property market heading?”. “How will a recession affect the market?”. Just a couple of common questions I’ve been fielding recently. As usual, for the benefit of my Blog reading friends, here are my thoughts…
There are plenty of investors who think nothing of legally committing to buying a property ‘off plan’ before it’s built – yet over the last few weeks, it has become the norm in the resale (second-hand) Walsall property market and they have now stolen a march and bagged some property bargains.
Normally, the physical viewing is the first step of the resale house buying process … yet now it’s becoming the ‘new normal’ that some Walsall agents are carrying out semi-professional video viewings or video tours. Even homeowners are getting in on the act and managing a Facetime or Zoom video viewing by walking around their house with their mobile phone.
On the 13th May 2020 the Government announced that the Estate & Letting Agency industry could reopen meaning people could view houses, visit agents and move home be they tenants, buyers, landlords or home sellers. This is all subject to general and specific social distancing rules, specific hygiene regulations and suitable PPE being used.
So what has been happening in the last few weeks in the Walsall property market?
There is no doubt we are living in challenging times. Until recently I thought, the main talking points this April would be around changes to EPCs and EICRs – but things are a little different now.
Walsall Landlords and tenants have a lot of questions about what all of this means for them and what support will be available during the coronavirus pandemic if they need it.
Over the past couple of weeks information/ announcements have been coming through thick and fast. To help you as best as possible I’ve put together some of the primary information issued by the government for the private rental sector. We’re all aware that things are changing almost daily, and we’re keeping a close eye on the news as the government continues to issue further guidance and support. The information I have to date is as of 31/03/2020.
Many of my blog reading friends contact me for various property related advice and as they will testify, I try my best to assist where I can. As you can imagine I see a lot of property and meet both buyers and sellers alike so I get to see and hear from both sides. As the market starts to pick up again after the usual winter lull, I have been approached by some sellers struggling to sell their property. So here’s my tuppence worth…
…you’ve put your home on the market and now you’re eagerly waiting for those viewings to come rolling in. You may be receiving some viewings but actual offers are lacking. Unbeknownst to you, you are sabotaging your sale. The good thing is there is time to turn things around.
The Government’s Annual Housing Survey is 50 years old this year. It has taken a snap shot of the UK’s property market every year since 1969 and in the recently published report for 2018, it wasn’t a surprise that owner occupation is still the most predominant tenure, yet now more people own their home without a mortgage rather than having a mortgage as the number of people buying their first home (obviously with a mortgage) has declined since the Millennium. The report also shows homeowners (mortgaged and owned outright) are, on average, older than renters and between the homeowners themselves, those who are mortgage free are older than those with a mortgage.
Looking at the most recent data for Walsall, I wanted to see how we compared to the national picture. Therefore, focusing on the main 4 tenures of owned outright, owned with a mortgage, social housing (i.e. Council Housing and Housing Association) and private rented, this is what I found out…
A family home with low maintenance gardens and a block paved curtilage at the front of the property, which could be used for off-road parking. Two of the bedrooms are double sized, with the third being a single.
The extension includes a utility room and a sitting/ reception room. Top this all off with a modern kitchen and bathroom (Ground floor) and you have a rental property that is good to go.
Roll up, roll up guys and gals and feast your eyes on this little beauty! My advice? Get in there now and arrange a viewing! Marketed by Connells (01922 716026) at £110k and stated as a ‘Fantastic buy to let investment opportunity’. The spec is bang on the money and ready to go. The full property details can be found here.