Now the headline may not mean much to some of us but when you compare & contrast the value increase against the average national salary drop of 1%…just goes to show that a positive spread of 4.65% is actually quite healthy!
The most recent set of data from the Land Registry has stated that property values in Walsall and the surrounding area were 3.65% higher than 12 months ago and 25.20% higher than September 2012.
Despite the uncertainty over Brexit as Walsall (and most of the UK’s) property values continue their medium and long-term upward trajectory. As economics is about supply and demand, the story behind the Walsall property market can also be seen from those two sides of the story.
Back on the Blog after the longest break I’ve had in two years and a record number of weddings attended!! With schools opening up this week, I don’t know about you, but I’ll be glad to see the back end of the kids. Whilst away I have received numerous email requests to discuss various topics of interest by my readers. I picked the one requested most but I promise to try and get around addressing them all over the coming weeks.
Housing has always been the Cinderella issue at General Elections. Policing, NHS, Education, Tax and Pensions etc., are always headline grabbing stuff and always seem to go to ‘the ball’. However, housing, which affects all our lives, always seems to get left behind and forgotten.
Nonetheless, the way the politicians act on housing can have a fundamental effect on the wellbeing of the UK plc and the nation as a whole.
“When Walsall people move home how far do they actually go?” This was a fascinating question asked by one of my clients the other week. Readers of my blog will know I love a challenge, especially when it comes to talking about the Walsall Property Market!
For the majority, the response is not very far. It is much more common for homeowners and tenants in Great Britain to move across town than to the next town or county. Until now, it’s been hard to say how many homeowners and tenants moved from (and to) relatively far away to buy or rent their new home. However, I carried out some research and requested some statistics from the Royal Mail. What came back was very interesting to say the least!
I received a very interesting letter the other day from a Walsall resident. He affirmed he was a Walsall homeowner, retired and mortgage free. In the letter he stated how unaffordable Walsall’s rising property prices were and that he worried how the younger generation of Walsall could ever afford to buy? He went on to ask if it was right for landlords to exploit the inability of others to buy property and if, by purchasing a buy to let property, Walsall landlords are denying the younger generation the ability to, in fact, buy their own home?
Whilst doing my research for my many blog posts on the Walsall Property Market, I know that a third of 25 to 30 year olds still live at home. It’s not surprising then that people are kicking out against buy to let landlords; as they are the gluttonous bad people who are cashing in on a social woe. In fact, most people believe the high increases in Walsall’s (and the rest of the UK’s) house prices arethe very reason owning a home is outside the grasp of these younger would-be property owners.
Honestly I could write a book about this. Time and time again through my agency career I would have landlords calling me, desperate for advice after they’ve placed a “lovely” tenant in their property using a free (or low cost) DIY advertising website. The tenant presented themselves as honest, open, and above all very capable of paying the rent.
But the truth is a different matter. They got into the property by deception, and ended up costing these landlords thousands of pounds in damages, unpaid rent, and above all…the stress. These landlords had to cover the mortgage whilst funding the legal battle. One made very difficult because they weren’t aware of all the legislation surrounding lettings. This could prejudice their position in court. Didn’t serve the Prescribed Information? Didn’t register the deposit within 30 days? That means the tenant could actually sue you for 3 times the deposit amount! And there’s more…
It has been said that some 30% of the PRS is made up of accidental landlords (Source: Landlordnews.co.uk). Here lies the problem. As an accidental, or amateur (not a bad thing!) landlord, it is unlikely that they invest the time to make themselves aware of all the legislation surrounding lettings. There is a lot, but as the saying goes “you don’t know what you don’t know,” so most are blissfully unaware – until it goes wrong, and they can do with disastrous consequences!
Following the publication of a recent blog article about ‘Generation Rent’ a local homeowner of Walsall contacted me. He said that he felt that the plight of our Walsall youngsters (first time buyers), was that like of a novice football player trying to bend it like Beckham! You’re in a minus game playing Beckham at his own game right? Play him a 100 times and you’re bound to lose 100 times!! There is no doubt that buy to let landlords have played a major role in driving up property values in Walsall (and the UK) and from that made housing a lot less affordable for the 20-30 somethings of Walsall.
Let us look at how affordable Walsall is. The best way to measure affordability is to measure Walsall property prices against Walsall average salary (the higher the ratio, the less affordable properties are). Looking at the table below, for example in 2014, the average value of a Walsall property was 5.95 times higher than the average annual wage in Walsall.
Through the many conversations I have with my clients on a daily basis I find the Brexit effect is a real and worrying one for many. This is usually the case when there is uncertainty in the air and as many questions remain unanswered…we can but attempt to make educated guesses on the how, what, when and if’s of the Brexit effect on the Walsall Property Market. I can only comment on matters as they unravel and we learn together what the strategies of this exit may be as and when these are revealed to us.
Recently I feel Theresa May has wasted an opportunity to give peace of mind to our EU co-workers by not confirming their rights as EU citizens working and living in Walsall (and the rest of the UK). No.10 Downing Street’s point of view is that in promising the rights of EU citizens in the UK, it will postpone the same guarantee to the 1.5 million UK citizens living in the other nations of the EU.
For a moment let’s put aside the politics…the simple fact is now Article 50 has been set in motion, we have two years to make a deal with the EU, otherwise it will be a ‘hard Brexit’. Now you might not think a hard Brexit will affect you in your home in Walsall…but nothing could be further from the truth.