Walsall Property Market Update – After the Holiday & Since the General Election…

Walsall – After the Holiday & Since the General Election
Walsall – After the Holiday & Since the General Election

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.

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Walsall people move 19.32 miles when relocating…

How far do Walsall people move house?
How far do Walsall people move house?

 “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!

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Are Walsall landlords denying our Walsall youngsters?

Are Walsall landlords denying our Walsall youngsters?
Are Walsall landlords denying our Walsall youngsters?

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 are the very reason owning a home is outside the grasp of these younger would-be property owners.

However, the numbers tell a different story…

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Walsall’s humble Semi-Detached house increased by 227% in value

Walsall's humble semi increased in value by 227%
Walsall’s humble semi increased in value by 227%

The humble semi-detached house with its bay windows and net curtains has long been ridiculed as an emblem of safe, lacklustre and desperately uncool suburban life; the homes of the likes of Hyacinth Bucket in ‘Keeping up Appearances’ and more latterly Alan Partridge – but they could have the last laugh – having enjoyed one of the highest price growths of any property type in Walsall, up by an average 227% increase in the last twenty years!

The semi is, of course, still hugely popular on new build developments; although slightly more modern in appearance compared to its older ancestor!

The semi can now laugh in the face of its posher detached counterpart, which saw a rise of only 161% in the same 20-year period. Looking at smaller properties, flats/apartments rose 106%, whilst terraced houses did slightly better at 229% although they were starting from a lower base and demand from buy to let landlords has had a big part in driving up the values on that type of house based upon its rental potential.

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Are Walsall landlords stifling the Walsall property market…?

Are Walsall landlords stifling the Walsall property market…?
Are Walsall landlords stifling the Walsall property market…?

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.

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The 2017 General Election and the Walsall Property Market.

The 2017 General Election and the Walsall Property Market.
The 2017 General Election and the Walsall Property Market.

The past does not equal the future however, it’s as good a barometer as any when it comes to making  attempts to predict it.

Looking and analysing the past 5 general elections I have made some interesting discoveries on the before and after a general election and how this affects the property market…if at all.

Out of the five general elections (1997, 2001, 2005, 2010, 2015) two were not certain (2010 with the coalition government of   Lib-Dems and Conservatives and 2015 with the surprising Tory majority).  So I wanted to compare what happened to the number of houses sold and prices achieved between the three certain elections (1997, 2001 and 2005) against the unexpected ones of 2010 and 2015.

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Walsall Property – 5 Helpful Tips on Getting the Best Out of a Refurbishment

Walsall Property – 5 Helpful Tips on Getting the Best Out of a Refurbishment
Walsall Property – 5 Helpful Tips on Getting the Best Out of a Refurbishment

Not everything you do to a property adds a premium to the price.  A question I get asked time and time again from landlords, who think by maintaining a property where they replaced a boiler or a tenant, who through choice, changed the flooring and some minor decorative work feel they have done. So what does constitute value and how does this work with Walsall property?

Below are my thoughts and examples of 5 improvements that will add the most value to your next Walsall refurbishment (weigh up the costs against the extra you will achieve in rent though, each project is different):

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