Is it fair to Blame The Walsall Landlord?

Is it fair to blame the Walsall Landlord?
Is it fair to blame the Walsall Landlord?

Over the last couple of decades, the rise in the number buy to let properties in Walsall has been nothing short of extraordinary.  Many in the “left leaning” press have spoken of a broken nation, the fact many youngsters are unable to buy their first home with the rise of a new cohort of younger renters, whom have been daubed ‘Generation Rent’ as landlords hoover up all the properties for their buy to let property empires. Government has been blamed in the past for giving landlords an unfair advantage with the tax system. It is also true many of my fellow professionals have done nothing to cover themselves in glory, with some suspect, if not on some rare occasions, downright dubious practices.

Yet has the vilification and unfair criticism of some Walsall landlords gone too far?

It was only a few weeks ago, I read an article in a newspaper of one landlord who had decided to sell their modest buy to let portfolio for a number of reasons, one of which being the new tax rules on buy to let that were introduced last year. The comments section of the newspaper and the associated social media posts were pure hate, and certainly not deserved.

Like all aspects in life, there are always good (and bad) landlords, just like there are good (and bad) letting agents… and so it should be said, there are good tenants and in equal measure bad tenants. Bad letting agents and bad landlords should be routed out… but not at the expense of the vast majority who are good and decent.

But are the 3,983 Walsall portfolio buy to let landlords at fault?

The Tories allowed people to buy their own Council house in the 1980’s, taking them out of the collective pot of social rented houses for future generations to rent them. Landlords have been vilified by many, as it has been suggested by some they have an unhealthy and ravenous materialism approach to make cash and profit at the expense of poor renters, unable to buy their first home. Yet, looking beyond the headline grabbing press, this is in fact ‘fake news’. There are seven reasons that have created the perfect storm for private renting to explode in the 2000’s.

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My BTL Deal Of The Day 2 Bed Terraced House Bloxwich Road, Walsall, WS2 Yields 5.50%

A traditional two bedroom end terraced house in Leamore, Walsall. This outstanding spec is well worth your time and effort to view immediately.

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The effect of the recent Interest Rate increase on Walsall Property…

The effect of the recent Interest Rate increase on Walsall Property...
The effect of the recent Interest Rate increase on Walsall Property…

I wrote my thoughts in an article in October 2016 after interest rates were slashed to 0.25%. You can read the full article by clicking here. Then in December 2017 I wrote a further article when it was announced interest rates would be increased to 0.50%. The full article can be found by clicking here. Existing clients and Blog reading friends alike have been asking me for my thoughts on the recently announced increase…the current average value of a property in Walsall currently stands at £181,994 so what will the recent increase in the base rates to 0.75% from 0.50% do to the local property market?

In many of my articles, I talk about what is happening to property values over the short term (i.e. the last 12 months or the last 5 years), but to answer this question we need to go back over 40 years, to 1975.

The average value of a Walsall property in 1975 was £8,285

However, since 1975, we have experienced in the UK, inflation of 807.5%.

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My BTL Deal Of The Day Is A Two Bed End Terrace House North Walsall, WS3 Yielding 5.73%.

A traditional two bedroom end terraced house on Wenlock Gardens in the Coalpool area of Walsall. The spec is pretty decent and not a lot, if any, requiring attention. However, I would recommend changing the blue and green painted walls and go for something more neutral and in keeping with the rest of the property.

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MY BTL Deal Of The Day 3 Bed Semi Poukhill Close, Walsall, WS2, Yields 5.12%.

Just added to the market by Yopa (01322 584 475) is a three bedroom semi detached house in the Reedswood area of Walsall. My first impression is that it is a nice sized property, but the decor would need to be changed to something more neutral for a rental property. The property has everything that is to be expected for a property of this quality. There is off-road parking to the front in the form of a blocked paved driveway. there is a garage, but would not be able to be used as such, but as storage. The front and rear gardens are low maintenance and of average sizes. All three bedrooms are double sized and the kitchen and bathroom are of modern design. Additionally, there is a dining room, conservatory and utility room. Top it all off with gas central heating and double glazing and you have a very nice rental property in a highly sought after area.

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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 ..

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£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.

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