Interest Rate Increase Kills the Walsall Property Market!

Interest Rate Increase Kills the Walsall Property Market

We all do something to try and keep fit don’t we?  My choice of the fitness elixir is to take from the cup by combining a bit of fun and comradery which translates to Badminton (alas too many injuries to carry on playing football).  So, this weekend I had one of my Badminton comrades ranting and raving about the latest increase by the Bank of England which he felt will be the death of the Walsall Property Market as we know it today!

Before we all rush off to take drastic evasive manoeuvres we have to look at the entire picture to put matters into perspective.  The recent interest rise is the first increase in 10 years; they have just been raised from 0.25 percent to 0.5 per cent.  The uplift comes as inflation hits a 51-month high of 2.9 per cent whilst the national unemployment rate is at an all-time low of 4.3 per cent.

The average Walsall mortgage is £98,631…

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How many Walsall properties will be illegal to ‘Rent Out’ in 2018?!

How many Walsall properties will be illegal to ‘Rent Out’ in 2018?!
How many Walsall properties will be illegal to ‘Rent Out’ in 2018?!

For the last 10 years, every private rental property must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating before being marketed.  The property is given an energy rating, very similar to those on washing machines and fridges with the rainbow coloured graph, of between A to G (A being the most efficient and G the worst).

New legislation comes in to force next spring (2018) for English and Welsh private landlords making it illegal to let a property that does not meet a certain energy rating.  After the 1st of April next year, any new tenant moving into a private rented property or an existing tenant renewing their tenancy must have property with an energy performance rating of E or above on the property’s EPC and the new law will apply for all prevailing tenancies in the spring of 2020. After April 2018, if a landlord lets a property in the ‘F’ and ‘G’ ratings (i.e. those properties with the worst energy ratings) Trading Standards could fine Walsall landlords up to £4,000.

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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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Rents in Walsall Will Increase More Than Walsall Property Prices By 21%!

Rents in Walsall Will Increase More Than Walsall Property Prices In Next 5 Years!
Rents in Walsall Will Increase More Than Walsall Property Prices In Next 5 Years!

Last weekend I had a meeting with a professional landlord who has an extensive portfolio of properties.  By his own admission, he confirmed that he has somewhat neglected the portfolio which he has kind of left to look after itself.  In recent years his focus was his family-run business so the portfolio wasn’t a priority.  He wanted to change this attitude and become more aggressive with his Walsall property ambitions by expanding on a healthy and varied portfolio.

During our meeting he asked me where in Walsall and what type of property he should purchase to create the best capital growth and great rental yields.  This got me thinking about our property market in Walsall and what has actually happened to rents and property prices..and more importantly for him..projections for the future.

Some fascinating changes are in the air in the Walsall property market.  Just to give you a flavour of the full article below, upon conclusion of my research I found that the rent private tenants pay will rise faster than property prices over the next five years. Creating further issues to Walsall’s growing multitude of renters.  In fact, my examination of statistical forecasts found that –

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