Everything UK Landlords Need To Know In 2024

The UK property management landscape has always evolved rapidly, but the last couple of years have seen change accelerate significantly, and 2024 is set to be no exception. Much like in any other business, it’s imperative for you as a landlord in Gloucestershire to stay updated on the latest trends, regulations, and market shifts to thrive in 2024.

If you do this right, then the 2024 rental market changes could play in your favour, but for this to be the case, you’ll need to understand the changes that are forecast for 2024. Thankfully, we’ve done the research so that you don’t have to; in this article, we’ll investigate UK landlord guidelines and explore the key insights and considerations that landlords in Gloucestershire should keep in mind this year. Read on to get in the know!

Understanding Current Market Trends
As a landlord in England, you will already be aware of the rising costs of rental properties in Gloucestershire expected in 2024, but this is far from the only thing to consider. The world has changed significantly in recent years, and if you increase your rental prices without considering changing trends in the rental market, you could potentially limit your revenue. Let’s break down some of the major market trends that you need to be aware of.

Embracing Sustainability
From government initiatives to public activism, sustainability has been a hot topic that affects everyone over the last few years, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is just a buzzword. Prospective tenants are increasingly seeking eco-friendly properties in Gloucestershire equipped with energy-efficient features, for both environmental and financial reasons.

Many prospective clients will be seeking sustainability in their rental property in Gloucestershire to combat rising energy costs, while also doing their part to save the planet. Ignoring this factor could cost you many clients. For this reason, you should consider applying sustainable upgrades to your property, such as energy-efficient appliances and mindful waste disposal. Not only will this make your property more appealing to tenants, but it will also reduce your long-term operating costs.

Leveraging Technology
In the past, the landlord-tenant relationship tended to be a bureaucratic nightmare, but it no longer has to be this way. The adoption of innovative technology is making all areas of our lives simpler, and this includes administrative procedures, communication, and payments. All three of these areas are staples of being a landlord in Gloucestershire, and you’d be daft not to adopt the latest technology solutions to make your life easier!

While most landlords are already using online property portals to source prospective tenants, this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens of technological software and hardware solutions available that have the potential to streamline not only landlord tasks but improve your tenants’ rental experience too. These include:

  • Using modern communication platforms such as WhatsApp
  • Leveraging online portals for rent collection and maintenance requests
  • Installing smart home technology to increase the appeal of your property
  • Using technology-driven security systems to give your tenants peace of mind

Financial Planning and Tax Considerations
In addition to evolving market trends, it’s imperative for you to become familiar with changes in your responsibilities as a landlord in 2024. These include tax considerations, the anticipated Tenant’s Reform Bill, changes to the Office for National Statistics operations, and more. Let’s take a look!

Changes to the Office for National Statistics
The first financial consideration that you’re going to need to take may sound complicated, but it’s actually very positive for you as a landlord. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has always been a valuable resource for British landlords, ensuring they have the data they need to keep up with the latest pricing and rental trends. However, a recent announcement has outlined some significant changes to how the ONS will release such information.

Thankfully, this is good news; the ONS has greatly expanded its provided data points, offering a far more granular level of rental price statistics, instead of the generalised conclusion from past statistics. This will allow you to gain far more valuable insights into the best way to operate your business as a landlord, and best of all, it’s free to access! This is a secret weapon that many landlords are unaware of, so use it to your advantage and stay ahead of the curve!

Renters Reform Bill
Another significant change due to affect landlords in 2024 concerns the introduction of the Renters Reform Bill. This is set to benefit the rights of tenants while, unfortunately, making your life as a landlord somewhat more difficult. But as long as you’re aware of the bill’s implications, it shouldn’t be a problem. This new bill hasn’t yet been officially confirmed, but it is anticipated to be passed in early 2024.

Ultimately, the Renters Reform Bill will affect evictions, preventing landlords from evicting tenants unless their contract is over or there is a serious reason to do so. As long as you are aware of this in advance, it’s no big deal – you’ll simply need to plan ahead. Thankfully, it could still benefit you, as your tenants will be comforted by this enhanced accommodation security, a prospect that could foster an excellent landlord-tenant relationship and boost tenant retention.

Overall, the constant changes to the rental market can be intimidating, especially right now when things are changing so fast, but hopefully, this article has shown you that there’s nothing to worry about as long as you stay informed. By focusing on these critical aspects, you can navigate the dynamic rental market in 2024 with confidence and achieve long-term success in property management in Gloucestershire.

However, it’s important you don’t become complacent with this information, as it wouldn’t be surprising if further trends, bills, or even tax changes affect landlords in 2024. Keep your eye on resources such as the ONS and conduct regular research, and you’ll be taking steps that many other landlords haven’t even considered, helping your business to thrive!

TG Sales & Lettings are rental property management specialists in Gloucestershire.

Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk to find out how we can help you stay ahead with UK landlord guidelines 2024.

Latest Property Market Update: December 2023

Mortgage rates continue to fall, the best cities for investment returns have been revealed, and the UK’s 10 happiest places to live have been announced. Plus, we wrap up 2023 Spotify-style! Read on to find out more.

Two-year Mortgage Rates Fall Below 6%
Mortgage rates are continuing to head in the right direction for buyers and homeowners whose deals are due for renewal, with average two-year fixed deals falling below 6%.

The drop in rates follows confirmation from the Bank of England that the base interest rate is being held at 5.25% – the second straight freeze – and competition between the UK’s major lenders has intensified as they battle to keep existing customers and attract the small pool of new homeowners who are coming into the market.

10 Happiest Places to Live Revealed
A survey by property website Rightmove has revealed the UK’s 10 best places to live, as voted for by residents. The company’s Happy at Home Index has been running for 12 years, and for the first time, it’s a London area that’s taken the top spot.

Richmond upon Thames took the crown from last year’s winner, St Ives in Cornwall, which dropped down to 9th. Winchester in Hampshire took the runners-up spot, while Monmouth in Wales finished in third.

The survey asked more than 26,000 people to rank things in their area, from community spirit and a sense of belonging to public transport connections and essential local services.

Click here for the complete top 10

Top 10 Cities for Rental Yields Revealed
If becoming a landlord is on your list of New Year’s resolutions for 2024, you might want to check out the findings of a study by property website, Zoopla.

In it, they’ve revealed the top 10 cities and large towns in the UK for buy-to-let returns. The average gross rental yield in the UK is currently 5.49%, but Zoopla’s list of towns and cities smashes that figure, and could be a good indicator of where to invest your money in the new year if you’re looking to buy a second property.

Top of the list is Sunderland in the North East, where the average gross rental yield is a very impressive 8.5%. Not far behind is Dundee in Scotland, which also passes the 8% mark at 8.07%, while Burnley in Lancashire takes third place, with a return of 7.96%.

All of the top 10 are in Scotland and the north of England, and they all return more than 7% each year.

Click here for the full list.

2023 in Review
With 2023 drawing to a close, it’s the perfect time to take a look back at the year that was. Thanks to the statisticians at Zoopla, we can now share some of the key stats from the past 12 months:

One million homes were sold, and house prices fell 1.2% on average across the UK. The biggest falls were seen in the East of England and the South East, at -2.6% and -2.4% respectively. Scotland and Northern Ireland were the only regions in the UK where prices have risen over the past 12 months.

The most popular types of homes to be sold were terraced houses, with 140,000 changing hands in 2023, followed closely by semi-detached houses. 130,000 of these were sold over the past year. 148 farms and 57 houseboats were sold too.

The Bank of England raised the base interest rate five times across the year. When we saw in 2023, the interest rate was 3.5%, and as we close the year out, it sits at 5.25%.

This led to a huge knock-on effect on mortgage rates, which peaked at an average of 6.44% for a two-year fixed rate in July and 6.37% for a five-year fixed rate in early August. Both are now below 6%, and it’s hoped they’ve seen their peak.

As for standard variable rate mortgages, these went from an average of 6.61% at the start of the year to a whopping 8.74% at the end of 2023.

At the start of the year, selling a house took 36 days on average, and as 2023 draws to a close, it’s only slightly increased to 38 days. It dipped briefly in April to 29 days but has crept back up in line with rising inflation and mortgage rates.

And lastly, what about renters? It’s been a difficult year for tenants, with new lets rising by at least 10% for the past 20 months in a row. However, demand hasn’t suffered – it’s remained at 51% above the five-year average for most of 2023.

We are delighted to bring you our monthly property market updates. If you are thinking of buying or selling a property in Gloucestershire please get in touch with us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk.

Latest Property Market Update: November 2023

This month, we pick out the key points that affect the housing market from the chancellor’s Autumn Statement. There’s also been an increase in homeowners slipping into mortgage arrears, rents remain on the rise for new lets, and we reveal the best places to buy to avoid stamp duty for first-time buyers.
Read on to find out more.

Autumn Statement – Key housing market points

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has made his Autumn Statement , and while there were no major surprises, a handful of the announcements will have a direct impact on the property market.

Firstly, the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme has been extended until the end of June 2025. The scheme, which was first introduced in 2021 and was due to end in December 2023, was designed to encourage lenders to offer more 95% loan-to-value mortgages to buyers with a 5% deposit. If a buyer defaults on their mortgage payment, the government steps in to cover some of the shortfall.

Whilst the scheme hasn’t been used extensively – with around 5% of first-time buyers using it since it was introduced – it has opened the door for more people to get onto the property ladder, and mortgage rates for buyers with a 5% deposit have dropped slightly in November, to 6.03% on average.

The chancellor used his Autumn Statement to promise investment of more than £110m to build 40,000 new homes over the next year. £32m has also been earmarked to beat a planning backlog and develop new housing in cities such as Cambridge, Leeds, and London.

In some good news for renters, the Local Housing Allowance rate has been increased. The rate, which affects how much help you get when renting from a private landlord, has been frozen since 2020, but the new increase will give 1.6m households an average of £800 support next year.

Mortgage arrears on the rise

The number of property owners falling behind on their mortgage payments rose sharply over the summer months, with UK landlords hit particularly hard.

Figures from UK Finance show that 87,930 homeowners were in arrears between June and September – an 18% increase on the same period in 2022. For landlords, it’s even worse, with the number in arrears having doubled in the past 12 months.

Whilst the sharp increase of homeowners in arrears may seem alarming, it still represents just 1% of the UK’s 8.8m outstanding mortgages. However, with an estimated 1.6m mortgage deals due to expire next year, the number of homeowners is set to increase further.

Already in 2023, the number of people in arrears jumped 7% in July to September compared with the previous quarter, although a slowdown in rising mortgage rates will hopefully keep mortgage defaults low.

Average rents for new lets continue to rise

The average rent for a new let has increased by more than 10% over the past year. It now stands at £1,166 per month according to property website, Zoopla. This in part has been caused by rising interest rates and cost of living.

But with demand for rental properties currently running at 27% above the 5-year average, many landlords now see multiple applicants per property with competition high. Average annual rents are £14,000, compared to £12,700 a year ago. The increases are much lower for existing renters, who have seen their annual rent increase by 5.7% on average.

First-Time Buyers: Best places to buy to avoid stamp duty

Stamp duty can add several thousand pounds to the cost of a property, and it’s a particularly unwelcome expense for buyers taking their first steps on the property ladder.

In England and Northern Ireland, stamp duty is payable on any property over £425,000 for first-time buyers, but one leading property website has revealed the areas where buyers are least likely to be affected.

According to Zoopla, the top places to buy for first-time buyers looking to avoid stamp duty are:

  • Hull
  • Blackpool
  • Middlesbrough
  • Hartlepool

Here, 98% of homes are for sale at less than the threshold.

Stoke-on-Trent isn’t far behind either, with 96% of properties falling below the £425,000 mark.

By region, the best place to buy is the North East, where 93% of properties are priced under £425,000, while at the opposite end of the scale, it’s no surprise to see that London is the most affected area for stamp duty, with just 27% of properties under the threshold.

It’s not all bad for first-time buyers in the capital though. If you’re looking to avoid stamp duty, then Barking and Dagenham are areas with the most properties priced under the threshold, with 69% of homes in the area available for less than £425,000.

We are delighted to bring you monthly property market updates. If you are thinking of buying or selling please get in touch with us.

Maintenance Tips for Landlords: Don’t Suffer The Consequences of Neglected Property Repairs

Owning a rental property in Gloucestershire comes with its own set of responsibilities, and one of the most critical is ensuring regular maintenance. That’s why we find that maintenance tips for landlords are always welcomed! Unfortunately, many Gloucestershire landlords neglect this crucial aspect of property management, which can lead to issues, affecting both landlords and tenants.

In this article from the team at TG Sales & Lettings we’ll explore the common mistakes landlords make by failing to maintain their rental properties. We’ll also look at why prioritising property maintenance is essential for a successful rental experience.

The Consequences of Neglected Property Maintenance

Neglecting property maintenance can have far-reaching consequences that affect landlords and tenants. These are some common issues along with our maintenance tips for landlords:

  1. Deteriorating Property Value Due to Neglected Repairs

When landlords fail to invest in regular maintenance, the property’s condition naturally deteriorates over time. This decline can lead to a significant reduction in the property’s overall value. A poorly maintained rental property becomes less appealing to prospective tenants and can also result in lower rental income when compared to well-maintained properties in the same area. Additionally, the resale value of the property may decrease, making it difficult to realise a profit if you decide to sell.

  1. Tenant Dissatisfaction Due to Neglected Property

Tenant satisfaction plays a pivotal role in the success of your rental property business. A neglected property can lead to tenant dissatisfaction, and unhappy tenants are more likely to terminate their agreement early or report maintenance issues, creating additional stress and expenses for landlords. Unresolved maintenance problems can also lead to legal disputes and potential fines if the property violates government regulations.

  1. Increased Maintenance and Repair Costs Over Time

One of the most significant mistakes landlords make is postponing necessary repairs and maintenance tasks. When minor issues are ignored, they escalate into more extensive and costly problems. For example, a small leak can lead to water damage, mould growth, and structural issues if left unresolved. Regular inspections and timely repairs prevent costly scenarios, ultimately saving landlords time and money.

The Importance of Regular Property Maintenance

Now we’ve discussed the consequences of neglecting rental property maintenance, let’s delve into why regular maintenance is crucial for landlords:

  1. Longer Tenant Retention

Happy tenants are more likely to stay long-term, reducing void periods and turnover costs for landlords. Regular maintenance ensures that the property remains in good condition but also fosters positive tenant-landlord relationships. When tenants see that their landlord is proactive in addressing maintenance concerns promptly, they are more likely to renew their tenancy agreement.

  1. Legal Compliance Met

Landlords with rental properties in Gloucestershire are legally obligated to provide safe and habitable living conditions for their tenants. Neglecting property maintenance can result in legal repercussions, including fines and penalties. To stay compliant with local housing regulations, it is essential to conduct regular inspections, address maintenance issues promptly, and keep thorough records of maintenance activities.

  1. Enhanced Property Value

Maintaining a rental property’s condition and appearance attracts quality tenants and enhances its market value. Well-maintained properties are more appealing to prospective renters and potential buyers. By consistently investing in property maintenance, landlords can secure higher rental income and achieve better resale value when the time comes to sell the property.

Tips for Effective Property Maintenance

To avoid the common mistakes associated with neglecting property maintenance, here are some tips for landlords in Gloucestershire:

  1. Create a Maintenance Schedule

Establish a regular maintenance schedule that includes routine inspections and preventive maintenance tasks. This schedule should cover essential areas such as plumbing, electrical systems, roofing, and heating systems. Regularly inspect appliances and address any issues promptly.

  1. Prioritise Tenant Communication

Encourage open communication with your tenants regarding maintenance concerns. Provide tenants with clear instructions on how to report issues and respond to their requests efficiently. Make sure tenants are aware of their responsibilities in maintaining the property, such as reporting minor problems and promptly addressing any damages they may cause.

  1. Budget for Maintenance Expenses

Set aside a portion of your rental income for maintenance expenses. Having a dedicated budget for maintenance ensures you can cover the costs of repairs and improvements without dipping into your personal finances. Remember that proactive maintenance is an investment that will save you money in the long run.

Property Maintenance is a Responsibility Landlords Must Embrace

Regular property maintenance is not just a choice, it’s a responsibility that Gloucestershire landlords must embrace. Neglecting rental property maintenance can lead to financial losses, legal issues, and tenant dissatisfaction.

If you’re a landlord who would like more information on how to enhance your rental property value, attract and retain quality tenants, and maintain legal compliance, our team at TG Sales & Lettings would love to hear from you. Please contact us at rachel@tgres.co.uk or call us on 01452 300822. We are waiting for your call.

What’s Happening in the UK Property Market: September 2023

Interest rates have finally been frozen, rental costs have hit new highs and sadly mortgage arrears are on the rise. Read on to find out the latest on all this and more.

UK Interest Rates Frozen

After 14 straight increases, the Bank of England has announced a freeze on their base interest rate, which remains at 5.25%.

The surprising move has already had a positive impact on property buyers and homeowners who will be remortgaging in the coming months. Nationwide was the first major lender to reveal a reduction in mortgage rates, with other lenders expected to follow suit in the coming weeks.

The surprising move by the Bank to freeze rates, comes after inflation was revealed to have slowed to 6.7% in August – a far bigger fall than was expected, but still a long way above the Bank’s 2% target.

Rental Prices Hit New Highs

The Telegraph reports that the growth in rental prices hit a new record high as the national rental crisis deepens, official data shows. Rents in London rose by 5.9pc year-on-year, the fastest pace since records began in 2006, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Across the UK, rent growth hit a new high for the sixteenth month in a row, with costs climbing by 5.5pc. The jump in rental costs has been so great, that the increase in the past 12 months is higher than the increase over the four years from 2015 to 2019. 

Several factors have contributed to the sharp increase, including higher mortgage rates for landlords, which have been passed on to tenants, as well as demand for rental properties continuing to far outweigh the supply available.

Value of UK Mortgage Arrears Jumps by a Third

The Bank of England has revealed that mortgage arrears across the UK climbed by almost a third in the period from April to June this year, when compared with the same period in 2022.

Their figures have revealed that outstanding mortgage debt in the UK is now £16.9bn, the highest since 2016.

Mortgage rates have risen sharply in the past 12 months, with the typical rate on a fixed mortgage deal currently hovering around the 6% mark, although the freeze in the Bank of England’s base interest rate should see that figure come down slightly.

While some experts are forecasting mortgage defaults to rise further, many point to the fact that the number of homeowners who are unable to repay still remains relatively low. 

According to the Bank, 16% of mortgages in arrears between April and June were new cases, which is a similar figure to the number from the first three months of the year. 

Average House Prices Fall by £14,000 in a Year

Last month saw the fastest annual rate fall in 14 years according to major lender, Halifax, with prices dropping by 4.6% in the 12 months to August.

The drop, which knocked around £14,000 off the average house price, was the biggest decline since 2009, as rising mortgage rates continue to have a major impact on buyers. 

The lender is expecting the falls to continue for the rest of the year, with prices having dropped 1.9% between July and August alone.

And it’s not just Halifax who have reported a major fall in prices. Fellow major lender, Nationwide, also revealed their biggest fall since 2009, but their figures represent an even bigger percentage decrease, of 5.3% over the same 12-month period to August.

The Cheapest Places to Rent a Home Revealed

With rental costs reaching new highs, a study by property portal, Zoopla, has revealed the cheapest areas in the UK to rent a home.

The North East came out on top, where average rents are £649 per month, followed by Northern Ireland, where it’s £749 per month. 

Unsurprisingly, London came bottom of the list. Average rents in the capital have climbed to £2,053 per month – the only part of the UK where rent is more than £2,000 per month. For context, the next highest part of the country to rent in is the South East, where the average cost is £1,254 –  around £800 cheaper than the capital. 

However, while London leads the way for rental costs, it’s actually Scotland that saw the biggest increase over the past 12 months. Prices there rose 12.7% over the past year, but with average rents of £748 per month, it’s still some way behind the capital in monetary terms.

For more local property market news and updates and a more detailed overview of the Gloucestershire area, get in touch with TG Sales & Lettings. We are your local property experts. Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk.

What’s Happening In The UK Property Market: August 2023

Interest rates have risen for a 14th consecutive time, with further increases expected. Average asking prices have fallen sharply, and rent is now cheaper than a first-time mortgage across most of the country. Read on to find out the latest property market news.

Interest Rates Rise Again

It’s bad news for homeowners as the Bank of England has raised the base interest rate for a 14th consecutive time to a 15-year high of 5.25%.

The increase will directly affect homeowners with variable and tracker mortgages, meaning an increased monthly payment.

In more negative news for homeowners, the Bank of England boss, Andrew Bailey, confirmed for the first time that interest rates are likely to remain higher for longer to curb rising inflation.

The next interest rate announcement will be made on the 21st September, when many economists expect another increase to 5.5% – a figure they’re predicting will remain in place for the next 12 months.

Asking Prices For UK Homes Falls at Sharpest Rate Since 2018

August saw its sharpest drop in asking prices for five years. This is a sign that the property market is continuing to slow.

The average asking price for a property new to the market is now £364,895. That’s 1.9% less than the previous in July, and £7,012 less in monetary terms.

While August is traditionally a slower month for property sales, the drop off is more than double the usual 0.9% fall in prices that are typical during the summer.

It’s not all bad news for sellers though. Average house prices remain 20% higher than they were this time four years ago.

Mortgage Rates Cut – But Don’t Expect it to Last!

In some welcome news for buyers and homeowners whose mortgages are coming up for renewal, the ‘big six’ lenders have continued to cut their mortgage rates since July’s peak. 

According to property website Rightmove, the average five-year fixed rate deal is now 5.81%, down from 6.08% last month.

While the rate cuts are undoubtedly positive for customers, it’s not expected to last. Many economists expect the price wars between the major lenders to end soon amid increasing interest rates and a high inflation rate showing no signs of dropping significantly.

Renting Is Now Cheaper Than First-Time Mortgages

In other property market news, figures released by property website Zoopla have revealed that monthly rents are now cheaper than first-time mortgages. These statistics haven’t been seen since 2010!

An increase in mortgage rates has seen interest soar to more than 6% in recent months, and according to Zoopla’s data, the average monthly mortgage payment for a first-time buyer with a 15% deposit now stands at £1,285. As for renters, their average monthly payment is £1,163. A difference of £122 per month or £1464 per year.

London and the South East are the worst affected areas. In fact, in the capital, average rents are £493 per month less than average mortgage payments – significantly less than the national difference.

Some areas of the UK buck the trend, including Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but renting is currently the cheaper option for most of England. 

More Than 4 In 10 Adults Have Given Up On Owning A Property

In a survey of more than 2,000 adults aged 18-39, sadly 42% have given up on the idea of buying a property in the next ten years. 

The survey, commissioned by property website Zoopla, also revealed that a significant number of people earning more than £60,000 per year have also given up on owning a property in the next decade, with 38% feeling that it’s beyond reach.

The three main reasons for being unable to purchase a property were

The cost of living crisis

Increasing house prices

Higher mortgage rates.

Of the 14% of people who are planning to buy or who are in the process of buying, 85% of them have made financial sacrifices to do so. Typically, 34% have given up holidays and 30% have sacrificed socialising. 

The figures also revealed that 69% of those who are planning to buy or who are in the process of buying have made compromises on the property. Compromises include buying in an alternative area to the one they prefer, purchasing a smaller property than they planned, and choosing a property in need of refurbishment or renovation.

For more local property market news and updates and a more detailed overview of the Gloucestershire area, get in touch with TG Sales & Lettings. We are your local property experts. Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk.

What’s Happening in the UK Property Market: July 2023

Mortgage rates have seen their first fall in two months, although rents have risen at the fastest pace on record. Meanwhile, a major credit rating agency is predicting a significant downturn in property prices, and we reveal the places where your home is likely to sell the fastest!

Read on to learn about the latest property market news on these topics.

Mortgage rates fall for the first time in two months

Following the news that inflation has slowed slightly in the 12 months to June, mortgage rates have also dropped slightly for the first time in two months.

With inflation slowing to 7.9% and the Bank of England’s next interest rate rise expected to be less steep than previously feared, the fall in mortgage rates will come as welcome relief for the thousands of homeowners who are remortgaging in the next few months.

The average rate on a two-year fixed deal has fallen slightly from 6.81% to 6.79%, and for five-year deals, it’s dropped from 6.33% to 6.31%.

The Bank of England will next meet on Thursday 3rd August, to announce the latest base interest rate, where it’s expected to increase from 5% to 5.25% – a smaller rise than initially expected.

Rents are on the rise

Private rents rose faster in June than at any point since records began back in January 2016.

The cost of renting rose 5.1% in England in the 12 months to June, and in Wales and Scotland, the figures are 5.8% and 5.5%, respectively.

Across England, the figures vary significantly. In the North East, the rise was less steep at 4.4%, but the West Midlands saw the biggest climb, with rents increasing 5.4% over the period.

The increases come against a backdrop of mortgage rate rises, which have doubled in recent months, resulting in landlords passing on the increased cost of borrowing to tenants. There is also a continued surge in demand for rental properties, which far outweighs the number of properties available for rent.

Property prices are predicted to fall by 12%

Economists at one of the world’s leading credit rating agencies forecast a 12% fall in UK property prices, with little rebound prospect.

S&P Global Ratings forecast the double-digit fall to bottom out by the end of 2024, with a decline of 6.6% in 2023 and a further drop of 4.9% in 2024.

Their forecasts predict a stagnant market in 2025 and 2026, with just 1.4% and 3% growth, respectively.

 

The forecasts are based on the fact that interest rates will likely remain higher than they have for the past decade, meaning a potential slowdown in the housing market.

While the figures are concerning for homeowners, they could come as a relief for first-time buyers, although as with any economic predictions, the figures should also be taken with a large pinch of salt!

25 locations where homes sell the fastest

Figures released by property portal Zoopla revealed the locations where properties are selling quickly.

On average, UK properties are selling in 30 days, which matches the five-year average. Twelve months ago, the figure was as low as 19 days due to significantly increased competition in the market, but many of the locations where the property is selling fastest are more in line with that figure than the current national average.

Joint-top of the list is Eden in Cumbria and Newcastle upon Tyne, where properties are selling in 21 days on average. They’re followed closely by Bristol, Carlisle, Knowsley in England’s North West and Waltham Forest in London, which all see average selling times of 22 days.

One of the more surprising findings is that these areas are all spread across England and Wales.

In total, seven of the locations are in the North West, three are in the North East, three are in the South West, three are in the West Midlands, two are in London, two are in Wales, two are in the East of England, and there’s one each in the South East, the East Midlands and Yorkshire.

For the complete list of locations please see below:-

https://www.zoopla.co.uk/discover/property-news/zoopla-data-the-20-uk-locations-where-homes-sell-the-fastest/

The types of properties losing the most value

In a separate study by Zoopla, they revealed the properties that are losing the most value.

In a reversal of the ‘race for space’ trend during the pandemic, detached houses are seeing one of the most significant falls in value, with 43% of them seeing drops of at least 1% in the past six months.

However, it’s bungalows that are seeing the largest fall. 70% have recorded a fall in value over the past six months.

For more property news and updates and a more detailed overview of the property market in Gloucestershire, contact TG Sales & Lettings. We are your local property experts. Call us on 01452 300822 or drop us an email today at rachel@tgres.co.uk.

Which is Better – Natural or Artificial Grass?

Will An Artificial Lawn Be A Positive Selling Point?

There’s no doubt that a beautiful lawn helps to make any home more appealing. However, keeping natural grass in top condition takes effort, money, and time. It’s no surprise that many homeowners in Gloucestershire are now considering investing in artificial grass to reduce ongoing maintenance.

However, if you plan to sell your property, will an artificial lawn be a positive selling point, or could it be a drawback? Here, we look at whether prospective buyers prefer natural grass over an artificial alternative.

Natural Grass And Its Benefits

  • Natural grass looks and feels good, providing a welcoming and soft space ideal for pets and children.
  • Natural grass adds to any property’s aesthetic appeal while providing positive environmental benefits.
  • Natural grass reduces air pollution while regulating temperatures and producing oxygen.
  • Natural grass absorbs and filters rainwater, reducing runoff and helping to prevent flooding.
  • Natural grass helps boost our well-being. Spending time outdoors in a natural green space helps reduce stress and improve mental health, and natural lawns are just more visually appealing than the fake alternative.

Furthermore, a survey by UK Property Price Information & Advice discovered that 19 out of 20 prospective purchasers prefer natural grass to the alternatives. Evidence shows that artificial grass is often seen as a deterrent, especially for those pursuing an eco-conscious lifestyle, since the artificial grass manufacturing process produces a considerable carbon footprint.

Are There Any Advantages To Using Artificial Grass?

Natural grass may have lots of benefits; however, it comes with some disadvantages. Maintaining natural lawns takes effort and time, which isn’t ideal for all prospective buyers, especially those who are less mobile or incredibly busy. Maintenance costs can also be high, which can be off-putting to some buyers.

  • Artificial lawns are more durable and capable of withstanding a lot of foot traffic, so they can be ideal for families with pets and children who will spend a lot of time outdoors.
  • Artificial lawns won’t go brown in the sun, so they will always look great.
  • Artificial lawns will always look tidy.

Should I Preserve My Natural Lawn Or Invest In Artificial Grass?

If you’re a homeowner in Gloucestershire, it can be difficult to decide whether to stick with your traditional natural grass lawn or invest in an artificial alternative, especially if you plan to sell soon.

Ultimately, the choice is up to you, and you’ll need to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of both to determine which option best suits your circumstances. Whichever you choose, you can be sure that both artificial and natural grass can look good and provide an attractive and functional outdoor area for future owners to enjoy.

If you’re ready to sell your property in Gloucestershire, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at TG Sales & Lettings. As specialists in the Gloucestershire property market, we’re your top choice when it comes to finding the right buyer and getting the best price for your home. Call us on 01452 300822 or send us an email at rachel@tgres.co.uk. We’re looking forward to working with you.

What’s Happening in the UK Property Market: June 2023

The turbulence in the UK housing market is showing no signs of slowing down, with mortgage rates continuing to rise, which is having a knock-on effect for renters. Read on to find out all the latest UK property market news.

Mortgage Rates Set To Continue Rising

Borrowers are being warned to brace themselves for further increases in mortgage rates over the coming months as the Bank of England struggles to curb high inflation.

The average interest on a fixed-rate mortgage is currently hovering at around 6%, with lenders withdrawing deals and raising rates relentlessly. To put this figure into context, a year ago, fixed-rate mortgages were available with an interest rate of around 3%.

The Bank of England announced another base interest rate rise on 22nd June, by a half point to 5% which will lead to even bigger mortgage repayments for the estimated 1.5 million homeowners whose fixed rates are coming to an end before the end of the year.

Any further rate increases are also likely to squeeze a number of first-time buyers out of the market as monthly repayments reach unaffordable levels for many.

Renters To Be Hit By Rising Mortgage Rates

It’s not just homeowners feeling the squeeze from rising mortgage rates. Research from one of the UK’s leading estate agents, Savills, has revealed that landlords are making their lowest profits for 16 years, with many looking to leave the sector.

At their peak, some landlords were making profits of as much as 23%, as low interest rates and attractive buy-to-let mortgages kept repayments low. However, many investors are now reporting profits below 4% – the lowest since 2007.

The findings are backed up by the Bank of England, which recently published figures that show the proportion of mortgages advanced to buy-to-let investors is at its lowest level since 2011.

Any influx of properties onto the market could lead to a drop in the number of homes available to rent, and, therefore an increase in rental prices as demand outstrips supply.

House Prices See First Annual Fall In 11 Years

The UK’s largest lender, Halifax, has announced a 1% fall in house prices compared with a year ago – the first drop since 2012.

According to their figures, prices are currently £3,000 lower than 12 months ago, and £7,500 lower than their peak in August, with current average property prices standing at £286,532.

Rival lender, Nationwide, has reported an even more significant drop in prices, with an annual fall of 3.4%, according to their data – the largest drop in 14 years.

While first-time buyers usually welcome a price fall, the continuing rise in interest rates is pushing monthly repayments out of reach for many would-be buyers. This comes at a time when the increased cost of living is also impacting their ability to save for a deposit.

Cheapest Cities For First-Time Buyers Revealed

A study by property website Rightmove has revealed the cheapest cities for first-time buyers to get a foot on the property ladder.

The average UK asking price for a first-time buyer property – a home with two bedrooms or less – is £226,399, and using this figure, they’ve scoured the UK to find the cities that offer the most for your money, with the top five all sitting comfortably less than half the national average.

Top of the pile is the West Yorkshire city of Bradford, where you can pick up a first-time buyer property for £104,643 on average. Carlisle in Cumbria is only marginally behind at £104,784.

The rest of the top 5 comprises Aberdeen, Hull and Dundee, the most expensive at £111,415 – still well below the national average.

Beach Hut On Sale For Eye-Watering Amount

If you’ve ever fancied owning a beach hut, now’s your chance – providing you have a spare £250,000 to hand!

That’s the price tag for an 8m x 3m hut on the sands in the Welsh village of Abersoch, Gwynedd, which will be a record sale for a beach hut in Wales if the asking price is met.

It’s not connected to mains water, and overnight stays are strictly forbidden, but you’ll still need to pay council tax of close to £800 per year!

If you’re looking to buy a place without overnight restrictions, it’s worth noting that the average property price in Wales is currently £214,000 – some £36,000 less than the starting price of the beach hut.

That’s right, £250,000 is the minimum asking price. If you’re interested in buying it, you have until 30th June to submit an offer in writing.

For more local property news and updates and a more detailed overview of the property market in Gloucestershire, get in touch with TG Sales & Lettings. We are your local property experts. Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk

What’s Happening in the UK Property Market: May 2023

Interest rates have increased again, 100% mortgages have been relaunched, and there’s welcome news for renters. Read on to find out the latest on all this and more.

Interest Rates Rise Again

The Bank of England has raised interest rates to 4.5%. This is the 12th rise in a row and the highest since 2008. The rise marks a 0.25% increase from the previous base rate as the bank looks to slow down inflation. The headline rate has recently fallen from 10.1% to 8.7%, taking it into single digits for the first time in months.

Their latest forecast indicates that inflation is expected to remain higher for longer than previously thought, with predictions that it will be above 5% by the end of the year. This is still way down on the current rate of 8.7% but more than double the bank’s target of 2%.

Renters’ Reform Bill Published

The Government has finally published its renters’ reform bill, which should make renting safer and fairer for tenants.

Some of the key benefits to come out of the bill for renters include:

  • A ban on Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions, meaning landlords won’t be able to evict renters without a reason. It’s hoped this change will allow renters to challenge bad landlords without fear of losing their homes.
  • An increase to two months’ notice for rent increases. Renters can also challenge their new rent level via a tribunal if they deem it above the market rate.
  • Renters will have a legal right to request a pet in their home. Landlords will have to consider the request and cannot unreasonably refuse it, although they can require renters to take out pet insurance for potential property damage.
  • It will be illegal for landlords to have a blanket ban on renting to tenants with children or people who are receiving benefits.
  • A Private Rented Sector Ombudsman will be set up, and landlords will be required to join it. This is intended to resolve disputes quickly, and it will have the legal power to make landlords take remedial action and pay compensation.
  • The Decent Homes Standard will be introduced to the private rented sector for the first time. This will mean that landlords are forced to ensure their properties meet minimum standards to be fit for occupation.

As for landlords, the new bill will make it easier for them to evict nuisance tenants and reclaim their properties in instances of antisocial behaviour, while the two-month notice period for renters can be reduced for irresponsible renters who breach their tenancy agreement or damage the property.

Deposit-Free Mortgage Relaunched

Skipton Building Society has launched the UK’s first 100% no-deposit mortgage since 2008, in a move that is specifically targeted at renters.

The new initiative will mean that renters won’t require a deposit or a guarantor, but they must show that they’ve been paying rent on time for the past 12 months. They must also meet the lender’s credit score and affordability criteria.

Skipton’s new Track Record Mortgage is currently offered at a fixed interest rate of 5.49% for five years, which is slightly higher than the average five-year fixed rate mortgage deals for buyers with a deposit who can secure a rate of around 5%.

10 UK Towns Where House Prices Are Rising

With house prices dipping slightly in the first few months of the year, data from the Land Registry has revealed the towns where prices are still rising.

Top of the list is Guildford in Surrey. Prices increased by 11.54% between February and March, with the average price climbing from £518,526 to £578,450.

Sevenoaks in Kent was second on the list with a smaller jump of 6.93%, with prices going up from £595,136 to £636,437, while Cheltenham in Gloucestershire was third on the list. Prices there jumped 5.56%, from £327,104 to £345,257.

One of the most striking findings from the data was the wide geographical spread of the towns, with Salford, Rochdale, Harrogate, Truro, Torquay, Swindon and Wirral completing the top 10.

Your Chance to Own a Piece of TV History

Fans of the hit BBC sitcom Gavin and Stacey now have the opportunity to own one of the houses featured in the show, which has recently come to market for £212,000.

The 3-bedroom terraced house on Trinity Street in Barry was used as the home of Uncle Bryn throughout the show’s three seasons between 2007 and 2010, as well as its reappearance in the 2019 Christmas special.

For more local property news and updates and a more detailed overview of the Gloucestershire area, get in touch with TG Sales & Lettings. We are your local property experts. Call us on 01452 300822 or email rachel@tgres.co.uk.