<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener("load", function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <iframe src="http://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID=35268800&amp;blogName=LettingFocus&amp;publishMode=PUBLISH_MODE_FTP&amp;navbarType=BLUE&amp;layoutType=CLASSIC&amp;searchRoot=http%3A%2F%2Fblogsearch.google.com%2F&amp;blogLocale=en_GB&amp;homepageUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lettingfocus.com%2F" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" height="30px" width="100%" id="navbar-iframe" allowtransparency="true" title="Blogger Navigation and Search"></iframe> <div></div>

LettingFocus

Unbiased buy to let, property investment and letting coaching, mentoring, advice and seminars for landlords from top selling property author and media commentator.

Landlords, Rents and Buy to Let Mortgage Loans by LettingFocus.

Richard S, one of the regular attendees at my landlords networking meetings, highlighted the dangers of landlords who have borrowed too much relative to the value of their properties.
Particularly at risk are those investors with high loans to value and who have a special mortgage rate deal (usually a low fixed or discounted rate for a period) which will soon end.

HOUSE PRICES

His opinion is that there is every chance that house prices will remain static, at best, for the foreseeable future.
I’m a bit more positive. I think house price growth will be slow but steady just as long as mortgage financing (high deposit requirements, high margins over base and high fees) remains restricted.
However, I think nil or negative price growth is likely in oversupplied and under populated parts of the country, especially areas which have been hit by significant job losses.
Once mortgage availability becomes better - lower fees, lower deposit requirements and lower margins over base - then house prices will tick up again at a more rapid rate.
This should happen when The Lloyds Group (HBOS and C&G) and Nationwide finally have some real competition in buy to let lending.

BASE RATES LIKELY TO RISE


But right now, the only way for the Bank of England Base rate is steady or up.
So what should investors do?
Well, all investors should be now taking a good look at the sensitivity of their portfolios to interest rate rises.
In other words, they should work out what would happen if the base rate went up from 0.5% to 3% or even 5%?
Even if the base rates does not go up, all investors should know what will happen if and when their mortgage rate comes off any special deal and back onto the lender’s reversionary rate.
Could they survive?
How strained would their portfolio be?
If they are at risk, they should start working on risk strategies right now rather that wait for the rate to rise.
My advice right now, given the real risks the economy faces, is to not go above 65% loan to value across your whole buy to let portfolio - even if you are on trackers linked to base rates – and ideally you should stay under 55%.

BUY TO LET MORTGAGE RATES FOR NEW MORTGAGES

Buy to Let Mortgage financing for new mortgages or remortgages is not getting easier.
Indeed, 2 years after the credit crunch started it is actually getting even harder (even though some residential mortgage rates have now eased a bit.)
For example, for a 75% loan to value mortgage, before Xmas the best rate was from C&G, part of the Lloyds Banking Group.
Natch, like all mortgages these days, it came with a thumping “product fee” but its reversionary rate was 2% over Bank of England Base rate.
The reversionary base of the same mortgage, if you took it out today, is 4.34% over base and it is not guaranteed to track the base rate either.
In effect, with this mortgage over the long term, you will now be paying more than double what you would do pre-Xmas.
It is exactly the same with other lenders which is why people in search of buy to let mortgage financing are finding it very hard right now.

CAN YOU RAISE RENTS TO HELP CASH FLOW?

There is one very good silver lining though.
If mortgage finance remains hard to get AND interest rates rise, first time buyers and other non-landlords will also struggle to get mortgages – which will push even more people into renting.
This will, in turn, increase demand for rented accommodation and push up rents.
So, one possible way out of rising interest rates for lanldords could be to increase rents to offset their rising loan costs.
Whether you can do this or not will depend on the area you have bought into and the strength of tenant demand.

MORE ABOUT LETTINGFOCUS AND WHAT WE DO

LettingFocus.com is the home of landlord information.
I’m David Lawrenson, a landlord and property investor myself for over 25 years, and author of “Successful Property Letting” – which has been the UK’s top selling commercially published property book for the last 3 years.

Services to Businesses and the Public Sector

Primarily I am a consultant to banks, local authorities, social housing providers and other organisations – helping them with their landlord facing or buy to let product strategies and services.
For example, I help banks improve their buy to let mortgage lending practices and I help housing association / local authorities find private landlords (private rented access schemes, local letting agency models etc.)
I also write for property websites and am regularly quoted by the broadcast media.

Services for Private Landlords

For private landlords and other investors in the private rented sector, we now do just two London seminars each year.
We also find some spare time to help landlords and property investors by coaching them in how to make money in the private rented sector using ways that work, which are ethical, fair to tenants and which involve minimal risk to the investor.
We pride ourselves on giving independent unbiased buy to let advice on either a one-to-one mentoring / coaching basis or through our occasional group seminars.
With no links to property firms, developers or bridging loan providers we can advise on where and what type of property to buy for investment and when to buy it.
We also show you how to manage tenants properly.
Coaching can be done over the phone.

AT OUR WEBSITE LETTINGFOCUS.COM:

THE HOME PAGE OF THIS BLOG click here: Blog
THE HOME PAGE OF OUR MAIN SITE click here: LettingFocus Home Page
For general info on our CONSULTING click here: Consultancy and Seminars
ONE TO ONE PRIVATE CONSULTANCY click here: Property Mentoring

NEXT SEMINAR AND NETWORKING EVENT for Landlords and Property Investors:Next Property Investment Seminar and Networking Event
We have OFFERS on a range of services and products for landlords too; click here including landlords insurance, tenant referencing, tenancy agreements and more: Services and Products for Landlords
TO READ CLIENT TESTIMONIALS – both commercial and private click here: Testimonials

BUY “SUCCESSFUL PROPERTY LETTING” click here: Buy the Book at Amazon plus anything else you fancy at Amazon.co.uk
To JOIN our Free QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER simply send an email to [email protected] - Please note we WILL NOT send spam or sell our mailing list to advertisers!

IF YOU HAVE A SITE WHY NOT LINK TO THIS BLOG OR TO OUR WEBSITE?
IF YOU SELL SERVICES TO LANDLORDS, YOU COULD BE A PARTNER ON OUR AFFILIATE PROGRAMME. PLEASE GET IN TOUCH!See our TWITTER PAGE:
http://twitter.com/LettingFocus

Copyright of Blog: David Lawrenson 2009. This blog is updated roughly once a week usually on a Monday or Tuesday.

TO VIEW RELATED POSTS select a “Category” at the bottom of this page.

Labels: , , , ,

A Word on the Best Property Commentators

I thought it best to qualify my forecast about house prices in my pre-Christmas blog post.
Those forecasts I made don’t allow for any really crazy stuff that may happen – like the UK deciding to waste more money (and sadly more lives) in yet more unwinnable wars, a terrible pandemic or an earthquake leveling some major financial centre or other.
Or indeed, the so called “Masters of The Universe” in their red braces up in the square mile could come up with some other daft financial instrument that no one, not even their own bosses and certainly no financial journalist either knows about or understands – which leads to another economic meltdown.
Stuff like that is hard to quantify, allow for or to take account of in one’s calculations mainly because the probability (of it happening) is so hard to predict.

Personal Finance and Journalism
Talking about predictions, one of the curious things in 2007-8 was the fact that so few financial journalists saw the credit crunch coming.
Hardly any of them had an understanding of how the financial alchemy being practiced in the city (the CDOs and the like) worked and how it could end up hurting all of us so much.
You cannot blame them too much for this though.
As I have said before, it was pretty obvious that tne directors of the banks did not have a clue either.
The FT was better than most though at seeing that something was amiss and I am very indebted to whomever at the FT wrote that it would be best to pass up on the Royal Bank of Scotland’s ludicrous rights issue at 200 pence a share (now the subject of legal action against directors).
Thanks FT.
Thanks to you, I passed up on that rights issue and have you to thank when RBS sold my rights at 227 pence - a profit of 27 pence a share.
When it comes to personal finance investments I highly rate the commentary of John Authurs and Mathew Vincent (both at the FT), David Smith (Sunday Times), Nick Hasell (Times) and David Kuo (Motely Fool).
Many other commentators leave a lot to be desired.

Property Experts
And what about the property experts?
I have to say that when it comes to property predictions over the years I have noticed that there are some regular journalist-commentators who are always more right than wrong and whose analysis of the true situation in the residential property market is first class.
They are David Smith again (of the Sunday Times), Claer Barratt (of the FT and Investors Chronicle), Anne Ashworth (Times), Jeremy Gates (PA) and Michael O Flynn (FindaProperty.com).
There are some other good people too - but these are the regular writers whose work I most admire.
Many other writers, I’m afraid, are often terribly wide of the mark with one “quality paper” in particular always hopelessly wrong about property. (Sorry, cannot name them in case they read this and get mad at me.)
Non journos who also understand the market well are Ray Boulger, anyone at Savills and Knight Frank and Stuart Law of Assetz.
In the professional landlord magazine / website arena you will know that I greatly admire Tom Entwistle (of Landlord Zone) and Richard Bowser (of Property Investor News)
Listen to all these experts and journos for your tips and you won’t go too far wrong.

Here We Go Again

More snow is expected today and we will no doubt see the usual hopeless response as some City Hall staff and schools up and down the land take the opportunity for yet another day off. (Is it me but do kids get more days off anyway for holidays than when I was a nipper?)
Last year our brilliant Mayor of London walked off from a grilling when someone suggested that perhaps it might have been a bright idea to have the gritting and snow plough people staying somewhere close to their vehicles ready to work overnight as soon as last years' snow started.
They weren’t and so the whole of London ground to a halt for 2 days.
Pathetic!

MORE ABOUT LETTINGFOCUS AND WHAT WE DO

LettingFocus.com is the home of landlord information.
Hello, I’m David Lawrenson.
I have been a landlord and property investor myself for over 25 years and am author of “Successful Property Letting” – which has been the UK’s top selling property and buy to let book for the last 3 years.
At LettingFocus.com, we help landlords and property investors make money in property by coaching them in ways that work, which are ethical and which involve minimal risk to the investor.
We pride ourselves on giving independent unbiased buy to let advice on either a one to one mentoring / coaching basis or through our occasional group seminars.
Unfortunately, in the UK today, property advice in the UK is still largely unregulated and what counts as “good advice” is too often more about making the promoter money than giving useful information to the investor.
With no links to property firms, developers or bridging loan providers we can advise on where and what type of property to buy for investment and when to buy it. We also show you how to manage tenants properly.
At a corporate level, we also provide consultancy for banks, local authorities and social housing providers – helping them with their landlord facing or buy to let product strategies. We also write for property websites and are regularly quoted by the media.
We have written articles for numerous publications including The Independent, The Telegraph and quality landlord websites.

AT OUR WEBSITE LETTINGFOCUS.COM:

THE HOME PAGE OF THIS BLOG click here: Blog
THE HOME PAGE OF OUR MAIN SITE click here: LettingFocus Home Page
ONE TO ONE PRIVATE CONSULTANCY click here: Property Mentoring
NEXT SEMINAR AND NETWORKING EVENT for Landlords and Property Investors:
Next Property Investment Seminar and Networking Event
We have OFFERS on a range of services and products for landlords too; click here including landlords insurance, tenant referencing, tenancy agreements and more: Services and Products for Landlords
For general info on our SEMINARS AND CONSULTING click here: Property Seminars, Networking Evenings and Consulting
TO READ CLIENT TESTIMONIALS – both commercial and private click here: Testimonials
BUY “SUCCESSFUL PROPERTY LETTING” click here: Buy the Book at Amazon plus anything else you fancy at Amazon.co.uk

To JOIN our Free QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER simply send an email to [email protected] - Please note we WILL NOT send spam or sell our mailing list to advertisers!

IF YOU HAVE A SITE WHY NOT LINK TO THIS BLOG OR TO OUR WEBSITE?
IF YOU SELL SERVICES TO LANDLORDS, YOU COULD BE A PARTNER ON OUR AFFILIATE PROGRAMME. PLEASE GET IN TOUCH!


See our Twitter page: http://twitter.com/LettingFocus

Copyright of Blog: David Lawrenson 2009.

TO VIEW RELATED POSTS select a “Category” at the bottom of this page.

Labels: , , , ,

Predictions for 2010, ALL Change on Housing Benefit and the Pre Budget Report. News from LettingFocus

‘Tis the time of year to make predictions about house prices and the like.
As I have said before there are so many different micro markets in UK property market, it is more or less impossible to make a sweeping forecast about house prices which will apply in every locality.
However, my general view is that the story of increasing population / increasing number of households combined with a lack of housing supply is more important than the opposing factors constraining growth in property prices - like unemployment, debt and lack of mortgage finance.
And because of this I expect prices to increase overall in 2010.
However, there will undoubtedly be areas of the UK where local unemployment and business failures will mean house prices will fall.

Local Housing Allowance – All Change

The Conservatives have said they will reinstate direct rent payments to landlords (where housing benefit tenants choose it) if they should become the next Government.
And now the current Government has put it under review too.
Local Housing Allowance (LHA) came in for new tenancies in April 2008 when it replaced the old housing benefit system.
With the old system where rent could be paid straight to landlords in the private sector, it now goes direct to the tenants who are then responsible for passing on the rent money to their landlord. (Only in special circumstances like where the tenant is deemed vulnerable or if the payments to the landlord are over two months behind can rent be paid direct to the landlord – but even then it can take longer than two months before LHA is paid direct by some councils.)

Big Sums of Money

Faced with a big wodge of money which they are not used to having, some tenants spend the money on other things and often fail to make their rent payments - so increasing numbers of landlords are now refusing to let to tenants who are in receipt of Housing Benefit.
According to research from the National Landlords Association (NLA) of 1,000 landlords operating 13,000 LHA tenancies, the total rent arrears bill accumulated by these landlords since LHA started is a whopping £4,400 per landlord.
It is thought there are about 675,000 LHA tenancies which means that total rent arrears across the UK could be in excess of £220 million.

Temptation


It is claimed that many tenants would prefer not to be put in the way of temptation and would rather the LHA was paid direct to the landlord.
At LettingFocus.com, we have also been critical of the way the LHA is set – as it is based on very wide Broad Market Rental Areas.
This means that in some areas the rates of LHA are too high and in other areas they are too low – with knock on impacts for tenants who don’t qualify for LHA.
My old pal, Tom Entwistle of Landlord Zone has criticized the way landlords were used as guinea pigs in the current system - which does not apply to council tenants.
Check out the Government’s consultation document for more on this….…www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/hb-consultation.pdf

Pre Budget Report

No real news here.
Stamp Duty Land Tax went back to being applied for all properties over £125K
And there is so some money to replace old inefficient boilers – but not a lot – and we don’t know if it will be available for let properties yet.

Merry Christmas to all our readers.

ABOUT US


LettingFocus.com is the home of landlord information.

Hello, I’m David Lawrenson.
I have been a landlord and property investor myself for over 25 years and am author of “Successful Property Letting” – which has been the UK’s top selling property and buy to let book for the last 3 years.

We help landlords and property investors make money in property by coaching them in ways that work, which are ethical and which involve minimal risk to the investor.
We pride ourselves on giving independent unbiased buy to let advice on a one to one mentoring and coaching basis as well as through occasional group seminars.
Unfortunately, in the UK today, property advice in the UK is still largely unregulated and what counts as “good advice” is too often more about making the promoter money than giving useful information to the investor.
With no links to property firms, developers or bridging loan providers we can advise on where and what type of property to buy for investment and when to buy it.
We also show you how to manage tenants properly.
We also do consultancy for banks, local authorities and social housing providers – helping them with their landlord facing or buy to let product strategies. We also write for property websites and are regularly quoted by the media.

AT OUR WEBSITE LETTINGFOCUS.COM:

THE HOME PAGE OF THIS BLOG click here: Blog
THE HOME PAGE OF OUR MAIN SITE click here: LettingFocus Home Page
ONE TO ONE PRIVATE CONSULTANCY click here: Property Mentoring
NEXT SEMINAR AND NETWORKING EVENT for Landlords and Property Investors:
Next Property Investment Seminar and Networking Event
We have OFFERS on a range of services and products for landlords too; click here including landlords insurance, tenant referencing, tenancy agreements and more: Services and Products for Landlords
For general info on our SEMINARS AND CONSULTING click here: Property Seminars, Networking Evenings and Consulting
TO READ CLIENT TESTIMONIALS – both commercial and private click here: Testimonials
BUY “SUCCESSFUL PROPERTY LETTING” click here: Buy the Book at Amazon plus anything else you fancy at Amazon.co.uk

To JOIN our Free QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER simply send an email to [email protected] - Please note we WILL NOT send spam or sell our mailing list to advertisers!

IF YOU HAVE A SITE WHY NOT LINK TO THIS BLOG OR OUR WEBSITE?
SELLING SERVICES TO LANDLORDS – YOU COULD BE A PARTNER ON OUR AFFILIATE PROGRAMME. PLEASE GET IN TOUCH!

See our Twitter page: http://twitter.com/LettingFocus

Copyright of Blog: David Lawrenson 2009. This blog is updated roughly once a week usually on a Monday or Tuesday.

TO VIEW RELATED POSTS select a “Category” at the bottom of this page.
WANT TO ADD A COMMENT OR VIEW OLD COMMENTS?
To add a comment or view other people's comments on this post, simply click on “link to this post.”

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Buying an Investment Property - A Checklist and a word on Inflation

It still amazes me how some people blindly believe what they are told by property firms.
So here are some things you should keep in mind….
1. Find out whatever you can about the property company you are buying through. What does it say about them on the Internet?
2. Do they stand to lose money if it turns out to be a bad investment?
3. Get your own valuation for both rental potential and property value. Don’t ever trust theirs.
4. Even with your own valuations, you must still do your own research - remember, lots of surveyors working for banks once thought all the shiny new builds going up 5 to 10 years ago were worth 50% more on both rental potential and value more than they are actually worth now.
5. To avoid making the same mistakes these valuers and mortgage lenders did back then, you should think about supply. If there are ten thousand more units going up locally and they are just like yours and are all chasing a limited pool of tenants, I suggest you get a text book on GCSE level Economics from your library and re-read the bits about demand and supply.
6. Visit the area!

Inflation and Property Outlook

If you don’t study history you are bound to repeat the mistakes of the past.
If you do, you’ll just make new mistakes.
I’m not sure who first said those things but looking at investment - whether investing in property or anything else – it is always interesting to look at the past.
Twenty years ago, in 1989, the Japanese main stock market index, the Nikkei, was roughly four times higher than it is today.
Since then there has been a steady deflationary trend in asset prices in Japan and despite a few short lived revivals the Nikkei stays as low as ever.

UK Inflation and Government Policy
Could we see a long term low inflation or even continuous deflation in the UK? Where are we headed on inflation in the UK?
This is an important question to ask for anyone investing in property, because as a real asset, the neat thing is that in an inflationary environment, property should go up in value.
And so, the thinking goes, it can make sense to borrow a bit to buy property because in time your loan becomes worth less relative to the capital asset, the property.
I am asking this question right now because there was a small tick up in inflation in the last round of figures (although many think this could be temporary and is simply a reflection of very fast falling prices a year ago starting to fall out of the figures.)
If we have inflation coming back, how good inflation is for property investors depends, I think, on whether the Government uses fiscal (tax or spend) or monetary (money supply and interest rates) policies to control it.
Given the weak state of the corporate sector my bet is that, whatever Government is in power, they will be more likely to cut public spending and raise personal taxes than put up interest rates.
Although this will keep a lid on property prices a bit, it won’t hurt property as much as if we had to face hikes in interest rates.
If we saw a sustained period of deflation, property prices will make headway much less fast, but will still be underpinned by lack of supply.

ABOUT LETTINGFOCUS.COM and DAVID LAWRENSON

LettingFocus.com are the buy to let experts and I’m David Lawrenson, the author of “Successful Property Letting” – which has been the UK’s top selling property and buy to let book for the last 3 years.
We help landlords and property investors make money in property by coaching them in ways that work and which are of minimal risk.
I have been a landlord and property investor myself for over 25 years.

At LettingFocus we offer independent unbiased advice for landlords and property investors on a one to one mentoring and coaching basis as well as through occasional group seminars.

You should know that property clubs and property advice in the UK is still mainly unregulated and advice is often poor.
With no link to property firms, developers or bridging loan providers we at LettingFocus can give unbiased independent advice on where and what type of property to buy for investment, when to buy and how to buy property at a low price.
We also show you how to manage tenants properly and in ways that take up as little of your time as possible.

CHECK OUT THESE PAGES AT OUR SITE LETTINGFOCUS.COM:


THE HOME PAGE OF THIS BLOG click here: Blog
THE HOME PAGE OF OUR MAIN SITE click here: LettingFocus Home Page
NEXT SEMINAR AND NETWORKING EVENT for Landlords and Property Investors:
Next Property Investing Seminar and Networking Event
We have GREAT OFFERS on a range of products for landlords too; click here including landlords insurance, tenant referencing, tenancy agreements and more: Services and Products for Landlords
For general info on our SEMINARS AND CONSULTING click here: Property Seminars, Networking Evenings and Consulting
ONE TO ONE PRIVATE CONSULTING click here: Property Mentoring
CLIENT TESTIMONIALS from past customers click here: Testimonials
BUY THE BOOK click here: Buy the Book at Amazon

To JOIN our Free QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER simply send an email to [email protected] - Please note we WILL NOT send spam or sell our mailing list to advertisers!

Have you read this related article? Buy to Let Hotspots

IF YOU HAVE A SITE WHY NOT LINK TO THIS BLOG OR OUR WEBSITE?

Selling services to landlords and property investors and have a national coverage? You could be a partner, please get in touch!
Copyright of Blog: David Lawrenson 2009. This blog is updated roughly once a week usually on a Monday or Tuesday.

Labels: , , , ,

Buy to Let Mortgage Fraud by David Lawrenson of LettingFocus.com. Plus, the case for Letting Agent Regulation.

Well what a year that was.
Not for a long time (since the Great Crash of 1929 in fact) have so many financial institutions made such a muck up of the economy.
Amazingly some bankers, such as John Varley of Barclays, think that WE still think they know enough to listen to their predictions on stuff like houses prices.
Well, I have long since stopped listening to these guys, preferring instead to look at property price fundamentals and reality.
But I’m amazed that other financial journalists report the predictions of senior execs at banks as they have proved so hopelessly inaccurate over the last few years.
And on that topic, full marks to Rosalind Renshaw writing in the Residential Landlords magazine who flagged up how wrong financial institutions were with their predictions on house prices last year.

REAL DEALS ON HOUSES AT LAST
Over the last few weeks the estate agents that I am pals with have started to contact me with real mark downs on London property.
These mark downs have at last started to make house prices in the capital look sensible (You may know from previous blogs that I have not bought in London for 5 years as I have considered prices far too silly.)
In London, I reckon we are now only about 8% away from the bottom for LEADING INDICATOR house price indices such as that from the Nationwide and Halifax (which are of course based on surveyor valuations. Expect ASKING PRICES to fall at least another 20%)
In the rest of the country there is much further for house prices to fall as reality has still to catch up in many places. For example, a close pal in Rochdale reports that asking prices there have barely budged downwards. In areas like this the correction is coming soon and anyone thinking of buying in such areas would be advised to sit on their cash for a while longer, I think.

LETTING AGENTS NEED GREATER REGULATION
This year, as I have predicted in the FT and Daily Telegraph, many new landlords will have a very negative experience of letting at the hands of a rogue letting agent. The full article is here: New Landlords Risk Financial Penalties - "Financial Times" (There is also a longer piece on all this in the pre-Christmas “Investors Chronicle” where I am quoted extensively.)
Good letting agents, of whom there are many, have long called for greater regulation of their industry.
I predict that 2009’s experience will prove that there is a really urgent need for more regulation because many “reluctant landlords” will fall foul of rogue letting agents.

PROPERTY FRAUD IN BUY TO LET
In my next blog I will look at how the buy to let boom allowed what looked like legitimate property transactions to be turned into fraud and how genuine buyers and dim mortgage lenders lost fortunes in the process.
I’ll explain exactly how the shady property deals were constructed and how some conveyancing solicitors, mortgage brokers and surveyors helped frauds to take place through negligence and incompetence.
ADD A COMMENT?
Feel free to add a comment. We moderate all comments so they can take a day or so to appear. If you want to view a comment, you need to click on “Link to this Post” at the bottom right of this post and then scroll down to the end of the post.
ABOUT LETTINGFOCUS.COM and DAVID LAWRENSON
I’m David Lawrenson of LettingFocus.com - the landlord and property letting advice experts.
I’m the author of “Successful Property Letting” which for the last 3 years has been the UK’s top selling property book - Buy Successful Property Letting - How to Make Money in Buy to Let.
The new edition is fully up to date with all the recent changes to tenancy deposit schemes, HMOs, licensing, capital gains taxes and it has new sections on sale and rent back.
I’m an expert freelance property writer, property speaker and I run this well known property letting and investment blog
I contribute to newspapers and a host of property websites, write a number of columns in the press and I provide general property letting advice for anyone looking to buy property for themselves or to let out.
In my work as a consultant I help private individuals with any aspect of buying property or buy to let. What’s unique about lettingfocus.com is that we are independent property investment advisors because unlike most people in the buy to let and property “advice” business we are not linked to a property company, developer, agent or bridging loan financier and do not receive commissions from any of these sources.
We simply give one to one unbiased advice and are often asked to evaluate other property investments.
In my corporate consulting role I also advise banks, building societies, housing associations and web portals with their buy to let and property products and services.
You can read more of my blog & find details of my networking, advice and property training programme at my website.Copyright: David Lawrenson 2008. This blog is updated once a week.
WANT TO BE KEPT UPDATED WITH OUR LATEST BLOGS?
It’s easy.
If you are on the home page of our blog, go to the bottom of any post, and click on “LINK TO THIS POST” to bring up the page for a specific post, then hit END …and on the right you’ll see “Site feed.”
If you are already on a specific post page, just hit END and you will see the site feed.
You then just copy the link that comes up into your News Reader or News Aggregator. Even a non techie like me managed to do all this.
Please note if you have a website & are thinking of reproducing material here - that’s fine but we DO require the full links shown in each blog to be included, including also the links in this section. The full article including all links must be available to ALL VIEWERS of your site and not restricted to members.
ABOUT LETTINGFOCUS.COM and DAVID LAWRENSON”
Please Contact Us button at our main site http://www.lettingfocus.com/ if you have any queries about this.

Labels: , , , , ,

Independent voices say we are not headed for property armageddon says Letting Focus

Sometimes, it really pays to listen to someone who has not got a vested interest in the success or failure of the property market.
Why?
Estate agents (and mortgage brokers for that matter) are always loathe to talk down house prices too much while stockbrokers and fund managers are usually keen to do the opposite - in the hope that would be property buyers are so scared that they put their money in the stock market instead.
So, let’s listen to some independent voices shall we?
Just last week, the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit (NHAPU) recommended an additional 500,000 homes be built over the next decade in order to meet demand.
Their Chariman, Steve Nickell said, “Over the short term, house prices are going down but, long term, if there are insufficient numbers of houses around, then property will become more valuable.”
Of course, any recovery in house prices depends on mortgage lenders doing what they are supposed to do – lend money to buy houses.
But as of yet, that has not happened and one side consequence of that is that housebuilders have pretty much stopped new projects.
Realising the trouble that house builders are in, investors are once more to the fore and it is they who rumoured to be back buying in bulk - rather than owner occupiers who cannot get mortgages easily.
To give you an idea of this shift, the FT reported last week that in London, the proportion of housing sold to private occupiers fell from about two thirds in the first half of 2007, to just a quarter in the first half of 2008.
So, when the credit freeze unfreezes there is going to be a lot of pent up demand for property out there - and a lack of stock to meet it.
Of course, the doomsayers love to worry us about a coming negative equity situation – like the one we had in the early 90s.
However, a typical homeowner who bought in 2004 has an average “equity cushion" of 48 per cent of the value of their property, according to research from GE Money Home Lending. And based on today's prices, the average home bought in 2000 with an average deposit of £27,000 still has a 58 per cent buffer.
So, it seems house prices would have to fall a lot lower before we see the spectre of negative equity coming over the hill once again.
Finally, the last OECD report said that Britain's labour market will hold up better than that of other OECD member states, such as the US.
Whilst total employment will continue to rise by 0.8 per cent in 2008 and 0.1 per cent in 2009, joblessness will go up because the total pool of labour will grow more quickly over the same period. But it will be less than the OECD average.
So, it’s not all bad news, folks.
My advice is, if you must listen to the “experts”; please listen harder to the independent voices than those people with vested interests.
ABOUT LETTINGFOCUS.COM and DAVID LAWRENSON
I’m David Lawrenson of landlord consultants’ lettingfocus.com.
I’m the author of “Successful Property Letting - How to Make Money in Buy to Let” which for the last 2 years has been the UK’s top selling property title - buy the UK's top selling property investment book.
It is fully up to date with all the recent changes to tenancy deposit schemes, HMOs, licensing, capital gains taxes and it has new sections on buying property below market value.
I’m an expert property journalist , property speaker and a well known buy to let blogger
I contribute to newspapers and a host of property websites, write a number of columns in the press and I can provide landlords advice
I also work as a consultant helping banks, building societies, housing associations and web portals with their buy to let and property products and services and am a regular speaker at property shows.
You can read more of my blog & find details of my networking, advice, property mentor programme at my website.What’s unique about lettingfocus.com is that we offer you help as an independent property coach because unlike most people in the buy to let and property “advice” business we are not linked to a property company, a developer, an agent or bridging loan financier and do not receive commissions from any of these sources.If a property investment is lousy – We’ll tell you straight and we will tell you all about buy to let and property investment - the good and the bad and we won’t make silly promises that you’ll become a millionaire overnight.
Copyright: David Lawrenson 2008. This blog is updated once a week.
Want to be kept updated on our blogs?
It’s easy. The link to the RSS feed is at the bottom right of every blog we publish. Simply click where it says, “Link to this post.” Once you have done this, this will take you to the latest blog which will have a 'Subscribe' button at top of the page.
Once clicked, this link is added to your Bookmarks (or Favourites) drop down menu in the top toolbar. Thereafter, every blog published automatically appears in this drop down menu.
This means you won't have to visit the site to pick up latest blog, the headline of which will appear in your toolbar menu.
You can then click the headline and copy and paste the full article or a synopsis into your Latest News section - some software may be able to automate this process.
Please note we require the full links shown in each blog to also be shown at your site. Please contact us via our main site http://www.lettingfocus.com/ if you have any queries about this.

Labels: , , ,

Don’t believe the doomsayers on house prices – but it could be a rocky ride says Lawrenson of Letting Focus

A few of the clients I have consulted with are right now buying property to let. Some of them have asked me if they should now re-negotiate on the price they offered.
My response is “it all depends on what is happening in your local market” – however in general my answer would be to say “No”, just as long as you got a good price in the first place.
No wonder they are spooked.
It seems that doom and gloom really is all around us in the media at the moment and the press seem to be doing their best to talk up a house price crash.
The editors of Money Week, The Sunday Mail property section and the Daily Telegraph are all especially gloomy on house price prospects. Only David Smith at the Sunday Times (who writes a new small but fascinating section in their Home supplement) seems ready to offer a counter view.
If you have read my other blogs, you will know that I think that providing the government does not end up being forced to put up interest rates too far (by more than 1% above current levels), then I don’t think there will be an across the board big fall in house prices.
Part of the reason that I don’t think there will be a crash is that don’t share the view that houses are currently as unaffordable as some commentators think.
For example, I note that the Council of Mortgage lenders stats on affordability of mortgages (see the site at http://www.cml.org.uk/) shows that the % of average mortgage borrowers’ incomes that is accounted for by mortgage interest is currently about 18% - and falling.
Looking at this data on an historical basis, we can see that from 1980 to 1985 this figure was occasionally above 18% (and often above 15%) without there being a major fall in house prices. (The big fall, of course, came later in 1990, when due to rapidly rising interest rates, this measure hit a massive 27.1%)
Clearly, we now have a different picture today from that which prevailed in the early 90s. Back then, interest rates went up very high very fast as the government of the day struggled to keep the UK in the ERM.
Today, we have a serious credit strike by the banks which accounts for the weak housing market.
It’s my view that a combination of rising earnings and a lack of new house building (the lowest new house building starts since 1945 has just been recorded) will together act to keep house prices from falling off a cliff –though I expect falls of about 3% - 7% from here until the end of 2009.
At some point within the next 2 -3 years the mortgage markets will unfreeze. At that time the slow rate of new house building starts will have translated into a shortage of property on the ground.
And the combination of increased earnings and lack of property to buy will push house prices upwards.
This scenario all assumes we don’t see the government lose control of the economy leading to rises in unemployment and interest rates. Such a scenario would lead all bets on the future direction of house prices to be off (including my own).
But hey, investing in property is not a risk free game. If it was then everybody would be doing it – and many would be making a mess of it – as we have witnessed in the scandal where novice investors bought off plan over supplied new build flats fin inner cities from property clubs.
ABOUT LETTINGFOCUS.COM and DAVID LAWRENSON
I’m David Lawrenson of landlord consultants lettingfocus.com.
I’m the author of “Successful Property Letting - How to Make Money in Buy to Let” which for the last 2 years has been the UK’s top selling property title - buy the UK's top selling property investment book.
It is fully up to date with all the recent changes to tenancy deposit schemes, HMOs, licensing, capital gains taxes and it has new sections on buying property below market value.
I’m an expert freelance property journalist , property speaker and a well known buy to let blogger
I contribute to newspapers and a host of property websites, write a number of columns in the press and I can provide landlords advice
I also work as a consultant helping banks, building societies, housing associations and web portals with their buy to let and property products and services and am a regular speaker at property shows.
You can read more of my blog & find details of my networking, advice, property investors networking programme at my website.What’s unique about lettingfocus.com is that we offer property coaching because unlike most people in the buy to let and property “advice” business we are not linked to a property company, a developer, an agent or bridging loan financier and do not receive commissions from any of these sources.If a property investment is lousy – We’ll tell you straight and we will tell you all about buy to let and property investment - the good and the bad and we won’t make silly promises that you’ll become a millionaire overnight.
Copyright: David Lawrenson 2008. This blog is updated once a week.
Want to be kept updated on our blogs?
It’s easy. The link to the RSS feed is at the bottom right of every blog we publish. Simply click where it says, “Link to this post.” Once you have done this, this will take you to the latest blog which will have a 'Subscribe' button at top of the page.
Once clicked, this link is added to your Bookmarks (or Favourites) drop down menu in the top toolbar. Thereafter, every blog published automatically appears in this drop down menu.
This means you won't have to visit the site to pick up latest blog, the headline of which will appear in your toolbar menu.
You can then click the headline and copy and paste the full article or a synopsis into your Latest News section - some software may be able to automate this process.
Please note we require the full links shown in each blog to also be shown at your site. Please contact us via our main site http://www.lettingfocus.com/ if you have any queries about this.

Labels: , , ,

Time to buy property to let - from Lettingfocus.com.

If I had a pound for every time in the last two weeks some journalist or other contact said to me “Ooh dear, buy to let looks in for a bit of a fall now,” I’d have, er…. about £21Well, sorry folks but actually this year is the best time for the last 6 years to buy property to let.Every experienced residential property investor knows that you make a lot of the money in property when you buy. So when you buy, you have to buy cheaply.
When property prices are booming like they were in 2004 to 2006, vendors will not listen to offers and it will be a struggle to get value.However, in the current market, with vendors struggling financially, you CAN buy cheaply because vendors will listen to offers.And this scenario is made all the more attractive to property buyers because the credit crunch means there is a real dearth of buyers, especially first time buyers. This is because of two things. Either buyers believe all the guff in the press about a huge imminent house price fall and choose to stay on the sidelines or they simply don’t have access to mortgages.

CASH PILES
The smart investors have built up cash piles which mean they can access at least 20% of a property’s value – and they can get good mortgages deals too. They also know that the tenant pool has just got bigger and will continue to do so because all those buyers who are too scared to enter the market and all those who can’t get a mortgage will have to live somewhere. So, they are going to have to rent! This will further push up rents which have been increasing by almost 19% over the last year.It’s tough and I feel sorry for the first time buyers, but that’s the economy folks. And it’s brutal.Now, I have to say, here that I don’t think the property crash will be that severe (though in the Me-too-Identikit Buy-to-Let-Ghetto-Flats which were flogged years ago to hapless novice investors it will be hard – very hard indeed)
In most other places, I don’t think prices will fall far or for too long because interest on mortgages expressed as a % of average incomes (the affordability argument) is not that stretched.Yes really!Right now mortgage interest payments are gobbling up about 18.5% of peoples’ incomes.
This is above - but not much above - the long run average according to the council of mortgage lender’s stats.And even though they are a shade above the long run mean, with earnings still going up at over 4%, this figure will soon come down to about 15% and buying a property will start to look very cheap again.And finally, as we get wealthier, surely it should not be a surprise that people choose to spend a higher % of their income on property.
Why not? After all, clothes, CDs, computers, cars are all cheaper today than they have ever been -leaving more to spend on property.So, whatever the stats say, I think it is perfectly possible for a wealthier economy to live with spending more of its income on property. If by 2010, we look back and the year of 2008 did not turn out to be a belter of a time to buy property to let, then I’ll buy a big round of drinks and cook a great meal at my house for all the journalists who say otherwise.
I’m David Lawrenson from property investment mentors lettingfocus.com.
I’m the author of the buy to let book “Successful Property Letting - How to Make Money in Buy to Let” the UK’s top selling property title.
It is fully up to date with all the recent changes to tenancy deposit schemes, HMOs, licensing, capital gains taxes and it has new sections on buying below market value. I’m an expert on the UK property market and a well known property investment blogger and I contribute to newspapers and a host of property websites, write a property investment blog, a number of columns in the press and run a landlords advice service.
I also work as a consultant helping banks, building societies, housing associations and web portals with their buy to let and property products and services.You can read more of my property investment blog and details of my networking, advice, buy to let networking programme at my website.My next London meeting is coming soon. Click here for details: Property Investment Advice
What’s unique about lettingfocus.com is that we offer independent property mentoring because unlike most people in the buy to let and property “advice” business we are not linked to a property company, a developer, an agent or bridging loan financier and do not receive commissions from any of these sources.If a property investment is lousy – We’ll tell you straight and we will tell you all about buy to let and property investment - the good and the bad and we won’t make silly promises that you’ll become a millionaire overnight.Copyright: David Lawrenson 2008. This blog is updated once a week. Permission must be sought before using the material in the blog.

Labels: , , , , ,

RICS predicts a soft landing for house prices says Lawrenson of Letting Focus

In the last blog I said that repossessions are on the up – and explained how to buy repossessions at auction.
However, as I predicted throughout last year, unless you are in an area that is oversupplied with a particular property type, the fall off in house prices could be short-lived.
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) believes that the heaviest falls in house prices are behind us, going against current opinion of more house price falls
They said that the Bank of England's commitment to keep the market liquid will mean that interest rates will be cut back to five per cent during the first 6 months of 2008, making any negative price growth in the market short-lived.
They also said that repossessions will rise from 30,000 to 45,000, but that the current employment situation is strong enough to keep the market resilient and avoid any repeat of 80,000 repossessions back in the 1990s.
I agree.

Credit Availability - Mortgage Loans Harder to Get
Despite the RICs predictions for next year, they still see tough times ahead in 2008, with tighter lending conditions that are likely to impact on the buy-to-let market in particular. So, unless you have good credit, it could be tough to be an investor.
However, they also state that their research shows "little evidence of widespread sales of investment properties taking place".
The effect of the credit crunch will dissipate slowly meaning that those seeking to obtain finance in the first half of 2008 may struggle.
But the employment picture should be OK throughout the year, helping to prevent significant numbers of repossessions and the subsequent influx of supply into the market.
This should ensure that house price growth remains broadly flat over the course of the year.

ABOUT LETTINGFOCUS.COM and DAVID LAWRENSON
We are LettingFocus.com - the property investment experts.
I’m, David Lawrenson, the author of “Successful Property Letting” which for the last 3 years has been the UK’s top selling property book.
What’s unique about LettingFocus is that I offer independent unbiased
property networking seminars covering property investment and letting because unlike most people in the buy to let and property “advice” business I am not linked to a property company, developer, agent or bridging loan financier.
I can tell you where to buy (which areas), what type of property to buy, when to buy, how to buy property at a low price, how to make sure you get tenants who are going to pay the rent and how to manage a rental property to make money.
I can also comment on “No Money Down” Schemes and “Buying Below Market Value” methods too.
I can answer all your questions on letting property because I have been a landlord and property investor for over 25 years.

LINKS
Find out about GREAT DEALS we have arranged for landlords by clicking here: Property Investors’ Affiliate and seeing our Affiliates page.
More products will be added over the coming months. If you are a merchant with national coverage, get in touch!
For SEMINARS, click here: Property Seminars, Networking Evenings and Consulting
For the NEXT SEMINAR AND NETWORKING EVENT for Landlords and Property Investors click here:
Next Seminar Event
For ONE TO ONE CONSULTANCY help click here: Private One to One Consulting
For TESTIMONIALS from past customers click here: Testimonials
To BUY THE BOOK click here: Buy the Book at Amazon
For THE HOME PAGE OF THIS BLOG click here: Blog
For THE HOME PAGE OF OUR MAIN SITE click here: LettingFocus Home Page
For GREAT OFFERS on Products and Services for Landlords, click here: Landlords Resources
To JOIN our Free QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER simply send an email to [email protected] - Please note we WILL NOT send spam or sell our mailing list to advertisers!
Copyright of Blog: David Lawrenson 2009.
This blog is updated roughly once a week usually on a Monday or Tuesday.

WANT TO BE KEPT UPDATED WITH OUR LATEST BLOGS?
Over on the right hand side under all the previous blog entries you will see a button which says “Site Feed.” Simply copy the site feed link into your News Reader or News Aggregator.
Please note if you have a website & are thinking of reproducing material here - that’s fine but we DO require a link to the blog to be included, including also all the links in this section. The full article including all links must be available to ALL VIEWERS of your site and not restricted.
To view posts on related topics click on Categories.

WANT TO ADD A COMMENT?
To add a comment to this post, you just click on “link to this post” then simply add your comment.
To view past comments, again and rather oddly (we think), you’ll need to click “link to this post” and view the comments (which will appear at the bottom of the post.)
Copyright: David Lawrenson 2007. This blog is updated at least twice a week. Permission must be sought before using the material in the blog.

Labels: , , ,

Is the buy to let market dead. Answer – definitely not says Lawrenson of LettingFocus

As anyone who has come to hear me speak or has read my column will know all properties are not born equal.
We are seeing demand growing strongly for houses, while the oversupply of new-build properties means stalling or falling rents on flats.
The latest lettings survey from RICS shows that demand remains healthiest for family homes with 25% more surveyors reporting an increase in demand .
At the same time, the proportion of landlords opting to sell properties when tenants move out has risen from 6.1pc to 6.5pc in the past quarter, according to RICS – the highest level since January 2005.
Lots of experts will say this is a sign that higher house prices and falling rental yields are making it difficult for landlords to turn in a profit. It will also re-ignite concerns over the housing market.

Is Buy to Let Really Weak?
There are some experts who are warning the buy-to-let sector could be the weakest point in Britain’s property market, with some comparing it to the sub-prime sector in the US
My view is that the problems will be limited to those - mainly new landlords - who have bought flats in oversupplied areas from the less reputable property clubs.
Sure, there will be lots of individual stories of landlords hitting hard times, but savvy landllords will be delighted that the curent turn of events is giving them a great opportunity to buy property at below market value prices.
The auctions are busy with landlords snapping up cheap property and whispering to estate agents, “If you know someone who is really keen to sell, then talk to me.”

ABOUT LETTINGFOCUS.COM and DAVID LAWRENSON
We are LettingFocus.com - the property experts and I’m David Lawrenson, the author of “Successful Property Letting” - the UK’s top selling property book for the last 3 years.
What’s unique about LettingFocus is that I offer independent unbiased
property seminars covering property investment and letting because unlike most people in the buy to let and property “advice” business I am not linked to a property company, developer, agent or bridging loan financier.
I can tell you where to buy (which areas), what type of property to buy, when to buy, how to buy property at a low price, how to make sure you get tenants who are going to pay the rent and how to manage a rental property to make money.
I can also comment on “No Money Down” Schemes and “Buying Below Market Value” methods too.
I can answer most questions on letting property because I have been a landlord and property investor for over 25 years.

LINKS
Find out about GREAT DEALS we have arranged for landlords by clicking here: Services for Landlords and seeing our Landlords’ Affiliate page. If you sell products to landlords and property investors and you have national coverage, get in touch!
For SEMINARS click here: Property Seminars, Networking Evenings and Consulting
For the NEXT SEMINAR AND NETWORKING EVENT for Landlords and Property Investors click here: Next Seminar Event
For ONE TO ONE CONSULTANCY help click here: Private One to One Consulting
For TESTIMONIALS from past customers click here: Testimonials
To BUY THE BOOK click here: Buy the Book at Amazon
For THE HOME PAGE OF THIS BLOG click here: Blog
For THE HOME PAGE OF OUR MAIN SITE click here: LettingFocus Home Page
For GREAT OFFERS on Products and Services for Landlords, click here: Landlords Resources
To JOIN our Free QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER simply send an email to [email protected] - Please note we WILL NOT send spam or sell our mailing list to advertisers!
Copyright of Blog: David Lawrenson 2009.
This blog is updated roughly once a week usually on a Monday or Tuesday.

WANT TO BE KEPT UPDATED WITH OUR LATEST BLOGS?
Over on the right hand side under all the previous blog entries you will see a button which says “Site Feed.” Simply copy the site feed link into your News Reader or News Aggregator.
Please note if you have a website & are thinking of reproducing material here - that’s fine but we DO require a link to the blog to be included, including also all the links in this section. The full article including all links must be available to ALL VIEWERS of your site and not restricted.
To view posts on related topics select a “Category” at the bottom of this page.
WANT TO ADD A COMMENT?
To add a comment to this post, you just click on “link to this post” then simply add your comment.
To view past comments, again and rather oddly (we think), you’ll need to click “link to this post” and view the comments (which will appear at the bottom of the post.)

Labels: , , ,

Will House Prices Continue to Go Up asks Lawrenson of Letting Focus

A report by the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit (NHPAU) estimates that despite government plans to build 240,000 new homes per year, house prices will reach nine times average earnings by the year 2020.
This is way up on the current figure of around seven times earnings - with wide variations nationally.
The report also said that properties in the southeast, southwest and east of England could become even more expensive compared to local salaries than those in London.
This will be due, they said to the fact that whilst “lots of jobs are being created in London, an increasing number of people are choosing to live outside the capital and commute in from surrounding areas, thus further driving up house prices across the south of England.”

Not a House Builders Lobby
This is worth taking note of because the NHPAU is not a house builders’ body. It was set up by the government last year in response to a recommendation in the housing supply review that found that, house-building rates halved while demand for new homes rose by a third over the last 30 years.
In my view, as long as you avoid flats those cities in the north which are clearly oversupplied with apartments right now, you will do OK buying property now over the long term.
If you are a first time buyer or an investor in the South, I would use the current weakness to buy property.

The Truth About Property
Finally, at last! A decent programme on the property market! Congratulations to the team who made “The Truth about Property”
It is sensible, balanced, well researched and thoughtful. The only minor criticism is that they have overlooked the affect of inward migration and inter-regional migration on the market. These are both huge factors in rising rents and house prices. But, still well done for a good programme!

ABOUT LETTINGFOCUS.COM and DAVID LAWRENSON
At LettingFocus.com, we are the landlords’ expert and I’m David Lawrenson, the author of “Successful Property Letting” - the UK’s top selling property investors and buy to let book for the last 3 years.
A landlord and investor in proeprty myself for over 25 years, at LettingFocus we offer independent unbiased
seminars for buy to let investors and landlords as well as one to one advice covering all aspects of being a landlord and investing in property.
Unlike many in the still largely unreguated buy to let and property “advice” business I am not linked to a property company, developer, estate agency or bridging loan provider.
As such I am able to give unbiased independent advice on where to buy (which areas), what type of property to buy, when to buy and how to buy property at a low price. I can also explain how to reduce the risk of getting a bad tenant.

Info About LETTINGFOCUS.COM:
Our Events only take place twice a year.
For our NEXT SEMINAR AND NETWORKING EVENT for Landlords and Property Investors click here:
Next Property Investing Seminar and Networking Event
We have GREAT OFFERS for landlords too, Click here: Services and Products for Landlords to see our Landlords Resources (Useful Links) page. (Selling services to landlords and property investors and have a national coverage? You could be a partner, please get in touch!)
For general info on our SEMINARS AND CONSULTING click here: Property Seminars, Networking Evenings and Consulting
ONE TO ONE CONSULTING click here: Property Consulting
CLIENT TESTIMONIALS from past customers click here: Testimonials
BUY THE BOOK click here: Buy the Book at Amazon
THE HOME PAGE OF OUR MAIN SITE click here: LettingFocus Home Page
To JOIN our Free QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER simply send an email to [email protected] - Please note we WILL NOT send spam or sell our mailing list to advertisers!
IF YOU HAVE A SITE WHY NOT LINK TO THIS BLOG OR OUR WEBSITE?
Copyright of Blog: David Lawrenson 2009. This blog is updated roughly once a week usually on a Monday or Tuesday.

Related Article: If you are an investor who does not want to give up the day job, then read this: http://www.lettingfocus.com/pages/myarticles2.html

TO BE KEPT UPDATED WITH OUR LATEST BLOGS, if you look over on the right hand side under all the previous blog entries you will find a button which says “Site Feed.” Simply copy the site feed link into your News Reader or News Aggregator.
If you have a website & are thinking of reproducing material here, that’s fine but we DO require a link to the blog to be included, including also all the links in this section. (The full article including all links must be available to ALL VIEWERS of your site and not restricted.)
TO VIEW RELATED POSTS select a “Category” at the bottom of this page.
Copyright: David Lawrenson 2007. This blog is updated at least twice a week. Permission must be sought before using the material in the blog.

Labels: , , , ,

IMF Reports on House Prices but Ignores Supply and Demand says Letting Focus and David Lawrenson

You probably saw those headlines from early last week where the IMF claimed UK house prices were 40% over valued and were due a “correction” accordingly.
Reading further, the IMF admits this estimate is based on the US property market and makes no allowance for the scarcity of land supply or influx of demand from new immigrants in the UK.
It is kind of weird that the International Monetary Fund could ignore something us fundamental as supply and demand when they do such an outlook.
Economists from Marshall to Marx would surely look down from on high with disbelief.
Of course, the press, and the UK public loves property headlines like this, so expect more of the same soon.
If you need more advice on investment property or letting property please ask me. I’m David Lawrenson from property investment consultants http://www.lettingfocus.com/
I’m the author of “Successful Property Letting - How to Make Money in Buy to Let”
I’m an expert on buy to let and a well known property speaker and I contribute to newspapers and a host of property websites, write a property investment blog and run a property investment and mentoring service
You can read more about me and details of my networking, advice, property seminar programme at my website http://www.lettingfocus.com/
What’s unique about lettingfocus.com is that we offer independent property investment advice because unlike most people in the buy to let and property “advice” business we are not linked to a property company, developer, agent or bridging loan financier and do not receive commissions from any of these sources.
If a property investment is lousy – We’ll tell you straight and we will tell you all about buy to let and property investment - the good and the bad and we won’t make silly promises that you’ll become a millionaire overnight.

ABOUT LETTINGFOCUS.COM and DAVID LAWRENSON
CHECK OUT THESE PAGES AT OUR SITE LETTINGFOCUS.COM:
Our Events only take place twice a year.
For our NEXT SEMINAR AND NETWORKING EVENT for Landlords and Property Investors click here:
Next Property Investing Seminar and Networking Event
We have GREAT OFFERS for landlords too, Click here: Services and Products for Landlords to see our Landlords Resources (Useful Links) page. (Selling services to landlords and property investors and have a national coverage? You could be a partner, please get in touch!)
ONE TO ONE CONSULTING click here: Property Consulting
CLIENT TESTIMONIALS from past customers click here: Testimonials
BUY THE BOOK click here: Buy the Book at Amazon
THE HOME PAGE OF THIS BLOG click here: Blog
THE HOME PAGE OF OUR MAIN SITE click here: LettingFocus Home Page
To JOIN our Free QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER simply send an email to [email protected] - Please note we WILL NOT send spam or sell our mailing list to advertisers!

IF YOU HAVE A SITE WHY NOT LINK TO THIS BLOG OR OUR WEBSITE?

WANT TO BE KEPT UPDATED WITH OUR LATEST BLOGS?
Over on the right hand side under all the previous blog entries you will find a button which says “Site Feed.” Simply copy the site feed link into your News Reader or News Aggregator.
If you have a website & are thinking of reproducing material here, that’s fine but we DO require a link to the blog to be included, including also all the links in this section. (The full article including all links must be available to ALL VIEWERS of your site and not restricted.)
TO VIEW RELATED POSTS select a “Category” at the bottom of this page.
WANT TO ADD A COMMENT OR VIEW OLD COMMENTS?
To add a comment to this post, simply click on “link to this post” to add your comment and to view comments of other people.
Copyright: David Lawrenson 2007. This blog is updated at least twice a week. Permission must be sought before using the material in the blog.

Labels: , , , ,

Why Are London Rents Going Up by Letting Focus

All this talk of a credit crunch and housing market slowdown has meant many first time buyers are staying on the sidelines and continuing to rent.
This is normal behaviour and one that I explain in the first chapter of “Successful Property Letting – How to Make Money in Buy to Let”
I have already observed on this blog that these first time buyers may be mistaken in some areas, particularly in London, where I don’t expect house prices to fall much at all, though there will be a slight increase in opportunities to buy below market value from desperate sellers.
I now see that Savills has reported annual growth of 8 per cent in rent levels in the more up market areas of London while Cluttons, puts the figures at 15 per cent .

More Demand from Tenants
Anecdotal evidence from my estate agent friends at the more down market end of the London rental market, indicates the same thing is happening. Indeed, most London agents are now seeing an increasing business from prospective tenants - and landlords & are putting up rents in line with this increased demand.
This is good news for landlords whose rental yields are now low (though that is of course, itself a function of rising house prices and rents that have failed to grow as fast)
It is bad news for tenants!
In London, expect more rental growth and steadyish house prices for the next year.

ABOUT LETTINGFOCUS.COM and DAVID LAWRENSON
I’m David Lawrenson, the author of “Successful Property Letting” - the UK’s top selling property and buy to let book for the last 3 years.
I have been a landlord and property investor myself for over 25 years.
At LettingFocus we offer independent unbiased seminars for buy to let investors and landlords as well as one to one advice covering all aspects of buy to let, finding and managing tenants and investing in property.
The difference with me is that as I am not linked to a property company, developer, estate agency or bridging loan provider I am able to give unbiased independent advice on where to buy (which areas), what type of property to buy, when to buy and how to buy property at a low price. I can also explain how to reduce the risk of getting a bad tenant.

CHECK OUT THESE PAGES AT OUR SITE LETTINGFOCUS.COM:
Our Events only take place twice a year.
For our NEXT SEMINAR AND NETWORKING EVENT for Landlords and Property Investors click here:
Next Property Investing Seminar and Networking Event
We have GREAT OFFERS for landlords too, Click here: Services and Products for Landlords to see our Landlords Resources (Useful Links) page. (Selling services to landlords and property investors and have a national coverage? You could be a partner, please get in touch!)
For general info on our SEMINARS AND CONSULTING click here: Property Seminars, Networking Evenings and Consulting
ONE TO ONE CONSULTING click here: Property Consulting
CLIENT TESTIMONIALS from past customers click here: Testimonials
BUY THE BOOK click here: Buy the Book at Amazon
THE HOME PAGE OF THIS BLOG click here: Blog
THE HOME PAGE OF OUR MAIN SITE click here: LettingFocus Home Page
To JOIN our Free QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER simply send an email to [email protected] - Please note we WILL NOT send spam or sell our mailing list to advertisers!

LIKE THIS PAGE AND HAVE A LANDLORD WEBSITE , THEN WHY NOT LINK TO THIS BLOG POST OR OUR WEBSITE?

WANT TO BE KEPT UPDATED WITH OUR LATEST BLOGS?
Over on the right hand side under all the previous blog entries you will find a button which says “Site Feed.” Simply copy the site feed link into your News Reader or News Aggregator.
If you have a website & are thinking of reproducing material here, that’s fine but we DO require a link to the blog to be included, including also all the links in this section. (The full article including all links must be available to ALL VIEWERS of your site and not restricted.)

Have You Seen this Article which looks at Letting to Students? http://www.lettingfocus.com/pages/myarticles_student_lettings.html
Lots more interesting articles on letting and buy to let at www.LettingFocus.com


Copyright: David Lawrenson 2007. This blog is updated at least twice a week

Labels: , , , , ,

Property prices and buy to let after the credit crunch by Lettting Focus

What will happen to property prices and what will happen to buy to let and property investment after the credit crunch?
Well, now we know that the Bank of England was now thrown a lifeline to the Northern Rock and has in effect underwritten its deposits.
And much money has been made and lost in the city on trading in the shares of NR as well as Alliance & Leicester, Bradford and Bingley and Paragon - which have all seen huge gyrations in their share prices. (Expect a wee enquiry into these gyrations at some future point! I can’t help but smell a rat here!)
But back to property!

Money Markets and Buy to Let
As you may know, not all lenders raise as much cash from the money markets as Northern Rock did.
Nationwide and Halifax Bank of Scotland only get about a third of cash in this way, though that’s still been enough for lenders like these to raise their standard variable rate by up to 0.2%.
Other banks who have used the credit markets more to raise money are Bradford & Bingley and Alliance & Leicester – and their stock market prices have sea-sawed along with Northern Rock, though not quite as much.

Mortgage Trackers
If you took out a Bank of England base rate mortgage tracker for a long term, then you can sit back and relax. Your rate will not go up unless base rates do.
But if you are on a mortgage linked to the standard variable rate one or one where the fixed term expires soon, then be prepared for a hike in your rate right now.
Back in 1988 I took out a loan with a lender that raised funds on the money markets – and not linked to central bank base rates. There then followed a credit crunch and my rate went up.
I learnt my lesson way back then.
However, lots of landlords have borrowed from lenders who raise their funds in the money markets. I have not seen figures on this, but my guess is that it is a much higher proportion than on standard residential mortgages.

Mortgage Rate Hikes
Therefore, mortgage rate hikes for landlords could be particularly high and may force some to sell property, opening up an opportunity to others to buy property cheaply. (And if the private rented sector declines, rents will surely rise)
But what does this all stuff mean for house prices?
Well, lenders have already tightened up their lending criteria. They will look much more closely at (and may refuse) to lend on “risky” deals like ex council, new build flats with gifted discounts in oversupplied areas or at loan to values much over 75%.
It could also mean the “no money down deals” may only be available to experienced investors with good track records who are known to a lender.

Oversupply of Property
Now, for a long time I have said there is still an oversupply in some areas.
I forecast falls in house prices in areas that are heavily oversupplied with too much of one kind of property.
Sorry folks, but many cities in the North have too many flats for the current state of their local economies and I predict prices will come down by at least 10% in these towns over the next 12 months.
I’m not alone here. Anne Ashworth, writing in the Times today, cites Liverpool as a good case in point.
However, other areas which are not oversupplied will do well and see prices and rents hold up and indeed go up.
But while all this interest rates stuff is important it is actually a bit of a side show because the real factor that is driving up the UK’s house prices is the expanding population and the lack of housing supply.

Northern Ireland
Take Northern Ireland as an example. Why did prices surge 50% in 12 months in Ulster recently? True there was a bit of property speculation, and the peace dividend also played a part. But another story that you won’t hear about in the press (well you may in the Daily Mail) was a large migration to Ulster from mainland UK by workers mainly from the new EU.
Now, if the UK economy becomes less attractive to workers from the new EU relative to other places in Europe, then much of the inward migration could fast turn the other way as workers return home or move to other better economies.
I don’t think this could happen anytime soon, but if it did, that really could put the skids on house prices and rental levels.

ABOUT LETTINGFOCUS.COM and DAVID LAWRENSON
We are LettingFocus.com - the landlords’ expert and I’m David Lawrenson, the author of “Successful Property Letting” - the UK’s top selling property and buy to let book for the last 3 years.
I have been a landlord and property investor myself for over 25 years.
At LettingFocus we offer independent unbiased seminars for buy to let investors and landlords as well as one to one advice covering all aspects of being a landlord and investing in property.

MAIN PAGES AT OUR SITE LETTINGFOCUS.COM:
Our Events only take place twice a year.
For our NEXT SEMINAR AND NETWORKING EVENT for Landlords and Property Investors click here:
Next Property Investing Seminar and Networking Event
We have GREAT OFFERS for landlords too, Click here: Services and Products for Landlords to see our Landlords Resources (Useful Links) page. (Selling services to landlords and property investors and have a national coverage? You could be a partner, please get in touch!)
For general info on our SEMINARS AND CONSULTING click here: Property Seminars, Networking Evenings and Consulting
ONE TO ONE CONSULTING click here: Property Consulting
CLIENT TESTIMONIALS from past customers click here: Testimonials
BUY THE BOOK click here: Buy the Book at Amazon
THE HOME PAGE OF THIS BLOG click here: Blog
THE HOME PAGE OF OUR MAIN SITE click here: LettingFocus Home Page
To JOIN our Free QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER simply send an email to [email protected] - Please note we WILL NOT send spam or sell our mailing list to advertisers!

Have You Seen this Article on Tenancy Agreements - Is Yours Fair? http://www.lettingfocus.com/pages/myarticles10.html

IF YOU HAVE A SITE WHY NOT LINK TO THIS BLOG OR OUR WEBSITE?

TO VIEW RELATED POSTS select a “Category” at the bottom of this page.
WANT TO ADD A COMMENT OR VIEW OLD COMMENTS?
To add a comment to this post, simply click on “link to this post” to add your comment and to view comments of other people.

Click here to listen to me on BBC Radio 4 Money Box programme: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/podcasts/moneybox/ and then click on “Download episode for 22nd September”
What’s unique about lettingfocus.com is that we are unbiased and independent, because unlike most people in the buy to let and property “advice” business we are not linked to a property company, developer, agent or bridging loan financier and do not receive commissions from any of these sources.
If a property investment is lousy – We’ll tell you straight and we will tell you all about buy to let and property investment - the good and the bad and we won’t make silly promises that you’ll become a millionaire overnight.
Copyright: David Lawrenson 2007. This blog is updated every week.

Labels: , , , , , ,

House Prices Crash in the UK is Unlikely But Some Areas Will See a Correction says LettingFocus

I’m just back from a short holiday to see there is more gloom in financial markets.
I also see that the news today is that the S&P/Case-Shiller US National Home Price Index fell 3.2 per cent last quarter from the same period in 2006, its sharpest decline since the index was created in 1987.
This was an acceleration from the 1.6 per cent in the first quarter. As this data was collected before the end of July - before the sub-prime lending crisis really hit in August – the falls can only be expected to become more rapid over the near term.
Of course the key to property investment is to buy well and pick locations with care.

Ulster Property Market
I don’t think that house prices will collapse in the UK, though some areas, notably parts of Ulster where I spent the weekend, are in my opinion already too high and due a correction.
In north Antrim I saw two bed terraces on at over £200K.
With rental yields already very low according to my friends over there, I can only see house prices falling back a bit in Ulster. There has been some regeneration it’s true in Ulster, but I think the leap of 50 per cent in house prices in Ulster over the last 18 months or so, is more than enough.

ABOUT LETTINGFOCUS.COM and DAVID LAWRENSON
We are LettingFocus.com - the buy to let experts and I’m David Lawrenson, the author of “Successful Property Letting” - the UK’s top selling property and buy to let book for the last 3 years.
We help you make money in property by showing you and coaching you in the ways that work and which are of minimal risk to you.
I have been a landlord and property investor myself for over 25 years.
At LettingFocus we offer independent unbiased advice for landlords and property investors on a one to one mentoring and coaching basis as well as through occasional group seminars.
Property clubs are property advice in the UK is still mainly unregulated and advice is often poor.
As I am not linked to a property company, developer, estate agency or bridging loan provider I am able to give unbiased independent advice on where and what type of property to buy for investment, when to buy and how to buy property at a low price.
I can also explain how to reduce the risk of getting a bad tenant.

CHECK OUT THESE PAGES AT OUR SITE LETTINGFOCUS.COM:


THE HOME PAGE OF THIS BLOG click here: Blog
THE HOME PAGE OF OUR MAIN SITE click here: LettingFocus Home Page
NEXT SEMINAR AND NETWORKING EVENT for Landlords and Property Investors:
Next Property Investing Seminar and Networking Event
We have GREAT OFFERS on a range of products for landlords too, click here: Services and Products for Landlords
For general info on our SEMINARS AND CONSULTING click here: Property Seminars, Networking Evenings and Consulting
ONE TO ONE CONSULTING click here: Property Consulting
CLIENT TESTIMONIALS from past customers click here: Testimonials
BUY THE BOOK click here: Buy the Book at Amazon
To JOIN our Free QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER or if you have any other query, simply send an email to [email protected] - Please note we WILL NOT send spam or sell our mailing list to advertisers!

IF YOU HAVE A SITE WHY NOT LINK TO THIS BLOG OR OUR WEBSITE?

Selling services to landlords and property investors and have a national coverage? You could be a partner, please get in touch!

TO VIEW RELATED POSTS select a “Category” at the bottom of this page.
WANT TO ADD A COMMENT OR VIEW OLD COMMENTS?
To add a comment to this post, simply click on “link to this post” to add your comment and to view comments of other people.

Labels: , , , ,