Boston property market in 2017 and beyond

As the trees turn from green to hues of red and brown, the Boston property market has a confident feel to it. With the underlying fundamentals of a continued lack of properties being built, a shortage of properties (both in terms of quantity and quality) coming to the market and the continued low mortgage rate environment, buyer enquiries from first time buyers and buy to landlords is strong and motivation is even stronger, given those inexpensive lending rates and general demand caused by under supply.

Now of course, there are a few potential hurdles coming towards us in the coming months that could affect the Boston (and UK) property market. Mrs. May has yet to get her teeth into Brexit negotiations and we don’t know what the US Presidential elections might do to the money markets around the world, meaning that on the run up to Christmas, some savvy buyers may take advantage of the lack of certainty by making cheeky offers, but I don’t believe these will have a huge impact on property values (like the 2008 Credit Crunch).

Since the Millennium, the housing market has had everything thrown at it. The recent Brexit, last year’s General Election, the near melt down of the World Economy with the Credit Crunch, The Dot Com boom and bust, the housing market crisis in 2008, the housing boom of 2001 to 2004 .. the list goes on. In fact here is a graph (courtesy of the Land Registry) of average Property values since the Millennium in the Boston Borough Council area.

boston-article-134

Even though we had the Dot Com bubble burst in 2000, two years later in January 2002, property values in the Boston Borough Council area have risen from £45,400 (in Jan 2000) to £61,300 .. and kept rising to December 2007, when they peaked at £143,600. Then we had the Credit Crunch and property prices continued to fall until June 2009, where they averaged £112,600 .. but look where they are now…  £142,700

The point I am trying to get across is long term future property values are more helpful to landlord investors than the month by month headline grabbing micro movements in the property market.  Look at the graph and you will see the growth in property values is an upward trend BUT, the average darts about as each month goes by.  So don’t watch the property indexes and panic if values drop next month or the month afterwards, because even in the glory days of 2001 to 2004 and 2012 to 2014, without fail, values always dropped slightly around Christmas, but people will always need a roof over their heads, and if they can’t buy and the council aren’t building anymore  .. only buy to let landlords can meet that demand.

Boston landlords are being hit in the pocket with the new up and coming taxation rules and yes we might have a bumpy ride on the run up to Christmas (because of the points raised earlier), Brexit or no Brexit, but the trend will be a slow and steady upward momentum of property values, demand for rental properties and yields in the Boston property market into 2017 and beyond.

If you are considering becoming a landlord and getting into the property rental market but don’t know where to start then we would love to talk to you to give you some free, impartial advice and guidance on how to buy wisely and maximise the best return on your investment. For information about other potential investment properties that we could introduce you to, or just to talk to us about our thoughts on your own investment choices, please call the lettings department on 01205 352019

Or pop along to have a coffee with us at Lancaster House, Gilbert Drive, Boston PE21 7TQ

You can find out more about Hill & Clark and previous investment opportunities through the Boston Property News at the following sites: –

https://www.facebook.com/hillclarkproperty/

https://twitter.com/HillClarkLtd

http://www.hillandclark.co.uk/

The 4,009 Boston savers batten down the hatches with low interest rates set to continue into the 2020’s

You might ask, “what has the plight of the Boston savers to do with the Boston Property Market?” … everything in fact.  Read the newspapers, and every financial wizard is stating that with the decision of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee in early August to cut the Bank of England base rate to an all – time low of 0.25 per cent, savers should prepare themselves for interest rates to stay low well into the early 2020’s.

This isn’t some made up story to capture the headlines of newspaper editors. The yield (posh word for interest rate or return) on 10-year Government bonds is currently 0.61 per cent. This indicates that the money markets believe that the Bank of England’s base rate will, on average over the next ten years, be below the 0.61% rate they are buying the 10 year bonds at. This is because they would lose money if the average was over 0.61%, therefore UK Interest rates are going to be low for a long time.

For those who have saved throughout their working lives and are looking for ways to maximise their savings, investing their money into property could prove advantageous. You see as a saver, I did a search of the internet and the best savings rate I could find was a 5 year fixed rate at 2.5% a year with Weatherbys Bank. Your £200,000 nest egg would earn you £5,000 a year – not much. However, on the other side of the fence, growth in Boston house prices and princely buy to let yields have made property investment in Boston an appealing option for many. According to my research, the…

Average Yield over the last five years for

Boston Buy to let property has been 5.2% a year

On top of that average property values in over the same period have risen by 19%.

Using these averages, the Boston landlord’s property would be worth £238,000 and they would have received a total of £52,000 in rent – making the total return £290,000. Meanwhile, whilst our 4,009 Boston Saver’s, using the average savings rates for the last 5 years, even if they had reinvested the interest, their £200,000 would only be £221,184.

There are risks as well as benefits to buy to let though. As my blog readers know, I tell it like it is and investing in buy to let means locking up capital in a property that may fall in value. Another option would be stock market income based investment funds, which are paying around 5%, especially if put your nest egg into a tax free Stocks and Shares ISA. Although you can only add £15,240 a year into an ISA, but you would also have the ability to sell up quickly if you want … but one last thought…

The other side of the coin is that you cannot buy an unloved ‘stock market income based investment fund’ and set about renovating it and adding value yourself. The investment fund isn’t something that you can touch and feel, isn’t something tangible, isn’t something physical, isn’t something concrete, it isn’t bricks and mortar … and that is why my fellow Boston homeowners and Boston landlords, the love affair of the British and Property will continue.

If you are considering becoming a new buy to let landlord in Boston, what do you know about the Boston property market?

Do what many established landlords do and contact the letting team on 01205  352019

What will the 0.25% interest rate do to the Boston property market?

Well it’s been a few weeks now since interest rates were cut to 0.25% by the Bank of England as the Bank believed Brexit could lead to a materially lower path of growth for the UK, especially for the manufacturing and construction industries. You see for the country as a whole, the manufacturing and construction industries are still performing well below the pre credit crunch levels of 2008/09, so the British economy remains highly susceptible to an economic shock. This is especially important in Boston, because even though we have had a number of local success stories in manufacturing and construction, a large number of people are employed in these sectors. In Boston, of the 20,194 people who have a job, 4,189 are in the manufacturing industry and 1,105 in Construction meaning

20.7% of Boston workers are employed in the manufacturing sector

5.5% of Boston workers are in construction

The other sector of the economy the Bank is worried about, and an equally important one to the Boston economy, is the Financial Services industry. Financial Services in Boston employ 208 people, making up 1% of the Boston working population.

Together with a cut in interest rates, the Bank also announced an increase in the quantity of money via a new programme of Quantitative Easing to buy £70bn of Government and Private bonds. Now that won’t do much to the Boston property market directly, but another measure also included in the recent announcement was £100bn of new funding to banks. This extra £100bn will help the High St banks pass on the base rate cut to people and businesses, meaning the banks will have lots of cheap money to lend for mortgages which will have a huge effect on the Boston property market.

It will take until early in the New Year to find out the real direction of the Boston property market and the effects of Brexit on the economy as a whole, the subsequent recent interest rate cuts and the availability of cheap mortgages. However, something bigger than Brexit and interest rates is the inherent under-supply of housing. This is something I have spoken about many times past blogs and the specific affect on Boston. The severe under-supply means that Boston property prices are likely to increase further in the medium to long term, even if there is a dip in the short term.

This only confirms what every homeowner and landlord has known for decades – investing in property is a long term project and as an investment vehicle, it will continue to outstrip other forms of investment due to the high demand for a roof over people’s heads and the low supply of new properties being built.

If you are considering buying a property for investment and would like some free advice and help then please call the Boston office on 01205 352019

The British Property Awards – Winner for Boston

The Boston office of Hill & Clark has scooped 2 major awards in The British Property Awards which was held at a lavish awards ceremony in London on the 9th September which was hosted by Martin Roberts from TV’s Home Under The Hammer.

The team at Boston came away with the GOLD award for the Best Estate Agent in Boston as well as being awarded the BRONZE winner for Estate Agents in the East Midlands region.

award-night-photo-group

The awards provides agents throughout the UK with an invaluable opportunity to compare the service that they provide against the service provided by their local as well as regional and national competition. Agents who go that “extra mile” and have outstanding levels of customer service are rewarded with the accolade which acts as a beacon to highlight these attributes to their local marketplace.

The awards are one of the most inclusive estate agency awards as agents are not charged to enter. The judging team then mystery shop every agent against a set of 25 criteria to obtain a balanced overview of their customer service levels. The judging criteria is both comprehensive and detailed exploring different mediums, scenarios and time periods to ensure that agents have been rigorously and fairly judged.

Robert McLean  from The British Property Awards said “Our award has been specifically designed to remove any opportunity for bias or manipulation. If an agent has been attributed with one of our awards it is simply down to fantastic customer service levels that they have demonstrated across a prolonged period of time. An agent that has been attributed with our award should be proud that their customer service levels provide a benchmark for their local competition”

The office continually strives to give a first class and market leading service to all of it’s clients and are delighted to have been recognised in the awards.

Michael Hollamby, Operations Manager at Hill & Clark added “We are thrilled to have been recognised in these prestigious awards for our commitment to customer service. Many of the property awards which are available for agents to enter are industry related but this one truly focused on the customer experience. We are always looking at market leading ways we can improve the service we offer our clients and this is great recognition for the work we have already implemented”

Paul Clark, MD also said “The review of the service was conducted over an 8 week period of mystery shops and contact with the agents across the locality. We were then shortlisted into the regional and national award due to our success in the local surveys. It is testament to the team’s hard work in the office who are genuinely passionate about delivering a market leading and dynamic service to our customers which we believe they would be happy to recommend to their family, friends and new neighbours.”

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Only 38.8% of rented property in Boston have children living in them.

Irrespective of whether you are tenant or a homeowner, to bring up a family, the most important factors are security and stability in the home. A great bellwether of that security and stability in a rented property is whether tenants are constantly being evicted. Many tenancies last just six months with families at risk of being thrown out after that with just two months’ notice for no reason.

Some “left leaning Politician’s” keep saying we need to deal with the terrible insecurity of Britain’s private rental market by creating longer tenancies of 3 or 5 years instead of the current six months. However, the numbers seem to be telling a different story. The average length of residence in private rental homes has risen in the last 5 years from 3.7 years to 4 years (a growth of 8.1%), which in turn has directly affected the number of renters who have children. In fact, the proportion of private rented property that have dependent children in them, has gone from 29.1% in 2003 to 37.4% today.

Looking specifically at Boston compared to the National figures, of the 3,600 private rental homes in Boston, 1,397 of these have dependent children in them (or 38.8%), which is interestingly (although expected) slightly above the National average of already stated 37.4%.

skegness-article-129-children

Even more fascinating are the other tenure types in Boston…

  • 4% of Social (Council) Housing in Boston have dependent children
  • 3% of Boston Owner Occupiers (with a Mortgage) have dependent children
  • 7% of Owner Occupiers (without a Mortgage) have dependent children

Although, when we look at the length of time these other tenure types have, whilst the average length of a tenancy for the private rented sector is 4 years, it is 11.4 years in social (council) housing, 24.1 years for home owners without a mortgage and 10.4 years of homeowners with mortgages.

Anecdotally I have always known this, but this just proves landlords do not spend their time seeking opportunities to evict a tenant as the average length of tenancy has steadily increased. This noteworthy 8.1% increase in the average length of time tenants stay in a private rented property over the last 5 years, shows tenants are happy to stay longer and start families.

So, as landlords are already meeting tenants’ wants and needs when it comes to the length of tenancy, I find it strange some politicians are calling for fixed term 3 and 5 year tenancies. Such heavy handed regulation could stop landlords renting their property out in the first place, cutting off the supply of much needed rental property, meaning tenants would suffer as rents went up. Also, if such legislation was brought in, tenants would loose their ‘Get Out of Jail card’, as under current rules, they can leave at anytime with one months notice not the three or six month tenant notice suggested by some commenters.

Finally, there is an extra piece of good news for Boston tenants. The English Housing Survey notes that those living in private rented housing for a long periods of time generally paid less rent than those who chopped and changed.

Property of the week – Medforth Lane, Boston £112,500

Located within in a pleasant cul de sac location, this end terraced house is offered with no onward chain. The property has recently been decorated throughout and makes for an ideal investment buy. It was listed for sale at the end of August

The property offers well appointed internal accommodation briefly comprising entrance area, lounge, kitchen, 2 bedrooms and bathroom. There is also a brick constructed garage and a laid to lawn rear garden.

I think this well presented property would gain a yield of around 6.13%. Click on the link below to see the full property details. The property is currently on the market with Sharman Burgess.

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-61600787.html

 

New house building in Boston increased by 39.8% in the last year!

There is an unending and severe shortage of new housing being built in the Boston area as well as the UK as a whole.  Even if there are short term confidence trembles, the ever growing population of Boston with its high demand for property versus curtailed supply of properties being built, this imbalance of supply/demand and the possibility of even lower interest rates will underpin the property market.

When the Tories were elected in 2015, Mr. Cameron vowed to build 1,000,000 new homes by 2020.  If we as a Country hit those levels of building, most academics stated the UK Housing market would balance itself as the increased supply of property would give a chance for the younger generation to buy their own home as opposed to rent.  However, the up-to-date building figures show that in the first three months of 2016 building starts were down.  Nationally, there were 35,530 house building starts in the first quarter, a long way off the 50,000 a quarter required to hit those ambitious targets.

Looking closer to home, over the last 12 months, new building in the Boston Borough Council area has grown.  In 2014/15, for every one thousand existing households in the area, an additional 6.08 homes were built.  For 2015/16, that figure is now 8.5 homes built per thousand existing households.  Nationally, to meet that 1,000,000 new homes target, we need to be at 7.12 new homes per thousand, which means Boston Borough Council is actually above the National target, the problem is the country is only building at a rate of 4.9 for every thousand exiting households – we can’t just rely on little old Boston to build for the rest of the Country.

To put those numbers into real chimney pots, over the last 12 months, in the Boston Borough Council area,

  • 200 Private Builders (e.g. New Homes Builders)
  • 40 Housing Association
  • Nil Local Authority

I am of the opinion Messer’s Cameron and Osborne focused their attention too much on the demand side of the housing equation, using the Help to Buy scheme and low deposit mortgages to convert the ‘Generation Rent’ i.e. Boston ‘20 somethings’ who are set to rent for the rest of their lives to ‘Generation Buy’.  On the other side of the coin, I would strongly recommend the new Housing Minster, Gavin Barwell, should concentrate the Government’s efforts on the supply side of the equation.  There needs to be transformations to planning laws, massive scale releases of public land and more investment, as more inventive solutions are needed.

However, ultimately, responsibility has to rest on the shoulders of Theresa May.  Whilst our new PM has many plates to spin, evading on the housing crisis will only come at greater cost later on.  What a legacy it would be if it was Mrs. May who finally got to grips with the persistent and enduring shortage of homes to live in.  The PM has already referenced the ‘need to do far more to get more houses built’ and stop the decline of home ownership. Hopefully these statistics will raise the alarm bells again and persuade both residents and Councillor’s in the Boston Borough Council area that housing needs to be higher on its agenda.