Belvoir Dunstable 5 Year Anniversary celebration offer for NEW landlords. NO LANDLORD STARTUP FEES IN NOVEMBER.
The 29th October 2017 marked the 5 year anniversary of the opening of our shop on Church St in Dunstable during which time Belvoir Dunstable were awarded 'Customer Care of the Year 2015 & 2014' and 'New Business of the Year 2013' at the Dunstable Business & Community Awards. We have also just been awarded Gold for Best Letting Agent in Dunstable and Bronze for Best Letting Agent in Bedfordshire by AllAgents an independent review site.
During the last 5 years we have seen great improvements in the town and I am pleased that our decision to open our Belvoir Franchise in Dunstable has proved to be the right choice. I am sure there are still many more improvements to come to Dunstable in the next few years and we look forward to continuing our success and working with landlords, tenants and developers in the future.
To celebrate our 5 Year Anniversary we have a special offer to new landlords who sign up for our fully managed service for a minimum of 12 months. For NEW landlords who sign up in November for a property in the LU5,LU6 and LU7 postcodes to be marketed before the end of 2017 we will charge ZERO landlord fees for this first tenancy. Yes this is a £0 charge by us to the landlord and includes advertising, tenancy agreement, placing the deposit in our Deposit Protection Scheme and the inventory.
Daniel Bourke – Owner Belvoir Dunstable
For more information please call our shop on 01582 343209 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Gold Award from AllAgents for Best Letting Agent customer experience in Dunstable 2017 marks Belvoir Dunstable 5 year anniversary
As well as awarding Belvoir Dunstable the Gold Award AllAgents also awarded Belvoir Dunstable the Bronze Award for Best letting Agent customer experience in Bedfordshire.
The AllAgent awards are entirely funded by allAgents and that is why every listed firm and branch (over 20,000) are automatically entered, so awards are won based solely on their own customer reviews and ratings and not based on the ability to pay.
We are very pleased to have had all our hard work and effort recognised by receiving these awards just one day before the 5 year anniversary of opening our shop in Church Street Dunstable.
During the last 5 years we have seen great improvements in the town I am pleased that our decision to open our Belvoir Franchise in Dunstable has proved to be the right choice and I am sure there are still many more improvements to come to Dunstable in the next few years.
Many do not realise that although Belvoir is a National Group who also own Northwood and some other Estate Agent groups in the Midlands each Belvoir shop is a Franchise owned and run by the Franchisee. They are run as individual businesses with all the trials of any other independent business that opens in the town and it is with the help and support of the other local businesses that we have managed to make it a success. Therefore my thanks goes out to everyone in Dunstable who has supported us for the last 5 years.
The mind-set and tactics you employ to buy your first Leighton Buzzard buy to let property needs to be different to the tactics and methodology of buying a home for yourself to live in. The main difference is when purchasing your own property, you may well pay a little more to get the home you (and your family) want, and are less likely to compromise. When buying for your own use, it is only human nature you will want the best, so that quite often it is at the top end of your budget (because as my parents always used to tell me – you get what you pay for in this world!).
Yet with a buy to let property, if your goal is a higher rental return – a higher price doesn’t always equate to higher monthly returns – in fact quite the opposite. Inexpensive Leighton Buzzard properties can bring in bigger monthly returns. Most landlords use the phrase ‘yield’ instead of monthly return. To calculate the yield on a buy to let property one basically takes the monthly rent, multiplies it by 12 to get the annual rent and then divides it by the value of the property.
This means, if one increases the value of the property using this calculation, the subsequent yield drops. Or to put it another way, if a Leighton Buzzard buy to let landlord has the decision of two properties that create the same amount of monthly rent, the landlord can increase their rental yield by selecting the lower priced property.
To give you an idea of the sort of returns in Leighton Buzzard...
Now of course these are averages and there will always be properties outside the lower and upper ranges in yields: they are a fair representation of the gross yields you can expect in the Leighton Buzzard area.
As we move forward, with the total amount of buy to let mortgages amounting to £199,310,614,000 in the country, landlords need to be aware of the investment performance of their property, especially in the era of tax increases and tax relief reductions. Landlords are looking to maximise their yield - and are doing so by buying cheaper properties.
However, before everyone in Leighton Buzzard starts selling their upmarket properties and buying cheap ones, yield isn’t the only factor when deciding on what Leighton Buzzard buy to let property to buy. Void periods (i.e. the time when there isn’t a tenant in the property between tenancies) are an important factor and those properties at the cheaper end of the rental spectrum can suffer higher void periods too. Apartments can also have service charges and ground rents that aren’t accounted for in these gross yields. Landlords can also make money if the value of the property goes up and for those Leighton Buzzard landlords who are looking for capital growth, an altered investment strategy may be required.
In Leighton Buzzard, for example, over the last 20 years, this is how the average price paid for the four different types of Leighton Buzzard property have changed…
It is very much a balancing act of yield, capital growth and void periods when buying in Leighton Buzzard. Every landlord’s investment strategy is unique to them. If you would like a fresh pair of eyes to look at your portfolio, be you a private landlord that doesn’t use a letting agent or a landlord that uses one of my competitors – then feel free to drop in and let’s have a chat. What have you got to lose?
I was having a lazy Saturday morning, reading through the newspapers at my favourite coffee shop in Leighton Buzzard. I find the most interesting bits are their commentaries on the British Housing Market. Some talk about property prices, whilst others discuss the younger generation grappling to get a foot-hold on the property ladder with difficulties of saving up for the deposit. Others feature articles about the severe lack of new homes being built (which is especially true in Leighton Buzzard!). A group of people that don’t often get any column inches however are those existing homeowners who can’t move!
Back in the early 2000’s, between 1m and 1.3m people moved each year in England and Wales, peaking at 1,349,306 home-moves (i.e. house sales) in 2002. However, the ‘credit crunch’ hit in 2008 and the number of house sales fell to 624,994 in 2009. Since then this has steadily recovered, albeit to a more ‘respectable’ 899,708 properties by 2016. This means there are around 450,000 fewer house sales (house-moves) each year compared to the noughties. The question is ... why are there fewer house sales?
To answer that, we need to go back 50 years. Inflation was high in the late 1960’s, 70’s and early 80’s. To combat this, the Government raised interest rates to a high level in a bid to lower inflation. Higher interest rates meant the householders monthly mortgage payments were higher, meaning mortgages took a large proportion of the homeowner’s household budget. However, this wasn’t all bad news since inflation tends to erode mortgage debt in ‘real spending power terms’. Consequently, as wages grew (to keep up with inflation), this allowed home owners to get even bigger mortgages. At the same time their mortgage debt was decreasing, therefore allowing them to move up the property ladder quicker.
Roll the clock on to the late 1990’s and the early Noughties, and things had changed. UK interest rates tumbled as UK inflation dropped. Lower interest rates and low inflation, especially in the five years 2000 to 2005, meant we saw double digit growth in the value of UK property. This inevitably meant all the home owner’s equity grew significantly, meaning people could continue to move up the property ladder (even without the effects of inflation).
This snowball effect of significant numbers moving house continued into the mid noughties (2004 to 2007), as Banks and Building Society’s slackened their lending criteria. [You will probably remember the 125% loan to value Northern Rock Mortgages that could be obtained with just a note from your Mum!!]. This meant home movers could borrow even more to move up the property ladder.
So, now it’s 2017 and things have changed yet again!
You would think that with ultra-low interest rates at 0.25% (a 320-year low) the number of people moving would be booming – wouldn’t you? However, this has not been the case. Less people are moving because:
(1) low wage growth of 1.1% per annum
(2) the tougher mortgage rules since 2014
(3) sporadic property price growth in the last few years
(4) high property values comparative to salaries
Therefore, we have just over 920 less households moving in the Leighton Buzzard and surrounding Council area each year. Now of that number, it is recognised throughout the property industry around fourth fifths of them are homeowners with a mortgage. That means there are around 757 mortgaged households a year (fourth fifths of the figure of 920) in the Leighton Buzzard and surrounding council area that would have moved 10 years ago, but won’t this year.
The reason they can’t/won’t move can be split down into different categories, explained in a recent report by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). So, of those estimated 757 annual Leighton Buzzard (and surrounding area) non-movers, based on that CML report -
The first three above are beyond the Government or Bank of England control. However could there be some influence exerted to help the non-movers because of financing the new mortgage and keeping within the new rules of mortgage affordability? If Leighton Buzzard property values were lower, this would decrease the size of each step up the property ladder. This would mean the opportunity cost of increasing their mortgage would reduce (i.e. opportunity cost = the step up in their mortgage payments between their existing and future new mortgage) and they would be able to move to more upmarket properties.
Then there is the mortgage rules, but before we all start demanding a relaxation in lending criteria for the banks, do we want to return to free and easy mortgages 125% Northern Rock footloose and fancy-free mortgage lending that seemed to be available in the mid 2000’s ... available at a drop of hat and three tokens from a cereal packet?
We all know what happened with Northern Rock …. Your thoughts would be welcome on this topic.
Mark Phillips, 38-year-old father of two from Leighton Buzzard, was out house hunting. It was a pleasant August Saturday afternoon, and our man cycles along on his bike. He cycles up a street of suburban semis, where he spots a few retired mature neighbours, chatting to each other over the garden fence. He leans his bicycle against a lamppost and launches softly into his property search.
“Anyone on the road contemplating moving?” Mark asks, “I am not a landlord or developer, I’m just a Leighton Buzzard bloke trying to get out of renting, buy a house, do it up and live in it with my wife and two children”
“The only way I will leave here is in a box”, answers an 80-something lady, wearing her fading Paisley patterned housecoat from the 1970’s.
“I‘ve lived here since before you were born, its lovely up here .. we aren’t moving, are we Doris?” (as her neighbour sagely shook his head at his wife).
Mark, like many Leighton Buzzard people born in the late 1970’s to the early 1990’s, is keen to get a slice of prime Leighton Buzzard real estate. Yet people like Mark in Generation Y (or the Millennials as some people call them i.e. born between 1977 and 1994 and needing family housing now) are discovering, as each year passes by, they are becoming more neglected and ignored when it comes to moving up the property ladder.
Looking at the graph for the UK as whole …
Over 75 percent of Brits aged 65 and above (the baby boomers) are owner-occupiers, the biggest share since records began and a proportional rise of over 48.3% since the early 1980’s. Looking at those Baby Boomers (the current 65+year olds) .. and roll the clock back 36 years (to when they were in their 30’s and 40’s and two thirds (65.6%) of them owned their own home.
Whilst today, just under a half of 25 to 49 year olds (47.3%) own their own home.
However, the biggest drop has been in the 18 to 24-year old’s, where homeownership has dropped from a third (32%) in the 1980’s to less than one in ten (8.9%) today. Looking at the Leighton Buzzard statistics, the numbers make even more interesting reading.
Daniel Bourke is the owner of Belvoir Lettings Dunstable and in his previous career in Architecture he was an Associate in a leading London Architectural practice