Which Rugby Properties are Selling the Best?

Moving home is said to be the third most stressful life event, following a member of your family dying or getting divorced. So it is always best to keep your stress levels down by investigating and doing your homework on both the particular area of Rugby (or nearby conurbations) where you live (i.e. where you are selling) and where you want to search for your next Rugby home. Being mindful of how fast (or slow) the different aspects of the Rugby property market is moving is key.. because it could save you much heartache and many thousands of pounds.

You see, if you know you are selling a property in a sluggish price range and buying in a faster moving price range in Rugby then putting your property on the market first is vital, otherwise you will always find the one you want to buy tends to sell before your property sells – there is nothing worse than pondering over a property only to find that someone else has bought it. Being primed with all the knowledge is key. On the other side of the coin, if you are selling in a fast moving market and buying in a sluggish market .. you can probably get a better deal on the one you are buying.

For buy to let landlords in Rugby, this evidence is particularly critical as purchasing a high-demand property in a well-liked area of Rugby will safeguard a surfeit of availability of tenants, as well as respectable house price growth. 

Being an agent in Rugby, I like to keep an eye on the Rugby property market on a daily basis because it enables me to give the best advice and opinion on what (or not) to buy in Rugby; be that a buy to let property for a landlord or an owner occupier house.  So, I thought, how could I scientifically split the Rugby housing market into sections, so I could analyse which part of the Rugby property market was doing the best (or the worst).

I took the decision that the preeminent way was to fragment the Rugby property market into roughly four uniform size price bands (in terms of properties for sale). Each price band would have roughly around 25% of the property in Rugby available for sale .. then add up all the sold (stc) properties and see which sector of the Rugby property market was performing best? … And these were the results ..

The best performing price range in Rugby is the lower market up to £200,000 where 61.0% of all property in that price range has a buyer and is sold stc.

 

The best performing price range in Rugby is the lower market up to £200,000 where 61.0% of all property in that price range has a buyer and is sold stc.

The middle to upper range of the property market (£280,000 to £360,000) in Rugby is finding things a little tougher compared to the others. Even though the number of first time buyers in 2018 did increase over the 2017 levels, it was from a low starting point and the large majority of 20 to 30yo’s don’t want to or can’t buy their first home and the local authority has no money to build Council houses meaning an increase in demand as private landlords take up the slack – because everyone needs a roof over their head!

If you would like to pick my brains on the Rugby Property Market – pop in for a coffee or drop me a line on social media or email.

What Has Happened to the Rugby Property Market Since the Last Property Market Crash?

A handful of Rugby landlords and homeowners have been asking me what would happen if we had another property crash like we did in 2008/9?

The UK property crash in 2008/9 caused property prices in the UK to drop by an average of 18.37% in a period of 16 months.

On the run up to the Parliamentary vote on Brexit scheduled for March, a number of people asked what a no-deal Brexit would do to the property market and if there would be a crash as a result. I have discussed in a previous article on the chances of that (slim but always a possibility) … but assuming it happens, it is my opinion the outcome of a no-deal Brexit would be no worse than the country’s 2008/9 credit crunch property crash, the late 1988 property crash, the 1974 property crash, 1951 property crash … I could go on. The British economy would bounce back from the shock of a no-deal Brexit with lower property values and a continued low interest rate environment (together with an additional round of Quantitative Easing) and that would mean we would see a similar bounce back as savvy buyers saw it as a fantastic buying opportunity.

So, let me explain the reasons I believe this…

Many said after the Brexit vote in June 2016, we were due a property crash – but we all know what happened afterwards.

Initially, let’s see what would happen if we did have a crash, how quickly it would bounce back and then finally discuss how the chances of a crash are actually quite minimal.

Therefore, to start, I have initially split down the types of property in Rugby (Det/Semi etc.) and in the red column put the average value of that Rugby property type in 2009. Next in the orange column what those average values are today in 2019.

Now, assuming we had a property crash like we did in 2008, when average property values dropped nationally by 18.37%, I applied a similar drop to the current 2019 Rugby figures (i.e. the green column) to see what would happen to property values by the middle 2020 (because the last crash only took 13/14 months).

…and finally, what would subsequently happen to those same property prices if we had a repeat of the 2009 to 2014 property market bounce back.

Of course, these are all assumptions and we can’t factor in such things as China going pop on all its debt … yet either way, the chance of such a crash coming from internal UK factors are much slimmer than in another of the four property crashes we have experienced in the last 80 years. Why, you might ask?

The seven reasons I believe are these …

1.     The new Bank of England mortgage rules on lending 2014 to stop reckless lending that fuelled that last crash.

2.     Low inflation.

3.     Low mortgage rates (the average Brit’s fixed rate mortgage is currently 2.26% and the variable rate mortgage of 3.07%).

4.     Wage rises are forecast to continue to outgrow inflation.

5.     Unemployment figures dropping to 4% (down from 8.4% in 2011).

6.     The high percentage (67.7%) of all British mortgages being on a fixed rate.

7.     And notwithstanding the distractions of Brexit over the last few years, it cannot be denied that the British economy has slowly and steadily been heading in the right direction for a number of years, built on some decent foundations of a steady housing market (unlike the 1988 and 2008 crashes when the housing market got overheated very quickly on the run up to the crashes).

So as the circumstances are much different to the last two crashes, the chances of a crash are much slimmer. Yet if we do have a crash, for the very same 7 reasons above why the chances of a crash are unlikely, those 7 reasons would definitely contribute to making the ensuing recession neither too long nor substantial in scale.

One final thought for the homeowners of Rugby. Most people when they move home, move up market, meaning in a decreasing market you will actually be the winner, as a 10% drop on yours would be much smaller in £notes than a 10% drop on a bigger property … think about it.

One final thought for the new and existing buy to let landlords of Rugby. Well, the questions I seem to be asked on an almost daily basis by landlords are: –

·      “Should I sell my property in Rugby?”

·      “Is the time right to buy another buy to let property in Rugby and if not Rugby, where?”

·      “Are there any property bargains out there in Rugby to be had?”

Many other Rugby landlords, who are with us and many who are with other Rugby letting agents, all like to pop in for a coffee, pick up the phone or email us to discuss the Rugby property market, how Rugby compares with its closest rivals (Coventry, Lutterworth and Daventry), and hopefully answer the three questions above. I don’t bite, I don’t do hard sell, I will just give you my honest and straight-talking opinion. I look forward to hearing from you.

How Did Brexit Affect the Rugby Property Market in 2018 – and its Future for 2019?

A few weeks ago, I suggested property values in Rugby would be between 0.9% and 1.9% different by the end of the year. It might surprise some people that Brexit hasn’t had an effect on the Rugby property market that most feared at the start of 2018.

The basis of this point of view can clearly be seen in the number of property transactions (i.e. the number of property sold) that have taken place locally since 2008. The most recent property recession was the Credit Crunch years of 2008/2009/2010.

In property recessions, the headline most people look at is the average value of property. Yet, as most people that sell also go on to buy, for most home movers, if your property has gone down in value, the one you want to buy has also gone down in value so you are no better or worse off. If you are moving up market – which most people do when they move home – in a repressed market, the gap between what yours is worth and what you will buy gets lower … meaning you will be better off.

Yet, most property commentators, including myself, suggest (and I have mentioned this before in some of my other blog articles) a better measure of the health of the property market is the transaction numbers (i.e. the number of people selling and buying). So, I decided to look at the 2018 statistics, and compare them with the Credit Crunch years (2008 to 2010) and the boom years (2014 to 2017). The results can be seen in the table below.

Then, I looked at the average quarterly figures for those chosen date ranges … and created this graph …

 

In that 2008 to 2010 property Credit Crunch recession, the average number of properties sold in the Rugby area were 109 per month. Interesting when we compare that to the boom years of 2014 to 2017, when an average of 159 properties changed hands monthly … yet in the ‘supposed’ doom laden year of 2018, an impressive average of 147 properties changed hands monthly … meaning 2018 compared to the boom years of 2014 to 2017 saw a drop of 8.1% – yet still 34.6% higher than the Credit Crunch years of 2008 to 2010.

The simple fact is the fundamental problems of the Rugby property market are that there haven’t been enough new homes being built since the 1980’s (and I don’t say that lightly with all the new homes sites dotted around the locality). Also, the cost of buying your first home remaining relatively high compared to wages and to add insult to injury, all those issues are armor-plated by the tougher mortgage rules which were introduced in 2014 and the current mortgage market conditions.

It is these issues which will ultimately determine and form the rather unexciting, yet still vital, long term outlook for the Rugby (and national) housing market, as I feel the Brexit issue over the last few years has been the ‘current passing diversion’ for us to worry about. Assuming something can be sorted with Brexit, in the long term property values in Rugby will be constrained by earnings increases with long term house price rises of no more than 2.5% to 4% a year.

Fundamentally, the question I am asked by many Rugby buy to let landlords and Rugby homebuyers is … “should I wait to buy or not?”

As a Rugby homebuyer, one shouldn’t be thinking of what is happening in Westminster, Brussels, Irish Backstop, China or Trump and more of your own personal circumstances. Do you want to move to get your child in ‘that’ school or do you need an extra bedroom for your third child? For lots of people, the response is a resounding yes – and in fact, I feel many people have held back, so once we know what is finally happening with Brexit and the future of it, there could a be a release of that pent-up demand to move home as people humbly just want to get on with their lives.

There is little to be lost in postponing a house purchase until there is better clarity on the situation. If it isn’t Brexit it will something else – so just get on with your lives and start living. We got through the global financial crisis/Credit Crunch in ‘08/’09, Black Wednesday in ’92 where mortgage interest rates went from 8.5% to 15% in one day, we got through the worst stock market crash with Black Monday in ’87, hyperinflation, power shortages, petrol quadrupling in price in less than a year and a 3 day week in the ‘70’s … need I go on?

Rugby Landlords? Well, where else are you going to invest your money? Like I said earlier in the article, we aren’t building enough homes to keep up with demand … so as demand outstrips supply, house values will continue to grow. Putting the money in the building society will only get you 1% to 2% if you are lucky. In the short term though, there could be some bargains to be had from shortsighted panicking sellers and in the long term … well, the same reasons I gave to homeowners also apply to you.