Rugby Buy To Let Annual Returns Hit 12.18% in Last 10 Years

Many Rugby people ponder the best places to invest their hard-earned savings and the best piece of advice I can give you is to do your homework and speak to lots of people. It depends on your attitude to risk versus reward. Normally, the lower the risk, the lower the reward whilst a higher risk is normally associated with the possibility of higher returns, yet nothing is guaranteed. At the same time, higher risk also means higher possible losses on your investment – yet if one looks at the bigger picture, the biggest threat to investing, predominantly when the investment is made in the short term, isn’t risk but actually volatility.

So where should you invest? Building society, the stock market, gold or property are options. This article isn’t designed to give you advice – just show you how different investments have performed over the last decade.

Let me start with the humble semi-detached house in Rugby … which in 2009 was worth £157,300 … so assuming I bought that property for that figure, then I looked at what if I had invested the same amount of money in a building society, into gold and finally the stock market…

Putting your money into the stock market (FTSE100) would have brought a return of 30.2% on your capital over those 10 years and an average of 3.79% a year in dividends (making an overall increase of 74%).

Gold doesn’t earn interest – yet it has increased in value by 26.9% over the same 10 years whilst putting your money in the building society, the money hasn’t increased in value, but would have earned you interest of 24.46% or the equivalent of 2.21% per year.

Investing in an average semi-detached house in Rugby over the last 10 years has seen the capital increase by 50% (an equivalent of 4.14% per annum) and the income (i.e. the rent) has provided a return, based on the original purchase price, of 116.78% or the annual equivalent of 8.04% … meaning the overall return, based on the original purchase price of an average semi-detached property in Rugby, is 12.18% per annum.

Notwithstanding No.11 Downing Street’s grab at the profits of buy to let landlords by hitting the buy to let sector with several fiscal punishments with a 3% stamp duty level, a decrease in high rate tax relief for landlords and an increase in rate of CGT on residential property profits, the facts remain that ‘bricks and mortar’ is still one of the preeminent and most constant investments available.

The bottom line is, the buy to let investment remains the mainstay of the British property market, serving to support aspiring homeowners as they work to conquer the, sometimes difficult, financial obstacles of home ownership. With Central Government over the last 30 years only paying lip service to address the lack of new homes being built or tackling the affordability on a consequential scale, it is highly probable this will continue for the next 5/10/15 years as there will always be a call for a respectable, and above all, honest buy to let landlords delivering decent housing to those that need it.

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.

Rugby Homeowners 87% More Likely To Live in a Home with 3+ Bedrooms than those that Privately Rent

The conventional way of categorising property in Britain is to look at the number of bedrooms rather than its size in square metres (square feet for those of you over 50!). My intuition tells me that homeowners and tenants are happy to pay for more space. It’s quite obvious, the more bedrooms a house or apartment has, the bigger the property is likely to be. And it’s not only the tangible additional bedrooms, but those properties with those additional bedrooms tend to have larger (and more) reception (living) rooms. However, if you think about it, this isn’t so surprising given that properties with more bedrooms would typically accommodate more people and therefore require larger reception rooms.

In todays Rugby property market, the Rugby homeowners and Rugby landlords I talk to are always asking me which attributes and features are likely to make their property comparatively more attractive and which ones may detract from the price. Over time buyers’ and tenants’ wants and needs have changed.

In Rugby, location is still the No. 1 factor affecting the value of property, and a property in the best neighbourhoods can achieve a price almost 50% higher than a similar house in an ‘average’ area. Nevertheless, after location, the next characteristic that has a significant influence on the desirability, and thus price, of property is the number of bedrooms and the type (i.e. Detached/Semi/Terraced/Flat).

The number of bedrooms for owner-occupiers very much depends on the size of the family and the budget, whilst Rugby landlords have to consider the investment opportunity. In this article, I have analysed Rugby’s housing stock into bedrooms and tenure. Initially looking at Rugby homeowners..

And now the Private rented sector …

It can quite clearly be seen that Rugby owner-occupiers tend to occupy the largerproperties with more bedrooms. This would be expected due to the demographic of homeowners and people that privately rent.

However, this shows there could be opportunities for Rugby buy to let landlords to purchase larger properties with more bedrooms to attract tenants requiring properties with more bedrooms. However, before you all go buying larger 4 bed and 5 bed mansions to rent them out, a lot of bigger properties in Rugby don’t make financial sense when it comes to buy to let.

For numerous years Rugby buy to let landlords have been the lone buyers at the smaller one and two bed starter homes of the market, as they have been lured by elevated tenant demand and eye-catching returns. Some Rugby landlords believe their window of opportunity has started to close with the new tax regime for landlords, whilst it already appears to be opening wider for first time buyers. This is great news for first time buyers .. but one final note for Rugby landlords .. all is not lost .. you can still pick up bargains, you just need to be a lot more savvy and do your homework

Live in Rugby? About to Retire and Privately Rent? You Could be £4,300 a Year Worse Off!

You read the personal finance pages of the newspapers and it all seems to be the impending pensions crisis … where people aren’t saving enough for their retirement. But it’s not the lack of Rugby peoples’ future pension incomes that are my immediate concern. The fact is that so many of the future retirees in Rugby over the coming decade, who never bought their home in the Millennial years of the 1990’s and 2000’s, will have to make some tough decisions regarding what house they live in when they retire anytime between now and 2038.

In Rugby, there are 653 privately rented households, where the head of the household is between 50 years and 64 years of age (meaning they will be retiring anytime between now and 2038). They are working now and easily paying the rent, yet what happens when they retire?

A Rugby retired couple, who currently privately rent and who have paid their fully qualifying NI stamp over the last few decades are likely to retire with the couples State Pension of £1,091 per month plus a tiny bit of private pension if they are lucky. Given that the average rent in Rugby is £768 a month – a lot of that pension will be lost in rent. This means taxpayers will have no alternative but to step in and top up the rent payments with Housing Benefit, yet…

The maximum housing benefit for a couple in Rugby is currently £410.89 per month … leaving a significant gap when you consider the average rent in Rugby is £768 per month

It is most people’s opinion that retirees are either council tenants or own their home outright. Looking at these figures though, it looks like both these ‘mature’ private renters could be having to make some decisions on their lifestyle and where they live, possibly looking at downsizing the home they rent to make things more affordable in their old age. Also, the government will be in for a horrible surprise as more of Rugby people retire and continue to rent from a private landlord. Numerous Rugby private renters, with little or no savings, will have to rely on Housing Benefit, which will put greater pressure on the public purse.

The average Rugby retiree will need to find £4,285 pa to stay in their privately rented home after retirement

A recent report from Scottish Widows suggested that 1 in 8 OAP’s will be privately renting by 2032, up from the current one in 15.47 OAP’s whom currently private rent (or 6.47%). In fact, in that report they said the equivalent of more than one-third of the whole annual NHS budget would be spent on Housing Benefit for OAP’s in retirement living in private rented property.

What does this mean for mature Rugby homeowners? I see many using equity release schemes to stay in their homes to pay for a better retirement and others more open to downsizing, selling their large home to a family that needs it and moving into a smaller apartment or bungalow … yet lets be frank – they aren’t building bungalows in large numbers in Rugby anymore.

And for the Rugby landlords? Well with the younger Millennials showing no appetite in jumping onto the homeownership bandwagon anytime soon, it can only result in the demands on the buy to let market from Rugby tenants rising substantially. Of course, many Millennials will inherit money from their home owning parents in the coming few decades, yet a lot won’t as it will be spent on nursing home care and any leftovers (if any) split between siblings.

For those retiring in post 2050/2060, there is better news as official reports suggest those retirees will enjoy a State Pension approximately similar to today’s pensioners with auto-enrolment into top-up private pensions through their employer.

The solution to all this is to build more homes, of course. Last year we created/built just over 217,000 households in the UK, up from a post Millennial average of just under 150,000 households a year. We need to get back to the building booms of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when on average 300,000 households were built … but back to reality … that won’t happen so it looks like we are turning into a nation of renters, which is of course good news for Rugby’s buy to let landlords!

Rugby Homeowners Have Made an Annual Profit Of £8,194 Since the Millennium

As we go full steam ahead into 2019, it’s certain that the Rugby housing market in 2018 was a little more restrained than 2016 and 2017 and I believe this will continue into 2019. Property ownership is a medium to long term investment so, looking at the long-term, the average Rugby homeowner, having owned their property since the Millennium, has seen its value rise by more than 226%.

This is important, as house prices are a national obsession and tied into the health of the UK economy as a whole. The preponderance of that historical gain in Rugby property values has come from the growth in Rugby property values, while some of it will have been enhanced by extending, modernising or developing their Rugby home.

Taking a look at the different property types in Rugby, and the profit made by each type, makes interesting reading..

However, we can’t forget there has been just over 60% inflation over those 18 years, which eats into the ‘real’ value (or true spending power of that profit) … so if we take into account inflation since 2000, the true spending power of that profit has been lower.​

 So the ‘real’ value of the profit, after inflation, in Rugby has been £5,002 per year.. still nothing to sniff at.

I wanted to show you that even though we had the 2008/09 Credit Crunch property market crash where, depending on the type of Rugby property, property values dropped between 15% and 20% in 18 months … Rugby homeowners over the long term are still better off than those renting.

Moving forward, the question I get asked time and again is what will happen in the future to the Rugby Property market? Irrespective of what is happening in the World, Europe or even Central London, the biggest factor over the medium to longterm to ensure that this level of house price growth is maintained in Rugby is the building of new homes both locally and in the country as a whole. Whilst we haven’t had the 2018 stats yet, Government sources suggest this will be nearer 180,000 to 190,000, a decrease from the 2017 figure of 217,350 new households being created. When you consider that we need to build 240,000 households to equal demand (immigration, people living longer, higher divorce rates and people co-habiting later in life etc) … demand will outstrip supply and unless the Government start to spend billions building council houses .. this trend will continue for years (and decades to come).

Another factor is that whilst Rugby landlords have been hit with higher taxes to enable them to actually be a landlord most, in every national survey, still intends to increase their portfolio in the medium to long term. The youngsters of Rugby see renting as a choice, giving them flexibility and options that being tied to a home cannot give… thus meaning demand will continue to grow and landlords will be able to enjoy increased rents and capital growth, although those very same Rugby buy to let landlords will have to work smarter in the future to continue to make decent returns (profits) from their buy to let investments. Even with the tempering of house price inflation in Rugby in 2018, most Rugby buy to let landlords (and homeowners) are still sitting on a copious amount of growth from previous years.

The question is, how do you, as a Rugby buy to let landlord, ensure that continues?

Since the 1990’s, making money from investing in buy to let property was as easy as falling off a log. Looking forward though, with all the changes in the tax regime and balance of power, making those similar levels of return in the future won’t be so easy. Over the last ten years, I have seen the role of the forward thinking agents evolve from a person collecting the rent to a more all-inclusive role; I call it, ‘strategic portfolio leadership’. Thankfully, along with myself, there are a handful of agents in Rugby whom I would consider exemplary at this landlord portfolio strategy where they can give you a balanced structured overview of your short, medium and long-term goals, in relation to your required return on investment, yield and capital growth requirements. If you would like such advice, speak with your current agent – whether you are a landlord of ours or not – without any cost or commitment, feel free to drop me a line.

Rugby Property Market: Is Sell to Rent the new Buy to Let?

It doesn’t seem two minutes ago that it was 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade (32 degrees Celsius for my younger readers), hosepipe bans looked likely and it was simply too hot to sleep at night, yet early indications were, that as the temperatures soared, the Rugby property market appeared to be doing the reverse and was already starting to cool down.

17.96% less people moved home in the Rugby area in the first part of 2018, when compared to the average number of people moving home (in the same time frame) between 2014 and 2017

The average number of households who sold and moved locally between 2014 and 2017 in the winter and spring months was 140 homes a month.. yet in the same time frame in 2018, only 115 (on average) sold and moved.

 

So, what is the issue? Many have cited Brexit as the issue – but I think its deeper than that.

Brexit seems to be the “go to excuse” for everything at the moment – my neighbour even blamed it for the potholes! Anyway a few weeks ago, I was out for a family get together in another part of the UK when one of my extended family said that they were planning on buying their first home this autumn most of those present said they were stupid to do so because of Brexit. Nonetheless, half an hour later, another distant cousin said to the same family crowd that they were planning to sell their home; to which most said they were also daft to do so because of Brexit.

Both sides of the argument can’t be right! So, what exactly is happening?

Well if you have been reading my blog on the Rugby property market over the last few months, I have been discussing the threats and opportunities of the current state of fluidity in the Rugby property market, including the issue of OAPs staying in homes that are too big for them as their children have flown the nest, interest rates, inflation, lack of new homes being built and the long term attitude to homeownership.. yet I have noticed a new trend in the last few months.. the emergence of the ‘sell to renter’.

Sell to Renter?

I have seen a subtle, yet noticeable number of Rugby homeowners that have been selling their Rugby homes, renting and wagering that, in the next few years, the Rugby property market will tumble by more than what they spend on their short-term rental home, before they buy another Rugby home in a couple of years i.e. a ‘sell to renter’. This type of ‘sell to renter’ is mostly predominant at the middle to upper end of the Rugby property market – so I’m not too sure if it will catch on in the main ‘core’ market?

So, what does this all mean for Rugby homeowners and Rugby Buy To Let landlords?

Well, in the short term, demand for middle to upper market Rugby rental properties could increase as these ‘sell to renters’ demand such properties. I would however give a note of caution to Rugby landlords buying in this sector of the Rugby property market as yields in this sector can be quite low. However, for homeowners of middle to upper market Rugby properties, you might have lesspeople wanting to buy your type of property, as some buyers are turning to renting?

Like I have always said, Rugby properties are selling if they are realistically priced (realistic for the market – not a rose-tinted version where someone will pay 10% over the odds because everyone has access to the market stats with the likes of Rightmove and Zoopla!).

P.S Notice the spike in the graph, where the number of property sales jumped to 218 in the month of March 2016? That was all the Rugby buy to let landlords snapping up buy to let properties before the stamp duty rules changed!

7 Reasons Why Rugby Buy To Let Landlords Shouldn’t Be Criticised ​

There is no escaping the fact that over the last couple of decades, the rise in the number buy to let properties in Rugby has been nothing short of extraordinary.  Many in the “left leaning” press have spoken of a broken nation, the fact many youngsters are unable to buy their first home with the rise of a new cohort of younger renters, whom have been daubed ‘Generation Rent’ as landlords hoover up all the properties for their buy to let property empires. Government has been blamed in the past for giving landlords an unfair advantage with the tax system. It is also true many of my fellow professionals have done nothing to avail themselves in glory, with some suspect, if not on some rare occasions, downright dubious practices.

Yet has the denigration and unfair criticism of some Rugby landlords gone too far?

It was only a few weeks ago, I read an article in a newspaper of one landlord who had decided to sell their modest buy to let portfolio for a combination of reasons, one of which being the new tax rules on buy to let that were introduced last year. The comments section of the newspaper and the associated social media posts were pure hate, and certainly not deserved.

Like all aspects in life, there are always good (and bad) landlords, just like there are good (and bad) letting agents … and so it should be said, there are good tenants and in equal measure bad tenants. Bad letting agents and bad landlords should be routed out … but not at the expense of the vast majority whom are good and decent.

But are the 1,865 Rugby portfolio buy to let landlords at fault?

The Tories allowed people to buy their own Council house in the 1980’s, taking them out of the collective pot of social rented houses for future generations to rent them. Landlords have been vilified by many, as it has been suggested by some they have an unhealthy and ravenous avarice to make cash and profit at the expense of poor renters, unable to buy their first home. Yet, looking beyond the headline grabbing press, this is in fact ‘fake news’. There are seven reasons that have created the perfect storm for private renting to explode in the 2000’s.

To start with, the Housing Acts of 1988 and 1996 gave buy to let landlords the right to remove tenants after six months, without the need for fault. The 1996 Act, and its changes, meant banks and building societies could start to lend on buy to let properties, knowing if the mortgage payments weren’t kept up to date, the property could be repossessed without the issue of sitting tenants being in the property for many years (even decades!) … meaning in 1997, buy to let mortgages were born… and this, my blog reading friends, is where the problem started.

Secondly, in the early 2000’s, those same building societies and banks were relaxing their lending criteria, with self-certification (i.e. you did not need to prove your income), mortgages 8 times their annual salary, and very helpful interest only mortgage deals helped to keep repayments inexpensive.

Thirdly, the totally inadequate building of Council Houses (aka Local Authority Housing) in the last two decades and (so I’m not accused of Tory bashing) – can you believe Labour only built 6,510 Council Houses in the WHOLE OF THE UK between 1997 and 2010? Giving the Tories their due, they have built 20,840 Council Houses since they came to power in 2010 (although still woefully low when compared the number of Council Houses built in the 1960’s and 1970’swhen we were building on average 142,000 Council Houses per year nationally). This meant people who would have normally rented from the Council, had no Council House to rent (because they had been bought), so they rented privately.

And then 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th … 

– Less of private home building (again look at the graph) over the last two decades.

– A loss of conviction in personal pensions meaning people were looking for a better place to invest their savings for retirement.

– Ultra-low interest rates for the last nine years since the Credit Crunch meaning borrowing was cheap.

– A massive increase in EU migration from 2004, when we had eight Eastern European countries join the EU. That brought 1.4m people to the UK for work from those countries – and they needed somewhere to live.

Thus, we got the perfect storm conditions for an eruption in the Rugby Private Rented Sector.

Commercially speaking, purchasing a Rugby property has been undoubtedly the best thing anyone could have done with their hard-earned savings since 1998, where property values in Rugby have risen by 254.25%…

…and basing it on the average rental in Rugby, earned £190,944 in rent.

Yet, the younger generation have lost out, as they are now incapable to get on the property (especially in Central London).

The Government have over the last few years started to redress the imbalance, increasing taxes for landlords, together with the Banks being tighter on their lending criteria meaning the heady days of the Noughties are long gone for Rugby landlords. In the past 20 years, anything but everything made money in property and it was easy as falling off a log to make money in buy to let in Rugby – but not anymore.

Being a letting agent has evolved from being a glorified rent collector to a trusted advisor giving specific portfolio strategy planning on each landlord’s buy to let portfolios. I had a couple of instances recently of a couple of portfolio landlords, one from Braunston who wanted income in retirement from his buy to let’s and the other from Dunchurch, who wanted to pass on a decent chunk of cash to his grandchildren to enable them to buy their own home in 15/20 years’ time.

Both of these landlord’s portfolios were woefully going to miss the targets and expectations both landlords had with their portfolios, so over the last six/nine months, we have sold a few of their properties, refinanced and purchased other types of Rugby property to enable them to hit their future goals (because some properties in Rugby are better for income and some are better for capital growth) … And that my blog reading friends is what  ‘portfolio strategy planning’ is! 

If you thik you need ‘portfolio strategy planning’, whether you are a landlord of ours or not (because the Dunchurch landlord wasn’t)  … drop me line or give the office a call. Thank you for reading.

25 Days to Sell a Property in Rugby

Whether you are a Rugby landlord looking to liquidate your buy to let investment or a homeowner looking to sell your home, finding a buyer and selling your property can take an annoyingly long time. It is a step-by-step process that can take months and months. In fact, one of the worst parts of the house selling process is the not knowing how long you might be stuck at each step. At the moment, looking at every estate agent in Rugby, independent research shows it is taking on average 25 days from the property coming on the market for it to be sold subject to contract.

But trust me … that is just the start of a long journey on the house selling/buying process. The journey is a long one and therefore, in this article, I want to take you through the standard itinerary for each step of the house selling procedure in Rugby.

Step 1 – Find a Buyer

You need to instruct an estate agent (of course we can help you with that) who will talk through a marketing strategy and pricing strategy to enable you to find a buyer that fits your circumstances. 25 days might be the average in Rugby, yet as I have said many times, the Rugby property market is like a fly’s eye, split up into lots of little micro markets.

Looking at that independent research, (which only focused on Rugby), it was interesting to see how the different price bands (i.e. different micro markets) are currently performing, when it comes down to the average number of days it takes to find a buyer for a property in Rugby.

Interestingly, I thought I would see which price band had the highest proportion of properties sold (stc)… again – fascinating!

So, now you have a buyer … what next?

There are a variety of distinctive issues at play when selling your property in Rugby, together with the involvement of a wide and varied range of professionals who get involved in that process. That means there is are enormous differences in how long it takes from one property to another. Moving forward to the next steps, these are the average lengths of time it takes for each step to give you some idea of what to expect.

Step 2  – Sort Solicitors (and Mortgage)

Again, something we can point you in the right direction to, but it will take a good few weeks for your buyer to apply and sort their mortgage and for your solicitors to prepare the legal paper work to send to the buyer.

Step 3 – Legal Work and Survey

Once you buyer’s solicitor receives the paperwork from your solicitor, then your buyer’s solicitor applies for local searches from the local authority (to ensure no motorways etc., are going to be built in the back garden!).  These Searches can take a number of weeks to be returned to the buyer solicitors from the council, from which questions will be raised by the buyer’s solicitor to your solicitor (trust me – you don’t see a tenth of the work that goes on behind closed doors to get the sale through to completion). Meanwhile, the surveyor will check the property to ensure it is worth the money and structurally sound. Overall, this step can take between 3 and 6 weeks (sometimes more!).

Step 4 – Exchange of Contracts

Assuming all the mortgage, survey and legal work comes back ok, both the buyer and solicitor sign contracts, the solicitors then perform “Exchange of Contracts”. When contracts are exchanged, this is the first time both buyer and seller are tied in. Before then, they can walk away … and you are probably 4 or 5 months down the line from having put up the for sale board – this isn’t a quick process! BUT hold on … we aren’t there yet!

Step 5 – Completion

Between a week and up to six weeks after exchange of contracts, the buyer solicitor sends the purchase money to the seller’s solicitor, and once that arrives, the keys will be given to the buyer … phew!

To conclude, all in all, you are looking at a good four, five even six months from putting the for-sale board up to moving out.

If you are thinking of selling your Rugby home or if you are a Rugby landlord, hoping to sell your buy to let property (with tenants in), either way, if you want a chat to ensure you get a decent price with minimal fuss … drop me a message or pick up the phone.

Value of Rugby Property Market falls £154.4m

The combined value of Rugby’s housing market has fallen by £154,363,248 in the last 6 months, meaning the average value of a Rugby property has decreased in value by an average of £6,084.  

This is great news for Rugby first time buyers and Rugby buy to let landlords, as there is a slight hesitation in the market because of the uncertainty over Brexit. As I have always said, investing in Rugby property, be it for you to live in or as a buy to let investment, is a long-term game. In the grand scheme of things, this minor change over the last 5 or 10 years is nothing.

The RICS’s latest survey of its Chartered Surveyor members showed that nationally the number of properties actually selling has dropped for the 16th month in a row. Locally in Rugby, certain sectors of the market are matching that trend, yet others aren’t. It really depends which price band and type of property you are looking for, as to whether it’s a buyers or sellers market.

The RICS also said its member’s lettings data showed a lower number of rental properties coming on to the market. Anecdotal evidence suggests that (and this is born out in the recent English Housing Survey figures) Rugby tenants over the last few years are stopping in their rental properties longer, meaning less are coming onto the market for rent. I have noticed locally, that where the landlord has gone the extra mile in terms of decoration and standard of finish, this has certainly helped push rents up (although those properties where the landlord has been remiss with improvements and standard of finish are in fact seeing rents drop). Rugby tenants are getting pickier – but will pay top dollar for quality. So much so, I believe there will be a cumulative rise of around fourteen to sixteen per cent over the course of the next five years in private rents for the best properties on the market.

Back to the Rugby Property Values though …

This drop in Rugby property values doesn’t particularly concern me. The fact is that over the last 6 months 415 properties have sold for a combined value of £106,534,650. You see, that drop must be seen in perspective in that 6 months ago, the total value of Rugby property stood at £6,606,665,824 (£6.61bn), and today it stands at £6,452,302,576 (£6.45bn) .. this change is a drop in the ocean.

In the short term, say over the next six months and assuming nothing silly happens in Korea, the Middle East or Brexit negotiations, it will be more of the same until the end of the year. In the meantime, the on-going challenges ensuring we as a Country build more homes (although the Office of National Statistics figures released in July showed nationally the number of new homes started to be built over the second Quarter of 2018 had dropped dramatically) makes me think that Rugby (and Nationally) property value is likely to recommence an upward trajectory as we go into 2019.

One final thought for all the buy to let landlords in Rugby (and indirectly this does affect all you Rugby homeowners too). I do hope the recent tax changes towards buy to let landlords don’t bite as deep as it is possibly starting to with certain landlords I know.  We talked about this in an article a few weeks ago and I know why the Government wanted to change the balance by taxing landlords and providing a lift for first time buyers .. however, this may well come at the expense of higher rents for those Rugby tenants that don’t become first time buyers, as the appeal of buy to let potentially weakens.

Rugby Property Market – How Does It Compare Historically to the West Midlands and National Property Market’s?​

Living in our own homes or owning buy to let property in Rugby and the surrounding areas, it’s often easy to ignore the regional and national picture when it comes to property. As a homeowner or landlord in Rugby, consideration must be given to these markets, as directly and indirectly, they do have a bearing on us in Rugby.

Locally, the value of property in Rugby and the number of people moving remain largely steady overall, although looking across at the different regions, there are certainly regional variations. Talking to fellow property professionals in the posh upmarket central London areas of Mayfair and Kensington, the number of people looking to buy and registering interest with agents is continuing to climb after 18 months in the doldrums, whilst in other parts of the UK, there is restraint amongst both buyers and sellers in some locations.

The things that affect the national property market are the big economic numbers. Nationally, over the last few months, thankfully, the economic forecast and predictions have improved, notwithstanding the Brexit uncertainties. Inflation has mercifully throttled back its high growth seen in 2016 to the current level of 2.1% (from 2.7% average last year), coupled with marginally stronger wage growth at 2.5%. Unemployment is at a 42-year low at 4.2% and UK consumer spending power rose to an all-time high last month to £331.04bn – all positives for consumer sentiment.

Look further afield, a resilient property market depends on the UK’s economic health with the outside world, so if Sterling weakens, that makes imports more expensive, meaning inflation increases, and this matter I talked about a few weeks ago in my blog article … interest rates could be raised to bring inflation under control, which in turn could seriously affect the property market. On the assumption Brexit negotiations are successful, economic growth should continue to be upward and positive, meaning confidence would be increased … which is the vital element to a good housing market.

Looking closer to home now, Rugby landlords and Rugby homeowners might be interested in the how the regional and Rugby markets have performed over the last 20 years (compared to the National picture). Let’s look at the regional picture first,

Rugby has outperformed the West Midlands housing market by 4.82%……whilst nationally, Rugby has outperformed the country by 5.81%

That means a Rugby homeowner has profited by an additional £14,776 over the last 20 years compared to the average homeowners across the country.

I found it interesting to see the ups and downs of the Rugby, West Midlands and National markets in this graph. How the lines of graphs roughly go in the same direction, how the 2007/08 property crash timings and effects were slightly different between the three lines and finally how the property markets performed in the post-crash years of 2011 to 2014 … fascinating!

So, what does this all mean for Rugby homeowners and Rugby landlords?

Well, house prices going up or down are only an issue when you sell or buy. In the last 12 months, only 1,076,288 (let’s call it’s a straight million between friends!) properties changed hands out of 27.2 million households in the UK in 2017, meaning only 3.7% would have been affected if property values had dropped in the last year.

Property values in Rugby are 262.48% higher than the summer of 1998

Yet this has been a long-term gain. The number one lesson in property is that it is a long-term game.  The biggest issue in property isn’t house values or prices … it’s the number of homes built, because the number of households nationally has only increased by 6% since 2007, whilst the population has grown by 7.6%. That doesn’t sound a lot, until you express it another way…

If the UK population had had only grown by the same percentage as the percentage growth in UK households in the last decade, there would be 1,000,000 less people living in the UK today

The final thought for this article is this, apart from central London, over the last 20 years it hasn’t mattered what part of the UK you were in with regards to the property market. Be you a landlord or homeowner, property is a long game, so look long term and you will win because until they start to build more homes, from the current levels of 180,000 new homes built per year to at least 250,000 households built per year, demand will, over the long term, outstrip supply for owning and renting!