There is good news for Leighton Buzzard buy to let landlords as ‘top of the range’ well-presented properties are getting really decent rents compared to a year ago however, this rise in rents is thwarting many potential first time buyers from saving for both a deposit and money for a rainy day. On top of this, there is also a shortage of Leighton Buzzard homes coming on the market thus adding fuel to the slowdown and affecting not just Leighton Buzzard first time buyers but also those going up the housing ladder.
Whilst it is true that the Government’s initiatives, targeted at improving the supply of homes built and helping first time buyers obtaining necessary funding, are starting to work (albeit slowly), I also believe that to boost more existing home-owners and their properties onto the market, we as a Country, need to see a better focus placed on those looking to downsize (i.e. the mature generation).
If we took away some hurdles to home owners downsizing, such as removing stamp duty for those downsizers (as was done for first time buyers last year), together with encouraging even more first-time buyers with 100% mortgages to buy the smaller properties, this would in turn release more mid-range properties onto the market, which subsequently would encourage more mature homeowners to downsize from their bigger properties to buy those mid-range properties - thus completing the circle.
Looking at the most recent set of data from the Land Registry for Leighton Buzzard (the LU7 postcode in particular), the figures show the indifferent nature of the current Leighton Buzzard property market.
Only 579 Leighton Buzzard (LU7) Homes changed hands in the last 6 months
Leighton Buzzard property values and transactions continue to be sluggish, and the monthly peaks and troughs of house prices and properties changing hands doesn’t mask the deficiency of suitable realistically priced property coming onto the Leighton Buzzard property market, meaning the housing market is slowly becoming inaccessible to some would-be home owners.
Looking at what each property type is selling for in LU7 (note the data from the Land Registry is always 4/5 months behind) makes interesting reading ….
One must remember these are the average prices paid, so it only takes a run of a few expensive or cheaper property types (as can be seen with the variance in the Semi Detached and Apartments in the table) to affect the figures..
Looking at the numbers of properties for sale … I looked at my research for early Summer 2008, and at that time, 790 properties were on the market for sale in Leighton Buzzard.. and when I did my research on this article today, just 312 properties for sale.. a drop of 61%.
The Government needs to seriously consider the supply and demand of the UK property market as a whole to ensure it doesn’t seize up. It needs to do that with bold and forward-thinking plans but, in the meantime, people still need a roof over their head, so as local authorities don’t have the cash to build new houses anymore, it’s the job of Leighton Buzzard landlords to take up the slack. I must stress though, I have noticed a distinct ‘flight to quality’ by Leighton Buzzard tenants, who are prepared to pay top dollar for an exceptional home to rent. If you want to know what tenants are looking for and what type of things you as a Leighton Buzzard landlord need to do to maximise your rental returns – drop me a line.
Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard Property Values (were) 7.3% higher than year ago – What’s the PLAN to fix the Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard Property Market?
It’s been over 18 months since Sajid Javid, the Tory Government’s Housing Minister published the White Paper “Fixing the Broken UK Housing Market”, meanwhile Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard property values continue to rise at 7.3% (year on year for the council area) and the number of new homes being constructed locally bumps along at a snail’s pace, creating a potential perfect storm for those looking to buy and sell.
The White Paper is important for the UK and Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard people, as it will ensure we have long-term stability and longevity in property market as whole. Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard homeowners and Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard landlords need to be aware of these issues in the report to ensure they don’t lose out and ensure the local housing market is fit for purpose. The White Paper wanted more homes to be built in the next couple of decades, so it might seem counter-intuitive for existing home-owners and landlords to encourage more homes to be built and a change in the direction of housing provision – as this would appear to have a negative effect on their own property.
Yet the country needs a diversified and fluid property market to allow the economy as whole to grow and flourish ... which in turn will be a greater influence on whether prices go up or down in the long term. I am sure every homeowner or landlord in Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard doesn’t want another housing crisis like we had in 1974, 1988 and most recently in 2008.
Now, as Sajid Javid has moved on to the Home Secretary role, the 17th Housing Minister in 20 years (poisoned chalice or journeyman’s cabinet post) James Brokenshire has been given the task of making this White Paper come alive. The White Paper had a well-defined notion of what the issues were.
The first of the four points brought up was to give local authorities powers to speed up house building and ensure developers complete new homes on time. Secondly, statutory methods demanding local authorities and builders build at higher densities (i.e. more houses per hectare) where appropriate. The other two points were incentives for smaller builders to take a larger share of the new homes market and help for people renting.
However, lets go back to the two initial points of planning and density.
For planning to work, we need a robust Planning Dept. Looking at data from the Local Government’s Association, in Central Bedfordshire, the council is above the regional average, spending £41.60 per person for the Planning Authority, compared the regional average of £36.50 per head – which will mean the planning department should have no problem meeting those targets.
However, 72% of planning applications are decided within the statutory 8-week initial period, below the regional average of 86% (see the graph below). I am slightly disappointed and also pleased with the numbers for our local authority when it comes to the planning and the budget allowed by our Politician to this vital service.
(2) Density of Population
3.6 people live in every hectare (or 2.471 acres) in Central Bedfordshire
It won’t surprise you that 154,109 of 254,381 Central Bedfordshire residents live in the urban conurbations of the authority, giving a density of 13.4 people per hectare (again – much lower than I initially thought), whilst the villages have a density of 1.7 people per hectare.
I would agree with the Governments’ ambition to make more efficient use of land and avoid building homes at low densities where there is a shortage of land for meeting identified housing needs, ensuring that the density and form of development reflect the character, accessibility and infrastructure.
It’s all very good building lots of houses – but we need the infrastructure to go with it.
Talking to a lot of Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard people, their biggest fear of all this building is a lack of infrastructure for those extra houses (the extra roads, doctors surgeries, schools etc.). I know most Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard homeowners and landlords want more houses to be built to house their family and friends ... but irrespective of the density ... it’s the infrastructure that goes with the housing that is just as important ... and this is where I think the White Paper failed to go as far as I feel it should have done.
Interesting times ahead I believe!
Nearly 3 babies have been born for every new home that has been built in Central Bedfordshire since 2012, deepening the Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard housing shortage.
This discovery is an important foundation for my concerns about the future of the Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard property market - when you consider the battle that todays twenty and thirty somethings face in order to buy their first home and get on the Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard property ladder. This is particularly ironic as these youngsters’ are being born in an age when the number of new babies born to new homes was far lower.
This will mean the babies being born now, who will become the next generation’s first-time buyers will come up against even bigger competition from a greater number of their peers unless we move to long term fixes to the housing market, instead of the short term fixes that successive Governments have done since the 1980’s.
Looking at the most up to date data for the area covered by Central Bedfordshire Council, the numbers of properties-built versus the number of babies born together with the corresponding ratio of the two metrics …
It can be seen that in 2016, 2.38 babies had been born in Central Bedfordshire for every home that had been built in the five years to the end of 2016 (the most up to date data). Interestingly, that ratio nationally was 2.9 babies to every home built in the ‘50s and 2.4 in the ‘70s. I have seen the unaudited 2017 statistics and the picture isn’t any better! (I will share those when they are released later in the year).
Our children, and their children, will be placed in an unprecedented and unbelievably difficult position when wanting to buy their first home unless decisive action is taken. You see it doesn’t help that with life expectancy growing year on year, this too is also placing excessive pressure on homes to live in availability, with normal population growth nationally (the number of babies born less the number of people passing away) accumulative by two people for every one home that was built since the start of this decade.
Owning one’s home is a measure many Brits to aspire to. The only long-term measure that will help is the building of more new homes on a scale not seen since the 50’s and 60’s, which means we would need to aim to at least double the number of homes we build annually.
In the meantime, what does this mean for Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard landlords and homeowners? Well the demand for rental properties in Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard in the short term will remain high and until the rate of building grows substantially, this means rents will remain strong and correspondingly, property values will remain robust.
The simple fact is we are not building enough properties. If the supply of new properties is limited and demand continues to soar with heightened divorce rates, i.e. one household becoming two, people living longer and continued immigration, this means the values of those existing properties continues to remain high and out of reach for a lot of people, especially the blue collar working families of Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard.
Looking at some recent statistics released by the Government, the ratio of the lower quartile house prices to lower quartile gross annual salaries in Central Bedfordshire Council has hit 11.15 to 1.
What does that mean exactly and why does it matter to Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard landlords and homeowners?
If we ordered every property in the Central Bedfordshire Council area by the value of those properties, the average value of the lower quartile properties (i.e. lowest 25%) would be £230,000. If we then did the same, and ordered everyone’s salary in the same council area, the average of the lowest quartile (lowest 25%), the average salary of the lowest 25% is £20,634 pa, thus dividing one with the other, we get the ratio of 11.15 to 1.
Assuming there is one wage earner in the house, the chances of a Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard working family being able to afford to buy their own home, when it’s over eleven times their annual salary, is very slim indeed. The existing affordability crisis of people wanting to buy their own home is the unavoidable outcome of the decade on decade failure to build enough homes to keep up with demand. Nevertheless, improving affordability is not a case of just constructing more homes. Central Bedfordshire Council needs to ensure more properties are not only built, but built in the right locations and of the right type and at the right price to ensure the needs of these lower income working families are met, because at the moment, they presently have few options apart from the private rental sector.
Looking at the historic nature of the ratio, it can clearly be seen in the graph below that this has been an issue since the mid 2000’s. Previous figures from the late 90’s to mid 2000’s (South Bedfordshire Council) were significantly lower.
However, if one looks at the historic data, those on the bottom rung of the ladder (those in the lower quartile of wage earners) used to be housed by the local authority instead of buying. However, the vast majority of council houses were sold off in the 1980’s, meaning there are much fewer council houses today to house this generation.
Many of the lower quartile working class families were given a lifeline to buy their own homes in middle 2000’s, with 100% mortgages, but the with the credit crunch in 2009, that rug (of 100% mortgages) was rudely pulled from under their feet. You see it is cheaper to buy than rent ... it’s the finding of the 5% deposit that is the challenging issue for these Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard working class families. So unless the Government allow 100% mortgages back, the fact is, demand for rental properties will outstrip supply.
In the long term, to alleviate that, I would suggest the Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard community hold their local politicians at Central Bedfordshire Council to account for the actions they could take to ensure the affordability of housing and the extent to which they work with private developers and housing associations and aggressively use the planning tools at their disposal to safeguard the local community getting the new households we need. Central Bedfordshire Council could make certain parcels of residential building land for private rented development only, eliminating the opportunity of the land being bought to develop large executive homes, which do not solve the current problem.
Yet in the short term, all this means is demand for rental properties will continue to grow, keeping Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard house prices high and Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard rents high.
A noteworthy number of buy to let landlords in Britain plan to buy more properties over the next year notwithstanding the frustrations, challenges and seismic changes in the private rented sector. According to Aldermore, the specialist Buy To Let lender, their research shows around 41% of portfolio buy to let landlord’s objective is to grow their buy to let portfolio (Portfolio landlords are landlords that own more than one property).
So, I thought, “Are Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard landlords feeling the same?” If so, if these numbers were applied to the Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard private rental market, what sort effect would it have on the Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard property market as whole?
Talking to the landlords I deal with, most are feeling quite optimistic about the future of the Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard rental market and the prospect it presents notwithstanding the doom and gloom prophecies that the property market will shrink. Many of those Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard landlords who are looking to enlarge their portfolio are doing so because they still see the Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard rental market as a decent investment opportunity.
With top of the range Bank and Building Society Savings Accounts only reaching 1.5% a year, the rollercoaster ride of Crypto currency and the yo-yoing of the Stock Market, the simple fact is, with rental yields in Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard far outstripping current savings rates, the short term prospect of a minor drop in property prices isn’t putting off Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard landlords.
The art to buying a Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard buy to let investment is to buy the profit on the purchase price, not the anticipation of the future sale price.
No matter what the historical economy has thrown at us, with the global meltdown in 2008/9, dotcom crash of 2000, ERM in 1992, the three day week, oil crisis and hyperinflation in the 1970’s (the list goes on) ... the housing market has always bounced back stronger in the long term. That’s the point ... long term. Investing in buy to let is a long-term strategy. The simple fact is, over the long term with the increasing demand for rental properties, predominantly among Millennials as many cannot afford to get on the property ladder, and with councils not building enough properties of any kind, many youngsters are having to resort the private rental market for their accommodation needs.
So, what if I look at the numbers involved in Leighton Buzzard?
There are 367 landlords that own just one buy to let (BTL) property in Leighton Buzzard and 798 Leighton Buzzard landlords, who are portfolio landlords. Between those 798 Leighton Buzzard portfolio BTL landlords, they own a total of 1,675 Leighton Buzzard BTL properties and they can be split down into the size of landlord portfolio in the graph below….
If I apply the Aldermore figures that means 327 Leighton Buzzard landlords have plans to expand their BTL portfolio in the coming year or so.
However, the Aldermore Research also showed that 8% of private landlords intended to reduce the number of properties they own. They put this down to continuing Government intervention in the housing market (as many landlords mentioned too many limitations and higher taxation) while some believed that tenants are excessively protected to the disadvantage of the landlord.
I would say there is no repudiating that the buy to let market has taken a bit of a beating, thanks to a plethora of Government regulation, new mortgage underwriting rules in 2014 and George Osborne’s tax changes. Yet there still remains an overall consciousness of optimism among the vast majority of Leighton Buzzard buy to let landlords. Despite these latest changes, many landlords still view buy to let as a good investment, as long as you buy right and expand your portfolio taking into account the second rule of buy to let … assess your position on the ‘buy to let seesaw’ of capital growth and yield.
In previous articles, I have spoken at length about the crisis in supply of property in Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard (i.e. not enough property is being built), but in this article I want to talk about the other crisis – that of affordability. It is not just about the pure number of houses being built but also the equilibrium of tenure (ownership vs rented) and therein, the affordability of housing, which needs to be considered carefully for an efficient and effectual housing market.
An efficient and effectual housing market is in everyone’s interests, including Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard homeowners and Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard landlords, so let me explain ..
An average of only 274 Affordable Homes per year have been built by Central Bedfordshire Council in the last 9 years
The requirement for the provision of subsidised housing has been recognised since Victorian times. Even though private rents have not kept up with inflation since 2005 (meaning tenants are better off) it’s still a fact there are substantial numbers of low-income households in Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard devoid of the money to allow them a decent standard of housing.
Usually, property in the social housing sector has had rents set at around half the going market rate and affordable shared home ownership has been the main source of new affordable housing yet, irrespective of the tenure, the local authority is simply not coming up with the numbers required. If the local authority isn’t building or finding these affordable homes, these Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard tenants still need housing, and some tenants at the lower end of the market are falling foul of rogue landlords. Not good news for tenants and the vast majority of law abiding and decent Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard landlords who are tarnished by the actions of those few rogue landlords, especially as I believe everyone has the right to a safe and decent home.
Be it Tory’s, Labour, SNP, Lib Dems, Greens etc, everyone needs to put party politics aside and start building enough homes and ensure that housing is affordable. Even though 2017 was one of the best years for new home building in the last decade (217,000 home built in 2017) overall new home building has been in decline for many years from the heady days of the early 1970s, when an average of 350,000 new homes were being built a year. As you can see from the graph, we simply aren’t building enough ‘affordable’ homes in the area.
The blame cannot all be placed at the feet of the local authority as Council budgets nationally, according to Full-Fact, are 26% lower than they have been since 2010.
So, what does this mean for Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard homeowners? Well, an undersupply of affordable homes will artificially keep rents and property prices high. That might sound good in the short term, but a large proportion of my Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard landlords find their children are also priced out of the housing market. Also, whilst your Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard home might be slightly higher in value, due to this lack of supply of homes at the bottom end of the market, as most people move up the market when they do move, the one you want to buy will be priced even higher.
Problems at the lower end of the property market will affect the middle and upper parts. There is no getting away from the fact that the Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard housing market is all interlinked .. it’s not called the Property ‘Ladder’ for nothing!
The average asking price of property in Leighton Buzzard increased by 9.3% or £29,396 compared to a year ago, with particularly good demand from landlords and home-movers in the first few months of the year. This takes the current average asking price to £345,767, compared with £316,371 this time last year.
The rise in asking prices is being aggravated by buyers jumping into action looking to benefit from potential stamp duty savings (especially first-time buyers) or beat impending mortgage interest rate rises later in 2018. Of the numerous Leighton Buzzard buyers starting their property hunting in the usually active spring market this year, many faced paying even more than ever for the property of their dreams, although as I mentioned a few weeks ago, there are more properties for sale in Leighton Buzzard compared to 12 months ago.
Looking at the different sectors of the Leighton Buzzard property market, splitting it down into property types, one can see what is happening to each sector of the market with regard to their average asking prices now compared to a year ago. Firstly, looking at the Pound note amounts …
Interestingly, when one looks at the percentages, the most upward average asking price pressure is in the detached property type sectors.
Now, I must stress this growth in the asking prices of Leighton Buzzard property doesn’t mean the value of Leighton Buzzard property is going up by the same amount ... nothing could be further from the truth. Only time will tell if the current levels of Leighton Buzzard asking prices is a catch-up abnormality after a couple of months of restrained asking price rises in the first few months of 2018, or is it an initial sign that we are in for a better 2018 Leighton Buzzard Property market than all of us were expecting at the start of the year?
I believe these asking prices must be viewed with a pinch of salt, as it will be fascinating to see whether Leighton Buzzard properties actually sell at these higher asking prices. Just because house sellers (be they owner-occupiers or landlords liquidating their assets) are asking for more money it doesn’t mean buyers will be enthusiastic to part with their hard earned cash. Like my Mum and Dad used to say to me all those years ago, “You can ask ... but you might not get”.
Also, Leighton Buzzard homeowners and landlords wanting to sell their property need to be aware of progressively strained buyer mortgage affordability and the more those sellers increase asking prices, the more buyers will hit their maximum on the amount they are able borrow on a mortgage.
However, those Leighton Buzzard buyers who need a mortgage (be they owner-occupier or landlord), will paradoxically benefit from lower mortgage payments before interest rates rise … maybe another reason for the uplift in the number first time buyers and landlords buying? Only time will tell!
The rents paid by Leighton Buzzard tenants are now standing at £761 per calendar month (PCM), a rise of 1.55% year on year and 0.15% lower month on month.
However, this attention-grabbing monthly rent figure masks stark differences in the various different parts of the Leighton Buzzard rental market. Demand in Leighton Buzzard for high quality family homes with two or three bedrooms in good catchment areas for schools remains really robust due to tenants wanting access to the schools. Other influencing factors that make certain areas popular are the proximity to transport links. However, I have noticed a drop in demand (and thus rents achieved) for property where the landlord hasn’t kept the property fresh; in terms of decoration, carpets, replacement windows and poor heating.
So, what does all this mean for Leighton Buzzard landlords and tenants?
With the new tax rules for landlords, many believed that the number of rental properties would narrow throughout 2017, as landlords sold up their Buy to let properties and looked to invest their money elsewhere, but evidently this hasn’t happened (yet). Feasibly Leighton Buzzard landlords are re-mortgaging their Leighton Buzzard buy to let properties instead, as they still believe it’s a safer investment than looking, say at the stock market?
However, demand remained strong in 2017 for Leighton Buzzard private rental properties, meaning the rents being achieved were at a decent level for landlords. Keeping your outgoings low is also an important consideration and so I looked on a well-known financial services comparison site this morning and found a High Street bank offering a 5-year fixed rate for Buy to let landlords with a 40% deposit/equity for 2.17% … I can remember (as I am sure many of my readers of this blog can) when mortgage rates were at 15% - this is cheap money!
Looking at property values in Leighton Buzzard, over the last 12 months and specifically at the lower end of the market where buy to let landlords tend to buy their rental properties. Flats/apartments have risen in value by 3.54% whilst terraced properties have risen by 4.26%.
Some Leighton Buzzard landlords have seen the yields they are achieving remain squeezed.
However, most landlords can start to feel assured that as capital growth in Leighton Buzzard remains at a more realistic figure (good for long term stability in the property market) and long-term rents are on the rise, the overall corresponding annual return on investment (Annual ROI being annual capital + annual yield) has stabilised in all areas and is now starting to grow.
With additional people seeing renting as a long-term option, even with the challenges of the new tax regime, Leighton Buzzard landlords, with the support of a good advice and opinion, should continue to see renting as a good investment vehicle.
The Millennials were born between the mid 1980’s and late 1990’s thus making them between the age of around 22 to late 30’s. They are the imaginative, artistic youngsters who grew up with the newest tech and computers and who are huge aficionados of music festivals, gourmet pizzas, emoji’s, selfies and old school nostalgia. Also known as Generation Rent, many Millennials have discovered that renting is a good choice for their shelter and accommodation needs without the hassle that comes from buying a home. Nonetheless, that is not the only reason they don’t buy property. When they should be concentrating on their profession, putting down roots and starting a family, Millennials are still going through the pressure and strain of student loan liabilities whilst, at the same time, finding it tough to pay rent.
The hot topic at the moment is the cost of renting, as both political parties have seen mileage in wooing these Millennial Generation Renters. The average rent in Leighton Buzzard is currently £830 per month making this a big-ticket item on the monthly budget. I was inquisitive to find out exactly how much Leighton Buzzard Millennials will spend on rent by the time they reach their mid 30’s. The average age people leave home in the UK is 22; so looking at a Leighton Buzzard 22-year-old (or Millennial) who left home in 2005 then between 2005 and today that Leighton Buzzard Millennial will have shelled out £117,453 in rent.
It’s no wonder local Millennials can’t afford to buy a Leighton Buzzard home given their tremendous debt. This means younger Leighton Buzzard Millennials will probably carry on renting for the foreseeable future, simply because the prospect of buying a home is not yet achievable.. that is until you look more deeply at the numbers…
Looking at the chart above, the average rent of a Leighton Buzzard property in 2005 was £688 per month (pm) … if it had risen by inflation, today, that would be £969 pm. As I have already mentioned in the article, today it only stands at £830 per month. Looking over the last 12 years, adding up all the differences between what the average actual rent was compared to what it should have been if rent had gone up by inflation, the average Leighton Buzzard Millennial tenant would have paid £130,131.
This means that an average 35-year-old Leighton Buzzard Millennial tenant, who has been renting since 2005, is better off by £12,678 when comparing the actual rent paid compared to what it would have been if it had risen by inflation. In a nutshell, tenants have done well due to the sub-inflation growth in rents.
In fact, if you recall I mentioned in an article a few weeks ago, the older Leighton Buzzard Millennials are starting to use those savings and are gradually shifting towards home ownership. They are finally catching up with the British homeownership dream as Bank of Mum and Dad help with the deposit. Also, the scrapping of Stamp Duty from the Government starts to kick in together with the realisation that if the 5% mortgage deposit can be scrapped together (yes, 95% first time buyer mortgages have been available since 2009), it is still a lot cheaper to buy than rent, meaning this will unquestionably drive demand for Leighton Buzzard homes for sale – good news for Leighton Buzzard homeowners.
… and what does this mean for Leighton Buzzard landlords?
Well the vast majority of younger Millennials are still renters and I foresee this to be the case for at least the next ten to fifteen years. Landlords will need to keep improving their properties to ensure they get the best tenants and they will see a much higher rent achieved. Millennials will pay top dollar for a top dollar property. It is important to do things correctly as making money won’t be as easy as it has been over the last twenty years. With a greater number of properties on the market .. comes greater choice. Don’t buy the first thing you see, buy with your head as well as your heart … because as I promised a few weeks ago, the first rule of Buy To Let Investment ….. “You are not going to live in the property yourself”
Beast from the East, Russia, Facebook, Brexit, Trump, House prices up, House prices down ... the Press is full of column inches on Brit’s favourite subjects of politics, scandal, weather and not forgetting (and I appreciate the irony of this!) the property market. As an agent belonging a national group of letting and estate agents, talking to my fellow property professionals from around the UK, the one thing that is immediately apparent is the UK does not have one property market. It is a hodgepodge patchwork (almost like a fly’s eye) of lots of small property markets all performing in different ways.
… And that made me think … is there just one Leighton Buzzard Property Market or many?
I like to keep an eye on the property market in Leighton Buzzard on a daily basis because it enables me to give the best advice and opinion on what (or not) to buy in Leighton Buzzard, be that a buy-to-let property for a Leighton Buzzard landlord or an owner occupier house for a home owner. So, I thought, how could I scientifically split the Leighton Buzzard housing market into segments, so I could see which part of the market was performing the best and the worst.
I decided the best way was to split the Leighton Buzzard property market into four equal size price bands (into terms of households for sale). Each price band would have around 25% of the property in Leighton Buzzard, from the lowest in value (the Lowest Quartile or 25%) all the way through to the highest 25% in terms of value, the Upper Quartile. Looking at the market, I have calculated that these are the price bands in Leighton Buzzard are as follows:
Surprisingly, the best performing price range in Leighton Buzzard is the upper end of the middle market. As I would expect, the upper quartile (the top 25%) is finding things toughest. Interestingly for Leighton Buzzard landlords, the lower market isn’t selling quite as well as other sectors, so maybe there could be some bargains out there for buy to let investment? Even though the number of first time buyers did increase in 2017, it was from a low base and the vast majority of 20 something’s cannot buy, so need a roof over their head (hence the need to rent somewhere).
It is a fact that British (and Leighton Buzzard’s) housing markets have ridden the storms of Oil crisis in the 1970’s, the 1980’s depression, Black Monday in the 1990’s, and latterly the Credit Crunch together with the various house price crashes of 1973, 1987 and 2008. No matter what happens to us Brexit or anything else ... unless the Government starts to build hundreds of thousands extra houses each year, demand will always outstrip supply … so maybe a time for Leighton Buzzard landlord investors to bag a bargain?
Want to know where those Leighton Buzzard buy to let bargains are? Follow my Leighton Buzzard Property Blog or drop me an email because irrespective of which agent you use, myself or any of the other excellent agents in Leighton Buzzard, many local landlords ask me my thoughts, opinion and advice on what (and not) to buy locally … and I wouldn’t want you to miss out on those thoughts ... would you?
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