Lending holding back property investment in London

Stringent lending stopping property investment

Property Investment stopped by lending

It has been a long standing observation that one of the main reasons the UK property market is struggling is due to the lack of funding in the market place.

We have had a series of funding schemes proposed by the government and other institutions to encourage property investment. These include the likes of NewBuy, FirstBuy, and Funding For Lending.

Funding for Lending is the latest scheme to encourage lending where the banks can borrow cheaply provided they lend it out to the public, be it as mortgages or commercial lending.

FirstBuy and NewBuy is primarily restricted to new builds, which benefit constructors but represent a very small proportion of the property on the market.

Over the last few weeks at PropVestment we have been working on a deal for a young professional first time buyer. However we have it a brick wall with strict, inflexible, non-subjective lending criteria by all the major lenders.

*Due to confidentiality and to protect our exclusive property sources, details on this article will be disguised
 

The investment property

Property Investment in Elephant & CastleLOCATION – Elephant & Castle – Zone 1 – London

  • Elephant & Castle has £1.5 Billion being spent for regeneration.
  • 2 mins walk to the London Underground and Bus stations.
  • Opposite the famous “Strata Building”

 PROPERTY

 

2 Bed Duplex in Ex-council block, currently under full refurbishment.

  • Each leaseholder has spent almost £40k for new concierge, lifts, windows
  • Elephant & Castle - Property next to Strata20th floor with views of London, from the Gherkin, Canary Wharf, O2,  Shard, all the way to Crystal Palace.
  • Large Balcony. Full wall to wall windows across all rooms.
  • 118 Year Lease

Rental expectation – upto £1500 per month currently. PropVestment predicts this will hit £2000 in 5 years. Strata building demands this level for smaller compatibles.

Asking price – £220,000

Gross Yield is over 8%

If lending 75% Purchase Price, there for deposit £55,000
If mortgage at 4% repayment over 20 years £1011 installment per month
Surplus for Buyer after mortgage £5868 per annum.
10.7% return on cash invested annually

 

The First Time Buyer

  • Mid twenties
  • £50,000 savings, plus £10,000 promised contribution from family
  • £40,000 a year salary before bonus.
  • Over £2000 monthly saving after expenses
  • City working professional, currently living with parents
  • Buying either to stay in and share or rent out fully.

Why the banks won’t lend?

  •  Ex-council
  • Concrete & Steel Construction

If the councils have approved a £40 million refurbishment of the block, clearly there is no risk to the building. Considering most of the block is still council owned they would not put so much of their own money in an unsafe building.

Being Ex-council ensures that maintenance is always prompt and reasonably costed.

The banks have very little risk here because the rental will cover the mortgage repayment by 135%, the usual criteria for Buy to Lets is currently 125%.
The buyer has £2000 disposable income every month, for any major shortfall or unforseen circumstance.

PropVestment’s Thoughts

After all this and almost a model buyer, why are the banks not lending?
Banks are given cash via the Funding for Lending scheme and still are not making it available to the public.

By the banks not lending, we, as in property professionals, end up having to offer such properties to cash buyers from abroad.
Ideally we want young property owners from the UK, however due to the circumstances the only investors that can afford to pay full cash are foreigners. This means that the profits also get taken out and do not recirculate in the UK economy.

The government must do something to ensure banks lend to boost UK home grown property investment.

For any property investment advise, analysis, deals or thoughts, contact us today for a no obligation chat. Sharing thoughts and ideas is how we progress.

 

First time buyers face scarce supple due to council property

London’s housing problem for First Time Buyers

Why First Time Buyers find it hard to buy in London

  • High Prices
  • Shortage of Properties
  • Difficult lending
  • SOLUTION – Sell council properties in Zone 1 & 2

This article discusses the various issues in the London housing market, addressing high property prices, housing shortages and high rentals. Linking these factors to the reasons why first time buyers are facing an uphill struggle.

I have lived in London my whole life and professionally work in the property industry with my company PropVestment. The aim is to provide information, analysis and property related services for investors. From my experiences in this field and from living in London my whole I make some observations.

First Time Buyers Problem:

Too high prices and shortage of properties

First time buyers should be able to buy ex- councilThe first thing that caught my eye this week was an article titled “London councils breaking B&B stay limit for families” on the BBC News website. The main thing I understood from this article is that Westminster council has broken the law by not housing 134 families into housing and not B&Bs within 6 weeks. The main take on the article as reported is housing shortage.
However, why are there so many demanding housing in Westminster, arguable the most expensive borough. Surely if you are in need of accommodation you should take or be given where available and not be given location preferences.

Read more

Property Investor London

London Property Market: McHugh & Co Auction October 2012

London Property market is active but tentative.
Investors want the right deal.

London Property MarketOn Wednesday 10th October, PropVestment attended the McHugh & Co Auction in London’s BAFTA with a client and prospective bidder. We observed some interesting trends from the lots and bidders.

There were a total of 32 lots, however only 19 were sold on the day or prior. So there was only 59% success rate. This shows that where sellers are keeping prices too high and investors are smart enough to hold back. This is contrast to a year ago when it seemed that almost anything was selling in the auctions. PropVestment wrote that auctions were for selling rather than buying. 

Read more

October Below Market Value Property Deals

London Investment Property Deals : Below Market Value High Yield Properties

London Investment Property Deals

Dear PropVestor

With Autumn coming along there has been a slight revival of the property market, albeit not a substantial one.

Nevertheless being in touch with the right sources there is always a DEAL available for you. Here is a selection of investment deals for you, just a few we have on our books right now.

DEAL ONE: 2 x two Bed Maisonette in Enfield

Read more

PropVestment in Telegraph Property

Ex-council homes: how to buy a bargain – Telegraph

PropVestment mentioned in the Telegraph Property section: Why Council homes are a bargain

By  7:00AM BST 03 Sep 2012

A new proposal to sell off council housing in some of Britain’s best postcode areas could be a once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity. It is no time for snobbery, says Graham Norwood.

Ex-council house in Essex

This 17th-century former hunting lodge in South Ockendon, Essex, used to be three council homes, and is today a six-bedroom house. It’s on the market through Fine (fine.co.uk) for £449,995.

It is one of the biggest property stories of the year, and an opportunity for bargain hunters like no other. When the Telegraph published an article about selling off council houses, by Neil O’Brien, the director of Policy Exchange, it had no idea what a storm it would create.

Last week’s report argued that if councils sold all the homes which become free in an average year, they could raise £4.5bn in revenue. This money would then be ploughed back into 170,000 new-build properties in cheaper parts of the country. The story provoked plenty of debate. Grant Shapps, the Minister for Housing, called the idea “blindingly obvious”. David Cameron said the proposal was “certainly something [councils] should look at”. Not everyone was happy: some Labour MPs warned that it risked creating ghettoes and ruining local diversity.

But aside from the political to-ing and fro-ing, what does it all really mean for homeowners? If cheap houses become available in some of Britain’s best areas, it could provide golden opportunities for canny investors. Certainly, it is time to end the snobbery and acknowledge the truth. Many local authority homes are fashionable, built to last and brilliantly located. For every hideous tower of cheaply built flats requiring demolition, there are spacious low-rise mansion blocks. These date from the public sector heyday of the Thirties, now considered retro-chic.

Then there are thousands of Victorian and Georgian houses, originally built for private sale. Councils bought them as part of grandiose regeneration schemes, many of which came to nothing. But a sprinkling of 21st-century TLC would return them to their former glory, or even better.

There are substantial profits to be made, as has been seen in areas where council properties have been sold in the past. Camberwell is a good example. A two-bedroom council flat bought here for £44,000 in 1994 recently sold for £214,000. During the intervening years, the area has come up in the world. Where once it was slightly grubby, it is now a fashionable village, home to the musician Florence Welch, as well as actresses Lorraine Chase and Jenny Agutter. If a new sell-off becomes policy, there may be thousands of homes coming on the market in the most desirable parts of the country. Often at bargain-basement prices.

In the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, for instance, the average flat costs at least £967,000 and a typical semi-detached house costs more than £12.5m, according to Land Registry figures. Even in this salubrious enclave, however, a quarter of homes are categorised as social housing: owned directly by the council or through housing associations. In Brighton and Hove, there are similar opportunities. A typical detached house costs almost £461,000, and a flat will set you back £197,000. Yet one in every seven properties is in the social sector. Here and elsewhere, a sell-off would mean ex-local authority properties being marketed at prices lower than those for comparable private homes. There would be rich pickings, for those in the know.

“Even in prime condition, ex-council properties sell for 20 per cent less than a similar home next door because of the stigma,” says Geoff Tanner, a private property consultant based in Cambridgeshire. “If it is in poor condition, it could be 30 per cent less. The proposed sell-off would represent a great deal for buyers who get in quick.” Some councils are already encouraging tenants to free-up larger properties. In Devon, more than £700,000 worth of cash incentives have been paid to tenants. This has released 330 homes in areas such as Exeter, Plymouth, rural Devon and the coastal South Hams.


This one-bed, ex-council flat is in Drury Lane in Covent Garden. It is being sold for £437,000 through Chesterton Humberts.

Westminster Council, in central London, has set up CityWest Homes Residential, a service specialising in marketing council homes. Its website, cwhr.co.uk, advertises flats to rent in areas such as Bayswater and says homes for sale are “coming soon”.

With all this activity already ongoing, it’s no surprise that estate agents have greeted the prospect of a sell-off with open arms. They highlight the advantages of council-owned buildings compared with those which have been squeezed by the private market. “Council properties are often well-built with good-size rooms and communal gardens,” says Christopher Saye of Chesterton Humberts. “Red-brick period blocks don’t even look like council properties and generate plenty of interest. They are cheaper than comparable private developments, with far lower service charges.”

During the Eighties, Margaret Thatcher’s Right To Buy initiative allowed tenants to purchase their homes with a discount of up to 70 per cent, if they had lived there for two years or more. Many councils also offered 100 per cent mortgages to encourage buyers. The scheme boosted Britain’s home ownership level from 57 per cent in 1980 to 68 per cent in 2000.

But the sort of sell-off proposed by Policy Exchange would be even more dramatic. It would be an open field, with anyone entitled to buy the flats. Not just those already living in them. “It’s simply good asset management. Some local authorities do this already. We’ve sold properties in high-value areas at auction on behalf of authorities,” explains Yolande Barnes, head of research at Savills and one of Britain’s leading housing experts.

Clearly, there is no shortage of enthusiasts for the quality and good value offered in ex-local authority housing. Nirav Shah, 24, bought a three-bedroom apartment in Waterloo, central London, in 2008 when he was a student. “My father and I looked at lots of properties and none even came close to the former council flat for location, space or condition,” he explains. He now runs a property investment firm called propvestment.com. “I no longer live in the flat, but I rent it to other students. It has been let permanently since I left. Ex-council is a perfect investment,” he adds.

His apartment was one of many built to Parker Morris standards, a planning regime which until the Eighties imposed minimum sizes on public-sector architects and builders. Parker Morris stated that a one-bedroom council flat built for up to two people should have a minimum of 495 sq ft. Try finding that in a modern private flat today. The standards have even got a thumbs-up from London Mayor Boris Johnson, too. After taking office, Johnson promised to “re-establish space standards promoted by the visionary planner Sir Parker Morris”. He argued that this was the only way to “build for the long term. Buildings that people will want to keep for 100 years and not tear down in 30.” Space, location and value: the council-house dream seems almost too good to be true.

But while many are in favour of selling council homes, there are still issues to resolve. “One concern might be tenant displacement,” says Jennet Siebrits of CBRE, a consultancy advising developers and public bodies on housing. She fears new homes built with money from a sell-off would have to be in cheaper areas. “We would need careful analysis about which parts of the UK have the highest demand for social housing,” she says.

There are also concerns that moving council tenants away from their places of work could create pockets of unemployment, and ruin the mix of people which makes Britain so vibrant. Policy Exchange believes, however, that these short-term problems would be outweighed by the benefits of creating half a million new homes in three years.

So will it actually happen? With a Cabinet reshuffle imminent and a relaunch of the Coalition likely at this month’s party conferences, there is an appetite for radical initiatives. And no sector needs them more badly than housing. A boom of new construction would create homes for the needy and jobs for builders, as well as opportunities for people looking to get on the property ladder.

A social housing revolution may be just the economic shot in the arm the country wants. And for keen-eyed individuals, it could be the investment of a lifetime.

Buying an ex-council property: the pros and cons

Pros: 
Price – they usually sell at 20 per cent less than comparable private properties, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Investment – ex-council houses are good for buy-to-let landlords wanting more for their money.
Location – ex-council property is often very central, perfect for transport and nightlife.

Cons:
Outside – tower blocks can look daunting from the street.
Communal areas – there can be disputes over charges and responsibilities if some flats in a block are publicly owned and others private.
Ceiling price – until the stigma dies, ex-council homes will sell at a discount compared to private homes.

Original article link http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/9508685/Ex-council-homes-how-to-buy-a-bargain.html

OTHER MUST READS: PropVestment in Daily Mail

 

Sell off expensive council property beneficial to UK property market

Why selling expensive council property is beneficial for the UK property market & economy

Policy Exchange Proposal will boost UK Property Market

Policy exchange proposal for UK property marketLast week the Policy Exchange think tank issued a proposal for councils to sell expensive properties on their asset sheet, and utilise the money raised to build new affordable housing.
Here is a summary of the main points in their report. Expensive housing is categorised by above the average house price.

THE FACTS: Property market & economy benefits

  • – Generate £4.5Bn a year
  • – Create 340,000 jobs
  • – 170,000 new homes, halving the council waiting list
  • – 816,000 houses that are above the national average
  • -The total value of expensive social housing is £159bn (£71.9bn of it in London)

However despite all these positive benefits there has been much protest in the press over the last week. Here are PropVestment’s counter-arguments in favour of this proposal

Sell off expensive council property beneficial to UK property market

Council House worth £2 million

1. Frees up houses for young buyers

If the council sells up certain properties in areas, often they are still reasonably priced than private sector properties. This way younger people can more easily get on the property ladder.
Here is our own example as featured in the Daily Mail a couple years ago. Click here

2. Jobs will be created in the construction sector.

As long as there is a minimum requirement for locally employed people in the construction of the new houses, many jobs will be created, in turn boosting the local economy from the multiplier factor. In essence this proposals releases trapped money stuck in bricks into the local economy, taking funds from private sector into the local economy.

“In essence this proposals releases trapped money stuck in bricks into the local economy, taking funds from private sector into the local economy. “

3. Increase Housing supply

As building a new house is cheaper than buying a new house, this will mean that the money raised from selling one property will mean more than one property being built. Hence relieving the pressures on the housing market. It will mean private landlords having less opportunity to rent to council tenants and therefore, increase supply on the private market reducing the rents in the process. This will benefit the average person who is not a home owner.

4. Argument of disrupting communities is wrong!

New build developments will create new communities with modern facilities too.
There will be more environmentally friendly estates, planned better to provide for the community better.

5. Argument that it will create ghettos is wrong.

There will be new development. It only becomes a ghetto if we make it a ghetto. That is not a flaw in proposal, but one in the people. As long as users respect each other and the community there will be no ghetto created. This is an issue for not for property divisions of government or councils but one for community support and education.

6. Argument that in HMO cases you can not leave a building half used- Wrong

HMO (Houses of multiple occupancy) mean that under the policy as people move out, their rooms will not be refilled as council will want to sell off the property. The argument goes that leaving rooms empty is waste. The rooms can be let on AST style contracts or used for temporary housing. The council uses expensive B&Bs for this currently, why not utilise empty spots in HMOs.

PROPVESTMENT CONCLUSION:  – UK Property Market

This new proposal by Policy Exchange think tank is highly beneficial to the UK property market and economy. It may need refining in a few areas, but the benefits of housing and job creation far outweigh any counter-argument raised so far.

PROPVESTMENT were featured in the TELEGRAPH newspaper on this very topic

READ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/9508685/Ex-council-homes-how-to-buy-a-bargain.html

Sources : Public Service

The top 5 things to look for when property hunting in London

Looking for a new apartment in London is exciting. The capital is a fantastic place to live and is filled with amazing bars, restaurants, attractions and schools. But it’s also big, so the home hunt can get a little bit confusing at times.

I think you can definitely narrow down your list of potential abodes by looking out for five main things in a property. This should quickly whittle down the apartments to a select few that are perfect for your needs. Keep this guide to hand and you’ll be moving into a new home in no time!

1. Public transport

We’d all love to enjoy a gentle morning stroll into the office every morning, but if you work in the city centre and don’t have the bank balance of a millionaire, you’re going to have to compromise and live a bit away from your office. This is why it’s so important to pick an apartment that is close to a bus, London Overground or tube stop. As tempting as it is to live slap bang in the heart of the capital, this will cost you a hefty mortgage deposit, so look at areas on the outskirts.

Wembley, for example, is home to a plethora of tube and Overground stations, such as North Wembley, Wembley Central, Wembley Arena and Wembley High Road. It will take you around 45 minutes to an hour to get to Liverpool Street in the financial district, while the West End is around half an hour away.

2. Bars and restaurants

You won’t want to always have to go into the centre of London in order to enjoy a few drinks and a meal. Staying with Wembley, there’s the Brent Cross Shopping Centre nearby, which has more than 20 places to eat and drink, as well as several restaurants on Wembley High Street. Make sure you walk around the local area and see what establishments are available, even if you’re just after a sandwich shop for a quick bite to eat.

3. Schools

If you don’t yet have little ones running around, it’s still always good to check out what schools are in the area. This not only will increase the value of your apartment should you ever decide to sell, but will also come in handy for when the time comes for you to start a family. The capital boasts some of the best primary and secondary schools in the country, not to mention leading colleges and universities. If you’ve considered moving to Bow, it has dozens of educational establishments, such as Manorfield, Our Lady RC, Mulberry Girls’, George Green’s and Bethnal Green Technology Centre.

4. Green spaces

It’s always lovely to have open spaces near your home, whether to go for a run, to walk the dog or simply to have a picnic with loved ones. Choosing an apartment that is close to a park or public gardens will help you retain its value. One affordable area of London is Greenwich, where you will find Blackheath Common and Greenwich Royal Park.

5. The property’s condition

Your list of apartments might tick all of the above boxes, but if the condition of the property is going to cost you several thousands of pounds to sort out, it might not be worth purchasing it. This is why buying new-build apartments can be a fantastic way to guarantee you won’t have to blow your decor, mortgage payments and utility bills budget on bringing your abode up to modern standards. Look out for new apartments in areas of regeneration, as you’ll often get high-quality accommodation for a lot less than if you were to purchase right in the centre of London.

Further information about affordable apartments can be found here.

If you’ve been house hunting in London, add any useful hints and tips below.

Barnett Ross Auction

Development projects selling well: Observations from Barnett Ross Auction

Results from Barnett Ross Auction July 2012

On Tuesday 17th July 2012 PropVestment attended the 60th Barnett Ross Auction in London, to find that the UK property market shows mixed feelings, with development projects selling very well.

  • Buyers demand high yields

  • Sellers demand high prices

  • Development projects sell well, buyers willing to take risks for returns

  • Means market is still slow for traditional sales

Barnett Ross AuctionMost of the properties and lots in this auction were of a commercial or development projects nature.With only 2 of the 69 lots as pure residential. It can be seen as a successful auction on the day with 70% lots sold on or prior, however this is comparatively less to the 92% success to their last auction in May.

 

One of our clients showed interest in a standard commercial and another lot with development potential. We were able to get the commercial lot at a very reasonable price, resulting in a rental yield of 9.6%. The winning bid was over guide but the returns and limited risk meant this was a very good deal for our client. We was expecting more competition however as the lot was just outside the hot market that is London there was less interest from inexperienced investors that have a premium and preference for London only property.

For the other lot that was a risky and uncertain proposition for future development. We advised our client of the potential returns once site was cleared and planning obtained. A strategy was put in place to bid up to 150% of the guide. Unfortunately the lot sold at over 400% guide.

Due to confidentiality we cannot reveal these details but here are some highlights of the auction:

Developments Projects Selling Well

  • Lot 2: Reserve Below £100k, Sold at £170k – Freehold vacant corner property in Ilford
  • Lot 3: Reserve Below £150k, Sold at £700k – Total derelict shop unit with potential for 3 story development in Kings Cross.
  • Lot 61: Reserve Below £175k, Sold at £257k, Vacant office and first floor flat in NW2, potential for 2x one bedroom flats.
  • Lot 67: Reserve Below £7k, Sold at £34k, vacant land and potential for more adjacent as unregistered, potential for house or flats. in SE25

Bargains

  • Lot 23 Sold at £725k, Rental £93k with 2 vacant units – 13% yield with rise possible – Industrial in Tottenham
  • Lot 25 – Sold £215k, Rental £29k – 13.5% yield. – 2 shops in Cheshire.

Sellers Keeping Reserves too high?

Over 22 lots where the reserve was not met, a fair few where the difference was only a few thousand, possibly 1% of the asking price. Some will have sold after but this shows why the market is so slow, sellers holding out at higher prices and buyers and demanding higher yields and so will not pay too high a price.

Please have a read of our analysis of other auctions recently: Brendons, Allsops, Savills and where we feel the roles of auctions have changed 

If you require any assistance or property advice: call us today 07960 344399 for a FREE consultation

info based on observation from the Barnett Ross Auction, data correct as to what was observed.

 

 

Slow London auction market: Observations from Brendons Auction


Brendons Auction, London Ealing Hotel, Wednesday 11th July 2012

Brendons Auction

Today PropVestment attended the Brendons auction with a client looking to bid on a lot.
As usual we had done our homework in terms of reading all the legal packs and researching rental and resale value of potential buys.

What was very surprising when we got there, expecting 400 people like the last Brendons auction was only around 30 people. Further 7 of the 18 lots “SOLD PRIOR” or “WITHDRAWN”.

Ultimately only 2 of the remaining lots sold, both of which went considerably over guide.  Both were development potentials that needed substantial work to be done in them. Our client unfortunately got outbid with the sale going 30% over guide.
All the other 9 lots, thats 50% were “UNSOLD” due to reserves not met or no bids whatsoever.

Property Market Analysis:

  • Sellers holding out at unrealistic prices.
  • High reserves show low confidence in market prices and auction mechanism.
  • Sellers bidding mainly on “bargain” or “distressed” properties with a quick refurb and resell in mind.
  • Low attendance, means low volumes in market, potentially as finance remains scarce.
  • There were no under 30s bidding. Mean no first time buyers.

It is clear the property market is struggling, finance must be opened out. People with finance are extra cautious. They are only investing where there are strong returns at low risk.

Uptill now we have seen all the auctions we have visited and analysed as booming with high sales and lots of people, seems like that hype is slowing. Possibly as this was not in central London there was lack of presence of cash rich overseas investors.

This is a huge change from earlier in 2012 when we observed booms: Auction are for selling . We also have analysis from Allsop and McHugh and Savills

We currently have many off the market properties in London, please contact us for exclusive deals. We do not publish  everything online. Email info@PropVestment.com
Many below market value deals and development projects.

“There is always an opportunity to make money in property”

 

Allsop Residential Auction February 2012: Results, Analysis & Conclusions – PropVestment

PropVestment provides a brief but insightful analysis of the results from Allsop Residential Auction in February 2012. We spent some time attending on behalf of a client looking to make a cash investment.

Allsop Residential Auction Headlines

  • 90% success for all lots in London and South East.
  • AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy) yields over 10% 
  • Northern England struggling
Allsop Residential Auction

90% success rate at Allsop Residential Auction for London and South East

As you can see with the above chart, London as shown by the M25 statistics shows that over 90% auction success with an average price of £324,074. South East and South West also sold well with almost similar success rates however the values were significantly lower.

The worst success was the North East and Northern Ireland. The North East had the lowest success and the lowest average value for the Mainland. This means that this part of the country is the worst effected and the limited activity shows that even bargain hunting investors are staying well way.
The Northern Ireland results could be attributed to problems in mainland Ireland, however with only 6 lots that all sold, the data set is very limited.

Rental yields above 10% , investors market

The main information to be taken from these statistics is that most sales are investments for rental yields, with ASTs demanding lower prices but therefore higher yields. This can be attributed to risk factors.

An interesting stat is that sites with planning permission had a very low success rate, there are buyers there but sellers are keeping a high reserve on these.

CONCLUSIONS

As with previous auction articles like Auctions are for sellers we see similar stats here, majority of lots in London and South East sell well at high prices, however the rest of the market is struggling.
Auctions are for experienced investors and sellers, and not currently for first time buyers. 

*Graphics from www.allsops.co.uk Allsops Residential Auction