Posts

Auctions are now for selling rather than buying property

On Monday 6th February 2012 PropVestment paid a visit to Barnard Marcus residential property auction at Grand Connaught Rooms in London. We were in for a surprise as we were there as a buyer but soon found auctions are now for selling.
This was the first major property auction of 2012 in London. Thus it was pack out, many experienced and new property buyers in the hall.

Auctions are for buying not selling now

Lot 1 had guide of £800,000, a four bed house in Battersea, it went for £1.28m + 2.75% fees. This was the story of all the first twenty or so lots.
All the first 23 lots were in London, the average winning bid was over 30% above the guide price, taking out 5 where even at this level the Reserve was not met, the other 18 properties sold at over 36% above guide price.

A few other key high lights from this auction:

  • Most land only deals did not sell, reserve not met
  • A piece of land without planning permission for a possible 8 units went for £860k, that’s insane for the area, almost £110k land cost then planning then construction.
  • Most of the lots on by order of Mortgage companies got bids over guide however did not sell due to Reserve Not Met (RNM). This can only be the case as the lenders have over valued in the past and now face negative equity. Failures.
  • Properties in North England and Wales were the hardest sale, many RNM and a few with highest bids well under guide prices.

PropVestment Conclusions: Auctions are now for selling

Property Auctions have changed now, its a much more public affair and it seems that its no longer a place where you can pick up a bargain. The sellers use it to sell properties that otherwise will not fetch a similar price through traditional means such as local agents. This tell us something about the quality of the properties and legalities of them. There were many amendments to the information provided with particular importance on certain higher rentals, those properties were on the day changed to vacant possession. Therefore the guide rental was incorrect, how is one to know what the real rentability of a property is without doing thorough research.
Due to these pit fall, an auction is no longer a place for inexperienced or first time buyers to find a property to buy. Auction are now for selling.
Rather it is a place where landlords can easily offload not so good properties and rely on the ignorance or lack of research of bidders.

PropVestment Auction Advice
Buyers – Do your thorough research and get someone to look at the legal documents prior to bidding.
Sellers – Use auctions to sell unwanted properties, especially in London, everything sells

Have a read of our observations last year at Savills here

A new rental concept: SpareRoom+eBay= airbnb

the eBay of rentals

Airbnb is a fresh concept at the rental market, an innovative service that brings the industry in line with the world of Facebook, eBay and YouTube.  What does this kind of service mean for the real property investor and how does is change the industry? Is it applicable to a major portfolio or just limited to the vocational landlord with a spare room under the room? In this article I’d like to introduce this innovative service and discuss the implications for landlords and how best to make use of such a service and adapt it to your investments and property portfolio.

apps are the new way

Airbnb was founded in August 2008 and based in San Francisco, California. Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique spaces around the world online or from an iPhone device.  In April 2009 it received $600k from Angel investors and has now raised $7.8m through venture capital.

It brings the Ebay concept of how to monetise items in your house, airbnb aims to help people monetise space in their property. Whether the available space is a castle for a night, a sailboat for a week, or an apartment for a month, Airbnb is the easiest way for people to showcase these distinctive spaces to an audience of millions. By facilitating bookings and financial transactions, Airbnb makes the process of listing or booking a space effortless and efficient. With 50,000 unique listings available in more than 8,000 cities and 167 countries, Airbnb offers the widest variety of unique spaces for everyone, at any price point around the globe. One founder Mr Chesky has no permanent home, instead is a client of his own business, moving from property to property.

Airbnb requires compulsory reviews, this ensures people respect the system and builds a profile; one bad review can damage your reputation so one must have trust and respect and be honest. It helps create a social network style environment.

The procedure

The procedure

  1. Sign up, create a profile and list
  2. Get booking
  3. Airbnb takes credit card payment in advance and releases to hosts a day after client checks in, to ensure quality assurance and make sure client is happy with the condition. Airbnb charges a 6-12% commission.
  4. Compulsory review

The more reviews the better your profile and more prospective business.

It is clearly a promising option, nearly 100 hosts made $50k last year, so it is a viable alternative. A couple in California rents out their tree house, and made $29k in one year. They never got a good response from traditional listings to fill their property.

Listings for host and clients are getting even easier with the launch of mobile phone apps for the site.

But now back to the serious property investor, is this a viable approach and alternative?

I think it comes down to the type of property and location. It is very appropriate for spare rooms and extensions to existing owner occupied properties where the landlord can host and provide the hospitality. Also the higher premium for the short term lets is a great option for exclusive spots, say in city areas, or areas where there is a short-term explosion in demand. It is clearly not worth it for your suburban apartment; one must remember the type of client searching on this site and the other options available to them. To be successful the property has to offer something different, a unique experience that another hotel or bed and breakfast does not.  Competing on price alone will not be sufficient especially as it is a new way and will be perceived riskier.

Some research and data that can be collected over time as this service becomes more prominent, and then we will be able to analyse with empirical evidence.

For the time being watch the space www.airbnb.com . It is going to have some impact on the industry and may just spring a new range of innovative services and companies that take the market into a new dimension, for the traditional market I do not feel it is a threat yet.

 

Today: New Laws for Landlords, All Tenancy agreements upto £100k become ASTs

Landlords and tenants should be aware of significant new changes around tenancy agreements as of October 1, according to The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS).

From Today, shorthold tenancies where the annual rental amount is above £25,000, but not more than £100,000 a year, will become Assured Shorthold Tenancies and this will apply retrospectively.

However, tenancy deposit protection should not apply retrospectively and, therefore, only new deposits and renewals taken on or after October 1 will definitely need to be protected. The advice from The DPS is to protect all deposits now as it is better to be safe than sorry.

Going forward, this closes a loophole that previously left many of the most vulnerable tenants with no protection. Higher rate tenancies were not originally included under tenancy deposit legislation, which only covered ASTs up to £25,000. Tenancies valued higher than this were seen as contractual tenancies and deposits did not need to be protected.

But this situation, according to The DPS, left some groups such as students or large house-shares vulnerable.

The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) is calling for all landlords, and tenants, to be aware of this change and also to protect themselves until there has been clarity in this policy area.

This does mean extra paper work for Landlords but it is better to be safe than sorry, the procedure of registering and updating details on the DPS website is very easy and straight forward, http://www.depositprotection.com/

Your tenants can also check if they are covered and overall gives a Landlord a much more professional impression. Make sure you are registered and upto date with all the latest legislation. Do not hesitate to email us: info@PropVestment.com if require any advice, its free!

Protect Your Property and Finances: Landlord Insurance

PropVestment: Cover yourself for the rainy day

Are you covered? Do you know your BSI for each property?

Many Landlords, me included, have not always got the right insurance in place for their properties and portfolios. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of information available in the everyday press, news and media. It is not like normal insurance which is shoved down your throat at every bank, supermarket or post office you visit. It is more specialised and can be tailored very much to your needs and you’ll be surprised at how many companies do provide it, and the reason it has come to my attention is I drove past a Direct Line Landlord insurance bill board yesterday.

There are many different types of Landlord. From the individual who is renting out their second home to the ambitious property tycoon with an ever-increasing portfolio of trendy dockside apartments. The common theme for all landlords is the need to purchase landlords insurance to protect their investment.

As a landlord, you are effectively using your property as an extra source of income – and this needs to be protected. A normal home insurance policy is not valid when you are taking an income from the property. A residential landlord policy is what is required.

With the correct landlords insurance policy in place, you can relax knowing that should any damage be caused to the property you are protected against the financial consequences. With this peace of mind in place, you can worry about running your property and nothing else. Read more

HMO: Huge Money Opportunity?

Although Multiple Occupancy can achieve huge rewards in the form of rents, in particular student lets, Landlords must take the required legal procedures to ensure it is all above board. In our experience it is easy to gain over 50% premium on rental income under HMO. There are now professional agents that can take care of the managements and legalities but here are some basics you must know. Licenses are only £335, so get them and don’t risk fines or prosecution when the outlay is so small.

The returns can significant, raising the ROI above any other residential investment, letting are very easy through university listing or sites such as www.spareroom.com.  Please get the relevant advice and don’t take short cuts in the pursuit of profits.

After reading this nitty gritty we offer a fantastic investment opportunity at the bottom of the article.

Here is the Basics

What is an HMO?

HMO stands for House in Multiple Occupation and generally refers to one of the following:

  • A house split into bedsits
  • A house or flat share where each tenant has their own tenancy agreement
  • Students living in shared accommodation Read more

Where to Invest your Money: Property or Pension?

Property is the way

Lots of companies have massive holes, gaps, shortfalls in their pension funds because the stock market has performed so badly, or the decisions made on where to invest have been very poor by the company.

If you are like the masses you probably have a defined contribution pension scheme.  The risk falls 100% to you. All the scheme defines is what you have to give them!

Let us do the maths, making a few assumptions along the way, based on our experiences. Read more

Landlords: How to Protect Against Bad Tenants

In these modern times, where recession has bitten and made people desperate and bitter, we have a new phenomenon: The Professional Bad Tenant.

They go from property to property without paying any rent, leaving bills and council tax arrears, and they successfully do it for a living, leaving behind a trial of innocent landlords in debt.

Unfortunately, this is becoming common practice, and these professionals seem to be getting away with it. How do they do it? These professionals have become all too familiar with the legal system and know every trick in the book. Every time a landlord attempts to evict them, they appeal with various excuses for example “I didn’t pay rent because the property was in bad condition.”

The problem is, every time a tenant appeals eviction, the process of eviction is lengthened because the court needs to look into the issue before being able to dismiss it. The claims usually get dismissed because they’re fictional, but by the time each appeal goes to court, months and months pass, leaving the landlord severely out of pocket while the tenant still remains. The system definitely isn’t perfect by a long way, but it is what it is, unfortunately. Sometimes as a Landlord you almost wish it was like the good old days where you could send a couple of big lads round to shake the rent out or throw the tenant out, however that is not something that is advised or endorsed my us.

Top Tips:

1. Be wary of cash payers

2. Don’t accept the first tenant that comes along to avoid costs

3. Take into consideration your tenants employment and social status

4. Credit Checks

5. Employment records

6. Be Wary of DSS tenants

7. Get References

Read more

What the new shorthold tenancy classifications for UK private property landlords means

  • Deposit guarantee scheme for all properties earning upto £100k rental per annum
  • Failure to do so in 14days means no Section 21 (eviction order) can be served
  • Fines up to three times the original deposit
  • Student accommodation and multiple occupancy also affected
  • Advice: Use a reputable and experience lettings agent, email info@propvestment.com for our quote and special offers.
  • New legislation mainly affects high rental properties in particularly in London
  • Extra Red Tape that makes it difficult for honest, reputable Landlords

Read more

Demand > Supply = Residential property rents in the UK expected to keep rising

Residential property rents in the UK are increasing as tenant demand and a shortage of properties dominate a buoyant lettings market,

  • 26% more chartered surveyors reported a rise in demand for property rather than a fall
  • Strongest demand increase in London and the East of England.
  • Large deposits and difficulty securing mortgages leading to higher numbers seeking to rent rather than buy.
  • Low Supply, only 4.1% of Landlords intend to sell at the end of current AST. Supply fallen for fourth consecutive quarter.
  • Rents for houses are expected to marginally outperform flats.
  • However as property prices are still low, many owners may let for some time before selling, thus modestly increasing supply.
  • One in five landlords are experiencing rent arrears and many are concerned about the increase in Capital Gains Tax. Added to the forthcoming cuts to Local Housing Allowance and the possibility of increased interest rates, it is clear any increase in rents will be quickly offset by these additional factors that have to be taken into account.

Article is a summary of information from www.propertywire.com

Demand > Supply = Residential property rents in the UK expected to keep rising

Residential property rents in the UK are increasing as tenant demand and a shortage of properties dominate a buoyant lettings market,

  • 26% more chartered surveyors reported a rise in demand for property rather than a fall
  • Strongest demand increase in London and the East of England.
  • Large deposits and difficulty securing mortgages leading to higher numbers seeking to rent rather than buy.
  • Low Supply, only 4.1% of Landlords intend to sell at the end of current AST. Supply fallen for fourth consecutive quarter.
  • Rents for houses are expected to marginally outperform flats.
  • However as property prices are still low, many owners may let for some time before selling, thus modestly increasing supply.
  • One in five landlords are experiencing rent arrears and many are concerned about the increase in Capital Gains Tax. Added to the forthcoming cuts to Local Housing Allowance and the possibility of increased interest rates, it is clear any increase in rents will be quickly offset by these additional factors that have to be taken into account.

Article is a summary of information from www.propertywire.com