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How The Stamp Duty Is Changing

How The Stamp Duty Is Changing

The stamp duty holiday was first introduced in July 2020 to help boost the lockdown hit property market. It’s due to end in its current form at the end of this month.

Until the holiday was introduced, it was only first-time buyers who could benefit from paying no stamp duty tax on the first £300,00 of the value of a property. The temporary tax break saw this nil rate extended for all buyers on the first £500,000 of the value of a property. The market responded enthusiastically to the news, but there were fears that the market would “fall off a cliff” when the tax holiday ended on March 31st.

When Rishi Sunak announced in the March budget the extension to the stamp duty holiday beyond its original March 31st deadline, the news was widely welcomed and celebrated. Buyers had an extra three months to take advantage of the relief, which could result in savings of up to £15,000.

Since March, sales and prices have been continuing to grow at record rates.  Demand is outstripping supply in almost all areas of the UK and the government’s own figures are showing an annual 10% rise in house prices.

To try to minimise the effects of a sudden dramatic end to the stamp duty relief , the duty is going to be tapered after June 30th. From 30th June until 30th September 2021, no stamp duty will be charged on a residential property bought for up to £250,000.

It is hoped that this gradual move back to higher stamp duty levels will avoid a sudden crash in the housing market, but many in the industry believe that the numbers of sales will fall off significantly and price growth will slow down.

If you’re thinking about making the move and taking advantage of the stamp duty holiday, click here to view our array of properties or call 0800 862 0870 to speak to a member of our team.

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Five Tips For Renting Out A Property

Five Tips For Renting Out A Property

Are you exploring the idea of renting out a property for the first time, and not sure where to start? At Love Your Postcode, we are here to help and have put together five important tips to consider before letting out your property.

Research the local market

Find out what the going rate is for properties similar to yours in the local area and set a realistic rental price point. Research the type of person your house is most likely to appeal to, and then let this guide you in terms of furnishings and décor. For example, a family with children won’t thank you for cream carpeting!

Get the property ready

Whether you are letting your property furnished or unfurnished, a deep clean is a good starting point, setting the standard for how you expect the property to be kept. Obviously, you will remove personal belongings and anything that is broken or simply looking worse for wear. Be sure to leave copies of instruction manuals and ensure you get enough keys cut.

Get the right insurance

As a landlord, you will need to amend your buildings and contents insurance to reflect the property’s new status. You may also decide to take out special landlord insurance to cover yourself against such risks as void periods, rent defaults or legal expenses. Thanks to Covid-19, taking out insurance is more important than ever!

Understand your legal obligations

There are over hundreds of laws that landlords need to comply with, covering areas as diverse as gas and electrical safety, the protection of tenant deposits or the energy efficiency of the property. There’s no need to be alarmed however, as your letting agent will be able to advise you to ensure you are within the law at all times.

Choose a good lettings agent

An experienced letting agent will be able to guide you through every step in the process of letting out your property. We can help you find the right tenants, deal with all the paperwork and then manage the property on an ongoing basis if you wish.

If you’re looking to let your property, we are here to help! Call us on 0800 862 0871 to speak to a member of our letting team or click here to find out more about our services.

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West Midlands sees a rise of prospective tenants

West Midlands sees a rise of prospective tenants

Rental prices are currently on the rise which is great news for anyone thinking of investing in a buy to let property.

The combination of a growing number of people looking for rented accommodation, plus a shortage of rental properties, is resulting in an increase in rental income for the first time since the pandemic began. The latest Homelet rental Index shows that, excluding London, the average rent in the UK now stands at £850, up 6.2% in a year.

The letting agents’ trade body Propertymark reports that the West Midlands is seeing the largest number of prospective new tenants, with agencies typically taking over 150 new registrations a month. Outside of London, rental demand has risen by over 10% since the start of the year. More and more of these people are looking for homes with extra space, both inside and out, to accommodate so-called “hybrid” working, which looks set to become the new post-pandemic norm for many. At the same time, city centre property is predicted to return to favour, particularly with younger renters as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

During the period of the pandemic, a third fewer rental properties came onto the UK market than usual, which has led to a lack of rental stock to meet the increase in demand. As night follows day, low supply and high demand means a rise in prices. Existing tenants are finding it more difficult to avoid rent rises and new tenants, faced with competition for tenancies, are discovering there is no wiggle room on price.

However, there are signs that more first-time landlords are now being tempted into the buy-to-let market, attracted by the historically low interest rates and the stamp duty holiday on the first £500,000 of a purchase. This is due to end on June 30th 2021, so anyone looking to take advantage would have to act extremely quickly.

If you would like to discuss the local buy-to-let market, contact us on 0800 862 0870 to speak to a member of our team.

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Buy-To-Let Mortgages: All You Need To Know

Buy-To-Let Mortgages: All You Need To Know

Buy-To-Let mortgages became increasingly popular five months into the Coronavirus pandemic, as there were more people looking to take advantage of the current situation and buy investment properties. The added bonus of the stamp duty holiday relief made it even more enticing, and the market saw a huge demand in houses for sale.

Whether you are an investor in the buy-to-let market or one of the great many “accidental” landlords who rent out their main property whilst living elsewhere, you’ll need to get a specialist buy-to-let mortgage. While it is similar to the standard residential mortgages, there are some important differences you need to be aware of.

  • Most buy-to-let mortgages are interest only. This means you won’t be repaying any of the capital during the lifetime of the mortgage, so it’s vital you know how you are going to pay off the loan or refinance at the end of the term.
  • You will need a larger deposit than with residential mortgage. Typically, you will need a minimum deposit of 25% of the property’s value. The best interest rates will be available to those with larger deposits of 40% or more.
  • Upfront fees are higher than with standard mortgages, usually between 1.5% and 2% of the value of the loan. Be sure to factor this in when comparing deals.
  • The mortgage affordability test is based on the profit a landlord is likely to make from the property. Lenders use projected rental income and a representative interest rate to calculate ICRs (Interest Cover Ratios). Generally, the monthly income must cover at least 125% of the loan repayment.
  • As with residential mortgages, you can choose between a variety of different products including fixed rate, tracker, and discounted variable rate. Interest rates are historically low at the moment and there are very cheap deals around, particularly if you have a large deposit.
  • Bear in mind that there is a 3% stamp duty surcharge applied on buy-to-let purchases. This is still applicable during the stamp duty holiday period.

If you are thinking of buying a rental property, give us a call on 0800 862 0871. We are happy to advise on all aspects of the buy-to-let market. In the meantime, click here to view our current properties on the market.

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What Does The Government’s 95% Mortgage Scheme Mean For Buyers?

What Does The Government 95% Mortgage Scheme Means For Buyers?

During the Spring 2021 Budget on 3rd March 2021, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the new 95% mortgage scheme will be introduced to allow more first-time buyers to get on the property ladder with a deposit as little as 5%.

In his speech, Sunak said: “It is a policy that gives people who can’t afford a big deposit the chance to buy their own home.” This will make a substantial difference particularly to those living in more expensive areas, such as London. For those in the capital, it is notoriously difficult to get on the property ladder as price houses are so high.”

The aim is to support home ownership and make mortgages more accessible for buyers struggling to meet strict criteria from lenders, especially those who are first time buyers. Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, declared he wants to ‘turn Generation Rent into Generation Buy’.

The new scheme will enable mortgage lenders to offer loans of up to 95% to properties up to the value of £600,000, excluding second homes and buy-to-lets. Big lenders such as Natwest, Santander, HSBC and Barclays have agreed to provide the mortgages. The mortgages are available from April 2021, until December 31st 2022. 

The new mortgage announcement coincides with the extension of the stamp duty extension until 30th June 2021. Buyers across the UK will be grateful for this extra help to get onto the property ladder, and we’re sure it will continue to strengthen the UK property market. 

If you’re looking to make the move and want to make the most of the 95% mortgage scheme, view our selection of properties under £600k or contact us on 0800 862 0870 to speak to one of our expert agents

 

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The Benefits of Estate Agents in 2021

The Benefits of Estate Agents in 2021

Are Estate Agents necessary when completing a property purchase or a sale? Here are the benefits of having using an estate agents in 2021.

More and more services are being conducted online these days, strengthened by COVID-19 and the rise of digital property agencies. Agencies are using various methods to appeal to a new generate of buyers and sellers who are used to living a life online.

At Love Your Postcode, we recognised this straight away and started offering more virtual services such as virtual valuations.  This allowed us to bridge the gap with those looking online and retaining them for once we were allowed to open our offices again.

EXPERTISE AND LOCAL KNOWLEDGE

One of the biggest benefits of estate agents is that they are experts on the local area where you wish to buy or sell.

Having a real human experience to help you during what is known to be quite a complicated and stressful situation is invaluable.

At Love Your Postcode, we have hundreds of five star reviews with many commenting on our high levels of customer service. We are able to achieve this by having regular communication with our clients and making sure their needs are met by our agents.

RESOURCES

Established estate agents have plenty of useful resources! We are able to spread the word about your property via marketing, from local brochures and window displays to big billboard campaigns across the UK to digital advertising and e-marketing, to find good buyers as soon as possible.

Each office will also have a substantial database of active clients with the details of their property needs. Rather than spending months on searching for a buyer, the right person could already be on their system or a phone call away.

NEGOTATIONS

Estate agents are the bridge that holds an entire property chain together, ensuring everything runs smoothly from the first valuation to the final exchange. Moving house is said to be one of the most stressful life experiences, so a trustworthy and reliable estate agent can take a lot of pressure off.

If you’re looking to buy, sell, rent or let a property, enlisting the help of an experienced, qualified and well established estate agency is key to success. Call us on 0800 862 0870 to talk to a member of our team, who will be delighted to help.

 

 

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Restaurant Guide: Valentine’s Day Meals To Enjoy At Home

Restaurant Guide: Valentine's Day Meals To Enjoy At Home

Valentine’s Day is around the corner! Unfortunately we are still in a lockdown, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the occasion with your loved one.

Make this Valentine’s special and order a top quality meal from your favourite restaurant and enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Love Your Postcode has put together a roundup of some of the restaurants offering Valentine’s specials over the weekend.

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