Fresh research from Proportunity reveals how different property types performed over the past decade, based on price growth.
The data, collected across England and Wales, shows that terraced houses have been the best performing housing type in the past 10 years, with terraced homes in London enjoying the highest house price growth during that time.
The company, which provides Help to Buy-style equity loans, analysed the changing price per square metre of all properties sold in England and Wales since 2010, and found that the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for each property type by region, and also at an England and Wales-wide level.
Despite recent stagnation, Greater London was home to the highest performing property types in all but one category over the past decade. The capital’s flats, terraced and semi-detached houses all outperformed their counterparts in other regions, with growth of 4.93%, 5.07%, and 4.33% respectively.
But owners of detached houses in the East of England saw only a marginally higher growth: 3.07% compared to 3.06% in London.
Across all of England and Wales, the top performing property type was terraced houses, with an average growth of 3.05%. Semi-detached houses had growth of 2.9% on average, with flats seeing growth of 2.35%. The slowest growing property type was detached houses, with annual growth rates of 2.33% since 2010.
Flats in the North East performed the worst of any regional property type, with an average decrease in price of 0.5%. Flats in Yorkshire and The Humber, and the North West also lost value over the decade, with 0.12% and 0.04% decreases annually respectively.
Vadim Toader, founder and CEO of Proportunity, said: “The 2010s were marked by the after-effects of the financial crisis, and then by Brexit uncertainty.
“Despite these headwinds, we have largely seen growth across the board but the clear winner is terraced housing, or more specifically, terraced homes in London, with buyers likely attracted to their historic characteristics and charm, as well as their limited supply, compared to new builds. Yet, despite their popularity, they are out of reach for many first time buyers in the capital, with Help to Buy restricted to new-builds only, which are typically flats or semi-detached or detached houses.”
Compound Annual Growth
|Region Name||flat cagr 2010-2019||terr cagr 2010-2019||semi cagr 2010-2019||detached cagr 2010-2019|
|East of England||2.62%||3.47%||3.59%||3.07%|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||-0.12%||0.91%||1.30%||1.32%|
|England and Wales||2.35%||3.05%||2.90%||2.33%|
Price per square metre (£)
|Region Name||flat ppsqm 2010||flat ppsqm 2019||terr ppsqm 2010||terr ppsqm 2019||semi ppsqm 2010||semi ppsqm 2019||detached ppsqm 2010||detached ppsqm 2019|
|East of England||2563.4||3234.3||2423||3294||2474.8||3398.9||2703.6||3550.2|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||1791.2||1772.2||1496.3||1623.3||1691.7||1899.9||1966.6||2212.7|
|England and Wales||2417.1||2978.6||2225.2||2915.7||2347.2||3037||2600.9||3200.3|
Student property remains one of the most lucrative investments available to landlords, with sky-high double-digit yields currently on offer in many parts of the country.
With students heading back to university over the next few weeks, demand for student housing is currently high thanks to the growth of international students coming to study in the UK, and rise in UK nationals signing up for higher and further education. It is therefore unsurprising that investing in student property is on the rise – up 17% according to Savills.
But being a landlord is not easy and there are many issues faced, therefore bill-splitting service Glide had created a guide on how to deal with various tenant issues in the best way possible.
Although student tenants have a reputation for house parties and late night drinking, that stereotype is perhaps a little outdated.
With the rising cost of student loans and students themselves becoming more money conscious than other generations, ensuring that their deposit is returned to them at the end of term likely a key priority for the majority.
However, as with renting to anyone, wear and tear is to be expected, especially for larger multi-occupancy properties, while any issue with the structure or exterior of the property you are renting out is your responsibility to maintain. Issues relating to flooring, walls and any sanitaryware, such as toilets, sinks or baths, must also be resolved by you if they break.
But items brought into the property by the tenant are their responsibility to maintain. It’s not the landlord’s responsibility to pay for the repairs on items like TVs which were provided by the occupant.
It is important to remember to take an inventory of the property before tenants begin their occupancy, in order to enable you to tell the difference between repairs which naturally develop and issues that are caused by tenant neglect. Photos of the premises are useful to have in case of dispute.
As a landlord, you are responsible for ensuring that all gas and electric appliances are safe in the property, and a gas safety check is required every year. It is also your duty to install smoke alarms on every floor of the building – and carbon monoxide alarms in every room where a fuel burning appliance is situated.
But while it is down to the landlord to ensure the safety of these features, if appliances provided by the tenant break, or light bulbs need replacing, that’s down to the tenant to replace themselves. It is important to clarify these terms in the lease agreement to avoid any disagreements.
Making sure the boiler works and is regularly serviced to maintain the constant and safe supply of hot water for an occupant is also a non-negotiable. Should a boiler break, or if any leaks in the water supply occur, it is the landlord’s responsibility to get these fixed as soon as possible. It is also worth checking with your tenants how long the property will be empty during the Christmas break – if the boiler is switched off for extended periods during a particularly cold spell, there is a risk that the pipes will freeze, which could lead to central heating issues when tenants return in January.
A landlord must keep the general state of the property to a level which is deemed to be fit for habitation. This essentially means they must be kept clean, tidy and without any health and safety hazards for when the tenant moves in.
From there, it is the occupant who is responsible for the upkeep of the home, including features such as the gardens. However, issues like mould, damp and pests – such as rats – must be resolved by the landlord if they result from general wear and tear.
As the owner, you are entitled to inspect the property as many times as you like, but tenants must be given at least 24 hours written notice advising of your intentions to enter the premises.
Bills and payments
The collection of rent payment is a concern, especially for student tenants, who may not be used to the responsibility of regular payments and arranging bills. However, the stigma around students being irresponsible with money is outdated and not reflective of the current generation.
CPS Homes of Cardiff said that “Students make for reliable, almost guaranteed tenants each year due to the academic cycle. You know that if the current tenants are planning to leave at the end of their tenancy a new group is just around the corner, ready and waiting to move in at the start of the next academic year.
“And contrary to the beliefs of many, they are usually very prompt payers of rent because they’re in receipt of a student loan that they receive termly.
“Having confirmation of this student loan is far stronger than an employment reference because people are far more likely to quit or lose their job than drop out of University.
“If they ever do get into trouble with their rent payments, a parent or guardian will have usually agreed to act as a financial guarantor at the start of the tenancy. This means a landlord can approach said person and demand full payment of the balance owed.”
If you are the landlord of a shared property, it is not up to you to organise the payment of rent and utility bills.
This is the responsibility of the occupants, as the money is ultimately to be paid to you, while any disputes should be settled between tenants.
However, encouraging your tenants to sign up to a bill splitting service takes the headache out of arranging bill payments – each tenant receives a bill for their share of the utilities, meaning no-one is stuck chasing for payments and all potential arguments are negated.
Landlords of the draughtiest homes in England and Wales will be required to upgrade their properties ahead of new rules requiring the installation of energy efficiency measures.
Since April 2018, new rules have been in place across England and Wales, setting out minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES).
These regulations made it unlawful for landlords to grant a new lease for properties that have an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating below E, from 1 April 2018, unless the property is registered as an exemption.
While April 2018 heralded an initial change in the rules regarding energy efficiency standards, the bigger picture will see regulations that affect all rental properties, irrespective of the length of tenancy, in April 2020, when it will become unlawful to rent any property that has an existing or continuing tenancy that fails to meet the minimum required energy rating.
What’s more, the government is considering raising this target in another couple of years, at which point ‘D’ is expected to be the minimum EPC rating, so it is worth getting your properties up to scratch now to prevent even more work later.
To help landlords understand the rule changes, Fladgate, a City law firm, has shared some information below to allow them to understand what precautionary measures they should take and the consequences of not complying with MEES.
Do I benefit from an exemption?
If your property is caught by the EPC regime, you must comply with the MEES Regulations, unless you can rely on one of a few exemptions available to landlords, including but not limited to:
1. Exemption due to devaluation – a temporary exemption of 5 years will apply if a landlord can demonstrate that the installation of energy efficiency measures would reduce the market value of the property by more than 5%;
2. Exemption for new landlords – if a person becomes a landlord recently or suddenly in specified circumstances under the MEES Regulations, a temporary exemption of six months will apply; and/or
3. Third party consent – if a landlord cannot obtain necessary third party consents to improve the EPC rating of the property (including but not limited to lender consent, superior landlord consent and/or tenant consent), then a landlord may let a “sub-standard” property.
A landlord wishing to rely upon an exemption must register an exemption on the online Private Rented Sector Exemptions Register. Local authorities give and keep these fines and so are incentivised to enforce the legislation.
What if I don’t comply with the MEES Regulations?
If a landlord fails to comply with the MEES Regulations, there are financial penalties, which vary depending upon the length of the breach.
A landlord renting out a “non-compliant” property (less than three months in breach) may be fined up to either £5,000 or 10% of a rateable value up to a maximum of £50,000, whichever is greater.
A landlord renting out a “non-compliant” property (three months or more in breach) may be fined up to either £10,000 or 20% of the rateable value up to a maximum of £150,000, whichever is greater.
There is also a fine of up to £5,000 for providing false or misleading information, or failing to comply with a compliance notice.
What should I do?
The tightening of the MEES Regulations imposes further onerous obligations on landlords operating within the private rented sector.
If you have a property with an EPC rating of F or G then unless one of the exemptions referred to above applies, you should begin preparing now for the extension of the regulations to existing tenancies to take effect on 1st April 2020.
As the deadline fast approaches, landlords would be well advised to consider the following, in order to protect their assets:
1. Review your property or property portfolios to identify whether or not properties are compliant;
2. Consider the cost and extent of any works required;
3. Consider access to the properties (lease terms permitting) to carry out works required to bring the properties up to the minimum ‘E’ rating; and
4. Consider whether any exemptions may be relied upon.
Failure to do so will impact upon landlords’ abilities to market and deal with their properties.
There is speculation that MEES will rise again in 2022, making ‘C’ or ‘D’ the new minimum requirement. When considering any works to upgrade a property to comply with the MEES Regulations for April 2020, landlords should also bear in bind the potential future impact of the regulations.
TSB has introduced a new range of buy-to-let mortgages.
Available at up to 60% loan-to-value (LTV) there is a two-year fixed rate deal at 1.69%, along with a 75% LTV product at 1.94%.
In addition, there are two buy-to-let five-year fixed rates, starting from 1.99% up to 60% LTV and a 2.24% up to 75% LTV.
All of the products come with a £995 arrangement fee.
The government’s decision to invest an additional £4m in funding for local councils to tackle criminal landlords and letting agents has been warmly welcomed by The Guild of Property Professionals.
The housing secretary, Robert Jenrick, announced on Friday that he has pledged new funding to be used to clamp down on rogue landlords, with the money set to be shared between more than 100 councils across England
He commented: “Councils already have strong powers to force landlords to make necessary improvements to a property through the use of a range of measures, including civil penalties and banning orders for the worst offenders.
“The grants will support a range of projects to enable councils to make the best use of these powers. This will include trialling innovative ideas, sharing best practice and targeted enforcement where we know landlords shirk their responsibilities.”
There are more than 4.5 million households in the private rented sector in England, with recent statistics showing that 82% of private renters are satisfied with their accommodation, which although impressive, does suggest that there is room for improvement
The Guild’s inhouse Compliance Officer, Paul Offley, said: “We fully support this initiative as it will ensure that rogue landlords and letting agents are punished for breaking the law and it will also ensure that more tenants are treated fairly.
“With the funding providing councils with a means to crack down on illegal activity in the lettings market, tenants will have more protection and the standards of the rental sector will be raised.”
“An environment where exploitative landlords are stamped out will enable good landlords and letting agents to thrive,” he added.
But the government funding to root out criminal landlords has been described by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) as inadequate to tackle the scale of the problem.
David Smith, policy director for the RLA, said: “We welcome the government’s focus on rooting out criminal landlords. For too long the debate has been driven by ideological calls for more regulation of the sector. What is needed is better enforcement of the powers already available to tackle the minority who bring the sector into disrepute.
“The funding though is nowhere near enough. Instead of offering inadequate and sporadic pots of money, it is critical that the government provides proper, multi-year funding to enable councils to plan and prepare workable strategies to find the criminal landlords. This should be supported by councils having the political will to prioritise enforcement against the crooks rather than tying good landlords up in licensing schemes which do nothing to protect tenants.”
Greater confidence and more certainty in the housing market following last month’s Tory election victory looks set to boost the housing market and unleash pent-up buyer demand from property buyers, including buy-to-let investors, in the early part of 2020, analysts predict.
But Anton Frost, a partner at Carter Jonas letting agents, believes that continued political uncertainties, in particular, the deadline for Brexit rade talks at the end of the year, will keep a lid on activity levels in the housing market, including the buy-to-let sector.
He said: “2020 may begin with a new government but the familiar uncertainty over our departure from the EU will remain, and there is no doubt that this year will see the lettings market continuing to navigate through what has been a turbulent period.”
Frost, like many letting specialist, is concerned that tax and regulatory changes will dampen landlords’ appetites to invest and expand their property portfolios, with many consolidating their assets, or opting to flee the sector altogether.
Frost commented: “Policy changes and financial pressures on landlords has left many concerned that their investments are no longer viable. We’ve already seen the tenant fee ban and continuation of tax relief changes deter investors from the market in 2019, and this may well continue into 2020.
“With less stock comes increased competition and higher rents, and without legislative changes that can stabilise the landlord market, the tenant struggle for the right home at an affordable price may go unchanged.
“That said, no matter what picture the political landscape paints, people need to move and there has and always be a healthy level of activity in the rental market. Yield potential and tenant affordability are problems that remain paramount, but the market will always be transactional.
“Landlords are dubious about what 2020 holds, but clarity over if, how and when Britain leaves the EU should see an overall sense of stability return to the market, which can only be a positive thing.”
There are tentative signs that landlords are beginning to return to the buy-to-let market, particularly in London where house price falls and steady rental growth are gradually enticing investors back, according to Knight Frank.
The company reports that during the first 11 months of 2019, landlords acquired 11% of homes sold in Great Britain, the same level as 2018. But in November alone, the proportion of homes bought by investors increased to 12%.
London recorded a bigger rise in landlord purchases. Landlords purchased 13% of homes sold in the capital during the first 11 months of 2019, up from 11% during the same period of 2018. This was the first rise since 2015 but is in part due to fewer owner-occupiers transacting in the market. But will this trend continue?
The latest UK Finance mortgage data published this week suggests that property purchase and remortgage approvals in November held up relatively well given that the country was in full general election mode.
Andrew Montlake, managing director of the UK-wide mortgage broker, Coreco, said: “For a lot of British households, November was a classic case of better the devil you know.
“They chose to get their houses in order and secure a mortgage before a potentially disruptive election result.
“In the week following the general election result we saw a slight uplift in enquiries but the buyer spirit was largely trumped by the Christmas spirit.
“January will be the real test of consumer sentiment as we approach our departure from the EU.
“There is still much uncertainty as to the intricacies of how we leave the EU, but people at least now know it’s coming and that creates confidence.”
The figures also reveal that there were 16,200 remortgages in the buy-to-let sector in October, 2.4% fewer than the same month in 2018.
Montlake added: “While we are expecting an uplift in transactions and remortgages, it would be premature to assume that 2020 will be a boom year for the property and mortgage markets.
“As negotiations with Brussels unfold there is still the potential for volatility.”
Under-resourced county courts are struggling to cope with the number of possession claims being put forward, ‘causing misery for landlords’ not to mention costly delays, according to Landlord Action.
The vast majority of residential possession claims are dealt with in the county courts and enforced by county court bailiffs. But government spending cuts, an increasing number of possession cases, court delays and administrative errors mean evictions are taking longer than ever, pushing many landlords into debt.
In a recent Section 21 case handled by Landlord Action, a tenant claimed she did not receive the ‘How to Rent Guide’ so the court set a hearing date of 27th June 2019. But the court postponed the hearing with just 24 hours notice because the Judge was no longer available.
Several hearing dates have since been set and cancelled, leaving Landlord Action with little choice but to chase for a new date some 12 months after the original Section 21 notice was served back in January 2019, and the landlord no closer to gaining possession.
“We are experiencing cases like this time and time again” said Paul Shamplina. “It’s not only causing extra work for us at Landlord Action, meaning we now have a full-time member of staff whose main responsibility is chasing courts for updates on possession orders, Notice of Issues and bailiff appointments, it is also causing extreme stress for the landlords who are already facing financial hardship as a result of rent arrears.”
Landlord Action is now calling on the government to increase investment in the court system before pressing ahead with plans to scrap Section 21 of the Housing Act, as part of the new Renters’ Reform Bill.
Shamplina continued: “The situation is the worst I have experienced in my 28 years in this industry. Cases are being overlooked, delayed or thrown out due to administrative errors and there is little we can do to improve matters for landlords when we are at the mercy of the courts.
“Remember, many courts were closed due to cost saving by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).”
An unscrupulous landlord has been fined £27,000 over an unlicensed HMO in Luton with multiple fire and safety breaches.
Luton Magistrates Court heard that the unlicensed property at 14 Kenneth Road, Luton, LU2, had poor fire alarm systems and blocked fire exits, missing and broken tiles on the roof, and evidence of rat infestation.
Marco Caruso of Verulam Court, Hendon, pleaded guilty to illegally managing a HMO and seven breaches of HMO regulation.
He was fined £27,000, which included a £170 victim surcharge and costs of £848.70.
Cllr Tom Shaw, portfolio holder for housing, commented: “This is a great result for the rogue landlord project [being operated by the council] and an excellent example of how we are working together to ensure that private housing in Luton is of a good standard.
“If an HMO is poorly managed, the tenant’s safety could be at risk.
“We are committed to identifying rogue landlords and making sure the properties they manage are in a good condition and adhere to safety regulations, or face prosecution.”
The tax return deadline when filing your online Self Assessment for the tax year ending 5 April 2019 is less than a month away.
Filing an annual tax return is a necessary task for every self-employed person, including buy-to-let landlords, with the 31 January deadline for the 2018/19 Self Assessment tax return at midnight on 31 January 2020.
Whether you have just started out as a buy-to-let landlord or you are an established property investor, there is much to consider from a financial point of view.
Around 10 million people must complete a self-assessment tax form every year, typically because they are self-employed, run their own business or have untaxed income or capital gains, such as from a buy-to-let property, a trust or investment portfolio.
There is no need to fret over filing your tax returns, as it does not even require an accountant.
However, if you are concerned about going it alone and doing your own tax return, you may wish to check out HMRC’s ‘help and support for landlords’.
For more information, click here.
HMRC also offers online tax return help for landlords to their online series of help and support webinars.
View all HMRC webinars.