There are some interesting parallels between landlords and Santa Claus. For a start, you’re often making a list and checking it twice, only yours is full of to-dos for repairs and maintenance at your rental property. Then there’s deciding if your tenants have been naughty or nice, and whether they look after your property and pay the rent on time. Continue reading SEASON’S LETTINGS: YOUR LANDLORD CHRISTMAS CHECKLIST (4 min read)
They say that death and taxes are the only two certainties of life. Well, if you’re a landlord, you might be feeling that empty weeks at your Fife rental property are an inevitable third. Continue reading NO VACANCY: Keeping your rental property occupied in Fife! (4 min read)
…….Yet, if the proposals were adopted in full, some Fife landlords would pay £7,000 less Capital Gains Tax than they would currently
Hosts Jim Parker is joined by Andrea Stanford and Neil Bird to discuss this week’s news in the Fife Property Market while answering questions live on their show every Saturday morning @ 9.30am
Today’s agenda in case you would like to skip to the section required is: Continue reading Fife Properties TV (S1 EP 7) 5 ways on how all Fife landlords can escape the worst of the coronavirus downturn on their Fife rental property.
..and the 5 ways on how all Fife landlords can escape the worst of the coronavirus downturn on their Fife rental property.
With the second lockdown starting on the 5th November 2020 South of the border and Scotland in its 5 tier local protection lockdown programme, does this mean Fife landlords can wave goodbye to their Fife buy-to-let investment and see it go up in smoke on the bonfire of buy-to-let dreams, like a Guy Fawkes puppet? Continue reading Each Fife Landlord Could be Hit By a £25,822 Bill (4 min read)
With around 1 in 2 Fife house sellers actually selling their home in the last month, Fife sellers and buyers will need to continue to be pragmatic if the surprisingly strong current levels of activity in the Fife property market are to be sustained.
To start, we had the once in a lifetime event of the credit crunch in 2008, we then had another once in a lifetime event with the Brexit vote in 2016 and now the mother of all ‘once in a lifetime’ events, Coronavirus in 2020 – three once in a lifetime events in the space of 3 Olympic Games!
The doom-mongers forecast that the British property market would drop like a lead balloon on the scale of the 1989 housing crash (where property values dropped by 30.87% in a couple of years) but would be nothing compared to the tsunami that was Covid. Yet in the first 75 days of the property market coming out of lockdown, behavioural and economic changes mean that many Fife homebuyers are now even more dedicated to moving home and the Fife property market is doing quite well.
Going into lockdown, the effect on activity in the Fife property market during those three months was expectable and predictable as it was placed in suspended animation during April, May and June. When the Fife property market re-opened in late June, nobody predicted what happened next. Of course, many of us in the property industry estimated some release of pent-up demand from the Boris Bounce, yet nobody anticipated such a ricochet in activity in the Fife property market.
This is particularly interesting when one considers GDP dropped by 20.4% in Q2 2020 (fascinating when compared to notable historic times when it dropped by 13.8% in WW2 and 16.7% in WW1), yet amidst the largest contraction in the UK economy ever in a single quarter, what wasn’t expected was an increase of potential property buyers and sellers wanting to move post-lockdown.
Some have cited this boost to the property market on a number of factors. Firstly, we have had the Stamp Duty Holiday, others have pointed at the never seen before 0.1% Bank of England base rates making mortgages cheap, then we had the furlough scheme which protected so many jobs and finally, the pent-up demand from the Boris Bounce.
Yet, when one actually talks with Fife buyers and sellers, whilst all of them cite one or two of the above reasons, all of them mention and talk about how the lockdown has made them re-evaluate and reconsider how they want to live, their work-life balance and where they want to live. This is also reflected with tenants changing their requirements when looking for a property to rent (so Fife landlords – be aware of this).
Demand for apartments in the centre of Fife has eased off, whilst demand for property with a good-sized garden or other outside space has increased. One question we get asked all the time is also the broadband speeds, although they are quite decent in Fife (the average broadband in our local Council area being 41.0 Mbps download and 7.9 Mbps upload).
So, with record numbers of Fife properties coming on to the market – is it boom time for Fife homeowners?
Of the 901 properties that have come onto the market in Fife over the last month, 420 of them have agreed a sale
(a percentage of 46.6%)
That means around 1 in 2 Fife people that have placed their property onto the market have not found a buyer yet.
Yes, the Fife property market is good, yet the number of people who have placed their property on the market has also gone up. Fife estate agents have never been so busy putting property on the market and I feel sorry for the chap who is putting up all the for-sale boards – his wife hasn’t seen him in daylight for weeks!
But that does mean you are in competition with so many other properties on the market (the number of properties coming on to the market typically at this time of the year is about a third to half less). The Stamp Duty boost ends in March 2021, so that means you need to have found a buyer by November at the very latest. By over egging your asking price, to test the market, might mean you will lose out on this hiatus and could end up missing the boat!
The prices being achieved for the Fife properties that have been selling have been fair and realistic and have stood up much better than many were originally predicting.
Yet as the country looks forward, given the ambiguous nature of the outlook for the British economy and the possibility that Covid-19 may be with us for a little while yet, I must implore Fife property sellers to be realistic with their asking price so a greater number of you who want to make the move, are able to do so.
The last three or four weeks, unquestionably, have been one of the most life-changing times we have seen since WW2. The imminent threat of the Coronavirus has taken over the world, the UK and Fife and will challenge you, our families, our relationships and test us all.
Investing in a Fife buy to let property has become a very different sport over the last few years.
In the glory days of the five years after the turn of the Millennium, where we had double-digit house price growth, mortgage companies (notably Northern Rock, HBOS and their ilk) desperate to get on the buy to let mortgage bandwagon with rates so low it would make the belly of a snake seem high and an open mildness to give loans away with not so much more than a note from your Mum and with hardly any regulatory intervention… anyone could make money from investing in property – in fact it was easier to make money than fall off a log! Then we had the unexpected flourish of the property market, with the post credit crunch jump in the property market after 2010, when everything seemed rosy in the garden.
Yet, over the past five years, the thumbscrews on the buy to let market for British (and de facto) Fife investors have slowly turned with new barriers and challenges for buy to let investors. With the change in taxation rules on mortgage relief starting to bite plus a swathe of new rules and regulations for landlords and mortgage companies, it cannot be denied some Fife landlords are leaving the buy to let sector, whilst others are putting a pause on their portfolio expansion.
With the London centric newspapers talking about a massive reduction in house prices (mainly in Mayfair and Prime London – not little old Fife) together with the red-tape that Westminster just keeps adding to the burden of landlords’ profit, it’s no wonder it appears to be dome and gloom for Fife landlords … or is it?
One shouldn’t always believe what one reads in the newspaper. It’s true, investing in the Fife buy to let property market has become a very different ballgame in the last five years thanks to all the changes and a few are panicking and selling up.
Fife landlords can no longer presume to buy a property, sit on it and automatically make a profit
Fife landlords need to see their buy to let investments in these tremulous times in a different light. Before landlords kill their fatted calves (i.e. sell up) because values are, and pardon the metaphor, not growing beyond expectation (i.e. fattening up), let’s not forget that properties produce income in the form of rent and yield. The focus on Fife buy to let property in these times should be on maximising your rents and not being preoccupied with just house price growth.
Rents in Fife’s private rental sector increased
by 1.96% in the past 12 months
Rents in Fife since 2008 have not kept up with inflation, it is cheaper today in REAL TERMS than it was 11 years ago and some landlords are beginning to realise that fact with our help.
Looking at the last few years, it can be seen that there is still a modest margin to increase rents to maximise your investment (and it can be seen some Fife landlords have already caught on), yet still protect your tenants by keeping the rents below those ‘real spending power terms’ of the 2008 levels.
Buy to let must be seen as a medium and long-term investment ….
Rents in Fife are 10.28% higher than they were 3 years ago and property values are 11.04% higher than Jan 2016
…and for the long term, even with the barriers and challenges that the Government is putting in your way – the future couldn’t be brighter if you know what you are doing.
Investment is the key word here… In the old days, anything with a front door and roof made money – yet now it doesn’t. Tenants will pay top dollar for the right property but in the right condition. Do you know where the hot spots are in Fife, whether demand is greater for 2 beds in Fife or 3 beds? Whether town centre terraced houses offer better ROI than suburban semis? With all the regulations many Fife landlords are employing us to guide them by not only managing their properties, taking on the worries of property maintenance, the care of property and their tenants’ behaviour but also advising them on the future of their portfolio. We can give you specialist support (with ourselves or people we trust) on the future direction of the portfolio to meet your investment needs (by judging your circumstances and need between capital growth and yields), specialist finance and even put your property empire into a limited company.
If you are reading this and you know someone who is a Fife buy to let landlord, do them a favour and share this article with them – it could save them a lot of worry, heartache, money and time.
A handful of Fife landlords and homeowners have been asking me what would happen if we had another property crash like we did in 2008/9?
The UK property crash in 2008/9 caused property prices in the UK to drop by an average of 18.37% in a period of 16 months.
We’re moving into a new decade, and so the last thing that you want is for your home to look dated. Throughout 2019 we have seen some extreme trends in interior design; from the embracing of industrial elements to the resurgence of entirely neutral spaces. We have taken a look at what to expect this year and how to get ahead with your design aesthetic, whatever your budget.
- Colour makes a comeback
One of the key trends this decade has been that of neutral spaces with a few accent pieces to liven up the décor, however this year one of the main inclinations in design will be towards colour; bolder, brighter and braver! Rebecca Breslin, Wayfair Professional design manager, is calling for an end of “Greige, grey and all neutral everything without texture or visual interest” and therefore if you are looking for a change this year then start by adding colour into your home – burnt oranges and deep blues are set to be en vogue throughout the whole year.
- Paper set to tear up the market
A feature wall has been the mainstay of every makeover show and glossy magazine before-and-after shoot since the early naughties, however 2020 is set to end this fad. Rather than a singular wall that is adorned with wallpaper, we are going to see all four walls covered with paper – in line with the brighter aesthetic of 2020. Wallpaper has seen something of a renaissance over the past decade, with designs from Gucci and Dior all the way through to stick-and-peel examples flooding the marketplace, and this isn’t set to end this year. If you want to experiment, then start with smaller spaces such as studies, toilets and guest bedrooms where patterns will seem less overwhelming.
- Cabinet shake-up
The crisp, white kitchens that have been an enduring design staple over the last decade are set to move into retirement in 2020, with colour making its way back into the heart of the home. Kitchen cabinets, more specifically, are to become a real focus in kitchen design – therefore if you are looking to stay on-trend then think about rejuvenating your cabinets. Navy blue matte cabinets with vintage gold handles will transform your aesthetic immediately and mixes the traditional and vintage visuals that are set to be all the rage this year.
- Give art a start
In these modern days of mass production and consumerism, vintage art and antiques are making a huge comeback due to the perceived one-of-a-kind nature of the objects and that they possess their own unique story. If you are looking to make small changes to your home that make it chic, then adding some select pieces of art is a great start – adding pieces to your kitchen walls will add particular interest to an otherwise utilitarian space.
- Soften the edges
Throughout the 2010s, chicness has often been related to strong lines, sharp edges and minimalism, however as we move into the next decade this is set to be turned on its head for an altogether softer look. As well as a nod to 30s glamour (think metallics such as silver and gold, as well as scalloped seating) curves and fluid shapes are set to be popular this year; from circular side tables to rounded-edge sofas.