Landlord press review

Like every month, Rentila offers you an overview of the main real estate news of interest to landlords and tenants. This month, we focus on: UK housing market offers room for growth as demand improves; House prices will fall 2% this year – OBR; Mortgage rate rises branded ‘March madness’ by brokers as banks hike home loan costs; First-time buyers turning to 35-year mortgages amid higher interest rates; Rent expected to surge by 16% in UK property market; Short-term lets to require planning permission under new proposals… Happy reading and… renting!

The market

Average house price jumps by more than £3,000 in February despite recession

In signs of growing market momentum, the average asking price is also up by 0.1% compared with a year earlier, following a period of annual falls in every month since August 2023.
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What impact will government’s 1% deposit mortgage scheme have on the housing market?

The government has reportedly stepped up its plans to introduce a 1% deposit, or 99% loan-to-value (LTV) mortgages with a view to helping more first-time buyers purchase onto their homes.
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UK housing market offers room for growth as demand improves

The UK housing market is showing signs of improvement despite the recent softening of interest rate cut expectations
Strong wage growth is fuelling underlying inflation, and this is pushing mortgage rates higher – at least in the short-term.
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Bristol tops the list of best cities for buy to let investors

Bristol has emerged as the most desirable city for landlords to invest in for 2024…
The tracker ranks 50 UK cities based on five key factors that affect the attractiveness of buy to let properties.
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UK house prices rise for first time in over a year

Property values increased by 0.7% between January and February, making the average home worth £260,420. Annually, house prices increased by 1.2% in February, following a 0.2% fall in January.
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House prices will fall 2% this year – OBR

The Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) has released its Spring Budget forecast, predicting a 2% drop in house prices this year.
Its house price forecast for 2024 is less severe than the 5% decline projected in the OBR’s November report.
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House sales on the rise as an air of cautious optimism sweeps over UK housing market

House sales continue to tick upward as market confidence improves, according to the latest RICS residential survey, released this morning revealing a more positive trend in buyer enquiries and new listings.
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These are the most profitable buy-to-let hotspots

In December 2023, average house prices were estimated to have fallen by 2.1% due to high mortgage rates and the cost of living crisis. But the market will likely pick up again, with 47% of landlords believing the Bank of England’s base rate will fall in 2024 – great news for those starting in the real estate industry.
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Average fixed mortgage rates edge up amid tough wider market conditions

Average fixed mortgage rates have edged up slightly amid tough wider market conditions, with a dwindling number of sub-4% deals available, according to a financial information website.
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Mortgage rate rises branded ‘March madness’ by brokers as banks hike home loan costs

House hunters and mortgage brokers have reacted angrily to news that a string of big-name lenders are hiking the cost of home loans, even with Bank of England base rates expected to fall later this year.
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Buy-to-let mortgage rates fall to lowest point since 2022

Average fixed rates have fallen month-on-month, both over a two-year or five-year fixed term, standing at their lowest points since September 2022. Six months ago, these rates were the highest on Moneyfacts’ electronic records…
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Mortgage approvals rise to highest level in a year – but UK housing market rebound unlikely to last

Mortgage approvals, which are an indicator of future borrowing, increased again in January, rising from 51,500 to 55,200. This took it to its highest level since October 2022, just before the spike in mortgage rates following the mini-budget.
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First-time buyers turning to 35-year mortgages amid higher interest rates

One in five first-time buyers took out a mortgage of at least 35 years in 2023, compared with fewer than one in 10 in 2022, according to banking trade body UK Finance. Previous generations tended to borrow over a 25-year term.
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Bank of England expected to hold interest rates steady

Economists expect that decision-makers on the Monetary Policy Committee will be split on what to do, but will decide to hold rates.
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Quadruple surge in fake tenancy applications

Fraudulent tenancy applications have quadrupled in the last two years, according to new research.
Referencing agency Homelet says they have seen a surge in fake tenancy applications receiving nearly 200 per day.
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Rents could soar by up to 41% by 2030

A study found that the average tenant across England is currently paying £994 per month in rent, which has risen by 5% in the last year and 37% over the last decade.
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Rent expected to surge by 16% in UK property market

The UK property market has seen considerable rental cost growth over the last few years, spurred by high inflation and interest rates forcing more people into the Private Rented Sector. As tenant demand increased, so did rents, notably as many buy-to-let landlords upped costs to cover higher mortgage payments.
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Renters reminded of rights before rent cap ends

Private renters are being urged to know their rights before the emergency rent cap and additional evictions protections in Scotland come to an end from 1 April.
Tenants in Scotland have some of the strongest rights of any part of the UK, an awareness raising campaign will highlight those rights and what tenants should expect from their landlords…
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Rents soar in commuter towns as cities become unaffordable

The cost of a new let rose twice as fast as earnings in six British cities and towns over the last three years…
At the same time, areas in commuting distance from major cities have seen some of the sharpest increases in rent prices.
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Rental market heats up in February as rents and demand rise

Last month, landlords saw an increase in rents and demand for rental properties across England, according to Goodlord’s latest Rental Index.
It says the average rent of a property in February was 7% higher than in February 2023…
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Scottish landlords hammer rent cap proposals in government consultation

The Scottish Government has published the results of a public consultation on its New Deal for Tenants proposals and found that, unsurprisingly, most tenants support rent controls – while landlords have hammered the idea.
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The pros and cons of a 99% mortgage

If rumours are to be believed, Jeremy Hunt’s spring budget will include a government-backed 99% mortgage to help first-time buyers who are struggling to get a deposit together.
How will a 99% mortgage scheme work?
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Short-term lets to require planning permission under new proposals

Michael Gove has announced proposals to require planning permission for short-term lets to prevent a “hollowing out” of communities.
The new law would require people letting out their property as a short-term holiday home to seek permission from the local authority under a new “use” category.
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First-time buyers purchasing homes at 8% below local average

First-time buyers are purchasing property at an average of £244,100 are saving £20,300, or 8%, below the local market average – rising to savings of £137,800 (26%) in London…
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Spareroom calls for tax equality for private landlords

Spareroom is criticising the government for failing to address the underlying issues driving landlords to short-term lets.
The government recently announced a crackdown on short-term lets with plans to introduce a national register.
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Council leaders call for longer eviction notice periods to prevent homelessness

Council leaders from across the political spectrum have asked the housing secretary, Michael Gove, to support an amendment to the Renters (Reform) Bill that would give tenants more time to find a new home if they are evicted.
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Scotland in grip of a ‘housing emergency’

Scotland’s housing professionals have declared the country is in the grip of a “housing emergency” ahead of delegates coming together for a two-day conference in Glasgow.
The organisation will discuss housing shortages during the assembly and call for action from both the UK and Scottish governments to address what it sees as a worsening situation across the country.
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What is the biggest cause of tenancy deposit disputes in the UK

End-of-tenancy disputes can turn a smooth move-out into a stressful experience. Data from recent years in the UK overwhelmingly shows that cleaning is the biggest reason for disputes between tenants and landlords when it comes to tenancy deposits. Lack of proper documentation during check-in and check-out further fuels these disputes.
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Britain to abolish tax breaks for holiday lets

British finance minister Jeremy Hunt said he would abolish tax breaks for furnished holiday lets, such as those advertised on Airbnb, to make more property available for rent by locals in tourist hotspots like Cornwall and central London.
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‘Double council tax’ rule to come in from April in England

The UK government has confirmed that from April 1 there will be stricter rules for some empty houses in England.
Council tax on homes that have been empty a long time will double from next month, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said.
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Landlords are feeling the squeeze with inflation and recession fears

Landlords in the UK are facing a variety of challenges, with a new survey revealing worries about inflation, the cost-of-living crisis, and a potential property market downturn, a survey has found.
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