Friday, 17 March 2017

Thanet First Time Buyers borrow £36.2m in the last 12 months












Starting with the bigger picture, over the last 12 months in the UK, 1,061,557 properties were sold with a total value of £223.74 bn. To give that some context, ten years ago 1,581,727 properties sold with a total value of £405.56bn, so it can be seen the number of people moving house has dropped by over a third over the last decade.

Whether you are a landlord, homeowner or tenant, it’s always important to keep an eye on the Thanet property market, not just from your point of view, but also from every player’s point of view. Over the last 12 months, 755 properties have sold (and completed) in Ramsgate, worth £155.7m. Interestingly the number of properties changing hands in Ramsgate has also dropped when compared to a decade ago.

It might surprise you that first time buyers in 2017 will benefit from a slight decline in Thanet buy-to-let investors.

Those looking to buy a home in the spring and summer of 2017 will face a far less competitive Thanet property market than the same time of year in 2016, when the urgency to beat the buy-to-let stamp duty hike was in full swing.  

Many landlords brought forward their purchases to beat the tax, and since then, the number of buy-to-let purchases has dropped slightly. First time buyers have taken advantage of that and have increased their buying. In fact, looking at the Bank of England figures, this is what UK lenders have lent on buy-to-let properties versus first time buyers over the last 12 months 

Q4 2015 - £1bn buy-to-let mortgages vs £1.31bn for first time buyers
Q1 2016 - £1.35bn buy-to-let mortgages vs £1.08bn for first time buyers
Q2 2016 - £760m buy-to-let mortgages vs £1.28bn for first time buyers
Q3 2016 - £827m buy-to-let mortgages vs £1.42bn for first time buyers

When looking at the figures for Ramsgate itself, first time buyers have borrowed more than £36.2m in the last 12 months to buy their first home. This is a ringing endorsement of their confidence in their jobs and the local Thanet economy. Those 20 and 30 something’s who are considering being first time buyers in 2017 will find that the number of properties on the market has never been as good as it has for quite a while, meaning you have more choice of properties and less competition from so many buy-to-let landlords than a year ago.

Rightmove announced nationally that new seller enquiries are 26% up on the same time last year giving the stoutest indication that we may see a slight ease in the lack of properties on the market. When I look at the Ramsgate market, at this moment in time there are an impressive 535 properties for sale, so plenty of choice. All this will be welcome news amongst Thanet first-time buyers with a combination of a proportional reduction in new investors and landlords.

2017 will be an interesting year for all homeowners, be they buy-to-let landlords, existing homeowners or future homeowners.  For more thoughts on the Thanet property market like this, you might want to visit the Thanet Property  Blog. www.thanetpropertyblog.com

Friday, 10 March 2017

How The Rented Sector Has Transformed The Property Market In Thanet







The Thanet housing market has gone through a sea change in the past decades with the Buy-to-Let (B-T-L) sector evolving as a key trend, for both Thanet tenants and Thanet landlords.

A few weeks ago, the Government released a White Paper on housing. I have had a chance now to digest the report and wish to offer my thoughts on the topic. It was interesting that the private rental sector played a major part in the future plans for housing. This is especially important for our growing Thanet population.

In 1981, the population of Thanet stood at 121,800
and today it stands at 139,800.

Currently, the private rented (B-T-L) sector accounts for 26.8% of households in the Margate and 25.8% in Ramsgate.  The Government want to assist people living in the houses and help the economy by encouraging the provision of quality homes, in a housing sector that has grown due to worldwide economic forces, pushing home ownership out of the reach of more and more people. Interestingly, when we look at the 1981 figures for homeownership, a different story is told.

68.18% Thanet people owned their own home in 1981
18.15% Thanet people rented from the Council or Housing Association in 1981
 and 13.67% Thanet rented from a Private Landlord                

The significance of a suitable housing policy is vital to ensure suitable economic activity and create a vibrant place people want to live in. With the population of Thanet set to grow to 169,000 by 2037 – it is imperative that Thanet District Council and Central Government all work actively together to ensure the residential property market doesn’t hold the area back, by encouraging the building and provision of quality homes for its inhabitants.

One idea the Government has proclaimed is a variety of measures aimed at encouraging the Build-to-Rent (B-T-R) sector (instead of the B-T-L sector). These include allowing local authorities to proactively plan for B-T-R schemes, and making it simpler for B-T-R developers to offer inexpensive private rented homes.

To do this, the government will invent a distinct affordable housing class for B-T-R, called ‘Affordable Private Rent’, which will oblige new homes builders to provide at least 1 in 5 of a new home developments at a 20% discount on open-market rents and three year tenancies for tenants. In return, the new homebuilders will get better planning assurances.

Private landlords will not be expected to offer discounts, nor offer 3-year tenancies – but it is something Thanet landlords need to be aware of as there will be greater competition for tenants.

Over the last ten years, home ownership has not been a primary goal for young adults as the world has changed. These youngsters expect ‘on demand’ services from click and collect, Amazon, Dating Apps and TV with the likes of Netflix. Many Thanet youngsters see that renting more than meets their accommodation needs, as it combines the freedom from a lifetime of property maintenance and financial obligations, making it an attractive lifestyle option.

Private rented housing in Thanet, be it B-T-L or B-T-R, has the prospective to play a very positive role.

Friday, 3 March 2017

£5.9bn – The total value of all Margate Property Market









“How much would it cost to buy all the properties in Margate?”

This fascinating question was posed by the 11-year-old son of one of my Margate landlords when they both popped into my offices before the Christmas break (doesn’t that seem an age away now!). I thought to myself, that over the Christmas break, I would sit down and calculate what the total value of all the properties in Margate are worth … and just for fun, work out how much they have gone up in value since his son was born back in the autumn of 2005.

In the last 11 years, since the autumn of 2005, the total value of Margate property has increased by 30% or £24.91 billion to a total of £5.9 billion. Interesting, when you consider the FTSE100 has only risen by 30.78% and inflation (i.e. the UK Retail Price Index) rose by 37% during the same 11 years.

When I delved deeper into the numbers, the average price currently being paid by Margate households stands at £224,023.… but you know me, I wasn’t going to stop there, so I split the property market down into individual property types in Margate; the average numbers come out like this ..

Margate Property Market
Average Value of a Detached Property
Average Value of a Semi-Detached Property
Average Value of a Terraced/Town House Property
Average Value of an Apartment
£347,077
£243,300
£196,546
£130,959

... yet it got even more fascinating when I multiplied the total number of each type of property by the average value. Even though detached houses are so expensive, when you compare them with the much cheaper semi-detached houses, you can quite clearly see detached properties don’t actually fare much better in terms of total pound note value of the semi-detached houses.

Total Value of all the Margate Detached Properties
Total Value of all the Margate Semi-Detached Properties
Total Value of all the Margate Terraced/Town House Properties
Total Value of all the Margate Apartments
£1,823,542,558
£1,728,159,900
£1,263,987,326
£1,080,542,709

So, what does this all mean for Margate?  Well as we enter the unchartered waters of 2017 and beyond, even though property values are already declining in certain parts of the previously over cooked Central London property market, the outlook in Margate remains relatively good as over the last five years, the local property market was a lot more sensible than central London’s.


Margate house values will remain resilient for several reasons. Firstly, demand for rental property remains strong with continued immigration and population growth.  Secondly, with 0.25 per cent interest rates, borrowing has never been so cheap and finally the simple lack of new house building in Margate not keeping up with current demand, let alone eating into years and years of under investment – means only one thing – yes it might be a bumpy ride over the next 12 to 24 months but, in the medium term, property ownership and property investment in Margate has always, and will always, ride out the storm.

In the coming weeks, I will look in greater detail at my thoughts for the 2017 Margate Property Market. As always, all my articles can be found at the Thanet Property Market Blog.  www.thanetpropertyblog.com.