Tuesday marked MyHomeGroup's first ever one-to-one, property advice drop-in session, hosted in our home borough of Wandsworth, London.
Local residents were able to book 20-minute chats with our Founder, Will Clark, and Head of Market Insights, Fionnuala Earley, where the pair would answer all types of property queries, and ultimately, advise on whether now is or isn't a good time to buy, sell or rent out in the UK, dependent on each situation.
A few (fairly obvious) common themes occurred in forms of questions; namely, Brexit. As well as the most recent squeezes on landlords following Philip Hammond's 2018 Budget.
Here are a few of the most prevalent questions on the matter...
Should I wait until Brexit and all this political uncertainty is over to buy a house?
No! You buy a house to live in, and you can’t put your house or your life on hold, for what’s going to happen in the political arena. And over the long term, houses are nests, not just invests.
What are the general views on the market at the moment?
Clearly things are slowing down. But if you look at the national picture, actually, that slow-down is dominated a bit by London. We’ve still seen prices rising across the nation, but London prices are falling.
And it’s not all about Brexit. Part of it is to do with the fact that the past cycle in London has gone nuts compared to elsewhere, but it’s finally hit those affordability buffers. And Brexit and uncertainties will affect that market, of course, but even without that, we would still expect a change in the rate that prices are rising anyway.
Affordability is really difficult and actually it’s moved out of line with the growth in earnings. And that gives you a good fundamental idea of how quickly prices continue to increase.
So we could’ve anticipated the softening in house price growth, or falls, as we’re seeing now. It’s just been exacerbated by the political and economic uncertainty of Brexit.
Is it a good time to invest in property right now?
It’s fair to say it’s more difficult now for landlords to buy as an investment – yields are lower. But if you are looking to invest for the longer term, property has always been a good investment. You’ve just got to take into account the costs and the hassles of managing that investment and the new tax changes…
How will the squeeze on landlords affect me?
Taxation has moved quite heavily against the lettings market, and in particular, buy-to-let investors. And if they’ve borrowed, and they still have a mortgage on that buy-to-let property, then they’re not going to get the same tax relief on that.
But regardless of whether you have a buy-to-let portfolio, if you have a flat that hasn’t been sold, or maybe you’ve moved in with a partner and left your flat behind and it’s now up for rent, you’ll still feel the current squeeze on tax reliefs. Including not being able to claim quite as much back on wear and tear.
And it’s important then to think about the costs of managing that property. You can do everything yourself but that’s a lot of hassle, particularly if you’ve got a full time job.
So the squeeze on landlords does affect all types, but there’s still a lot of value to be found.
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