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Your Move Property Blog

Thoughts, Opinions & Analysis of the UK Property Market

July 2014 - Scottish Buy-to-Let Index

September 3, 2014 10:45 by YOUR MOVE


SCOTTISH RENT RISES ACCELERATE SINCE TENANT FEES BAN

· Annual rent rises accelerate to average 2.3% since ban on tenancy fees,  after years of stability
· Average Scottish rent stands at £534 per month in July 2014
· Tenant finances healthier than south of the border, with 15% less rent in arrears in Scotland
· Landlord total returns three times as high as a year ago, climbing to 9.9% a year (or £14,994)

Overview The ban on tenant fees accelerated rent rises, according to the first Scotland Buy-to-Let Index from Your Move.

Before it became illegal to charge tenant fees in Scotland in November 2012, average monthly rents had been stable around £508 for a period of almost two years, showing an average annual change of 0.0%. However in the 21 months since the ban on tenancy fees came into force, the annual increase in Scottish rents averages at 2.3% - much faster than the current rate witnessed in England and Wales.

The average residential rent across Scotland is now 2.7% higher than in July 2013, currently standing at £534 per month. This means that tenants in Scotland are currently paying an extra £26 a month in rent on average than before the legislation was introduced, amounting to £312 across a year. This is substantially more than the typical up-front costs  tenants used to pay when setting up their tenancy.

At an average of £534 a month, this is the highest level of rent in Scotland on record – but is still 29% lower than the average monthly rent across England and Wales, which is £753 in July 2014.

Commentary

Gordon Fowlis, Regional Managing Director of Your Move,  estate agency chain, comments: “Tenancy fees were outlawed in Scotland with the well-meaning intention of protecting thousands of households reliant on rental accommodation. But we can see that in reality tenants are starkly out of pocket. They are paying much more over a 12 month tenancy than they would have expected to pay for a single set-up fee, adding to the daily cost of living challenge.  Before this policy was implemented rents had been flat, relaxing the burden on household budgets and giving tenants some breathing space to climb back on their feet after the dark days of the recession.  Banning fees has heightened the financial strain on tenants, as greater costs are now incurred elsewhere through rents increasing at a faster pace.”

“After the consequences we’ve seen of previous government intervention, the biggest threat to the private rented sector is further unwarranted regulation. As we move into the final furlong before the referendum, all sides need to be careful not to scare landlords off the playing field as private renting is now a key integral solution to fulfilling Scotland’s housing needs. If private Landlords sell up and leave the rental market due to more well-meaning, but clumsy, regulation this could force a housing shortage for renters.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
Read the full index 

 




Homes of Tomorrow

August 14, 2014 13:07 by YOUR MOVE

Children from Rosemellin C.P. Primary School in Camborne swapped classroom studies for home designing when they were asked to draw their dream homes of tomorrow in an event organised by Your Move estate agents.

The children were asked to draw and describe their dream tree houses as if they were being built on the nearby Enys Woods housing development being constructed by Kier Living & Sanctuary Housing.

The event was organised through the developers, Kier Living, membership of the Considerate Constructors Scheme, a national initiative which encourages best practice in the construction industry with a view to working and engaging with local communities.

Charlie Staines of LSL Land & New Homes, sister company to Your Move estate agents, organised the event and he explains:

“With the Enys Woods homes being located within walking distance of various local amenities, including Rosemellin School, it seemed fitting to approach the school and invite them to play a part in the new community.

The children clearly put a lot of effort into the project and picking eleven winners was difficult. There are certainly some budding architects of the future and I would encourage them to keep designing homes and hopefully one day we can sell one for them.”

In working with local communities Kier Living had invited the school to visit the site and learn about the construction industry.

Chris Churms of Kier Living commented “When we first approached the school to work with us on this project we had no idea how enthusiastic the children would be. We hoped they would enjoy designing their dream tree houses and when they visit the site after the school summer holidays they will see how Kier Living bring homes to life from architects drawings and designs.”

The Enys Woods development – which will be marketed through Your Move estate agents - will feature 99 new one, two, three and four bedroom homes created in partnership with Sanctuary Housing Group. All will benefit from spacious accommodation and far reaching countryside views with a mixture of purchasing options available. 

The Enys Woods homes will enjoy a beautiful setting with spacious accommodation and open spaces. There will be far reaching countryside views and the development will sit behind a striking Cornish hedge.

Charlie Staines adds “The drawings the children created were amazing, they all took so much time and you could see that so much thought went into their designs. Not only did they draw a dream tree house they also learnt about the trees.”

Winners of the competition all received special Kier Living goodies including art supplies for their use over the summer holidays. In addition the winning artwork will also be shortly featured on the site hoarding and within the soon to open onsite sales centre. Finally, each house type at the development has also named after the winning entries.

To commemorate the children’s achievements Kier Living will also be presenting the school with a special display in September.

Leanna Brokenshire of Rosemellin School comments “The children have thoroughly enjoyed this experience and are looking forward to visiting the site in September. To have the houses named after their designs is an honour and I hope that in the future the families that live in the homes will bring their children to this school.”

The Enys Woods development will include high specification one, two, three and four-bedroom homes. To register your interest in the development contact Your Move Camborne on 01209 711171 or via email at camborne@your-move.co.uk




June 2014 - Scotland House Price Index Infographic

August 13, 2014 09:00 by YOUR MOVE

Scotland House Price Index June 2014 by Your Move

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England and Wales House Price Index Infographic - Published August 2014

August 10, 2014 13:51 by YOUR MOVE

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Are rental regulations working?

August 3, 2014 12:37 by YOUR MOVE

 

There is currently a huge demand for affordable rental accommodation and sadly, nowhere near enough supply. As a result, the Government is relying on private rented sector (PRS) landlords like you to make more properties available to tenants. However, latest research shows that the level of regulation and the way it keeps increasing could be hindering rather than helping these tenants.

The Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA) recently commissioned research into what effect current regulations have had on the PRS and has produced a very interesting report on their cost and effectiveness.

As each new regulation has been introduced by the Government, they’ve suggested it’s to help local authorities crack down on rogue landlords and improve things for tenants. And good landlords and agents are very much behind having a more regulated industry where tenants’ safety and rights are protected.

However, the report suggests that what’s actually happened is the unscrupulous landlords have continued to ignore existing regulations and appear ‘unfazed’ by new ones, while the decent majority – such as you – have had to incur increased costs which have had to be passed on to tenants via increased rents. Part of the reason increased regulation hasn’t had as much effect as previously thought is that local councils don’t have the manpower, time or money to track down, monitor and penalise them. So, while those tenants who can afford to rent from legitimate landlords and agents at least benefit from increased safety measures, poorer tenants are being targeted by rogue landlords and are potentially being put at risk ending up living in unsafe properties.

Tenancy deposit schemes were one of the regulations the report reviewed. While they cost good landlords around £275m a year in administration fees, only around £7m a year that would otherwise have been ‘unfairly withheld’ is actually returned to tenants. At the same time, the scheme doesn’t protect the good landlords if tenants disappear owing money and it can take some time to reclaim the deposit funds yourself, especially if your property and deposits protection isn’t handled by a letting agent.

The research also looked at landlord and property registration. This is where a landlord may have to be registered themselves or pay for a license to rent out a property, such as one that’s classed as a house in multiple occupation (HMO). While the cost was mentioned, a bigger issue for landlords was found to be the differences from one area to the next of what’s required and why. And it makes things particularly difficult for landlords who own properties across different local authorities.

Interestingly, the latest data from the Scottish Government estimates 15% of landlords – representing up to a quarter of PRS rental stock – haven’t even registered with their own official national licensing scheme and very little has been done to penalise them.

Yet, despite the serious questions over the effectiveness and benefits of investing in all these new initiatives, they keep coming. With an election next year, Labour is already proposing more changes, such as a cap on rent increases and the introduction of more secure tenancies.

At Your Move we welcome any legislation that protects tenants from unscrupulous practice and which can ensure the good landlords and agents stand out from the bad.

However, we also think that before new regulations are introduced, costing more money to both landlords and tenants, a thorough cost/benefit analysis of any new proposal should be carried out before further regulation is introduced.

 




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YOUR MOVE is a multi-award winning estate and letting agent with branches across England and Scotland

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