March Regional Review

March 31, 2016Tags: buy-to-let | letting | lettings | Landlords

YM Oct RegionalReviewEngland 

Latest news about how we live in our homes

The Government recently published its English Housing Survey 2014-15 (EHS). This looks at people’s housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of their homes. Key changes for the property market show that:- 

The private rented sector (PRS) remains larger than the social rented sector, with 4.3 million households renting privately in England. It also shows that the number of households renting with children has risen to 37% - that’s over 912,000 more households than a decade ago. 

The research also shows that the demographic of renters is changing. Ten years ago, 24% of 25-34 year olds rented. That figure’s almost doubled, with 46% of them renting today.  There was also a slight drop in the number of people who expected to be able to buy their own home in the future has also declined slightly. When we put the EHS findings together with our own research on tenants, it’s clear that everyone is renting these days – young, old, professional couples and families. That’s partly due to affordability but also partly due to the demand these days for a much more mobile lifestyle than we’ve needed in the past. 

To find out more about what’s happened to the way we live in the last 12 months, visit the .gov website.

The EHS suggests that in the 12 months to the summer of 2015, private rents hardly changed from the previous year. However, our own house price survey found that “demand from landlords and second-home buyers contribute to a surge in homes sales, up 12% month-on-month”. 

Adrian Gill, director of Your Move, comments: “House prices flew forwards in February, with the average home value in England and Wales increasing 0.8% (£2,277) during the month, equal to an average increase of £79 each day.  This is double the 0.4% monthly growth seen in January, which could be as a result of buy to let investors rushing to complete quickly to avoid April’s additional 3% Stamp Duty surcharge, which has also seen sales shoot up 11.8% since January… Typical property values are now £16,866 (6.2%) higher year-on-year; the fastest annual growth rate seen in eleven months, driven by the gulf in the number of aspiring home buyers, compared  to the limited supply of homes for sale.”

For more on our house price index, tenancy arrears and Buy to Let data,read our latest property reports.


Are you properly trained to manage? New rules in soon!

By November 2016, anyone letting and managing a property in Wales will need to have a licence, so you must make sure you know what you’re able to do to let a property and which jobs you’ll need to be accredited for.

According to Rent Smart Wales, the type of things that you’ll need to be licensed for include: 

  • Showing prospective tenants around 
  • Referencing 
  • Preparing a tenancy and checking-in a tenant
  • Collecting rent 
  • Helping answer tenant queries with regards to maintenance and repairs, plus securing access to the property 
  • Ending the tenancy 

Even if you’ve been doing these jobs for years, if you want to keep being a hands-on landlord from November this year, you’ll need to go on a course and make sure your properties have the correct licence before November. That’s unless you’re already properly licensed or you use an accredited agent, such as Your Move.

Latest property price news

Our latest property price reports show that property price growth is starting to come to Wales after four months of relatively little movement. The average annual change over the last three months was an increase of 2.8%, year on year. 

To find out more about property trends in Wales, read our latest property reports .


While George Osborne has clarified the additional 3% stamp duty for second homes in England, Scotland is in the process of confirming the 3% ‘additional dwelling supplement’, which comes under the banner of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT). It’s expected to be charged from 1st April 2016, just as it is south of the border. 

To find out more about who’ll have to pay and what the exemptions are, visit the Scottish revenue website. 

Our latest Buy to Let index shows that late rents are at a six-month low, with only 11.1% of tenants falling into arrears. Rents were an average of £548 per month and rose by 2.3% year on year ‘on average’, although Edinburgh and Lothian showed a growth rate of three times this, at 6.4%. 

Brian Moran, lettings director at Your Move Scotland, comments:

“With a record number of Scots in work by the end of 2015, there finally seems to be some momentum pushing down the frequency of late rent payments. Over the course of last year, we saw a considerable increase in the proportion of tenants unable to keep pace with their bills, but tenants appear to be over the hump – putting us on a much firmer footing for 2016.  With Christmas now firmly behind us and employment levels beginning to take off, many tenants are feeling much more in control of their incomes, and this is a very positive start to 2016.”

For more about what’s happening in your local area, take a look at our Scottish Buy to Let index on our property reports website.

Take a look at our latest Buy to Let infographics here.

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