Buy-to-let Investing: How to Do It Right

  Over the years, buy-to-let investing has been one of the most promising in the UK real estate market in terms of its returns. Under this scheme, you will be buying a property, and in turn, you will be looking for tenants to have it rented. This is the perfect choice for people who are looking for long-term investments as returns will not be yielded within just a short span of time. Considering this form of investment? Keep on reading and learn about some of the things that should be done to be assured of making the right choice and to lessen the likelihood that you will have regrets in the future. Find the Right Timing When it comes to buy-to-let investing, timing is key. As a property investor, your goal is to buy a property at a time wherein the price is low. More so, you also have to...
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Mortgage Rules Nightmare!

We are investigating adding to our current residential mortgage to possibly fund a house move. This image from the Telegraph is exactly what I looked like last week after a conversation with our bank. When I booked the phone appointment with one of their mortgage advisors they said they would provide me with a list of documentation they would require before the call. They duly provided a list via email. As we are both self employed this was an ardous task. I had to scan into their online system 3 years of accounts, tax returns - business and personal, information from the HMRC, 3 months of bank statements and much more.   This probably took 2 to 3 hours to obtain all the information and to upload it all. We were told the call may take 2 hours!!  The advisor then proceeded to ask us very detailed questions about income, profits...
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Bank of England clamping down on buy to let landlords!

Larger landlords with four or more properties in their portfolio should be subject to tougher underwriting standards, the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) has advised. The PRA claims that without further constraints, lenders expect a gross increase of 20% in buy-to-let borrowing over the next two to three years. It set out four measures designed to tighten buy-to-let lending standards: Lenders should consider the borrower’s costs associated with letting the property, including tax costs A borrower’s personal income should be verified if the lender wants to include it to support the mortgage Lenders should include future interest rate increases in affordability assessments at 5.5% There should be a special underwriting process for “portfolio landlords” with four or more properties The Residential Landlords Association, said the buy-to-let proposals were premature. Policy director David Smith said: “The Bank needs to be careful that it does not over-react to the current...
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Property Expert and eMoov CEO, Russell Quirk, Provides His Post-Budget Analysis

A Disappointing Budget for Housing – Something’s a Miss Despite the Conservatives claiming to be the party of home owning aspiration, many of us are left disappointed by the absence of any robust or meaningful housing initiatives or a dilution of George Osborne’s previous attacks on property purchasers, by way of stamp duty and tax relief changes today. Mr Osborne has refused to take his foot off the throat of UK residential market and a number of initiatives that could have been advanced to take the pressure of UK homebuyers today, have not been. Property expert, eMoov CEO and former Brentwood First councillor, Russell Quirk, commented: “A very disappointing budget from a property point of view and for UK buyers and sellers. The capital gains tax reductions, whilst bold, are a missed trick and a kick in the teeth for those second home-sellers, that will not benefit from a reduction...
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Annual house price growth unchanged at 9.7%

    The Halifax recently released their House Price Index for February 2016. Key Facts • Prices in the three months to February were 9.7% higher than in the same three months a year earlier • House prices in the latest three months (December-February) were 3.0% higher than in the preceding three months • House prices decreased by 1.4% between January and February. This offset much of January’s 1.7% rise. Monthly house price changes can be volatile. The quarter on quarter change is a more reliable indicator of the underlying trend. • Increase in areas where homes have risen more in value than owner’s total earnings. The increase in average house prices has exceeded total average employee’s net earnings in more than a quarter of local authority districts across the UK – 108 out of 380 (28%) – over the past two years, according to recent Halifax research. Commenting, Martin...
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Near term price expectations reach 20 month high

RICS have just released their UK Residential Survey for December 2015. Here are the key facts: Buyer demand growth picked up due to the unseasonably mild weather.  This in fact boosted activity. New instructions increased for the first time since January 2015. Price momentum remains firm Strong Growth The survey shows strong price growth to the end of the year, with 50% of respondents reporting that prices have risen. East Anglia and the South East are showing the strongest price growth but all parts of the UK are reported to shown some growth. Buyers enquiries are rising at a faster pace than new instructions, thus giving a demand/supply imbalance. Stamp Duty Increase There is a view that this increased demand was due to buy to let investors trying to complete their transactions before the new tier of stamp duty is introduced in April 2016. New instructions to sell edged up slightly...
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What can we expect for the property market in 2016?

  It’s always good to have a diverse portfolio, so perhaps it is worth looking at other investment opportunities as well as property.  This article will also discuss the economic factors impacting the property market. Stock market It’s important to have a serious understanding of the stock market before you get involved. The price of oil which clearly impacts many of the largest multinationals and some of the old favourites e.g. BP and Royal Dutch Shell, has dropped to 11 year lows, and was an incredible 46% down in 2015. It has gone from an incredible $116 a barrel, to around $34 a barrel and it would take a brave individual to predict that price will rise in 2016 with supply continuing to come onto the market from all sides of the globe e.g. Iran, Russia, Middle East, USA. The FTSE 100  This started the year at 6560 and ended the year at 6242, with...
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Tory peer slates his party's attack on buy to let investors

[caption id="attachment_14268" align="alignleft" width="190"] Lord Flight Lord Flight, the Tory peer has urged his party to re-think their 'sudden attack' on buy to let investors. He warned it could trigger a sharp drop in house prices and destabilise the market, which could potentially lead to a crash. Lord Flight, a former Conservative Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury is the first prominent politician to openly criticise the government's surprise attack on private investors. Many private landlords have pledged to fight the tax changes through a judicial review. Unfortunately, George Osborne has gained Royal Assent for a new tax on landlords and property investors from 2017. You can read the full article in The Telegraph here.  If you haven't already, you can still sign the petition against these tax changes. As of today, there are 50,094 signatures. We need to get it to 100,000, then it will be considered for debate. The link...
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The Autumn Statement

Chancellor George Osborne has delivered his Autumn Statement today and spending plans for the next four years in the Spending Review. Here are the main points for landlords: He told MPs that solving the housing "crisis" was his top priority. 400,000 Affordable New Homes The Housing budget has been doubled; Plans to hand billions to private developers to build 400,000 affordable new homes - to be built by the end of the decade – half of these will be starter homes, while 135,000 will be shared ownership. In a shift away from free market solutions, Mr Osborne announced plans to hand £2.3bn directly to developers to build "starter homes" for first-time buyers, in a fresh attempt to reverse the long-term decline in house building. Housing Associations A new pilot scheme to begin at five housing associations at midnight tonight to allow tenants to buy their own homes. In London: a new...
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Using contractors to carry out works on behalf of landlords

In recent years, the UK property sector has undergone massive changes due to the massive increase in popularity of “buy to let.” Not only have many more people bought properties to rent out, but also a whole section of the economy based around various contracted-out tasks has seen the benefit. For landlords, there can be many positive reasons to use various contractors to do work on their behalf, but there are also some common pitfalls that must be avoided. Multiple properties For those with only one or even two properties, a “hands-on” approach can be a practical way to get things done. However, some people will not have the time to do everything necessary, and if you are lucky enough to have a growing portfolio of properties, then there comes a point when it is simply unrealistic to think you can manage everything on your own. What do contractors do?...
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100% Buy to Let Finance

It’s now possible for experienced landlords to obtain 100% buy-to-let finance.
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House Purchase Lending still subdued

Data on the characteristics of UK mortgage lending in January 2015 was released by the CML. This data is broken down into buy to let lending, first time buyers, home mover and remortgage. Lending in January: First-time buyers saw a drop in lending compared to December and the same month in 2014. There were 19,000 loans advanced to first-time buyers January - down 27% on December and 14% compared to January 2014. These loans by value were £2.8 billion, which was down 26% on December and 10% down on January last year. Home movers were advanced 22,400 loans, a decline of 24% compared to December and 17% down year-on-year. These loans totalled in value £4.2bn - 24% down on December and 14% down compared to January 2014. Remortgage lending increased month-on-month with 25,600 loans advanced - up 15% on December but 12% down on January 2014. The value of these loans (£4.1 billion) also increased month-on-month by 21% but was down 5% year-on-year compared...
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The pitfalls of Buy to Let - BBC programme

There was an interesting programme on recently about Buy to Let.  It was on the BBC as part of its Inside Out series of programmes. The programme focused on the fact that a lot of people still believe that Buy to Let is a great way to get a good pension pot, which it is; however it showed that its not always a walk in the park! There can be major pitfalls to becoming a landlord and it can cause some major headaches!  70% of landlords are amateur landlords and according to Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action there has been a 30-40% increase in evictions recently. We have recently had a situation where our LHA tenant had her housing benefit stopped. She refused to go to the council to fill out a form to get it reinstated.  Therefore we have had no rent paid to us since July 2014.  She has also...
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Remortgage within less than 6 months

Buy to let lending remains strong with lenders serious about growing this part of their mortgage books. It’s still possible to get an 85% BTL mortgage with no early repayment charge and no minimum income required.
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First-time buyers borrow 22% more in October than last year

The CML report for October 2014 shows that there is growth in lending trends to first time buyers, home movers and buy to let but a decline in remortgaging.
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Arrears and repossessions still falling, reports CML

According to the CML (Council of Mortgage Lenders) there is a continuing reduction in both mortgage arrears and repossessions for the third quarter of 2014.
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House Purchase Lending up 33%

The Council of Mortgage Lenders reported that house purchase lending was up 33% in July, compared to last year. It also showed that lending is predominantly for house purchase rather than remortgage.
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House purchase lending steady despite MMR

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has reports steady growth in lending during the second quarter of 2014, despite the introduction of the Mortgage Market Review changes. Key Highlights: Buy to let lending was up 5% to £2.2 billion although the number of loans remained the same at 15,600. The yearly figures were strong though with a 38% increase in value and 23% in number 28,600 First time buyer loans in June - 7% higher than in May and 19% up over the year. By value this was up 11% in the month to £4.2 billion. Lending to home movers grew, though less than for first time buyers, with a 4% rise. Remortgaging remained muted. Quarterly the buy to let lending was up 3% compared to the first quarter of 2014 Paul Smee, director general of the CML, commented: “For the second month running since new FCA rules took effect, lending characteristics...
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The Buy to Let Process for First-Time Investors

If you have never invested in property before but you’re interested in the process and would like to learn more; now’s your chance. When it comes to finding the right property, financing the investment and finding good tenants, there’s a lot to learn, but if you’re passionate about property and you’re dedicated to your investment, you should be able to learn everything you need to learn in not too long of a time, and then you can begin your journey into your first investment. So, without further ado, here’s a comprehensive guide to buy to let for first-time investors.
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Slight fall in buy-to-let loans but First Time Buyers up

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) data that was released today provides a profile of the UK Lending for April 2014. The figures that cover Buy to let as well as the other lending classes show: Key facts Buy to let loans declined slightly on a month-on-month basis down 1% in April in total loans, yet the value of the loans remained the same. Over the year from April 2013 loan numbers was up by 43% and values by 57% First time buyers had an increase of loan numbers by small 1% over the month, but 37% since April 2013. In values the lending was up 3% since March 2014 and 52% over the year. Total loans for remortgaging in April was up 6% and the value of these loans was up 11% over the month. Buy to let Details Buy-to-lending lending was valued with a total of £2.2bn in April...
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