Covid19 Update – Property Viewings

Here at Newton Letting we are keeping a close eye on Government guidelines and have implemented all requirements to ensure the safety of our landlords, staff and tenants.
Anyone looking to view a property with Newton Letting, will need to adhere to the following rules and guidance in line with the Scottish Government.

All viewers must be registered to attend a viewing with Newton Letting and a register will be taken at the viewing prior to going into the property and only the registered viewer will be able to attend.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) MUST be worn at the property including gloves, mask and hand sanitizer. Please note that Newton Letting will NOT provide this.

An allocated time slot will be given for you to attend. If you are late, it’s at our Viewing Representatives discretion on whether or not they will allow you to view.

Only one person will be permitted to view the property at a time so please do not bring family members or children with you to the viewing as they will not be able to enter the premises.

Whilst you are in the property we politely request that you limit touching any fittings or furnishings and refrain from opening doors, cupboards and drawers. We would ask that you view the property and ask us any questions after you have left the premises.

For further guidance/information on Covid-19, please see the following link:

We appreciate your cooperation at this unprecedented time and if you have any questions prior to viewing, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our team.

Investing in Buy to Let During a Recession

Since the UK came out of lockdown there have been reports that we are seeing a property mini boom:

*Sales agreed data suggests a 13 year high for the market. Year-on-year, the number of sales per branch increased by 44%.

*The number of house hunters registered per estate agent branch rose by 13%, increasing from 379 in June to 428. (Zoopla)

*In July 2020 in the UK 8% of properties sold for more than the original asking price and year-on-year housing demand is up by a third. (Zoopla)

*Year-on-year, housing demand is up by a third.

*The post-lockdown housing market rebound shows few signs of slowing despite the UK going into recession, with the number of new sales agreed in August on Zoopla running 76% ahead of the five-year average. (Zoopla)

*Buyer appetite since the start of 2020 is now 34% higher than the same eight months in 2019 and, despite the summer holidays, it remains unseasonably strong. (Zoopla)

*More homes are coming onto the market, with the flow of new supply over the last month 50% up on this time last year. (Nationwide)

*Edinburgh house prices rose by 3% and Glasgow 2.2%

*During Q2 of 2020, average rents in Glasgow rose by 1.4% year-on-year to £810. Four bedroom properties experienced the greatest year-on-year increase in rents, rising by 3.1% to £1,858. (Zoopla)

*The buy-to-let mortgage market is showing signs of recovery after the number of deals nearly halved during the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic. The average cost of two-year and five-year fixed rate mortgages have also fallen slightly compared with March, to stand at 2.72% and 3.11% respectively. (Nationwide)

How is this possible when house prices crashed in the last recession? It’s possible that this is because the recession we are seeing today has been driven by a health crisis wheras the last recession in 2008 was driven by finance. The Government chose to shut down certain markets whilst implementing measures to support businesses affected by the pandemic with incentives to boost the property market such as a rise in the Stamp Duty/LBTT threshold.

So why is it still a good idea to invest in property?

House price predictions from Savills shows that prices are expected to grow by an average of 15% by 2024 although London will see with just a 5% increase. Alongside house price rises, rents are also set to increase.

Demand for homes is exceptionally high and this supply and demand imbalance is supporting the headline rate of growth with the time to sell a property falling since lockdown.

With the stamp duty holiday set to end in 2021 it’s a great time to take advantage of this – although for investors the 3% additional property rate is still in effect.

Aside from the financial analysis, socially nearly 40% of millennials are still renting at age 30 and a third of the wider generation are expected to rent into retirement. It’s also believed by the Resolution Foundation that UK renters will outnumber homeowners by 2039. What’s more, the UK population looks set to reach 74 million in 20 years, a sign that the house demand is rising.

At present interest rates are low so you can secure a very competitive buy-to-let mortgage rate making the investment process more accessible.

Finally, for foreign investors, the weakness of the pound continues to be an opportunity to save money long-term especially where the market here in Scotland is so affordable compared to the rest of Europe.

Talk to us if you would find out more about rental values in Glasgow.

 

Renting Your Property In A Recession

It was announced last week that the UK is officially in a recession, so how can you successfully operate as a landlord throughout this challenging time?

Prioritise good tenants over high rent

It’s better to accept a reasonable offer that’s slightly lower than you anticipate, rather than experience void periods. Now more than ever, it’s important to retain good tenants so carefully weigh up the risks of increasing your rent if you have a great tenant in-situ.

Rent insurance

During an economically difficult time, make sure you are proactive and take out rent guarantee insurance to protect your income during times of increased risk. Talk to a broker who can look at the whole of the market and find a policy to suit your circumstances.

Mortgage payment holiday

Payment holidays are for people who need financial help – but it is worth remembering that this should be a last resort and only if you are struggling to make your repayments. Your credit file shouldn’t be impacted but lenders could still use this to make lending decisions in the future. Talk to an independent mortgage advisor for in-depth advice.

Rent reduction

If you decide to reduce rent to help your tenants during financially challenging times, makes sure there’s a clear agreement in place. Put an addendum in your rental contract with details of the deferred payments along with details of the repayment plan.

Cutting costs

Talk to us and other letting agents about our rental void periods and how we find renters in a tough market. Choose an agency that utilises social media and the latest technology to reach the right people as well as competitive fees.

Help renters to find financial support

If your tenants are struggling to pay their bills, help them to find assistance through Citizens Advice who can help them to budget, access financial aid and find out what benefits they are entitled to.

Be aware of the ‘new normal’

In today’s ‘new normal’ outside space and an area or home office to enable working from home is now much higher on renters’ wish lists. A property with a balcony, garden and even proximity to outside space is in higher demand and people are very conscious of another lockdown and want to be prepared for the event.

Is your renter profile accurate?

Consider widening your reach – if you previously wanted to rent to students could you make alterations to appeal to professionals? Look at how you could adapt your property to appeal to a wider audience.

Consider pets

During lockdown there has been a surge in pet ownership and research and it’s worth considering that over 44% of households currently own a pet. If you buck the trend and allow pets, then your chance of attracting long-term, trustworthy tenants will increase. A tenant who is lucky enough to find a pet-friendly property is more likely to be a great tenant in order to protect their future rental opportunities. Just make sure that there is an additional clause in your tenancy agreement to ensure that any damage is paid for or fixed and that the property is left clean and in good order.

Talk to us at Newton Letting if you would like further advice on renting your property during an economic downturn.