Rat and Mouse
Fri
19
Dec

Yes, according to (p2p platform) Landbay, which has commissioned The Wriglesworth Consultancy to produce some research showing both the resilience of the buy-to-let market to a new financial crisis and the cost associated with conventional btl borrowing. The research apparently stress-tested Landbay, and the results were impressive on a comparative basis. 

20141219landbay

Landbay’s interesting… a lender-to-landlord solution choosing its borrowers carefully (125% minimum rent-to-mortgage interest, 72% max loan-to-value) and spreading the risk across a large portfolio. The biggest risk? A catastrophic house price collapse. Presumably, though, if you’re the kind of person with cash-on-hand for this kind of investment you’re likely to be vulnerable to falling house prices anyway. Interesting.

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Thu
18
Dec

£850m of unpaid rent nationally [Property Hawk]
Neighbours star plans London move [Evening Standard]
Russians rush to swap rouble for London bricks and mortar [Daily Telegraph]
One in three vendors discounting, according to Zoopla [Guardian]
Robert Pattinson’s house-hunting [Daily Mail]

The Rat and Mouse - London’s property blog, since 2005 

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Wed
17
Dec

How’s this for a sign of the importance of the residential property market? Rightmove beat out Gumtree, Next, Tesco, Asda and John Lewis to become the most searched-for UK business on Google in 2014. More here.

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Tue
16
Dec

Because he sounds it, here:

“When I first got elected to Parliament my mentor was Eric Forth [the former Tory MP] and he really was the past master of talking out bills on a Friday,” he said. "He did it for fun and he was brilliant at it. After he died I vowed I would do the same kind of work."

What did he “talk out”? He talked out a bill preventing landlords evicting tenants for requesting vital repair work to properties. Pay your taxes? You’ve just helped pay his wages. 

[via Letting Agent Today]

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Mon
15
Dec

Former agent caught in another Gumtree scam [Property Industry Eye]
£30k off: the effect of stamp duty reforms on London house prices according to Rightmove [Guardian]
Court kicks out landlord licensing in Enfield after consultation cock-up [Property Hawk]
Lindsay Lohan plans to “grow up” in London [Evening Standard]
Twenty Greek islands for sale, some for less than the price of London flat [Independent on Sunday]
That old thing again… the approaching demise of the bricks’n’mortar agent [Guardian]

The Rat and Mouse - it’s about your house

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Fri
12
Dec

It’s less to do with the market, more to do with stamp duty reforms, which will adversely affect purchases of £1m+ properties, and particularly those around the £2m mark. Our friend Henry Pryor says:

I have revised my offers on behalf of clients on two properties as a result of the Autumn Statement, one by £125,000 and one by £87,000.

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Thu
11
Dec

The property developer, the mob boss and the missing money [Daily Mail]
The property developer, the four-storey fall and the, er, missing money [Guardian]
Property taxes and the UK [Daily Telegraph]
2015, a great year to buy in London, apparently [Homes & Property]
Shelter calls for compulsory landlords register [Property Industry Eye]
Dianne Abbott calls for rent controls [Property Hawk]

The Rat and Mouse - London’s property blog, since 2005 

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Wed
10
Dec

It emerged that she had 17 previous convictions for assault and battery – prompting the Judge to say that she had one of the worst records for violence he had seen in a person of that age. After her 18th conviction, Palmer Snell, part of Countrywide, said she was no longer working for them, but gave no further details.

She might have given up selling houses, but she hasn’t given up hitting people. She’d broken her bail conditions three times while out on unpaid work assignments. Rumours that she’s being head-hunted by Foxtons are entirely without foundation.

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Tue
09
Dec

An astonishing piece in the Daily Mail, about the dreadful toll of low house prices on 18-to-34-year-olds. Unless I’m hallucinating, the piece makes the claim that the number one reason that under-35s don’t live in big houses is that starter homes (which they apparently largely own) haven’t risen rapidly enough in value to somehow pay for larger homes that magically don’t rise in value. 

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According to David Newnes of Your Move and Reeds Rains, the stamp duty changes might save buyers a few pounds in the short term, but - assuming they’re unlikely to be reviewed for another 20 years - house price gains will mean fiscal drag should eventually put the Government in the black. Cunning plan? If only Governments were capable of cunning plans that extended beyond a parliament. Not really “buying" this. More here.

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Mon
08
Dec

Interest rates to stay below 2.2% until 2020 [This Is Money]
Estate agency fails to shine in Fast Track 100 [Estate Agent Today]
Spray on solar panels [Daily Mail]
Estate Agent of the Year results [Estate Agent Today]
Bank of England warns half a million borrowers sensitive to rate rises [The Guardian]

The Rat and Mouse - it’s about your house 

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Fri
05
Dec

Beaconsfield agent’s bikini ad banned for sexism [Property Industry Eye]
Price gains slowing, according to Halifax [Reuters]
London property investment specialist predicts “collapse” in £1m to £2m market, after Stamp Duty reforms [Daily Telegraph]
Post Channel 4 argument, Russell Brand threatens to sue Sun [Sky News]

The Rat and Mouse - London’s property blog, since 2005 

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Thu
04
Dec

The old “slab” structure, in which a property purchase a penny above a threshold could throw a buyer into a higher tax rate charged on the entire purchase price, was overdue reform. From this morning, it turns “progressive”, and works like the income tax system, in percentage tiers. Zero is payable up to £125,000, the portion to £250,000 is charged at 2%, then 5% on the portion to £925,000, 10% to £1.5m and 12% top rate on anything above that. While Treasury receipts are likely to suffer as a result of the reform, the burden will shift further to the top of the market, with everyone spending up to around £1m profiting, and buyers spending more paying more tax. Buyers who’ve exchanged on a date up to December 3 but not completed on December 4 or later will be able to choose which tax system they’d prefer.

Presumably, what we’re seeing here is the Tories’ response to Labour’s mansion tax proposals… something that take into the next election that shows the party’s serious about taxing the wealthiest homeowners. 

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Wed
03
Dec

On the one hand, there’s Russell, standing up for a group of Hoxton tenants with a genuine grievance, helping them organise and giving them a voice and media attention they wouldn’t otherwise have. On the other… there’s Russell, in all likelihood one of the gazillionaires companies such as Westbrook Partners are busy gentrifying estates such as New Era in order to house. Legitimate question? Or snide? Either way, I wish Brand would learn to keep his hands to himself during a debate… there’s something (perhaps unintentionally) bullying about holding onto the person you’re arguing with. 

New Era tenants take battle to Mayfair [December 2, 2014]

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The agency expects a 5% fall in central London prices in the first half of 2015, followed by an upturn bringing prices right back to where they were by the end of the year. In the meantime, the agency is bullish on its rental business, which is expected to get a boost from the short-term uncertainty. More here.

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Tue
02
Dec

Plus one sleb. Russell Brand - pictured here - joined around 60 tenants to march on Westbrook Partners’ Mayfair HQ, and demonstrate against planned rent rises and rumoured evictions in the run-up to a “gentrification” of the Hackney estate. According to eye witnesses, the protestors were cheered by onlookers, before marching on to Downing Street. If you’re interested in reading more/signing the petition, go here.

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