Guaranteed Rent Insurance | Demand for property continues to rise says Rics survey
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Guaranteed Rent Insurance | The Scottish housing market continues to see demand for properties outstrip supply, according to surveyors.
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said the number of houses coming on to the market for sale was steady but demand had increased.
This increase in demand for properties was seen as being a key factor in the continued rise of house prices.
However, supply was expected to increase with the traditional “spring bounce”, the Rics report said.
It said the number of potential buyers increased more than the amount of housing available to buy for the ninth consecutive month. Guaranteed Rent
The chartered surveyors reported that the gap between supply and demand reached almost 10% in January.
House prices in Scotland have risen steadily since May 2013.
Sarah Speirs, director of Rics Scotland, said: “Prices are on the up in Scotland and this is driven largely by a lack of properties coming on to the market. Guaranteed Rent Insurance
“With a growing number of people now in a position to buy a home, there are simply not enough properties to satisfy demand.
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Guaranteed Rent Insurance | “The upshot of this is that prices are increasing in many areas. However, Rics members do expect an increase in supply in the coming months as the traditional spring bounce begins to take effect.”
Responding to the survey, Kevin MacDonald, of chartered surveyors Graham and Sibbald in Inverness, said: “Momentum has been maintained during January, which is indicative of rising confidence with competitive bids, closing dates and more encouraging prices.”
The report’s positive outlook on the housing market continued with chartered surveyors predicting transaction numbers in Scotland to increase over the coming three months.
This increase in transaction numbers was also predicted to have a continued positive effect on house prices.
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Guaranteed Rental Schemes | Housing bubble forming in London, warns Ernst and Young
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Guaranteed Rental Schemes | Overseas buyers form a high percentage of buyers of the most expensive properties in London
The London housing market is exhibiting “bubble-like” conditions, economic forecaster Ernst and Young has warned.
It says the average price in the capital is expected to reach around £600,000 by 2018, 3.3 times the price in the north-east of England.
Asset-price bubbles occur after swift price rises set values at unsustainable levels, which then collapse.
Meanwhile, the independent think tank Civitas says curbs should be placed on overseas buyers of London property.
Civitas says these are needed to rein in “rampant” house price inflation.
Recent official figures from the Office for National Statistics showed average property prices rising strongly across the country.
Prices were 5.4% higher across the UK in November, compared with a year earlier, but were increasing by more than twice that – 11.6% – in London. Rent Guaranteed
Civitas’s report says the UK property market is being used as an investment vehicle by the global super-rich while hundreds of thousands of younger residents are being priced out of the market and rents are eating into more and more of people’s salaries.
The think tank says that non-residents of the UK should only be allowed to purchase a property in London if that investment will add to the number of homes, under a system similar to that in force in Australia.Guaranteed Rental Schemes
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Guaranteed Rental Schemes | There, non-residents are not allowed to buy an existing home but may be allowed to buy an unoccupied new dwelling, so long as they can satisfy the authorities that the housing stock has increased.
Other countries that restrict foreign buyers’ access include Switzerland and Singapore.
Stuart Law from Assetz property investment questions whether there is a housing bubble
Civitas said: “London is one of the most – if not the most – attractive property markets for international investors all over the world. It is also at the centre of an affordability crisis in the UK which is having serious consequences for younger people and the less well-off,.”
Civitas said that, as well as driving up prices, there are claims that investment at the top end of the market has been distracting developers from the need for more affordable accommodation: “For too many it is providing financial shelter rather than human shelter.”
EY is also concerned about conditions in the London property market, where overseas buyers looking for safe-haven investments dominate the prime property market, particularly in central London.
It says the Bank of England may need to think about linking mortgage size to income levels formally.
Andrew Goodwin, senior economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club, said: “House prices across most of the country remain well below their pre-crisis peaks and there seems little danger of a bubble developing.
“But London, which is suffering from a combination of strong demand and a lack of supply, is increasingly giving us cause for concern.”
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Guaranteed Rent London | First-time buyers ‘having regrets,’ shows Government research
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Guaranteed Rent London | One in five people who recently got onto the property ladder now regrets not buying somewhere cheaper, according to research by a Government-backed body.
The Money Advice Service (MAS) found “concerning” evidence that many recent first-time buyers are feeling financially over-stretched after under-estimating all the costs that being a home owner brings.
It is warning those trying to move on or up the ladder as the housing market revival continues to gather pace to make sure they are not taking on too much financially.
The MAS found three-quarters (74%) of people who bought their first home in the last two years said they had to stretch themselves financially to afford it.
Some 19% of the recent first-time buyers surveyed said that with hindsight, they wish they had bought somewhere cheaper. Nearly two-fifths (38%) of those surveyed lie awake at night worrying about their finances.
More than half (55%) of recent first-time buyers also found the additional expenses associated with buying a home on top of their mortgage payments had been more than they had expected. Many said they had misjudged the impact of solicitors’ charges and removal costs on their finances, while others had not given consideration to stamp duty.
The service has launched a new campaign to help those struggling on the first rung of the property ladder to get a grip on their budget. Guaranteed Rent
It is urging aspiring first-time buyers to make sure they think not only about mortgage costs but all household expenses, including council tax, utility bills and home insurance, when deciding whether they can really afford to buy a home.
The MAS offers free, impartial advice on its website – www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk – which has tools to help people work out moving costs, plan their budget for living expenses, cut back on their spending and put money into savings.
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Guaranteed Rent London | Figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) this week showed that first-time buyer numbers reached their highest annual numbers since 2007 last year, with this sector making up around 44% of all mortgages advanced to home buyers in 2013.
Government support schemes like Help to Buy have helped to inject new life into the housing market by boosting the flow of mortgage deals available for people with deposits as low as 5% saved.
But there have also been suggestions that would-be buyers are feeling more under pressure to get on the property ladder amid strong house price increases in some areas.
The CML’s latest figures indicate that first-time buyers have recently been stretching themselves further with their mortgage borrowing. First-time buyers typically borrowed 3.43 times their gross income in December last year, edging up slightly from a ratio of 3.38 in November.
The MAS is an independent body set up by Government and funded by a levy on the financial services industry. Guaranteed Rent London
Caroline Rookes, CEO of the service, said: “It’s really concerning to hear so many recent first-time buyers have over-stretched themselves financially.
”I urge all home buyers – even those higher up the property ladder – to ensure they are not taking on too much if they’ve borrowed the maximum available.
“Being able to afford the mortgage doesn’t mean you can necessarily afford the home – and all the associated costs.”
The research surveyed 974 people from the UK who had bought their first home in the last two years.
New rules are set to come into force in April which will mean lenders have to carry out more checks to work out whether people can really afford the mortgage they want to take out.
The Mortgage Market Review rules mean that lenders will have to consider whether a borrower would still be comfortable making their mortgage payments following a rise in interest rates.