UK Property News – 18 July 2018

Video Transcription: 

Hi guys. So, in today's "UK Property News", it's really the tale of two cities or the two areas. And one is London and the other is places like Manchester and Birmingham, Leeds and the other major secondary cities of the UK because the markets really are at different stages. And I've said this for ages is that London is its own universe almost and it's a separate property market. Well, we're seeing that property market now is slowing down and a lot of the other things are taking effect. So, we'll look at that today. We'll look at some of the other cities.

So this article is from "The Guardian". "UK house prices slump blamed on a surge in sellers." And, you know, it's the same story everywhere. You've got another one here. "Third of British sellers drop asking prices in a bid to lure buyers as number of homes for sale rises." You know, the whole interesting thing with this, and I think the number of properties coming on the market rose in July 8.6%, but there is no corresponding increase in buyer numbers to soak up the influx. So, why is this? Well, first of all, good weather, people actually don't want to. And because it's been such bad weather and now it's good weather they wanna get out and live life as opposed to go on viewings and buy property.

But also, I think a lot of the government measures now between Brexit, and we're talking tax changes and the new mortgage restrictions and all these sort of things now are really starting to bite on the buyer side of things. So, you've really got a case where supply is high, demand is low, then obviously, prices are gonna drop, and that's what you're seeing here. So, fundamentally, I don't think there's a cause for massive alarm, I think this is more than market just working itself out, which it does. What it is, and this is the key to being a great investor, is where's your opportunity? Look for that opportunity, find that opportunity, negotiate a better deal for yourself if you're gonna get in. And as always now, and you have to do this, look for the long-term, not the short-term.

So we're now hearing a lot about the buy-to-let collapsing in the market and just not being there anymore. And see, what's actually happening is a lot of these tax changes and the structuring and all these sort of things about how the government is going about and treating landlords, talking about three year tendencies, and they might be able to raise the rent, and you've got Jeremy Corbyn off shooting his mouth off all directions, as if landlords are these horrible creatures that we need to destroy and the tenants are these wonderful people.

Actually, the pendulum has swung for me far too in the favour of tenants. We managed over 1,200 properties and the thing is that I constantly notice it's not about right or wrong or the law. The law states one thing, but when it gets to actually the practicalities, the law is totally in favour of the tenants. And it's appalling some of the things that go on and the ways that these tenants abuse it. So, it's no doubt that buy to let investors are starting to get a bit shaken about this. But, and this is the key here, how do you make money from this and how do you spot the opportunity? And that really is the key to being a successful investor is not by being swayed by the market but adjusting your strategy to meet the market.

So I think with a lot of these figures around, you know, people moving from London to Birmingham and London to Manchester and London to major cities or secondary cities, that is happening. And look, these cities are starting to become much more liveable than they were. There's lots of infrastructure going, there are lots of things happening, which is great. But actually, London is still a fantastic place to live. It's almost like let's take digs at London and keep Manchester and Birmingham and Leeds and these sort of places on a pedestal. Well, the reality is, they've got their own issues and they'll have their own issues, but yes, the stats are people are moving from London which is very expensive, and this is always the thing they say, "Too expensive to live there. Too hard to get around. And these places are effortless." I don't know if that's quite the truth of the matter is. The reality is you may find things cheaper there, but are you gonna get the same wage?

Now, one of the big key factors that I think is affecting all of this is more people having the ability to not have to go to an office. Okay. More people are working at home. Entrepreneurship isn't a dirty word anymore. It's actually become quite favourable to start your own business and startups and all these things. The vocabulary has expanded from where it used to be, "Oh, you're an entrepreneur. Oh, you're one of those things," where actually, I've got a tech startup and I've know, there's hundreds of different words. And that's one of the ways you can say that it's starting to be accepted, which is a great thing. And that's a great thing for the London market, the Manchester market, the Birmingham market, the anywhere market.

The thing that you are finding though, is the small towns are really suffering. They're not getting the infrastructure, they're not getting the regeneration. And so for me personally my investment strategy and for my investors, I'm tending to stay away from small towns. Certainly less than 100,000 people, I don't wanna touch it, and certainly anything less where I look at and I go, "You know what? There's not a lot happening there. There's not likely to be a lot happening," I'm out of there. I don't wanna be there. I wanna go to those city centers where there's actually money getting spent as regeneration happening. You know, you can tell the success of the city by the cranes in the sky, they say. Well, check out Manchester, check out Birmingham, Check out Leeds, check out these places that are getting money spent in them and you'll see those cranes in the sky.

So, I think the problem here is you can look at this headline and say, "Great, £20,000 of property." But what you're looking at is what is the property actually worth? And when you take into the account the value as opposed to the price, then you start to look at, "Am I really going to make money out of this, the money that I really need to make?" And one of the issues is the type of tenant you're gonna attract may not be the type of tenant that pays the rent on time, that looks after the place, that actually there may be the tenant that knows the legislation now and know they can actually work the legislation and a judge pretty well. And you've got to take into effect and account all those things, which can affect your return on investment which is what it's all about.

So hey guys, just to finish off on a word on Brexit because really, what a debacle. I mean, it's almost comical value. If it wasn't true, you'd almost think it was a sketch of some Monty Python's act. Absolutely appalling. I mean, the latest is obviously that Theresa May's grand plan of sorting this out has been blown out the water. And I mean, I just don't see anyway. I think it's heading more towards the no-deal. And we've never come from a strong position. I think that really has been the real problem. And look, who knows how it's gonna end up?

The bottom line I think for me and for an investor is that there's lots of uncertainty and in uncertainty, there's opportunity. So the question is, is how can you find that opportunity? And I know what I'm doing, is certainly negotiating a lot harder now with developers and making sure that we get a much better deal so we build in any allowance for what may come from Brexit. But anyway guys, so that's it for this week and I'll see you next week. Remember to subscribe or comment. Go to my YouTube channel or our website and speak to the team. Have a great day. Live with passion.

Brett Alegre-Wood
July 18, 2018

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