News & Events

LOOKING FORWARD TO 2019…

So having looked back on the past 12 months in my previous article I am now turning my attention to the year ahead. Sadly, I don’t have the benefit of a crystal ball and who knows what Brexit will bring – so as Philip Hammond said in his recent budget statement– all this may be subject to review in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

With this backdrop in mind I have focussed on a few key topics concentrating on the long term let market in general, touching on the short term let sector and HMOs and then turning my attention back to Chapmans.

In the Long Term Let Market

  • We do envisage, and are already seeing, more Landlords entering the market – with an increase in them using limited companies and Trusts as their purchasing vehicles over the old traditional BTL model. Bricks and mortar is still seen to be a good investment prospect and pension provision and is certainly very tangible yet in increasingly short supply.
  • We expect to see continued investment in the sector from investors – over the last few years uncertainty over indyref, Brexit, the possibilities of a Corbyn government etc has weakened the pound and the UK is seen as good value for money for overseas and institutional investors.
  • We predict some Landlords will sell off and/or reduce their portfolios– due to the phasing out of the Mortgage Interest Relief. However, we don’t envisage this will be in high numbers as we find Landlords to be a resilient breed, they are benefiting from higher rents and many focus on the capital appreciation of their investments as well as the annual income yield.
  • We see continued Tenant demand for properties while home owners hold off to see what is going to happen with Brexit – so those traditional purchasers will be adding to the competition for properties alongside the traditional longer term Tenant profile. 
  • We don’t see a mass swathe of European tenants leaving – especially those given indefinite leave to remain so we don’t envisage a sudden rush of rental properties flooding the market due to mass emigration.
  • We still aren’t building houses fast enough which will always contribute towards upward pressure on rentals.
  • Mortgage rates are competitive with some fantastic 5 year fixed rate deals from as low as 2.24% with no fees. We are certainly hearing of more Landlords fixing for 5 years than ever before.
  • More lending products are becoming available for limited companies.
  • We hope to see some agents who are perhaps less than fit to operate, or who do not operate above board, exiting the sector and we see opportunities for Chapmans to take on some of these Landlords as they look to move agencies.

Short Term Let Market

Although we are not experts within this field we do see this coming under more political focus and scrutiny, with calls for greater regulation in order to provide more housing for long term Tenants and also to reduce suggestions of residential areas being overrun with short term lets, stag dos etc.  There are now c 9000 properties on the short term let market in Edinburgh and we also know the average price per night has been reducing. There are calls for these properties to require planning and change of use consents in order to be permitted to continue operating. Due to the higher and more intense levels of management over the long term market, costs alongside the lower yield and increased threat of legislation, we do envisage some of those properties being moved over to the longer term let market. I doubt this will happen in droves and have a diluting effect on rentals, but it may simply offset those Landlords who exit the market due to natural attrition.

HMO

Licenses are now being granted every 3 years as opposed to annually and all existing licenses should now be on the 3 year license.  This has been a painful process due to increased scrutiny, but we should now see (hopefully) quicker processing but also an increased yield on these properties as the 3 year cycle should reduce costs, but with the PRT there should be higher rents.

Enforcement

We see 2019 as a chance to put further pressure on Scottish Ministers for a drive for Enforcement of the new regulations and to keep pushing for increased standards across the industry.  We want to see rogue agencies driven out of the market,  we want the poorer performers to be given help to improve and hopefully further improve the sector as a whole.

Factoring

We may also see political pressure to legislate ways of improving the quality of tenement buildings – perhaps a further push for factoring of communal blocks – as we do feel the state of a large majority of the tenement buildings in Edinburgh needs some urgent attention.

For Chapmans

We are preparing for another busy year of looking after our core clients but also developing and building on new relationships.  We are working with new investor clients and property search agents helping them build up bespoke portfolios.  We are well placed to take on Landlords from other agencies and we are in prime position to help those “Accidental Agents” who have been managing properties that they are now not qualified to manage as they are not registered with the Scottish Government and don’t meet the rigorous requirements that have been set.

Reviews 

So those are our thoughts on the market this past year (see seperate article) and the future – but we wanted to end with a wee thank you.

We are also delighted that so many of our Landlords and Tenants have taken the time to review us, and we wanted to thank them all so much. We are dedicated to high standards of client care and service and feel like this is shining through in our review ratings…we will continue to meet and exceed expectations going into 2019.

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