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It's a great investment, right?

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All too often are those words spoken... "it's a great investment, right?"
"Well, buying a new build is hardly going to give you the best rental return, let alone capital appreciation..."
"But it will go up eventually right?"
That is true... property, most of the time, appreciates if you give it long enough. Time to revisit a nifty article I wrote a while back (High Yield HMOs vs Low Yield New Build) to dig up a graph that I made to demonstrate this exact point. The point being that you pay for the "shiny factor" in the new build, or newly refurbished home. 



Now there could of course be a multitude of reasons to buy a new build or newly developed property. Time is the primary one of course. Those with busy jobs cannot afford to invest the time into sourcing new bathrooms, flooring, paint, dealing with tradesmen and so forth, that much is true. Money is another. In the case of first time buyers using the help-to-buy scheme they can only take …

Live in Clapham? About to Retire and Privately Rent? You Could be £13,400 a Year Worse Off!

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You read the personal finance pages of the newspapers and it all seems to be the impending pensions crisis ... where people aren’t saving enough for their retirement. But it’s not the lack of Clapham peoples’ future pension incomes that are my immediate concern. The fact is that so many of the future retirees in Clapham over the coming decade, who never bought their home in the Millennial years of the 1990’s and 2000’s, will have to make some tough decisions regarding what house they live in when they retire anytime between now and 2038.

In Clapham (or SW4 to be exact), there are 193 privately rented households, where the head of the household is between 50 years and 64 years of age (meaning they will be retiring anytime between now and 2038). They are working now and easily paying the rent, yet what happens when they retire?

A Clapham retired couple, who currently privately rent and who have paid their fully qualifying NI stamp over the last few decades are likely to retire with t…

As OAP’s set to rise to 1 in 8 of Clapham’s population by 2037 – Where are they all going to live?

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With constant advances in technology, medicine and lifestyles, people in the Clapham area are, on average, living longer than they might have a few decades ago. As Clapham's population ages, the problem of how the older generation are accommodated is starting to emerge. We, as a borough, have to consider how we supply decent and appropriate accommodation for Clapham’s growing older generation’s accommodation needs while still offering a lifestyle that is both modern and desirable.

In 1997 in Clapham, one in every ten people (10%) were aged 65 years and over (and the local authority area as a whole), this decreased to around one in every twelve people (8%) in 2017 and it is projected to increase to around one in every eight people (13%) by 2037, meaning..

Over the next 19 years, the growth of the over 65 population in Clapham will grow by 62.5% - a lot more than the overall growth population of Clapham of 10.6% over the same time frame.

In fact, the number of those over 90 is ex…

Rents are rising for Clapham Landlords - are they rising for you?

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Those of you that know me know that I'm a keen lover of BTL. A steady, passive income stream. Whether you are into single let ASTs or slightly more work/reward and you invest in HMOs, truth remains is that many people I meet are struggling with the FEAST/FAMINE that comes with building, development, buy to sell, you name it.
Nothing beats a steady income stream. Steady, yes you read that right. It's steady. After all, if rents aren't paid you've protected yourself with a rental warranty, right??
So why am I so keen, especially now when the government has it out for us poor landlords?
Simple. Today is January 31st. The day of the self-assessment tax return. The day when a lot of landlords will be hit with the hard reality that their taxes have gone up, because they've not been paying attention. They've let their investments ride on the capital appreciation of years gone by, being able to refinance their way out of trouble. Not any more. These landlords will be …

Clapham ‘Home Owning’ Movers and Shakers in 2018

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It’s now commonly agreed amongst economists and the general public that the dramatic rise in Clapham property prices of the last six years has come to an end.

Read the National newspapers, and they talk of doom and gloom in the British housing market with such things as strained buyer affordability (as property prices have increased over the past six years at a far faster pace than average salaries), a lack of new properties being built and the Brexit uncertainties over the last two and half years being blamed for the slow down - yet in the last 12 months, people have still been moving, buying and selling in Clapham at levels similar to the last six years - something tells me we have a case of ‘bad news selling newspapers’.

So instead, let me share with you what, exactly, is happening in the Clapham property market, and more specifically, who is moving and why in Clapham. Most of the sales in Clapham over the past year were flats, which on average sold for £571,150. Terraced prop…

Top 25 Most Saleable Streets in Clapham

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Following on from my last article, if you recall I said that Kings Avenue had the most properties sold in the SW4 Clapham postcode, yet I felt that this information wasn’t telling the whole story, as some roads in Clapham have more properties on them than others. Therefore, I promised that I would compare the average number of properties sold by the actual number of properties on that street, to find out the streets whose owners proportionally moved (or sold) more often than the rest of the locality.

To give some foundation to the article, in 2017 Clapham homeowners had, on average, lived at their existing address for 17 years and 6 months. However, when I looked at the difference between homeowners with and without a mortgage; Clapham homeowners without a mortgage had lived in their Clapham home for an average of 23 years and 9 months compared with 10 years and 1 month for homeowners with a mortgage. Interestingly, Clapham’s Lambeth Council house tenants have on average resided at…

Kings Avenue, Clapham …the road where people move the most

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Many folks say moving home is the most stressful thing. Moving home is like someone (and that someone is usually you and you are the cause of this devastation) has collected all your worldly goods, put them into brown boxes and into a lorry making your whole life look like a Amazon delivery van, only to spend the next six months unpacking it all, whilst unable to find important things like your bank cards, ‘those’ shoes or special jewellery!

We wish we could be instantly transported like in Star Trek “Beam me up Scotty to a blissful moved in state”. Yet the week you move, it’s like an episode from the original 1960’s series Star Trek, when the crew had a transporter accident with an ion-storm sends Kirk and Spock into an alternate reality, where the caring Federation is the merciless Terran Empire, and the USS Enterprise is a warship and chaos eschews!!!

Star Trek aside, when you decide to move and before the stress of living out of cardboard boxes for months descends; first you t…

3 bed or 4 bed homes – Which Sell the Best in Clapham?

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A few months ago, I wrote an article on the Clapham Property Blog about the length of time it took to sell a property in Clapham and the saleability of the different price bands (i.e. whether the lower/middle or upper local property markets were moving slower or quicker than the others). For reference, a few months ago it was taking on average 76 days from the property coming on the market for it to be sold subject to contract (and that was based on every Estate Agent in Clapham) … and today … 126 days .. does that surprise you with what is happening in the UK economy?

Well, a number of Clapham landlords and homeowners, who are looking to sell in the coming months, contacted me following that article to enquire what difference the type of property (i.e. Detached/Semi/Terraced/Apartment) made to saleability and also the saleability of property by the number of bedrooms. As I have said before, whether you are a Clapham landlord looking to liquidate your buy to let investment or a hom…

The £14,230,233 Ticking Time Bomb for Clapham Landlords

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“I just love looking over and keeping up to date the 108 pieces of legislation that govern the rental of residential property in the UK”

...No Clapham Landlord, ever

If you are one of the 2,159 Clapham (or SW4 to be precise) landlord’s that manages your own property, would it surprise you to know that there are 108 separate pieces of legislation that govern the rental of private houses to tenants. Oh, and on top of the 108 pieces of law, there are further 300+ regulations in the mix. Whilst Clapham landlords may once have preferred to manage their Clapham buy-to-let properties themselves to boost their profits, many Clapham landlords are starting to see this as a false economy.

In the last four years, an additional 830 landlords in Clapham have converted from self-managed to having their property managed by a letting agent in Clapham, taking the total number of properties under management in Clapham to 3,377 (out of a total of 5,536 private rental properties in Clapham).

Now, don’t …

Clapham First Time Buyers Need 15.2 Times Annual Salary to Get on Housing Ladder

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What is it to be British? Our stubbornness, long-suffering stoicism, our vexation at injustice, our obsession with football and rugby, we are weather obsessed external awkward noncommittal modest people whilst underneath seething like a volcano because someone jumped the queue….. and our No.1 obsession is with the property ladder.

This ‘love affair’ with owning our own home has been both good and bad for the UK as a whole; giving people financial freedom in their later years whilst also reducing the quantity (and quality) of housing provision whilst adding the extra pressure of a ‘them and us’ society. Strong words I know .. but let me explain more.

I honestly believe that most Governments since the end of the 1970’s, Conservative and Labour, have attempted to nourish our addiction to home ownership (to keep the housing market on track) with the Council House Right to Buy sell off in the 1980’s, tax relief of mortgages, relaxation of the mortgage rules in the late 1990’s/early 2000…

How Would a Hard Brexit Affect Clapham House Prices?

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I have been asked a number of times recently what a hard Brexit would mean to the Clapham property market. To be frank, I have been holding off giving my thoughts, as I did not want to add fuel to the stories being banded around in the national press. However, it’s obviously a topic that you as Clapham buy to let landlords and Clapham homeowners are interested in ... so I am going to try and give you what I consider a fair and unbiased piece on what would happen if a hard Brexit takes place in March 2019.

After the weather and football, the British obsession on the UK property market is without comparison to any other country in the world. I swear The Daily Mail has the state of the country’s property market on its standard weekly rotation of front-page stories! Like I have said before on my blog, there are better economic indexes and statistics to judge the economy (and more importantly) the property market. If you recall, I said the number of transactions was just as important, if…

Clapham Property Market: Is Sell to Rent the new Buy to Let?

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It doesn’t seem two minutes ago that it was 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade (32 degrees Celsius for my younger readers), hosepipe bans looked likely and it was simply too hot to sleep at night, yet early indications were, that as the temperatures soared, the Clapham property market appeared to be doing the reverse and was already starting to cool down.

33.90% less people moved home in the Lambeth Borough in the first part of 2018, when compared to the average number of people moving home (in the same time frame) between 2014 and 2017

The average number of households who sold and moved locally between 2014 and 2017 in the winter and spring months was 353 homes a month.. yet in the same time frame in 2018, only 234 (on average) sold and moved.


So, what is the issue? Many have cited Brexit as the issue – but I think its deeper than that.

Brexit seems to be the “go to excuse” for everything at the moment – my neighbour even blamed it for the potholes! Anyway a few weeks ago, I was…

Clapham House Prices vs Clapham Rents since 2006

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The Clapham housing market is a fascinating beast and has been particularly interesting since the Credit Crunch of 2008/9 with the subsequent property market crash. There is currently some talk of a ‘property bubble’ nationally as Brexit seems to be the ‘go-to’ excuse for every issue in the Country. Upon saying that, looking at both what we do as an agent, and chatting with my fellow property professionals in Clapham, the market has certainly changed for both buyers and sellers alike (be they Clapham buy to let landlords, Clapham first time buyers or Clapham owner occupiers looking to make the move up the Clapham property ladder).

Clapham house values are 5.7% lower than a year ago, and the rents Clapham tenants have to pay are 0.3% lower than a year ago

When we compare little old Clapham to the national picture, national property values have risen by 0.4% compared to last month and risen by 3.0% compared to a year ago, and this will surprise you even more, as nationally, property v…

Clapham Property Market - Summer 2018 Update

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I was recently reading a report by Rightmove that a North South Divide has started to appear in the UK property market – so I wanted to see if Clapham was falling in line with those thoughts. In the North, there are 7.12% less properties on the market than 12 months ago, whilst in contrast, in the South, there are 14.7% more properties on the market than 12 months ago.

With the decline in the number of properties for sale in the North compared to 12 months ago, that means the North is more of a sellers’ market. However, on the other side of the coin, there is a significant rise in buyer choice in all of the Southern regions, showing there are signs of a buyers’ market, which in some markets is a driving force for a buyers’ market and some downwards price pressure.

So, looking closer to home at asking prices and the number of homes on the market. In the London region, according to Rightmove, the average asking prices of new to the market properties are 1% lower than 12 months ago…

Great(er) Expectations: Why Clapham Home Sellers are Having to Reduce Their Asking Prices by an Average of £54,500 Each

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As we leave the memorably hot summer behind us, some interesting statistics have come to light on the Clapham Property Market which will be thought provoking for both homeowners and buy to let landlords alike.

Over the last 12 months 756 households have changed hands in Clapham, interesting when compared with the 10-year average of 1,159 households per year.

Yet, for the purpose of this week’s article, I want to discuss the pricing of the current crop of Clapham’s property sellers and the prices they are asking for their homes and the prices they are achieving (or not as at the case may be). It is so important for all property owners to know the real story, so they can judge for themselves where they stand in the current Clapham housing market, thus enabling them to make suitable and informed decisions… and that is why, in my blog about the Clapham Property Market, I pride myself in telling the people of Clapham the real answers, not just the ones they want to hear.

The national a…