Posts

12.54% of Clapham and Lambeth is Concreted over ... Building Plot Dilemma or Not?

Image
Well the fallout from the recent Budget is still continuing. I was chatting to a couple of movers and shakers from the Clapham area the other day, when one said, “There isn’t enough land to build all these 300,000 houses Philip Hammond wants to build each year”.

...and if you read the Daily Mail, you would be forgiven for thinking the Country was at bursting point ... or is it?

It was 60 years ago the first satellite was launched (Sputnik). All the Superpowers have used them to take high definition pictures of each other for decades, but now satellites and their high-powered cameras are being used for more peaceful purposes. The European Environment Agency (EEA) have been taking high definition pictures of the UK from outer-space to give us a focused picture of what every corner of the Country really looks like … and the findings will come as a surprise.

As my blog readers know, I always like to ask the important questions relating to the Clapham property market. If you are a Cla…

Clapham Property Market and Hammond’s Budget Promise to Build 300,000 more homes

Image
I miss the good old days of George Osborne as Chancellor, with his hardhat and hi-vis jacket. He must have visited every new home building site in the UK with his trademark attire! For the last few years, the nearest Philip Hammond got to donning a ‘Bob the Builder’ outfit was at his grandchild’s birthday party. However, with what appears to be a change in focus by the Tories to ensure they get back in power in 2022, they appear to have fallen in love with house building again with the Chancellor’s promise to create 300,000 new households in a year.

Nationally, the number of new homes created has topped 217,344 in the last year, the highest since the financial crash of 2007/8. Looking closer to home: in total there were 1,135 ‘net additional dwellings’ in the last 12 months in the London Borough of Lambeth Council area, a decrease of 17% on the 2010 figure.

The figures show that 96% of this additional housing was down to new build properties. In total, there were 1,088 new dwellin…

Clapham Rents Set to Rise to £2,208 pm in Next 5 Years

Image
It’s now been a good 18/24 months since annual rental price inflation in Clapham peaked at 4.3%. Since then we have seen increasingly more humble rent increases. In fact, in certain parts of the Clapham rental market over the autumn, the rental market saw some slight falls in rents. So, could this be the earliest indication that the trend of high rent increases seen over the last few years, may now be starting to buck that trend?

Well, possibly in the short term, but in the coming few years, it is my opinion Clapham rents will regain their upward trend and continue to increase as demand for Clapham rental property will outstrip supply, and this is why.

The only counterbalance to that improved rental growth would be to meaningfully increase rental stock (i.e. the number of rental properties in Clapham). However, because of the Government’s new taxes on landlords being introduced between 2017 and 2021, that means buy-to-let has (and will) be less attractive in the short term for cert…

New Horizons For The Property Portal Marketplace

Image
As our lives become increasingly entangled within the digital sphere, it's becoming even harder for various market sectors to exist exclusively in a physical space.

Whilst online transactions, and web-based trade are now commonplace, the companies that immediately adapted to this shift remain at the helm of their respective industries. This is a particularly accurate statement in reference to the property market as Zoopla and Rightmove have consistently lead property portal usership with the backing of agents country wide. However, the dominance of the previously discussed businesses has triggered accusations of a stagnant market, some critics even claimed that Rightmove and Zoopla Property Group had become a ‘duopoly’.

Expanding OnTheMarket

These sentiments fueled the launch of a competing portal owned by agents called OnTheMarket. Although, the site was established as the weaker party, OnTheMarket have now acquired a substantial share of the market within an equally brief peri…

Increase in Interest Rates to cost Clapham Home Owners £983.80 a year

Image
Clapham homeowners will be among those affected by the latest rise in the Bank of England interest rates. The first increase in 10 years; they have just been raised from 0.25 percent to 0.5 per cent. This uplift comes as inflation hits a 51-month high of 2.9 per cent whilst the national unemployment rate is at an all-time low of 4.3 per cent.

Interestingly, the Governor of the Bank of England has indicated that the interest rate is likely to increase again over the next couple of years, but Mr Carney said mortgages and savings would not be affected in the short term. However, look at all the big banks and just about all of them have increased their standard variable mortgage rate..

The average Clapham mortgage is £393,521

I have to ask by how much Clapham homeowners (on variable rate or tracker mortgages) will see their repayments increase?

In the SW4, SW8, SW9, SW11 and SW12 postcodes there are 21,080 homeowners with a mortgage, of which 9.056 have a variable rate mortgage (the …

National Landlord Licensing to roll out to Clapham Landlords

Image
20% of landlords are registered with Rent Smart Wales, the mandatory licensing scheme for landlords in Wales. They are looking to roll this scheme out nationally under the “National Landlord Licensing” scheme. RSM has proven rather ineffective with only 3 prosecutions to date, so here it is - I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “enforcing existing legislation is more (cost) effective than further legislation.”


The PRS has a lot going for it, low rents and long tenancies galore, providing the tenant behaves. Automatic rights for tenants to stay a long time are nonsensical, simply because landlords will not risk being stuck with a terrible tenant for a long period of time without the safety net of the ability to evict.

So what next? Compliant landlords are frustrated at increased taxation and legislation when “rogues” next door get away with beds in sheds and the like. With the prosecution rate low it’s a risk rogues continue to take, with the burden of tax and legislation falli…

The Clapham House Price Index: 200.26

Image
I had the most interesting conversation the other day with a local Clapham accountant, who asked me about my articles on the Clapham property market. It was quite humbling to be given praise by such a professional, when he commented enthusiastically on the articles I write. He was particularly interested with the graphs, facts and figures contained within them – so much so he recommended his clients read them, as most of them were either Clapham homeowners, Clapham landlords and a lot of the time - both. However, one question that kept me on my toes was, “With so many House-Price-Indices, how do you know which one to use and how can you calculate what is exactly happening in Clapham?”

To start with, there are indeed a great number of these Indices, including the Land Registry, Office of National Stats, Halifax, Nationwide and LSL to name but a few. The issue occurs when these different house price indices give diverse pictures of the state of the UK housing market. Whilst some indice…

One in 38 rental properties in the Clapham area will be illegal in 2018

Image
As the winter months draw in and the temperature starts to drop, keeping one’s home warm is vital. Yet, with the price of gas and electricity rising quicker than a Saturn V rocket and gas, oil and electricity taking on average 4.4% of a typical Brit’s pay packet (and for those Brit’s with the lowest 10% of incomes, that rockets to an eye watering 9.7%), whether you are a tenant or homeowner, keeping your energy costs as low as possible is vital for the household budget and the environment as a whole.

For the last 10 years, every private rental property must have an Energy-Performance-Certificate (EPC) rating. The property is given an energy rating, very similar to those on washing machines and fridges with the rainbow coloured graph, of between A to G (A being the most efficient and G the worst). New legislation comes in to force next spring (2018) for English and Welsh private landlords making it illegal to let a property that does not meet a certain energy rating. After the 1st of…