Monday 22 August 2016

More contradicting headlines in the news today. What's really going on in Clapham?

Not a day goes by that I don't have my finger firmly on the pulse. Be it Clapham, Brixton or beyond I do like to get a feel of what is going on in South London. As do you, I'm sure.

Today, however, I was confronted with such contradicting headlines I couldn't help but tell you about it.

A selection:
House price growth to slump 1% post-Brexit
Prime London prices cool in Q2
Limited company applications surge in June
43 million Brits 'would go over budget' for the right home

The first claim about house prices "slumping" (if you can call 1% a slump) was made by Fionnuala Earley, Countrywide’s Chief Economist. Forgive me for not immediately agreeing. Countrywide have not exactly been the best bunch of business people or estate agents for that matter, so much so that they are now investing heavily in online property sales. Anyway, rest assured, they do conclude with something sensible such as "Countrywide says they will mean prices returning to levels similar to Q1 2016". Scaremongering over.

The second article again has a misleading title. You get the jist of the article by the title you would have thought, but I quote "The rate of quarterly house price growth in Prime London cooled in the second quarter of the year, with a 0.3% decrease from the opening three months of the year". Yes, you read that right, the RATE OF HOUSE PRICE GROWTH. So there is still growth. Excellent news.

On the brighter side you will see that limited company applications are up in the mortgage sector. A very interesting development - it is clear that astute landlords have taken advice to proceed down such a route. Thanks to a growing number of lending products now available to limited companies (this has grown exponentially over the course of this year) more and more landlords are incorporating and taking advantage of this tax efficient way of holding a portfolio. A clear sign that a) opportunities are there and b) investors are not holding back.

The last headline pertains somewhat to investors using a "buy-to-sell" strategy. Excellent news really. In a nutshell 75% of people would stretch the budget to get the ideal property that suits their needs. With this in mind I re-emphasise that knowing your target audience can pay dividends. A bidding war worth of dividends, mind you! A recent development of mine saw a bidding war - perhaps due to the modern bathroom with underfloor heating, perhaps because of the wine cooler in the kitchen. Maybe both. I know for a fact though that first time buyers like aspirational property, so sell that lifestyle; the key to a successful development.

In summary, read closely. Headlines conflict, but the overall message is still clear: there is a market for your product (property). If you are selling, ensure you know your audience. Same goes of course for your letting portfolio, but key is to structure wisely to minimise your tax bill. With recent changes you will see some of your tax breaks go, so make sure you adapt, or you will lose money to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

To finish off, a lovely quote from the first article: "Annually, Prime London prices saw a 1.3% increase, rising to 2.7% in Outer Prime London. This has been driven by particularly strong growth in certain south London areas, with Clapham (9.2%) and Balham (6.5%) – forever popular with aspirant, young professionals – leading the charge. North Kensington (5.1%) also enjoyed solid price growth on a year-on-year basis." Lovely news of course, so let's keep investing locally!

Remember - if you are after investment advice, whether you are looking to grow your existing portfolio or start afresh then do get in touch by emailing me on or come and meet me at the Clapham Property Meet Wednesday 28th September. There are still a few tickets remaining to the event, so do RSVP promptly here. Also, if you are looking for hands-off investing and you wish to invest upwards of £50,000 then do get in touch as I have a number of transactions that are ready for funding within the next 2-12 weeks. I help investors like you make better returns on their investment. I have done so for nearly 15 years, with proven results. If you are interested in taking the next step on your investment journey then reach out and I will expertly guide you through the process. I am actively looking for clients to invest with and for to expand the current successful portfolio. 

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