Local W4 market information for homeowners, Landlords & Investors.

Category: Property Market Research

63.1% of Chiswick Properties have 3 or more bedrooms – Problem or Opportunity?

The orthodox way of classifying property in the UK is to look at the number of bedrooms rather than its size in square metres (although now we are leaving the EU – I wonder if we can go back to feet and inches?). It seems that homeowners and tenants are happy to pay for more space. It’s quite obvious, the more bedrooms a house or apartment has, the bigger it is likely to be. The reason being not only the actual additional bedroom space, but the properties with more bedrooms tend to have larger / more reception (living) rooms. However, if you think about it, this isn’t so astonishing given that properties with more bedrooms would typically accommodate more people and therefore require larger reception rooms.

In today’s Chiswick property market, the Chiswick homeowners and Chiswick landlords I talk to are always asking me which attributes and features are likely to make their property comparatively more attractive and which ones may detract from the price. Over time, buyers’ and tenants’ wants and needs have changed. In Chiswick, location is still the No. 1 factor affecting the value of property, and a property in the best neighbourhoods, say Grove Park or Bedford Park can command a price nearly 50% higher than a similar house in an ‘average’ area. However, after location, the next characteristic that has a significant influence on the desirability, and thus price, of property is the number of bedrooms and the type (i.e. Detached/ Semi/Terraced/Flat).

In previous articles, I have analysed the Chiswick housing stock into bedrooms and type of property, but never before now have I cross-referenced type against bedrooms. These figures for the Hounslow London Borough Council area make fascinating reading. It shows 63.1% of all properties in the area have 3 or more bedrooms

  Detached Semi-detached Terraced (including end-terrace) Flat
1 bedroom 92 236 149 2,343
2 bedrooms 593 2,181 3,313 12,661
3 bedrooms 1,423 11,585 7,814 3,357
4 bedrooms 853 4,494 2,852 409
5 or more bedrooms 669 2,614 753 142

I was genuinely surprised at the low numbers of one and two bed properties, especially 2 bed semis detached houses, especially as tenants like the smaller one and two bed properties in Chiswick. You see, it might interest the homeowners and landlords of Chiswick, that there has been a change in the numbers of properties on the market and the split in bedrooms on the market over the last 12 months

  • 12 months ago, 112 one bed properties were for sale in Chiswick, today 154, a rise of 38%
  • 12 months ago, 217 two bed properties were for sale in Chiswick, today 347, a rise of 60%
  • 12 months ago, 144 three bed properties were for sale in Chiswick, today 152, a rise of 6%
  • 12 months ago, 96 four bed properties were for sale in Chiswick, today 120, a rise of 25%
  • 12 months ago, 75 five + bed properties were for sale in Chiswick, today 80, a rise of 7%

It can quite clearly be seen more Chiswick properties have become available, which can only be good news for Chiswick first time buyers and Chiswick buy to let landlords looking for a bargain (especially post Brexit) as property prices have stopped rising at the silly rates they were 12/18 months ago.

For several years Chiswick buy-to-let investors have been the only buyers at the lower end (starter homes) of the market, as they have been enticed by high tenant demand and attractive returns. Some Chiswick landlords believe their window of opportunity has started to close with the new tax regime for landlords, whilst it already appears to be opening wider for first-time buyers. This is great news for first time buyers … but one final note for Chiswick landlords … all is not lost … you can still pick up bargains, you just need to be a lot more savvy and do your homework.

 

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27.3% Of Chiswick Homes Are One Person Households

I was having an interesting chat with a Chiswick buy to let landlord the other day when the subject of size of households came up in conversation. For those of you who read my Brexit article published on the morning after the referendum, one of the reasons on why I thought the Chiswick property market would, in the medium to long term, be OK, was the fact that the size of households in the 21st Century was getting smaller – which would create demand for Chiswick Property and therefore keep property prices from dropping.

Looking at the stats going back to the early 1960’s, when the average number of people in a home was exactly 3, it has steadily over the years dropped by a fifth to today’s figure of 2.4 people per household. Doesn’t sound a lot, but if the population remained at the same level for the next 50 years and the we had the same 20% drop in household size, the UK would need to build an additional 5.28 million properties ( or 105,769 per year) .. When you consider the Country is only building 139,800 properties a year … it doesn’t leave much for people living longer and immigration. Looking closer to home…

In the Hounslow London Borough Council area, the average

number of occupants per household is 2.7 people

When we look at the current picture nationally and split it down into tenure types (i.e. owned, council houses and private renting, a fascinating picture appears.

The vast majority of homeowners who don’t have a mortgage are occupied by one or two people (81% in fact), although this can be explained as residents being older, with some members of the family having moved out, or a pensioner living alone. People living on their own are more likely to live in a Council house (43%) and the largest households (those with 4 or more people living in them are homeowners with a mortgage – but again, that can be explained as homeowners with families tend to need a mortgage to buy. What surprised me

was the even spread of private rented households and how that sector of population are so evenly spread across the occupant range – in fact that sector is the closest to the national average, even though they only represent a sixth of the population.

When we look at the Hounslow London Borough Council figures for all tenures (Owned, Council and Private Rented) a slightly different picture appears…

But it gets even more interesting when we focus on just private rental properties in Chiswick, as it is the rental market in Chiswick that really fascinates me. When I analysed those Hounslow London Borough Council private rental household composition figures, a slightly different picture appears. Of the 21,099 Private rental properties in the Hounslow London Borough Council area,

19.7% of Private Rental Properties are 1 person Households
28.6% of Private Rental Properties are 2 person Households
21.2% of Private Rental Properties are 3 person Households
15.9% of Private Rental Properties are 4 person Households
14.4% of Private Rental Properties are 5+ person Households

As you can see, Chiswick is not too dissimilar from the national picture but there is a story to tell. If you are considering future buy to let purchases in the coming 12 to 18 months, I would seriously consider looking at 2-3 bed apartments/houses. Even with the numbers stated, there are simply not enough 2-3 bed apartments/houses to meet the demand. They have to be in the right part of Chiswick and priced realistically, but they will always let and when you need to sell, irrespective of market conditions at the time, will always be the target of buyers.

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13,700 People Live In Every Square Mile Of Chiswick– Is Chiswick Over Crowded?

Chiswick is already in the clutches of a population crisis that has now started to affect the quality of life of those living in Chiswick. There are simply not enough homes in Chiswick to house the greater number of people wanting to live in the borough. The burden on public services is almost at breaking point with many parents unable to send their child to their first choice of primary or secondary school and the chances of getting a decent Dentist or GP Doctor Surgery next to nil.

 

Well that’s what the papers would say.. but let’s look at real numbers, and in particular my specialist subject of Chiswick Property, with the housing issue in Chiswick. To start with, the UK has roughly 1,065 people per square mile – the second highest in Europe. The total area of Chiswick itself is 2.550 square miles and there are 44,018 Chiswick residents, meaning …

17,200 people live in each square mile of Hounslow, it’s no wonder we appear to be bursting at the seams!

 

… but yet again, newspapers, politicians and property market bloggers quote big numbers to sell more newspapers, get elected or get people to read their blog (I recognise the irony!). A square mile is enormous, so the numbers look correspondingly large (and headline grabbing). Most people reading this will know what an ‘acre’ is, but those younger readers who don’t, it is an imperial unit of measurement for land and it is approximately 63 metres square.

 

In Chiswick, only 24.59 people live in every acre of Chiswick… not as headline grabbing, but a lot closer to home and relative to everyday life, and if I am being honest, a figure that doesn’t seem that bad.

 

Yet, the issue at hand is, we need more homes building. In 2007, Tony Blair set a target that 240,000 homes a year needed to be built to keep up with the population growth, whilst the Tory’s new target since 2010 was a more modest 200,000 a year. However, since 2010, as a country, we have only been building between 140,000 and 150,000 houses a year. So where are we going to build these homes .. because we have no space! Or do we?

 

Well, let me tell you this fascinating piece of information I found out recently in an official Government report. Looking specifically at England (as it is the most densely populated country of the Union), all the 20 million English homes cover only 1.1% of its land mass. That is not a typo, only one point one per cent (1.1%) of land in England is covered by residential property. In more detail, of all the land in the Country –

 

  • Residential Houses and Flats 1.1%
  • Gardens 4.3%
  • Shops and Offices 0.7%
  • Highways (Roads and Paths) 2.3%
  • Railways 0.1%
  • Water (Rivers /Reservoirs) 2.6%
  • Industry, Military and other uses 1.4%

 

.. leaving 88.5% as Open Countryside (and if you think about it, add to that the gardens, which are green spaces, and the country is 92.8% greenspace)

 

 

 

As a country,

we have plenty of space to build more homes for the younger generation and the five million more homes needed in the next 20 years would use only 0.25% of the country’s land. Now I am not advocating building massive housing estates and 20 storey concrete and glass behemoth apartment blocks next to local beauty spots such as Duke’s Meadows, but with some clever planning and joined up thinking, we really do need to think outside the box when it comes to how we are going to build and house our children and our children’s children in the coming 50 years in Chiswick. If anyone has their own ideas, I would love to hear from you.

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87.8 % of Chiswick Homeowners are over 35 – The affect of their Brexit vote on the Chiswick Property Market

Well it’s been a number of weeks since the Referendum vote and we have had a chance to reflect on the momentous decision that the British public took. Many of you read the article I wrote on the morning of the results. I had gone to bed the night before with a draft of my Remain article nicely all but finished, to be presented, at just after 5am, with the declaration by the BBC saying we were leaving the EU. I don’t think any of us were expecting that.

If you want to read a copy of that original Post Brexit blog post, please visit the month of June to find it. In this article I would like to take my thoughts on from that initial article and now start to see the clearer picture as the dust settles on the UK, but more importantly, the Chiswick Property Market.

In case you weren’t aware, the residents of the Hounslow Council area went with the National mood and voted as follows ..

Hounslow Council Remain Votes 58,755 (51.1% of the vote)

Hounslow Council Leave Votes 56,321 (48.9% of the vote)

Hounslow Council Turnout 69.7%

I have been reading there is some evidence to indicate younger voters were vastly more likely to vote Remain than their parents and grandparents and, whilst the polling industry’s techniques may have been widely criticised, following them getting both the 2010 General Election and the recent Brexit vote wrong, anecdotally, many surveys seem to suggest there was a relationship between age and likelihood to support leaving the EU.

Interestingly, the average age of a Chiswick resident is 35.2 years old, which is below the national average of 39.3, which might go someway to back up the way Chiswick voted? What I do know is that putting aside whether you were a remain or leave voter, the vote to leave has, and will, create uncertainty and the last thing the British property market needs is uncertainty (because as with previous episodes of uncertainty in the UK economy – UK house prices have tended to go down).

Interestingly, when we look at the Homeownership rates in the Hounslow Council area, of the 49,804 properties that are owned in the Hounslow Council area (Owned being owned outright, owned with a mortgage or shared ownership), the age range paints a noteworthy picture.

Age 16 to 34 homeowners 6,043 or 12.1 (Nationally 9.6%)

Age 35 to 49 homeowners 16,774 or 33.7% (Nationally 29.2%)

Age 50 to 64 homeowners 15,459 or 31.0% (Nationally 30.7%)

Aged 65+ homeowners 11,528 or 23.1% (Nationally 30.5%)

So, looking at these figures, and the high proportion of older homeowners, you might think all the Hounslow Council area homeowners would vote Remain to keep house prices stable and younger people would vote out so house prices come down- so they could afford to buy?

But there’s a risk in oversimplifying this. The sample of the polling firms are in the thousands whilst the country voted in its millions. Other demographic influences have been at play in the way people voted, as early evidence is starting to suggest that class, level of education, the levels of immigration and ethnic diversity had an influence on the way the various parts of the UK voted.

So what I suggest is this – Don’t assume everyone over the age of 50 voted ‘Leave’ and don’t assume most 20 somethings backed ‘Remain’; because many didn’t!

Please read my original article in the Chiswick Property Blog and you can make your own mind up.

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The Chiswick Love Affaire with its 5,200 Terraced Houses

Call me old fashioned, but I do like the terraced house.  In fact, I have done some research that I hope you will find of interest my Chiswick property market blog reading friends!

 

In architecture terms, a terraced or townhouse is a style of housing in use since the late 1600’s in the UK, where a row of symmetrical / identical houses share their side walls. The first terraced houses were actually built by a French man, Monsieur Barbon around St. Paul’s Cathedral within the rebuilding process after the Great Fire of London in 1666. Interestingly, it was the French that invented the terraced house around 1610-15 in the Le Marais district of Paris with its planned squares and properties with identical facades. However, it was the 1730’s in the UK, that the terraced/townhouse came into its own in London and of course in Bath with the impressive Royal Crescent.

 

However, we are in Chiswick, not Bath, so the majority of our Chiswick terraced houses were built in the Victorian era. Built on the back of the Industrial Revolution, with people flooding into the towns and cities for work in Victorian times, the terraced house offered decent livable accommodation away from the slums. An interesting fact is that the majority of Victorian Chiswick terraced houses are based on standard design of a ‘posh’ front room, a back room (where the family lived day to day) and scullery off that. Off the scullery, a door to a rear yard, whilst upstairs, three bedrooms (the third straight off the second). Interestingly, the law was changed in 1875 with the Public Health Act and each house had to have 108ft of livable space per main room, running water, it’s own outside toilet and rear access to

allow the toilet waste to be collected (they didn’t have public sewers in those days in Chiswick – well not at least where these ‘workers’ terraced houses were built).

 

It was the 1960’s and 70’s where inside toilets and bathrooms were installed (often in that third bedroom or an extension off the scullery) and gas central heating in the 1980’s and replacement Upvc double glazing ever since.

 

Looking at the make up of all the properties in Chiswick, some very interesting numbers appear. Of the 20,594 properties in W4 …

 

752 are Detached properties (3.6%)

3,082 are Semi Detached properties (14.9%)

5,297 are Terraced / Town House properties (25.7%)

11,443 are Apartment/ Flat’s (55.5%)

 

 

And quite noteworthy, there are 20 mobile homes, representing 0.1% of all property in Chiswick.

 

When it comes to values, the average price paid for a Chiswick terraced house in 1995 was £195,150 and the latest set of figures released by the land Registry states that today that figure stands at £1,112,880, a rise of 470% – not bad when you consider detached properties in Chiswick in the same time frame have only risen by 357%.

 

But then a lot of buy to let landlords and first time buyers I speak to think the Victorian terraced house is expensive to maintain. I recently read a report from English Heritage that stated maintaining a typical Victorian terraced house over thirty years is around sixty percent cheaper than building and maintaining a modern house- which is quite fascinating don’t you think!

 

Don’t dismiss the humble terraced house – especially in Chiswick!

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Population in the Chiswick area set to rise to 332,000 by 2036

Chiswick faces a predicament. The population is growing and the provision of new housing isn’t keeping up. With the average age of a Chiswick person being 35.2 years (compared to the London average of 35.6 years old and the national average of 39.4 years of age), the population of Chiswick is growing at an alarming rate. This is due to an amalgamation of longer life expectancy, a fairly high birth rate (compared to previous decades) and high net immigration, all of which contribute to housing shortages and burgeoning house prices.

 

My colleague works closely with Durham University and they have kindly produced some statistics specifically for the Hounslow London Borough Council area. Known as the UK’s leading authority for such statistics, their population projections make some startling reading…

 

For the Hounslow London Borough Council area … these are the statistics and future forecasts

 

2016 population                 275,083

2021 population                 293,414

2026 population                 308,098

2031 population                 320,566

2036 population                 332,054

 

The normal ratio of people to property is 2 to 1 in the UK, which therefore means…

 

We need just over 28,000 additional new properties to be built

in the Hounslow London Borough Council area over the next 20 years.

 

Whilst focusing on population growth does not tackle the housing crisis in the short term in Chiswick, it has a fundamental role to play in long-term housing development and strategy in the district. The rise of Chiswick property values over the last six years since the credit crunch are primarily a result of a lack of properties coming onto the market, a lack of new properties being built in the district

and rising demand (especially from landlords looking to buy property to rent them out to the growing number of people wanting to live in Chiswick but can’t buy or rent from the Council).

 

Although many are talking about the need to improve supply (i.e. the building of new properties), the issue of accumulative demand from population growth is often overlooked. Nationally, the proportion of 25-34 year olds who own their own home has dropped dramatically from 66.7% in 1987 to 43.8% in 2014, whilst 78.2% of over 65s own their own home. Longer life expectancies mean houses remain in the same hands for longer.

 

The swift population growth over the last thirty years provides more competition for the young than for mature population. It might surprise some people that 98% of all the land in the UK is either industrial, commercial or agricultural, with only two percent being used for housing, which means one could propose expanding supply to meet a expanding population by building on green belt – that most Politian’s haven’t got the stomach to tackle, especially in the Tory’ strongholds of the South of England, where the demand is the greatest. People mention brownfield sites, but recent research suggests there aren’t as many sites to build on, especially in Chiswick that could accommodate 28,000 properties in the next 20 years.

 

In the short to medium term, demand for a roof over of one’s head will continue to grow in Chiswick (and the country as a whole). In the short term, that demand can only be met from the private rental sector (which is good news for homeowners and landlords alike as that keeps house prices higher).

 

In the long term though, local and national Government and the UK population as a whole, need to realise these additional millions of people over the next 20 years need to live somewhere. Only once this issue starts to get addressed, in terms of extra properties being built in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way, can we all help create a socially ecological prosperous future for everyone.

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Which is the best month to sell your Chiswick home?

I had a homeowner from Gunnersbury email me the other day. She said she had been following my blog (the Chiswick Property Market Blog) for a while and wanted to pick my brain on when is the best time of the year to sell a property. Trying to calculate the best time to put your Chiswick property on the market can often seem something akin to witchcraft and, whilst I would agree that there are particular times of the year that can prove more productive than others, there are plenty of factors that need to be taken into consideration.

 

Even if you are putting your property on the market, you don’t know how long it will take to find a buyer – no crystal ball to help with that one. At the moment, the latest set of figures for all 34 estate agents in Chiswick, show the average length of time it takes to find a buyer for any Chiswick property is as follows ..

 

Detached                     126 days

Semi                            90 days

Terraced                     101 days

Flat                              129 days

Overall average          119 days

 

 

If we roll the clock back to January 2016, the overall average time it took to find a buyer (again using data from all of the 34 Chiswick Estate Agents) was 125 days.

 

So, on the face of it, things have improved slightly over the last six months or so. Well, when I looked at the data going back to 2008, and every Spring since then, the average length of time it takes to sell a property usually drops between January and the Summer months, for it to rise on the run up to Christmas. For example ..

 

Winter 2008 – 127 days          Summer 2008 – 102 days

 

and in more recent times …

 

Winter 2013 – 113 days          Summer 2013 – 102 days

Winter 2014 – 90 days           Summer 2014 – 110 days

Winter 2015 – 112 days          Summer 2015 –  97 days

 

 

Coming back to the present, even if you placed your property on the market today in Chiswick, if it takes you on average seventeen weeks to find a buyer, then you can expect solicitors and the chain to take an additional eight and twelve weeks after that, before you move. It comes down to personal choice as to when you place your property on the market. Children often affect the decision. On one side you might delay putting that for sale board in your front garden so you can move in the summer school holidays, but on the other side, you might want to move sooner to be in the catchment

area of a preferred school, in plenty of time for the next academic year?

 

There are times of the year when it’s better to sell, and times when waiting a little longer can pay off in the long run. In a nutshell, I would say this is the way of the seasons ..

WHEN THE MARKET?

Spring: Customarily there are more house-buyers as the Daffodils show themselves

Summer: Sellers may miss out on house-buyers being on holiday

Autumn: The enthusiasm for buying homes returns

Winter: Interest diminishes as festive period looms

What this means to buyers and landlord investors is that they

often pick up a bargain in later months of the year, as there is less competition from owner occupiers. So, whilst there are better months to achieve a quicker sale, the only piece of advice I can give to every home owner and landlord in Chiswick, is do the right thing for yourself, do your homework and buy (and sell) with both your head as well as your heart.

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Asking Prices in Chiswick Property up 0.3% in the last year

I had an interesting question the other day from a homeowner in Chiswick who asked me the difference between asking prices and values and why it mattered. When it comes to selling property, there must be agreement between the purchaser (buyer) and seller (vendor) for a property sale to take place. The value a buyer applies to a property can massively differ from the value a seller or mortgage company places upon it. The seller, the buyer and the mortgage company must find an agreeable value to assign to a property so the sale can proceed.

 

In many of my articles about the Chiswick property market, I talk about values, i.e. what property in Chiswick actually sells for, but I haven’t spoken about asking prices for while. Now asking prices are important as they are one of the four key matters a potential buyer will judge your property on (the others being location, bedrooms and type). Price yourself too high and you will put off buyers. So let’s take a look at the Chiswick numbers.

 

Over the last 12 months asking prices (i.e. the price advertised in the paper and on Rightmove) in Chiswick have increased slightly by 0.3% taking the average asking price to £1,058,511 (up from £1,054,649 12 months ago).

 

Interestingly though, when we look at, say terraced properties and flats/apartments, a slightly different picture appears. Twelve months ago, the average asking price for a terraced house in Chiswick was £1,334,300 and today its £1,443,100 (a rise of 8%); whilst over the same 12-month period, the average asking price of a flat/apartment was £692,700 a year ago, and today its £751,100 (also a rise of 8%).

 

However, my research shows that the supply of property for sale in Chiswick is beginning to increase. In December 2015, there were 655 on the market in Chiswick today there are 912 properties on the market (up 39%). This will mean homeowners looking to sell will need to be conscious of how their property compares against others on the Chiswick property market. The Chiswick property market still has substantial momentum and sufficient demand remains to provoke more modest asking price rises. This noteworthy increase in supply since Christmas is currently providing more choice for buyers and is tempering asking prices.

 

… And here is the second point to make. Asking prices are one thing, but what a property sells for (i.e. value) is a completely different matter. These are the average prices achieved (i.e. what they sold for or the average value) for property in Chiswick over the last 12 months…

 

  • Overall Average £1,026,700
  • Terraced £863,100
  • Flats/Apartments £409,000

 

You can quite clearly see, there is a difference between what people are asking for property and what it is selling for. The underlying fundamentals of low interest mortgages and tight supply remain prevalent in the Chiswick property market however, the number one lesson has to be this … if you want to sell, be realistic with your pricing.

 

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The Chiswick Property Market and The Euro 2016 Football Tournament

With the Referendum on EU membership out of the way, our households can concentrate on something European that doesn’t involve party political broadcasts or politician’s treating us all like children – the Euro 2016 Football Tournament. Chiswick is home to all different backgrounds and nationalities so if you’re not lucky enough to be jetting off to France for the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament, have no fear! For a bit of fun (although there is a serious side to this – you know there would be with me!) I have taken a look at which European people live in Chiswick so I know who to soak up the best atmosphere with!

 

During my research some interesting numbers appear. Going into the Euro 2016 tournament, France were 3/1 favourite’s, then Germany 7/2, third Spain 11/2, then England 9/1, Italy 16/1, Poland 50/1, Romania and Wales at 100/1, Ireland at 150/1 and Northern Ireland 500/1 (although Leicester were 5000/1 at the start of last season).

 

Of the 128,556 residents of the Brentford and Isleworth Constituency for Westminster, of the Home Nations going into the competition, 70,052 of them are from England, 1,082 from Wales, 607 from Northern Ireland and 2,437 from Ireland, although I do feel sorry for the 1,596 Scots who didn’t get into the finals. Now interestingly, looking at the Mainland Europeans residents in the Brentford and Isleworth Constituency, it might not surprise you that they make up 10.16% of the population as a whole in the Westminster area.

 

However, even more fascinating, of those 10.16% European’s residents, 3.66% are from Western Europe because EU residents from Eastern Europe – i.e. the Accession Countries to the EU between 2003 to 2007 (Czech Republic,

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania) – make up 6.51% of the population of the Brentford and Isleworth Constituency.

 

Broken down into the relevant football teams, there are in the Brentford and Isleworth Constituency …

 

944 French people

785 Germans

784 Italians

559 Spanish

5,808 Poles

391 Romanians

 

 

But what does this have to do with the Chiswick property market? Quite a lot in fact. Many of these European people were economic migrants, especially those from Eastern Europe. A lot of people’s concerns over migration are exaggerated as this EU

migration has acted to fill gaps in skills and labour supply during growth periods of the mid 2000’s and subsequently over the last five years in Chiswick, EU migrants have done little to displace native workers but do the jobs us Brits don’t often want to do. There is no preferential treatment for council housing in Chiswick, so EU migrants have in fact increased demand for privately rented accommodation in Chiswick.

This has meant, as demand for housing in Chiswick has remained strong, Chiswick landlords have continued to buy properties to rent out to keep up with this demand. Therefore, the value of every homeowner’s property in Chiswick has been kept high because of the demand from these Chiswick landlords buying starter homes to rent out, releasing existing homeowners to go up the property ladder – benefiting everyone in the chain.

However, rents have remained relatively subdued, in Chiswick rents are only 27.6% higher than they were in 2005, not bad when you consider we have had 38.52% inflation in the UK economy as a whole over the same 11 years.

EU migration has meant existing homeowners, landlords and the economy as a whole in Chiswick (and the UK) have benefitted from better economic conditions, property prices not slumping whilst rents have been kept in check by wage inflation. Now I wonder who will win the footy? Back to the TV!

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48.9% of Hounslow Borough (incl. Chiswick ) Voters voted to leave the EU – What now for the 16,361 Chiswick Landlords and Homeowners?

It’s 5.50am as I start to type this article and David Dimbleby has just announced the UK will be leaving the EU as the final votes are counted. As most of the polls suggested a Remain Vote, it came as a surprise to most people, including the City. The Pound has dropped 6% this morning after the City Whiz kids got their predictions wrong and MP’s from the Remain camp are using words like “challenging times ahead”.

 

.. and now the vote has been made .. what next for the 10,729 Chiswick homeowners especially the 5,684 of those Chiswick homeowners with a mortgage?

 

The Chancellor in the campaign suggested property prices would drop by 18%. Using Treasury estimates, their method of calculating this was tenuous at best, but focused around the abrupt and hasty increase in UK interest rates, which in turn would raise the cost of mortgages, and therefore lower demand for property, causing a drop in property prices.… and I would say, yes .. that will probably happen.

 

Chiswick Property Values

 

Chiswick property values will probably drop in the coming 12 to 18 months – but by 18% – I am sorry I find that a little pessimistic and believe that figure was rhetoric to get homeowners and landlords to vote in a particular way. But the UK property market is quite a monster.

 

Since the last In/Out EU Referendum in June 1975,

property values in Chiswick have risen by 3,198.3%

 

(That isn’t a typo) and whilst property prices did drop nationally by 18.7% between the peak of 2007 and bottom of the market in 2009, when one compares property values today in the country, compared to that all-time high of 2007, (the period before the financial crisis of the Credit Crunch of 2008/9), they are still up 10.14% higher.

 

Another Credit Crunch?

 

And so, notwithstanding the Credit Crunch, the worst global economic outlook since the 1930s and the recession it brought us, a matter of a few years later, the Government were panicking in 2012/3/4 that the housing market was a runaway train.

 

Now the same Credit Crunch doom-mongers and Sooth-Sayers that predicted soup kitchens in 2008/9 are predicting Brexit meltdown. Bad news sells newspapers. Stock markets may rise, stock markets may fall, yet the British public continued to buy property in 2009/10 and beyond. Aspiring first time buyers and buy to let landlords dusted themselves down, took a deep breath and carried on buying… because us Brit’s love our Bricks and Mortar, we need a roof over our head.

 

However, as mentioned previously, if the value of the pound drops, in the past UK Interest Rates have risen to reverse that drop. However, whilst a cheaper pound will make your pint of Sangria a little more expensive on your Spanish holiday this year and make your brand new BMW pricier, it will make British exports cheaper! Which is great for the economy.

 

Interest rates

 

… and what of interest rates? Since 2009, interest rates have been at 0.5% and lots of people have become accustomed to those sorts of levels. So what if interest rates rise ,end of the world? Interest rates in the 1986/88 property boom were on average 9.25%, the 1990’s they were on average around 6.5% and uber-boom years (when UK property values were rising by 20% a year for three or four straight years across the UK) , 4.5%. Many of you reading this who are in their 50’s and older will remember interest rates at 15%.

 

But I suspect interest rates won’t rise that much anyway, as Mark Carney (Chief of the Bank Of England) knows, raising interest rates causes deflation – which is the last thing the British economy needs at the moment. In fact they have been printing money (aka Quantitative Easing) for the last few years (which causes inflation) to the tune of £375bn a month. A bit of inflation because the pound has slipped on the money markets (not too much mind you) might be a good thing?

 

.. because whilst property values might drop in the country, they will bounce back. It’s only a paper loss, because it only becomes real if you sell. And if you have to sell, again as most people move up market when they sell, whilst your property might have dropped by 5% or 10%, the one you want to buy would have dropped by the same 5% to 10% and here is the best part – (and work your sums out) you would actually be better off because the more expensive property you would be purchasing would have come down in value (in actual pound notes) than the one you are selling.

 

The Chiswick landlords of the 4,701 Chiswick buy to let properties have nothing to fear neither, nor do the 11,612 tenants living in their properties.

 

Buy to let is a long term investment. I think there might even be some buy to let bargains in the coming months as some people, irrespective of evidence, panic. Even if we pull up the drawbridge at Dover and immigration stopped today, the British population will still increase at a rate that will exceed the current property building level. Britain is building 139,600 properties a year, but needs according to the eminent ‘Barker Review of Housing Supply Report’, the country needs to build about 250,000 properties a year to even stand still, and as the birth rate is increasing, the population is living longer and just under a quarter of all UK households now are occupied by a single person demand is only going up whilst supply is stifled. Greater demand than supply equals higher prices. That is definitely a fact.

 

So, what will happen next?

 

Well, there are many challenges ahead. The country has spoken and we are now in unchartered territory – but we have been through a couple of World Wars, an Oil Crisis, Black Monday, Black Wednesday, 15% interest rates and a Credit Crunch … and we survived!

 

And the value of your Chiswick property? It might have a short term wobble… but in the long term -it’s safe as houses regardless.

 

 

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