The Property Voice
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The Property Voice
Residential Property Investment - buying, selling, renting, managing & financing residential property or real estate from www.thepropertyvoice.net UPDATE: Book & Podcast out now!
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How to check out your next penthouse from your armchair

How to check out your next penthouse from your armchair | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
Virtual reality has the gaming world in a froth of excitement, but it is playing an increasingly important role in business, too.
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Imagine doing a property viewing from your armchair...here is the answer!

OK, so right now is it only going to help at the top end of the market, but one day it will filter down to everyday viewings as well. It may take 10 years to get there but I am sure it will.

Look out for similar tech trends that will help to make our property businesses easier...if not now, then later.

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Repossessions and arrears fall further

Repossessions and arrears fall further | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
Low interest rates and lender forbearance have led to the lowest repossession rates on record
Richard W J Brown's insight:
It's always worth keeping an eye on arrears and repo data...it's often an indicator of future housing market changes. No data can be taken in isolation of course, but right now at least, homeowners and landlords appear to be able to manage their mortgage repayments.

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Third of landlords have had a property abandoned by tenants, say NLA

Third of landlords have had a property abandoned by tenants, say NLA | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
National Landlord Association, 36% of UK landlords have had a property abandoned by their tenants
Richard W J Brown's insight:
This was a surprise in terms of the extent to which it has happened. I guess the key word is how many landlords have been affected rather than how many tenancies, however.

Still, tenants absconding and abandoning a property is a serious issue and one that I have also faced myself. There is no option but to follow the correct process when a tenant suddenly leaves, even if they are in arrears and it looks like they have left the property, as they have rights under the tenancy to return.

Yes, I know the law is an ass at times, however, on this particular point it seems that the law might well be changed, which would be highly welcome by 36% of landlords I would imagine!

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Average tenancy length now stands at 18 months

Average tenancy length now stands at 18 months | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
Average tenancy length now stands at 18 months - Letting Agent News: Industry News. Residential Lettings and Property Management Software written, sold, supported and bought by experienced lettings agents.
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Average tenancies have increased, reducing potential for voids. However, note that the average tenancy period is 18 months, which is well short of the 36 months minimum that some would like to enforce.

There are of course two sides to this story, when a landlord serves notice and when a tenants does. From a personal perspective, I would rather keep a good tenant that chop and change all the time. However, I would want a bad tenant to move on ASAP.

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Exclusive: Willmott Dixon mulls residential arm flotation

Exclusive: Willmott Dixon mulls residential arm flotation | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
Willmott Dixon is set to float its newly formed residential business, Construction News has learned.
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Look out for more news such as this going forward...a trend of more corporate and institutional investment into the private rental sector (PRS).

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The city with 20-year waiting lists for rental homes

The city with 20-year waiting lists for rental homes | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
You could bag a dream job and lifestyle here but finding a place to call home is far, far harder.
Richard W J Brown's insight:
A glimpse into the future should rent controls be introduced into the UK? Stockholm is a thriving city and at the forefront of social democracy and efficiency...usually. However, their regulated rent system has lead to housing shortages, long (and I mean long at 9-20 years!) waiting lists, low housing turnover and a black market rental economy. Surely the rent controls were intended to fix these problems? Not to worry though...the problem is only temporary and should be resolved...wait for it...by 2030. Many would-be renters would have a young family in tow by that time! I will say this about the Swedes though, at least they are trying some innovative solutions to fix their housing supply problems. In the absence of such long-term and creative thinking, I would fear for our major cities facing the same problem. The Property Voice
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Which online estate agent is best?

Which online estate agent is best? | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
For decades homeowners have visited their local real estate agents to sell their properties; there were no other options. Now, a whole new method of property
Richard W J Brown's insight:
A review of many of the inline estate agents in one place..note the source though just to be clear on (im)partiality)...

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Janet Howcroft's curator insight, May 22, 8:34 AM

For decades homeowners have visited their local real estate agents to sell their properties; there were no other options. Now, a whole new method of property follow www.5starrealtygroup.net

Richard W J Brown's comment, May 24, 11:43 AM
Thank you for sharing this post Janet :)
Richard W J Brown's comment, May 24, 11:44 AM
Thanks for sharing Chris :)
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European referendum – The TIPPing Point

European referendum – The TIPPing Point | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
European Referendum – The TIPPing Point. (Once you have finished reading this article - such has been the response that I have had to write this follow up - The EU Referendum - Rushed, Ill Thought Out and Extreme!) The time has finally arrived.  Its not been an easy decision.   I can see good points…
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Brexit - I found this article helpful to highlight some of the salient issues.

In truth, the Remain camp will probably win through Project Fear as we are, after all children, politically-speaking.

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Buy-to-let tax will push up the rents of sitting tenants, says London School of Economics

Buy-to-let tax will push up the rents of sitting tenants, says London School of Economics | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
The experts at a leading academy at the LSE tell us what we already know...the Government doesn't know what they are doing wrt the PRS and landlords. Oh and there is a nifty little calculator to assess the impact of the tax changes at the end of the article as well. The Property Voice
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Brexit

Brexit | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
UK's EU referendum: the political debate over Brexit and UK demands for European Union reform
Richard W J Brown's insight:
A lot of good stuff we need to know to help decide...

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NLA host PRS roundtable

NLA host PRS roundtable | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
On the 29th of April 2016 the NLA hosted a roundtable meeting of key private-rented sector stakeholders.
Richard W J Brown's insight:
There is definitely room for some active 'stakeholder engagement' and 'joined up thinking' within the private rented sector, so this is good to see.

I remain sceptical, however. At least the presence of DCLG & the GLA should have some political influence...but we shall have to wait and see.

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House prices fall almost everywhere as property market takes on 'uncomfortable' feel

House prices fall almost everywhere as property market takes on 'uncomfortable' feel | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Definitely worth keeping an eye on house price trends over the coming months.

The big questions are:

What to do about a potential fall in prices?
Is property investing still worthwhile?

I will be addressing the second question in my next column in YPN magazine, so watch out for that. As to the first question; it rather depends on what your strategy and time scales are...

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How To Make A Profit From Your Airbnb Listing

How To Make A Profit From Your Airbnb Listing | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
How To Make A Profit From Your Airbnb Listing Guest post by Leigh Stewart, Editor of Tranio.com The San Francisco property start-up, Airbnb, dropped a major bomb on the holiday rentals market when it launched in 2008 and continues to rock the boat 8 years on. By allowing individuals to rent out their extra space, it created …
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Forging new markets as property investors is now possible by using disruptive technology and the 'sharing economy'.

Set yourself apart from the dog & cat smelling, spare room renting, Mom & Pops by being more professional.

Here's how...

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Instead Of Renting An Apartment, Sign A Lease That Lets You Live Around The World

Instead Of Renting An Apartment, Sign A Lease That Lets You Live Around The World | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
Roam provides short-term apartments with a communal feel, for today's digital work-from-anywhere nomad.
Richard W J Brown's insight:
I am sure that Tim Ferriss from the 4-Hour Work Week would approve! 

I love the concept...co-living and co-working integrated into a single space in several different destinations around the worls under a fixed rental agreement. If that doesn't provide an incentive to pursue a mobile or location-independent lifestyle, then I don't know what will :)

Thanks to Ankur for sharing this with me.

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Uncertainty in the property market gives rise to the Brexit clause

Uncertainty in the property market gives rise to the Brexit clause | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
Option to scrap deals in event of leaving EU keeps jittery buyers onside as market shows strain
Richard W J Brown's insight:
A perfect illustration of how market sentiment and in particular fear can have a bearing on markets. This time regarding the Brexit vote.

What to do then? Probably is best to sit tight for a month...unless you are feeling bullish, depending on the result you predict that is.

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Homelessness – Landlords are not the enemy

Homelessness – Landlords are not the enemy | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
Oft-cited statistics about the cause of homelessness seek to pin the blame on landlords. With the possibility of new legislation to tackle homelessness being announced in this month’s Queen Speech, meaningful reforms need to be made that engage landlords rather than making them a scapegoat. Where are we now? Figures from the Department for Communities…
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Some serious issues in here and I have to say that the NLA are spot in with their analysis and suggested actions.

To fix the problem of homelessness, the Government needs to engage and enlist the support of landlords.

If only these changes could be brought about, it would probably help with a real society problem.

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Bill-by-bill summary: Queen's Speech at-a-glance

Bill-by-bill summary: Queen's Speech at-a-glance | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Two Bills that could impact the property sector directly in here:

Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill - potential to fast track development planning applications
Law & Property Bill - addressing how land is owned...which could be interesting

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Government considering making gazumping illegal

Government considering making gazumping illegal | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
FREE access to the latest house prices for England and Wales. Search properties for sale, find houses, flats to rent, property to buy and local estate agents in UK. Compare house prices in your area.
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Great idea in principle - to cut out the darker side of gazumping & gazundering BUT...

It needs to allow for some serious issues to be ironed out, such as:

Mortgagability
Completion of surveys in time
Subject to full and proper disclosure on the part of the seller

How to make that effective in law might be a little bit tricky, however.

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Will buy-to-let tax changes push rents up even more?

Will buy-to-let tax changes push rents up even more? | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
Kath Scanlon of the London School of Economics told the Daily Telegraph it is "not clear what the government wants these policies to accomplish".
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Kath Scanlon of the London School of Economics said it is "not clear what the government wants these policies to accomplish".

The more I think about these changes, the more I make the following conclusions about the real agenda here:

1. Driving BTL away from a middle-class 'cottage industry' vehicle of wealth creation towards a more professionalized, controlled and corporate private rental sector.
2. Trying to redress recent declines in home ownership rates - for political reasons as homeowners are more likely to vote Conservative.
3. Good old tax-raising but instead of taxing the actual rich, the heaviest burden will instead fall on the middle classes in a strange mutation of Robin Hood...taxing the modestly well off to give to the actual well off (see point 1).

The irony is that one of these aims at least is likely to backfire - the political motive, given that I suspect many landlords are more inclined to vote Conservative as well. However, I suspect they are gambling on the 'what's the other option' question propping up their case.

As far as I am concerned, if the middle class are to be more heavily taxed, then  would rather see this money go toward public services (esp education) and infrastructure growth - so no wolves in sheep's clothing please.

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A different take on the economic impact of Brexit

A different take on the economic impact of Brexit | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
Richard W J Brown's insight:
In a world of spin and propaganda, controlled by Government, large corporations and the media, it is hard to get FACTUAL information.

This at least helps to balance things out a little.

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#TenantTax...yes the net result of the tax changes on landlords will lead to an effective tax on tenants!

#TenantTax...yes the net result of the tax changes on landlords will lead to an effective tax on tenants! | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
CrowdJustice is a crowdfunding platform that enables individuals, groups and communities to come together to fund legal action. Using the power of people to create change!
Richard W J Brown's insight:
The summary and latest position on the attempt to commence a Judicial Review into recent tax changes impacting the PRS.

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Why the Barclays’ 100% mortgage is bad news for us all

Why the Barclays’ 100% mortgage is bad news for us all | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
The new scheme will push prices up further and put more people at risk of another crash
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Not sure what I think about this tbh.

First thought is that it makes sense to assist FTBs get on the ladder and after an initial 3-year period the safety net savings from Bank of Mom & Dad gets repaid.

But as I think it through, could it leave the buyer stranded if prices stagnate or fall?

Not feeling too sorry for the bank but at the same time I can't help but feel they are over leveraging again with this sort of arrangement, which is reminiscent of pre-Global Financial Crisis.

So, mixed feelings...but am sure it will be popular.

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The one hack you need to truly stop procrastinating

The one hack you need to truly stop procrastinating | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
Right now. No, really, don’t wait until tomorrow. This simple formula could bring you a lot more success.
Richard W J Brown's insight:
An interesting article on habits, along with a couple of book references too!

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Nationwide BS tightens criteria on buy-to-let mortgage range

Nationwide BS tightens criteria on buy-to-let mortgage range | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
UK's biggest building society tightens up rental calculations and chopping at its maximum loan-to-value for landlords over worries about tax relief changes next year.
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Inevitable, if unhelpful news this.

A major BTL lender is reducing its maximum LTV from 80% to 75% and also increasing it's rental / mortgage payment coverage ration from 125% to 145%. The main reason cited is the forthcoming changes to interest relief on landlords.

Whilst, it seems a little harsh when applied as a blanket approach, for example, it unduly punishes basic rate tax payers if they are unaffected by the tax changes, it is probably a very prudent move on behalf of the lender. It tightens up their equivalent to an 'affordability test' in BTL and so expect other lenders to follow similar steps in the years ahead.

The implication of this move, along with the tax changes themselves, however, is that it could on the one hand trap some existing investors who cannot meet the tests in order to refinance and on the other hand, it kills off those investors that would accept lower income in return for higher potential capital gains when using leverage.

Sensible yes, expected yes, welcomed...probably not by many!

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Why holiday homes will be the next buy-to-let boom

Why holiday homes will be the next buy-to-let boom | The Property Voice | Scoop.it
The new tax applying to buy-to-let doesn’t touch holidays homes – and the
returns can be far higher
Richard W J Brown's insight:
Shhh...don't tell everyone!

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