Property News Round-up 13/7/16

Property News All The Latest Updates

Hi guys and welcome to our first property news blog of the month, as usual we will be given you a snap shot of the latest goings-on in the domestic market. This week we look at the Manchester property market and how it is still strong after the Brexit vote to ending our round-up and focusing on landlords setting up companies in order to save tax. Slightly behind with what’s going on in the property world? If so, catch up with our last property news blog update.

Manchester Property Market Still Strong Despite Brexit

Property News North West

New development plans in the city are not overheating despite recent news of apartment developments that have been given the green light.

New schemes approved in the last few days include Salford council’s approval for a 35-storey tower and a 17-storey tower at New Bailey Street developed by Trinity Riverside Holdings and a 68-storey tower at Owen Street proposed by Renaker. The landmark development will provide 1,508 apartments and penthouses in four blocks of 39, 46, 52 and 66 storeys. (MEN, July 2016)

Natwest’s Heath Thomas mentioned in MEN that consumer confidence will affect demand for mortgages, but the fundamentals in the city’s residential market are remain sound because there is a structural shortage of homes across the length and breadth of the country.

Addleshaw Goddard’s, Marnix Elsenaar also added his views in the MEN saying Manchester has all of the ingredients it needs to take forward housing delivery, however, it will need to fight with the central government to be able to deliver the right housing products that cater for the city specifically.

He stressed that it is important to ensure central government policies don’t kill off this growing sector.

Read more on this topic here.


Chinese Buyers Look Again at U.K. Property

China P2P

Due to the recent drop in the pound, many Chinese property investors have started to look at the U.K. market for potential bargains.

The number of so-called leads from Chinese home-seekers for U.K. properties recently doubled according to, a real-estate website based in Shanghai that allows Chinese buyers to browse residential and commercial properties around the world. Leads indicate that a buyer was interested enough in a property to contact a real-estate agent or developer. (WSJ,June 2016)

Manchester in particular has seen a wealth of Chinese buyers and investors. For example, a recent development at Salford Quays, called the Dock Office, just half the apartments were sold to locals. A quarter went to Chinese nationals.

They are not just buying and investing they are also involved in the construction process.

The Beijing Engineering Construction Group is investing £800m in Manchester’s Airport City, which will include a hub for other Chinese firms to set up. President Xi Jinping saw the site in person when he visited last year. (BBC, April 2016)

Now that Manchester has direct flights to both Beijing and Hong Kong also makes it even more easy for potential investors to visit the city and seek long-term opportunities.


Rental Prices Increased in June

Property News Landlords

Rents kept increasing in the three months to June, but there are signs that the growth in the rental market slowed in the first half of 2016 as compared to last year. (City A.M., July 2016)

According to HomeLet, The average renter in the capital now pays £1,575 per month, up 3.9 per cent on last year. For the rest of the country, renters pay an average £773 per month, which is 3.5 per cent higher than last year.

Barbon Insurance Group’s chief executive Martin Totty shared his views in City A.M. stating : The impact of the EU referendum vote will now play out over the months ahead: if as expected, the result acts as a restraint on the supply of new housing, the gap between demand and supply in the private rental sector will remain marked; all the more so if more people decide to rent while waiting to see what happens to house prices.”


How Much Will Your House Be worth in 2030?

Property News - First-time buyer mortgage

The average price of a home in England will be more than £450,000 in 2030, according to research from estate agents eMoov.

Their calculations were based on the 84 per cent increase in house prices during 2000 and 2015 and applied it to the next 15 years.

The map (below) illustrates just how dangerous this current artificial inflation of the market could be in the long run (as eMoov’s Russell Quirk mentions in the Daily Mail), it’s not just London (where typical values of £1.9million could climb to £3.4million in some parts), the issue will spread all over the country.

UK Property Map 2030

Image Source : eMoov/Daily Mail


Landlords Expected To Set Up Companies To Save Tax

Crowdfunding News

Landlords are increasingly expected to exploit a loophole in the law that allows them to avoid the Chancellor George Osborne’s hefty, punitive tax raid on rental properties, according to a leading mortgage expert. (Landlord Today, July 2016)

Foundation Home Loans‘ commercial director Simon Bayley told the FT that he predicts to see over 75% of mortgaged buy-to-let acquisitions going through a limited liability company (LLC) structure in the next 12 year or so.

In addition, Mr. Bayley believes that many landlords may consider transferring their existing properties to a LLC.

He goes onto mention that if landlords are using income from a current rental they may require help calculating if the capital outlay is affordable for them, even if the long term benefits suggest to explore the LLC route (also mentioned in Landlord Today).

Mortgage Concepts Associates director Mike Richards agrees with Bayley’s insights, his view is that gradually most lenders who are in the sector will offer this (the 75% or more projection) and premium lenders that are charged for limited company mortgages of around 0.5% will ultimately vanish.

Moreover, he reckons that you will still get a percentage of people who will mistrust the limited company route, but in reality, this is really the only way to go for the future of the buy-to-let market in the UK.


What Are Your Thoughts?

Which of our chosen property stories has interested you the most? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave us a comment on our Facebook and Google Plus pages. If you prefer to tweet us, tweet @TheHouseCrowd.

In the meantime if you want to know more about Property Crowdfunding do register for our Information Pack which will tell you all about it. 

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Property News Round-up 25/5/16

Property News All The Latest Updates


Hi guys welcome to another edition of our property news blog, today we once again look at the latest goings-on in the domestic market from looking at the average house prices in Greater Manchester in 2030 to focusing on landlords that have had a property abandoned by tenants. If you missed our last property news round-up, catch up here.


Average House Prices In Greater Manchester Are Set to Reach Record Levels By 2030

Property News Greater Manchester

According to new research from property search engine eMoov, the average house price in Greater Manchester is set to reach record levels by 2030.

First-time buyers will struggle even more, with an average home in the Greater Manchester area predicted to cost £316,920.

eMoov’s UK property research, which also looked at house prices from the start of the millennium to 2015 revealed that property prices had increased by 84%. This increase was then applied to every area of the country.

The only regions offering house prices below £280,000 are Merseyside at £275,074, East Riding of Yorkshire at £277,411 and County Durham at £279,985.

eMoov created a map (view here) which illustrates just how dangerous this current artificial inflation of the market could be in the long run (as mentioned in a previous article by eMoov’s CEO Russell Quirk), and the worrying thing is that it isn’t just the capital that will go beyond the average reach for these seeking to get on the property ladder.


Direct Foreign Investment Levels In Manchester Are Currently At A 10-Year High

Property News Manchester Investment


According to Select Property Group 98 project deals were struck in the north-west in 2015, with the growth contributing to a 190% increase in new jobs across the region in just 12 months.

Key foreign investor focus included :- software, business services, construction and retail markets. In addition, it was revealed that investment from US funds was the north-west’s number one source of FDI projects, followed by European nations the Netherlands, Germany and France.

Manchester is the leading city in the north west according to the latest EY UK Attractiveness survey. Increased investment from foreign investors plus job growth in the city and the region have risen by 190% over the past year.


More Than Half Of UK Home Buyers Rent Before They Can Buy A Property

Property News

Some 64% of aspiring home owners in the UK rent a property before they pick up the keys to their very own home, new research has found. (Property Wire, May 2016)

Saving for a deposit remains one of the biggest financial hurdles facing first time buyers and research from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks found that renters are less likely to benefit from help from family, with only 41% receiving any financial assistance, compared to 62% of those who are living with their parents or family members.

Our very own research last year on millennials showed that Generation Y feel that UK property is so out of reach that 23% say they will have to wait until they inherit money before they can get on the property ladder, also, 36% of those surveyed said they felt they’d have to rent forever.

Another sobering piece of research, this time conducted by Royal London, almost five million renters in the UK have no plans in place to cover their rent if they became too ill to earn for three months or more, even though recent cuts to housing benefits could leave them at risk (as mentioned in this Property Wire article).

Are you looking for an alternative? If you are a part-time/ novice investor who does not have a deposit available or the ability to get a mortgage, property crowdfunding might be for you. Why not take a look at how the process works here.


Britain’s ‘Property Premier League’ Locations With The Highest House Prices

Property News Property Premier League

Leicester might have been crowned 15/16 Barclays Premier League Champions but when it comes to the ‘Property Premier League’ the Foxes sit in 8th place whilst Chelsea win the Property League title with the highest average house prices (£1,152,137!), however, it is not all good news for the Stamford Bridge side as luxury properties prices in the area saw a significant slowdown this year which brought the average value down with it.

So how did our Manchester clubs get on? United finished the property season in 11th place – the M16 post code saw a hefty drop since the season kicked off back in August. Moving to The Etihad, City ended their property season in 16th place. The Citizens had the biggest house price drop on the whole list, by almost 6%.

Despite sitting in the lower ends of the table, both Manchester sides would finish top if the league was based on achieving higher rental yields for investors. The average rental yield in Manchester is at 6.02%.

At The House Crowd unfortunately we can’t help your club crowdfund the next Mourinho or Pep Guardiola but we can offer you some free handy Manchester guides (North and Central).


A Third of Landlords Have Had A Property Abandoned By Tenants

Property News Landlords


Some 36% of UK landlords have had a property abandoned by tenants, according to research. (Letting Agent Today, May, 2016)

The National Landlords Association (NLA) study revealed abandonment can be very costly for landlords especially when there is an outstanding amount of rent owned.

The NLA’s data shows that the issue is most prevalent in the North East, where 58% of landlords surveyed said they have had a property abandoned.

In contrast, the lowest recorded region for having properties abandoned was in the South West with 31%. In London 33% of landlords experienced similar issues.

The Housing and Planning Act – which includes measures to tackle tenants abandoning properties, will come as a  huge relief to landlords up and down the country.


What Are Your Thoughts?

Which of our chosen property stories has interested you the most? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave us a comment on our Facebook and Google Plus pages. If you prefer to tweet us, tweet @TheHouseCrowd.

In the meantime if you want to know more about Property Crowdfunding do register for our Information Pack which will tell you all about it. 

Register Now For More Information

Prospects for Property Investors After Bank of England Clampdown on Buy to Lets

Some recent changes are already hitting landlords hard, others will soon. Here we look at the available options in what for many buy to let investors are troubling times.

Continue reading “Prospects for Property Investors After Bank of England Clampdown on Buy to Lets”

Property News Round-up 27/1/16

Property News  All The Latest Updates

Hi guys and welcome to our fortnightly property news edition, today we look at an array of news items from the Manchester property boom to leaving you with a quiz!


Manchester Property Boom Map

Manchester Property Map

Student and property enthusiast Ed Howe has put together an interactive map of Manchester which shows all the projects that are taking place in the city to demonstrate the clusters of development activity.

The Newcastle University student is currently studying for a masters in city planning and hails from the Salford area.

His colour coded map illustrates the areas where proposed buildings have been granted for construction. In addition, the map also highlights masterplan areas and transport schemes.

Howe stated: “I think Manchester is pretty special at the moment, as a city we’re starting to attract a lot of investment and cranes are beginning to bounce up onto the skyline once again, constructing skyline-altering schemes.” (Place North West, January 2016).

The masters degree student also mentions that it can be quite difficult to imagine, or remember, all the various developments and that his map makes the city’s regeneration and property boom accessible to the people who live and work in Manchester.

You can view Ed’s interactive map here and read the rest of Place North West’s article here.

Image Source : Place North West

The North West of England is the most lucrative region in the UK for private rented sector

manchester property

The North West of England is the most lucrative region in the UK for private rented sector landlords with Manchester and Liverpool coming out top for rental yields. (Property Investor News, January 2016)

LendInvest’s recent quarterly report also indicates that Cardiff, Coventry and Oldham come next, followed closely by Sunderland, Blackburn and Durham.

The fintech company’s report which analyses changes in trends in rental yields, capital gains and landlords’ total roi, also shows that London and the South East still championing house price growth.

In the report it shows that all of the top 15 performing postcode areas for capital gains are located in London and surroundings areas. Inner London however, sits in 18th place for rental yields but still comes up on top for capital gains.

LendInvest’s CEO Christian Faes mentioned in Property Investor News that there could be some weakening in Londons’s dominance of capital gains tables if house price growth does soften slightly as forecast, and as new buy to let stamp duty hikes take effect.


Buy-To-Let Landlords Storm UK Housing Market

BTL Landlords

A landlord industry body has claimed that there is currently a rush to purchase buy-to-let properties before a stamp duty hike arrives in the Spring.

ARLA’s (The Association of Residential Letting Agents) managing director David Cox stated in This is Money that ‘Buy-to-let landlords are determined to complete purchases before the changes come into force in April are storming the UK housing market, meaning the lull we’d usually see is less significant.

He also mentioned in the This is Money article that with supply, demand and the number of agents reporting rent increases all declining in December, this could well be the calm before the buy-to-let storm.

In addition he also stated that this period of easing in rents could soon end, with new rules cutting the number of properties available to let.

Many in the property industry have mentioned that after April it will be very likely to see the number of buy-to-let properties on the market begin to decrease, and the ramifications will most certainly have a detrimental effect on renters across the UK.

You can read more on the buy-to-let story here.


Brexit poses ‘serious threat’ to UK property investment

Brexit Property

A REFERENDUM vote to leave the European Union would pose a serious challenge for the UK property market, according to new research. (Yorkshire Post, January 2016)

A recent poll that was conducted by a group of property experts revealed that 65 per cent, believe that a Brexit would have a negative impact on investment in UK property.

What was particularly interesting to see it that only 10% of those who were surveyed stated that they would consider relocating their business to another EU country if the UK did leave the EU.

As The Yorkshire Post mentions, survey participants also highlighted their concerns about the housing shortage, rising construction costs and the prospect of higher interest rates, in addition to the property industry skills shortage and planning reforms.

A property industry expert stressed that we want certainty, regardless of the in or out EU debate. He uses the Scottish Referendum example of how many occupiers and investors delayed their decision-making due to having uncertainties.

Image Source : Al Jazeera

Quiz Time! What is all the property in the world worth?


What is all the property in the world worth?

A $11,000,000,000,000
B $217,000,000,000,000
C $550,000,000,000,000

Poll Maker

What Are Your Thoughts?

Which of our chosen property stories has interested you the most? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave us a comment on our Facebook and Google Plus pages. If you prefer to tweet us, tweet @TheHouseCrowd.

In the meantime if you want to know more about Property Crowdfunding do register for our Information Pack which will tell you all about it. 

Register Now For More Information


Property values can fall. Your capital may be at risk & returns may vary. Read our Risk Warning.

Slimmer yields for landlords in 2014? Not for our investors…

According to ARLA, the average yield across the country has fallen to around 5.5%. A journalist recently put this point to me and asked (somewhat sceptically) how we could offer much higher yields.

I responded that average returns are just that.  They represent what an average investor buying an average property in an average area could expect to achieve.

That statistic encompasses properties where yields are 1% and properties where they are 14% or more.  We research areas where the average yield is higher and then cherry-pick the best deals in that area to maximise yields.

The criticism is akin to saying “Usain Bolt claims to be able to run 100m is 9.69 seconds but how can that be when our research shows the average time to complete 100m is 14.8 seconds.”

In short, we are not your average investment company.

Having said that, we are susceptible to market conditions as is everyone and as house prices increase at a higher rate than rents, it is inevitable that yields will decrease.

So, does that mean we will not be able to offer our clients such attractive returns?


It simply means we have to adapt. We are experienced in many areas of property investment, are extremely flexible and already have plans in place to ensure that we can still offer you very attractive returns whatever the market conditions.

The new areas we are moving into and the new business model we are launching next month will enable us to continue to deliver well above average returns.

Happy 18th birthday Buy to Let mortgages

and thank you for our present… “a predicted 11% profit for the next decade” according to a recent report.

The findings from the report published in an article by The Guardian identified that with average annual returns of 16.3% (£13,000 profit) on each investment of £1,000 since buy-to-let mortgages were launched in 1996, landlords have earned more than they would have done with every other type of investment. These are clearly superb returns.

The report has been timed to coincide with the new affordability rules requiring lenders to carry out detailed checks on potential mortgagee spending and ability to pay if interest rates go up, but buy-to-let investors will be exempt from these rules.

Landlords take one in seven mortgages, and since 1996, lenders have granted 1.5m mortgages worth £174bn to buy-to-let investors.

You can read the full article here:

RLA vs Shelter

The Residential Landlords Association has attacked Shelter today for what is regarded amongst Landlords as a scaremongering campaign. Shelter’s “Growing Up Renting” campaign argues that families with children are bearing the brunt of insecure tenancies, high rents, and constant moves that it asserts are standard in today’s market.

In dismissing this allegation, the RLA says that the reality is that nearly all tenancies are ended by tenants. Just 9% are ended by landlords, usually as a result of tenant rent arrears or anti-social behaviour. It demonstrates that contrary to popular myth, most landlords would prefer to keep tenants rather than being left with an empty property.

In our opinion the RLA is spot on. As a landlord, given the costs of voids and re-letting, you do what you can to keep any half decent tenant. Shelter’s campaign is utterly bewildering and were it to be successful completely self-defeating as it would reduce the number of landlords and rental properties in the market. Whilst (despite their anti- landlord stance) we support some of Shelter’s aims, one sometimes wonders if these people actually live on the same planet.

On rent levels, figures in the English Housing Survey for 2011-12 show that over the 3 years between 2008/2009 and 2011/12, average rents in the private rental sector increased by an average of just 2.4% per year, less than half the rate of 5.6% in the social sector over the same period. The charity’s “Growing Up Renting” campaign argues that families with children are bearing the brunt of insecure tenancies, high rents, and constant moves that it asserts are standard in today’s market.

The Housing Survey also notes that tenants who have remained in their property for ten years or more face much lower rents, on average £123 a week compared with the average £173 paid by those resident for less than three years. This amounts to an average 28% discount in rents. Private tenancies have also reached a record average length of 20 months, showing that landlords are responsive to tenants needs.

RLA Policy Director, Richard Jones commented: “The RLA condemns the scaremongering that Shelter is engaged in. Whilst we agree that a small minority of landlords ruin the lives of tenants and should be banned from renting property, the reality is that the majority of landlords in the country provide a good service.

“At a time when increasing numbers of people are depending on the private rented sector for their housing, Shelter should act more responsibly and not promote inaccurate generalisations which only serve to frighten families into thinking that a majority of landlords can’t wait to throw them out which is nonsense.

“The reality is that landlords will do all they can to keep tenants in their properties rather than face an empty property.

Mr Jones continued: “Shelter are playing a dangerous game by frightening off investors from increasing the supply of much needed private rented housing. Whilst we agree with the need for longer tenancies where needed, Shelter’s calls for universal five year contracts with index linked rent rises would be bad news for families who are presently seeing average rents increase by less than inflation.”

The Iron Lady – Patron Saint Of Landlords?

Margaret  Thatcher has always divided opinion. Even now, following her death, and 20 years after John Major succeeded her as Prime Minister, she still elicits strong emotions. Many consider she saved the nation from the misery and chaos of a union controlled Britain, whilst others believe she destroyed the soul of the country (or at least the working class communities where they lived).

When I was young, it was fashionable to be anti-Thatcher. Everyone tends to be more left wing in their youth, but I would have thought those who were misguided in the 1980s into thinking Arthur Scargill was some sort of hero, might by now have realized the error of their ways and acknowledged they should be grateful for her having the guts to stand up to the unions however callous she may have appeared to them at the time.

It is a fact that the vast majority of improvements in our national wealth and standard of living can be directly traced back to Mrs. Thatcher’s policies. But apparently many people remember the rubbish strewn streets and power shortages of the pre-Thatcher years with rose tinted spectacles, judging by the vitriolic comments I have heard in the press and on the internet.

From my point of view, Mrs. Thatcher’s policies were the closest embodiment we have ever seen of Ayn Rand’s objectivist philosophy which, though admittedly somewhat lacking in empathy for any sort of weakness, offers a complete and undeniable demolition of the socialist manifesto.  Mrs T set out to create an environment which encouraged and rewarded the producers in society giving them the freedom to create wealth not just for themselves but for society as a whole. It is, as Ayn Rand points out, the producers in society who take all the risks and create jobs for others. But not only are they rarely thanked for it, they are frequently criticized for being greedy exploiters – especially by the very people who most benefit from the fruits of their work; the ones who are given jobs and a paycheck and those whose rent is paid for by the state. These people seem to think they are entitled to a job and a roof over their heads, without ever stopping to think about what has to be done to create and pay for these things.  Apparently, it’s just the ‘government’s job’ to provide them.

And don’t look to the media for support. Most of the press treat landlords as though we are all versions of Peter Rachman without ever giving us credit for providing much needed housing. In fact a recent TV documentary seems to suggest that Rachman himself was unfairly vilified and turned into a Fagin like character by the press.

It is thanks to Mrs. Thatcher that you have had the opportunity to develop an income from property. It was her support for The Housing Act 1988 which transformed the property investment landscape. It encouraged the de-regulation of rents in the private rental sector and aimed to increase supply of private rented accommodation. It removed the right to an ‘independently assessed fair rent’, reduced protection for tenants and ended rent restrictions in the private sector.  She also helped lift the restrictions on mortgage lending. All these things were hugely influential in creating the buy to let property boom.

For many reasons, I think she was a great woman, though I can understand why she alienated so many who feel she had a negative impact on their lives – I feel the same about Gordon Brown (but don’t get me started on that!)  However as property owners or entrepreneurs we should all be extremely grateful for what she did.

I will leave you with an amusing and affectionate (I think) piece of graffiti I saw via a photo posted on a wesbite:

The Iron Lady – may she rust in peace.

Social housing tenants – left out in the cold?

For a variety of reasons, those claiming housing benefits have received a large amount of bad press over the last couple of years and continue to be the subject of contentious public opinion.

For landlords, the argument in favour of social housing tenanting has not been helped at all by those who flagrantly cheated the UK’s welfare system and left substantially tainted opinion in their wake.

However, it’s the common-sense responsibility of landlords to rise above stereotyping the majority of social housing tenants because of well-publicised and likely over-hyped, misdemeanours of a minority. Research has shown the bulk of people on housing benefit are decent people who regard the place they live as a permanent let, rather than a short-term solution.

Additionally, for those quick to judge housing support, it’s worth remembering that a high proportion of people receiving housing benefit are aged over 55 and have contributed much to society and tax pots throughout their working lives, and are only now in need of support as they head into retirement.

Our perspective at The House Crowd is that short-sighted landlords, who form part of the growing number of landlords leaving the LHA market, should ask themselves whether they can actually afford to abandon such a substantial part of the private rented sector when our industry is still recovering from such challenging economic circumstances.

The House Crowd provides an ethical investment opportunity in which profits are shared – what we like to term “Caring Capitalism”. We seek out repossessions through liquidators and asset management companies, allowing us to offer our investors excellent returns, as well as breathing new life into empty homes and providing quality housing for those who need it most.

The House Crowd is a brand new concept in property investment which allows people to invest small amounts via crowdfunding (for more information on the process, visit www. We are committed to breathing life into empty, rundown properties whilst giving investors great returns on their investments (for more information about us, visit www. If you’ve read enough and want to invest now, visit www.


The Living Dead: How Smart Property Investment Can Keep You Alive

The Living Dead: How Smart Property Investment Can Keep You Alive

Just been reading the book Whoops!: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay by John Lanchester which is all about the financial meltdown and the lack of credit available to business and home-buyers.

It has a chapter dealing with ‘zombie banks’ where banks are not killed off but neither are they able to flourish as they are forced to reduce their ratio of capital reserves to lending. They simply exist in a sort of limbo land – the Living Dead. Similarly, the newspapers have been discussing “zombie mortgages” of late, where homeowners cannot refinance but will be in deep trouble when rates rise.

But, there are “zombie landlords” out there as well! One magazine recently reported the case of a landlord who had

One magazine recently reported the case of a landlord who had £4 million worth of buy to let property from which he was making a net income of just £40,000 – presumably, because he was so highly leveraged: not an example of smart property investment! That’s just a 1% return a year.  It’s inevitable that rates will increase at some point in the not too distant future, and when (not if) they go up by just 1%, this ‘zombie’ and thousands like him will be in deep doo doo.

The House Crowd’s Advice for Smart Property Investment:

Focus on high yield properties with moderate leveraging (or, better still, none at all) so you are always in a positive cash flow position and so you can cope with interest rate rises when they come.

If you’d like to learn about the smart property investment model offered by property crowdfunding with The House Crowd, register now (you don’t have to invest straight away!) and find out about the vastly better returns you could be getting by investing the smart way….

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