With the surprise of the small Conservative majority in the Houses of Parliament much uncertainty and concern has lifted from the Uxbridge property market. Talking to many local agents, solicitors and suveyors across Hillingdon, West Drayton
With the surprise of the small Conservative majority in the Houses of Parliament much uncertainty and concern has lifted from the Uxbridge property market. Talking to many local agents, solicitors and surveyors across Hillingdon, West Drayton and Ickenham as well as in Uxbridge over the last couple of weeks there is definite signs of a fresh impetus in the Uxbridge property market after a subdued few months. Previously with tougher lending conditions and political uncertainty ahead of the General Election slowed demand and property coming onto the market nationally, although local prices have remained broadly buoyant.
Against a picture of the mooted Labour election promises of rent controls and three year tenancies, some Uxbridge buy to let landlords were understandably waiting to see how these new policies would be implemented before they dived into buying more property for their buy to let portfolio. Now that uncertainty has been removed, the long term picture remains positive.
So, with some uncertainty now removed, where next for the Uxbridge property market?
Inflation is zero (hopefully not for too long) and with the stock markets happy David Cameron is still in power the Bank of England have less reason to raise interest rates until 2016 at the earliest. As mortgage rates are at their lowest levels since 2010, so landlords with large deposits will now be encouraged by mortgage companies in the coming months with low rates.
Over the past couple of years, Uxbridge landlords have benefited from a growing Uxbridge job market. Unemployment in Uxbridge area was 6.2%, with the number of claimants at 1.8%. With Heathrow on it's door step Hillingdon is the only outer London borough which has more jobs than people living here which makes getting property here in the borough attractive. So with more jobs and better pay, (the level of rents are directly linked to tenant’s wages), there has been an increase in the rental prices tenants are willing to pay for good quality Uxbridge properties and again as the economy improves I think we will see rents rise.
From my point of view proof of this can be seen in the increase in rent for studios. A year ago they were around £650-£675pcm now they sit at around £695-£750pcm.
Will tenant demand still be there for rental property?
Landlords may be worried about government plans for the housing market announced in the Queens speech and mooted over the life of the parliament in terms of tenant demand for their rental properties.
One plan is for extending Housing Association tenants to have the right to buy their property. These kinds of tenant weren't in the private rented sector and in time may will actually increase the supply of properties in the housing stock in years to come.
The Government ‘Help to Buy Scheme’ has only helped to buy 117 Hillingdon properties (with loans averaging £67,038) between April 2013 and the end of last year. Considering 3,646 properties changed hands in 2014 in the Hillingdon Borough area, I don’t think it has made a huge difference to our local property market. Help to Buy assistance amounts to 1 in every 50 properties sold.
The biggest matter, when it comes to tenant demand of rental property going forward, comes from the shift in the mindset and attitudes towards renting. Twenty years ago you were seen as a second class citizen if you rented a property. Nowadays it is considered very normal. In Uxbridge, as in the rest of the UK (apart from Central London), renting continues to offer good value for money for tenants and will continue to grow in this decade.
For more news and views on the Uxbridge property market... visit the Uxbridge Property Blog www.Uxbridgepropertyblog.com.