Browsing all articles from April, 2023

Sharp decline in UK commercial property investment

Author admin    Category Uncategorized     Tags

The amount of money flowing into UK commercial property fell across all sectors, particularly industrial, but also offices and retail, that’s according to market analysis carried out by debt advisory specialists, Sirius Property Finance.

And office values – secondary in particular – are still falling as the asset class comes under pressure from hybrid working and the heightened risk of obsolescence due, among other things, to low energy efficiency ratings.

However, despite commercial property investment remaining subdued in Q1, 2023, there is a more positive outlook for both industrial and prime office sectors according to MSCI and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’s (RICS) commercial property monitor.

RICS latest findings show that the sector has gone through a decline and continues to struggle with higher borrowing costs and a subdued UK economic growth outlook. This, the chartered surveyor’s professional body says, is particularly affecting demand in the ‘secondary office’ and retail parts of the market.

But the current RICS survey is more upbeat than the previous quarter’s with a majority of respondents still viewing the market in a downturn, but more respondents now feel that conditions are stabilising, or even beginning to improve.

The Sirius analysis

Sirius Property Finance carried out its own analysis of the commercial property investment market over the past six months. Sirius compared this directly to investment over preceding six months in order to get a full understanding of current trends in what is one of the UK economy’s most vital cogs.

Their research finds that in terms of money invested, the biggest decline has been seen in the industrial sector, falling by -55%. In the last six months, £2.9bn has been invested, down from £6.9bn in the six months before that.

Office space investment declined by -55% in the past six months, driven by a -63% drop in investment outside of central London. Despite this, office space is still receiving the highest amount of total investment at £3.8bn.

Meanwhile, according to the Sirius findings, retail & leisure declined by -45%, with this decline being driven by a drop of -75% coming in shopping centre investment, followed closely by a -74% drop in leisure investment.

In terms of the number of transactions, offices have seen the sharpest decline, falling by -44%, driven by a -64% drop in central London.

Retail & leisure transactions have fallen by -40% with shop units enduring the most severe drop of -47%. Meanwhile, industrial transactions have fallen by -35%.

The average amount of money invested via each transaction has also fallen across the board. The biggest drop has come from the industrial sector, falling -35% from £22m to £14.3m.

The average investment made into office space has reduced by -19%.

For retail & leisure the decline is -8%. This, however, is only saved from being a more dramatic drop by a remarkable 194% increase in the average transaction amount put into shop units which has risen from £5.4m to £15.9m in the last six months.

Kimberley Gates, head of corporate partnerships at Sirius Property Finance, has said:

“It has been a difficult six months for the commercial sector.

“It has been struggling since the start of the pandemic and the subsequent retreat from town and city centres, but now that additional economic uncertainty has been placed on top, the situation has worsened.”

She adds:

“Looking forward, the commercial sector’s recovery is going to be dependent on taking a more contemporary approach to space. While industrial units are likely to return to strength due to the immovable presence of e-commerce, retail and offices need to adapt to modern sensibilities.

“Mixed-use space is important – living, working, and playing in one multifaceted building, for example – but so too is a more experiential approach to physical retail, providing shoppers with something more than online retail can provide.

“We’ve seen how successful this can be with Barnes & Noble in America, and beauty brand Sephora across mainland Europe.”

RICS senior economist Tarrant Parsons said about their research:

“Although the picture across the UK commercial property market remains generally subdued in the face of higher interest rates and a soft economic outlook, the latest [RICS] survey feedback tentatively suggests that the most difficult period for the market may now have passed.

“Capital value expectations for industrial assets returned to modestly positive territory, having fallen sharply at the end of last year. This improvement has been supported by still solid occupier conditions across the sector, with demand for industrial space continuing to outstrip supply.

“Likewise, many of the more alternative sectors, such as aged care facilities, life sciences, data centres and student housing display a resilient outlook for the year ahead. By way of contrast, secondary office and retail properties continue to struggle, evidenced by rental and capital value projections remaining deeply negative, across both segments for the coming twelve months.”

According to RICS, tenant demand was -3% in the first three months of the year, a figure that’s a big improvement on -20% for the final quarter 2022. Industrial has picked-up for occupier demand, showing a net balance of 16%, compared with just 6% in Q4, 2022.

RICS found tenant demand “flat to marginally negative” for office space, with a net balance of -6%, and continuing to fall across the retail sector to -23% but this was less negative than in the previous quarter, and respondents were more positive about prime offices.

RICS says:

“Expectations turned from negative to slightly positive in both the prime and secondary portions of the industrial market. Across the prime office sector, values are now seen holding steady over the year ahead (net balance 6% vs minus 31% in Q4 2022), although expectations remain deeply negative for secondary office values (net balance minus 44% compared to minus 65% previously).”

View Full Article: Sharp decline in UK commercial property investment


Reform and rate rises force investors to play the long game

Author admin    Category Uncategorized     Tags

Landlords who are relatively heavily leveraged and achieving gross yields much below 5% could be better off reducing their mortgage balance than purchasing another property, according to new market analysis.

Hamptons’ annual overview of the rental market explains that higher interest rates mean investors need to focus on yield more than ever before. On paper, the average landlord now needs to be earning a gross yield in excess of 4% to turn a profit. This is based on a lower-rate taxpayer or limited company landlord who owns a £200k buy-to-let with a 60% LTV mortgage.

Maintenance costs

By contrast, in 2020, when rates were lower, investors could still make money with yields of 2%. Higher-rate taxpayers now need a yield of at least 5% to stay out of the red once mortgage payments, maintenance costs and tax have been accounted for.

For newer landlords, higher rents will help to maintain their margins, according to Hampton’s report, Rewriting the rules: have higher interest rates broken buy-to-let?

Capital growth

While some may historically have been willing to accept small monthly returns in exchange for the promise of stronger capital growth, tomorrow’s landlords will increasingly need to make sure their new purchase washes its face with some wriggle room each month, rather than relying on price growth to boost returns when they eventually come to sell.

It adds: “Taken together, higher interest rates and government reform of the sector is likely to make buy-to-let a longer-term game. Slower price growth will make it less tempting to sell up and cash in, while the additional time it takes to build equity means it will be slower to scale up. Therefore, we expect landlords who are buying today to own the property for considerably longer than an investor who bought in a decade ago.”

View Full Article: Reform and rate rises force investors to play the long game


Warning to approach ‘sourced deals’ with caution after PRS member expelled

Author admin    Category Uncategorized     Tags

A company specialising in sourced property deals for investors has been expelled from the Property Redress Scheme (PRS) and can no longer trade legally.

Sourced Properties Group (SPG) Ltd, which was until now a PRS member, had been told to repay a sourcing fee of £8,000 it charged a client for a deal to run a property as serviced accommodation. The Manchester-based managing agent maintained that it was only subsequently discovered that the property’s owner had not given permission for it to be used as serviced accommodation, accusing SPG Ltd of not acting with ‘professional care and diligence’, a point that the PRS upheld following an investigation.

SPG was instructed to return the fee but has failed to do so and has now been expelled from the Government-approved redress scheme.

Misleading omission

A PRS spokesperson adds: “We found that there was a misleading omission by the agent, who had not acted with professional care and diligence. Our decision awarded the sourcing fee in full. We found that it would not have been that hard for SPG to find out that the property could not be used as serviced accommodation.”

But the PRS has told LandlordZONE that the case highlights a huge hole in the regulation of private rented market deals like this.

“It is not unusual for individual investors and firms to pay significant sums like this to access deals that are presented as promising or lucrative opportunities, but which can fall apart once the fee has been paid and, as in this case, the fees are non-returnable,” the PRS says.

Sourced deals

Redress schemes like the PRS and TPO are the only line of defence for those who feel their ‘sourced deals’ have not delivered the outcome promised. But under redress legislation, their only sanction is to negotiate with their members to pay awards to clients under threat of expulsion.

The PRS spokesperson urged investors to take on these kinds of ‘sourced deals’ only with extreme caution in order to prevent this kind of dispute arising.

View Full Article: Warning to approach ‘sourced deals’ with caution after PRS member expelled


Welsh government raises hopes of new energy cash for landlords

Author admin    Category Uncategorized     Tags

Landlords in Wales could be in line for financial help to upgrade their properties after the Welsh government acknowledged that meeting new energy standards could be prohibitively expensive.

Responding to the Senedd’s Climate Change, Environment, and Infrastructure Committee’s report on decarbonisation of the private rented sector, it accepted that the introduction of revised Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards by the UK government might necessitate providing financial assistance for Welsh landlords. It explained: “If the UK government introduces a requirement to meet EPC C and does not provide financial support, there could be a need to look at funding grants and/or loans to support improvements.”

Ageing stock

The Welsh government agreed that the country’s ageing private rented housing stock means that landlords may be forced to take drastic action to meet energy efficiency targets. As a result, many will be forced to sell their rental properties, commission cheaper retrofits which may not be as effective over the long term or pass the costs of work on to tenants.

NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle says he’s pleased that the government understands the predicament of Welsh landlords when it comes to retrofitting rental properties, following extensive campaigning by the body.

Financial support

“The cost implications of undertaking remedial work on ageing housing stock are extremely prohibitive, with many landlords currently unable to access any kind of financial support for retrofits,” adds Beadle.

The NRLA has also called for the UK government’s “unrealistic” proposals for energy efficiency improvements in PRS homes to be pushed back. The proposed new rules mean landlords would have to reach an EPC C rating in 2025 for new tenancies and 2028 for all others, but the association believes it needs to go back to the drawing board to come up with sensible workable proposals, with an appropriate financial package behind them.

View Full Article: Welsh government raises hopes of new energy cash for landlords


The best service for Landlords who need to sell their properties

Author admin    Category Uncategorized     Tags

If you’re a landlord who needs to sell their properties and is struggling, keep reading, because we have the best solution for you. No catch, no fuss, we simply know exactly what to do to help you.

You need to sell.

View Full Article: The best service for Landlords who need to sell their properties


Rent ‘reality gap’: London’s tenants are paying more than official data suggests

Author admin    Category Uncategorized     Tags

Renters in the capital are paying 37% or £613 more per month than official statistics suggest, research reveals.

The findings from lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves say that high demand is pushing up rent prices –

View Full Article: Rent ‘reality gap’: London’s tenants are paying more than official data suggests


Welsh government says landlords need crucial financial help

Author admin    Category Uncategorized     Tags

The Welsh government has acknowledged that landlords will need financial help to improve their rental homes to meet energy efficiency targets.

The announcement comes after all 29 recommendations of the Senedd’s Climate Change, Environment, and Infrastructure Committee’s report on the decarbonisation of the private rented sector

View Full Article: Welsh government says landlords need crucial financial help


Landlord pays price for fire safety breach at failing HMO

Author admin    Category Uncategorized     Tags

A landlord has been ordered to pay out more than £10,000 for breaching safety regulations at his large HMO.

Amonbir Mander had turned the London Hotel in Stroud into an HMO and licensed it for 20 tenants when it was inspected in July 2022 by the district council’s environmental health officers, who found the building fell below acceptable safety standards and presented a serious fire safety risk.

Victim surcharge

Mander admitted the offence at Cheltenham Magistrates Court where he was fined £4,608 and ordered to pay investigation costs of £1,568 and the council’s legal costs of £4,112, along with a £190 victim surcharge.

Councillor Mattie Ross, chair of the council’s housing committee, says this prosecution should serve as a warning to landlords who don’t meet the required standards that it will take legal action to protect the health and safety of private sector tenants. She adds: “All landlords have a duty of care to their tenants. Prosecutions are costly and time consuming, and I am grateful for the diligence of our environmental health officers in this successful case.”

New owners

London Road Hotel is now in the hands of new owners, after it was sold by Mander before his court appearance. The new owners are working with council officers to improve standards.

View Full Article: Landlord pays price for fire safety breach at failing HMO


Tough financial climate leaves experts with tough decisions

Author admin    Category Uncategorized     Tags

Property guru Vanessa Warwick has admitted that she is one of the many landlords impacted by rising interest rates.

Speaking to Phil Spencer on Move iQ’s Property Podcast, the co-founder of PropertyTribes said that with a long-term tenant in one of her properties still paying £600 less than the market rent, this had become unsustainable as it didn’t support the existing borrowing on her tracker mortgage. “Do I put the rent up or ask them to leave and get new tenants to pay the going rent of £1,700?” she asked.

Unclear position

In a discussion about why landlords are leaving the sector, Timothy Douglas, Propertymark’s head of policy and campaigns, said the government’s unclear position didn’t help, along with tax changes and the push for more homeowners. He believed that the narrative from politicians was important. “They talk about the sector being a key housing provider, but it needs nurturing and a strategy to grow and meet tenants’ needs.”

He added: “If we had a change of government however, they’re more interested in a smaller, more professional private rented sector which could mean licensing of letting agents and more registration and training requirements on landlords.”

Current disconnect

Warwick pointed to a current disconnect between central government putting in barriers to keep landlords in the sector and encourage new ones, while local authorities were pushing for more landlords. Spencer agreed that leaving the business of legislation to local authorities created a complete lack of consistency for renters and landlords. “Consequently, we have a messy and disjointed private rental sector – we need clarity and soon.”

Warwick suggested that one way to weed out poor practice in the PRS was to force landlords to let through accredited agents. She said one of the sector’s biggest problems was caused by self-managing landlords who didn’t understand the rules or were rogue landlords. “Good agents protect tenants from rogue landlords and good landlords from bad tenants,” she added.

View Full Article: Tough financial climate leaves experts with tough decisions


Cash boost for hybrid mortgages platform to help people find their way home

Author admin    Category Uncategorized     Tags

Wayhome has raised £8 million in equity funding to grow the number of customers it helps buy their own home through gradual homeownership.

The hybrid part-buy part-rent model allows people to buy a home worth up to 10 times their household income with a 5% deposit and no mortgage or borrowing required. Its customers put in what they can afford and the funding partners, such as pension funds, put in the rest.

Adjusted shares

Each home is bought using a unique SPV (special purpose vehicle) that is listed on the title deeds and named on the AST as landlord. The customer and the funding partner are both owners of the SPV and their shares are adjusted every time the customer buys more of their home.

The customer is also named on the AST as a tenant; they then only pay rent on the part of the home they haven’t bought yet which means the more they buy, the less rent they pay. Once they’ve moved in, they’re free to paint walls and have pets. Wayhome are the managing agents and collect the rent each month on behalf of the funding member.

Greater demand

CEO Nigel Purves says: “Due to the way that the gradual homeownership model works, the rising interest rates seen since September’s controversial mini budget have delivered even greater demand for our product.”

He adds: “With the recent ending of the Help to Buy scheme there are now hundreds of thousands of would-be homeowners seeking alternative ways to access the property ladder. Our alternative is the best of all worlds as a part buy, part rent proposition that allows our customer to buy their ideal home, in their ideal location, today without waiting for years.”

The platform boasts that £100 million was used in customer property purchases in one year and plans to double this to £200 million per year within 12 months by forging partnerships with mortgage brokers and lenders.

View Full Article: Cash boost for hybrid mortgages platform to help people find their way home




April 2023
« Mar   May »

Recent Posts

Quick Search

RSS More from Letting Links

Facebook Fan Page