Issue 26 – Gas Checks – In this issue we look at some of the important aspects of ensuring that gas is safe in your properties.
Welcome from the Editor:.
Happy New Year everyone—let’s hope it’s a good one for landlords, though the signs are it’s a likely to be very tough in the economy for everyone: landlords, businesses and consumers alike.
The commercial sector seems to have taken the biggest hit so far with CB Richard Ellis reporting a 4.1% drop in values in December alone and 10.3% in Q4 2007.
Couple this with tough trading conditions going forward and it doesn’t appear that we have reached the bottom on the high street yet.
Those investors who helped pump £5billion into commercial property funds over the last 2 years—the likes of New Star, Norwich Union and Scottish Widows funds—have lost 15 to 20% of their value. REITs have faired even worse—British Land and Land Securities REITs have fallen by 44.9 and 35.2% respectively.
Residential property values have so far faired better. But with UK house prices the most overinflated in the world, according to research by Policy Exchange, a correction or at lease a long “flat” market seems inevitable.
House prices in Britain have risen for 13 years on the run with average prices going from £70,000 in 1997, when labour came into power, to just under 200,000 today—a rate of more than 4% above inflation—a compounded increase of around 180%
Historically, values go in 20 year cycles and it’s unlikely to be different this time. But despite the gloom and the pain felt by Northern Rock and Paragon Mortgages, it’s possible the liquidity crunch, which has brought far more expensive mortgages, may yet be contained?
If that’s the case, and there’s still a very big but, there are some positives:
- inter-bank credit spreads returning to normal
- employment levels still high
- reasonable growth prospects
- a house building program which will fall short of forecast demand of 3.5m homes
- 2 further cuts in interest rates forecast—then we may get away with a flat property market for a year or three, avoiding a real crash?
However, this week’s stocks sell-off is a real worry for the UK economy.
But falling stocks & property prices says there will eventually be bargains around for those brave enough.
Most landlords are sanguine—they take a long term view. Recent figures from A&L show that 1 in 10 landlords is employed so they see their properties as an investment for the future rather than part of their income. More than two-thirds of landlords surveyed say they are buying more properties.
Tom Entwistle, Editor, LandlordZONE.co.uk
This Month’s Issue – Gas Checks
Despite all the economic gloom the chances of an investor landlord losing his shirt are far less than might be imagined, if you keep your nerve and cut running costs.
Tenant demand is holding up very well and demographic and economic factors bode well for the future of renting.
The key to success...
is keeping your properties occupied with good reliable tenants and maintaining that all-important cash flow.
However, when times get tough economies may be needed and one of the biggest is taking on the management of the property yourself—DIY property management is not rocket science—it boils down to preparation, some extra work and common sense.
What landlords sometimes forget is their biggest risk of all comes from claims against them for negligence.
Landlords who manage have responsibilities which must be complied with and they MUST carry adequate Landlord’s Insurance—normal household insurance policies will just not do it!
The horrific case of the scalded baby is a case in point—see News—and one of the main responsibilities on a landlord’s shoulders is Gas Checks.
In this issue we look at some of the important aspects of ensuring that gas is safe in your properties.
Read the FULL Newsletter to find out more…
This issue is wholly sponsored by Coverlet4LetProperty one of the leading providers of insurance for the rental property market.
Landlord’s Insurance from Coverlet4LetProperty
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