Homeownership is always important to UK people

A new UK-wide study from first direct highlights the meaning of success to people across the UK and reveals what they deem as ‘successful’ and important throughout different stages of their lives.

The research shows that young Brits aren’t deterred by the ever-increasing challenge of getting on the property ladder and are more keen to own their own homes than their parents.

Ambitious and unphased

According to the latest official figures, the typical home in the UK costs £216,674 – up by 6.9% from the previous year. As a result of the rise, the BBC recently reported that first-time buyers would need to find an average deposit of about £33,000 for a mortgage on such a property.

Putting away savings for a homeIn order to save for a deposit of this amount, first time buyers on the average UK salary of around £27,000 would need to save their full pre-tax wage for at least 14 months.
Despite the ever increasing challenges, the research suggests that young Brits are more determined than most to achieve the home ownership dream with 71% of 18-34 year olds saying it is important to them to own their own property against just 66% of those aged 45-54.

A place to call your own – Young Brits’ vision of success

The majority of millennials define success as simply having something you can call your own – 66% typically class success in the property market as owning your own home and funding it independently (41%); not having a large (20%) or expensive (13%) property.
However, owning your own home doesn’t come without being financially stable – 86% of those between 18-34 say admit this is important to them with the vision of achieving this between the ages of 25-34.

Interestingly, for 18-24 year olds; owning the perfect family home sits high on the list of life goals too. This age group are the most likely (than any other age group) to define success within the property market as ‘a great family home’ (51%), which they have funded independently (46%) – in comparison to less than a third (32%) of 35-44 year olds who believe this.

Looking for a home

Home ownership

When taking a wider look at the whole of the UK, first direct found that the majority of Brits (64%) believe simply having a place to can call your own, no matter where it is or what it looks like, is the vision of success when it comes to property. Similarly, over a third (36%) also believe that success comes from funding your home independently.

‘Family is the heart of the home’ – second on the success scale is to have a great family home (37% said this is the measure of a successful home) and a similar amount of Brits (36%) measure a successful home by the desirability of the area. Brits admit having a large (12%) or expensive property (8%) is of little value when it comes to a home with both revealed as some of the least important measures of a successful home.

Joint Equity Shared Home Ownership can help many people make the break from renting or living with parents who would be excluded from home ownership because they have insufficient deposit or their income is too low for the new mortgage affordability tests.

More here


Rents rise – but slower although additional upward pressure is coming

HomeLet has revealed that 2016 rents in the UK rose on average 1.7% in December – less than half the 3.8% rate of rental price inflation in December 2015.graph increase 3

According to the report, landlords agreeing new tenancies during December achieved more modest increases in rent than in previous months, with the annual rate of rental inflation falling from 2.9% in November.

Across the UK as a whole, the average rent for a new tenancy commencing in December was £892 per month, compared to £877 in December 2015. In Greater London, rents rose from £1,478 to £1,508 over the same period, a smaller percentage increase but still a higher rental value.

HomeLet’s Rental Index data for 2016 reveals a year of two halves: during the first six months of the year, annual rental price inflation was consistently 4% or higher, peaking at 4.7% in June. In contrast, the second half of the year saw rental price growth steadily reducing to the lowest rate of increase in the final month of year.

In some areas of the country the slowdown over the year was even more marked. Rents in Greater London were 2% higher in December compared with 6.8% at the mid-year point.

graph increaseRental price inflation is still running ahead of general inflation as measured by the consumer price index, but the slowdown seen during the second half of 2016 raises questions as to the extent to which landlords will be able to raise rents further during 2017. While some property analysts have predicted strong rental price appreciation in the years ahead, particularly relative to house price growth, landlords, in recent months, looked for much more modest increases. This could prove significant during 2017, with impending tax changes beginning in April potentially reducing the returns available from buy-to-let property investment.

House to rentWhile it has been suggested landlords impacted by the reduction in mortgage interest tax relief will seek to recoup this additional cost from tenants, this may not be feasible if lower rental price inflation persists. Further cost pressures to come include the potential impact of November’s announcement of a ban on letting agents’ fees, which could see landlords asked to meet such expenses in connection with renting their property to new tenants.

Across the UK as a whole, rent accounted for an average of 28.0% of tenants’ household income before tax, down slightly on last December’s figure of 28.4%. In London, the equivalent figures are 31.0% and 31.2%.

Martin Totty, HomeLet’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “While demand for rental property remains strong, landlords always have to be mindful of tenants’ ability to pay higher prices. The data recorded by the HomeLet Rental Index during the second half of last year suggests we have now begun to approach an affordability ceiling, particularly in areas of the country where rental price inflation was previously highest.

While the industry has speculated that landlords will increase rents to mitigate the impact of factors such as the impending reductions in mortgage interest tax relief, this may prove problematic given the pricing trends we’re currently seeing in the market and the potential for higher inflation and a squeeze on real earnings in 2017.

The private rented sector is now having to cope with a series of disruptive elements, just at a time of great economic uncertainty, and amid a continuing systematic imbalance between supply and demand for residential property. The assumption that landlords have sufficient means to bear higher costs will soon be tested. Tenants must hope they do.”

The regional picture for 2016

Northern Ireland, where rents were 6.4% higher in December than in the same month of 2015, saw the strongest rental price inflation of any region in the UK last year, followed by the North-East of England (4.9%) and Wales (3.9%). Just one region saw a fall in rents over the same period, with the East Midlands recording a drop of 0.4%.

Regions that were more likely to show higher rental increases during the first half of the year saw a more marked pull-back in the second six months. This was led by London, but the South-East saw rental price inflation fall from 4% in June to just 1.7% in December, while the East of England dropped from 5.5% to 2.5%.


Starter homes out of reach for most?

Even discounted starter homes could be out of reach for the majority of families across the country, according to the LGA logoLocal Government Association (LGA).

Its analysis found that prices will be out of reach for all people in need of affordable housing in 220 council areas (67%) and are out of reach for more than 90% of people in need of affordable housing in a further 80 (25%) council areas.

People in need of affordable housing are defined as those who would have to spend more than 30% of their household income to rent or buy a home.

Rock and Hard Place 1For the average earner with a 5% deposit, a 20% discount would make it possible to borrow enough to buy a starter home in just 45% of all council areas in England.

First-time buyers will be able to buy 200,000 new starter homes over the next five years (that is 40,000 homes a year) at a minimum discount of 20% to the market value. However, there is a demand for over 350,000 new homes a year. Discounted prices will be capped at £450,000 in London and £250,000 elsewhere.

The 20% discounts for new buyers would be funded by exempting developers from paying Section 106 contributions towards affordable rented housing and Community Infrastructure Levy contributions. In its own analysis, the Government has suggested that should 100,000 starter homes be built through the planning system, between 56,000 and 71,000 social and affordable rented homes would not be built.

Although house-builders will be able to build and sell starter homes below the priceDiminishing returns caps, councils are concerned that this could be difficult for developers to achieve without compromising on quality, particularly in areas with higher house prices.

Cllr Peter Box, LGA Housing spokesman, said:

“The private sector has a key role to play in solving the housing shortage, but it cannot build the 230,000 needed each year alone. Councils need to be able to ensure genuine affordable homes continue to be built for rent and sale across the whole country for future generations and the millions of people stuck on waiting lists.”

50-50 splitJoint Equity helps all buyers buy their own home by buying 50% of the property, reducing the amount of mortgage the Resident Partner needs to raise and for about the same cost as renting a similar home.

Home ownership is still hard to achieve.

Research by Halifax says there were more first-time home buyers in 2016 than at any time since the start of the financial crisis, however that is well down on the numbers who were able to buy homes before 2007.

Joint Equity tracks first time buyer numbers because it is one of our primary sectors, the others are divorced and separated and retired renters, and we think the best way to understand what has happened to the market is to look at it graphically.

No of FTBs 2016

First Time Buyers 2001 to 2016

This graph shows the quite dramatic decline from the 2001 high but this does not tell the real story and that is the number of people, which grows each year, that are unable to live in their own home.

The average FTBs buying their own home from 1991 to 2000 was 507,233 every year.  As our population grows from 57.5M in 1991 to 65M in 2015 it is reasonable to assume the real number of First Time Buyers wanting to live in their own home almost rises.

Now we are not statisticians (fortunately) and we accept that there are many factors that could distort our assumptions but we are simple people here at Joint Equity and we

UK population 2016

UK Population 1990 to 2015

look at things simply as probably this tells us the clearest story.

If the numbers of FTB’s in the early 1990’s was an average of 0.882% of the total population then if we assume the average number who want their own home is constant the number of FTBs in 2015 who want their own is 0.882% of 65M which is 573,390.

That means that in 2015 approximately 237,640 people wanted to buy their own home who could not, who were denied access to the home ownership market.

So where did they go as they must live somewhere after all? As we see from the media many go back home to Mum and Dad and the rest have to go into private or social rented. This is supported by the growth in the private rented sector over the last 20 years.

Homes by Tenure

Types of home tenure

Extrapolating the fairly steady growth from 2005 to 2014 for 2015 and 2016 we now have 5,800,000 privately rented homes in England an increase of 2,700,000 since 2005.

So it’s a fair assumption that the decrease in owner occupation and increase in population has been accommodated in the private rental sector and that means the Buy to Let predominantly.

Returning to the decline in Fist Time Buyers we can assess the total number of people who would like to buy their own home and cannot as the difference between the average demand (570,000) and the take up of FTB homes in 2016 (335,750) which is 234,250 people who cannot buy their own home. If we do this for each year of the decline below the average demand, then we see 3,800,000 people have been unable to buy their own home since 2001. Which corresponds to the growth in Buy to Let.

Number of people excluded from home ownership

People excluded from home ownership

Halifax also found the average first-time deposit more than doubled compared with 2007 to stand at more than £32,000 and 60% of first first-time buyers’ mortgages were for 25 years or longer, up from 36% a decade ago.

Other reports in 2016 have found the average age that people buy their own home is also rising and is now around 33.

With the constant attacks on Buy to Let landlords (see Another Blow to Buy to Let Investments here) the numbers of BtL properties available will be static (best case) or decline as the combination of increased stamp duty, lower tax allowances and higher mortgage criteria send investors elsewhere.

What we need is

  • Another way for investors to participate in the UK residential property market that is simple, secure and pays reasonable returns.
  • A financially viable alternative way for the people who want to live in their own home top do so.

Joint Equity shared home ownership scheme offers a solution to both home owners and investors.

Through Joint Equity Bonds investors can invest securely in UK residential assets at reasonable returns with attractive terminal bonuses.

The Joint Equity scheme offers a new alternative for aspiring home owners who cannot buy their own home because their income is too low or their deposit is too small to provide a reasonable mortgage for the home they want.

More information on Joint Equity www.jointequity.co.uk