By the time you read this magazine we will thankfully be in the final stages of what has become an increasingly heated 'war of words’ as both sides in the Brexit referendum make their pitch for our vote at the ballot box. The impact on many commercial property transactions has been increasingly felt and unsurprisingly some very large investment decisions are on hold until the outcome of the referendum is clear.
In the residential marketplace the new tax regime with 3% SDLT added to buy-to-let and second home purchases is being felt in many auction rooms, as buyers adjust their bidding prices and sellers have to reset their assessment of what their property is worth. Irrespective of Brexit I would not be surprised if we see a more subdued market continue until the autumn, but at some point sellers will accept that what is being offered is today’s price irrespective of previous history.
This month we look at how the new rates of SDLT are affecting property developers, as this is obviously an additional barrier to entry for buyers at a time where particularly in and around London house prices relative to earnings are approaching historic peaks. However average buyer monthly affordability is still good in many regions due to the ongoing very low mortgage rates with 10 year fixed rate deals on offer at sub 3% for many owner occupier borrowers.
Our ongoing series of articles on planning and development continues on page 24 as Paul Higgs explains in more detail about how to win the planning permission battle. As I have been commenting at my recent event talks, the growth in property values in recent years means that many site owners could have unrealistic expectations of their site’s value and as such I am certain that some less inexperienced property developers may be making decisions without taking into account some potential future risk factors.
The student accommodation sector is one part of the marketplace which has seen a huge amount of investment in recent years and which has forced private landlords with student HMO property in many parts of the UK to invest further in their properties in order to meet the increased competition from the large scale providers such as Unite. As we highlighted last month with our focus on the emerging Build to Rent sector, these days we do need to keep an eye on emerging competition, and yet as John Corey explains on page 48 there are still plenty of opportunities out there if you understand your local marketplace.
This month we also have two location focuses looking at Cambridge/Peterborough and the second instalment on Liverpool/Merseyside, while our latest investor interview on page 20 is with Sue Elkington who has typically forthright views as to how property investors should be treating their relationships with their builders.