Happy New Year! And most importantly, welcome to our first edition of the Fish Need Water newsletter for 2017!

Here’s what we’ve got coming up:

  • Thinking of selling? Don’t hold out for prices to rise!
  • Landlords: the government isn’t done with you yet.
  • All the latest need-to-know news.
  • Top tool: Plentific.

Sellers: don’t hold out for price rises!

The post-crash boom is about to end – particularly (and most swiftly) in London and the East Midlands.

According to an industry forecast by Savills, uncertainty caused by the EU referendum and weaker consumer sentiment will result in two years of zero growth, followed by a 2% rise in 2018.

Savills isn’t the only property firm to think this: JLL makes similar a similar prediction, while Countrywide believes that London prices will actually start to fall in 2017.

If you’re willing to wait a while before you sell, big price hikes are expected in 2019.

But what if you don’t want to wait that long? Then consider putting your property on the market sooner rather than later. Get in early, before you compete with heaps of other properties that struggle to fetch their asking prices – and in case prices actually start to tumble.

If you’re not sure that selling is the right option for you right now, give us a call: 020 3199 3492. We promise to give you honest advice, and you’re in no way obligated to use our services should you decide to put your property on the market.

Landlords: the government clampdown continues

If you read this newsletter regularly, you’ll be aware that we’re at our wit’s end when it comes to the ever-increasing regulations and restrictions that the government has imposed on landlords over the past few years.

We thought there wasn’t much more they could do, but, well, they’ve gone and found a couple more. This time it’s to do with getting a buy-to-let mortgage.

From January 2017, lenders will need to check that the expected rental income from the property must be at least 125% of the mortgage payment when the interest rate is at least 5.5%. This means that if the rent as a proportion of the property’s value is relatively low, you might not be able to borrow as much as before.

There’s more. In September 2017, there’s a deadline for lenders to impose another set of recommendations – largely related to “portfolio landlords” (largely defined as those who own four or more mortgaged buy-to-let properties). The gist of these rules is that lenders must consider the total assets and liabilities across the borrower’s entire portfolio, rather than just the property being mortgaged. The likely outcome is that portfolio landlords will have to answer a lot more questions (and encounter more delays) when applying for mortgages.

There are some caveats, some exemptions, and some extra points to consider with all this. Give us a call if you’d like us to run through and explain any of it, or if you’d like some advice about your own particular situation: 020 3199 3492.

Landlords and Tenants: What does the Tenant Fee Banning Order mean for you?

The Government has also announced its intention to ban additional fees charged by private letting agents. What does this mean for Landlords and tenants? Find out more by clicking here.

Property news

It’s been a busy ol’ month…

These will be London’s property hot spots in 2017. London and Greater London may be about to experience flatlining house prices (see our main story above), but little pockets of the region are bound to buck the trend. Two words: Elizabeth Line.

London’s Eaton Square most expensive place to buy home in Britain. Better luck next time, Grosvenor Crescent.

Barking and Dagenham tops the list of the 10 cheapest boroughs to buy a home. And at the other end of the spectrum…

London’s luxury rentals are on the rise. And they’re commanding a fortune.

Our useful tool of the month

One day we might all grow bored of online marketplaces, but until that moment arrives, check out Plentific. It’s an online marketplace that helps property buyers and homeowners find and hire peer-reviewed professionals and tradesmen for their home improvement and maintenance projects.

There’s also a snazzy “Find a Pro” feature, which allows users to request advice from a panel of mortgage brokers, solicitors, surveyors, architects and more.

Visit Plentific.

The end! (Until next month.)

See you in February!