David Treharne

Could letting out your property provide the extra income you need?

Whether you are new to the buy-to-let scene or an experienced landlord, fully understanding the ins and outs of buy-to-let mortgages is essential when managing your property portfolio. Here the UK’s leading independent mortgage broker, Mortgage Advice Bureau, offers the ultimate guide to letting out your property.

There are two main ways that buy-to-let properties can make you money. Capital growth is where the value of your property increases over a period of time, and while property value can increase, it is important to remember that it can also come back down as local house prices and market conditions fluctuate. The alternative way is via rental income, which is the amount of money that you receive from your tenant.

“It is not uncommon for someone to become a landlord accidentally. You may meet a new partner and move in with them whilst keeping your own to rent. You may have to move abroad to work but want to keep your home in the UK, or you may simply have difficulty selling your property. If this is the case, there are certain steps you should take when making the decision to turn your home into an investment,” said David Treharne from Mortgage Advice Bureau.

Telling your mortgage lender about your change in circumstances may sound simple, however, many would-be landlords overlook this. Your lender needs to give you formal ‘consent to let’ before you can let out your property, which may mean a higher buy-to-let interest rate. Whether you are opting for the most common form of tenancy, Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST), or an alternative, failing to notify your lender will put you in breach of your mortgage agreement.

Telling your insurer is also integral to your success as a landlord. Your standard Buildings and Contents insurance policy will not cover you if the property is to be let out. Instead those looking to let their property should take out specific Landlord’s Insurance.

David added: “Seeking assistance from a letting agent is advised, and an experienced agent can help you set yourself up as a landlord or manage your property for a small fee. Your agent will be able to advise on buy-to-let mortgages, which operate in a very similar way to a residential mortgages. Despite having similar rates, fees and charges, a buy-to-let mortgage does have a few key differences.”

Mortgage interest rates for these types of mortgages tend to be higher than those for residential mortgages on your home, and the loan-to-value (LTV) is generally lower. Affordability is also assessed differently; whilst employment income, benefits and a combination of other sources are used to evaluate your ability to repay the loan, income is assessed as a percentage of your mortgage payment which is usually at least 125%.

“To explain, if your mortgage payment is £700, you would need to attain rent of at least £875. It is important to note that the rental value of your property would need to be confirmed by a surveyor.”

There are also different taxes with a buy-to-let mortgage, Stamp Duty has to be paid on a purchase of any property worth more than £125,000, but you may also have to pay Income Tax on the rent you receive and Capital Gains Tax when you come to sell the property. You must state your rental income on a Self-Assessment Tax Return but you can take off costs such as mortgage interest and letting agency fees from the rent before you declare your income.

Maintenance costs, annual safety checks, Landlord’s Insurance and Rent Insurance are all costs that need to be considered, even though they may not be taken into account by the mortgage lender.

“Landlords with more than one property should also seek independent advice as some lenders will only lend on properties valued above a certain level. Although this is usually around £40-50,000, there are some that specify minimum valuations at a level of £100,000 and above. Some also restrict the number of properties you can own or the maximum amount that they will lend to you in total,” concluded David.

For further information please contact David on 07501 720320 or email davidtr@mab.org.uk. Alternatively, please visit www.dawsonsproperty.co.uk

 

David Parton 2

Booming property market results in period of growth and expansion for leading estate agency

Swansea’s largest independent estate agent undergoes dramatic growth and expansion and after recent success at The Lettings Agency of the Year Awards 2014 Dawsons has been looking in on itself to find those individuals who can continue this success.

One such individual is David Parton who is progressing from Office Manager to full Branch Manager. David will now be moving from Dawsons’ Mumbles branch to take on his new role at the Killay office. The new position is symptomatic of Dawsons’ progress and reliance on committed, professional staff. David’s tried and tested methods during 8 years with the Mumbles team is proof of the winning qualities needed to steer the way to future successes in the buoyant property market of recent times.

“I have gained some fantastic experience as Office Manager at our Mumbles branch as well as an extensive knowledge of the local market. I look forward to the change of area and getting my teeth into the challenges that lay ahead,’’ added David.

“I am delighted to announce the promotion of David Parton, each of which have developed within the business. Myself and the rest of the Dawsons team look forward to watching them advance further,” – Christopher Hope, Senior Partner at Dawsons.

Oliver Adair MAB

How does the Bank of England’s mortgage lending cap affect you?

In an attempt to try and ‘cool down’ the housing market and its buoyancy, the Bank of England (BOE) and its governor Mark Carney have recently revealed that caps will be imposed on mortgage lending.

Under the new rules, lenders will now not be allowed to lend amounts that are 4.5 times or more above the prospective mortgage borrower’s income if they already have more than 15 per cent of its total mortgages at this level. Here the UK’s leading independent mortgage broker, Mortgage Advice Bureau, unveils how these caps will affect borrowers throughout the UK.

“In reality around 9% of all loans made are at 4.5 times a borrower’s income (or above) so there is still plenty of latitude for those borrowers whose borrowing requirement warrants this and where they satisfy the lender’s affordability model,” said Oliver Adair from Mortgage Advice Bureau.

Due to come into force on 1st October 2014, the new lending caps are just one measure introduced to ensure future affordability amongst borrowers.

“Lenders have already introduced a mortgage stress-test as part of their responsibilities under the recently introduced Mortgage Market Review. The BOE has now gone a stage further whereby a borrower must be able to demonstrate that they could still afford mortgage repayments should rates rise by up to 3%.”

The mortgage income cap is only expected to reduce lending by 2.5%, whilst London and the South East will be hit hardest as currently the ratio of mortgages where more than 4.5 times a borrower’s income is required is 19%.

Oliver added: “Don’t panic, if you were eligible for a mortgage prior to this new measure being introduced, then it is likely that you still will be. Lending volumes will be hardly touched by the plans, and smaller lenders will remain unaffected as Carney has excluded those that lend less than £100m per year – though it must be noted that not all lenders will stretch to the equivalent of a 4.5 times income multiple.”

The same principles apply to Buy-to-Let mortgage lending, which sits outside of these rules, whilst landlords will also remain unaffected.

“It is anticipated that lenders will begin putting the rules into place as soon as possible to prepare. Therefore, it is vital to get advice from a professional mortgage adviser who understands the new rules and which lenders will accept your personal circumstances,” concluded Oliver.

For further information please contact Oliver on 07917 146430 or email olivera@mb.org.uk. Alternatively, please visit www.dawsonsproperty.co.uk

Ricky Killay21072014_08-01

Silver award winning estate agent set to say a big thank you to its workforce with company-wide celebration

After receiving the silver award for Wales Lettings Agency of the Year at The Lettings Agency of the Year Awards 2014, independent property expert Dawsons is set to host a celebratory evening for each and every member of its lettings workforce.

 

Dawsons attended a star-studded ceremony in London to collect the prestigious industry accolade. Run in association with The Sunday Times and The Times and sponsored by Zoopla Property Group, the team were joined by 500 other leading lettings agents at the glittering event, which was presented by best-selling international author, inspirational speaker, presenter and charity campaigner Katie Piper and renowned journalist, author and newsreader Penny Smith.

 

Ricky Purdy, Residential Lettings Director, said: “Being presented with the silver award was certainly a collective effort and I would like to thank the Dawsons team for their involvement. Through the rigorous judging process, which involved telephone interviews and mystery shopping exercises, our service shone.”

Residential Lettings Director Ricky Purdy with some of the Dawsons Staff
Residential Lettings Director Ricky Purdy with some of the Dawsons Staff

42 members of the Dawsons lettings team will be attending an evening celebration as part of the company’s ‘thank you’ for their hard work during the last 12 months. The windows of their branches have also been dressed to reflect their recent achievement.

“It’s a great achievement to receive the silver award for Wales Letting Agency of the Year, and rest assured we’re aiming for gold next year so watch this space!” concluded Ricky.

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Swansea estate agent welcomes new additions after jobs surge

Leading independent estate agent Dawsons has announced further jobs growth for the South West Wales area.

In the wake of receiving the silver award for Wales Lettings Agency of the Year at the prestigious Lettings Agency of the Year Awards 2014, Dawsons has welcomed several new additions to their team. Charlie Williams and Laura Waite have joined their Llanelli branch, whilst their Morriston branch welcomes Bernadette Howells to the team.

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The estate agent’s Marina office sees Catrin  Kingston join their growing team. The final addition is Stephen Cadmore, who will be based at Dawsons’ Mumbles branch.

“We’re delighted to welcome each and every new addition to the wider Dawsons family. As an independent estate agent we are passionate about providing opportunities within the local area and feel that the expertise offered by our new staff members will not only enhance our existing team but provide a better service to our residential and commercial clients,” said Ricky Purdy, Director of Residential Lettings at Dawsons.

The Dawsons team has grown significantly in recent years and now employs around 116 staff members. The firm is independently run by three individual partners, all of which use their 20 plus years of experience to guide the wider team. With branches in Swansea, Gorseinon, Killay, Llanelli, Mumbles, Morriston, Sketty and Swansea Marina, Dawsons attributes its wider success to its team’s experience, expertise and local knowledge.

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Ricky added: “After our recent success at The Lettings Agency of the Year Awards 2014 it seemed like the perfect time to expand our team and utilise experienced new employees across all of our branches. I would like to thank the staff at all of our branches and look forward to following the progress of the newest members of the team.”

 

095_Wales_Silver_Dawsons

Leading independent estate agent receives national recognition after winning prestigious industry accolade

Dawsons has been named winner of the silver award for Wales Lettings Agency of the Year at The Lettings Agency of the Year Awards 2014.

Run in association with The Sunday Times and The Times and sponsored by Zoopla Property Group, the Dawsons team joined 500 other leading lettings agents in London to attend the star-studded ceremony.

Held at The Lancaster London Hotel overlooking Hyde Park, the ceremony saw best-selling international author, inspirational speaker, presenter and charity campaigner Katie Piper announce the winners of the coveted awards. Renowned journalist, author and newsreader Penny Smith also acted as compere.

Dawsons, winner of the silver award for Wales Lettings Agency of the Year, was delighted to receive the accolade. Ricky Purdy, Residential Lettings Director, added: “This award is a great achievement for Dawsons and all staff within the lettings department. This year’s competition was greater than ever with the panel of industry experts paying tribute to all winners being very much at the top of our industry.”

The awards ceremony marked the end of a rigorous and thorough judging process. A panel of 21 industry experts assessed initial entry submissions before conducting an extensive review of the entrants, which included over 12,000 minutes of telephone interviews and mystery shopping exercises. This process was overseen by The Property Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer.

Now running for over 10 years, these awards have become widely recognised as the most prestigious and difficult to win. The awards welcomed more entrants than ever before, nearly 6,000 offices were represented this year, but only the very best were crowned as winners.

“We have a wealth of experienced and knowledgeable staff within Dawsons that are deserving of this accolade and recognition. This award recognises their great efforts over the past 12 months,” concluded Ricky.

David Treharne

How is the Mortgage Market Review helping you prepare for the future?

With mortgage rates now increasing, both current and prospective homebuyers need to be aware of the increase in their mortgage repayments when interest rates eventually rise.

The Mortgage Market Review (MMR) was officially introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in April to allow lenders to determine a borrower’s affordability. Here the UK’s leading independent mortgage broker, Mortgage Advice Bureau, reveals how the Mortgage Market Review’s stress test could help buyers prepare for the future.

Under the MMR rules, lenders must check that you can afford your repayments both now and in the future, and they do this through processes such as mortgage stress tests. The stress test gives lenders all the information they need regarding your finances, from how much you earn to how much you spend on food, utilities and even leisure.

“With a base rate rise inevitable, the FCA has stated that borrowers must not receive a loan if a bigger mortgage repayment could ‘break’ their finances. You will be extensively checked, with your day-to-day finances and spending coming under intense investigation,” said David Treharne from Mortgage Advice Bureau.

“Research carried out by Experian this month revealed that homebuyers are underestimating what their mortgage repayments could be by as much as £650 if interest rates were to rise. Whilst this may sound like a frightening statistic, this is one of the main reasons why the MMR has been introduced to the market.”

As well as ensuring that a return to irresponsible lending that took place in the run-up to the credit crisis is avoided, the MMR aims to protect borrowers from falling behind on their repayments so doing a check now will prepare you in good time for when rates rise.

When the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee votes to increase the base rate, expectations are that it will be increased in a controlled manner until it reaches between 3-6 per cent to minimise the risk exposure level.

David added: “If a homebuyer was to purchase a £235,000 property and had a combined average household income of £50,674, research by Experian shows that they are claiming they can afford an average mortgage repayment of £780 per month. However, if rates were to increase by 5.5 per cent at the end of a typical two-year fixed deal, the homebuyer could find themselves paying around £1,440 per month!”

As the economy continues to improve, interest rates are inevitably going to rise. This is why it is better that the MMR is letting borrowers know now how much they can afford, rather than a year from now, when it is too late.

“Whilst the MMR continues to look to the future, so should you. Regardless of what measures are taken by the Bank of England and the Government, there is always going to be a risk factor when taking out a mortgage, which is why considering taking out income protection insurance and seeking professional advice should be a serious consideration,” concluded David.

For further information please contact David on 07501 720320 or email davidtr@mab.org.uk. Alternatively, please visit www.dawsonsproperty.co.uk

2014-05-22 22.03.07

We are the first in Wales to receive Relocation Agent Specialist accreditation

Angie Bastin and Matthew Whitehead from Dawsons Estates Agents’ Llanelli branch are the first property experts in Wales to become accredited Relocation Agent Specialists.

Awarded by Relocation Agent Network, the prestigious title is the result of comprehensive online training on the importance of customer service in today’s property market.

The programme, aptly named ‘The Importance of Service’, consists of three phrases of learning. This theoretical knowledge must then be converted into a practical skill set by delivering assistance to three relocating customers, which both Angie and Matthew passed with flying colours.

Lorraine Evans, Branch Manager at Dawsons’ Llanelli office, said, “We take staff development very seriously, and Angie and Matthew’s Relocation Agent Network accreditation is a great example of what can be achieved when staff are supported properly to improve their skill set. Of course, having a Relocation Agent Specialist in the team is also great for our relocating customers.”

Dawsons is currently celebrating 20 years of relocating homeowners to and from South Wales as a member of the national network of independent estate agents. The Relocation Agent Network introduced the training programme to ensure each of their members provides the highest customer service to those relocating around the UK.

Relocation Agent Network’s Managing Director, Richard Tucker, added, “Selected by us as the best independent estate agent to represent the Network in Llanelli, Dawsons has proved themselves as the area’s Local Expert. With the addition of an in-house Relocation Agent Specialist, they have gone one step further to provide relocating buyers and sellers with the very best customer service.”

 

 

Bethany Lane Mumbles-31

Prestigious housing development in Bethany Lane now released for sale

Luxury house-builder Hale Homes is about to release their prestigious Bethany Lane development, close to the village of Mumbles.

Currently under construction, the project will comprise of a selection of just ten, individual, detached homes, offering purchasers an opportunity to acquire a newly built, energy efficient property in this highly sought after location.

A choice of four or five bedroom properties are available, all of which are designed for modern family living with features such as open plan rooms opening onto the garden.

Leading estate agent Dawsons has been appointed as Sole Agent and the development has already attracted a flurry of interest from waiting buyers.

“We are delighted to be chosen as Preferred Agent by Hale Homes and look forward to offering these beautifully designed homes, which are so ideally located, to the wider property market,” said Tim Kostromin, Partner at Dawsons.

Hale Homes has already headed a number of luxury developments throughout South Wales and is famed for using materials from high quality, local and sustainable sources. Previous projects have boasted internal finishes such as oak flooring and doors throughout, and features such as granite worktops and fully integrated appliances in their kitchens. This latest project is set to follow a similar suit and prospective buyers can look forward to homes built to the highest standard.

Jonathan Hale, Managing Director at Hale Homes, said, “We have earned a well-deserved reputation for excellence throughout South West Wales and we are certain that this particular project will be the ‘jewel in the crown’ as well as a great addition to the Mumbles community.”

Tim added: “It is a rarity for such an exclusive, private development to become available in what is a perfect location. Bethany Lane has long been considered a highly desirable address and is tucked away just off the Mumbles Road with the promenade just a stone’s throw away. We are anticipating high demand for the development and will be taking reservations through our Land and New Homes Department on an off-plan basis whereby a reservation fee will secure a property at a fixed price.’’

For further information please call Dawsons dedicated Land and New Homes department on 01792 653100 or email newhomes@dawsonsproperty.co.uk. Alternatively, please visit http://www.dawsonsproperty.co.uk/land-new-homes.php.

You can also contact Ruth Jones at Hale Construction on 01792 462877 or Ruth.Jones@haleconstruction.co.uk for further details about the Bethany Lane development and Hale Homes’ upcoming projects.

Oliver Adair MAB

Is now the right time to fix your mortgage?

With lenders steadily lifting the rates on new home loans, it is looking progressively more likely that the record mortgage rates that we have witnessed over the past two years are swiftly becoming a thing of the past. The UK’s leading independent mortgage broker, Mortgage Advice Bureau, reveals why now may be the time to fix.

Whilst the 0.09 per cent increase on a two-year fixed-rate mortgage in April may seem moderately small, it is still evidence of the fastest increase in mortgage rates in a single month since February 2012, according to data released by Moneyfacts.co.uk.

Statistics also showed that the average two-year fixed rate increased on 14 of the 20 business days in April, with the five-year fixed rates quickly following suit.

“If you applied for a two-year fixed mortgage on the 1st April, you would have been offered an average rate of 3.52 per cent. If you went to apply for the same mortgage at the end of April however, that rate would have increased to 3.61 per cent,” said Oliver Adair from Mortgage Advice Bureau.

As a result of rapidly rising house prices and a strong rebound within the economy, mortgage rates are slowly being increased from their record lows, with the anticipation that the Bank of England (BoE) may put the Base Rate up to relieve pressure on the market.

Economy experts however are still undecided on when this change will happen, with some predicting a Base Rate increase in 2015. The speculation has led to increased volatility in the money market swap rates, the cost of funding that directly affects fixed rate mortgages.

Oliver added: “Nationwide reported house price growth of 10.9% year on year in April, yet BoE governor Mark Carney and the Monetary Policy Committee have still kept the Base Rate at its record low of 0.5%. In turn, bank officials maintain that the economy is still too delicate to begin increasing the rates.”

The Mortgage Market Review (MMR), introduced at the end of April, now means that all borrowers looking to take out a mortgage have to go through more thorough checks to ensure that they can afford repayments if an interest rate rise were to occur. Whilst two-year fixed rate mortgages have proved more favourable for borrowers reluctant to take the risk of taking out a tracker mortgage.

“As those fixed deals come to an end and with many lenders offering a cheaper alternative with their own variable rates, many borrowers have moved over to a standard variable rate mortgage. A change in the Base Rate is not the only factor affecting the cost of your mortgage, and with economists still debating on when it will increase, seeking help from a professional mortgage broker is an essential step to securing the right deal,” concluded Oliver.

For further information please contact Oliver on 07917 146430 or email olivera@mab.org.uk. Alternatively, please visit www.dawsonsproperty.co.uk