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Britain to become a nation of renters…

16th November 2011

Having just seen a news article stating that Britain is to become a nation of renters, I felt that it contradicted slightly the other news I heard today which was that a leading mortgage provider are now offering a 100% LTV mortgage!

Yes, that’s right, it’s back! Arguably the thing which started the whole credit crunch and recession we are currently experiencing in most westernised countries. I understand that, at the moment the terms to these types of mortgages are very onerous, but I feel it’s only a matter of time before these are widely available on better terms.

UK Property

Obviously there is A LOT more to the credit crunch and the recession than the 100% mortgage, but I must say, when people are given the chance to purchase a house that they can ill afford, I start to get worried. Then again, maybe it is exactly what the market needs at this point to stop the UK turning into a “nation of renters” From my calculations; in most places it would definitely be cheaper to service a 100% LTV mortgage than rent a property. Crucially though, what would this do to house prices, if there is a massive drop off in the private rented sector? With less competition from renters, the currently healthy rental market may start to take a turn for the worse, landlords having to lower their market rent in order to attract tenants. Would this cause a sell off of some investor properties? Doubtful, as prices are not exactly at all time high levels at the moment. So as people may start to decide to Purchase rather than line the pockets of their landlords will we see a correction in rental yields which are very high at the moment, with property prices rising in accordance?

With the return of a 100% LTV mortgage there will now be the opportunity for people that had very little equity in their current house to upsize, this could free up FTB properties which can now be funded with new mortgages on the market. First time Buyer’s are often called the lifeblood of the market. Without new buyers in the market who will purchase all of the new supply from housebuilders?

What does all of this mean for those wishing to invest in UK property? I am a firm believer in a recent article I read in the Estates Gazette which gave a compelling argument for the fact that we need different methods to measure the UK property market these days, and the old method of an average wage multiplier to the average house price ratio should be overlooked. The reason stated in the estates gazette was the fact that property prices have continued increasing albeit very slowly over the past couple of years, but real income has been dropping, much due to the very high inflation we are currently experiencing. This is why other signals must be taken into account, one of which is always going to be mortgage availability and the cost of credit. Now availability is very high and the cost of credit is at an all time low are we just about to see a large increase in UK house prices?

Time will tell…

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