From rogue landlords to house price silver linings, here’s a breakdown of some of the top stories from this week
Notorious buy-to-let landlord Fergus Wilson made headlines after his policy of banning Indian and Pakistani people from his rental properties was ruled “abhorrent” and deemed unlawful at Maidstone County Court. It sets a precedent for landlords, and comes hand-in-hand with the news that tenants will face a new level of legal protection from eviction by next October. Will this be a sea change for landlords?
2 Stamp duty
Amid calls from many high-profile bodies – including the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry – for stamp duty on high-value properties to be addressed in the Autumn Budget, rumours have surfaced about a possible payment holiday for first-time buyers. This could potentially make first-time buyers exempt from paying the tax for the first couple of years after buying a home, providing an incentive for more people to get onto the property ladder.
AirBnB, which has traditionally been used as a platform for people to make some extra cash by renting out a spare room or apartment, has another side to it. It was revealed this week that one London landlord made a whopping £11.9m in one year through AirBnB, indicating a growing number who are using the site for large-scale property management. Currently, 65% of hosts are still individual people, with the remainder being management firms, but this could be set to change.
4 Mortgage rates
This week, figures showed that almost half of mortgage lenders had increased their mortgage rates since October, a reaction to the base rate rise from 0.25% to 0.5%. Two-year deals went up by an average of 0.12% over the past month, but three-year and five-year products have also been affected. The increased base rate ought to mean higher interest rates for savers as well as mortgages, but some banks have been criticised for being slow to offer savings deals.
Despite rents still rising across the UK, the pace of growth has slowed down according to the most recent data from Homelet. While August and September showed overall rent increases of 2.4% and 2% respectively, October recorded a much more modest 0.9% increase from the previous year. London fell below the UK average with a year-on-year increase of just 0.6% to October.
It seems that Wales is set to end the year on a high note, unlike some other areas in the UK, according to a recent survey. House prices and sales numbers are both faring well according to experts, and some are expecting a further increase coming into 2018. Although there’s been a slight easing back of new buyer enquiries over the past three months, the number of new properties coming to the market is still continuing to rise.