Wednesday, 28 January 2015

What has the Help to Buy scheme done to the Canterbury property market?

The Conservative’s and Liberal Democrats launched Help to Buy eighteen months ago to give a boost to the housing market. The Help to Buy scheme involves the Government guaranteeing up to 15 per cent of a mortgage, acting as an indemnity for the banks and building societies who sign up (so far only three banks have done so). This means lenders can provide mortgages more confidently to borrowers with a 5 per cent deposit. It will apply to all types of properties, first-time buyers, home movers and re-mortgagers.
Quite interestingly, first timer buyers have had access to 95% mortgages since 2010 so I am not sure what it will do to the market, except highlight that property can be bought with a 5% deposit. Scheme or no scheme, Canterbury continues to have a buoyant property market. Prices are rising, but not at the double digit level that was experienced in the early to mid 2000’s. If the scheme enables those who want to buy, to buy, then that can only be good for everyone in the town.
Over the last 2 or 3 years, it has mostly been landlords that have been buying property in Canterbury to let out. Carrying out a quick search on one of the price comparison websites, I was able to find in seconds that landlords can get fixed rate buy to let mortgages from as low as 3.65% until the end of 2017. With rental yields in Canterbury of around 4% to 7% per year and the property values increased by 4.3% in Canterbury in the last 12 months, the overall yearly return is the region of early 8%’s to 11% per year.
However, buying a buy to let property is full of pitfalls. If you have a good tenant, in a good property and a good relationship between tenant and agent, then not much can go wrong, as long as the relationship between the landlord and agent is exceptional. I pride myself on exceptional relationships with my landlords and their continued business speaks for itself.
If you are considering becoming a new buy to let landlord, feel free to pop your head through the door of our agency on Watling Street in Canterbury for some advice and opinion on what (or not) to buy. It is true the property market is showing signs of good improvement, but, if you know where to look, and more importantly, what to look for, there are still bargains in Canterbury to be had.

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