The first in a series of semi-regular round-ups of property news and views. We begin where else but with a tale of housing woe.

Winter Comes Early for First Time Buyers
One man’s loss is another man’s gain is a maxim that informs property investment as much as it does life. Demand for rental properties being largely – though not exclusively – driven by people unable to purchase properties.

So while The Guardian newspaper – conscious of their audience – tapped a sorrowful serenade on their keyboards about the widening gap between salaries and property prices; sharp-eyed investors would have had an infinitely jauntier jig playing in their heads at the prospect that demand for rental properties shows no sign of abating.

The Guardian reports that even the most affordable UK places to buy property sees purchasers paying six times their earnings. The corollary being many people won’t, or can’t, and will continue to rent.

But it’s all sunny in Council of Mortgage Lender-land
Mortgages – never interesting; normally necessary. And so it is with faint heart we relay the five key mortgage trends, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, from 2015’s second-quarter lending data.

First up, a high five to competitive mortgage rates. According to the CML, first time buyers and movers in the second quarter have never had it so good – paying a record low of their monthly household income on their capital and interest payments.

A story acutely at odds with the Guardian story? Not really. It’s all about definitions and damned statistics.

Best-ever mortgage rates would indeed indicate that less % of your monthly income goes towards the mortgage, but, as every self-respecting maths GCSE student hopefully knows, paying 1% on 300,000 is greater than 5% on 50,000.

Other key trends from the CML include an increase in remortgaging, related to the competitive deals cited above; how buy to let continues to boom, and much more good news about mortgages. Which will be surprising to no-one given the source is the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
In a similar vein, landlords confirm in a survey by a letting agency the usefulness of letting agents reported in…wait for it… a letting agents’ website. The reasons being many landlords would rather not deal with tenants.

The Price of Good Parenting?
What price for your child’s education? About £32,000 say Santander Mortgages, who surveyed 4,500 people and found that’s about how much they’d pay to be near their state school of choice.

Good parents make sacrifices for their kids almost every day. Even though this usually goes unacknowledged. So, there’s no surprise that Santander also recorded 31% switching jobs to help their kids, along with other profound lifestyle and financial sacrifices.

For anyone unable to afford such moves to help their gene inheritors, take solace from the belief of many teachers – smart kids succeed in any educational environment.
See the Santander report details at: –

The Most Expensive Homes in Merseyside
Accustomed as we are to media stories highlighting how a garden shed in Islington, London will set you back millions, we at The House Crowd feel duty bound to promote house prices from the provinces whenever possible. After all, we contrive to generate returns for our customers from snapping up undervalued housing stock in said provinces.

So, for London dwellers, it may surprise them  to know that the most expensive house sold in Merseyside in July was a piffling £1.2m. For the top selling houses that month and what you would get should you exchange a small kennel in Clapham, read

Interest Rate Time Bomb for BTL
Fear stalks the land for BTL landlords, and it goes by the rather long winded name of ‘interest-rate-rises.’ Every day brings forth more harbingers of doom, predicting the end of days for BTL investors.

This time it’s Platinum Property Partners indicating the obvious – that profits will be cut by any interest rate rise, but that HMOs will absorb this far better than standard BTL landlords. Read and weep here–claims

For anyone undeterred by prophets of BTL doom, Peter Armistead from Armistead property looks at beginner mistakes when purchasing BTL properties here.

When Supply Isn’t Talking to Demand
Prophets of interest rate doom are ten a penny. By far the biggest story of last week came from the seeming illogicality of the following headline courtesy of the soon to be savagely-culled BBC – “Property sales down 15%, but prices up, says Land Registry.” This seeming violation of a fundamental law of Economics gets explained in the small print by reference to house supply shortage in certain areas. The full details of where you can find these hotspots of people still making hay through ever escalating house prices can be found here

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