bridging-rates-fall-50%

Dan Kettle Comments on Bridging Volumes Halving in Q2

According to the latest report by Bridging Trends, bridging volumes halved during Q2 as a result of the covid-19 lockdown. £79.4m worth of bridging deals were completed from May to July 2020, down from £184m in the same period of 2019 and from £123m in Q1 2020.

As a result, in the six months to the end of June 2020, bridging volumes declined by £168m to £202m, compared to £370m in the first half of 2019 - something that brokers and lenders considered as 'inevitable' given the circumstances.

How bridging fell by 50% in Q2

Bridging interest rates rose during the period, perhaps reflecting the increased risk and more limited product availability during the period.

The average weighted monthly interest rate in Q2 2020 increased to 0.85 per cent – up from 0.8 per cent in Q1 and 0.75 per cent in Q4 2019. This is the highest average monthly interest rate recorded in Bridging Trends data since Q3 2016. Investment purchase and re-bridging saw notable increases as the reason for borrowers accessing bridging finance.

A quarter of deals were completed for investment, up from 20 per cent in Q1, while 13 per cent were as re-bridges, up from 8% between January and March.

In contrast, chain breaks made up just one in 10 bridging deals, down from 20 per cent in Q1, while heavy refurbishment dropped from 13 per cent of transactions to 10 per cent.

Dan Kettle of Octagon Capital commented: “The drop in bridging volumes is unsurprising. During the covid-19 lockdown, very little action could really take place, since there was no property valuations, certainly no auctions and most lenders had temporarily turned off their lending.”

“But that does not mean that things won’t improve. There has been real enthusiasm to get deals done and get out there at the moment, especially whilst covid-19 threats are relatively low and if a second wave comes back to bite us.”

 

 


camrose-london

Camrose London To Launch New Tunbridge Wells Development in September 2020

Camrose London have been busy since the lockdown ended and are delighted to be launching show homes in September for their latest developments.

Westcombe House, a beautiful collection of 34 apartments in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells will open its show home doors in September, with completion for the scheme expected Q4 2020. Prospective purchasers will benefit from stamp duty savings and all of the apartments are available with the government help to buy scheme.

The Arbor Collection, a boutique development of 27 apartments in the heart of NW6 will also be launching with a show home in September. With balcony views over the neighbouring park and connectivity into central London in under 15 minutes, the Arbor Collection offers luxury Parkside living.  Completion is expected for Q4 2020 meaning prospective purchasers would also benefit from the reduced stamp duty tax.


self-storage

Storage Wars: The UK Cities Paying Over Twice as Much for Self-Storage 

  • Londoners pay 107% more per week than average for a 50 sq. ft. storage unit
  • Camden is the most expensive place to rent storage space in the UK (up to £101.63 p/w)
  • Local 100 sq. ft. units cost 8% of a Londoners average wage, 7% of Swansea and 6% of Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle

 

New research from bridging loans broker Octagon Capital reveals the cities in the UK getting the worst deals on self-storage units, with Londoners paying significantly over the odds at a rate 107% higher than the national average.

Looking at the average cost of a 50 sq. ft. unit in locations around the country (ideal for storing the contents of a one bedroom flat), London is the most expensive, with customers likely to spend an average of £1,797 per year.

Considerably higher than second place Swansea, which has an average of £1,006 per year for the same sized unit. Exeter residents are getting the best deal in the country, paying 31% less than the nationwide average (£598 p/y).

 

Average annual cost for 50 sq. ft. unit (£) Percentage Difference from Nationwide Average
London 1,797 107%
Swansea 1,006 16%
Liverpool 958 10%
Edinburgh 892 3%
Manchester 882 2%
Bristol 833 -4%
Newcastle 803 -7%
Cardiff 765 -12%
Birmingham 745 -14%
Glasgow 700 -19%
Portsmouth 650 -25%
Southampton 650 -25%
Exeter 568 -31%
Nationwide Average 868

 

This trend continues when looking at 75 and 100 sq. ft. sized units, ideal for a two-bed flat or house, with London topping both tables and costs averaging 110% and 100% more than the average respectively. Liverpool similarly finds itself at the top end of the table for each unit size analysed, paying 12% more than average for 75 sq. ft. (£1,238 p/y) and 17% more for 100 sq. ft. (£1,674 p/y).

Camden in London has the highest individual costs per year for 75 sq. ft. and 100 sq. ft. units (£3,542 and £5,285 p/y respectively), while also placing second for 50 sq. ft. (£2,909 p/y) behind Kennington (£3,024 p/y).

Even when taking into account the average weekly wage in areas around the country, Londoners are still paying over the odds. For example, a 100 sq. ft. storage unit costs 8% of the average weekly wage of a Londoner, compared to just 3% of Portsmouth residents at the other end of the table. On average, 5% of the weekly wage would be spent on a storage unit of this size.

Dan Kettle of Octagon Capital, commented: “There are many factors that affect pricing in cities around the UK, but the large difference in costs between London and the rest of the UK is still significant when you take into account the proportion of the average wage that relates to.

“The best way to get a good deal on self-storage is to ensure you select the right sized unit so you’re not overpaying on space, and always shop around. There may be a better deal with a different company and don’t forget to try and negotiate costs.

“At Octagon Capital we provide bridging loans to assist those looking to embark on a project such as a move, renovation or refurbishment where self-storage is often needed.”

 

References 

Data consists to quotes for various sized self-storage units by Big Yellow, Safestore, Shurgard and Lok’nStore on w.c. 29th July 2020, with annual costs reflecting the weekly cost multiplied by 52

Average wage data via Centre for Cities: https://www.centreforcities.org/data-tool/#graph=map&city=show-all&indicator=average-weekly-workplace-earnings\\single\\2019

 


property-ladder

What will happen to house prices in 2019

2019 is the year in which Brexit is supposedly going to be finalised and many Brits are fearing for a No Deal Brexit which is sure to negatively affect many aspects of British life, including the housing market. In other words, there is much uncertainty amongst ‘remainers’ and ‘leavers’ alike to do with the state of the housing marketing going into, and during, 2019 and beyond.

According to analysts, wages and mortgage rates are going to play a huge role in the housing market in 2019, despite Brexit dominating the headlines. In 2018, the house prices remained relatively stable around the UK even with the anxiety presented by Brexit.

However, just because the average UK house price seemed to remain pretty stable, the prices do vary from better to worse across the nation. Some locations, such as the North of England and the Midlands saw strong property inflation, who London and South East reported stagnant or falling markets. Analysts predict that 2019 is going to look much the same as this. Octagon Capital investigates.

The Rising Interest Rates and Mortgage Affordability

The average British property’s value increased by £2,860 in 2018, according to the reputable property website Zoopla, a rise of just 1.02 per cent.

In Scotland, the value of the property actually saw a decent rise of 6.3 per cent. Meanwhile in Wales, there was also a rise but it was a smaller percentage of 3.98 per cent. In England, there was a measly marginal of 0.58 per cent.

In 2019, the property market is expected to follow a similar trend. Although it could be all change depending on the outcome of Brexit on March the 29thand the impact this had had and will continue to have on the British public’s ability to afford to buy a new house.

how-brexit-has-affected-house-prices

It has been forecast by Halifax that there will be a 2 to 4 per cent increase in house prices for 2019. They stated:

“Aside from the obvious political and economic uncertainty, the biggest issue for the housing market in 2019 will be the degree to which mortgage payment affordability changes.

Average pay growth is likely to gather pace but, with a further interest rate increase also predicted, house prices are unlikely to be pushed significantly in either direction.”

Interest rates were increased to 0.75 per cent by the Bank of England at the beginning of August 2018. Since, mortgage rates stayed low as building societies and banks have battled for customers.

Savills have predicted that house prices in Britain will rise by 14.8 per cent from 2019 to 2013, however, they stressed that there will be significant regional variations. The London forecast is only to see a 4.5 per cent increase, they say.

What is happening to house prices around the country?

There is a strong sense of regional variation when it comes to the UK property market. London and the South East previously strong performance has been since replaced by weakness, meanwhile, the Midlands, parts of the North and Scotland see improvement.

London saw an average drop of 1.67 per cent where a property on average now costs £653,587.

The East of England saw a fall of 0.5 per cent to £357,952, meanwhile the South East and South West both saw 0.38 per cent rises to £409,923 and £307,693 respectively.

In Scotland, the property market is booming. In fact, house prices there have risen for 27 consecutive months at this point, forecasting a 17 per cent increase in Scotland by 2022. It was Edinburgh that came out as the best city for the housing market, but other Scottish cities also did extremely well in 2018 and are predicted to do so into 2019 and beyond. It appears that there remains more confidence in the Scottish market over the likes of London.

 

 


renting-vs-buying

Bridging Loans lends out nearly £4bn in 2018

In the last 12 months, it has been reported by the Association of Shirt Term Lending (ASTL) that the bridging loans industry has collectively lent a whopping £3.98bn.

This figure is 21% over the last year. However, the second has seen a slight contraction in the third quarter of 2018 compared the three months preceding that. The value of the loans written and applicants were down 0.6% and 3.3% respectively.

house-valuation-free

When you compare this to the same quarter of last years, the value of loans written in the quarter increased by 12.6%. Speaking in annual terms, applications were also up by 8.9% compared to the year which ended in September of 2017 - this totals up to £20.5bn.

It was noted by the ASTL that although applications did tend to be unreliable indicators and were dependent on how many lenders were offered the same deals, it did actually highlight how large the sector had become.

Loan books up

If you total up the loan book value, it appears to have continued to climb with a rise of 2.1% compared to Q2 and an increase of 16.6% at the same point, but last year.

The CEO of ASTL, Benson Hersch, said Figures for Q3 2018 show an ongoing year-on-year upward trend. Our members continue to provide flexible and useful services to customers who require finance for a whole range of purposes. Despite current political and economic uncertainties, lenders are very much doing business as usual.”

What is a bridging loan?

Bridging Loans are short-term loans which are designed to ‘bridge’ the gap found between a debt coming due and the main line of credit becoming available. In addition, they can also be used to simply act as a more general short-term loan in certain, pressing circumstances.

Bridging loans may be invaluable in helping an individual to make a property purchase that they would other not be able to be possible. For example, if someone cannot get a mortgage in place and they need to purchase the property now, a bridging loan would help to facilitate this.

The loans are essentially designed to help people complete a purchase of a property before they sell their existing home by offering the people access in the short-term to money at a high rate of interest.

Some people have started viewing bridging loans as a simple alternative to mainstream lending. While a bridging loan may sound like a tempting option in this capacity, before you take one out you should think about your strategy. If you are treating bridging loans in a traditional way, this might be, for example, getting a mainstream mortgage or a buy to let mortgage, or selling the property altogether.

Who are bridging loans aimed at?

Typically, bridging loans are aimed at landlords and amateur property developers. This includes those who are purchasing at auction where a mortgage is needed quickly.

They are often aimed at wealthy or asset-rich borrowers who want a straightforward lending method for residential properties.

Who are Octagon Capital?

Here at Octagon Capital, we are a licensed broker which aims to help you to compare bridging loans in the UK. These loans can range from £50,000 to £25 million.

In terms of your application, we have partnered with SPF Short Term Finance, a team of bridging loan brokers, in order to process any application you submit. You can apply online and an advisor from the SPF Short Term Finance team will be directly in touch with you shortly about the status of your application. If you please, you can call us for a quote today on 0333 414 1491. We are open Monday-Friday from 9am to 6pm.


first-time-buyers

Will first time home buyers benefit from Brexit?

Brexit, despite not even being in full flow yet, has had a huge effect on the property market in the UK. This is especially the case in London, where prices have been falling rapidly.

how-brexit-has-affected-house-prices

The Brexit referendum has caused a lot of uncertainty for the property market and in other industries too. However, could the falling prices be positive for first-time buyers? It is obviously very negative for current homeowners who want to sell their homes during this time, but what about if you are moving from rented accommodation, and therefore own no property, into a property which is to be purchased by yourself?

It is true that before the result of the Brexit referendum, many had predicted that a vote to leave the EU would depress the housing market, but in fact, benefit first-time buyers. However, this may not have come true now that Brexit is only months away without a deal in place.

Current Homeowners and Brexit

A report conducted by Unbiased named “Buying a Home in Brexit Britain”, found that many people were becoming very cautious when it came to buying and selling in Brexit Britain.

The survey, of 250 UK adult, which was done concluded that there were clear signs of the uncertainty of the market. Around 15 per cent of current homeowners believed that the value of their property had gone down as a result of the 'leave' result of the Brexit vote. Half as many believed that the value of their property had actually increased as a result.

1 in 5 people questioned who were planning on moving houses in the coming year said that they did feel a sense of pressure to sell their property fast.

Prices Falling and the Benefit for First Time Buyers

Interest rates on mortgages are now at record lows and therefore a more affordable mortgage is finally a reality for people. However, the irony of low-interest rates is that they will make it all the harder to grow savings. Thus, too many would-be buyers simply will not be able to raise a large enough amount for a deposit for the property they wish to purchase.

property-ladder

There is actually no shortage of people who want to get themselves on the property ladder. But at this point, it is merely a dream rather than a reality for those who are living in the capital, especially.

The report from Unbiased went on to find out that only one in ten prospective buyers sees a realistic chance of getting on the property ladder at all, which is a pretty devastating statistic. This in itself could slow the property market, and maybe even be a large player in the drop in house prices. It is not that people are not wanting to buy, it is that they feel so uncertain that they feel they can’t.

The Silver Lining

It is not all doom and gloom! However, despite early predictions, it does not look as of yet that the Brexit result will make buying your first property any easier. In the current climate, any slack at the lower end of the market is being dominated by those who are buying to let.

Meanwhile, more homeowners are planning to extend their mortgages rather than move. This may well be a sign that they would rather not sell in such an uncertain climate.

For anyone is trying to get onto the housing ladder, there is a ray of hope. Several mortgage providers are now offering 100 per cent mortgages to keep up with the demands of the market. Basically, what this means is that these mortgages do not require any deposits. There are also some providers which are offering very long-term fixed-rate deals of up to ten years.

The fact remains that interest rates have never been so low, so such deals present a unique opportunity for first-time buyers.

Bridging Loans

If you want to sell your property quickly and move into a new property the effects of the Brexit hit, but you do not have time to wait for a mortgage to clear, why not try a Bridging Loan.

They essentially work to bridge the gap between the sale and the mortgage coming through, giving you the flexibility to move when you like.


for-rent

Is the rental market slowing down?

Understanding where the market is in terms of rent prices is very important for your development project. If you are looking to renovate a property through construction finance or similar and a sell it for a higher value, no problem. If the market is strong, your property will maintain its value and be sold for a healthy profit.

But with rental prices falling slowly in the UK, you have to anticipate the potential return on investment for your project. What potential income you will receive from tenants should be reflected in what you spend in purchasing the property, how much you invest to 'fix it up' and what rent you charge. So being on top of rent trends is important, as we highlight below.

The Market

More people are renting than ever before in the United Kingdom, but what is happening to the rental market? In the last two years or so we have seen dramatic changes in the rental market. It has become evident that rent prices across the UK starting to fall in November of 2017 for the five time in around 5 years. Furthermore, slow rental growth in the Capital dragging down the national average price quite a lot.

In that November, rent prices shrank by 0.01pc in November, with falls of 0.83pc in the city of London which weighted down the otherwise resilient rental growth of 1.27pc in other areas.

Moving away from Britain’s capital city, other parts of the UK had seen consistent growth in the back end of 2017, stretching into 2018. This has particularly been the case in the East Midlands as well as the South West of the country. Both areas respectively recorded rent increases of 2.13pc and 1.63pc, meaning that the average rent paid for a property in the UK grew overall by 0.53pc between 2016 and 2017. This is around half the 1.22pc growth seen the previous year.

London

Buy-to-let lender Landbay published figures which revealed that the average rent for a UK property has now reached a record £1,196 per month. Landbay has also stated that although rent prices have fallen in a staggering 26 out of 33 London boroughs, people who are renting in the capital will unfortunately not be experiencing lower rent prices for too much longer. Despite the stunt in rent in London, on average the rental price is 2.5 times greater than the rental prices across the rest of the UK. Here, we are looking at £1,871 (London) as opposed £759 (rest of UK) as our average price for rent.

Commuter Belts

 

Areas which border London and are typically referred to as commuter belts or hotspots are expected to become more expensive to rent in. They are also estimated to make the biggest increase across the whole country, price wise, in 2018.  This is attributed to a reduced interest in London as it gradually becomes an increasingly unaffordable place to live. Thus, more and more, people are opting to live in counties outside of London which have great and quick transport links into the centre.

A lot of people who are moving out of London into commuter hotspots are young professionals who feel they cannot support themselves financially in central London. Thus, there is more demand for rental properties as these young people are not buying their own homes at this stage in their life.

Brexit & Rent

 

Despite whether you are Remain or Leave, there is no doubt that Britain leaving the European Union was always going to have some domestic implications. This includes the effect that Brexit will have on the rental market, particularly in London.

In the capital city, renters hugely outweigh homeowners and so it is a fair assumption that renters will be concerned about how Brexit will be changing the London rental market. Business Insider states that rental prices are down by 4.3% compared to the year before and it is the first fall in 6 years.

For now, not much will change as the UK government has two years to negotiate Brexit deals from the date Article 50 was triggered. Only then can the UK successfully leave the European Union. Because of this, we are not likely to see any changes in the rental market as a direct result of Brexit until 2019 at least. For the timing being, if you move to London before 2019 the process will stay the same as it was before the referendum took place. If you are from the EU and want to move to the capital city, you will have the same rights to enter the country as you did before.

But what is likely to happen after 2019? The truth is, no one knows for sure as it stands what the full extent of the change will be. However, experts have predicted that Britain will see a rise in rent prices following the exit from the EU. As of yet, we have actually seen a drop in rental prices as discussed previously. That being said, Britain has not actually officially removed itself from the EU, so this could switch around and devastate those wishing to move to London beyond 2019.


long-and-waterson

New Scheme Launched in Shoreditch

The Izaki Group are pleased to announce the launch of a new property scheme in Shoreditch, East London. The scheme consisting of 119 luxury loft-style apartments will be opening in Spring 2018 and has been developed by  Long and Waterson, a company that has taken its name from the site’s location as it is positioned on the intersection of Long Street and Waterson Street in the E2 area.

The Design

For someone looking for flats in Shoreditch, the architecture of these apartments offers an eclectic New York penthouse vibe, fitting with the trendy Shoreditch area. The properties include large, steel-framed windows to create an artistic appearance that would be fitting with The Big Apple. The two buildings will be connected by a courtyard and raised podium inspired by NYC's high line linear park. The cost of the luxury apartments ranges from £695,00 for 1 bedroom and up to £1.35 million for a 3 bedroom.

Amenities of the building include a 24-hour concierge service, cinema room, gym, sauna, spa and treatment therapy rooms. The property scheme is aimed at the affluent and professional workers in the East London area of the legal, tech and business district. This includes the new residents of Amazon's new 15-storey office that opened in the summer of 2017, which will be home to 5,000 employees. (Source: The Telegraph)

long-and-waterson

 

Whilst this scheme has not been financed through Octagon Capital, this is the type of project that very well could be. Bridging finance is commonly used by property developers involved in buy to let schemes. With the opportunity to borrow up to £25 million, the finance obtained can be used for refurbishments, architects, interiors and other costs such as building costs and stamp duty.

Once the project has been completely renovated, the developer has the option to pay off the bridging loan via the revenue generated through the sale, or through another investment. Commonly, because the property is rented out to tenants, the customer will refinance the loan under different terms, proving a gradual and successful way to pay off the debt.


ealing-containers

Ealing uses shipping containers to help housing crisis

With more than 250,000 homeless in the UK and the housing crisis always a pressing issue for the Mayor of London, one council has taken measures into its own hands to solve the crisis. The answer? Modular Housing.

The Ealing Council has erected a number of shipping containers to house 80 homeless people in Marston Court, Ealing. Whilst the idea of living in a shipping container does not sound very glamours, with the help of CargoTeck, the modular homes have been fitted with all the essentials and have been compared to chalets and bed and breakfasts. With interior design and household utilities, the homeless are getting the resources they need to live and survive. The containers look similar to the portacabins used by schools and builders as make-shift offices or classrooms.

ealing-containers

 

 

The Neighbours Have Complained

Several local residents of the W3 postcode have complained about the recent constructions, specifically what an eyesore they are and how close they are to other residents of Ealing. One resident said that they were promised a new park, trees and shrubbery to replace the disused garages but there isn't any of that. (Source: The Mirror)

It also raises concerns about unsociable behaviour and in an area where there is already too much of it. But above all, it is the proximity of how close they are to local residents which has attracted criticism and they have argued that it was 'not like the original plans.' Neighbours were even more outraged to find out that the site has planning permission to be around for another 10 years - much to their dismay.

The local council have defended themselves, saying that they are the same specification as the original plans. Mark Wiltshire from The Ealing Council explained:

When we put people in bed and breakfast we don't get the full cost back from the government.

So we are subsidising to the tune of about £7million-a-year. So it's a much, much cheaper way to deal with this problem.

And the actually living arrangements are much better for people than bed and breakfast.

Future Modular Housing Plans in Ealing

The council continued to say that this, in fact, one of three temporary living areas that they are expanding, according to ITV News. The aim is to provide emergency homes to those struggling to find places to live and the vision is to also include playground areas, bike sheds and a community for all.

The Facts and Figures

  • Marston Court will provide 34 homes which will be used as temporary accommodation for families facing homelessness while more permanent places can be found for them.
  • Modular homes are one of the ways the council are working to "boost the borough’s housing supply and reduce the council’s reliance on bed and breakfast accommodation" which is expensive and not ideal for families.
  • The homes have planning permission for 10 years.
  • The site also features, landscaping, a playground, a laundry room and cycle parking.
  • Previously there were garages on the council-owned site.

 

For more information, you can listen to a full interview with BBC Radio's Vanessa Feltz speaking to the Ealing Council about the site and situation: