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  • Will Luton OAP homeowners be forced to sell their home as their gas & electric bills are set to double in 2022?
  • What can the 19,664 Luton OAP homeowners do to mitigate this?
  • What are their options if they do need to sell? And what will that mean for the Luton property market as a whole?

The wholesale gas price has tripled in 2021. Even if you aren’t on gas at home, half the UK’s electricity comes from burning gas so, this affects everyone. Even though domestic bills have been protected from the majority of this with the Government’s price cap, energy bills will rise by at least 50% in April. This means the average energy bill will rise by £60 per month in the spring, thus producing a potential cost of living crisis.

Why have gas and electric bills increased so much?

The cost of gas (and indirectly electricity) rose during 2021 due to a number of reasons, and the troubles are worldwide rather than exclusively affecting the UK.

To start with, the winter of 2020 was very cold in Central Europe, which increased demand for gas and used up many European countries’ stored gas supplies, whilst demand for gas also swelled in China and the Far East. On the supply side, many European countries rely on Russia for its gas, yet Russia’s supply of gas was lower than expected.

When will gas and electric prices rise?

The Government have an energy price which is the maximum amount your gas and electricity supplier can charge you. The energy price cap is set by Ofgem every six months, and the next review is this February. Any increases could only be introduced from the 1st of April 2022.

The existing energy price cap is £1,277 (for an average UK home), which was set in the summer of 2021 (and that was a 12% rise on the previous cap). Analysts believe without Government intervention, the February increase will be around 50% on that, meaning the cap will increase to just over £2,000 per annum.

That means there will be a lot of Luton people that cannot afford the increase in energy prices.

Some have suggested the Government should remove VAT from gas and electricity bills for a year, yet that would only save them around £100 a year – but it’s still £100!

Luton OAP’s will be one of the hardest hit by these gas

and electricity hikes

 

For those pensioners who reached state pension age after 2016, their state pension will rise in April by £5.55 per week or £288.60 a year. Considering their energy bills will rise by at least £720 a year, together with the underlying inflation for goods and services rising at 5.4% on top, this will mean many OAP homeowners will have to make a difficult choice.

 

So, what is the scale of the problem in Luton?

 

1 in 8.59 people in Luton is an OAP

 

Of the 209,505 population of Luton, 24,393 of them are 65 years or older, and of those, 19,664 own their own home.

 

However, as I have discussed several times in the Luton Property Blog, many of those older Luton homeowners are still in their original family homes even though their children have flown the nest.

 

They are living in large 3- and 4-bedroom homes with lots of rooms that require heating, even though they are not being used. To give you an idea of the difference of costs:

 

  • The average Luton one/two-bedroom home’s energy bills will rise from £795 per year to £1,435 per year.
  • The average Luton three-bedroom home’s energy bills will rise from £1,163 per year to £2,104 per year.
  • The average Luton four-bedroom home’s energy bills will rise from £1,638 per year to £2,936 per year.

 

Therefore, I predict there will be an uplift in the number of mature homeowners in Luton moving forward their downsizing plans throughout 2022/3 as they look to reduce their outgoings. The downsizing will also reduce other outgoings like their council tax and building insurance premiums.

 

Of course, many mature homeowners will make other choices. This could be a great time to look at other forms of heating like ground source heating and solar panels to reduce one’s dependence on energy from the National Grid.

 

You could ask a local Energy Assessor to perform an energy audit on your home by tasking them for an Energy Performance Certificate. If you need to know the name of a decent Luton Energy Assessor, drop me a line or pick up the phone.

 

So, if downsizing is an option, what will that mean for you and the local Luton property market?

 

A big issue will be finding a suitable home to move to. We very much have a chicken and egg scenario now as waiting for the right property to come on to the market, before you put your home on the market, will probably mean that your ideal property will sell even before the photographs have been taken of your home.

 

Yet, many Luton homeowners are worried if they put their house on the market and it sells, they won’t be able to find another suitable home and thus be homeless? Classic chicken and egg – so what do you do first?

 

There is a third way of doing this ... good old fashioned ‘chain building’. I have many mature Luton homeowners that are contacting me to move home, yet don’t want to be made homeless. What we do is slowly build a group of people in a chain over many months. It requires a lot of patience to build a chain downwards and upwards around you.

 

There is no cost to this and no legal commitment to go through. It can take six, even twelve months to build a chain of people who are prepared to wait for the chain to form ... yet by playing the long game, everyone gets their next ‘forever home’.

 

The long-term advantage to everyone else is that a new supply of larger homes will be put onto the market in Luton. Yet, if you are going to rely on waiting for these properties to appear on Rightmove or Zoopla, you will be sorely disappointed.

 

According to national research from Denton House Research, 7 out of 8 people who viewed a house through an estate agent in 2021 were not on the mailing list of that agent before they viewed it. That means all these properties built on a chain builder (as above), will be sold and won’t appear on Rightmove or Zoopla, meaning you will miss out.

 

You have to get yourself on the mailing list of our estate agency (and other agents if they do this chain building) so you don’t miss out on your next forever home in Luton.

 

Author Taylor Kay

 

  • The average house price in Luton has increased by 210.5% to £298,400 in the last 20 years, a profit of £202,310

 

  • That means, when adjusted for inflation in those two decades, Luton house prices have risen in real terms by 138.4%

 

  • What does this mean for existing Luton homeowners and first-time buyers trying to get on the Luton property ladder?

 

Since 2001, UK average house prices have risen by an astonishing 187.2% across the UK, while in London the figure is 247.6%.  

Looking back at the people that bought in those first few years of the new Millennium, few of those buying or selling property in 2001 could have forecast the massive financial impact that their decision then would have on the rest of their lives.

In those years, there have been winners and losers, where some Luton buyers have made hundreds of thousands of pounds and Luton renters have paid out tens of thousands of pounds and yet been unable to buy their first home - but life is often not as simple as that, so in this article I wanted to discuss the matter further.

 

The average house price in Luton has increased by 210.5% to £298,400 in the last 20 years, a profit of £202,310.

 

Now of course these are average prices and don’t take inflation into consideration.

 

Yet even when adjusted for inflation, Luton house prices have still risen by 138.4% in the last 20 years.

 

Characteristically, the longer a homeowner has owned their Luton property, the larger the gain when they sell. Yet most of these profits are never seen by Luton homeowners. It has never been money in the bank unless you sell up and downsize or move somewhere cheaper. Instead, these gains are re-invested back into the housing market when they buy their next home.

 

So, whether the gains are banked or tied up in their bricks and mortar, it looks like all the Luton homeowners are in the driving seat. 

 

What about all the Luton first-time buyers, priced out of the market and unable to get on to the property ladder?

 

Are the young of Luton losing out again?

 

Reading the newspapers you would think so, yet nothing could be further from the truth. In fact…

 

It’s 26.9% cheaper today to buy a house

in Luton compared to 2007

 

That isn’t a typo!

 

In 2002, 26.8% of a first-time buyer’s household income went on the mortgage payments. Today, that figure stands at 32.2%, yet in 2007, it was 44.1% ... hence why it’s cheaper today!

 

Of course, for most young Luton potential first-time buyers, the other largest barrier to home ownership is the matter of raising an adequate deposit.

 

Rising rents (and future energy prices) won’t help and will in fact make this problem worse, giving ambitious Luton first-time buyers not much left at the end of the month to save a deposit for their first home. 

 

With soaring Luton house prices, this means the amount Luton renters need to save for their deposit is growing year on year.

 

For these annoyed renters, there is the unpleasant irony that if they could only get on the Luton housing ladder, they would find themselves better off. They would spend a lower proportion of their monthly take home pay on keeping a roof over their heads. 

 

Some people in the press have suggested the older generation, with all the equity tied up in their homes over the last 20 years, should release some of the money and give it to their children or grandchildren to help them on the ladder maybe?

Reports in the press have also described many homeowners in their 60’s (and older) changing their plans to move home. Many were planning to downsize to release the tied-up equity in their home. That equity would either be used to invest in the bank to produce an income for them and/or to help their children (sometimes even grandchildren) on to the property ladder.

Yet with the interest paid by banks and building societies on any lump sum being very low, to many mature homeowners it hardly seems worthwhile making the move to downsize. This means many younger would-be first-time buyers are missing out on help from the Bank of Mum and Dad (or the Bank of Grandad and Grandma) with their deposit.

However, the problems caused by low interest rates could also be their saviour.

Many older homeowners have turned to Equity Release, thus allowing them to get hold of a share of the equity amassed in their property, in exchange for a tax-free lump sum of cash.

Cash that could be used to help with

deposits for their children/grandchildren?

The mature homeowner then stays in their larger family home and helps their family buy a property.

Whilst I am not a mortgage adviser (and you must take proper advice from a qualified mortgage broker), equity release mortgages don’t have end dates and the interest payments are rolled up (until you pass away). This means that there aren’t any monthly payments.

The interest rate you pay is normally fixed for the mortgage and because interest rates are so low, that means the debt shouldn’t balloon up. And should you decide to sell in a few years’ time, you just pay back the capital, redemption fee and the small amount of interest accrued.

Now of course, that does mean there will be less for

your offspring to inherit when you pass away.

Equity release mortgages though have had some bad press recently. In the past they were unregulated and pricey. Yet today, there is more protection for borrowers.

One answer to the growing interest debt is to pay part or all of the monthly mortgage interest charged, yet you must have the income for that.

You also need to take advice on how the equity release will affect your liability for nursing home fees and inheritance tax. Also, if only one person in your home is the owner of the property, if that homeowner dies, the partner who is not on the mortgage (because only owners can go on a mortgage) won’t have any rights to stay in the family home.

Finally, if you are planning to move, don’t just compare the interest rate, but the redemption charge for early repayment – some of them can be very high.

My advice – take professional advice and speak to your family and involve them. Yes, we have all built up some amazing equity in our Luton homes, and yes, there is potential to help the younger generations with that wealth. Just go in with eyes open and know all the facts, all the pros and all the cons – then decide what is best for you with all that information to hand.

What are your thoughts, as a mature Luton homeowner or a first-time buyer, on this? It would be good to hear from you.

 

Author Taylor Kay

 

The headlines …

 

  • Luton rents up by 4.7% in the last 12 months
  • Luton house prices up 11.6% in the last 12 months
  • Luton landlords helped by ultra-low mortgage rates and a stamp duty holiday 
  • Yet, some landlords in Luton anxious about a possible end to no fault evictions
  • New EPC rules could cost Luton landlords £10,000+ per property 

 

In this article, I will look at what happened in 2021 in the Luton buy-to-let property market and give you my opinion as to what lies ahead for Luton landlords in 2022 and beyond.

 

On a positive note, Luton house prices have rocketed, rents have risen faster than inflation, at the start of the year we had the benefit of a stamp duty holiday and finally, ultra-low mortgage rates, meaning Luton landlords had lots to be happy about in 2021.  

 

On a more cautious note, the laws regarding renting are currently being debated in Parliament which will see the end of no-fault tenant evictions and changes in regulations will require Luton landlords to make their buy-to-let rental properties more eco-friendly at a cost of up to £10,000+ each.

 

So, let’s have a look at these points …

 

Luton Rents will Continue to Rise in 2022

 

Luton buy-to-let landlords have seen the average rent of a Luton rental property rise by 4.7% in the last 12 months.  

 

The number of Luton properties available to rent on the property portals (e.g. Rightmove etc) at any one time is roughly 35% to 40% below the last decade’s average, meaning there is greater competition for each rental property.

 

Demand has increased for several reasons.

 

Firstly, some homeowners cashed in on the high prices, sold up and moved into rented property.

 

Secondly, some Luton buy-to-let landlords have also cashed in on the buoyant property market and sold their rental property when their existing tenant handed in their notice.

 

Finally, the rental sector has an inverse relationship to the state of the general British economy, meaning with the uncertainty in the British economy in the early part of 2021, this meant more people decided to rent rather than tie themselves into a mortgage.

 

Looking at the supply side of the Luton rental market, in the short term, rents will continue to grow as some Luton landlords are abandoning the rental market - some because of the impending regulation changes which I will talk about later and others with the natural flow of people cashing in their investments on retirement.

 

With increased demand and restricted supply, this will only lead to competition becoming more severe between renters, thus making Luton rents continue to rise.

 

Luton House Price Growth Will Slow

 

For those that own property, the way house prices grew in 2021 surprised most people.

 

Luton house prices, according to the Land Registry, grew by 11.6% in 2021, with the typical Luton home reaching £283,600.

 

Many local landlords have been helped by this increase in Luton house prices and will be in a place to cash in on those capital gains by either selling their buy-to-let property (as mentioned in the previous section) or releasing some equity by re-mortgaging.

 

Whether Luton house price rises carry on at such a rate in 2022 will mainly depend on whether the imbalance between the number of properties that come on to the market (supply) is by the number of buyers (demand).

 

Most commentators believe that nationally house prices will be between 3% and 5% higher by the end of 2022 and I can see no reason why Luton house prices won’t be in that range by the end of the year either.

 

Mortgage Rates Will Rise

 

The reduction in tax relief for Luton buy-to-let landlords with mortgages in the last five years hit some landlords hard, yet this has been tempered by the inexpensive ultra-low mortgages available to buy-to-let landlords.

 

Yet even with the Bank of England increase in base rates, Luton landlords with big deposits of 40% or more can benefit from low rates. For example, at the time of writing, you can get a BTL mortgage at 1.49% fixed for 5 years with a 40% deposit (meaning borrowing £180,000 on a £300,000 purchase would only cost you £719 per month on a 25-year mortgage - or £224 per month on repayment only).

 

However, those with only a 25% deposit must pay slightly more, but only at a mortgage rate of 1.64% - who can remember mortgage rates of 14% to 15% in 1992?

 

With inflation rising, the Bank of England has already indicated further interest rate rises are on the cards. I suspect they will be around the 1% mark by Christmas 2022. Therefore, if you are one of the one in five landlords on a variable rate mortgage, your margins will be squeezed as your variable rate mortgage will rise in line with the Bank of England interest rate rise.

 

Maybe it’s time to consider fixing your mortgage?

 

The End of No-fault Evictions?

 

The Renters' Reform Bill in England and The Renting Homes Act in Wales are both set to abolish Section 21 (no fault eviction). Section 21 laws allow landlords to take back possession of their rental properties without having to prove fault by the tenant.

 

Yet in 2022, Westminster will issue plans for a change of this law which will probably incorporate the eradication of Section 21, which would signify a major change in the balance of power between the landlord and tenant. 

 

Some doom mongers are worried that with the abolition of Section 21, Luton landlords may be unenthusiastic about renting and therefore sell up and leave the rental sector altogether. Yet these people said the same when tax relief for landlords was changed five years ago.

 

The Scottish equivalent of Section 21 was abolished at the end of 2017.

 

At the time, there was some anxiety about how this would affect the Scottish rental market, as anxious landlords and letting agents felt that they could lose control of their rental properties under this new law. Nonetheless, just over four years later, the rental sector has not collapsed in Scotland. The buy-to-let market remains upbeat, and there are signs that a Scottish landlords’ right to evict their tenant has been reinforced by these changes in the law.

 

The reason the Scottish changes worked was the new grounds for repossessing rental properties was clear and wide-ranging. The Scots sped up the slow and unwieldy eviction process where the landlord had a legal and genuine reason to re-claim their property.

 

All I hope is the same changes are made south of the border to the court procedure.

 

New EPC Rules Could Cost Luton Landlords £10,000+ per Property

 

The law currently stands that Luton landlords need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with at least a rating of E.

 

Westminster is anticipated to increase the EPC requirement for private rental properties in England and Wales to an EPC rating of C for all new rental tenancies by 2025/6, and for all existing tenancies by 2028, whilst Scottish landlords are also expected to see energy efficiency measures in their new proposed Housing Bill.

 

The problem is 1,959,045 of the 2,965,455 registered rental properties on the EPC database have an energy rating of D or below. 

 

To take a property from an EPC D rating to a C rating might only cost a few hundred pounds, yet the average for all rental D and E rated properties has been calculated at just over £10,000 per property.

 

My advice to every Luton landlord is to look at the full EPC report of their rental property (and if you haven’t got it, contact me and I will send it to you -whether you are a client or not) as that will tell you whether this will be a big or small job.

 

Renovating the UK’s rental stock to meet the Government's carbon neutral targets will be a big trial for landlords. There is talk of exemptions, as there currently is for the existing minimum EPC E rating – yet only time will tell on that front.

 

Maybe those Luton landlords currently buying properties to add to their rental portfolio should reconsider their buying strategy? In the past, it has been normal for Luton buy-to-let investors to be attracted to the inexpensive older properties that need an overhaul. However, with the potential energy efficiency laws coming into the game, it's rational to suggest that buy-to-let landlords will be more predisposed to buying slightly newer properties rather than have the cost for the upgrades to meet the potential energy targets.

 

Conclusion

 

Roll the clock back 20 years and making money from buy-to-let in Luton was as easy as falling off a log. Yet with increased legislation and regulation, together with the changing dynamics of the British economy and the requirements tenants want in a rental property, making money won’t be as easy over the next 20 years.

 

It amazes me that 11 out of 20 landlords do not use a letting agent to help them with their rental portfolio, considering the cost can be offset against your tax.

 

Moving forward, the savvy Luton landlords will more and more utilise their letting agent not only to collect the rent and manage the property but also build up their portfolio to withstand the regulatory and demographic changes on the horizon, and to ensure that their investment is fit for purpose in the medium to long-term.

 

If your existing letting agent does not offer such advice, or you are a self-managing landlord, let’s have a chat about the future of the Luton rental market.

 

Whether you are a client of mine or not, if you would like me to look at your rental portfolio and see where you stand, then drop me a line and maybe we can meet for a coffee (or we can meet virtually over Zoom) to discuss the matter – all at no charge.

 Author Taylor Kay

Finding your next Luton property, be that for yourself to live in or as a Luton buy-to-let landlord, can sometimes be a scary task. You are possibly making one of the biggest purchases of your life, and you want to ensure you make the right choice.

 

Buying your next property is all about finding a Luton property with the features that match your requirements. However, what might be important to you as a homebuyer, might not be as important to other Luton homebuyers.

 

Some features will be red line must haves, whilst other features might be more negotiable, yet understanding what your requirements need to be, will make it easier to find the Luton home of your dreams.

 

Let’s look at my top 11 rules you need to consider when buying a property in Luton.

 

  1. Location, Location, Location in Luton

 

You can change many things within a property, but location isn’t one. They say you should buy a property for the things you can change. Go and visit the different neighbourhoods of Luton. Don’t just drive through them, walk through them at different times of the day. Look at weekdays as well as weekends. Think about transport links with access to bus routes, arterial roads. If you have children (or your tenants may have), think about school catchment areas for primary/secondary schools.

 

  1. Luton Bedrooms

 

Did you know there are 204,534 bedrooms in Luton?

 

Well, you do now! Anyway, the number of bedrooms is a very significant consideration when buying your new Luton home. If you need bedrooms for your children, the location of the bedrooms could be an issue. Depending on the age of any children, you might not want them to be a long way from the master bedroom, or if the children are teenagers, the opposite could be true. Bedroom size is also important. Is there enough space for children to study or have wardrobes? Do you need bedrooms for an office? If office space is required, you might want to consider a property with one less bedroom and one more reception room – and it will probably be a little cheaper. All things to consider.

 

  1. Potential Future House Price Growth in Luton

 

The type of Luton house you buy will determine how it increases in value in the future. Now this shouldn’t be the main consideration, yet it’s important to consider.

 

Since 2001, the different types of property in Luton have risen by different percentages.

 

  • Luton detached properties have risen by 163.8%
  • Luton semi-detached properties have risen by 177.4%
  • Luton town houses/terraced properties have risen by 185.9%
  • Luton apartments/flats have risen by 141.3%

 

On a standalone point for Luton landlords, the level of rent and yield are important considerations for your Return on Investment (ROI). There tends to be an inverse relationship between capital growth and yield (i.e. Luton properties with higher capital growth tend to have lower rental yields). If you are a Luton landlord and have any questions on this (or any point), drop me a note.

 

  1. The Overall Interior Size of Your Future Luton Property

 

On average a person only views five houses before they buy a house and only spends around 20 minutes in each on a viewing. Therefore, I would advise that you have a good idea about the size of Luton home you require before you start your search. If you have a big family you are going to need a bigger house obviously, yet you still need the budget to afford to buy the bigger Luton home. A top tip for you, the general rule of thumb is the older the house, the more you get for your money.

 

One great idea to calculate the square metreage of your potential Luton home. Ask to view the full copy of the Energy Performance Certificate, as it has the size of the property in square metres.

 

Bigger Luton houses tend to cost more money to run with utility bills and council tax.

 

A final thought on size is the question of whether your family is likely to grow in the next decade? Will you have more children or is a parent coming to live with you?

 

  1. The Price You Will Have to Pay For Your Next Luton Home

 

In the last 12 months, the Luton property market has remained buoyant as Luton people were forced to spend more time at home. Therefore, they looked for more space ... but what did they have to pay for that privilege?

 

  • 270 Luton detached properties have sold for an average £429,500
  • 576 Luton semi-detached properties have sold for an average £297,600
  • 366 Luton town house/terraced properties have sold for an average £245,800
  • 107 Luton apartment/flats have sold for an average £151,700

 

Look at the property portals (e.g. Rightmove, Boomin, Zoopla and OnTheMarket) and search for Luton property that is both available and sold subject to contract. Get a feel for asking prices of the Luton properties that are sold subject to contract as these will give you a good idea what they roughly sold for. Again, if you are not sure, pick up the phone or drop me a line.

 

  1. Bathroom(s)

 

Check the bathroom for water leaks. Do the toilets flush OK, do the taps drip? Is there any mould? And do you need more than one?

 

  1. The Lounge / Living Room

 

You will undoubtedly be spending a lot of time in the lounge / living room, so it needs to meet your requirements. Do you need a dining area? Does the design and arrangement of the room suit your lifestyle (or your tenants). Will you need new furniture? Are there enough electrical sockets? What are the carpets like? That goes for all rooms.

 

  1. Central Heating for your Luton Property

 

What type of central heating system is present, and does it meet the requirements of you and the home? The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will tell you how energy efficient the property is and how much it will cost to run. You would be amazed how few buyers ask to see the full copy of the EPC – yet you have the right to view it – always ask the estate agent for a copy or download it for free from the Government website.

 

  1. The Outside

 

The outside space of your future Luton home is also something you need to reflect on before you start your search. What sort of back garden do you want? Do you want low maintenance? Do you want a bigger garden?  You also need to ensure the outside of your next Luton home is in great condition. Yet, if it’s a ‘do’er-upper’, does the price allow for those works to be done?

 

  1. The Loft & Cellar

 

Another aspect to consider when buying a Luton property is the loft (or even the cellar/basement if it has one). In both, look for water damage that could mean problems in the future whilst in cellars/basements, a musty smell could be poor ventilation meaning dry damp could be an issue. Also check for insulation in the loft (the Energy Performance Certificate will tell you if it’s up to standard).   

 

  1. Garage / Off Road Parking Space

 

How many cars do you have in your family? Can you park them all on your drive? Visit the property during the day, the evening, and weekends to see how the parking provision changes. If the property has a garage, can it be used for something else?

 

These are my top 11 rules – yet do you have others I haven’t considered?

Finding your next Luton property, be that for yourself to live in or as a Luton buy-to-let landlord, can sometimes be a scary task. You are possibly making one of the biggest purchases of your life, and you want to ensure you make the right choice.

 

Buying your next property is all about finding a Luton property with the features that match your requirements. However, what might be important to you as a homebuyer, might not be as important to other Luton homebuyers.

 

Some features will be red line must haves, whilst other features might be more negotiable, yet understanding what your requirements need to be, will make it easier to find the Luton home of your dreams.

 

Let’s look at my top 11 rules you need to consider when buying a property in Luton.

 

  1. Location, Location, Location in Luton

 

You can change many things within a property, but location isn’t one. They say you should buy a property for the things you can change. Go and visit the different neighbourhoods of Luton. Don’t just drive through them, walk through them at different times of the day. Look at weekdays as well as weekends. Think about transport links with access to bus routes, arterial roads. If you have children (or your tenants may have), think about school catchment areas for primary/secondary schools.

 

  1. Luton Bedrooms

 

Did you know there are 204,534 bedrooms in Luton?

 

Well, you do now! Anyway, the number of bedrooms is a very significant consideration when buying your new Luton home. If you need bedrooms for your children, the location of the bedrooms could be an issue. Depending on the age of any children, you might not want them to be a long way from the master bedroom, or if the children are teenagers, the opposite could be true. Bedroom size is also important. Is there enough space for children to study or have wardrobes? Do you need bedrooms for an office? If office space is required, you might want to consider a property with one less bedroom and one more reception room – and it will probably be a little cheaper. All things to consider.

 

  1. Potential Future House Price Growth in Luton

 

The type of Luton house you buy will determine how it increases in value in the future. Now this shouldn’t be the main consideration, yet it’s important to consider.

 

Since 2001, the different types of property in Luton have risen by different percentages.

 

  • Luton detached properties have risen by 163.8%
  • Luton semi-detached properties have risen by 177.4%
  • Luton town houses/terraced properties have risen by 185.9%
  • Luton apartments/flats have risen by 141.3%

 

On a standalone point for Luton landlords, the level of rent and yield are important considerations for your Return on Investment (ROI). There tends to be an inverse relationship between capital growth and yield (i.e. Luton properties with higher capital growth tend to have lower rental yields). If you are a Luton landlord and have any questions on this (or any point), drop me a note.

 

  1. The Overall Interior Size of Your Future Luton Property

 

On average a person only views five houses before they buy a house and only spends around 20 minutes in each on a viewing. Therefore, I would advise that you have a good idea about the size of Luton home you require before you start your search. If you have a big family you are going to need a bigger house obviously, yet you still need the budget to afford to buy the bigger Luton home. A top tip for you, the general rule of thumb is the older the house, the more you get for your money.

 

One great idea to calculate the square metreage of your potential Luton home. Ask to view the full copy of the Energy Performance Certificate, as it has the size of the property in square metres.

 

Bigger Luton houses tend to cost more money to run with utility bills and council tax.

 

A final thought on size is the question of whether your family is likely to grow in the next decade? Will you have more children or is a parent coming to live with you?

 

  1. The Price You Will Have to Pay For Your Next Luton Home

 

In the last 12 months, the Luton property market has remained buoyant as Luton people were forced to spend more time at home. Therefore, they looked for more space ... but what did they have to pay for that privilege?

 

  • 270 Luton detached properties have sold for an average £429,500
  • 576 Luton semi-detached properties have sold for an average £297,600
  • 366 Luton town house/terraced properties have sold for an average £245,800
  • 107 Luton apartment/flats have sold for an average £151,700

 

Look at the property portals (e.g. Rightmove, Boomin, Zoopla and OnTheMarket) and search for Luton property that is both available and sold subject to contract. Get a feel for asking prices of the Luton properties that are sold subject to contract as these will give you a good idea what they roughly sold for. Again, if you are not sure, pick up the phone or drop me a line.

 

  1. Bathroom(s)

 

Check the bathroom for water leaks. Do the toilets flush OK, do the taps drip? Is there any mould? And do you need more than one?

 

  1. The Lounge / Living Room

 

You will undoubtedly be spending a lot of time in the lounge / living room, so it needs to meet your requirements. Do you need a dining area? Does the design and arrangement of the room suit your lifestyle (or your tenants). Will you need new furniture? Are there enough electrical sockets? What are the carpets like? That goes for all rooms.

 

  1. Central Heating for your Luton Property

 

What type of central heating system is present, and does it meet the requirements of you and the home? The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will tell you how energy efficient the property is and how much it will cost to run. You would be amazed how few buyers ask to see the full copy of the EPC – yet you have the right to view it – always ask the estate agent for a copy or download it for free from the Government website.

 

  1. The Outside

 

The outside space of your future Luton home is also something you need to reflect on before you start your search. What sort of back garden do you want? Do you want low maintenance? Do you want a bigger garden?  You also need to ensure the outside of your next Luton home is in great condition. Yet, if it’s a ‘do’er-upper’, does the price allow for those works to be done?

 

  1. The Loft & Cellar

 

Another aspect to consider when buying a Luton property is the loft (or even the cellar/basement if it has one). In both, look for water damage that could mean problems in the future whilst in cellars/basements, a musty smell could be poor ventilation meaning dry damp could be an issue. Also check for insulation in the loft (the Energy Performance Certificate will tell you if it’s up to standard).   

 

  1. Garage / Off Road Parking Space

 

How many cars do you have in your family? Can you park them all on your drive? Visit the property during the day, the evening, and weekends to see how the parking provision changes. If the property has a garage, can it be used for something else?

 

These are my top 11 rules – yet do you have others I haven’t considered?

NAEA The Property Ombudsman TSI Client Money Protect Rightmove Zoopla OnTheMarket