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A successful 'Investing in London' webinar

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Your questions have been answered by the experts

Is the value of apartments in central London on the decline due to covid and the move to larger properties outside of London?
Prices in London have been under pressure over the last 12 months mainly due to the travel ban and movement of people outside in search of more space. However we forecast there will be a reversal as people return to work form their offices and realise they are far away.

How much has COVID set us back in terms of capital growth and rental yields in London?
Rental prices are only under pressure in prime central London as people have moved further out in to zones 3 and 5. We expect by Q3 that the young professionals will be moving back in and the yields to increase.

With what appears to have been a large drop in Rental Yields in the London, do you still believe the current property valuations are warranted given these lower yields?
Rents are only under temporary pressure as above due to travel ban, lack of overseas students and working from home, but as things open this will reverse and we see a boom coming.

When renting out a property are you responsible for council tax, service charges and utility bills or can you pass those onto the renters? If so, will the rental price have to decrease?
Tenants are responsible for council tax and utility bills. Landlords are only responsible for service charges. This has no effect on the rents as people expect this.

How much impact do you think Brexit will have on the rental market once COVID is gone and things start settling?
In a word, Zero! Tenants coming from Europe will simply follow same restrictions as those coming for other parts of the world.

I am a resident but no direct income in UK as a salary. Can I use mortgage from UK banks?
Potentially depending on what sources of income globally you have.

With regards to lending, could you please ask Rachel’s view on high LTV mortgages for individuals?
The higher the loan to value the higher the rate will be. There are different thresholds for both residential and buy to let purchases.

You mentioned lenders lend to overseas buyers. How would it work if you invest while living in the UK and then move outside the country?
Whether you’re in the UK and then move overseas or based overseas from outset there are lenders who can assist. It would depend on individual circumstances and property usage.

For first time buyers, can we use Help to Buy and then decide to rent the flat (I am planning to live in it for at least a few years first)?
You wouldn’t be able to use help to buy for this. If you bought with help to buy you would have to buy the help to buy part also and own 100% of the property before being able to rent it.

If inflation increases interest rates could only rise, won't this hit the market?
It’s all in consideration to what you're looking for with overall gain and income. Yes rates could increase so could rental income and property value.

If I can afford a bank mortgage but am also eligible for Help to Buy, should I use Help to Buy?
It is down to the property / area you want. You may be eligible for a mortgage without help to buy but your overall buying power maybe reduced therefore meaning you cannot buy what you want, where you want. If that’s the case and you're eligible for help to buy you may be able to buy a higher value property or in an area more convenient for you as the help to buy deposit is giving you that boost to buy what you want in the area you want.

Does the stamp duty extension apply to second home buyers?
Yes absolutely. As the SDLT holiday applies to purchases of all residential properties up to £500,000, purchased before 30th June 2021. It does mean that property investors in the buy to let market stand to benefit. A property investor buying a £500,000 house stands to save £15,000 in SDLT as a result of the chancellor’s announcement.

What sets Your Millbrook Park development apart from the rest on the Millbrook Park regeneration scheme?
The proximity to the station being directly opposite is very popular with the purchasers as well as every apartment having outdoor space with a terrace or balcony and car parking space. The service charges are lower than the competition also and there is no ground rent to pay. Barratt London is the only developer on the consortium site that has the HBF 5 star status for build quality and customer care. You should ensure that you have peace of mind with your purchase.

Why is now a good time to invest?
Now could be one of the best possible times to invest in a UK property. Whether it’s your first time buying or you’re adding to a wider portfolio, we’re currently witnessing a ‘perfect storm’ with low interest rates, stamp duty holidays, currency benefits and long term capital growth potential that may never be seen again.

Do you see 1 and 2 bed new build properties in London holding value, given the trend to home working and the end to the help to buy scheme in 2023?
All of the house price forecasts from the leading agents (Savills, Knight Frank and CBRE) in the UK are forecasting house price growth ranging from 13-21% over the next 4 years.

Could you please ask our panel about off-plan buying opportunities?
Barratt London have a portfolio of 12 developments across the capital ranging from studios to 3 bedroom apartments that can be bought off plan. Please visit the Barratt London website to view your potential new investment opportunity.

Is 1 bedroom flat a good investment, or would you advise to buy bigger properties?
One or two bedroom apartments are exactly what an investor should be purchasing as they have the highest demand in the rental market.

Any advice you can give for negotiating the price with new built developers? With current price dynamics, is it worth asking for 5-10% discount?
There are many incentives available to potential purchasers of Barratt London property to help you get on the property ladder but it is unlikely that you will be able to secure such a big discount.

Is this deal on any Barratt development?
The rental guarantee offer is only on Barratt London developments.

What are your views on the New Mill Quarter development? Is it better for capital growth or for buying to let?
Rental demand at New Mill Quarter is strong so it would be perfect for a buy to let investment. The forecast for house price growth from all of the major estate agents is for strong growth across the UK however this could not be guaranteed at New Mill Quarter.

Current completion times, would you still make the SDLT holiday before end June?
We have a range of properties that will be available for completion before the end of June and would avail of the stamp duty holiday saving you up to £15,000. Please visit the Barratt London website to search for your new home or investment property.