News > Property Newsletter – May 2022
3 May 2022

Property Newsletter – May 2022

Property prices continue to rise despite the higher cost of living

It’s no secret that the cost of living is increasing. With energy prices soaring and hikes in interest rates, this has put a strain on pockets across the country.

Now, experts are predicting a sharp rise in property prices due to there not being enough properties to meet the current buyer demand. This shortage is expected to drive property prices up by over 5% by the end of May, meaning that house prices will reach an all-time high of £352,984.

The research shows a small dip in prices in March and April, and then a 6.7% increase in May, possibly due to buyers trying to close deals quickly before rates increase again.

This obviously has a negative impact on first-time buyers trying to save for a deposit. However, with mortgage costs continuing to rise, some potential buyers are deciding it’s now or never while they can still lock in a low fixed rate deal.

This is also challenging for existing property owners who are looking to take the next step up the property ladder. With such a competitive market, even those who have sold their previous property may find that the number of houses they can afford is diminishing.

 

Spring statement: Updates for landlords

In the Spring Statement, Chancellor Sunak announced the Government’s plan to bring forward an exemption that will make green technology exempt from business rates.

The exemption for green technology, such as solar panels and heat pumps, came into effect on April 1st 2022. This was brought forward one year from the original date of April 1st 2023.

Making these technologies exempt from business rates will save businesses an extra £35 million in the 2022-2023 tax year and support the decarbonisation of buildings.

In addition to the green technology exemption, the Chancellor also announced a 100% relief for eligible low-carbon heat networks which have their own rates bill.

Lastly, a 5-year VAT reduction on energy savings materials (ESM) from 5% to 0% also took effect from April 1st 2022. Between April 2022 to March 2027, the 0% rate will be in effect to cover the installation of ESMs, including insulation and controls for central heating, in residential accommodation.

 

Homes for Ukraine: What you need to know

The government-funded “Homes for Ukraine” scheme connects Ukrainian refugees to UK residents who can offer accommodation.

Any UK resident (regardless of nationality) who has a spare room or house can become a sponsor as long as they are allowed to remain in the UK for at least 6 months and can offer suitable accommodation for at least 6 months. Organisations can also become a sponsor. You can easily register your interest on gov.uk.

Should you have a specific Ukrainian family member, friend or acquaintance that you would like to sponsor, this can be requested. If you do not have a specific person in mind, you can state your preferences, based on how much space you can offer and if the accommodation is suitable for young children.

As a sponsor, you cannot charge rent. However, the government will pay you £350 per month in arrears, per residential address.

All Ukrainians applying for a visa to enter the country will have met standard security checks against police and antiterrorism databases as part of their application process. They will also be eligible to work and apply for benefits once settled in the UK.

The Home Office will also conduct a security check on all potential sponsors and any other adults living at the address.

 

Increase property value and reduce costs with eco-friendly solutions

Making small eco-friendly improvements to your property can not only reduce running costs but also add value to your property. Here are a few ways you can boost your property value and help the environment.

Upgrade your insulation

Upgrading your insulation, particularly solid wall insulation, can make for one of the most profitable upgrades. Although it can be costly to upgrade, it can boost your property value by 3%.

 

Upgrade your boiler

Boilers are often costly, but they also provide increased efficiency and longevity and can boost your property value by up to 1.9%.

 

Install a charging port for electric cars

Although electric cars are increasing in popularity, it’s uncommon to find a home that has a charging port. Installing one is fairly cheap (less than £1,000) and can boost your home’s value by 1.5%.

 

Get double-glazed windows

Although fitting double-glazed windows throughout your home can be very expensive, it is important to homebuyers

and can increase your property value by 3%.

Record cash increase for UK properties

In the past year, the UK saw a record leap in house prices. According to Nationwide Building Society, the price of a typical UK home increased by £29,162 – the largest yearly increase (12.6%) since 1991!

This increased the price of an average home to £260,230 in February.

Demand for homes has caused property values to rise and the number of available properties for sale to decrease, meaning buyers are competing with one another more than ever before.

The rising cost of living is making it more difficult for people to afford their homes, but significant house price increases are continuing despite this. However, the building society is confident that the housing market will slow.

Some experts believe that Covid-19 had an impact on the demand, as many people changed how they lived and worked over the past few years. This led to a “race for space” amongst buyers.

Although this is great news for homeowners and landlords who can increase their rent, it is a hard hit for first time buyers – some of whom just managed to save enough for a deposit, only to be met with a price spike.

 

Energy prices soaring – What this means for your property business

The government announced that the energy price cap will increase by 54% in April. This means that energy bills will increase by £693 per year for an average household.

The price cap introduced by Ofgem is part of its strategy for ensuring fair competition between providers and reducing the impact of rising wholesale prices on consumers. With the cost cap, suppliers are limited in how much of this cost they can pass along to their customers.

As a property business owner, this may affect you in a variety of ways. With the cost of living already increased from last year, the impact of rising energy bills could potentially mean that your tenants could fall into rent arrears. In this case, you should discuss a payment plan with your tenants to tide them over until the summer when they use less energy. For HMOs or in tenancies that include bills, we suggest planning ahead to ensure that the rental amounts take into account the higher energy costs.

The government has been discussing ways to help tenants and businesses with the increases. We will keep you posted with any developments.

Wilson Partners Downloads Header.

Guide to selling your business

Your simple guide to helping you maximise the value in your business.

Download

Sign up to receive alerts

Call us on 01628 770 770 for a no-obligation chat

You may also be interested in...

Tax News July 2022

July 2022 Tax News

Pandemic? What pandemic? With Summer ’22 in full swing and all the usual events happening at full capacity, you could be forgiven for being lulled into a false sense of normality. But once you’ve packed away your tent at Glasto, or finished your…

More

Property news July 2022

Property Newsletter – July 2022

Will taxing landlords at the source become the norm? Under a proposed new scheme aimed at reducing rental fraud, letting agents and property websites would collect and report tax on behalf of landlords. This proposal has been met with firm…

More

3 Peaks Challenge

The team trekked, hiked and climbed their way across the 3 Peaks this weekend. Very sadly they did not make it within 24 hours and just missed the top of Snowdon by 500 ft due to high winds prohibiting climbs to the top. It's a massive…

More