Spring 2017 Issue of the Beacham Series Published

Spring 2017 Issue of the Beacham Series Published

ATLANTA, GA – The Spring 2017 issue of Atlanta’s premier real estate magazine, The Beacham Series, recently published featuring 5525 Long Island Drive on the cover. The issue marks the beginning of the magazine’s eleventh year in print.

The cover home was originally designed by Keith Summerour and built in 2000 by Benecki Homes. Part of a 1.6-acre gated estate on the Buckhead side of Sandy Springs, this light and airy home has six bedrooms, seven full baths, two half-baths and a four-car garage. It features exquisite finishes such as reclaimed wood floors, steel windows, and Venetian plaster walls. Other features include a home theatre, exercise room, billiard room, new Pebbletec pool with separate full pool bath on the terrace level, and a new limestone outdoor fireplace. The home is on the market for $3.2 million.

In the forward to the current issue, Beacham & Company founder and owner Glennis Beacham predicted another year of tremendous opportunities in the Atlanta real estate market. She credited her firm’s commitment to integrity, emphasis on thoughtful analysis, exceptional marketing, and a sincere, hands-on approach with clients as reasons for optimism in 2017.

The Beacham Series has a circulation of 25,000 including Atlanta’s most influential and affluent addresses. The magazine is also distributed to top executives in the world’s largest real estate relocation network, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World.

Click here to view the current issue of The Beacham Series online. To obtain a print version, email info@beacham.com or call 404-261-6300.

About Beacham & Company, REALTORS

Beacham & Company, REALTORS is Atlanta’s top-selling luxury real estate office. The firm was founded in 2006 by Glennis Beacham, one of Atlanta’s most celebrated real estate agents. The firm has 100 agents who average $7 million in sales per agent.

Build to Rent developers and investors sign up to offer three year tenancies as the norm

Build to Rent developers and investors sign up to offer three year tenancies as the norm

Leading members of the Build to Rent sector in the UK have signed a pledge to offer tenants three year tenancies in any of their new developments.

The three year pledge, but together by the British Property Federation (BPF), could mean the start of longer tenancies which research shows people in the private rented sector, especially families, want.

The signatories include 20 of the Build to Rent sector’s most active investors and developers who say they are responding to the recently published Housing White Paper in which Housing Minister Gavin Barwell asked for this new generation of purpose built, professionally managed rented homes to offer family friendly tenancies, such as for three years, for those who want longer term stability when renting.

The BPF and a cohort of the build to rent’s key players have responded and published the pledge to demonstrate the sector’s commitment to providing three year tenancies and working with Government to ensure the sector can play its part in rolling back 20 years of housing undersupply.

The Housing White Paper states that Government said it would be working with the BPF to consolidate this approach across the sector.

The BPF’s pledge says: ‘One of the benefits of the UK’s new Build to Rent sector is its ability to offer longer tenancies to its customers. We, the undersigned, therefore pledge to offer our customers the option of a three year tenancy in any of our new Build to Rent buildings.

‘Our customers will not be under any compulsion to take up this three year tenancy option, and can still opt for shorter terms. To further assist customers with their budgeting, we pledge to review rents no more frequently than once a year or at the end of the initial term, and to set out clearly at the start of the tenancy the basis on which rents will be reviewed. Such tenancies will allow the tenant to break, after a short period of notice.’

According to Ian Fletcher, BPF director of real estate policy, explained that the pledge underlines one of the many benefits of the sector to Government and the sector’s customers. ‘While many Build to Rent providers already offer longer tenancies, our aim is that three year tenancies become a trademark of the sector,’ he said.

The pledge has been welcomed by Barwell. ‘Our Housing White Paper sets out plans to create a bigger, better private rental sector for tenants and landlords, and to give renters a fairer deal. So, it’s great news that British Property Federation members have pledged to offer family-friendly three-year tenancies for renters in build to rent properties,’ he said.

‘This Government has already helped deliver more than 10,000 purpose build private rented homes since 2012. This important move gives additional security to those tenants and their families, as well as encouraging change in the wider market,’ he added.

UK general election unlikely to impact property markets

UK general election unlikely to impact property markets

The decision by British Prime Minister Theresa May to announce a surprise general election in just a few weeks’ time is unlikely to have much of an impact on the nation’s property markets.

It is generally felt that as there is not time before the vote on the 08 June for a long period of uncertainty to build up and the economy could be strengthened by the decision.

Indeed, a snap poll of home sellers and buyers has found that neither see the election as putting them off with their plans to move home. Some 56.7% of sellers said that they would be continuing although 24.4% said the decision has left them undecided and 18.4% are going to wait until the result.

The survey from online estate agent eMoov also found that 59.2% of buyers believe that the decision will not affect them and they plan to continue to purchase a property while 22.7% said the news had left them undecided and 17.5% are now going to wait until after the result of the election.

‘This initial look at both buyer and seller sentiment shows that the news of a snap election has failed to deter the majority of UK home sellers and buyers. It is a bold move by Theresa May and one that will look to settle any underlying opposition within the UK government around Britain’s decision to leave the European Union,’ said Russell Quirk, eMoov chief executive officer.

‘Since the vote to leave the EU we’ve seen the market remain remarkably resilient despite a degree of buyer uncertainty. Therefore, the eradication of questions around the legitimacy of the EU vote, a second referendum and any other opposition will only serve to buoy the housing market further and should see a large degree of stability return going forward,’ he added.

Jonathan Stephens, managing director of Surrenden Invest, pointed out that unlike usual general elections, where contending parties draw up their manifestos and there is a degree of uncertainty as to the outcome, there is a general view that the current Government will gain from the vote.

‘When it comes to the UK property market, it’ll be business as usual. There remains a chronic undersupply of housing and for whoever ends up in power as a result of this general election, building more homes and supporting the UK property sector will no doubt be at the top of their agenda,’ he added.

The election is positive news for the property market, according to Jean Liggett, chief executive officer of Properties of The World. ‘Markets in the UK dislike uncertainty and crave certainty. This certainty will positively impact on the UK property market, resulting in increased sales, increased prices or at least no decreases,’ she said.

‘UK and worldwide property investors will continue to make the UK a primary market for them to invest in,’ she explained but added that it is an opportunity to campaign for changes that will improve the market such as scrapping stamp duty on the first £125,000 for buy to let investors, bring back tax relief on buy to let mortgage payments and provide funds for local councils to build more homes.

Ed Heaton, managing partner of property search agency Heaton & Partners, also believes it is a positive move for property. ‘The snap nature of the announcement, means that there has been no long build up with buyers and sellers wanting to hold off. Whilst the outcome is widely expected to be a Tory landslide, the element of uncertainty is limited because of this. The prospect of five more years of Conservative rules will be seen by many as a real positive,’ he pointed out.

High demand and low levels of supply also mean that election uncertainty is unlikely to kick in, according to Philip Woolner, joint managing partner of Cheffins. ‘It is unlikely that we will see any real effect on activity in the run up to 08 June. Any kind of instability can easily frighten investors or property buyers, however we would expect that the impact of this snap election may simply elongate people’s decision making process on whether to move or invest in property,’ he said.

‘The run up to the election is short and should the polls be correct and the Conservatives win with a decent majority, we would expect a boost in the market as many property investors will welcome another five years of Conservative government,’ he added.

More than half of would be first time buyers hopeful of getting on UK housing ladder

More than half of would be first time buyers hopeful of getting on UK housing ladder

Over half of aspiring first time buyers questioned in a UK survey said they are hopeful and confident about their chances of getting on the housing ladder.

Overall 57% of those looking to buy their first property are optimistic and the majority expect to be able to do so by 2021, according to the research by conveyance services firm My Home Move.

However, for older first time buyers, those aged over 23, some 90% revealed that their home ownership aspirations and childhood expectations no longer match up as they had hoped to be able to buy at a younger age.

When asked what age they thought they would be able to buy their first home when they were growing up the majority answered age 25 or 30. For those who are now in their late 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s, this means they are years and even decades older than they expected to be when they dreamed they would buy their first home as a child.

The firm suggests there is now a ‘missed generation’ of first time buyers. ‘For many people the idea of home ownership is still the thing they aspire to the most. It offers security and a sense of achievement but of those we surveyed, over a quarter expected to be home owners by the time they hit their mid-20s but the reality is very different,’ said Doug Crawford, chief executive officer of My Home Move.

‘Our findings showed that we have a missed generation of first time buyers, those who are now into the 30s, 40s, 50s and even 60s, who are still struggling to get on the property ladder. Having grown up in the 1970s and 1980s, when home ownership figures overtook that of renting for the first time, it’s not surprising that these children believed they too would be home owners in their 20s,’ he pointed out.

When questioned how they expected to afford their new home some 72% of aspiring first time buyers said they were saving for their deposits themselves, however they also expected to need additional support from friends, family and the Government.

Only, 6.2% of respondents believe the Bank of Mum and Dad would gift them enough money for a deposit, meaning they could apply for a mortgage without the need for further savings or support through the Government’s Help to Buy schemes.

A regional breakdown of the survey shows that those in London represented the highest proportion of would be first time buyers who were expecting to receive a gifted deposit that would be enough to secure them a mortgage at 15.7% while an additional 13% were expecting to have to top up their gift with additional savings, as property prices are rising.

In comparison, only 6.8% of aspiring home owners in Yorkshire and Humberside expected to be gifted money, with 3.4% believing that they would have to top up their gift with savings.

Overall the Government’s Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme was more popular than the newer Help to Buy ISA, with over 10% of aspirational first time buyers in London and the North East planning to buy their first home through the Equity Loan scheme.

‘In today’s market, with its continued lack of housing stock and high property prices, would be first time buyers have to take advantage of every revenue stream available to them. For many, years of hard saving are not enough to afford them their first home, having to be supplemented with gifted deposits and Government support,’ said Crawford.

UK still most attractive commercial real estate market for global investors despite Brexit

UK still most attractive commercial real estate market for global investors despite Brexit

Despite concerns over Brexit the UK was rated as the most attractive commercial real estate market among investors in the first quarter of 2017, new research shows.

Some 30% of investors selected the UK as their preferred location, down slightly from the 31% recorded a year ago, but well above the 25% favouring Germany and 18% the United States and France.

Those favouring Germany are unchanged year on year while for the US there has been a drop of 21% and France was down by 14% compared with the first quarter of 2016, the latest Brick Vest commercial property investment barometer also shows.

However, the research found that both German and French investors are less favourable toward the UK since March last year. Less than one in five, 19%, of French and the same number of German investors suggested they prefer the UK in March this year compared to 24% and 22% respectively last year. US investor sentiment towards the UK fell marginally from 23% to 22%.

Despite Brexit and the potential of a second Scottish referendum being called in the next few years, some 46% of BrickVest’s UK commercial real estate investors selected their home market as their preferred location, up from 44% in March 2016.

UK investors suggested Germany was second, backed by 19%, the US third with 16% and France with 14% in fourth in terms of preferred locations to invest.

According to BrickVest’s investors, average risk appetite index amongst its US investors remains growth oriented and relatively unchanged in the last 12 months at 56 compared ith 58 in 2016. UK investor risk appetite also remained largely the same at 55 compared to 54 in 2016, despite choosing to leave the European Union. This indicates that investors’ risk appetite is fairly balanced albeit slightly leaning towards the riskier spectrum.

BrickVest’s barometer also showed that the investment objective for the majority, 48%, of its online investors is capital growth compared to 37% which said income.

‘Despite Brexit, our latest barometer shows the UK remains the preferred location to invest in from our global investor base but uncertainty created is beginning to take effect. Since the vote in June, we’ve seen a 72% increase in the number of investors joining the platform,’ said Emmanuel Lumineau, BrickVest chief executive officer.

‘We have seen plenty of appetite from investors for property as an asset class and it is clear that many of our users want to take advantage of the vote,’ Lumineau added.

Some 40% of landlords in UK are women, new research has found

Some 40% of landlords in UK are women, new research has found

Women now account for two in five landlords in the UK with most female investors using property lettings as a means to topping up their monthly income from other sources, according to new research.

An analysis of tens of thousands of landlords by Simple Landlords Insurance shows that 40% of landlords are women. By comparison, only 17% of SME owners are women which the firm believe indicates how property is moving towards equality at a faster pace than other industries.

Also, poll of over 400 landlords showed how male and female investors have different goals for their investments with 63% of female landlords saying that using rent for monthly income was their long term business goal, as opposed to long term capital growth, compared with 53% of men.

The research also found that women are more likely than men to have become accidental landlords. Some 48% of female landlords choose to be buy to let investors compared to 61% of men.

Indeed, women were more likely to have become landlords after moving in with a partner and renting out their own property or through purchasing a property for a family member to live in, such as a child attending university.

Female landlords are also likely to provide rented accommodation to a more diverse range of tenants than men. Some 35% said they would rent to housing benefit recipients, compared with 25% of men. Women were also more open to renting to pensioners, students and single employed tenants.

‘As recently as 1970 women could be refused a mortgage without a male guarantor. But buying, selling, renovating, and renting property is no longer just for the boys,’ said Alexandra Huntley, Simple Landlords Insurance head of operations.

‘Those stereotypes are firmly consigned to history. Women have been steadily gaining ground over the last 50 years and are increasingly gaining financial independence through property investment,’ she added.

The research is included in a new Women in Property Report along with real life examples and practical advice for female landlords from the Female Property Alliance. It includes the story of Bindar Dosanjh, alliance founder, who built a multi-million pound portfolio after she became a single mother and had to rent rooms to pay the bills and survive.

‘For me, investing in property was about having the freedom to make choices about my life. I have made plenty of mistakes along the way but have been able to fall back on property income when I lost my job in the 2008 recession and again when I became seriously ill and was unable to work,’ she said.

‘Being a good communicator, a good negotiator and being good at managing people are key attributes for any landlord. They are also things women can be great at but don’t always recognise as valuable and transferable skills. I see many women who have hidden skills that can be applied to property investment more easily than they think,’ she added.

Average rents for new tenancies in UK up just 1.1% year on year

Average rents for new tenancies in UK up just 1.1% year on year

Average rents in the UK continue to see a slower rate of rental growth in March compared to last year with values for new tenancies up just 1.1% nationally.

But there is some regional variation with asking rents up 3.1% year in year in Wales, up 1.5% in Northern Ireland and up 1.2% in Scotland.

Overall the national average was £904 per calendar month. In Wales it was £616 in March, in Northern Ireland £614 and in Scotland £610, according to the latest index from HomeLet.

But the highest rents are in London at £1,546 per calendar month, up 1.2% compared to March 2016. However, since July 2016 rents in London have seen a slower pace of annual growth, down from 6.8%.

Month on month rents increased across the UK apart from the North East where they were static and the North West where they fell by 0.7% to an average of £522 and £675 respectively.

The biggest month on month rise was in Wales with an increase of 2.3%, followed by Scotland with a monthly rise of 2.1% and a rise of 1.7% in Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, rents increased by 1.1% in the East Midlands, by 0.9% in the South West, by 0.7% in the East of England, by 0.6% in the West Midlands, and by 0.5% in the South East to an average of £602, £798, £902, £663, and £997 respectively.

An analysis of the figures show that average rental values in London were 70.9% higher than the rest of the UK and the gap between London and the rest of the UK was comparable to March 2016 when it was 70.8% and higher than March 2015 when it was 67.3%.

The London boroughs with the highest rents are Camden and the City of London at £2.186, followed by Westminster at £2,041, Lambeth at £1,937, then Hammersmith, Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea at £1,823.

In contrast, the London boroughs with the lowest rents are Croydon at £1,101, Barking, Dagenham and Havering at £1,162, Bexley and Greenwich at £1,223, Redbridge and Waltham Forest at £1,253 and Harrow and Hillingdon at £1,339.