Scottish house prices dow 5,600 pounds in 12 months
Prices have fallen for 5 months in a row and now stand -4% below November 2011 Only 22% of local authority areas have seen prices rise in the last year Gordon Fowlis, regional managing director of Your Move, an estate agency chain that is part of LSL, comments: "Property in Scotland has been bleeding value over the last 12 months. House sales in the first eleven months of 2012 were 55% lower than they were in 2007,and house prices are down in three-quarters of areas. Mortgages are scarce. Savings rates are low. And finances are still being pillaged by inflation. "The first half of last year saw a slight recovery in prices, but it was cut short by a sharp squeeze on the mortgages funds available to banks, which led to a reduction in first-time buyer numbers over the second half of the year. First-time buyers are the cornerstone of a healthy market. Without them, demand in the whole market fizzles out and house prices are dragged down."There have been some very tentative signs of improvement sales are up 4% compared to 2011 but they are only minor victories in a war that the housing market is a long way from winning.Wealthier buyers continue to dominate activity, which has created a distinct two-tier market. It will remain that way until mortgages become more accessible to less affluent buyers.Even Edinburgh, which is normally relatively impervious to price falls thanks to the high number of wealthier buyers who live there, has seen values collapse. Prices in the capital have dropped an eye-watering 10,000 pounds in the last twelve months. Some local authority areas saw less than a hundred sales in November, which illustrates just how depressed the market is at the moment.The good news is that 2013 should see some significant improvements.Banks should have more funds available for mortgage lending, and slowly but surely mortgage availability for first-time buyers is improving. And the jobs market is the healthiest its been since the financial crisis, which should boost demand and give banks more confidence in the state of the economy and borrowers finances.
Rogue landlord prosecutions cost more than 1m pounds a time
Rogue landlord prosecutions cost more than 1m pounds a time A scheme aiming to crack down on rogue landlords has cost taxpayers nearly 18 million pounds in the past six years and resulted in just 11 reports to the procurator fiscal in Scotland. The Landlord Registration Scheme was set up in 2006 to address the problem of problem landlords in private rental sector. According to figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives, landlords have paid 11.2 million pounds in fees and the project received a government start-up grant of 5.2 million pounds. Other running costs are estimated at around 300,000 pounds since the scheme started. Since 2006, just 40 landlords have been barred from registering, while 11 have been reported for prosecution out of more than 200,000 who have signed up. Details on Scotland?s Landlord Registration Service came to light after Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone raised questions in parliament. He said the scheme has cost more than 400,000 pounds for every landlord refused registration. According to this scheme, since 2006, there are only 40 rogue landlords operating in Scotland, however many tenants will have had an altogether more negative experience,said Mr Johnstone, Scottish Conservative housing spokesman. This farcical programme, introduced with the best of intentions, is failing to deliver at a tremendous cost to the taxpayer. Effectively, it means that landlords who were forced to become part of the registration scheme under the assumption that it would root-out rogue landlords have paid a lot of money for a small level of enforcement. Responsible people in the rental property industry are being hit in the pocket because the scheme is inadequate, Mr Johnstone added. A robust and efficient way of meeting the housing need through the private rented sector is needed, but the Landlord Registration Scheme is not providing it, he continued. The Scottish Association of Landlords represents rental property owners across the country and supported the scheme when it was introduced. Now, policy and parliamentary affairs officer John Blackwood said it is not inspiring confidence with landlord members or tenants. He called for a review of the programme in order to make it fit for purpose.
Cheaper landlord mortgages as lenders trim rates
Cheaper landlord mortgages as lenders trim rates Britains two leading buy to let lenders are flexing their financial muscle to grab a larger share of the market as landlords look to borrow more. The Mortgage Works (TMW), the buy to let arm of The Nationwide, is chopping fixed rates back by up to 0.8% and trackers by up to 0.75% for new borrowers. Rates start at 3.49% fixed for two years for low risk 55% loan-to-value (LTV) lending with a 995 pounds fee the same fixed rate for landlords wanting to borrow 80% LTV sees the rate climb to 4.69% and the fee surge to 2.5% of the loan. TMW has some no-fee deals starting at 3.49% for landlords. Spokesman Ian Andrew said: Most of our buy-to-let products have an arrangement fee of ?995 or less.
New EPC Legislation
As from 9th january 2013 all properties advertised for let must include an energy rating in the advert. The only way of finding the Energy rating is by having an Energy Performance Certificate for the property.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme
All of Fife Letting Services tenancy deposits have been lodged with Safe Deposit Scotland, All tenant information letter have also been sent to our tenants. It is now a legal requirement to protect a tenants deposit, this has now been done for all existing tenancies and will be completed for all future tenancies as they occur.