Property News Roundup

Something we’re passionate about here at the Heaton Group is ensuring that our clients are all well informed. Now we’re well into 2020 we’ve completed a roundup of the most recent, exciting property news.

Zero Tenancy Deposits to end?

There’s been a recent inquiry into the transparency over deposit replacement products. These exist for landlords/agents who wish to offer something different over the more traditional cash deposit on the initial rental of their properties. There are worries that the “deposit-free” renting option is being mis-sold to tenants who aren’t being made aware of the auxiliary costs involved. This means tenants pay a smaller, usually non-refundable fee that replaces the traditional deposit. However, complaints have been received that tenants are often misled.

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The idea is that tenants should be offered a clear choice between the standard cash deposit and a replacement product such as the non-refundable fee. This shouldn’t, however, be forced upon tenants to fulfil the wishes of the landlord or agent in any circumstance. Tenants should also still be aware that they are 100% liable for arrears or damage they may cause to the property – these replacement deposit products do not circumvent the responsibility for the property, and it’s upkeep.

Conversely, they should also be able to challenge any demands made to them as part of their tenancy in the same way. Some schemes charge a fee to dispute claims. There is always the FCA available in the event of any ongoing issues.

House Price Growth

According to Halifax’s House Price Index, annual house price growth reached 4.1% in January 2020. This raises quarterly growth to 2.3% - an excellent sign for the market as a whole.

There were pre and post Brexit murmurings about the property market diving due to lack of investment from both inside and outside the UK, but that’s mostly been unfounded with a significant number of overseas investors now identifying the stability brought to the UK economy. The property market has been resilient for a long time – there are ups and downs as with any industry. Still, investments made in property are secure due to demand for property in the UK and the consistent regeneration projects. The most common area for this is, of course, our favourite – the North West, but numerous projects are being undertaken throughout the UK.

The environment for mortgage affordability will stay mostly favourable too, with the Bank of England’s base rate remaining at 0.75%. This means banks are lending at a price that is most affordable for those looking to buy or invest in properties. Several competitive mortgage rates have come out of this. As a result, they are making the marketplace competitive and as such, good for the consumer.

With house prices now at their highest point since 2016 and with no sign of slowing, now really is a fantastic time to be involved in the property market as there’s no slowdown anticipated through 2020. Rental yields continue to improve, none more so than in the North West as you can see below.

HG Rental Prices (4)

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