Piggybank News

October 25, 2013

Buckinghamshire Landlord Property Investment Show


Above is a link to the booking page of the Buckinghamshire Landlord Property Investment Show.  This is running on Thursday, November 14, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM at Jurys Inn, Midsummer Boulevard, Milton Keynes MK9

Tickets are free and the organisers are promising to have key speakers from the industry who will cover topical industry news on legislation, vetting tenants, landlord services etc as well as a number of stalls and displays to browse.



October 1, 2013

Report on MK Landlords Forum 30/9/13

Last nights Landlords Forum at the Civic Offices focussed on the current consultation being undertaken by ORS, on behalf of the council, into licensing in MK.  Needless to say this issue completely took over the meeting and the two other proposed topics of discussion were put off for future meetings.

It was evident that many landlords and letting agents had not been made aware of the consultation until invited to this meeting and were sceptical about both the council’s intentions and the accuracy of any data gathered.

Steve Jarman from ORS did an excellent job of fielding a large range of questions and maintaining a neutral stance throughout.  Housing Manager Linda Ellen also provided information on a number of specific areas.

They explained that the consultation period has been running since July and is due to end on 11th October. They have posted the consultation document to a list of Residents Associations, Parish Councillors and Social Landlords but no Private Landlords other than those with licensed HMO’s.  In addition they have targeted a sample area of MK based on areas of high rental housing AND high antisocial behaviour in order to test the apparent correlation between the two.  In total just over 3000 ( approx 1% of residents) questionnaires have been sent out in addition to the two hundred or so responses they have received online.  Mr Jarman defended this as a “statistically robust” sample size.

Many landlords challenged this process both in terms of the size of the sample and the fact that, despite having an email list of Landlords, and easy access to details of Letting Agents, neither of these central stakeholder groups had been contacted.  They also pointed out that holding the meeting at such a late date left only 2 weeks for responses from these sectors to be gathered.

Ms Ellen and Mr Jarman explained that the final report should be completed by December, with recommendations being placed before Cabinet around March 2014.  They made it clear that whilst ORS are providing the evidence, any recommendations would be made by council officers based on this evidence and would not come direct from ORS.  However, ORS would be able to highlight areas of concern as well as whether the evidence would support action based on the current legislation and the experience of other councils they have worked with (some of whom have had to defend the scheme at judicial review).

The primary issues raised by landlords were as follows…

1) Is licensing just seen as a cash cow? How will the money be spent?

2) How can licensing remedy the problem of anti-social behaviour? It is the problem landlords and tenants that need to be dealt with and penalizing the decent ones won’t help with this because problem landlords won’t bother to apply and the council is already in contact with the rest.

3) Are the council dealing with the problems of antisocial behaviour amongst its own tenant base? Is there any evidence at all to suggest that the problem originates in the private sector instead?

4) Police and council have the powers and training to deal with antisocial behaviour.  In what way do landlords have more power than the police, environmental health or social services?

5) As enforcement costs cannot come from license fees where is the extra money going to come from?  It cost Manchester £500,000. What will be the effect on other vital services whose budgets are already being stretched?

6) Landlords will pass the costs of licensing onto the tenants and this will see an increasing number of benefits tenants squeezed out of an already shrinking supply of housing.



February 18, 2013

Riding the Property Cycle – the secret to making money in property investment

We are all familiar with seasonal cycles. From a very young age we learn that night follows day, spring follows winter,  harvest follows planting and so on… before the whole cycle starts over.  This very basic understanding of how cycles work can help with your investment decisions. You need to know when to plant the seeds (i.e. invest your money) at the right time so that it will grow and you can gather a rich harvest.

This may sound a bit simplistic but you really don’t need to be an expert stock broker to understand how the property investment cycle works. It is easy to look for clues that will tell you when a market has hit or passed the bottom in terms of prices. This is the point where a property market is beginning to grow and therefore where you should invest to get the best long-term return. Look at the signals all around you and this will help guide your investment decisions.

What makes property investment so interesting is that not all countries are at the same stage in their cycle.  In the EU most are heading into winter and prices are tumbling or at best remain static because few people are buying.  According to property investment company Colordarcy the 5 worst performing  investment areas of 2012 are all EU countries – Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Slovenia and the Netherlands. On the other hand if we travel to the United States, all indications are that after a long winter they are now in the spring (or at a stage where the market is growing). Property in Miami for instance has increased in value by 20% over 2012.

So what of the UK market?

The Nationwide House Price Index has recorded only slight variations in house prices since the start of 2011.  They showed a slight dip in prices overall in 2012 but in the final quarter of the year prices were actually up 0.5%.  The most significant changes have been the continuing increase in the north/south divide and the relative depression of the Irish, Welsh and Scottish housing markets.   This would seem to indicate (in England at least) a market resting at the lowest point of its cycle, poised for Spring growth. When combined with predictions that Bank of England base rates are unlikely to rise until 2017, strong rental demand and rent levels generally on the increase; it would seem that 2013 is a good time for  investors with a medium to long term view to investigate the UK  Buy to Let market.

Full Nationwide report can be downloaded here – House Prices Q4_2012

December 3, 2012

Property Investors Christmas Party

Filed under: Property — nspresources @ 1:20 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

xmas-pigAll Property Investors in MK and Northants are  Invited To a Christmas Party

On DECEMBER 10th 2012 at The Silk Road, 151 Grafton Gate East, Central Milton Keynes. MK9 1AE

Let us Celebrate all the success and all the hard work at a “Christmas Party” with Experts and 30 Fellow Property Investors


  • 7pm to 7:30pm Registration + Welcome drink
  • 7:30 to 9pm Dinner + Networking
  • 9pm to 10pm – Charity Auction
  • (Surprises from Property Experts)
    10pm 10:30pm – Desert + Networking

Organised By Milton Keynes Property Meet and Northampton Property Meet


£25 per person (Online Booking)
On the door: £35 (Only if seats available)

We Look Forward To Celebrating With You



November 21, 2012

Add value to your property with an extension

Following the recent announcement of a 2yr relaxation to planning laws Nationwide issued a special report detailing the increase in value to houses following different types of improvement.

Commenting on the Special Report, Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist, said “With housing market demand still very weak, increasing numbers of homeowners may opt to improve rather than move. Our research assesses the factors that affect the value of homes, and the potential to add value.”

Nationwide’s House Price Index Special Report looked at the value of improvements made to an average three-bedroom house. Nationwide found:

  • Creating an extra bathroom could add 6% to the value
  • Adding another double bedroom can push up the value by 12%1
  • Building an extension or loft-conversion to create a double bedroom and en-suite bathroom could add 23%2 to the value
  • Increasing floor space by 10% can add 5% to the average value (more…)

October 3, 2012

Lloyds TSB Commercial – Economic presentation

For those of you that didn’t manage to attend theMilton Keynes Property Forum 2012 on 28 September 2012 arranged by Lloyds TSB Commercial, I would like to circulate the economic presentation given by David Page, Lloyds TSB’s Senior Chief Senior Economist.  Interesting reading!


September 10, 2012

Milton Keynes Property Forum 2012

This event is hosted by Lloyds TSB Commercial and is aimed at property investment and development professionals looking to gain specialist insight into key aspects of the property industry.

The event is FREE and includes breakfast!

The seminar will include a ‘Q & A’ session which will give you a chance to ask questions to a multi-faceted panel of property experts who are involved in the fields of planning, investment, development, finance and law.

This is an exclusive opportunity to listen to and debate with experts from the property industry on the opportunities and challenges facing property investors, developers, financial intermediaries and professionals. The panel will be chaired by Andrew Morgan, Relationship Director for Property and Alex Caravello of MK Private Landlords Association will be taking part.

Date: 27th of September 2012 8am – 11am
Venue: Hilton Hotel, Milton Keynes
Address: Kents Hill Park, Timbold Drive, Milton Keynes, MK7 6HL

Please RSVP to alex@mkpla.org.uk if you would like to attend.

April 24, 2012

Does Property Investment make a good pension plan?

A survey by the National Landlords Association (NLA) has found 81% of landlords expect to rely on their portfolio to help them financially after they stop working.  As confidence in the economy slumps to an all-time low an increasing number of people are looking to property investment as an important part of their post-retirement income.

Over the last 10 years the number of savers contributing to pensions dropped by 8%. David Salusbury, Chairman, National Landlords Association, commented: “Landlord confidence in the financial market is at an all-time low. This combined with record low interest rates means that many individuals are looking for alternative ways to secure their financial future. Private-residential property can be a sound long-term investment for those planning their retirement. But potential landlords must realise that letting property is a lot more complicated than contributing to a pension.”

(Piggy says “Property investment can offer security for the future if it is done properly; but like any other small business it is important to get the right advice and ensure that you assess the risks as well as the possible advantages”.)

April 17, 2012

What do weight watching and investing in property have in common?

Making money in Property is Simple – just like losing Weight!

The link might not seem obvious at first, but both offer relatively straightforward and easy to understand ways to succeed.  Yet most people get it wrong!

Over half of all Brits are overweight or obese and dieting books are the biggest sellers in the world. And yet almost everyone knows what it takes – don’t eat more than you need and burn off as many calories as you can by exercising. Simple.

Despite this, over half of us in Britain can’t manage this!  Rather than following  consistent good habits which we know will bring results, people look for the latest fad diets and don’t have the discipline or willpower to see it through.  Simple is not the same thing as easy!

If we compare this to property investing it is easy to see how a lack of discipline can prevent you realizing the results you desire. (more…)

March 13, 2012

Change in Tax Rules for Holiday Lets

In a recent case, the tax tribunal dismissed HMRC‘s argument that furnished holiday lets should be categorised with other buy-to-let and rental properties, which attract 40% inheritance tax on the owner’s death.  Instead they ruled that it should be deemed a business. This means that owners of holiday homes who let them out will be able to claim business property relief and reduce their Inheritance Tax bills.

Stephen Barratt, private client director at accountants James Cowper, said  “While HMRC can be expected to take their arguments to the Upper Tier Tribunal, as it stands the decision is good news and could open the door to a flood of claimants who have been awaiting the verdict. It could also give people greater certainty in planning their affairs.”

This ruling is in contrast to the case for to buy-to-let properties which are not treated as businesses for tax purposes.

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