The ‘Buy to Let’ Mortgage makes it comeback to Ireland

During the recession the term ‘Buy to Let’ mortgage was almost comparable to using an expletive such was the disgust of many to the contribution such mortgages made to the property crash. But they are making a comeback.

ICS Mortgages is offering its customers an interest free mortgage for up to 15 years.

Politicians were first to jump in with their concerns. Fianna Fáil finance spokesperson Michael McGrath said “Some might say that a ‘Buy to Let’ mortgage is being offered to landlords for investment purposes. But because of full recourse lending here, these loans could result in judgments against individuals and will be registered against family homes. READ MORE The ‘Buy to Let’ Mortgage makes it comeback to Ireland

Update on the Brexit effect on UK House prices

A prounced Brexit effect on UK house prices was unclear up to now but recently  released figures indicate we are now seeing a trend. It appears that the very wealthy areas of London are seeing strong downward pressure on prices.

One report indicates the areas such as Balham and Putney are seeing a fall in prices of 12-14% with others reporting falls of greater than 15%. London city centre areas were at the centre of the UK property boom. Many felt a correction may have been needed here.

In any case other areas of the UK are not seeing the same pattern.

READ MORE Update on the Brexit effect on UK House prices

To Architect or not to Architect

For many years I must admit to being quote opposed to use an Architect and their (what I considered) exorbitant fees.

When it comes to house design I pretty much think everyone else’s idea is a good one.

Also I am not really one for putting my own stamp on things. All this meant I ways thought there was enough house designs out there already so why not just buy off a prescribed house plan rather than looking at designing your own pile. Just look through the catalogue and pick the design you want. In recent months though I am not so sure….

READ MORE To Architect or not to Architect

Houses and apartments get more expensive in Germany – even in the countryside

Low interest rates and not enough sites to build on have been increasing real estate prices in Germany for years.

Also in 2018, but now it is not just happening in the big cities.

In 2017, Germans also had to spend significantly more money to fulfill their dream of owning their own home. “The prices continue to rise,” said Peter Ache, branch manager of the working group of the expert committees of the German Press Agency.

In the working group the reports of the local expert committees come together. Unlike many market studies, they gain their insights from the actual sales contracts. The working group will present its next nationwide report at the end of 2019.  READ MORE Houses and apartments get more expensive in Germany – even in the countryside

A few tips for Property Investing in the USA

As a follow up to our recent blog telling you that almost ANYONE can invest in the USA property market we thought it would only be fair to mention a few tips for doing so.

Before I personally made the plunge I spent several hours listening to podcasts on the subject.

I feel this was like a really valuable crash course on property investing in the USA.

It gave me great perspective on areas to consider and returns by area as well as the importance of proximity factors to these areas (big businesses and transport links). READ MORE A few tips for Property Investing in the USA

Bulgaria Property Prices continue strong growth in 2017

The Sofia Glove has reported that Bulgaria property prices rose between 6% and 8% during the 2017 year.

In an interview with Kaloyan Boganov he indicated the growth of Bulgaria property prices is mainly in large cities. In smaller towns, the figures are smaller. He pointed to factors such as historically low interest rates and an increase in demand as the reasons for the growth.

Also mentioned were the well documented fact that salaries in Bulgaria are increasing. Bulgaria is much like every other country in the world in seeing the masses flocking from rural areas to large cities. The effect of this is of course that we see city prices increasing and rural areas lagging far behind. READ MORE Bulgaria Property Prices continue strong growth in 2017

UK Commercial property beats all expectations but retail continues to lag

UK Commercial Property has had a torrid few years but it continue to emerge from the ashes and outperform everyone’s expectations.

Office space has seen a strong take-up in the second half of 2017. The commercial property sector smashed all expectations. But the performance of retail property was less positive following the worldwide trend caused by the change in peoples shopping habits.

Overall, the total return from UK commercial property in 2017 was 10.3 per cent.

This is outstripping even the most bullish of expectations.

READ MORE UK Commercial property beats all expectations but retail continues to lag

How to (legally) avoid Capital Gains tax on your US property

When it comes to think about Capital Gains tax on your US property there are a few things to consider. The first nice point is that if your profit from the sale is less than $250,000 then you can exclude it from taxable income (if married this is $500,000).

In order for this exclusion to apply there are some terms and conditions attached (as one would expect from the IRS).

The principle one is the two out of five rule.

This states you must have been resident in your home for a minimum of 2 of the last 5 years before the sale was completed. READ MORE How to (legally) avoid Capital Gains tax on your US property

Generation rent

Generation rent is a generation of young adults who, because of high house prices, live in rented accommodation and are regarded as having little chance of becoming homeowners.

Doesn’t this feel like flushing money down the toilet?

First time buyers in England are not having it easy.

Before they can get a foot on the property ladder they may spend many years renting and end up spending more than 50,000 Pounds in rent.

Figures from the Association of Residential Letting Agents show that tenants will be renting for an average of 13 years and in 2015 spent 22% of their wages in rent. READ MORE Generation rent

Property transactions costs comparison between the US and Europe

I recently read an article which indicated that transaction costs for US property average between 9 and 10%. This seems staggeringly high to someone like me who is more used to costs around 2%.

The seller has to pay the majority of the US transaction costs and the largest part by far is the Real Estate Broker fee which is typically 6%.

Similar costs in Northern Europe are between 1.5 and 3%. Other overall costs are pretty comparable and consist mostly of taxes and legal fees.

READ MORE Property transactions costs comparison between the US and Europe