Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Time to invest in the buy to let market

With the UK's current economic difficulties now undoubtedly affecting even the previously buoyant property sales market in the South West, now is certainly a good time to consider investing in the buy to let market as rentals have remained strong throughout the recession.

Therefore, when we were approached recently by a local businessman tired of earning very little interest on his savings and keen to establish a rental portfolio in the Exeter area, we were only too happy to help.
After a lengthy meeting at our clients home, we were able to establish a search criteria including areas of interest in the Exeter area (predominately St Leonards, Pennsylvania and Haven Banks, although East Devon villages such as Lympstone, Woodbury and Exton etc would be considered), property type and size (ideally houses, 2-3 bedrooms), budget (up to £250,000 per house) and desired % yield from each investment property.

Then began the lengthy process of establishing a list of potential properties, speaking to the agents dealing with their marketing before finally establishing a shortlist of 12 houses to view.
When viewing a property to let, perhaps the most important factor to consider is the potential amount of ongoing maintenance that can be required with certain house types. Painted render finishes and timber windows will need ongoing maintenance every 3-5 years and we were keen to keep this type of costly external maintenance to a minimum for our client.
For this reason we selected largely brick built properties with uPVC double glazed window units and well finished interiors.

The fact that our client was a cash buyer put us in a strong negotiating position, and within 5 weeks weeks of our initial meeting we had 3 terraced properties in St Leonards and one in Pennsylvania under contract at very competitive prices.

Once the puchases had been completed, we immediately marketed the houses to let and quickly secured reliable tenants for all 4 properties, achieving percentage yields in excess of 5 % on each.

While the sales market in Exeter continues to struggle, rental prices are bucking the trend and steadily rising, making long term buy to let investment in popular city locations an increasingly attractive proposition.

If you would like Scott-Bates & Coles Lettings & Estates to help with your investment purchase, please don't hesitate to contact us on 0845 3016618.