30 March 2017

Springfield Close, Andover – Property everywhere but none to rent...

I was recently asked why there are so few properties to rent on Springfield Close, Andover. I did some research and found that, over the last 12 months, only three properties have been available for rent on Springfield Close, a popular housing estate.
We can help you identify property values and other useful property related information to make sure you can get everything you need about your future investments. Here are just a few property facts about Andover…
The average price for a 3 bed house (according to mouseprice.com) is £240,600 and the average income of someone living in Andover is £20,157 per year. Price to earnings ratios are effective measures of the relative affordability of property in a given area (the higher the number – the more expensive it is to buy). In Andover the ratio is 11.94 compared to 12.16 nationally.

For any property advice, please pop in and have a chat.

20 March 2017

Flats in Andover - decent yields of over 5.5%

I was talking to one of my landlords the other week, when the subject of flats came up and whether they would make a good investment. Flats are not always the first choice for investors but they rent very well and generally offer good yields. There is a strong argument that buying a flat these days is not an issue as they are sensibly priced, the error people made in the past was buying them at the start of this century for more than the price of a house.
If you are a landlord with a limited budget, you can still find a decent property to let in Andover. Typically, a two bedroom modern apartment can be bought for around £150,000 in the town centre of Andover in areas such as Heather Drive, Junction Road and similar areas – the average rent for a property here is likely to be around £695 per month.  Just remember though, when considering a flat, do your homework and find out about service charges and the length of the lease as these will all impact your return, especially if you have to renew the lease.

If you would like our opinion on any potential investment, pop into our offices.

17 March 2017

You know how I keep going on about ex council houses.......

Those of you who are regular followers of our blog will know I am always going on about what good investments ex council properties make.  Well, this week I spotted this little gem.  This is on Floral Way where properties don’t come up too often and its close to popular schools so whats not to like.

You should look to achieve at least £825pcm on this so it should give you at least a 5.8% return.  It may need some upgrading but doesn’t look too bad and is definitely worth consideration.

13 March 2017

Monopoly in Andover - how would you play?

A couple of local landlords and I had a chat about the property market in Andover when the subject of risk against returns came up.
All landlords are different in the way they play the property game. Some landlords prefer to accept a modest yield / return on their investment for an increased certainty of finding a quality “professional” tenant. Other landlords are interested in high returns, with a greater risk with regards to the quality of the tenant. Before you start playing, it is a good idea to have a game plan. 
For a low risk investment, you could buy property in the areas of Andover which are perceived as being more desirable, such as Saxon Fields, Picket Twenty, and the older parts of town like the Ferndale Road area where you may be able to achieve an annual yield of around 4-5%. Following my recent article, if you don’t mind a slightly higher risk of void periods or a more varied quality of tenant, you are likely to be rewarded with a higher annual yield of 5-7%. This level of risk can be typically taken with ex local authority properties such as King Arthurs Way, Admirals Way and so on. If you are after annual yields of 8% and over, you could take more of a risk with houses of multiple occupancy but this is a whole different ball game and needs very careful managing but the reward can be good.
If you would like any advice on choosing properties, come and see us at our office or email us.

8 March 2017

Should you be buying in Andover?

Previously I have written about the differences in the rent that could be achieved from properties in the villages around Andover, compared to the town itself.  However, I didn’t mention the average values in both and how that affected their annual returns / yields.
The average terraced house in Andover is worth £212,216, whilst terraced houses in the surrounding villages are worth an average of £272,312, just over 28% higher.  The same was found for the value of an average semi-detached house worth £266,733 in the town with the value increasing by just under 20% in the villages to £319,750.  For a detached house in the town, you can pay approximately £385,452.  This value is increased by just over 61% in the surrounding villages, with average values of £622,298.
If you are considering buying a buy to let property, before you buy in Andover or any SP11 village, you should consider the possible annual returns / yields.  In the villages, the yield for a terraced property are quite low at around 4%, compared to around 5% in town.

So if you would like any advice when choosing a property, please pop in and see us.

6 March 2017

New to investing? - a few top tips

If you have made the decision that property is something you want to invest in as a buy-to-let Landlord there are a few important things you need to know before taking the plunge!
1.       Know your market.  Before you invest in a property, decide who you want to rent to.  Are you happy to rent to sharers?  Do you only want to rent to families?  If you are happy to rent to sharers then bedroom size is key.  Two sharers will want two double rooms whereas a family will take a house with two double rooms and one single but make the decision before you buy.
2.       Invest in kitchens and bathrooms.  These two rooms tend to be very important for tenants.  If these rooms are a little tired look at re-tiling, putting in new worktops and changing cupboard doors if the units are sound.  Always make sure there is some sort of shower in the bathroom.  If either of these rooms need gutting and totally refitting don’t spend a fortune on it.  Don’t forget this is a business, not your home!
3.       Keep colours neutral.  You can’t go wrong with good old magnolia.  That way it is easier to freshen up the property between lets.
4.       Specialist Landlord insurance.  You must take out specific Landlord insurance.  This is different from your normal buildings insurance in that it will also give you an element of liability insurance which hopefully you will never need!  Also, consider rent guarantee insurance, especially if you have a mortgage on the property.
5.       Use the services of a good agent!  Again, make a decision early on about whether or not you are happy to manage the property yourself or just want a tenant finding.  Whichever it is its always wise to use an agent as they will be able to reference any potential tenants very thoroughly.  These days this is even more important with the Right to Rent act bought in by Government last year.
6.       Do your sums!  If you are looking at buying a flat, don’t forget to factor in the cost of management fees as this obviously will impact your return.  Also, take into account the cost of renewing the lease if it is getting short.
7.       Do your research.  If you are buying in an area you don’t know too well, find an agent you can trust to give you correct information about good and bad areas of the town you are looking at, not just good news about the area they are trying to sell you a property in!

If you want any impartial advice on a possible buy to let investment, pop into our Bridge Street offices and we will have a chat.

2 March 2017

Ex-council properties in Andover... Are they good buy to let investments? (Yes they are!)

Regular readers will know how I am always promoting ex council properties as being great buy to let investments.  You need to accept that generally their average value stays quite stable compared to the average capital growth of some of the more modern developments like Augusta Park and Picket Twenty.
Nevertheless, a two bedroom mid terraced property in Cricketers Way sold for £149,400 in November 2014 and then sold again in November 2016 for £186,500 which is a growth of around 25% over the 3 years.  Another good example of capital growth from an ex council property is a 4 bedroom mid terraced property in Pilgrims Way which sold for £153,000 in July 2015 following an increase in value of around 38% in just over 3 years.  Obviously we don’t know if these properties underwent any refurbishment work but still, they would have made a healthy investment all round.
The best performing property for capital growth recently was bought in September 2014 for £180,000 and was then re-sold in September 2016 for an impressive £280,000.  This is a massive return of over 50%!  This was a property probably built around the 1950’2 which did require some refurbishment.
For any advice on buy to let investments, or the current state of the sales market, pop into our offices.