Thursday, 6 October 2016

Is it a Good Time to Buy Property?
Prices are up, prices are down, prices are stable…the newspapers are full of good news, bad news and indifferent news about Britain’s favourite subject (after the weather)…the property market!

 I have had an interesting chat the other day with a chap who lives in the local area and was thinking of buying a buy to let property in Dorking and he wanted my opinion on the state of the market and if it was a good time to invest. 
He was particularly worried that with all the newspaper headlines of an uncertain market, there would not be any demand from tenants. One of the best pieces of advice I can give to those looking to invest in property is a simple trick of the trade. You can judge the affordability of an area’s property market (and thus how much demand there could be) by simply finding the ratio of the average property price to the average salary. The lower the ratio the more affordable property is.
When we put this to the test, we found out that Dorking currently has an average property value of around £462,865. The average salary for someone living in Dorking is estimated £29,028 giving a ratio of  15.94 to 1.
Most lenders will only lend up to 4.5 times the income, so to buy that average house in Dorking at £462,865 a first-time buyer would need a salary around 100k and even then, would need to raise the 5% deposit. Which when your take into consideration buying fees, will be in the order of £27000.
The questions I seem to be asked on an almost daily basis by landlords are:
       Is the time right to buy another buy to let property in the local area and if not local, where?
       Are there any local property bargains out there?

When considering this landlord’s buy to let portfolio, yields can be in order of an average 4% - 6% per year, depending where you buy, so combine that with a steady rental growth, excellent increases in capital values of the properties themselves and it could be a good time to invest in the local property market.
Tenants inabilities to raise that sort of money for the deposit is driving demand for rental property. If you would like some advice about buying to let, be you a landlord with a portfolio or someone thinking of investing in the rental market for the first (second or third...)  time, please do give me a call on 01306 880442 and we can book a discovery meeting.


How to Let or Sell your Home this Autumn

Maximise your chances of letting or selling your home this Autumn.

The summer holidays have gone, the kids are back at school and normality returns. If you are thinking of letting or selling your home, now is the time to do it. The property market often sees a surge of people looking to move before Christmas. Whether your property is empty waiting for a loving tenant or buyer  to move in or your tenants have given notice- there are lots of things you can do to maximise its potential.

Check Gutters and Roofs - These easily get clogged up with falling leaves. Don’t wait for your current tenant to report your gutters are full and over flowing during a downpour. Get them cleaned and checked regularly and check for any missing/slipped roof tiles. It is little things like this that bring top quality tenants.

Gardens - Empty properties with gardens can soon become overgrown and full of leaves this time of year. So clear away any leaves and summer memorabilia (barbecues and furniture) Properties that have tenants packing to leave might not have the gardening at top of their mind and probably will not take care of it until a week before they move out. Why not offer a one off garden tidy up. Neat and tidy gardens this time of year really sell.

Windows - Try to keep windows sparkling clean. Tenanted property? why not include this in your tenant incentive when clearing the garden and gutters. Clean windows are such a great way to enhance natural light and create bright rooms.

Warmth-  If your property is empty and the Autumn temperatures really begin to drop set the heating to come on 30 minutes before the viewing. But remember don’t go too hot, the last thing you need is a stuffy house which sees your viewers rush to the door.