Thursday, 13 December 2018

Have the Christmas sales come early for Chichester’s tenants?


Here’s a note to anyone looking in Chichester for a property to rent - there’s some bargains to be had! December is traditionally a quieter time of year in the lettings market, but this year seems worse than any I can remember.

As I type, in the past two weeks 60 properties have come to the rental market and only 8 have let! Ordinarily I’d hope to have a property let agreed within a fortnight (I’ve seen leaflets from an agent who offers to do the job for ‘free’ if they don’t) - but barely anything seems to be letting right now.

Those that have let have mostly done so due to generous price reductions - for example there’s a pleasant two-bedroom house on Arundel Park with a garage that has let for £775pcm…whereas another around the corner is on at £850pcm and earlier this year I let a similar property for £925pcm.

Average prices are dropping on the whole - most notably amongst the two-bedroom houses, which currently average ‘just’ £900pcm. That’s the lowest they’ve been since February 2016 and is bizarrely cheaper than the average two bed flat (£975pcm). I suspect this is just a temporary blip as a number of ‘cheaper’ two-bedroom houses have come to the market at the same time - the problem is that this has an impact on the chances of letting a more ‘premium’ property at it’s normal price.

On top of the price drops are further incentives, including half-price rent for the first month if you move in before Christmas, or discounted administration fees (the fact these are due to disappear next year means agents should get used to this loss of income). Offers such as these seem to be more prevalent this year than I’ve noticed before and it’s become something of a ‘race to the bottom’ if you don’t get involved in the discounting, as tenants become ever-more price sensitive.

For tenants on the hunt there’s the cheapest two-bedroom flat in Chichester I’ve seen for a long time - available at £650pcm…and it’s quite nice inside! There’s a three-bedroom flat on for £695pcm, complete with half price rent in month one. There are several three-bedroom houses available for less than £1,000pcm and one in Somerstown that’s been on for months; originally for £1,200pcm (whilst at the same time I let one for £1,100pcm) which has now been reduced to £1,100pcm, with the caveat of being ‘open to offers’.

I myself have got 3 three-bedroom houses available to let - yet only 3 out of the 25 three-bed houses to have come to the market throughout Chichester in the last month have actually let, which makes life rather difficult! So, if you’re in the market for a property to rent in Chichester, get in touch and you might just find yourself a Christmas bargain.









(This article was featured in the Chichester Observer's property section on December 13, 2018)


Clive Janes, CRJ Lettings











If you are looking for an agent that is well establishedprofessional and communicative in Chichester, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

E-mail me on clive@crjlettings.co.uk or call 01243 624 599.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous buy-to-let deals and Chichester Property News articles:






c/o CRJ Lettings, 30B Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1DP



Chichester rental valuation

Monday, 10 December 2018

BUY-TO-LET DEAL OF THE WEEK: 3-4 bed house in Chichester, £289,950, 5.0% yield

3-4 bed house, Bywater Way, Donnington, Chichesterkitchenlounge
Summary:
3-4 bed house in Chichester
Listed for sale on 05/10/18 @ £335,000
Now = £289,950
Rent = £1,200pcm
Yield = 5.0%

Last sold for £247,500 in 2008 (+17% in 10 years)

December can be a good time to sniff out a property bargain and I think this house in Donnington, just to the South of Chichester, could be a Christmas cracker!

It was listed in October for £335,000 and yet just two month's later has been reduced by 13% to its current asking price of £289,950. That's just 17% higher than when it was bought 10 years ago, yet it's in seemingly good condition. It's been listed as a three bedroom house, and yet the garage has been converted into another room - which could easily be classified as a fourth bedroom (and usually is as quite a few in this area have done the same).

With a modern kitchen and bathroom, additional cloakroom downstairs and a good-sized lounge with a conservatory, plus three double bedrooms and a reasonable single, you're getting a lot of square footage for your money. Potential tenants would feel the same, and £1,200pcm is therefore a realistic asking rent (the average for a true four-bed house is £1,600pcm). It means this freehold house could provide an excellent 5% rental return.

The property is on the market with Sims Williams and full details can be found on Rightmove via the following link:
https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-57040650.html


If you are looking for an agent that is well-establishedprofessional and communicative in Chichester, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

E-mail me on clive@crjlettings.co.uk or call 01243 624 599.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous buy-to-let deals and Chichester Property News articles:



c/o CRJ Lettings, 30B Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1DP


Chichester rental valuation

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Is boiler cover worth it?


The temperature has dropped these past few weeks so I’m sure by now you’ll have re-familiarised yourselves with your heating system. Nowadays these are mostly powered by a complex-looking box called a ‘boiler’. Chatting with my gas engineers I know how busy they are at this time of year as heating systems that have gone unused throughout the summer cough and choke back into life.

Modern boilers will typically be in use all year round to provide hot water, so hopefully you haven’t had a nasty surprise when turning it back on. But the valve that switches between heating and hot water can often fail at this time of year when they’re asked to switch over for the first time in months. You also find some radiators simply refuse to work, often due to a stuck TRV. These are just a couple of reasons why it’s sensible to run the heating once a month or so, even at the height of summer.

With nil-excess boiler cover costing just £20 per month from that well-known British provider, surely it must be worth taking it out to avoid the cost of all these potential breakdowns?

Well, I’ve run the numbers on my own portfolio and for the properties I manage on behalf of other landlords and fewer than 10% of properties had repair costs in excess of £240 in the past 12 months. Of those, all but one cost less than £300 to repair, with the most problematic boiler having two separate faults in the year, with a total repair bill of £378.

Unfortunately, I know the pain of having a boiler become uneconomical to repair and having to fork out for a complete replacement (easily costing 10 years of insurance premiums). Indeed, I remember one particular boiler of mine that had three separate faults within the same year - with a total repair bill of £720!

Some independent research suggested that 49% of boilers develop a fault within their first six years, costing an average of £188 to repair, whilst 67% of those with breakdown cover did not need a repair visit at all.

Of course, like all insurance policies, overall the company makes money from the group as a whole. But some will take comfort that by paying a manageable monthly fee they may prevent a larger unexpected bill.


It seems to me that if you are on a tight budget, have an older boiler or just don’t want the hassle of phoning around for plumbers, then boiler cover might be worth the cost; just be sure to check the policy for limits and exceptions so you don’t have a nasty surprise in the event of a breakdown that isn’t fully covered. Having cover in place would certainly help me not having to make uneasy calls to landlords with the news of a large repair bill!









(This article was featured in the Chichester Observer's property section on December 06, 2018)


Clive Janes, CRJ Lettings











If you are looking for an agent that is well establishedprofessional and communicative in Chichester, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

E-mail me on clive@crjlettings.co.uk or call 01243 624 599.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous buy-to-let deals and Chichester Property News articles:






c/o CRJ Lettings, 30B Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1DP



Chichester rental valuation

Monday, 3 December 2018

BUY-TO-LET DEAL OF THE WEEK: 2 bed flat in Tangmere, £228,000, 4.6% yield

2 bed flat, Hangar Drive, Tangmere, Chichester

Summary:
2 bed flat in Tangmere
Listed for sale on 12/06/18 @ £240,000
Now = £228,000
Rent = £875pcm
Yield = 4.6%

Last sold for £220,000 in 2017 (+4% in 1 year)

For those landlords who prefer to invest in flats, this two-bedroom apartment in Tangmere could be just the ticket. It's only one year old so is modern throughout with no works required prior to letting. It has two good sized bedrooms and it's own private entrance and garage - so (short of a private garden) it has a few amenities that are often missed in flats compared to houses.

Having been listed in June for £240,000, it has been reduced to £228,000. That's decent value compared to older two-bedroom flats nearby that are listed at £220,000 and is more budget-friendly than the two-bedroom house on the same estate that's for sale for £279,950. It's almost back to the same price it was sold as new last year (£220,000) showing property really isn't a short-term endeavour, particularly when it comes to new-builds.

Tangmere is gaining in popularity due to it being slightly more affordable than nearby Chichester and yet with good links onto the A27 and more facilities coming on board as more estates are both built and planned in Tangmere. I believe this flat would rent for £875pcm, which would produce a decent 4.6% rental return. Here's the kicker for this flat (if the agent's details are correct) - it's listed as being freehold, which should mean a key negative of flats (ground rent & service charges) are avoided. Certainly something to check!

The property is on the market with Cubitt & West and full details can be found on Rightmove via the following link:
https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-73790927.html


If you are looking for an agent that is well-establishedprofessional and communicative in Chichester, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

E-mail me on clive@crjlettings.co.uk or call 01243 624 599.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous buy-to-let deals and Chichester Property News articles:



c/o CRJ Lettings, 30B Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1DP


Chichester rental valuation

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Community Focus: St. Wilfrid's Hospice - Santa in the Park


Chichester Property News - Issue 33 - December 2018


Featuring the articles:
"Rents down 15% in Chichester!"
"How will Oliver and Amelia be able to buy a home in Chichester"
"Preparing your property for Winter"
"Community Focus:  St. Wilfrid’s Hospice - Santa in the Park"
and "Buy-to-let deal of the month: 2 bed flat in Chichester, £190,000, 5.7% yield"

Plus, the latest average property values, rents and yields in Chichester.

➕ Plus, the latest average property values, rents and yields in Chichester!

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Five reasons flats are better than houses


Last week I looked at why houses were better than flats. But with 53% of the properties available to rent in Chichester being flats, it seems it’s a matter that’s split down the middle when it comes to landlords’ buying preferences. So, with that in mind, here are five reasons why some will prefer letting flats rather than houses.

1) Price
Perhaps the biggest advantage is in regards to price. Flats can be made smaller (and thus cheaper) than houses, whilst they are also typically cheaper than an equivalent-sized house. For example, the cheapest two-bedroom flat for sale in Chichester is currently £180,000, whilst the cheapest two-bedroom house is £239,950. For many landlords, their budget alone will dictate that they should buy a flat rather than a house.

2) Rental return
Typically you’ll find that as you spend more on a property the rent won’t increase at the same rate and thus the rental return will decrease. And so it is in the case of flats vs houses, whereby Chichester’s houses average a rental return of 3.3% (average sale price = £395,000 / average rental price = £1,100pcm), whilst the flats in Chichester average 3.6% (average sale price = £282,500 / average rental price = £850).

3) (Some) maintenance covered
Last week I highlighted the service charges that flat owners pay as being a negative. The upside is, however, that these charges will cover certain costs of ownership. Typically these will include buildings insurance plus external and communal maintenance issues. A house owner’s roof for example is entirely their own and any repairs will be fully at their cost. With a flat however, expensive works like these will be split amongst all owners (although a ground floor flat may wonder why they’re paying for roof or lift repairs).

4) Tenant demand
As flats are typically cheaper, you tend to find a wider pool of tenants searching for them. You’ll often find young first-time tenants will automatically look towards a flat as they aren’t interested in maintaining a garden and don’t mind sharing communal facilities. An aging population might also mean that ground floor flats, or those in a complex with a lift, become popular in the future, compared to houses with stairs.

5) Security
This is only really a consideration when the property is vacant, but flats are often bought by landlords who want something they can ‘lock up and leave’. As well as not having a garden to maintain, a flat is often more secure as it will be in a block with added security and common areas with neighbours moving about.

Overall then are flats or houses better? Well, like a lot of questions when it comes to property investment…it depends on you and your circumstances. If you’re thinking of investing and would like a friendly chat about my experiences as a landlord/letting agent, feel free to get in touch.









(This article was featured in the Chichester Observer's property section on November 30, 2018)


Clive Janes, CRJ Lettings











If you are looking for an agent that is well establishedprofessional and communicative in Chichester, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

E-mail me on clive@crjlettings.co.uk or call 01243 624 599.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous buy-to-let deals and Chichester Property News articles:






c/o CRJ Lettings, 30B Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1DP



Chichester rental valuation