Thursday, 14 November 2019

How profitable is buy-to-let in Chichester?


I was recently running through some rough figures with a couple who were contemplating buying a rental property for the first time, having first considered it shortly after the credit crunch. A lot has changed in the world of buy-to-let over the decade since then, but as many people ultimately invest to make money, I thought it might be interesting to see how things have fared in that regard.

The biggest impact upon rental profits has been the collapse in interest rates. Consider that mortgage rates a decade ago were around 6% based on a 75% loan-to-value five-year fix. That meant that every £100,000 of mortgage cost £500 per month (interest only). Today, that same loan can be had for around 2.1%, which lowers the cost for every £100,000 borrowed to just £175 per month. At the same time rents have increased, so it’s been a double whammy of income increasing alongside the cost of finance decreasing.


Of course, house prices have gone up a lot in the past ten years, so you now need to borrow more to buy the same property. But they haven’t increased as much as interest rates have gone down, which means the profits on offer from buy-to-let today have actually increased for landlords. That of course assumes you’re utilising mortgage finance for your buy-to-lets. If not, then the returns on offer from buy-to-let now are lower than they were a decade ago as rents haven’t increased as much as house prices have.

On the negative side though, there have been serious tax changes that are starting to have an impact on landlords’ bottom line. You see, whereas finance costs used to be offset against income before calculating your profit (the same as in any other business), tax changes mean this is no longer the case. Instead, by the 2020/2021 tax year you’ll only be given a ‘tax reducer’ of 20% of the total finance costs. Whilst many have said this won’t affect basic tax-rate payers (technically correct) it will push a huge number of landlords into higher rate tax brackets as their gross rent now counts towards their income.

Many people buying rental properties now are side-stepping these negative changes by purchasing through a company. The mortgage rates to do so can be slightly higher, but overall it is a more profitable way to buy (unless they change the rules again…). Whatever way you buy though there’s no avoiding the 3% stamp duty surcharge that now applies to landlords!

Back to those rough figures though and here in Chichester a typical two-bedroom rental property might cost £250,000. With buying costs, stamp duty and a 25% deposit you’ll need around £75,000 to buy that property. The £187,500 mortgage will cost you around £330pcm on an interest-only basis, whereas such a property should rent for around £875pcm. So, a potential £545pcm could be yours, which is a pretty decent 9% return on the £75,000 you’ve invested. Of course, that completely ignores management and maintenance costs and assumes everything runs perfectly….as well as ignoring the fact the taxman will be waiting come the end of the year too.


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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, 11 November 2019

BUY-TO-LET DEAL OF THE WEEK: 3 bed house in Westhampnett, £335,000, 4.5% yield

3 bed house, Lillywhite Road, Westhampnett
kitchenlounge
Summary:
3 bed house in Westhampnett
Listed for sale on 05/11/19 @ £335,000
Rent = £1,250pcm
Yield = 4.5%


This three-bedroom house is in a nice position on this newish-build estate (circa 2011-2013) in Westhampnett. It comes with a driveway and garage, whilst the corner plot affords it a larger than normal rear garden.

These houses are extremely popular with Rolls Royce workers as they are practically next door to the factory / head office. As a result they always rent well and do so at a slight premium to what you might typically expect - in this case you should achieve £1,250pcm based on the better than normal plot. Doing so would give you a decent 4.5% rental return based on the asking price of £335,000, which is reasonable compared to other nearby three-bed houses.

It is in a good condition throughout and comes with all the mod-cons you would expect of a relatively new home i.e. double glazing / gas central heating / downstairs cloakroom / en-suite to master bedroom. It appears to require no significant work or expenditure on it to get it in a ready to rent state, so would suit a landlord looking for a simpler time of things.

There is one thorn in the side of these houses though - they're leasehold (as they're built on Goodwood land). That's quite unusual for houses in general and something to watch for as it means there is an annual ground rent to pay (unusual for a house) plus service charges (quite normal for estates built post 2000). There's been a lot of media attention regarding leasehold houses so it may be that the law changes retrospectively in this regard. For now though there is an impact upon the saleability of the houses as it can put people off; although as long as you factor in the additional cost of the ground rent it shouldn't be anything to be afraid of in my opinion.

The property is on the market with Bell & Blake and full details can be found on Rightmove via the following link:
https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-81970064.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, 7 November 2019

CRJ Lettings named ‘Best Letting Agent in Chichester’ three years running


I’m pleased to say that for the third year running, CRJ Lettings has been named ‘Best Letting Agent in Chichester’ by allAgents; a respected name in the property industry.

When I set-up CRJ Lettings I did so because I felt I could do a better job of serving Chichester’s landlords and tenants. I didn’t aim to be the biggest letting agent, stretching myself as I moved from one property to the next. Instead, I wanted to be the best letting agent, focusing solely on Chichester’s rental market. I aimed for quality over quantity; working with discerning landlords who appreciate a more personal level of service (and yet at a fair and transparent price).

This meant from day one I have always been most interested in the feedback I receive from my landlords and tenants. After all, whilst lettings may be seen as a ‘property’ business it’s really more about people and personality; because who would you trust to look after your best interests - someone in it purely for the money, or someone prepared to dedicate the time and effort to build a relationship with you such that trust, confidence, and ultimately a smooth transaction will naturally follow?

As a small independent letting agent I don’t have targets for how many valuations I should get, nor do I calculate my conversion rate for signing landlords up to my service. I’ve even told people I’m not right for them if I believe that to be the case (student lets, for instance, is something I don’t normally take on). Providing a quality service gives me far more personal satisfaction than simply focussing on the bottom line of the balance sheet.

It’s nice to pat yourself on the back sometimes, but it’s even nicer when my landlords and tenants do so (how many letting agents actively seek reviews from their tenants I wonder?) I’ve now clocked up 45 Google reviews from my landlords and tenants and 42 reviews on allAgents - all of them a resounding 5-star!

It’s also great that some of my latest landlords are coming to me via word of mouth. A personal recommendation is always the best way for you to choose a reputable business. Second to that should be a company’s reviews and testimonials in my opinion - but only if they can be trusted! That’s why receiving this accolade from allAgents means something, what with them being the UK’s largest customer review website for the property industry.

So, whilst I don’t normally use this space as self-promotion, I’m a little chuffed about being named Best Letting Agent in Chichester (again!). Thanks to my great customers, tradespeople and service providers who helped make it possible.



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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, 4 November 2019

BUY-TO-LET DEAL OF THE WEEK: 3 bed house in Chichester, £255,000, 4.7% yield

3 bed house, Winterbourne Road, Chichester
kitchenlounge

Summary:
2 bed house in Fishbourne
Listed for sale on 07/10/19 @ £260,000
Rent = £950pcm
Yield = 4.4%

Last sold for £127,500 in 2002 (+104% in 17 years)

This house may be marketed as having four bedrooms but really it's a three-bedroom house, as the 'fourth' bedroom is a dining room. It's labelled like that because many of the houses in this area are let to students and the dining room is indeed used as a fourth bedroom in most of these. Interestingly, some of these houses originally only had two bedrooms, but a large cupboard in the master bedroom was converted into bedroom three by adding a skylight!

Regardless of the above, at £255,000 the square footage on offer makes this a decent proposition whether you plan to use it as a three or four bedroom house. I've mentioned before that quite a few of these properties have been coming to the market in the past few months as landlords to students are giving up on the market in the face of changing tenant demand and expectations.

I'm not sure whether this particular property was a student let gone wrong or simply an owner occupier whose circumstances have changed. I say that because it was only purchased two years ago and the photos now show it empty. In that time the owners have installed a new kitchen, bathroom and wc...and yet still the £255,000 asking price is £10,000 less than they paid, so unfortunately they are well out of pocket.

This does underline that it is now for sale at a very reasonable price. If purchased by a landlord looking to rent to a family, I think a lick of paint should see them then rent it for £1,000pcm. This would equate to a very decent 4.7% rental return from a property that is likely being dragged down by the exodus of student lets in the area. Fundamentally though, three bedroom houses in Chichester don't come much (if any!) cheaper than this, so for the long-term buying this property at this price now looks to be a reasonable bet.

The property is on the market with Bell & Blake and full details can be found on Rightmove via the following link:
https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-85373744.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

Friday, 1 November 2019

Community Focus: Love Where You Live



Love Where You Live is a web resource for all ages focusing on leisure, learning and well-being within the Chichester community. Its concept is to be an all-inclusive directory embracing all aspects of living and working in the area, as well as providing comprehensive information for visitors.

The website launched in 2016 and now has hundreds of members (including both CRJ Lettings and the Chichester Property News). Having enriched residents’ lives with a wealth of activities available and helping visitors to get the best out of their time in the area, Love Where You Live won the Observer and Gazette award in 2018 for Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure.

It is free of charge to list on the online directory and allows businesses, clubs, societies, charities, artists, performers and freelancers to promote their activities. Each listing in the directory has its own ‘micro-site’ which can be edited at any time and to which events, news and special offers, promotions or competitions can be added.

As well as the website there is a regular newsletter that features upcoming events and promotes listings that will be of interest to Cicestrians. An active social media programme is also part of the project.

To add a listing to the online directory, or to sign up for the newsletter, visit www.lovechichester.net


07595 220358


Chichester Property News - Issue 44 - November 2019

Featuring the articles:
"How Alice, Arthur and Jack afford a home in Chichester?",
"Rents are down in Chichester",
"How much rent should you charge?",
"Community Focus: Love Where You Live"

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!

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Getting your property ready to rent

Last week I listed the basic things you’ll need to put in place before you can legally let your property. Assuming they’re all sorted, the next thing you’ll need to do is get the property ready for marketing and viewings. With that in mind, here’s a few things to consider to get the property ready to rent:

Consider improvements
We’ll assume any necessary repairs are done and the house is watertight and fully functioning. That being the case, you could now let it…but will anyone want it? It’s a lot easier to undertake improvements before a property is tenanted, and doing so is likely to attract a better, longer-term tenant, who may be willing to pay a higher rent for a nicer home.

So, are the windows and heating up to scratch? How old are the bathrooms and kitchen? Is there a decent shower and suitable kitchen appliances? Could the walls do with re-decorating or the flooring upgraded? It may seem boring but a crisp neutral d├ęcor is easier on the eye and provides a blank canvas that tenants can see themselves living in.

Factor in the cost to undertake these works versus the uplift in the property’s value and the gains in tenant satisfaction, longevity of their tenancy and increased rental income.

De-clutter
Taking photos of a property with lots of ‘stuff’ in it won’t show it off to its full potential. It’ll also put people off when they come to view the property as it will make the rooms feel smaller and less inviting. Simply clearing surfaces and stacking things away neatly can bring some much-needed calm to a property.

 Dress the rooms
Whilst the majority of properties are let unfurnished, you can at least straighten the lightshades and pull back the blinds or curtains to let in the most amount of light. If you are providing furniture though be sure to dress the rooms so they reflect who you’re targeting i.e. setting the dining table makes more sense for families than it does sharers.

Keep it clean
No one wants to rent a dirty property, so make sure it’s spick and span so it’s looking its best. Don’t forget the outside spaces either; make sure the frontage is clean and tidy, ready to make a good first impression. Tidying up the garden and creating a low maintenance space will make it more inviting, rather than looking like something tenants will have to be working on every weekend.

Once the property is up to scratch and made to look its best, it’s time to call in the professionals and get it valued, photographed, measured-up and marketed. A well-presented property that is priced correctly will stand above those on the market that have had less care taken with them and, as a result, should make finding tenants that bit quicker.


This article was featured in...





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