Showing posts from May, 2015

What effect will lack of supply have on the private rental sector in Clapham & Brixton?

I went for a coffee the other day with a landlord in Clapham and he was interested in my views on the property market. I thought I’d share a bit of our conversation as a lot of you may be thinking about the long term effects price rises have on the market. He asked a valid question: he asked me whether the property prices rising in Clapham is merely due to lack of supply and that estate agents will suffer due to a decrease in the number of transactions (a lot of properties are being bought now as rental investments, and as you know they are medium to long term investments) or whether there is more to it than that. The answer to this is complicated and I am merely one man of course, offering one opinion, which is as follows: There is certainly a reduced supply. But this is London. There is always a lack of supply, I can’t think of a time other than the recession when there was an abundance of property and not enough buyers around. Something on the market, presented and pri

Property values up in Clapham up by 18% and Brixton by 20%

A landlord came in to seem me the other day and he was keen to hear more on my take on the market. He had been investing in established areas such as Kensington and Chelsea for years and had made a lot of money in doing so. He was telling me that over the years he had made great investments in SW3 but was curious to hear more about the property market South of the River Thames, particularly Clapham and Brixton. I was all too glad to oblige. I've seen a lot over the years. Clapham and Brixton have changed. For better, in the property sense. What I've seen over time is that Clapham has been Brixton’s affluent neighbour. This is still true to a certain extent; property prices are indeed higher there. Indeed places like Clapham Old Town and Between The Commons (arguably Battersea but we’ll agree it’s a desirable area bordering Clapham Common so let’s call it Clapham today) have always been desirable and you will see a lot of families living here. Less flats, more houses. And t

Make a 2bed a 3bed? A 3bed a 4bed? Wow that will increase your rent!

I was approached by one of my more savvy buy-to-let investors the other day and asked me if he could make a quick buck by turning a 3bed into a 4bed. You're probably thinking "no, not really, it costs money to build an extension" and so forth. This is true. However he had spotted an opportunity that not a lot of investors make use of, and if they often do it they do so badly and "compromise" the property. I thought I'd say a few words on the matter because for those of you who are new to the investing game - welcome - you may not know this has been happening for a long time. Let me explain. As London gets more and more expensive developers and end users are looking for more bedrooms and more space. More bedrooms tends to mean a property is more valuable. Now this isn't a license to take a carving knife to a floorplan and make the rooms only big enough for a single bed and floor space to put your slippers at night. There is of course a limit to h

A landlord asked me about auctions - and a good thing she did!

Well I tell you what, last week's "auction specials" on the blog have certainly stirred up some interest. Lots of landlords came back to me with potential ideas with what they were going to do after having had a look at the properties in the flesh. All very exciting! Some of you who are eagerly looking for the next deal but didn't know quite how to go about buying at auction asked me for hints, tips and advice. I thought I'd share these as I know there are plenty of readers out there who WANT to take the next step, but don't realise quite how to go about getting an auction property. I'll go through a couple of things and perhaps you'll decide it's too risky for you after all. Nothing wrong with buying through estate agents, there can be a lot of competition in the room on the day and that may drive the price up over and above your budget. Don't be tempted to win an auction for the sake of winning (we've all done that on eBay!) as i

Two tenanted flats in Emerging Outer Prime SW2 – growth guaranteed!

2x Tenanted flats and opportunity for refurbishment (nearly) guaranteed! So what are we talking? A pair of 2 bedroom apartments, that’s what. Let on tenancies and yielding £26400 per annum. Let’s assume they are in average condition; and I make that assumption because they are achieving an average rent. I would have thought anything in good condition would fetch around £1400pcm in that neck of the woods. It’s a promising location – as you will have ready in my previous articles this part of SW2 is going to see some good growth in years to come. For nay-sayers – just look at the prices near a station. More people as opposed to less people are going to cycle, walk, take the bus than ever before. Growth is guaranteed.. So what’s it worth?  for the would-be investor to decide. I’m thinking that the layouts will vary slightly, but for all intents and purposes the rent both of the flats COULD be £33,600 i

Auction Week: 3 bed ground floor with garden – Guide £300,000 in SW16

Here’s one that I don’t see very much of – an opportunity to add value. * you may need to register to be able to log in (free) A 3 bedroom ground floor flat with a garden. Not really sure on internal condition, but as it’s an auction let’s assume it’s a wreck… The average three bedroom flat in the area goes for £400k upwards so it really depends on finish and square footage. Assuming it’s a wreck of a flat and needs £50k spend on it I would have thought a purchase price under £350,000 would see a healthy profit. There’s two flats on with Foxtons at the moment in the mid 400s (will they get it who knows, and how they’re such a similar price yet 200sqft different is beyond me) so that gives us a rough expectation: 589sqft – £450,000 774sqft – £465,000

Auction Week: Emerging Outer Prime SW2 - basement with planning for conversion to a studio flat

For sale: a void underneath a building! For those with some expertise in creating something out of nothing this could be a great project. A bit unclear whether it still needs excavating, but one thing is certain; the end product is to be a desirable studio flat in “Emerging Outer Prime” Streatham Hill. * you may need to register to be able to log in (free) Plans are here: Studio flats on these roads should fetch in the region of £215,000 to £230,000. So with a potential resale of £215,000 plus a guide of £30,000 plus some legals and building work makes for a handy profit of £150,000plus. Unless of course the bidding goes crazy…. But, will planning permission be granted? There have been objections in the past on the road by the looks of things, so perhaps the vendor was wiser to await the d

No better time than auction time! – 8 tenanted units at bargain price in SW16

If you are looking for some good buy-to-let investments it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye on local auctions. Although in the past they have been mainly reserved for developers and projects to “add value,” more and more properties are coming up that are simply tenanted and are unable to be sold via normal estate agency channels. This week I’ll be focusing on auctions and the properties coming to market in Allsop’s auction due to be held on the 28 th May. Let’s have a look at our first properties. Plural, that’s right as it’s a group of 8 flats due to go under the hammer. Don’t worry, if your pockets aren’t as well-lined as an oil sheikh’s there will be an opportunity to bid on them individually. *You may need to register (free) with Allsop to log in Lots 211-218 – guide price £2million collectively Eight Leasehold Self-Contained Purpose Built Flats •    Each F

Spotted: 5.8% yield in Battersea SW11 - bordering on Nine Elms regeneration area so good long-termer!

Not often does a day go by that my eagle eye doesn't spot another hot investment. I'll kick off this week with this one: Rollo Court, Strasburg Road, SW11 OIEO £405,000 A lovely flat in Battersea Park/Queenstown Road (who knows where the boundaries really lie in London?). Anyway it looks good, needs no work really and it will rent in the region of £450pw, thus producing a gross yield of 5.8%. Nice! If you look down the road (Battersea Park Road that is) you'll find a few building sites and the like, or to the well-informed the new quarters of the American, Dutch and many more embassies. All these new builds will most likely be bought by those looking for ultimate convenience and luxury - 1 bedroom flats are selling for over 700k! Tenants will still need somewhere to live for sure. Always. The area promises even better tenant demand in the next few years as these new builds complete - the secret

(Is There Trouble With) Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO), Anyone?

I’ve had a busy week answering lots of questions from landlords and one asked me about multi-lets. He was worried about HMO regulations and the like, something that you may have heard of. “Should I be worried?” “Do I need a license?” “How much does it cost?” “If I don’t get a license will I get caught?” Well for starters what is an HMO? With houses in multiple occupation imagery of derelict bedsits come to mind don’t they? Nothing is further from the truth in London. A lovely 5 bedroom Victorian residence can be considered an HMO as can a bedsit squalor. The following is defined as an HMO by the national HMO network: An entire house or flat which is let to 3 or more tenants who form 2 or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet. A house which has been converted entirely into bedsits or other non-self-contained accommodation and which is let to 3 or more tenants who form two or more households and who share kitchen, bathroom or toilet faci

7% Yield in Kennington SE17 – yes yes yes another golden find!

Have a look at this lovely 3bed ex-local authority flat on Doddington Grove. This part of Kennington is ideal for professional sharers starting their life in the City as it offers unrivalled access to the tube. Less than a minute walk and you are ready to embark on a Northern line train. Garbett House SE17 – 3 bedroom flat at £450,000 I estimate rents up to 500pw (470pw worst case) as a 3bed, thus yielding 5.8% (5.4% at worst) but to increase the yield you can actually let this property as a 4bed. Ideal for sharers who live their life in and around work in town and just need a place to put their head down at night. As a 4bed no living you would fetch 550-600pw (6.4%-7% yield). Now that’s attractive. And furthermore you needn’t really do much to the flat. It looks in perfectly lettable condition as it has a relatively modern kitchen and bathroom, it comes with a long lease and reasonable service c

STOP PRESS – 8.5% yield in Clapham – BUY NOW

If you aren't doing anything that will yield you 8.5% stop what you are doing and go and buy this flat. Spotted on for sale this morning: A 3 bedroom maisonette with roof terrace for £275,000. They either got the price wrong or it’s earmarked for a sale TODAY! Oaklands Place is just off St Alphonsus Road SW4, and there are probably only a bunch of flats above shops that are actually closer to Clapham Common Tube. Normally I would say it may be tricky to let as 2 out of the three bedrooms are a bit on the smaller side, but location prevails. It will let in a day surely. I put a conservative estimate of £450pw on it, but I think given the location a bidding war isn’t out of the question, especially with the Summer Rush taking place by the time you complete on this beauty. It’s in immaculate condition and features outside space. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!? Call me the moment you’ve plac