Monday 22 August 2016

More contradicting headlines in the news today. What's really going on in Clapham?

Not a day goes by that I don't have my finger firmly on the pulse. Be it Clapham, Brixton or beyond I do like to get a feel of what is going on in South London. As do you, I'm sure.

Today, however, I was confronted with such contradicting headlines I couldn't help but tell you about it.

A selection:
House price growth to slump 1% post-Brexit
Prime London prices cool in Q2
Limited company applications surge in June
43 million Brits 'would go over budget' for the right home

The first claim about house prices "slumping" (if you can call 1% a slump) was made by Fionnuala Earley, Countrywide’s Chief Economist. Forgive me for not immediately agreeing. Countrywide have not exactly been the best bunch of business people or estate agents for that matter, so much so that they are now investing heavily in online property sales. Anyway, rest assured, they do conclude with something sensible such as "Countrywide says they will mean prices returning to levels similar to Q1 2016". Scaremongering over.

The second article again has a misleading title. You get the jist of the article by the title you would have thought, but I quote "The rate of quarterly house price growth in Prime London cooled in the second quarter of the year, with a 0.3% decrease from the opening three months of the year". Yes, you read that right, the RATE OF HOUSE PRICE GROWTH. So there is still growth. Excellent news.

On the brighter side you will see that limited company applications are up in the mortgage sector. A very interesting development - it is clear that astute landlords have taken advice to proceed down such a route. Thanks to a growing number of lending products now available to limited companies (this has grown exponentially over the course of this year) more and more landlords are incorporating and taking advantage of this tax efficient way of holding a portfolio. A clear sign that a) opportunities are there and b) investors are not holding back.

The last headline pertains somewhat to investors using a "buy-to-sell" strategy. Excellent news really. In a nutshell 75% of people would stretch the budget to get the ideal property that suits their needs. With this in mind I re-emphasise that knowing your target audience can pay dividends. A bidding war worth of dividends, mind you! A recent development of mine saw a bidding war - perhaps due to the modern bathroom with underfloor heating, perhaps because of the wine cooler in the kitchen. Maybe both. I know for a fact though that first time buyers like aspirational property, so sell that lifestyle; the key to a successful development.

In summary, read closely. Headlines conflict, but the overall message is still clear: there is a market for your product (property). If you are selling, ensure you know your audience. Same goes of course for your letting portfolio, but key is to structure wisely to minimise your tax bill. With recent changes you will see some of your tax breaks go, so make sure you adapt, or you will lose money to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

To finish off, a lovely quote from the first article: "Annually, Prime London prices saw a 1.3% increase, rising to 2.7% in Outer Prime London. This has been driven by particularly strong growth in certain south London areas, with Clapham (9.2%) and Balham (6.5%) – forever popular with aspirant, young professionals – leading the charge. North Kensington (5.1%) also enjoyed solid price growth on a year-on-year basis." Lovely news of course, so let's keep investing locally!

Remember - if you are after investment advice, whether you are looking to grow your existing portfolio or start afresh then do get in touch by emailing me on or come and meet me at the Clapham Property Meet Wednesday 28th September. There are still a few tickets remaining to the event, so do RSVP promptly here. Also, if you are looking for hands-off investing and you wish to invest upwards of £50,000 then do get in touch as I have a number of transactions that are ready for funding within the next 2-12 weeks. I help investors like you make better returns on their investment. I have done so for nearly 15 years, with proven results. If you are interested in taking the next step on your investment journey then reach out and I will expertly guide you through the process. I am actively looking for clients to invest with and for to expand the current successful portfolio. 

Friday 12 August 2016

Clapham Property Meet - are you ready to network with other Clapham property investors?

I've been asked a number of times when speaking at Wimbledon PIN why I wasn't working a bit closer to "home." Truth is there is no regular meet on the Northern line near Clapham. Thankfully there is now.

I have decided, together with fellow property investor Trevor Cutmore (who specialises in lease options), to host the Clapham Property Meet at the Jam Tree in Clapham Old Town. We will be delivering a content-filled evening on the last Wednesday of September (28th) in a relaxed, social environment. We felt that some of the meetings can feel a bit corporate, so we're trying to steer away from that. Naturally we will be hosting some very knowledgeable speakers and we will be talking about the latest in property investment. 

After listening to a number of my clients I've found there is a thirst for knowledge locally; hopefully a nice evening at the Jam Tree will somewhat quench that thirst. We can't cover everything in one night, but we will over the course of time cover various investment strategies that you can implement locally as well as further afield. We will be covering (in no particular order and not limited to) HMO, R2R, Buy to Let with cash recycling, Serviced Accommodation, and much more.

So do come along to The Jam Tree on Wednesday the 28th September. Networking (or socialising; networking can sound so business like) will start at around 6pm. Main event and speakers from 7pm and further socialising/networking from 8:30 onwards. It will be a great opportunity to see local investors in a social yet purposeful environment. If you are looking to expand your knowledge on property investment and rub shoulders with experienced investors this is certainly a meeting not to miss.

Book early to reserve a space as numbers are of course limited.

How to book for more details
you can book on the September meeting by clicking here. A quick registration process and hit the RSVP button.

6pm onwards Wednesday 28th September
The Jam Tree
13-19 Old Town

Remember if you are looking to expand your portfolio or get into property investing, be it full time to replace your income or you just have some spare money to invest and you want to do this as a worthwhile investment strategy instead of getting 1% interest in the bank then reach out to me on and let me tell you how to make the most from your assets.

Thursday 4 August 2016

Overseas buyers active in Central London - does this mean you should be buying in Clapham too?

I came across this article the other day: Huge spike in Chinese property investors' interest in the UK post-Brexit. I think without clicking on the link you can get the jist of it. In essence the drop in value of the GBP has made property in London 10% cheaper overnight. Before the Brexit results 1 GBP bought you 9.8CNY. Today that same pound is only worth 8.8CNY. A nice discount if your money is in China and you happen to be in the market for a flat in the UK/London.

As I predicted in my previous articles, the weaker pound has indeed sparked mass interest from overseas. This is great news! Normally whatever happens in (Prime) Central London will have a ripple effect on the rest of the capital, so you can see more activity in zones 2, 3 and beyond in the next few months. People keep asking me whether Brexit has been detrimental to the market and truth be told it may have been, but combine it with other factors like the summer holidays (it's normally very quiet in the sales market this time of year) and the effects have been minimal if any. Once everyone comes back from summer holidays I trust it will be business as usual, with a stronger comeback due to increased numbers of foreign buyers.

I foresee that with £millions of foreign investment we will end the financial year on some significant capital appreciation. If you are after an investment property it probably is a good time to capitalise on seller's willingness to "do a deal" in order to move on as opposed to wager with uncertainty. Sadly for UK buyers their pound doesn't necessarily stretch 10% further, but nonetheless I do feel that now is a good time to buy - there are sellers out there looking to sell, summer holidays or not.

I've had a number of clients ask me as to whether they should hold off buying, and my answer has always been a resounding "no." Now is the time to buy, whether you're looking to add value or simply hold and rent it - rents are set to go up over the next few years, so if you are able to secure a good property at a good price this will pay dividends. If you are looking to sell on, the first time buyer market is still doing very well. Cater to that market and you cannot fail.

If you are looking to expand your portfolio or get into property investing, be it full time to replace your income or you just have some spare money to invest and you want to do this as a worthwhile investment strategy instead of getting 1% interest in the bank then reach out to me on and let me tell you how to make the most from your assets.

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