Thursday 23 March 2017

Yields are attractive in South London - if you invest right!

I'm hearing a lot of my investor clients say "I'm thinking of investing my money up North for better yields." I think it's an interesting point of view of course, basing your investing mindset on a gross figure. It is true, of course, that there is an inverse relationship between gross yield and capital growth. Often times investors that are new to me me have been used to very little cash flow and, as often with period property, spates of repairs further eating into their rental profits. So, they've got masses of equity tied up in these properties and no way forward. They think that buying with gross yield in mind is the way forward.

What can I do?
If you, like most of my new clients, are stuck with lots of equity and little option to release it for further investment, then it's time to review your portfolio. What can you do to enhance the cash flow? I had a call from a fellow investor who had several properties geared at only 30%! He was very astute and was on top of his mortgages, but due to the rental stress test he was unable to release any more equity. You see, the annual rent was exactly 145% of his interest payment. That's where the problem lied, the rent was too low. Having judged the current rent vs the market rent I saw it was far below the norm. Dated? Perhaps. After a site visit I saw some improvements that could be made to this particular property in order to increase the rent the landlord could achieve. We are currently drawing up plans in order to reconfigure this property to add another bedroom, adding another 33% to the rent, even if we don't update things as we go along. We will of course. This client, once the project is finished, will end up with an extra bedroom and a 50% rent increase! As a result more money can be released upon refinance for reinvestment.

So rather than taking what (relatively) little money he had up North, where it would be more difficult to manage, would cost hours of travel to even get to purchase stage and would invariably appreciate less than a London property, he is able to raise another £100k and has added another £75k to the value of his current property. This gives him enough money to embark on another project with me. I am currently looking to source him another property where we can add value like we have done with his own property. He will refinance the project once complete, leaving him with a net return after all costs of 10-15%, or a gross yield of around 7%. a London property appreciates say 5% per year on average over the long term, so you are looking at a 12% gross yield, or about 20% return on capital employed if you were to sell the property after say 10-15 years. On your doorstep as opposed to 300 miles away.

How to buck the trend
By sourcing viable projects for my investor clients where we are able to add value - both capital appreciation and rental - they benefit from the long term wealth this brings. They end up with property within zones 2-3 London. This should prove:
1. A more liquid asset should it come time to sell
2. A more desirable asset, commanding a higher price (as a property in London always will)
3. Benefit from high rental demand as London has a bigger and more diverse economy than any other place in the UK. Both price and and the demand from tenants will be high so less voids
4. Closer to home and therefore easier to manage should they choose to self-manage
5. A high yielding property AND the benefit of capital appreciation in London

Would you like to own more property within London? Use the resources available to you? Don't know where to start? Start the conversation today on email or come down to the Clapham Property Meet this month and meet me in person. There is so much I can do for you if you want to get started or help your property investing along. I can source a property for you, manage the refurbishment and help you dress the property for the best rental returns. I have nearly 15 years experience in the South London property market. I invest locally myself, and I'm a firm believer that good, safe, sustainable returns are on your doorstep. Let me show you.

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