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Showing posts from March, 2018

This is the kind of property you need to be looking for NOW!

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Not a pretty picture is it?


But let's face it, if you've been reading any of my articles in the past few years you will know that BUY TO LET IS DEAD anyway... No, not really, it's alive and kicking. Only if you do it right though, this isn't amateur hour anymore. You can't be lazy. You can't just buy a new build property and wait for it to appreciate because prices are rising 15% per year. You can't expect tenants to turn up and pay top dollar for your bland new build because guess what? Every other T, D and H has bought a flat in that same development to do exactly the same! You are now in a race to the bottom. Who can take the lowest yield will win. A race I am not interested in. And here's why you shouldn't be either.... it just doesn't work for buy to let any more. Buy one to live in, they're lovely, go on. But don't rent them out and expect great returns. Far from it...
So how do you make buy to let work in this day and age? You ne…

The end of one deal means the start of many Joint Ventures in Clapham! Or Deptford....

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Well it's done! This was probably the easiest deal I have ever done. You will remember reading about this one for sure, but now that it's all completed, done and dusted I'd like to give you a bit of a summary.

A client came to me asking for my expertise. He wanted to acquire a property and use it as a vehicle for wealth. He wasn't ready to become a landlord yet, he wanted to "grow his cash pot" - his words. Amazing coincidence was that a day before I had let a deal go because it did not fit my criteria - everyone knows I love a good rental property!

This particular property needed to get sold ASAP and presented a prime opportunity for a quick refurb and resell, a Buy-to-Sell (BTS).

Terms were agreed between the investor and I and I would charge a fee for the project management and the sourcing of the investment, it came through my network of contacts of course!

I priced up the deal and the property was purchased. Alas we did encounter some problems during the…

210 First Timer Buyers in Clapham Bought Their First Home in 2017

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A little bit of good news this week on the Clapham Property Market as recently released data shows that the number of first time buyers taking out their first mortgage in 2017 increased more than in any other year since the global financial crisis in 2009. The data shows there were 210 first time buyers in Clapham, the largest number since 2006.

I expect in 2018 that this increase of first time buyers will level out and maybe dip slightly as, nationally, figures demonstrate that first time buyer’s average household income was £40,691 and this represented 17.3% of their take home pay. Although, it might surprise readers that it is actually cheaper to buy than it is to rent at the ‘starter home’ end of the housing market. Many of you can remember mortgage rates at 12% ... even 15%. Today, at the time of writing this article, I found on the open market, 189 first time buyer mortgages at 95% (meaning only a 5% deposit was required) with 3 year fixed rates from a reputable High Street ba…

An extension could add £150,625 to the value of your Clapham home

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As our families grow bigger the need for more space, be that bedrooms or reception rooms, has grown with it. Also, as our older generation lives longer and nursing home bills continue to rise quicker than a rocket on the 5th of November (the average nursing home bill in the area being £862.50 per week) many families are bringing two households into one larger one.

So, should you move somewhere larger, or extend your Clapham property to make it large enough for you and your family? In some circumstances the choice has been made for you. If you live in an apartment with no garden, there isn’t much of an opportunity of making it larger. But if you have a house with a garden or an attic with sufficient headroom, extending your home becomes a real prospect.

Even if it makes more sense to extend or move, the choice hangs on a number of different dynamics – your future plans, money (both saved and access to finance), in what way you are emotionally attached to your home, the particular a…

Clapham Property Market – The 22.7% ‘New Build Premium’

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According to the National House Building Council (NHBC), more than 17,800 new homes were registered to be built in London last year, an increase of 1.5% on 2016 levels of 26,150 dwellings. Great news when you consider it is one of the highest number of new builds in the region since the pre-recession levels of the Credit Crunch and the uncertainty of Brexit and the General Election.

So, when a landlord recently asked me why the brand-new property she was considering buying was a lot more expensive compared to a second-hand/existing property of similar type, accommodation, location and structure I thought this would make a fascinating topic to do some homework on … homework I want to share with the homeowners and landlords of Clapham.

You might believe that the difference between purchasing a new build home against purchasing a second-hand/existing home is just individual preference. Some buyers/tenants like the ostentatious trendy modern feel of a new home, whilst others like a hom…

Clapham’s ‘Millennials’ set to inherit £200,920 each in property!

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That got your attention ... didn’t it!

But before we start, what is Generation X, let alone Generation Z, Millennials, Baby Boomers ... these are phrases banded around about the different life stages (or subcomponents) of our society. But when terminologies like this are used as often and habitually as these phrases (i.e. Gen X this, Millennial that etc.), it appears particularly vital we have some practical idea of what these terms actually mean. The fact is that everyone uses these phrases, but often, like myself, they are not exactly sure where the lines are drawn ...until now…

So, for clarity …

Generation Z: Born after 1996
Millennials: Born 1977 to 1995
Generation X: Born 1965 to 1976
Baby Boomers: Born 1946 to 1964
Silent Generation: Born 1945 and before

My research shows there are 1,152 households in Clapham (SW4) owned by Clapham Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964) and Clapham’s Silent Generation (born 1945 and before). It also shows there are 11,587 Generation X…

Clapham’s £96,067,680 “Rentirement” Property Market Time Bomb

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Yes, I said ‘rentirement’, not retirement ... rentirement and it relates to the 193 (and growing) Clapham people, who don’t own their own Clapham home but rent their home, privately from a buy to let landlord and who are currently in their 50’s and early to mid-60’s.

The truth is that these Clapham people are prospectively soon to retire with little more than their state pension of £155.95 per week, probably with a small private pension of a couple of hundred pounds a month, meaning the average Clapham retiree can expect to retire on about £200 a week once they retire at 67.

The average rent in Clapham is £2,074 a month, so a lot of the retirement “income” will be taken up in rent, meaning the remainder will have to be paid for out their savings or the taxpayer will have to stump up the bill (and with life expectancy currently in the mid to late 80’s, that is quite a big bill … a total of £96,067,680 over the next 20 years to be paid from the tenant’s savings or the taxpayers cof…

Clapham Private Rents Hit £35.56 per sq. foot

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As I am sure you are aware, one the best things about my job as an investor is helping Clapham other investors with their strategic portfolio management. Gone are the days of making money by buying any old Clapham property to rent out or sell on. Nowadays, property investment is both an art and science. The art is your gut reaction to a property, but with the power of the internet and the way the Clapham property market has gone in the last 11 years, science must also play its part on a property’s future viability for investment.

Many metrics most property professionals (including myself) use when deciding the viability of a rental property is what properties are selling for, the average rent, the yield and an average value per square foot.

However, another metric I like to use is the average rent per square foot. The reason being is that is a great way to judge a property from the point of view of the tenant ... what space they get for their money. Now of course, location (locatio…