Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Canterbury or Whitstable: Which is the best place to buy in?

At a recent Canterbury business leaders networking event, I was asked by a local accountant on the best place to buy a property for investment in the area. This is a question I am often asked at least once a week by existing and soon to be first time landlords in both Canterbury and Whitstable areas of Kent. Both places have similar average property values, so would you expect them to perform the same?

The average property value in Whitstable is £289,700 and in Canterbury is £291,300, whilst the average rents are £874 per month in Whitstable and £1,124 per month in Canterbury. This gives Whitstable an average yield of 3.6% whilst in Canterbury its 4.6%. Interestingly, property values have increased by 8.3% in the last 12 months in Whitstable, yet Canterbury is not far behind, with average property values increasing by 8.0% (interestingly over three quarters of that rise has been since Christmas 2013). Just for comparison I looked at Herne Bay and the average yield in Herne Bay is currently 3.45% a year and property values have risen from £211,400 over the last 12 months to today’s average value of £225,200, a more modest rise of 6.9%.

Investing in property is all about what you buy the property for (i.e. capital growth). You make your money with your buying value, rather than your eventual sale value. Over the last ten years, property values in Whitstable are 18.6% higher than they were in 2004, whilst they are 23.2% higher in Canterbury and so have you missed the boat in both places? Interestingly, the housing market in Canterbury saw some impressive house sales, with prices to match earlier in the year. Recent surveys by Rightmove suggest it is only taking 6 weeks to find a buyer in South East England. However, not everything is selling. At the time of writing this report (early August), of the 287 properties that had come on the market over the last 56 days, only 110 were sold stc, (or only 38.3% of house sellers had found a buyer), meaning over 60% hadn’t sold and it these where you can find your bargains if you look hard enough.

If you would like to pick my brain on anything to do investing in the Canterbury, Whitstable or Herne Bay property markets, feel free to pick up the phone, email me on  or pop into offices on Watling Street in Canterbury.


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