Wednesday, 26 November 2014

What type of property in Canterbury sells the best?

Knowing how saleable a property is half the battle when deciding what (or not) to buy for your next property investment. Why?  Well because one day, you may need to sell that property. If you go into the purchase with open eyes, you know most of the risks and can barter the price accordingly if you have to. Bearing this in mind, last week, a couple from Blean popped into our offices to ask about investing in property. Their concern was if we have another property slump (and we will because that is what has happened to the British property market ever since the 1950’s), if they did need to sell, what type of property would be easier to sell. Now everything sells, even during a slump, but I did some research and followed up their query – I was actually quite surprised with the results.
A good guide to judge the saleability of property is the number of properties for sale, compared to the numbers that are sold, subject to contract. Now I carried out this comparison last week, so the numbers will be marginally different today, but of the 20,689 households in Canterbury there are 589 properties on the market for sale. Of those 589 properties, 281 properties are fully available on the open market waiting for a buyer and 308 have buyers and are sold subject to contract. That means 52.2% of property on the market has a buyer in Canterbury (interestingly, when I looked at Herne Bay, it has an identical percentage of property sold at 52.2% as well, whilst Whitstable is 55%).
However, delve deeper, and in Canterbury today, 58.3% of detached houses on the market have a buyer and great news for semi detached property owners, as 71.2% of them have buyers.  80 of the 167 terraced houses on the market now have buyers (making 52% sold stc). The properties that appear to be sticking though are apartments at a comparatively lower 42.6% and bungalows at 51.8%. 
I am always giving advice to my existing and new landlords in Canterbury on what to buy (or not as the case may be).  Having this detail of information at my finger tips, allows me to spot trends in the local market, which then enables to me to give the very best advice to my clients. I don't charge for that advice as I have plenty of opportunity to earn money by finding the best tenants for my landlords in the years to come on the investments I have advised on. 

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Faversham - 1 bed - Yielding a healthy 5.52%

The markets has been fairly quiet in the last few weeks on the sales front, therefore I was pleasantly surprised when this little gem came on the market this morning on Rightmove.

It's located in the market town of Faversham and would make a cracking investment property, either as a first time investor or as a 'bolt on' to an existing portfolio.

The property is being placed on the market for £125K by Your Move. Judging by the photos / presentation, I would reckon that there's a deal to be done here, which should shave a couple of thousand off the asking price, which is where the money is made, i.e. at the buying stage, not at the selling!

Again, these properties are in great demand in the rental market and will rent out all day long at circa £575 per month. With such a rent, we would reckon on gaining a yield of circa 5.52%, which is somewhat better than what the bank / building societies are giving you on your savings these days.

Check it out at

 and give them a call!


Should you wish to discuss any other specific properties or just a general chat re the current market, please feel free to contact me on 01227 455717 or call in and see me at 23 Watling Street in Canterbury.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Investor alert - 6.55% - Herne Bay - only £110K

INVESTOR ALERT. This one has just come onto the market in Herne Bay and is a real corker! It's on with Kent Estate Agencies in Herne Bay and is being offered at £109,995. It's possible that there is a deal to be done, but even at this price it works well, yielding a cracking 6.55%. This yield is based upon a monthly rental of £600 per month.

As ever, such properties in Herne Bay are in great demand, especially these one beds and more importantly, it looks like a great finish, so it's good to go. Even more appealing is the 999 year lease. It just gets better and better!

Should you wish to discuss any other specific properties or just a general chat re the current market, please feel free to contact me on 01227 455717 or call in and see me at 23 Watling Street in Canterbury.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Hales Place property market out-performs St. Stephens by 69%

I was talking to a couple last week, who are considering becoming landlords for the first time after they had come into some money, knowing the return they would get investing in the Bank would be rather poor. They live in one of those lovely three storey Victorian town houses on the edge of St. Dunstan’s. They were looking for advice as to what kind of property they should buy, but they particularly wanted it to be on their side of the City (West / North West of Canterbury’s city centre.

I initially looked at the detached houses in the St. Stephen’s area. The average value of a four bed detached property in the St. Stephen’s area is £438,800. The four beds rent on average for £1,351 per month, giving us an average yield of 3.69%. I then considered the Hales Place area further up St. Stephen’s hill on the right hand side. Semi-detached houses and town houses are worth on average £225,100 here and rent for around £1,174 per month, giving a much better yield of 6.26%, which is proportionally just over two thirds (or 69% to be precise) more than St. Stephen’s.  This is because Hales Place is very popular with the student population of the city considering its proximity to the University.  With student lettings rooms are rented on an individual basis, this gives a much higher return.  Therefore with yields of nearly double St. Stephen’s, surely this is the best place to invest your money in?

However, to judge a rental investment, you must consider the capital growth as well as the yield. Since 2001 the average Hales Place property has risen by 55.5%, whilst St. Stephen’s values, have risen by 110.5%. Ultimately, we found both areas to be a good investment depending on your own situation, but as you can see, Hales Place does offer better yields, but at the expense of better capital growth which St. Stephen’s offers.  

If you are a landlord, new or old, we’re certainly more than happy for you to pop in and see us at our offices on Watling Street for advice on where to buy in Canterbury or email me on

Monday, 17 November 2014

Student let worth taking a look at, with a 6.35% yield potential

Readers of my blog will know my view on student properties within the Canterbury area, which quite simply is right place and right standard, i.e. as long as the property is in the right area and it's finished to a high standard, then there should be no problem in letting the property. In converse, if the property is in the wrong place and is in a poor state, then it won't rent. It's that simple.

Therefore, when I was looking through Rightmove this morning, this property caught my attention. At the moment, it ticks one box, i.e. right place and with a bit of TLC, the other box should be ticked!

It's on with Your Move at £170K, in Nethersole Close. It's a 3 bed apartment and should rent out to students at a minimum of £900 per month. This combination will deliver a yield of 6.35%. This being said, we are renting out a number of similar properties in the same area for £1100 per month. On this basis, the yield then moves to a very healthy 7.76% yield.

Check it out at

Should you wish to discuss any other specific properties or just a general chat re the current market, please feel free to contact me on 01227 455717 or call in and see me at 23 Watling Street in Canterbury.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Canterbury vs Whitstable .. the tale of two very different property markets

I was talking to one of my landlords from Blean the other week, when we were looking over a few properties that he was considering to buy in Canterbury or Whitstable. As I cover both Canterbury and Whitstable from my office I was able to discuss the two places in depth. Over the last five to ten years I have noticed an interesting pattern in the house prices between these two places.   Property values have always been very similar between the two, but Canterbury has always been a more expensive town to buy in comparison to Whitstable, but depending on what type of property you buy, there are some fascinating differences.

A few weeks ago we said the average value of a property in Canterbury was £294,600 whilst in Whitstable, it was £301,700.  Interestingly, property values in Canterbury over the last year have increased by 9.2% but in Whitstable they have increased by an even more impressive 13.25%.  Currently that means that property values in Whitstable are 2.4% higher than Canterbury.  However, when you look deeper, things become even more interesting between the two. Terraced houses in Whitstable are 7.1% higher than Canterbury’s (£255,000 to £237,900), semi-detached properties are 4.1% higher in Whitstable compared to Canterbury (£262,700 to £252,100 respectively). Whilst flats are only 2.5% higher in Whitstable at £193,300 compared to Canterbury at £188,400. However, in Canterbury detached houses are in fact 16.4% higher in value at £458,200 compared to Whitstable’s £383,100. 

So why the big differences when it comes to looking at the two places as a whole? Well after investigating, it transpires that in Whitstable, there are 175.4% proportionally more detached houses than Canterbury. It is this greater supply of detached housing which means the average price is considerably lower in Whitstable compared to Canterbury.

These differing housing provisions in Canterbury and Whitstable just go to show that you need to know your marketplace and decide which is the right place for your money. If you are an existing landlord or one who is thinking of become one in Canterbury, don’t hesitate to pop by our offices on Watling Street in Canterbury or send me an email to 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Are school's Canterbury's best kept secret?

A factor that is not always considered when purchasing an investment property is its locality to a top state school. However as recent research suggests, it could be a key factor in boosting your properties worth, as premiums for proximity to certain schools are reaching as high as 282%!

A recent survey of over 400 schools, indicated that families are putting education, in particular state school education, as a priority when buying a home. With many moving just a few miles away to enter the catchment area for their desired school. Studies show that an estimated 60% of families move to secure a quality education for their young. Proof in the pudding folks as we watched a 3 bedroom detached property in Canterbury let within hours and it let over the asking price. Yes, you guessed it, the family wanted the primary school!

The top 30 schools effect local house prices by an average of 10% of the properties worth. The results of the aforementioned survey, can only really examine the inflation in price in suburban areas, as the cost of city homes are subject to so many variables, it becomes hard to attribute changes to one factor. In turn the lowest performing 25% of schools are seeing a 19% drop in house prices, perhaps only further proof that well placed property is a ‘recession proof’ investment.

So as in investor in UK property, how can you make this news work for you? Although it could be argued that the data suggests only sale prices for homes are being effected, a rental opportunity can be an ideal alternative and an ideal investment. The thing to remember when viewing properties, is the proximity to the best schools in the county. If a property is within reasonable walking distance of a state school that has been rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, then the value of the house should maintain. By offering a cheaper rental alternative, then you are catering for a proportion of parents that cannot afford to buy a house closer to the catchment area, but make the education of their young a priority.

It has been proven that parents are willing to pay three times the amount it would cost to send their child to private education, to move closer to a good state school. A staggering nine times the income of a British household. Which means that buyers are adding almost a third onto the average house price, if it is close to a good state school.

If you are investing in property close to a good school, then it is worth remembering that the flip side of your investment being valued against a neighbouring educational institute, is that development or change to this school could also cause your investment to change in value. Choose areas where there is a small possibility that large and unwanted low market developments will be built, altering the market and the school intake demand. It should be fairly easy to judge as large development is always less likely to occur in the more upmarket areas. Canterbury's biggest benefit is that it is relatively ring fenced by way of new developments.

The added bonus of this kind of property investment is that, if you no longer require lettings income and wish to make a cash return, demand for this kind of property means it never sits on the market for extended periods of time. With a little TLC, it’s wholly possible that a healthy return can be made quickly from this kind of ‘win-win’ investment.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Worth a look - 6% yield in Herne Bay

After a fairly quiet weekend on the property market, the following property has just been put on the market which is well worth a look.

It's been placed on the market at £129,950 with Wilbee & Sons and from the pictures, it looks OK, with nothing major to be concerned about. As ever, these are in good demand and should rent out for at least £650 pm. Therefore, with these figures, you will be looking at a yield of at least 6%. Also, there's no chain on this one, so the process should proceed fairly swiftly!

Check it out at

Should you wish to discuss any other specific properties or just a general chat re the current market, please feel free to contact me on 01227 455717 or call in and see me at 23 Watling Street in Canterbury.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

5.79% yield in Herne Bay - looks fab!

Crikey, you can tell that winters arrived with a bang, with freezing temperatures and frosty windscreens, yet on this bright and sunny morning, the bargains still keep on coming!

This two bed apartment has just come on the market in Herne Bay with David Clarke. There were a couple of points that caught my eye, with the first being the price and the second being the excellent condition it appears to be in from the photographs.

Regular readers will know that these sort of properties are a firm favourite of mine, as they tick every box from an investment viewpoint. These are as follows, location, type of property, price, 'rentability' and yield. Therefore, with a price of £145K and the rent should be a minimum of £700 per month, the yield will be 5.59%. Give them a call !!

See further details at

Should you wish to discuss any other specific properties or just a general chat re the current market, please feel free to contact me on 01227 455717 or call in and see me at 23 Watling Street in Canterbury.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Canterbury census figures released

It seems a distant memory three years ago when we were filling in our Census Returns, but now the figures are beginning to be released, especially the statistics about property. The figures for each individual town and city have been released, so let’s look at the Canterbury City Council figures. In the city there are 60,771 households, just under two thirds of properties are owned, 66% to be precise (40,107 households) of which 21,578 don’t have a mortgage (lucky people!). Renting interests me and 10,665 householders rent their house (or 17.5% of households to be exact).

So, with just over a sixth of households being rented in the city (and the immediate villages), which is only just above the national average of 15.6%, where does that put Canterbury? For renting, Canterbury is in the top 25% of local authorities when it comes to renting (66th out of 347 authorities) but we are in the bottom 25% for social housing (Council Housing) at 222nd out of 347 local authorities.

So does that mean there is an oversupply of rental properties in Canterbury?..... quite the opposite! Demand continues to be good from quality tenants who are prepared a pay a decent rent, but only for a decent property (if you remember a few weeks back, I said the landlords in Canterbury, on average over the last year, achieved a total return of over 13.8% a year). If there were a glut of rental properties, there would be an oversupply of property to rent, driving prices down. In the lettings industry, it is recognised there will always be 5% of the rental market up for rent at any one time, which means there should be 533 properties to let today in Canterbury (5% of 10,665 as mentioned above) .. I am pleased to tell you there are only 350 as I write this article!

 Don’t get me wrong, tenants are more discerning in the properties they rent. Woodchip wallpaper and no central heating won’t cut the mustard anymore. However, present your Canterbury property to a good standard and price it right and you should do very well. If you are considering becoming a landlord or are an established landlord who is thinking of buying another property to rent out in Canterbury, please do your homework. Feel free to ask my opinion on what makes a 'decent property'. It's in my interest for you to buy the right property for you, not me. I don't charge for that opinion, because I hope you will recommend me to your friends, which in fact is the best compliment you can make.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Faversham - 2 bedroom apartment - yielding 5.76%

As I sit here in the office, sweltering in this balmy winter heat, who would believe it's the 1st of November today. At this rate, I reckon we'll all be having barbecues on Boxing Day!!

OK, back to business......... this morning in my usual scan of the property portals, there were a number of properties that came on the market and again, one of them 'jumped' out at me as a good investment.

It's over in Faversham and has come onto the market with Your Move, at a price of £125K, which looks OK. Maybe a few thousand could be shaved off this with a bit of haggling....... and as ever, 2 bed apartments are in great demand and should rent swiftly with quality / fully referenced tenants. The rental figure should be circa £600 per month (possibly a bit more), which will give you a yield of 5.76% (at £600 per month), which is good. In addition, there's no chain with this one, so the buying process should also be fairly swift.

Check it out further at and give them a call.

Should you wish to discuss any other specific properties or just a general chat re the current market, please feel free to contact me on 01227 455717 or call in and see me at 23 Watling Street in Canterbury.