Friday, 13 February 2015

Are there any property bargains in Canterbury?



Newspapers report property prices in England have soared to a record high – sparking predictions that the country is facing another dangerous property bubble. Values in Kent are still 1.35 per cent higher than their previous peak in the autumn of 2007. Even with that news, I have been speaking to a couple of landlords who had concerns in some quarters that the state backed schemes to boost the supply of mortgages such as Funding for Lending and Help to Buy are inflating a new housing bubble. Those landlords are asking if this means the end of property bargains in Canterbury?
Well, if you do your homework, there are still plenty of good buys in Canterbury. Don’t expect them to come on the more popular streets in the city. The first rule of a buy to let investment is that it isn’t you that is living in the property, it’s the tenant, and there is always demand for every street in Canterbury.
Back in the early spring of 2013 a three bedroom semi detached extended bungalow, located in a lovely cul-de-sac location in the sought after village of Littlebourne, came onto the market with an asking price of £190,000.  The property was pleasantly presented inside although a little dated and had probably been occupied by someone of maturing years. I kept the photos of the inside and it had a white modern bathroom suite and a kitchen that was not unpleasant.  It sold in the Summer of 2013 for £184,500. 
Sixteen months later, with what I can see was just some inexpensive new carpets, some tiled and wood flooring, emulsion on the walls, a basic kitchen refurbishment and a bit of modern furniture, it sold again for £250,000 in the autumn of 2014 just gone.  In essence the new owners spent, in my opinion, no more than £10,000-£12,000 but made a profit after costs of £40,000 to £45,000 increasing the value of the bungalow by 35.5%.  Over the same time frame average property prices in Canterbury only rose by 8.3%.
By keeping an eye on the local market, I am able to judge if a property is good value to buy for a landlord. I give this advice and opinion freely to anyone who asks, be they an existing landlord of ours or of another agents. I will also give it to anyone thinking of becoming a buy to let landlord for the first time.
I do not charge for this service, because if I offer you an honest and straight forward opinion, you could consider using me to manage your property. However, I must stress there is no obligation to do so. Feel free to pop your head through our door Watling Street in Canterbury to chat about the ups and downs of the property market in Canterbury.