Thursday, 27 April 2017

Only 290 Properties For Sale in Canterbury

2017 has started with some positive interest in the Canterbury property market. Taking a snap shot of the Canterbury property market for the first quarter of 2017, the picture suggests some interesting trends when it comes to the number of properties available to buy, their asking prices and what prices properties are actually selling for.

Let us first consider the number of properties for sale, compared to 12 months ago:

Type of Canterbury Property
Number of Properties on the Market 12 months ago
Number of Properties on the Market now
% change




So when we add in building plots and other types of properties that don’t fit into the four main categories, that means there are 290 properties for sale today compared with 288 a year ago, a rise of 1%.

Next, Canterbury asking prices, compared to last Spring, are 6% higher.

With that in mind, I wanted to look at what property was actually selling for in Canterbury. Taking my information from the Land Registry, the last available six months property transactions for CT1 show an interesting picture (note the Land Registry data is always a few months behind due to the nature of the house buying process and so November 2016 is latest set of data). The price shown is the average price paid and the number in brackets is the number of properties actually sold.

£0 (0)
£424,500 (7)
£531,125 (2)
£484,333 (9)
£563,333 (6)
£539,965 (5)
£271,600 (10)
£268,333 (3)
£285,857 (7)
£308,880 (10)
£290,688 (8)
£331,600 (5)
£317,409 (11)
£270,722 (9)
£286,312 (16)
£278,508 (12)
£281,321 (14)
£292,063 (12)
£176,790 (5)
£210,880 (20)
£196,531 (16)
£193,625 (12)
£210,077 (13)
£220,875 (12)
£272,748 (26)
£267,451 (39)
£263,139 (41)
£304,962 (43)
£301,829 (41)
£309,208 (34)

So what does all this mean for the property owning folk of Canterbury?

Well, with a similar number of properties on the market as a year ago and asking prices 6% higher, those trying to sell their property need to be mindful that buyers, be they first time buyers, buy to let landlords or people moving up the Canterbury property ladder, have much more price information about the Canterbury property market at their fingertips than ever before.

Those Canterbury people who are looking to sell their property in 2017, need to be aware of the risks of over pricing their property when initially placing it on the market. Over the last 12 months, I have noticed the approach of a few Canterbury estate agents is to suggest an inflated asking price to encourage the homeowner and secure the property to sell on their books. The down side to this is that when offered to the market for the first time, buyers will realise it is overpriced and wont waste their time asking for a brochure. They won’t even view the property, let alone make an offer. So when the price is reduced a few months later, the property has become market stale and continues to be ignored.

Whilst the Canterbury property-market has an unassailable demand for property – there is one saying that always rings true - as long as the property is being marketed at the right price it will sell.

If you want to know if your Canterbury property is being marketed at the right price, send me a web link and I will give you my honest opinion.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017


I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend, only 11 days until the next bank holiday weekend!

Today’s property caught my eye as I have often driven past the property on the way to work and have been intrigued by the unusual shape of the building.

The property is located on Hollow Lane which is easy walking distance to Canterbury City Centre and also benefits from free on street parking. The property is currently rented as a student property with a potential yield of 6.08%. This is worked out on a monthly income of £1520.00pcm.

From looking at the photos I would agree with the description that this is a high quality student let needing little to no work prior to renting it out.

If you are interested in this property one thing to double check with the Estate agent Charles Bainbridge is if there is secure tenants until June 2018.

‘Flipping’ Heck - Canterbury Property Values Rise by £49.89 a day

Investing in Canterbury buy to let property is different from investing in the stock market or depositing your hard-earned cash in the Building Society. When you invest your money in the Building Society, this is considered by many as the safe option but the returns you can achieve are awfully low (the best 2-year bond rate from Nationwide is a whopping 0.75% a year!). Another investment is the Stock Market, which can give good returns, but unless you are on the phone every day to your Stockbroker, most people invest in stock market funds, making the investment quite hands off and one always has the feeling of not being in control.

However, with buy to let, things can be more hands on. One of the things many landlords like is the tactile nature of property - the fact that you can touch the bricks and mortar. It is this factor that attracts many of Canterbury’s landlords – they are making their own decisions rather than entrusting them to city whizz kids in Canary Wharf playing roulette with their savings.

I always say investing in property is a long-term game. When you invest in the property market, you can earn from your investment in two ways. When a property increases in value over time, this is known as ‘capital growth' which we know has been strong in recent times in Canterbury. The second way you can benefit is the rental income which will also grow over time. If you divide the annual rent into the value (or purchase price) of the property, this is your yield, or annual return. So, over the last 5 years, an average Canterbury property has risen by £91,050 (equivalent to £49.89 a day), taking it to a current average value of £339,800. By adding this to the rental income that could be earned can easily see returns of 10% per annum which I think you will agree is substantially above the aforementioned 0.75%.

However, something I haven’t spoken of before is the more specialist area of flipping property to make money. (flipping - buying a property, carrying out some minor cosmetics and re selling it quickly).  I have seen several investors recently who have made decent returns from this strategy. For example …

One Canterbury Investor paid £190,000 for a 3 bed terrace on Chestnut Drive in February 2015. It appears some cosmetic work was done to the property and it was resold a few months ago (November 2016) for £275,000 … 44.74% return before costs 

This demonstrates how the Canterbury property market has not only provided very strong returns for the average investor over the last five years but how it has permitted a group of motivated buy to let Canterbury landlords and investors to become particularly wealthy.

As my article mentioned a few weeks ago, more and more Canterbury people may be giving up on owning their own home and are instead accepting long term renting whilst buy to let lending continues to grow from strength to strength. If you want to know what (and what would not) make a decent buy to let property in Canterbury, then please get in touch.  

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

1 Bedroom Flat 5.47% yield

Morning, where has the sun gone? Hopefully it is hiding away ready for that sunny Easter weekend…

This week’s property is a smaller but perfectly located 1 bedroom apartment! The property is on the market with Miles and Barr and has been on the market since December 2016.

The property is located just off Gordon Road behind Canterbury East Station so is the perfect location for those needing access to London. 1 Bedroom properties are in high demand in Canterbury and are very popular with young working professionals. The property also comes with that rarely seen allocated parking space!

Although the property is on the market with a guide price of £160,000 - £180,000 this property can still achieve a yield of 5.47% if bought at £170,000. This is worked out on a projected rental income of £775.00 pcm.

The property generally looks in good condition so should be good to rent out straight away!

Go on, take a look!

How The Rented Sector Has Transformed The Property Market In Canterbury

The Canterbury housing market has gone through a sea change in the past decades with the Buy-to-Let (B-T-L) sector evolving as a key trend, for both Canterbury tenants and Canterbury landlords.

A few weeks ago, the Government released a White Paper on housing. I have had a chance now to digest the report and wish to offer my thoughts on the topic. It was interesting that the private rental sector played a major part in the future plans for housing. This is especially important for our growing Canterbury population.

In 1981, the population of Canterbury stood at 122,200
and today it stands at 160,000.

Currently, the private rented (B-T-L) sector accounts for 30% of households in the city.  The Government want to assist people living in the houses and help the economy by encouraging the provision of quality homes, in a housing sector that has grown due to worldwide economic forces, pushing home ownership out of the reach of more and more people. Interestingly, when we look at the 1981 figures for homeownership, a different story is told.

68.18% Canterbury people owned their own home in 1981
19.62% Canterbury people rented from the Council or Housing Association in 1981 and 12.19% Canterbury rented from a Private Landlord      

The significance of a suitable housing policy is vital to ensure suitable economic activity and create a vibrant place people want to live in. With the population of Canterbury set to grow to 187,000 by 2037 – it is imperative that Canterbury City Council and Central Government all work actively together to ensure the residential property market doesn’t hold the area back, by encouraging the building and provision of quality homes for its inhabitants.

One idea the Government has proclaimed is a variety of measures aimed at encouraging the Build-to-Rent (B-T-R) sector (instead of the B-T-L sector). These include allowing local authorities to proactively plan for B-T-R schemes, and making it simpler for B-T-R developers to offer inexpensive private rented homes.

To do this, the government will invent a distinct affordable housing class for B-T-R, called ‘Affordable Private Rent’, which will oblige new homes builders to provide at least 1 in 5 of a new home developments at a 20% discount on open-market rents and three year tenancies for tenants. In return, the new homebuilders will get better planning assurances.

Private landlords will not be expected to offer discounts, nor offer 3-year tenancies – but it is something Canterbury landlords need to be aware of as there will be greater competition for tenants.

Over the last ten years, home ownership has not been a primary goal for young adults as the world has changed. These youngsters expect ‘on demand’ services from click and collect, Amazon, Dating Apps and TV with the likes of Netflix. Many Canterbury youngsters see that renting more than meets their accommodation needs, as it combines the freedom from a lifetime of property maintenance and financial obligations, making it an attractive lifestyle option.

Private rented housing in Canterbury, be it B-T-L or B-T-R, has the prospective to play a very positive role. 

Thursday, 6 April 2017

2 Bedroom House, Great BTL!

Morning all!

Well it looks like spring has finally sprung, I’m keeping everything crossed it hangs around long enough for us all to enjoy a sunny Easter weekend!

As ever I have been keeping a close eye on the Canterbury property market and have come across an ideal student let, a 2-bedroom house currently for sale with Page & Co.

The property is located on Whitstable Hill which is a much sought-after location for students attending Kent University.

Currently on the market for an asking price of £230,000 it already has secured tenancy until June 2018 at a monthly rent of £1200.00pcm generating an impressive yield of 6.26%!!

In my experience with the student market, 2 bed properties never hang around for long, and are usually the first to go in the student cycle!

So, act fast and get a viewing booked for what will most likely end up being yet another rainy Easter break!

This one is worth a look at:

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Canterbury’s ‘Generation Trapped’ and the £3.13bn legacy

Last week, I wrote an article on the plight of the Canterbury 20 something’s often referred to by the press as ‘Generation Rent’. Attitudes to renting have certainly changed over the last twenty years and as my analysis suggested, this change is likely to be permanent. In the article, whilst a minority of this Generation Rent feel trapped, the majority don’t – making renting a choice not a predicament. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) predicted that the private rental sector is likely to grow substantially by 1.8m households across the UK in the next 8 years, with demand for rental property unlikely to slow and newly formed households continuing to choose the rental market as opposed to buying.

However, my real concern for Canterbury homeowners and Canterbury landlords alike, as I discussed a couple of months ago, is our mature members of the population of Canterbury. In that previous article, I stated that the current OAP’s (65+ yrs in age) in Canterbury were sitting on £1.49bn of residential property ... however, I didn’t talk in depth about the ‘Baby Boomers’, the 50yr to 64yr old Canterbury people and what their properties are worth – and more importantly, how the current state of affairs could be holding back those younger Generation Renters.

In Canterbury, there are 2,189 households whose owners are aged between 50yrs and 64yrs and about to pay their mortgage off. That property is worth, in today’s prices, £746.8m. There are an additional 2,617 mortgage free Canterbury households, owned by 50yr to 64yr olds, worth £892.8m in today’s prices, meaning...

Canterbury Baby Boomers and Canterbury OAP’s are sitting
on £3.13bn worth of Canterbury Property

These Canterbury Baby Boomers and OAP’s are sitting on 9,175 Canterbury properties and many of them feel trapped in their homes, and hence I have dubbed them ‘Generation Trapped’.

Recently, the English Housing Survey stated 49% of these properties owned by the Generation Trapped, as I have dubbed them, are ‘under-occupied’ (under-occupied classed as having at least two bedrooms more than needed). These houses could be better utilised by younger families, but research carried out by the Prudential suggest in Britain it’s estimated that only one in ten older people downsize while in the USA for example one in five do so.

The growing numbers of older homeowners who want to downsize their home are often put off by the difficulties of moving. The charity United for all Ages, suggested recently many are put off by the lack of housing options, 19% by the hassle and cost of moving, 14% by having to declutter their possessions and 14% by family reasons such as staying close to children and grandchildren.

Helping mature Canterbury (and the Country) homeowners to downsize at the right time will also enable younger Canterbury people to find the homes they need – meaning every generation wins, both young and old. However, to ensure downsizing works, as a Country, we need more choices for these ‘last time buyers’.

Theresa May and Philip Hammond can do their part and consider stamp duty tax breaks for downsizers, our local Council in Canterbury and the Planning Dept. should play their part, as should landlords and property investors to ensure Canterbury’s ‘Generation Trapped’ can find suitable property locally, close to friends, family and facilities.