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UK Student Housing has better returns than residential & commercial

Student Housing: Is it a good investment?

This week Savills published their student housing report. Here are some key findings from that report and some of personal experience and observations from working with our clients.

“Student housing continues to perform well as an asset class with higher yields than both residential and commercial property” – Savills

In the past the student market has been steered clear by investors due to the reputation of how students treat your property. However in recent years and the massive influx of students, the shortage in student housing has created a market where the returns are far higher and secure than residential and commercial property.

According to HESA between 1999 and 2012 the number of full-time students in higher education grew by 540,000, an increase of 46%.

With university halls of residence just about able to cope with the increasing numbers of first year students and private sector student accommodation operators racing to scale up, most students ended up in the private rented sector.

Average student housing rents by rightmove

Many landlords ceased the opportunity, some to accommodate for their own children and their friends. The use and availability of Buy to Let mortgages made it even easier.

Where to invest in Student Housing?

According to Savills, Bath, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Oxford and St Andrews are at the top of the list for investors.

Where to invest in student housing

 PropVestment’s clients have shown interests in south coast universities like Southampton and Portsmouth. In the past favourites have included Manchester and Nottingham and of course London, with investments south of the river.

 Demand for Student Housing & increase in Fees?

It was thought that student numbers would fall after the fees jumped to a maximum of £9,000 from 2012. But this only applied to domestic students.
In 2013 demand from within fell by 2.7%, However, demand from outside of Europe has continued to grow during this period, particularly from the Far East, which has seen average annual growth of 8.5% over the last 6 years.

The overall 0.4% fall in domestic student numbers between 2010-11 and 2011-12 was counterbalanced by a 1.7% increase in international students keeping student numbers
fairly stable.

Is London still the place to invest?

London Student Housing Market

London has 300,000 full-time students, and 110,000 part-time students. It is the student
accommodation market is both the largest and most active in the country.

With private sector rents forecast to continue growing, affordability for domestic students,
who make up 75% of the student body, will continue to be stretched and drive demand
into surrounding more affordable markets.

Therefore there is much opportunity in Zone 1 and Zone 2 areas of London. However in London there are many other factors that also effect the market.

PropVestment Top Tips

Invest and convert larger properties into HMOs to house multiple students. The returns are higher for the landlord, and the greater space can provide more affordable alternatives for students rather than renting a studio on Oxford Street.

#Budget2013 : Help to buy – impact on UK property market

Will the “Help to Buy” scheme help home buyers?

Budget 2013 Help to BuyThe Chancellor, George Osbourne has announced the budget for 2013 and beyond. Overall the budget covers all aspects or work and life in the UK, however we are concerned with property.

The head line for property has been the “Help to Buy” scheme.

There are 2 options, one for new buyers and new homes only and one for all property and buyers.

The below options breakdown are provided by Zoopla blog on the budget

Option 1: Help to buy – Equity Loan

-Is it applicable to any property?
No, just new build only

-Deposit required?
Yes, minimum of 5% deposit

-Do I have to be a first time buyer?
No, this scheme is available to all, not just first time buyers

-How does it work?
The Government will lend you up to 20% of the value of your property through an equity loan, which can be repaid at any time or on the sale of your home…so you will only need to secure up to a 75% mortgage from a bank or building society. It is interest-free for 5 years

-When does it start?
The scheme is available from 1 April 2013. It will run for 3 years and provide £3.5billion of additional investment

Option 2 – Help to buy – Mortgage Guarantee

-Is it applicable to any property?
New build and existing homes

-Will I need a deposit?
Yes, you’ll need a minimum of 5%

-Is it only open to First Time Buyers?
No, it is also open to existing homeowners

-How does it work?
You’ll need to secure a mortgage for your purchase. The Government guarantee should help encourage lenders to offer better access to low-deposit mortgages

-When does it start?
Available from January 2014, this scheme will run for 3 years

-Is there a maximum purchase price?
Maximum value £600,000

 Other points from the Budget 2013:

  • Budget 2013 help to buy21 % corporate tax rate – potentially beneficial to buy rental properties into a company rather than private names
  • Encourage to convert unused commercial space into residential

London Mayor, Boris Johnson has also secured £750 million for new build housing in the capital. This will boost affordable housing for middle income Londoners.

Official details can be found here: HM Treasury – pages 38 & 71

PropVestment’s thoughts

Overall we believe that the budget is progressive for the UK Property market, however it could have done more. However it seems that Help to Buy is more universal and will help more of the population. It is now for us to see how it filters through in reality. Many other schemes like NewBuy and FirstBuy have been less successful

 

Contact PropVestment today for a chat, we advise on all property investment queries. Lets make money from property

 

UK property market HS2

#HS2 – High Speed 2 implications on the UK Property Market

UK property market HS2With the announcement of the HS2 today, there has been much in the media, with a lot of criticism. We at PropVestment want to focus on the implications of HS2 on the UK property market.

Economically this will create jobs and provided technology is sourced within the UK will benefit us in the long run.

In terms of the thousand or so homes effected, we believe they have been offered 110% the market value of their property prior to plans announced. Home owners have got a good deal, especially in some northern reaches where the UK property market is almost non existent as UK potentially drops into a “triple dip” recession.

How does HS2 effect the UK Property Market?

  •   HS2 impact on UK Property MarketReduce Pressure on London
    As commuting becomes easier with journeys under an hour from Birmingham to London, similar to a journey from Zone 4/5 to Zone one within London. Therefore many will choose to locate outside London. Benefiting from lower property prices and potentially larger homes.
  • Revival of Northern Property Markets
    As from locations will be commutable to the major cities and London. Hence more people will choose to locate in those towns, boosting house demand and rentals too. Landlord’s and investors will find these areas as more attractive places to invest. First time buyers and young professionals out priced by London have the option of settling in Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds or Birmingham and able to travel more easily.
  • Revival of UK Construction
    It is inevitable that there will be need for new home and in the areas surrounding the HS2. Primarily for the construction workers and secondary for the end users who look to make use of the HS2 rail link.

 

Where to buy UK Property Top Tip: Totan, Nottinghamshire

Read more

First time buyer FAQs: What sort of costs involved in buying a property

This is a complex question but the easiest way to get a decent estimate is to go via the purchasing process. There are many hidden costs that a first time buyer may not be aware of.

£0 Sourcing Fee
£0 Mortgage Arrangement fees (if there are then usually added to loan)
£2000 Stamp duty ( 1% of example £200k property)
£1000 Legal & Search fees
£2000 Refurb
£5000 Total

First Time Buyer Costs

More Details:

Sourcing Fee

Most agents do not charge a property sourcing fee, well not the high street lenders. If it is a private deal or from a specialist they may ask for a fee however in these cases they should justify their charges by the extent of savings made. If this is a case and you are getting a better deal than the market you do not need to budget this as the saving will balance the fee and more.

Mortgage Arrangement fees

These typically vary from lender and even with lenders depending on the products. Sometimes the better the interest rate or higher LTV the higher the arrangement fee. In many circumstances the fee balances out savings in the fixed term.
However these are almost always added on to the loan amount so will not impact your immediate cash flow.
Occasionally the lender may ask to pay a surveyors fee

Stamp Duty

As of 24th March 2012 the stamp duty holiday is over for first time buyers. For property up to the value of £250,000 (most first time buyers will fall into this bracket) the stamp duty is 1%. Stamp duty is payable up on completion and will need to be sent via your solicitor.

Legal & Search Fees

You will need to keep aside about £1000, usually sent prior to your solicitor before they will carry out any work for you. The searches are for your benefit and will uncover potential problems in the property or surrounding area. Some of the fees go to the solicitor for their time and some for expenses such as telegraphic transfer fees for transferring funds in and out of their client accounts. Remember the cheapest solicitor is not always the best, go with a reputed individual that works efficiently and spots errors in documentation.

Refurbishment

Typically this will vary vastly with every property but going along the lines that the property is in a livable condition, it is usual that the very least you may want to give all the walls a coat and put in the basic furniture to make it live-able to your standard or into a rent-able condition.

First time buyer CONCLUSION

There are many hidden or non obvious costs, do your research, ask the right questions to the right people, and most importantly do not over commit.

See our article on Mortgage advice for first time buyer

Allsop Residential Auction February 2012: Results, Analysis & Conclusions – PropVestment

PropVestment provides a brief but insightful analysis of the results from Allsop Residential Auction in February 2012. We spent some time attending on behalf of a client looking to make a cash investment.

Allsop Residential Auction Headlines

  • 90% success for all lots in London and South East.
  • AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy) yields over 10% 
  • Northern England struggling
Allsop Residential Auction

90% success rate at Allsop Residential Auction for London and South East

As you can see with the above chart, London as shown by the M25 statistics shows that over 90% auction success with an average price of £324,074. South East and South West also sold well with almost similar success rates however the values were significantly lower.

The worst success was the North East and Northern Ireland. The North East had the lowest success and the lowest average value for the Mainland. This means that this part of the country is the worst effected and the limited activity shows that even bargain hunting investors are staying well way.
The Northern Ireland results could be attributed to problems in mainland Ireland, however with only 6 lots that all sold, the data set is very limited.

Rental yields above 10% , investors market

The main information to be taken from these statistics is that most sales are investments for rental yields, with ASTs demanding lower prices but therefore higher yields. This can be attributed to risk factors.

An interesting stat is that sites with planning permission had a very low success rate, there are buyers there but sellers are keeping a high reserve on these.

CONCLUSIONS

As with previous auction articles like Auctions are for sellers we see similar stats here, majority of lots in London and South East sell well at high prices, however the rest of the market is struggling.
Auctions are for experienced investors and sellers, and not currently for first time buyers. 

*Graphics from www.allsops.co.uk Allsops Residential Auction

Auctions are now for selling rather than buying property

On Monday 6th February 2012 PropVestment paid a visit to Barnard Marcus residential property auction at Grand Connaught Rooms in London. We were in for a surprise as we were there as a buyer but soon found auctions are now for selling.
This was the first major property auction of 2012 in London. Thus it was pack out, many experienced and new property buyers in the hall.

Auctions are for buying not selling now

Lot 1 had guide of £800,000, a four bed house in Battersea, it went for £1.28m + 2.75% fees. This was the story of all the first twenty or so lots.
All the first 23 lots were in London, the average winning bid was over 30% above the guide price, taking out 5 where even at this level the Reserve was not met, the other 18 properties sold at over 36% above guide price.

A few other key high lights from this auction:

  • Most land only deals did not sell, reserve not met
  • A piece of land without planning permission for a possible 8 units went for £860k, that’s insane for the area, almost £110k land cost then planning then construction.
  • Most of the lots on by order of Mortgage companies got bids over guide however did not sell due to Reserve Not Met (RNM). This can only be the case as the lenders have over valued in the past and now face negative equity. Failures.
  • Properties in North England and Wales were the hardest sale, many RNM and a few with highest bids well under guide prices.

PropVestment Conclusions: Auctions are now for selling

Property Auctions have changed now, its a much more public affair and it seems that its no longer a place where you can pick up a bargain. The sellers use it to sell properties that otherwise will not fetch a similar price through traditional means such as local agents. This tell us something about the quality of the properties and legalities of them. There were many amendments to the information provided with particular importance on certain higher rentals, those properties were on the day changed to vacant possession. Therefore the guide rental was incorrect, how is one to know what the real rentability of a property is without doing thorough research.
Due to these pit fall, an auction is no longer a place for inexperienced or first time buyers to find a property to buy. Auction are now for selling.
Rather it is a place where landlords can easily offload not so good properties and rely on the ignorance or lack of research of bidders.

PropVestment Auction Advice
Buyers – Do your thorough research and get someone to look at the legal documents prior to bidding.
Sellers – Use auctions to sell unwanted properties, especially in London, everything sells

Have a read of our observations last year at Savills here

UK Property Market in 2012, the Investors’ perspective: Part Two – Market Activity

– Public Confidence

– Lending

Public Confidence

Market activity is dependant on a few things, firstly public confidence, this has seen a recent resurgence with many agents claiming great interest and newly registered clients in the post Christmas period.  People property search in agents as certain sectors start to turn around or the fact that the public know that interest rates are likely to stay low for the near future, houses start to seem affordable again. Together with the fact that many news sources are predicting higher rents on the market this year, a general upward trend is only exaggerated due to the Jubilee and Olympics.
Therefore buying sounds like a good option.

According to estate agents, the typical number of house hunters registered per branch in December was 294, 32 more than the average figure for November, with viewings continuing right up until the Christmas break, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) found.
The percentage of first-time buyers also rose to 21% , continuing the increase since this section of the market hit its lowest proportion in nearly three years last autumn, although first-time buyers made up a quarter of the market during the same period last year

London was the only area to see price increases in December while respondents in the West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside reported the biggest drops.
At the same time, new instructions edged up for the third consecutive month during December, with 12% more respondents reporting rises in homes coming onto the market.
London saw the greatest increase in supply, with 38% more surveyors reporting a rise – the highest figure since January 2005

Lending

However there is a second all important component of buying a new property as well as confidence and interest is mortgage aspect. New lending is still very low and the stricter criteria means that even though people want to buy and sell, this is becoming the stumbling block, and as a result the sales are at one of the lowest points at the moment.

Transaction levels are likely to see a slight resurgence in 2012 and climb back to around 880,000, roughly the level of activity recorded in 2010. However, to put this in context, total sales in 2006 were almost double this amount at 1.67 million.

The weak economic picture anticipated for the next six months, along with the prospect of increased unemployment, means that demand to purchase property is unlikely to see any significant increase and will remain relatively flat.

Commentators and analysts expect sales to stay low – perhaps even lower than they have been in the past year. That means 2011’s eventual total might even be lower than 2009’s figure of 859,000 sales for the whole year – the lowest since modern transaction records began in 1978.
Even the reluctance of lenders to repossess many of the borrowers who are now in arrears has played its part.
With tens of thousands fewer homes being repossessed than lenders had predicted just a couple of years ago, the market has been deprived of the cheap homes that would otherwise have been put up for sale.

PropVestment Conclusion

The public are ready, investors are ready, the financial institutions are holding the property market back.

People are looking to buy a house?

Sources:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/borrowing/mortgages/9024366/Property-sales-fall-to-lowest-level-for-a-year.html
www.bbc.co.uk
www.homemove.co.uk

How to calculate your REAL return on Investment: 5% becomes 35%

The REAL Return on Investment

Traditionally property return on investment is calculated by rental yield, especially when it is being compared to returns of other types of investments. However I believe it is a much more exact science, and can vary significantly depending on specific properties and on how the investor structured the deal when purchasing the property. A traditional yield of 5% can actually be 35% if the deal is right.

Let me start with a simple example. A two bedroom flat, bought with standard Buy-to-let 75% finance, at 5% interest only for £200,000 that is renting out for £10,000 per year. Traditional yield will be 5% (rent/value=10/200=5%). Under the way I calculate it, the rent less the mortgage interest divided by initial money in, therefore for this deal ((£10,000-£7,500)/ £50,000) so its 5%. The “real” return on investment is still the same.

But wait, what about capital gains, this is still a form of returns even though they may only be realised at a much later stage when selling and that will be liable for Capital Gains Tax. Well that is not strictly true, if the investor remortgages again after a year with similar terms, 75% of the capital gain can be realised. So if we make a very conservative and modest assumption in present gloomy market conditions of a 5% increase in value that is £10,000 and if we take 75%, and add it to the surplus cash from earlier that is a total of £10,000 return, effectively 20% return on the deposit paid. That is an amazing return, which I can’t see any other form of investment where the risks are so low and the investor has so much control over the asset.

There are certain things we have not considered like remortgage costs, legal and stamp duty, maintenance, and tenants. These will of course change calculations. Also the reason I simplify with a interest only mortgage, because if it was repayment that add to the capital or equity of the property so in effect cancels out the cost, although in realisation it will only be 75% realised when remortgaged.

Let’s be a bit more adventurous now, and add a few more clever changes to the model. We have to cap the borrowing at 75% LTV because that is the realistic maximum in the current lending condition. Let’s say the purchase price was 15% BMV (below market value) but the Mortgage was LTV, and the investor used a £10,000 personal loan at 10% compounded with capital and repayment due in two years, to part gather the deposit. So the initial investment in, is £10,000, the rest is the personal loan and the BMV saving. Assuming rent is steady; let’s look at the situation in 2 years time.

Property value in two years is now £220,500, so a refinance would raise an £15,375, less the loan that needs to be paid back (£12,100), plus £5,000 rent surplus which means £8,275 cash inflow, or 82.75% over two years on what was invested, so that is 35% return on capital invested per year.

There are incredible deals available; you can look around yourself, internet sites, auctions, personal contacts. If all else fails, contact us, info@PropVestment.com. You have to be clever with the way you invest, market condition are against us so we must beat the system and be innovative in our thinking.

Please take caution in tricky deals and do all your due diligence, the figures I use are fictional but are close to what is really possible.

How do you calculate your return on investment?

QFKUDEMEN4KX

 

PropVestment Guide: Top Tips for Property Listings

Top Tips for Property Listings

With so much online and offline marketing now available through traditional estate agent, and corner shop window listings, through to listing online or Zoopla, Right Move, Gumtree, Findaproperty etc…It is vital your listings catch the attention of viewers and then that attention must be converted into interest. Here is a basic guide of some of the essentials you must get right whether listing to sell or rent, offline or online to get maximum impact.

  • Be Simple & Truthful
  • Lots of Photos & Map
  • Eye catching Title
  • Appropriate contact information
  • Content
  • Technology, Video & Social Media Read more

Today: New Laws for Landlords, All Tenancy agreements upto £100k become ASTs

Landlords and tenants should be aware of significant new changes around tenancy agreements as of October 1, according to The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS).

From Today, shorthold tenancies where the annual rental amount is above £25,000, but not more than £100,000 a year, will become Assured Shorthold Tenancies and this will apply retrospectively.

However, tenancy deposit protection should not apply retrospectively and, therefore, only new deposits and renewals taken on or after October 1 will definitely need to be protected. The advice from The DPS is to protect all deposits now as it is better to be safe than sorry.

Going forward, this closes a loophole that previously left many of the most vulnerable tenants with no protection. Higher rate tenancies were not originally included under tenancy deposit legislation, which only covered ASTs up to £25,000. Tenancies valued higher than this were seen as contractual tenancies and deposits did not need to be protected.

But this situation, according to The DPS, left some groups such as students or large house-shares vulnerable.

The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) is calling for all landlords, and tenants, to be aware of this change and also to protect themselves until there has been clarity in this policy area.

This does mean extra paper work for Landlords but it is better to be safe than sorry, the procedure of registering and updating details on the DPS website is very easy and straight forward, http://www.depositprotection.com/

Your tenants can also check if they are covered and overall gives a Landlord a much more professional impression. Make sure you are registered and upto date with all the latest legislation. Do not hesitate to email us: info@PropVestment.com if require any advice, its free!