Wednesday, 30 April 2014

'Ready to Let' Two Bedroom Seaham Bungalow (7.1% Gross Yield)

This 2 bedroom bungalow in a quiet street in Seaham will appeal to a range of tenants and looks 'Ready to Let' with 2 double bedrooms, tiled wetroom and off street parking
It's priced at £76,000 and will return £450pcm giving a Gross Yield of 7.1%
Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Monday, 28 April 2014

2 Bedroom End Terrace (6.7% Gross Yield)

This 2 bedroom end of terrace needs a little work to replace the kitchen but other than that looks to be a good lettable investment
It will be popular with a range of working tenants and will achieve £475pcm Gross Yield - adding £10k for improvements onto the £75,000 asking price will return 6.7% Gross Yield
Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Friday, 25 April 2014

'Ready to Let' 2 Bedroom Semi (6.7% Gross Yield)

This 2 bedroom semi in ever-popular Farringdon looks 'ready to let' so there's no need to factor in additional budget over the £85k asking price
Based on achieving a conservative £475pcm (£495 may be possible) it will return 6.7% Gross Yield
Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Modern 2 Bedroom Flat in Popular Small Estate (7.4% Gross Yield)

This 2 bedroom flat will be popular with a wide range of tenants as the quiet, small estate is walking distance from the City Centre  
We've found similar properties in this development easy to let for £495pcm, giving a 7.4% Gross Yield based on the £80,000 asking price (obviously with a flat you'd need to factor in service charges) 
Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Auction Sale 3 Bedroom 'Cottage' Close to Hospital

This 3 bedroom terraced house is a stone's throw from Sunderland Royal Hospital and we know from experience that will make it popular with tenants (we've managed a similar property on this street since 2007)
It's for sale at auction with a Guide Price of £69,950 meaning we can't predict what it will sell for but if the total cost of investment is around £90,000 (we'd allow £10k for improvements) it will return 6.5% Gross Yield based on a very achievable £495pcm
Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Two Bedroom Ryhope Semi-Detached (6.6% Gross Yield)

This 2 bedroom semi is situated on a quiet street in Ryhope and will appeal to a wide range of working tenants
Given the sale price of £90,000 and an achievable rent of £495pcm it will return 6.6% Gross Yield and furthermore offers the potential for capital growth, having been sold in 2007 for £100k
Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Sunderland Has the Most Affordable Properties in the Northeast!

A landlord came in to our office earlier this week to discuss the affordability of property in Sunderland, with the national property market starting to show signs of recovery & house prices starting to slowly rise.

One useful measure when evaluating where to buy is to compare the relative affordability of an area by finding the ratio of the average property price to the average salary. The lower the ratio, the more affordable the property.
When we put this to the test, we found that Sunderland currently has an average property value of £109,600 with the average salary being £18,619. This is a very affordable price to earnings ratio of 1 to 5.89 (properties are worth 5.89 x the average salary) 
Meanwhile in Newcastle the property price to earnings ratio is 1 to 7.8, which suggests the average property in Newcastle is much less affordable than in Sunderland.
We also had a look at Durham and found an average salary of £19,383 and an average property value of £119,700. This means that property in Durham is also less affordable than Sunderland, with a price to earnings ratio of 1 to 6.3.
Looking at the national picture it's unsurprising to find that the Northeast compares favourably, with all three Northeast cities having more affordable properties than the national average (which has a price to earnings ratio of 1 to 9.28)
This could mean that now is a brilliant time to invest in property in the Northeast and in Sunderland in particular, whilst the average value of property is low compared to the average salary.
For an investor this is a useful measure when weighing up properties especially when planning their exit strategy, as more affordable properties will be much easier to sell when the time comes to do so. 

If you would like to talk to us about your potential property investment, please come into our office on Frederick Street, Sunderland call us on 0191 567 8577 or email

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Freehold Development of Nine 3 Bed Houses (6.6% Gross Yield)

Sunderland Property Blog
This one will only appeal to serious investors but there is an opportunity to buy all 9 of these modern 3 bedroom houses on a small development in Town End Farm (SR5)

The guide price is £900k and the selling agent is advising all 9 properties are let on ASTs at what equates to £550pcm - this gives a Gross Yield of 6.6% assuming no negotiation on the Guide Price
The location and style of properties will make them popular with young working families and £550 seems about right for a modern 3 bedroom property (there's nothing directly comparable nearby but given 2 beds tend to go for £450 - £495 this seems reasonable)
Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Monday, 14 April 2014

Bargain 2 Bed Terrace 'Project' (+9% Gross Yield)

We manage a similar property on this street and whilst this £25k bargain needs work, it could make a decent investment offering +9% returns for the right investor

Sunderland Property Blog
Given its Hendon location the property will need to meet Sunderland City Council's Selective Licensing requirements, which will need to be factored into the refurbishment plan & budget
The 2 bed property we manage on this street is rented to a young working couple for £450pcm and even based on a conservative £400pcm and a total investment of £50,000 (£25k for the property and the same again to get it to a lettable condition) it will return 9.6% Gross Yield

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Friday, 11 April 2014

Two Bedroom Terrace Close to Sunderland Royal Hospital (7.1% Gross Yield)

We let a property in this street last month and our experience properties here are always popular due to the close proximity to the hospital
Sunderland Property Blog
This 2 bedroom 'cottage' looks tidy with a decent kitchen & bathroom but in need of new flooring
It will return 7.1% Gross Yield based on £450pcm rent & the £74,950 asking price
Call us on 0191 567 8577 for more information or email  

'Ready to Let' 2 Bedroom in Popular Redhouse Area (6.6% Gross Yield)

At £89,950 this 2 bedroom ex-council semi in Redhouse is at the upper end of the price range for this type of property & area but it looks immaculate and will get lots of interest, so it does warrant attention as an investment
Sunderland Property Blog
It will deliver 6.6% Gross Yield based on the above and an achievable £495pcm rent but given the internal high standard should attract long term tenants, making it a more attractive proposition than the initial Yield may suggest
Give us a call on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Do Modern Semi-Detached Houses in Sunderland Make Good Buy To Let Investments?

I was speaking to one of our landlords last week and we got onto the subject of whether modern or older style properties made the best Buy to Let investments
This conversation got me thinking and as we've consistently advised landlords to look for 3 bed properties if possible as they are always going to be popular (there being a relative shortage of such properties in Sunderland vs tenant demand) it led me to compare modern 3 bed semi detached houses in the popular Havelock Park development with older ex-council properties in Ford Estate - I thought it would be a good comparrison given the two areas are less than a mile apart!
The results made interesting reading - the average rent for a 3 bed semi on Halesworth Drive, Havelock Park is £575pcm (and we know that such properties will be popular as we manage several on this estate) and with an average sale price of £118,300 this would return a gross yield of 5.8%, we've certainly seen a lot worse for relatively modern properties

The average rent for a 3 bed ex council semi on Falkand Road, Ford Estate is £525pcm, which based on an average sale price of £90,000 delivers a far healthier Gross Yield of 7.0%

Yield is only one factor to consider when evaluating potential BTL purchases - you should also consider the potential for capital growth and also the likely level of tenant interest (and the types of tenant who would be interested)
It's worth noting that in our experience a well presented, sensibly priced 3 bed semi in either location will be popular with good, working tenants and that Rightmove data shows prices in Ford Estate are up 30% on last year and 17% on the peak in 2007/8
We would always advise you to seek expert advice before buying an investment property
If you would like free, impartial advice on choosing Buy to Let properties in Sunderland, come and see us at our 11 Frederick Street office, call 0191 567 8577 or email

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Two Bedroom Apartment in Popular River View Development (8.5% Gross Yield)

Modern apartments aren't every investors cup of tea but this 2 bedroom upper floor apartment in River View will return 8.5% Gross Yield
Similar apartments in the development were originally bought for over £150k when it was first built but at the £70,000 asking price it represents a decent investment based on the £495pcm achievable rent, even factoring in the service charges etc
Sunderland Property Blog
We manage a number of apartments in River View and find them easy to let to either young professionals or students, with voids rarely being an issue
Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Monday, 7 April 2014

Immaculate 2 Bedroom Flat (8.6% Gross Yield)

This immaculate 2 bedroom 2nd floor flat will be popular with a range of working tenants, being close to Nissan & the A19

Sunderland Property Blog
We've let several flats like this in similar nearby blocks and it will achieve £395pcm, returning 8.6% Gross Yield based on the advertised £54,950 price
Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Friday, 4 April 2014

Two Bedroom Semi in Sought-After Nookside (7.9% Gross Yield)

Nookside is always popular with tenants and good rental properties aren't too common (its predominantly and owner-occupier area) so this one should make a great investment

It's 'ready to let' and will easily achieve £495pcm - based on the asking price that will return a healthy 7.9% Gross Yield
Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Two Bedroom Moorside Flat (7.4% Gross Yield)

This 'ready to let' 2 bedroom Moorside flat has a garden (it's a downstairs flat) and gas central heating, two of the key considerations with this type of property

Sunderland Property Blog
With that in mind it will achieve £495pcm and based on the £79,950 asking price will return 7.4% Gross Yield
Call 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Investors Guide to Sunderland (SR1)

I was speaking to an investor from the Southeast last week who had been tipped off that Sunderland was a ‘Hot Spot’ for picking up Buy to Let bargains but needed local expert advice on the City, what to buy, where to buy (and crucially what to avoid!)

We had a good chat and following the conversation it struck me that whilst ‘locals’ might think they know the areas well, some of the information I found when carrying out research into the various areas for this investor was quite surprising & worth sharing
With this in mind we’ll take a look at each postcode area in turn, starting logically with SR1
SR1 includes the City Centre so is predominantly made up of flats & apartments rather than houses, with just under 2,300 dwellings in the postcode area, with 56% being flats/apartments and only 5% being detached houses
As you’d expect, the average age in the area is a relatively young 31 and single people make up over 54% of the population in SR1
I was surprised to find that only 20 property sales went through in 2013 in SR1 (to put this into context there were over 1,500 sales in Sunderland last year with 293 sales in SR2 and 290 sold in SR3) and unsurprisingly over half of these were apartments. My interpretation of this is that many investors who bought prior to the economic downturn in 2007/8 (in developments such as Echo 24 built in 2007 and River View built in 2005) are holding on if they can as they would incur significant losses if they sold now
The data backs this up, in that whilst a River Quarter apartment sold in 2013 for £122,000 (an increase of 16% since the previous sale in 2009 – this really surprised me!) the majority of flats and apartments were sold at significant losses such as a Mowbray Buildings apartment sold for £71,000 at a loss of £154,000, a River View apartment sold for £54,000 at a loss of £118,000 & a Post Office apartment sold for £68,500 at a loss of £59,000
What this does mean is that bargains can be had for an investor wishing to capitalise on what must be distressed sellers exiting the market – I would always advise seeking expert advice prior to embarking on this strategy as tenant demand for such properties cannot always be guaranteed, churn rates are typically high, costly service charges need to be taken into account, parking provisions considered etc
Clearly the financial pressures on an investor who had bought in 2007 at £150k or above will be very different to an investor buying now at a much lower price; this has led to the frankly unrealistic and unachievable rents being sought for such apartments in recent years
Rents do appear to be moving towards a more sustainable, affordable levels but this is clearly going to impact on those investors who bought prior to 2008/8 and have correspondingly high monthly mortgage payments to make – I’d suggest this will mean more bargains to be had in the next couple of years as a number of current owners will throw in the towel if they cannot afford to subsidise their investments in the medium to long term
Current market rents for a typical 2 bedroom apartment in one of the developments mentioned above would be around £495pcm, which based on the above sold prices means the investors who bought the 3 apartments above last year will be getting very respectable 8% to 10% Gross Yields
Clearly yield is not the only consideration and investors should be mindful of the long term picture – a steady trickle of distressed sales will ensure that values remain flat for many years to come and capital growth will be a very distant prospect
I would also suggest that anyone considering investing in SR1 cannot overlook the impact of the 26-acre Vaux development. 
Timescales are typically hazy on when this will eventually see the light of day (however work is underway on remodelling St Mary’s Way and a recent Sunderland Echo article suggests funding has been secured to take the development to the next stage )
It is hoped this will eventually bring 1000’s of new jobs into the City Centre (which should increase tenant demand from those wishing to live close to work) but will also bring with increased competition in the form of hundreds of new apartments being built

Please call on 0191 567 8577 or email for objective & impartial advice on all aspects of property investment in Sunderland

Two Bedroom Semi Detached (7.0% Gross Yield)

This 2 bedroom semi in Farringdon is in good internal condition and would only need light decoration in a couple of rooms prior to letting

It's on the market for £85,000 and will return 7.0% Gross Yield based on an achievable £495pcm rent
Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Three Bedroom Terrace in Popular South Hylton (7.3% Gross Yield)

This 3 bedroom terrace on a quiet South Hylton street will be popular with a range of tenants and looks to be in a good, lettable condition

Sunderland Property Blog

It's on the market for £89,950 and will achieve £550pcm rent, returning 7.3% Gross Yield

What's more, given its sought after 'village' location and it being very close to South Hylton Metro station it is likely to attract long term tenants

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information 

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Does High Barnes Deliver High Yields?

I was recently speaking to an investment Landlord who was seeking my advice on the best areas to purchase his first property in Sunderland.

He’d identified High Barnes as an area for consideration and asked me whether there was a big difference between Barnes and High Barnes, given they’re right next to each other and both are likely to be popular with tenants, being close to Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Sunderland Property Blog
Last year the average price of a 2 bed terrace in Barnes was £92,799 whilst the average sale price for a similar property in High Barnes was £104,468. Generally rents are a little higher in High Barnes, averaging £550pcm for a 2 bed terrace rather than £475pcm for a similar property in Barnes. This equates to a gross yield of 6.3% for High Barnes compared to 6.1% for Barnes.
Whilst the gross yields are quite similar, this is not the only consideration when Buying to Let and it would be worth also considering the potential for capital growth, which is likely to be much greater in High Barnes, the average price at the 2008 peak being £141,070 compared to £128,621 for Barnes.

If you would like to discuss Buy to Let in Sunderland, feel free to give us a call on 0191 567 8577, visit our office in Frederick Street or email

'Ready to Let' 2 Bedroom Flat in Popular Development

We've managed a flat in this popular Lakeside Village development for a number of years and in our experience this ground floor flat should be popular

It looks in great condition so is 'Ready to Let' and will achieve £450pcm
Based on the £65,000 asking price this will deliver 8.3% Gross Yield

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information