Monday, 30 June 2014

2 Bedroom Ground Floor Flat in Popular Location (6.7% Gross Yield)

We've managed 2 similar flats in this street for a number of years and are just about to move tenants into a 3rd so we know this is a popular location with a wide range of tenants

This ground floor flat needs some cosmetic updating, but the bathroom and kitchen look OK so it's really just about redecoration & flooring (and ripping out the fitted wardrobes!). With that in mind, adding £5k onto the £80,000 asking price will still return 6.7% Gross Yield based on a very achievable £475pcm

Click here for details 

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email if you'd like to discuss 

Friday, 27 June 2014

Modern & Spacious 3 Bedroom Semi (5.3% Gross Yield)

This recently built 3 bedroom semi offers a lower Gross Yield than I'd normally put forward but I'm including it as we know the house, having let it when it was built a couple of years ago, along with the identical property next door

Having let them both in record time to good, very long term tenants we'd suggest this may be of interest to some looking for a more modern property (requiring less upkeep) and given it is likely to attract long term tenants, what you lose in Yield you'll make up in hopefully having less churn

It's on the market for £122,950 and based on £550pcm will return 5.3% Gross Yield - push it to £575 (or negotiate the price to around £118,000) and this rises to 5.6% - click below for details

If you're interested call me on 0191 567 8577 or email - I know the owner!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Three Bedroom Terrace for Sale at Auction (Possible +7% Gross Yield)

This 3 bedroom terrace is in the Pattinsons Auction at the end of July with a guide price of £44,950

It's in the Thorney Close estate which may not be to everyone's tastes but it's actually on a nice little close at the edge of the estate and should get good tenant interest

Looking at recent sales of similar properties nearby I'd expect this one to sell for around £75,000 and whilst the kitchen and bathroom look OK you'd need to spend a little on redecoration & flooring, I'd allow £5k to be on the safe side

Based on a total £80k investment, and an achievable rent of £475pcm it will return 7.1% Gross Yield - click the link below for details 

Call me on 0191 567 8577 or email if you'd like more information

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Three Bedroom Tenanted Semi (9.1% Gross Yield)

This 3 bedroom semi detached is new to the market and according to the selling agent is being offered with a tenant in-situ on an Assured Shorthand Tenancy (they must have been on a secretarial course...)

Joking aside it looks worthy of investigation - I'd question the £520pcm they claim to be getting (I'd advise £495 as more realistic and achievable) but even based on my lower figure and the £65,000 asking price it will return 9.1% Gross Yield - click the link for details

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email if you'd like to discuss

Buy to Let in Sunderland - Is It Part of Your Retirement Plans?

In recent years many people in the Northeast have seen the Buy to Let market as all about nest egg investments. It's fuelled by pitiful interest rates on building society savings accounts and pension returns that are struggling to match expectations, turning more and more people into Landlords to secure their future

So what can you expect from your rental property investment? 

In the short term, rental yields are important, and in Sunderland, the average Gross Yield is better than most, being around 4.8% per year

However, that’s based on average sales values and average rents, and as followers of this blog will know, well informed Landlords in Sunderland (buying the type of properties we suggest in the areas we recommend) can easily achieve between 6.0% and 8.0% per year

In the long term though, the question of capital growth is as important, if not more important (because even if you have great short term yields, if the value of the property doesn't keep up with the rest of the market, in real terms you’ll have a depreciating asset)

Average sold property values in Sunderland currently stand at £125,611 which is an increase of 9.44% in the last 5 years

We constantly advise that property investment is a long term game, so I wanted to share some research I recently did for a couple of our Sunderland investment Landlords

Roll the clock back 10 years to 2004, the average value of a property in Sunderland was quite similar to what it is now at £123,967 (but we all know what happened to the market between then and now!). Looking back 15 years to 1999 makes interesting reading, as the average Sunderland property value was only £55,650, going back 30 years to 1984 and the average value was only £25,280

Looking at a 30 year investment period, if you’d put £25,280 into the stock market in 1984 instead of buying a house in Sunderland, your shares today would be worth £145,586. Put the same £25,280 in a Building Society account and if you reinvested the interest back into the account, your Building Society account would have £139,908 in it. Compare that with the property market in Sunderland and the average property would be worth £125,611 today 

Over a 30 year period there’s not much in it between the building society and shares, with the property investment looking the worst of the three options. 

That’s until you realise that with the rental property you’d also have received around £90,000 in rent over those 30 years, which you wouldn't have received with the Building Society account or shares! 

Clearly when investing in property there’s going to be associated costs you don’t get with shares or savings, such as insurances, property maintenance costs & professional fees but many of these costs are tax deductible and certainly shouldn't come close to the £90,000 in rent received

You may think this is wholly unrealistic given few people would have such a large lump sum to invest in a property outright (and therefore the above rental income must be offset against Buy to Let mortgage payments) but given the forthcoming changes in pension rules from 2015 (meaning pensioners can draw down their pension in full if they wish rather than having to buy an annuity), there are likely to be significant numbers of people in their 50’s & 60’s wishing to do just that to fund their retirement and at the same time provide a nest egg for the future

If you’d like to discuss my thoughts on long term Buy to Let investment in Sunderland, feel free to pop into our offices on Frederick Street, call 0191 567 8577 or email me at  

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Three Bedroom Ex-Council Semi in Farringdon (7.9% Gross Yield)

We always advise investors that 3 bedroom ex-council semis in Sunderland usually represent good invesments and with a little bit of TLC this one in Farringdon should be popular with working tenants

It's on the market for £69,950 and realistically you should budget for a further £5k for redecoration, tidying the gardens etc so based on £495pcm it will return 7.9% Gross Yield

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Monday, 23 June 2014

'Needs Heating' 2 Bedroom Terrace (8.3% Gross Yield)

This 2 bedroom terrace in Hylton Castle is a bit of a project as it needs a new kitchen & bathroom, new flooring and redecoration AND gas central heating installing (looks to have a boiler for hot water though so gas must be installed)

That said, adding £15k for improvements on top of the bargain £50,000 asking price and it will make over 8% Gross Yield based on an achievable £450pcm rent

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Friday, 20 June 2014

Do I Have To...?

I bumped into one of our Let Only Landlords in town the other day and as often happens he used the opportunity to pick my brains about something he'd been mulling over for a couple of days, following a call from his tenants

I'm happy to help and in this instance it was an all too common question about appliance repairs (exciting stuff!)

He asked 'Do I have to repair the washing machine if it breaks down during the tenancy?' 

I promptly replied 'No you don't...'

Without going into the finer details of a Landlords repairing obligations contained within Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, simply put, the law makes no requirement for a Landlord to repair or replace appliances supplied with a rented property

But the letter of the law and what makes long term commercial sense aren't necessarily the same thing

So I immediately followed up my 'No you don't...' with '...but you should!'

All too often we've seen small things turn into big things due to short-sighted decisions by Landlords and it does lead to tenancies ending sooner than they should, if the tenants get hacked off or feel their landlord is taking them for granted

A Landlords legal obligations are actually pretty limited, covering the big important stuff (like making sure the property is insured, watertight, the heating and sanitation works etc) so more often than not the questions being asked are down to a landlords discretion, rather than a legal requirement

It struck me that I'm often asked 'Do I have to?' questions but taking the long term view, Landlords would be far better off rethinking 'Do I have to?' and instead asking 'Should I?' - it's likely to lead to a better property, much happier tenants and therefore longer, more profitable tenancies

Here's a few 'Do I have to...?' examples I've been asked over the years...try it for yourself! 

  • Do I have to have the place professionally cleaned before a tenant moves in? 
  • Do I have to replace that 10 year old Wilton patterned carpet?
  • Do I have to have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors?
  • Do I have to clear all my stuff out of the garage?
  • Do I have to redecorate the Peppa Pig pink small bedroom and remove the stickers?
  • Do I have to cut the garden and weed the borders before the tenants move in?
  • Do I have to have working lightbulbs in all the rooms?

So Landlords, next time you're tempted to think 'Do I have to...?' rephrase the question to 'Should I...?' and you're far more likely to come up with the answer that will attract or retain Good Tenants and maximise your investment 

Sought-After 3 Bedroom Ryhope Semi at a Good Price (6.5% Gross Yield)

Properties such as this 3 bedroom semi in Ryhope will always be very sought after by tenants, the problem is usually that they're offered for sale at a price that doesn't stack up as an investment. Not so with this one...

It looks 'Ready to Let' and will achieve £595pcm so based on the £109,950 asking price will return a decent 6.5% Gross Yield

Furthermore, you'll never struggle for a tenant given decent rental properties like this are in short supply in Sunderland and with the new teaching hospital opening nearby there may be even greater demand

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Immaculate 3 Bedroom Terrace close to Sunderland Royal Hospital (7.1% Gross Yield)

This 3 bedroom terrace will be popular with tenants as it's close to the Royal Hospital & Pallion Metro

It's 'Ready to Let' and will return 7.1% Gross Yield based on a very achievable £475pcm and the £79,950 asking price

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Monday, 16 June 2014

Two Bedroom Ashbrooke Flat (8.5% Gross Yield)

We would always advise exercising caution with flats in Ashbrooke due to the oversupply vs tenant demand but this 2 bedroom in the popular Gray Court demands attention simply due to the low price

It's on the market for £59,950 and based on £425 rent will return 8.5% Gross Yield - at £425pcm it should get tenant interest as other nearby developments are typically more expensive for similar sized properties

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Friday, 13 June 2014

Three Bedroom Town End Farm Terrace (7.4% Gross Yield)

This 3 bedroom terrace in Town End Farm needs a lick of paint & new flooring throughout but having done so, it will be popular with a range of working tenants

It's on the market for £74,950 so adding £5k to this for improvements will return 7.4% Gross Yield based on £495pcm rent

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

2 Bedroom Riverview Apartment (7.0% Gross Yield)

This 2 bedroom, third floor apartment in the Riverview development will be popular with both students and young professionals & we find these apartments let very easily throughout the year

It will achieve 7.0% Gross Yield based on the £84,950 asking price and £495pcm but being leasehold you'll need to factor in the service charge

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Sunderland Property Investments - Does the Number of Bedrooms Affect Returns?

Last week, I spoke to one of our landlords and he asked me if the number of bedrooms in a property had any relationship to the return he could get. I did some research and followed up his query – I was actually quite surprised with the results...

Currently in Sunderland, the average rent for a one bed property is around £380 per month with an average value of £65,000. This means an approximate Gross Yield of 7.0% per year
The average rent for a two bed property is £475 per month with the average value being £91,950, which gives a Gross Yield of 6.2% per year
The average rent being asked for a three bedroom property in Sunderland is £550 per month but the average value is £124,999, which would give a potential return/yield of 5.3% per year
When I looked at the four bed properties, the Gross Yield changed quite drastically - based on the average sale and rental values, four bed properties would achieve a poor Gross Yield of only 3.9% per year, as average rents are £650 per month but the average value is £200,000
Based on the above figures, on paper it would appear that one bed properties do offer the best return but in general they are harder to let and typically have more void/empty periods than larger properties, due to the sort of tenant that they will attract
It's also worth noting that averages don't always give the true picture as there are always exceptions or bargains to be had that will affect the return and in addition to this you should also consider the potential for capital growth when evaluating investment properties
So clearly the number of bedrooms can affect returns, but it is only one of many factors you should consider before buying an investment property - you should also consider the location, property style, age and size of the property and make sure these all match the sort of properties required by your target tenant market
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, 10 June 2014

Immaculate 3 Bedroom House That's Bound to be Popular (6.6% Gross Yield)

This 3 immaculate bedroom mid terrace in the popular Downhill area will get lots of interest from working couples and young families

It looks 'Ready to Let' and whilst the Gross Yield is so-so at 6.6% (based on £495pcm rent and the £90k asking price) you'll never struggle to find a Good Tenant

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Monday, 9 June 2014

1 Bedroom Top Floor Flat We've Managed for 2 Years (6.6 - 7.6% Gross Yield)

We've managed this top floor, 1 bedroom Ashbrooke flat for a couple of years but now the most recent tenant has left the Landlord is testing the sales market to see if it will sell

It's on the market for £62,500 and we've rented it for both £350pcm and £400pcm, which would give 6.6% - 7.6% Gross Yield which may be of interest to some investors

Give us a call on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information or to be put in touch with the owner direct

Friday, 6 June 2014

Ready to Let 2 Bedroom End Terrace (6.75% Gross Yield)

This 2 bedroom end terrace in the popular Hylton Castle area will attract good tenant interest as it is in great internal condition and is 'ready to let'

Based on a conservative £450pcm it will achieve 6.75% Gross Yield given the £80,000 asking price

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Thursday, 5 June 2014

One of the Best Moorside Flats We've Seen (6.9% Gross Yield)

This is one of the best examples of a 2 bed Moorside flat we've seen in a while so it will undoubtedly be popular with a range of tenants

It's ground floor (so has a private rear garden), has gas central heating (not just the original electric heating), a garage in a separate block and has a fantastic modern bathroom with a large walk in shower

It's on the market for £84,950 so based on the achievable £495pcm rent will return 6.9% Gross Yield

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Needs Lots of Work Investment Bargain - Top Floor Flat (+9% Gross Yield)

This top floor flat in Ashbrooke is for sale at a bargain £34,950

It needs a full redecoration & new flooring and a new kitchen and bathroom so I would add a further £15k ontop of the asking price (with lots of competition for similar flats in the area it will need to be done to a very good standard to attract a Good Tenant)

Once the work is complete, and assuming the rest of the building is in good condition, it should achieve £395pcm returning 9.4% Gross Yield

For more information please call 0191 567 8577 or email

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Three Bedroom, 2 Reception Room Terrace Close to Hospital (6.2% Gross Yield)

We manage a couple of properties in this street and know it will be popular due to the location close to the hospital and also as larger sized three bedroom properties are in short supply in Sunderland

It needs work - I'd allow £15k on top of the £99,950 asking price as it needs redecoration and flooring throughout and also the kitchen and bathroom will need to be replaced

Even so, based on the total investment cost of £114,950 and an achievable £595pcm rent (once the work is done) it will return 6.2% Gross Yield 

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Monday, 2 June 2014

Three Bedroom Semi in Farringdon (6.6% Gross Yield)

This 3 bedroom semi is described by the selling agent as in East Herrington. It's not. It's in Farringdon but that doesn't mean it won't let!

It's priced at £89,950 but the tell tale 'Do Not Use' tape visible on the appliances suggests a repossession, so it may be possible to strike a hard bargain

Even based on £89,950 and £495pcm rent it will achieve 6.6% Gross Yield but I'd recommend knocking a couple of thousand off at least to cover the cost of the redecoration & some replacement flooring that will be needed to attract a Good Tenant

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information