Friday, 27 February 2015

2 x Riverview 2nd Floor Apartments (9.9% Gross Yield)

I've just spotted a 2 bedroom, 2nd floor apartment in the Riverview, Low Street development has been put on the market and further investigation has revealed that the same agent is offering an identical apartment for the same price

Both are being advertised at 'Offers Over' £60,000 and at that price look to represent great investments - we Let and Manage a number of apartments in the development and they are popular with both students and young professionals in equal measure, they are always easy to re-let

The going rate is £495pcm so based on this and £60,000 it will return 9.9% Gross Yield but obviously being a Leasehold apartment you'll need to factor in the service charge, which is around £100 per month

Click here for details

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Thursday, 26 February 2015

What Property Value Sells Best in Sunderland?

Last month I compared how different property types were selling in Sunderland so I thought it may be interesting this month to look at how the price of a property affects how quickly it sells

Over the last two months, 283 properties with asking prices under £100k have come onto the market in Sunderland and 11.3% of them (32 properties) have a buyer and are now showing as 'Sold STC'

Between £100k and £150k, of the 234 properties that come on to the market, 8.5% of them (20 properties) have a buyer

The £150k to £200k price range has seen a much lower 103 properties come on to the market and 9.7% have a buyer (10 properties)

The £200k and over price range has seen 16 of the 104 properties that came on to the market find buyers (an impressive 15.3%) 

This fits in with my expectations even before carrying out this research, that in Sunderland £500 is the magic number for renting (with significantly more tenants searching 'upto £500pcm' than above) and upto £100k is by far the most popular price band when buying and selling

Clearly when you look at the top end of the market in Sunderland (£200k and above) buyers and sellers are less affected by economic factors or market forces so it doesn't necessarily conform to any discernable trends

The first observation, that properties upto £100k are selling well, is good news for Investors in Sunderland property as the vast majority of property investments will be under £100k 

It shows there is likely to be a good supply of properties to buy with corresponding healthy demand when the time comes to sell

For a chat about the Sunderland property market give me a call on  0191 567 8577, email or pop into our Frederick Street office

Two Bedroom Semi on Quiet Redhouse Cul-de-Sac (6.75% Gross Yield)

This 2 bedroom semi is on a quiet cul-de-sac in the popular Redhouse area - an area that does regularly offer great potential investments that will appeal to a range of long term, working tenants

It looks to be in a good internal condition, with a modern kitchen & bathroom so could be let as-is

Based on a very achievable £450pcm rent and paying the £79,950 asking price will return 6.75% Gross Yield

Click here for details

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

5th Floor, Tenanted Echo 24 Apartment (9.75% Gross Yield)

This 5th Floor Echo 24 Apartment is currently tenanted and just like the five apartments recently made available at auction, looks to be a decent investment based on the £80,000 price

Around £80,000 is the going rate for Echo 24 apartments (one of our Landlords picked up 3 of the 5 at auction for around this price earlier this month) and based on this and a conservative £650pcm rent you'll achieve 9.75% Gross Yield

Anyone considering this will need to know and accept that you'll probably be renting to International Students with all the Pro's and Con's this entails, that the service charges are ludicrously high and not content with that, the communal managers are now finding innovative new ways to separate apartment owners from their rental incomes (recently introduced change of tenant/renewal fees, annual services on electric boilers...!?) so the Net Yield will be significantly lower - but it can still make an investment for some

Click here for details

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Three Bedroom Ryhope Terrace (7.1% Gross Yield)

This 3 bedroom mid-terraced house in Ryhope needs a lick of paint throughout but once this is done it will be popular with a range of tenants and offers a decent return

It's priced at £77,950 so adding a further £5k on top of this for improvements, it will return 7.1% Gross Yield based on a realistic £495pcm rent

Click here for details

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Monday, 23 February 2015

Ready to Let 3 Bedroom, 2 Reception Room Silksworth Terrace (7.3% Gross Yield)

This 3 bedroom, 2 reception room terraced cottage in Silksworth has been finished to a high standard throughout so should be popular with a range of Good Tenants

It needs no internal work prior to letting, although the garden could do with a lawn/turf being laid to appeal to families

It may cost a little more than many Sunderland investments, but based on paying the £90,000 asking price and a realistic £550pcm it will return healthy 7.3% Gross Yield and furthermore is the sort of property to attract long term tenants

Click here for details

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Friday, 20 February 2015

Two Bedroom Bungalow on Quiet Cul-de-Sac (7.4% Gross Yield)

Given the UK population is ageing and renters are getting older (a trend that is only likely to continue as more home-owners sell up and live on the equity due to a lack of pension) bungalows such as this will be popular both now and in the long term

It's got a garden and off-street parking and looks to be in a decent condition, needing cosmetic decoration in certain rooms but the expensive rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom look to be perfectly acceptable

It's priced at £77,000 and based on paying this asking price and getting £475pcm rent it will return 7.4% Gross Yield

Click here for details

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Two Bedroom Semi in Popular Grindon (7.6% Gross Yield)

This 2 bedroom Grindon semi is cheaper than you'd expect for the area at OIRO £70,000 so it's worth a look, given it will be popular with a range of tenants

Ex-council semi's such as this one tend to be a little more expensive in Grindon than in other areas such as Farringdon or Redhouse, and given this doesn't look to need too much work it could be a bargain

It will need a lick of paint throughout and possible carpet/flooring replacement but the kitchen is fine as-is, it may be worth putting some budget aside for the bathroom, however

Based on a total investment of £75,000 and an achievable £475pcm it will return a pretty decent 7.6% Gross Yield

Click here for details 

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Two Bedroom Semi in Town End Farm (Auction Sale but 6.7% Gross Yield is Realistic)

This 2 bedroom semi in the popular Town End Farm area is being sold at auction with a Guide Price of £55,000

There were two sales of comparable 2 bedroom properties in this street in 2014 and these went for £84,950 and £83,500 respectively 

Given this has a decent size rear garden and off street parking it could be popular with young families

The property to appears to be in a condition that can be let with a coat of paint throughout - it has laminate flooring and a basic but useable 'lettings standard' kitchen and bathroom, so based on a total investment of £85,000 and £475pcm rent it will return 6.7% Gross Yield

Click here for details 

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Sunderland Rental Market Stats January 2015

In November of last year I looked at the number of properties available to rent and compared this to the total number of rental properties in each area to identify any areas of over supply or shortfall - I thought it now worth revisiting this analysis for January 2015 to see if there have been any significant changes

Remember that it's generally accepted within the industry that around 5% of the total property stock will be on the market To Let at any given time, so using this it's easy to see which areas have a shortfall of properties and which are over-supplied at any given time

Let's remind ourselves of the situation in November 2014

Having undertaken the research again for January 2015 it's telling that there are some significant differences

The first thing to note is that once again there is oversupply in SR1, and this has doubled from an oversupply of 2.4% to 5.2%

All other postcode areas show shortfalls in January, this includes SR2 which has for many years suffered from oversupply of flats and apartments 

Tellingly SR2 shows the smallest shortfall, both in real and percentage terms, but even so it may represent a significant shift in the rental market in Ashbrooke and the surrounding areas within SR2 

The other areas haven't showed such dramatic shifts,  still showing shortfalls in the number of available properties of between 2 - 3%

This analysis is useful as it can inform you as to the likely market conditions and therefore allow Landlords to base their decisions (such as whether to put the rent up) from a position of knowledge rather than just gut feel 

For example, if I had looked at the figures following the housing market crash in 2008 when large numbers of 'Reluctant Landlords' had put their properties on the rental market for the first time, it would have clearly showed over-supply way in excess of the figures above in most areas - I'd suggest it would probably show double digit percentages of over supply

What this really meant on the ground was that we experienced tenants knowing they were in a position of strength, that they didn't have to choose second best and that they could negotiate a hard bargain on the rent - you can see the same happening in the City Centre at the moment with rents falling and Landlords having to continually improve standards to stand any chance of getting (and retaining) a tenant

Flip this on its head and I'd argue that a shortfall of 2 - 3% in most outlying areas at the moment means it's more of a Landlords market but still it's not sufficient for Landlords to start proposing significant rent increases without risking losing tenants or having empty properties

Clearly this analysis simply looks at the supply side and takes no account of demand led factors 

Anecdotally, January is a bit of an odd month in the rental market with high demand for flats at the start of the month from people going through relationship breakdowns over the stressful Christmas period (I'm serious!) but with a noticeable lull mid month as everyone feels the financial cost of Christmas and is waiting until the end of the month to get paid

With this in mind we'll take a look again at the supply situation next month in the meantime I'll also carry out separate analysis on the demand from tenants (although this is much harder to calculate!)

For more information about property investment in Sunderland, give me a call on 0191 567 8577, email or pop along to our office in Frederick Street

Three Bedroom Eastlea Rd Semi (6.75% Gross Yield)

This 3 bedroom semi in the popular Eastlea area of Seaham needs some cosmetic updating but even so, still represents a decent investment given the price

It will need redecoration and the flooring replaced in some of the rooms but the kitchen and bathroom appear to be fine, so it may be possible to get it to a decent lettable standard with a budget of £5000 on top of the £74,950 asking price

With that total investment it will return 6.75% Gross Yield, based on a realistic £450pcm rent

Click here for details 

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Monday, 16 February 2015

'Full Refurb' 2 Bedroom Semi in Redhouse (6.75% - 7.1% Gross Yield)

This 2 bedroom, ex-council semi in the popular Redhouse area (SR5) is keenly priced reflecting the fact that the new owner will need to fully refurbish it throughout

That gives the potential for building in capital growth at the start

We've managed a similar property on this street for a number of years and know it will be popular with a wide range of tenants

Adding £15,000 on top of the £64,950 asking price will give a total cost of £80,000 and based on a rental income of £450 - 475pcm (depending on the standard of the refurbishment) will return 6.75% - 7.1% Gross Yield

Click here for details 

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Friday, 13 February 2015

5 x Echo 24 Apartments Update

At the end of last month I highlighted that 5 Echo 24 apartments were being offered for sale at auction on 12th February...

I'm pleased to say we've just heard from one of our current Landlords (who already owns several Echo 24 apartments) who has picked up three of the five - the sale will take a few weeks to complete but all going well it looks like he's picked up 3 decent investments given they've all been snapped up for less than £80,000 each

Based on this and a realistically getting rents of £650pcm or above, he'll be returning around 10% Gross Yield 

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for a free, no obligation chat about Buy to Let investment in Sunderland

Two Bedroom First Floor Flat on Sought After Leechmere Estate (7.5% Gross Yield)

We've recently managed a similar flat on this estate and based on this knowledge we know this will be popular with a range of tenants 

This one looks to be in a decent lettable condition and comes with a front garden and a single garage in a separate block

I can see a similar flat to this is currently available To Let at £425pcm - whilst we recently achieved a higher amount, based on matching the £425 and the £67,950 asking price will return  7.5% Gross Yield

Click here for details  

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Tenanted Two Bedroom Semi in Hylton Castle (8.3% - 8.8% Gross Yield)

This 2 bedroom semi in Hylton Castle is currently tenanted and according to the selling agent is getting £475pcm rent

There's no internal photos so there's no way of telling the internal condition but even so, £475 seems at the higher end of achievable rent for the property type and area - for £475pcm I'd expect it to be in an immaculate 'Ready to Let' condition with a modern kitchen and bathroom

Based on £475pcm rent and paying the 'Offers Over' £65,000 asking price it will return 8.8% Gross Yield

Looking at a more realistic £450pcm it will still return a healthy 8.3%

Click here for details

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Three Bedroom Riverview Apartment (9.5% Gross Yield)

A three bedroom apartment in Riverview (SR1) would have cost over £150,000 when the development was first built in 2005 but this first floor apartment is now available for just £74,950

At this price it makes an attractive investment - based on the above and a very realistic £595pcm achievable rent it will return 9.5% Gross Yield

Being a leasehold apartment you'll need to factor in service charges which includes ongoing maintenance & upkeep of the building and insurance

We've managed a number of Riverview apartments for many years and find them popular with young working couples, professional sharers and students

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for details

EPC Legislation Gets Tougher in 2016 & 2018

I try to avoid the nuts & bolts of lettings such as legislation changes this blog as it's not really what it's about and it doesn't particularly excite me, but occasionally there are significant changes that may affect a Sunderland Landlords current investments & will inevitably have an impact on their future investment strategy, so they need to be shared - this is one such issue

I'm quite open about my dislike of Energy Performance Certificates (EPC's), a view I have firmly held since their introduction in 2007

This is an opinion formed in part because they are wholly toothless - any recommendations made to improve the energy efficiency of a property do not have to be acted upon (so what's the point??) 

My negative feelings towards them are also due to the fact that at no point have Tenants been made sufficiently aware of them, so a Landlord is legally obliged to have one with only a very, very small chance of ever being asked by a Tenant to see one

Unfortunately part of the Energy Act 2011 means that this is all about to change...

The following are extracts are taken directly from the Department of Energy & Climate Change paper 

  • From April 2016 landlords of residential properties will not be able to unreasonably refuse requests from their tenants for consent to energy efficiency improvements, where financial support is available, such as the Green Deal and/or the Energy Company Obligation (ECO)
  • Following this, from April 2018, private rented properties must be brought up to a minimum energy efficiency rating of ‘E’. This provision will make it unlawful to rent out a house or business premise that does not reach this minimum standard.
  • This requirement is subject to there being no upfront financial cost to landlords. Therefore, landlords will have fulfilled the requirement if they have either reached “E” or carried out the maximum package of measures funded under the Green Deal and/or ECO (even if this does not take them up to an ‘E’ rating)
So...what does this mean?

In a nutshell, there are 2 strands to this

  1. From 2016 a Landlord will not be able to refuse a tenants 'reasonable request' for energy efficiency improvements
  2. From 1st April 2018 a Landlord will not be able to let an 'F' or 'G' rated property (but tenancies granted before then can continue)
It's unclear whether the law applying to Landlords being unable to refuse a tenants 'reasonable request' to improve the energy efficiency applies to just 'F' or 'G' rated properties or all properties

Despite it's good intentions and the ability to pay for improvements over time via a charge applied to the electricity bill, Green Deal is flawed in many ways, my key concern being all future Tenants are forced into honoring the deal and loan that a previous Tenant may have signed up to many years ago - and this also applies to the new owners if you decide to sell!

I doubt many Landlords will have heard of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) but here's a link for more info - essentially it can part or fully fund insulation and boiler replacements for rented properties but only applies if your tenant meets certain qualifying conditions, and in particular are claiming Benefits or Tax Credits (but many working families get Child Tax Credits or Working Tax Credits so you may be able to qualify for ECO funding)

Click here for details

My reading of this is if you are renting to working Tenants, who are not in receipt of any qualifying benefits for ECO and if the improvements do not qualify for Green Deal then there is no way a Landlord can be forced to spend any money - that's my interpretation but I'd be keen to get the thoughts of others as I'm no expert on this!

One key word to note from all of the above is 'upfront' - Green Deal allows payments to be spread over time with a loan repaid via a charge applied the electricity bill so it is likely that a Landlord may be compelled to incur costs but they will just be spread over a few years - this will lessen the initial financial pain but will need to be factored into any yield calculations 

It must be said that once the property is tenanted the tenant pays the electricity bill so they will repay the extra Green Deal loan charges, which in theory should be no more than they will save as a result of the improvements (unless the property is a student 'bills included' tenancy where the landlord would still be responsible)

It's telling that in anticipation of this change to the law, the qualifying criteria for Green Deal appears to have been widened - it used to be like ECO that only on certain properties or tenants would qualify but now this appears to be open to a much wider group

If your tenant/property does qualify and the improvements can be fully funded then it really is a no-brainer, improving the energy efficiency of a property will make it more likely your current tenants will stay and in theory at least, it will make the property more attractive when looking to secure new tenants

If it can be part funded then you need to look closely at the numbers - one of the main selling points of Green Deal is that repayments should not exceed the efficiency savings but there's still interest attached to the loan

Of course it remains to be seen how this is implemented in 2016 and might all change depending on what happens in the General Election in May...

We'll be undertaking a review of the EPC ratings of all the properties we manage this year and advising the small number of Landlords with older properties who may be at risk of failing to meet the "E" rating so they are forewarned & can plan ahead

With all this in mind perhaps it may be worth taking a slightly closer look at the EPC before buying your next Sunderland investment property!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Boxy but Lucrative! Three Bedroom Lofthill Flat (8.5% Gross Yield)

This 3 bedroom, ground floor flat in Lofthill (SR3) is certainly not visually attractive from the outside but given it offers 8.5% Gross Yield, it could make an attractive investment!

Internally it looks to be in a reasonable condition, just about able to be let as-is but certainly a lick of paint/flooring would be beneficial in attracting a Good Tenant and it would be worth budgeting for replacing the kitchen in a year or two at most

Given the location close to Doxford International & the A19 it will be attractive to a range of working tenants and given it's on the ground floor, it could also appeal to older tenants too

In it's current condition it will return 8.5% Gross Yield, based on paying the £69,950 asking price and £495pcm achievable rent...but spend a little more to update the kitchen and bathroom and £550pcm is achievable

Click here for details 

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Monday, 9 February 2015

Three Bedroom South Hylton Mid Terrace (7.3% Gross Yield)

We recently highlighted a 3 bedroom terrace in South Hylton on the same street as this one, which is new to the market and looks to be an even better investment!

It has undergone major internal improvements bringing it up to a good standard throughout - this combined with the popular South Hylton location will make it attractive to a number of Good Tenants

It's on the market for £89,950, so based on paying this asking price, as there would be no need for further spend on improvements, a £550pcm rent would return 7.3% Gross Yield

Click here for details

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Friday, 6 February 2015

Auction Sale One Bedroom Top Floor Apartment in Popular Royal Courts

This one bedroom, top floor Royal Courts apartment is being sold at auction on Feb 23rd

It will appeal to a range of tenants - mainly young professionals or students but also as it's so close to the City Centre and the Metro it can appeal to older tenants too

We manage a number of 1 & 2 bed properties in the Royal Courts and find it is very popular and attracts good tenants throughout the year

The starting price is £55,000 but as it's being sold at auction it's hard to tell what it will go for - the 2 most recent 1 bedroom apartments were sold for £65,000 & £67,000 but this was back in 2010

If you work back from an achievable rent of £450pcm and a Gross Yield of 7.5% (because you need to factor in service charges etc) you'd be looking at paying no more than £72,000...if you can get it for this (or less!) it could be worth a look

Click here for details 

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Thursday, 5 February 2015

'Ready to Let' One Bedroom Ground Floor Flat in Downhill (8.75% Gross Yield)

This one bedroom ground floor flat looks 'Ready to Let' and will appeal to a wide range of tenants, young and old

It looks to be in a very good condition with a modern kitchen and bathroom so could represent a low risk, low cost first property for a new investor

It's priced at £47,950 and based on paying this and a realistic £350pcm rent it will return 8.75% Gross Yield - there'll be a service charge to deduct but from our experience of this and similar blocks, this won't break the bank

Click here for details

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Attractive Ground Floor Moorside Flat (+7.1% Gross Yield)

This 2 bedroom ground floor Moorside flat is decorated to a very good standard throughout with a high quality kitchen and bathroom, enclosed rear garden and garage in a separate block

The location means it will be popular with a range of tenants, especially those working at the nearby Doxford International business park

The only downside is electric storage heating - in our experience that will limit the achievable rent to around £450pcm which based on the £76,000 asking price will return 7.1% Gross Yield

Spend a little more to install gas central heating and it is possible to achieve £495pcm, which may make a lot of financial sense in the long run

Click here for details

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Sunderland Rental Returns Almost £11,000 Per Property in 2014

I met a nice chap from East Boldon last week, who popped into our offices on Frederick Street as he was thinking of investing in property for the first time

He had come into some money and after coming across this blog via a Google search, took me up on the offer of a chat about investing in Sunderland property and in particular was keen to find out more about the sort of return he could expect

I reminded him that Landlords who invest in property achieve a return on their investment in two ways

The first is their rental income, which is what the Tenant pays you. If you divide the annual rent into the total paid for the property, this is your Gross Yield

When a property increases in value over time, it is known as 'Capital Growth'. Capital growth, also known as capital appreciation, hasn't been too strong in recent times in Sunderland, but the value of property can go up as well as down, and of course the local conditions surrounding property will have a big effect

The average Gross Yield on for a Sunderland rental property stands at 5.5% a year, this is far better than can be achieved in many parts of the UK but represents only a modest increase of 0.2% from one year ago

Over the last 12 months, average property values in Sunderland have risen by 3%, so taking into account capital growth, total annual returns on an average Sunderland property stand at 8.5% over the twelve months to December 2014

In absolute terms this means the average Landlord in Sunderland has seen a return, before deductions such as mortgage payments and maintenance, of £10,931 in the last twelve months

This is made up of rental income of £7,092 and an average capital gain of £3,839

However, yields for new Investors are going to be tough to make ends meet when interest rates rise, so it’s essential new buy to let Landlords seek the best advice, buy the best sort of property, buy that property at the right price and factor in mortgage rates of five to six percent seen before the credit crunch

As I don’t sell property, I can look at the whole of the Sunderland property market and tell you what I would consider buying, without any conflict of interest - feel free to give me a call on 0191 567 8577 or pop into our Frederick Street office for a chat

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Three Bedroom Town End Farm End Terrace (7.7% Gross Yield)

Town End Farm is a popular area for good, long term working tenants and 3 bedroom properties are more sought after than those with only 2 this property certainly looks worthy of investigation

It needs a bit of work, redecoration & flooring are a must and I suppose the kitchen could be let as-is but it would be far better to update it to attract the best quality tenant

The shower room is modern but the lack of a bath may limit interest from families

Overall, spending £10k on improvements over the £75,000 asking price will return 7.7% Gross Yield, based on a realistic £550pcm rent

Click here for details

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information  

Monday, 2 February 2015

Three Bedroom Whitburn End Terrace - Auction Guide Price £65,000

This 3 bedroom semi in Souter View, Whitburn 'Must be Sold' at Auction with a £65k Guide Price

The most recent sale for a 3 bed in this street was £95,000 in 2012 so given this needs redecoration, flooring and a new kitchen & bathroom I'd expect to pay around this figure again

If your total investment is £100k (and I would suggest a minimum £10,000 improvement budget) it will return 6.6% Gross Yield based on a realistic £550pcm rent

Click here for details

Call us on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information