Friday, 30 October 2015

Crossthwaite Grove Has The Most Saleable Properties In Sunderland!

I was talking to a Landlord recently and they asked me for my opinion on what to look for when purchasing a Buy to Let property. One piece of advice I was able to offer was that a good property should not only deliver positive cashflow when rented but it should also sell easily when you need to release funds

So, if you are a Landlord considering buying a property to let out, you want to buy a property that is going to be saleable

You can work out how saleable the properties in a particular street or development are by comparing the number of sales transactions to the number of properties in that street

The higher the number, the more saleable the properties are

So, having done a bit of research the most saleable street (the street with the highest relative turnover of properties) in Sunderland is Crossthwaite Grove in Hylton Castle (SR5)

It’s a small-ish development built in 1997 with only 49 properties in the street but there have been 111 property sales, which is an impressive 226% sales to properties 

The property shown is one we've recently taken on and have managed for a few months and based on this experience we'd suggest that it is a very popular location that will be equally easy to let

Other streets in the top 10 include Beechbrooke in Ryhope at 182%, Wearhead Drive (SR2) at 181% and The Strand in Lakeside Village at 170%

What all four of the above have in common is that they are relatively new developments, the oldest being The Strand built in the early 1990's and all have a mix of both houses and apartments

Interestingly the other notable location showing a very high turnover of properties is the Royal Courts development near the City Centre - there are 158 properties split across the two 'Albert' and 'Victoria' courts with 329 property transactions in total since they were built in 2000, giving 208% sales to properties

Clearly how saleable a property is going to be is only one factor you need to consider when buying an investment property so whether you are a current Landlord of ours or not, feel free to give me a call on 0191 567 8577 or pop into our office on Frederick Street for a chat about any aspect of property investment in Sunderland

2nd Floor City Side Echo 24 Apartment (9.4% Gross Yield)

This Echo 24 two bedroom apartment has just come onto the market at £83k and for an experienced Echo 24 investor it may be a worthwhile addition to the portfolio

I'd advise caution for any investors who aren't experienced in renting out to International Students in Echo 24 or similar developments, as whilst there are undoubtedly many benefits (such as the cashflow boost from 6 or 12 months rent being paid upfront) there are also many pitfalls, such as the eye-watering service charges and the potential need to spend £1000's to bring the properties back to a lettable standard, should you get International Students who can't take care of themselves or the property

Being a city side, lower floor apartment with an ensuite I'd work on getting £650pcm, which based on paying £83,000 will return 9.4% Gross Yield 

Clearly the prices these are going for now (the last 3 sold for between £78k and £85k) are nearly half the original £180k or more purchase prices but it is worth noting a very gradual upward trend, as previously we know a number were snapped up last year for between £75 and £80k, so very gradual capital growth may be achievable in the long term

Click here for details

I'll repeat the advice from above & from recent similar posts that unless you know Echo 24 and all that it entails I'd look elsewhere

Call me on 0191 567 8577 or email to discuss this or to discuss any aspect of property investment in Sunderland 

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Potential 4 or 5 Bed Multilet Close to University & Hospital (£1,500 per month rental income)

We've rented out similar properties to this on this pedestrian only street for a number of years, both as a single let to families or as a Multilet to working professionals - the £125k asking price rules this out as a single let but it stacks up if you rented out 4 or maybe even 5 rooms

It's got 4 good size bedrooms plus a separate lounge and dining room, making it possible to configure this as a 5 person room-by-room let

Assuming it's only got 2 useable stories as the sales details suggest, even with 5 rooms rented out you'd not need to apply for an HMO license as Sunderland council currently applies the mandatory HMO licensing conditions

Given there will be work required to bring this to a standard to rent out on this basis and there'll also be the need to furnish it to a good standard I'd be wary about giving any Yield figures (given I can't accurately assess the total spend required at this stage) but it is possible to suggest that based on 5 rooms each renting for a modest £70pw (bills included) it would bring in over £1,500 per month

Click here for details

Call me to discuss this, the Multilet strategy in general or all aspects of property investment in Sunderland - my number is 0191 567 8577 or email

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Bonners Raff 2 Bedroom Loft Style Apartment (9.0% Gross Yield)

Given there are a number of apartments in this building for sale at £150,000 or more and the most recent sales this year have all been for over £100k, this 2 bedroom apartment looks to be good value at £79,950

Admittedly it's a 2nd floor single floor unit (rather than the much more popular higher floor Duplex apartments) but even so we know from experience it will be popular with both professionals and given the location a stone's throw from St Peters Campus, you could rent it furnished to students, if that's your sort of thing

Either way you'd be looking at £600 - £650pcm which based on paying the asking price and the lower rental figure would deliver 9.0% Gross Yield

Obviously it's leasehold so there are service charges to consider to deduct from the above calculation

Click here for details

Call me on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Unusual Split Level 2 Bedroom, 2 Reception Room Cottage (7.8% Gross Yield)

I see plenty of these terraced cottages in Sunderland and whilst each one is subtly different in layout you don't often see a split level one like this!

This one is located next to the Richard Avenue Primary School & Thornhill Secondary School as well as being close to Barnes Park

It's got 2 good size and 2 reception rooms, a cellar (again this is unusual) and a carport at the rear

The decoration & some of the fittings are a bit fussy and 'old person' but a lick of paint should sort this out

Once it's had the lick of paint and the fittings have been modernised I'd suggest it will be possible to achieve £550pcm, which based on paying the asking price will return 7.8% Gross Yield

Click here for details

Call me if you'd like to discuss this or to chat about any aspect of property investment in Sunderland

Monday, 26 October 2015

Ready to Let Town End Farm 3 Bedroom Semi (8.25% Gross Yield)

Regular blog readers will know I that consider Town End Farm semi detached properties make good investments & especially the 3 bedroom houses, so this one is very interesting, especially given the relatively cheap £80k price

It's in immaculate condition so is Ready to Let 

There's not much more to say! The £80k price is very good for this sort of a property, it will let easily to working families and will command £550pcm rent returning a very respectable 8.25% Gross Yield

Click here for details 

Call me on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Immaculate 2 Bedroom High Barnes Cottage (6.25% Gross Yield)

We have a number of Landlords who just look to buy in High Barnes, accepting that what they sacrifice on the monthly yield they will make back in the ability to secure good, long term tenants

This immaculate terraced cottage in High Barnes is ready to let, looking like it's just been redecorated to a high standard and looking like it's got a brand new kitchen 

This one is on the market for £95,000 which based on achieving £495pcm will deliver 6.25% Gross Yield

Click here for details

Call me on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information or to discuss any aspect of the Sunderland property market

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

This Weeks Good News and Bad News for Sunderland Landlords

Another week goes by and the analysis of the likely effects of the recent BTL mortgage interest relief changes continues. Not content with this significant change, we now hear rumblings that George Osborne is planning further restrictions on Landlords obtaining BTL mortgages...

First the Good News for Sunderland Sunderland didn't appear in the recent Daily Telegraph article on the worst areas likely to be hit by the recent mortgage interest relief changes - click below for details

To be honest, this should come as no surprise to informed Sunderland Landlords, the areas featured are all Down South and therefore will be Capital Growth areas rather than Yield areas, meaning in those areas there is less likely to be a decent positive cashflow to cushion against the shock of a bigger tax bill

Thinking about it logically, when the full impact of the changes are felt this could provide a shot in the arm for the flatlining Sunderland sales market, as Landlords who are affected by this from other parts of the UK may choose to offload poorer performing properties and reinvest in areas such as Sunderland where they can a) get more for their money and b) get better Yields / higher positive cashflow

So that's the Good for the Bad News...

We've known for some time that the Bank of England has sought additional powers to regulate the BTL market, which it's leader Mark Carney once described as a threat to the stability of the British economy (which seems a little bit extreme, in my humble opinion!)

Well unfortunately it looks like they're going to get those powers, as George Osborne recently made a 'Shock Announcement!' that he had granted such powers...or was about to do's still a bit woolly...

Most informed observers suggest this is likely to lead to BTL mortgage applications having to satisfy the same sort of Stress Test that now applies to residential mortgages

BTL lenders do this anyway when assessing an applicant's suitability when assessing them for a loan but at present it's down to the lender to set their criteria, it now looks likely that there will be a legal minimum level set which all lenders will need to adhere to

Read the Telegraph article on this below

Should this be the case I personally think that in some respects this is a Good Thing, as it will prevent those potential Landlords who are not in a financial position to undertake such a business venture or withstand a change in market conditions / interest rates from becoming Landlords in the first place

We don't need anymore Bad Landlords or Skint Landlords...

Furthermore it will mean that properties that really don't stack up as rental properties are excluded from the rental market, as the rental return will be too low vs the loan amount

Heaven forbid a further economic calamity such as the one experienced in 2008 but if we do see a similar crash in the housing market and such rules do apply, the safety net of being able to rent a property that cannot sell or is significantly in negative equity may not be available to homeowners like it was in 2008/9

What happens then?

An additional significant consequence of this could be that existing Landlords coming to renew their BTL mortgage fail to meet the new criteria and are rejected - are they then forced to sell?

Thinking about it logically such a Stress Test shouldn't affect high Yielding areas such as Sunderland as badly as other areas such as I've mentioned above

So...what do you do? There is a school of thought that when the majority are running away and exiting a market the wise investor looks to jump in so it may be that this constant Landlord bashing is too much for some to take but presents opportunities for those in a position to capitalise

So if you have a bigger tax bill, sell your worst performing property and reinvest in better performing property or properties, perhaps at a knock down price from a Landlord who has had enough and is getting out?

Look at buying new properties in a Ltd Co? Whilst there are implications for transferring existing properties into a Ltd Co this is not the case when a property is initially purchased by a Ltd Co

I'm no tax adviser or wealth management expert (you really need to speak to an expert on such matters) all I'm saying that historically markets tend to adapt and change to cope with such legislative meddling, creating both winners and losers in equal measure

If you'd like to discuss anything raised in this post or any aspect of property investment in Sunderland email me call 0191 567 8577 or pop into our office in Frederick Street for a chat

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Three Bedroom Ford Estate Semi (+7.5% Gross Yield)

With a lick of paint, some new carpets and a good jetwash of the back garden paving slabs his 3 bedroom semi in a Ford Estate cul-de-sac should be popular with family tenants

We've managed a property on this street for many years, let out to a family where both adults have worked at the hospital at some point so being close to Sunderland Royal Hospital must be seen as a plus

It needs a bit of work (the decoration, new carpets, the jetwashing of the rear garden paving as above) but overall looks to be OK, with a kitchen and bathroom that will do for a few more years before needing to be updated

Click here for details

Based on paying no more in total than the £78,950 asking price (negotiating the price down to cover the cost of the above improvements) it will deliver based on £495pcm 7.5% Gross Yield or 8.3% or based on £550pcm which may be achievable should the condition be to a sufficiently high standard

Call me on 0191 567 8577 or email me on 0191 567 8577 if you'd like to discuss this or to discuss any aspect of the Sunderland property market

Monday, 19 October 2015

'Ready to Let' 2 Bed Mid Terrace in Red House (6.7% Gross Yield)

This 2 bedroom terrace is in the ever-popular Redhouse area, on a street we know well as we already manage a property here - it's got a decent kitchen and bathroom and the decoration and flooring look 'Good to Go'

I'd change the current bath taps and shower hose arrangement for a thermostatically controlled set of mixer taps with a fixed shower attachment (a shower is vitally important when trying to attract a working tenant, a thermostatically controlled shower is vital if you want to avoid scalding them) and put in a shower curtain (NOT a shower screen!)

It's on at £84,950 and based on £475pcm it will return 6.7% Gross Yield

Click here for details 

Call me on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information about this or to discuss any aspect of the Sunderland property market

Friday, 16 October 2015

Sunderland Is One of the Daily Telegraph's Property 'Cold Spots' - What Does This Mean For Sunderland Investors & Landlords?

I was interested to see an article in the Daily Telegraph last week which revealed the UK's "Unlikely Property Hotspots", based on an eMove survey

The research looked at Demand (the number of homes sold in Q3) vs Supply (the number of homes for sale on Rightmove & Zoopla)

Click the link below for the article

Given I've recently looked at demand & supply in Sunderland I certainly didn't expect to see Sunderland in the Top 10 "Hot Spots" however I was interested to see Sunderland actually appeared in the 10 poorest performing areas "Cold List"

Should Sunderland Landlords and Investors start to panic?

No, they shouldn't and actually if you will indulge me for a little while, it may not be a bad thing at all!

Clearly property hotspots such as Bexley in South London with demand measured at 77% or Watford with 72% demand are likely to have better capital growth potential given simple economics dictates prices will rise in a market where supply is unable to cope with demand

But savvy Sunderland investors don't buy for capital growth do they?

Switched on Sunderland investors buy for monthly yield and the potential for positive cashflow and a "Cold" market means that there is the potential to capitalise on the lack of buyer interest and pick up properties at a lower price

A stagnant market means sellers who've struggled to sell may be more open to lower offers

You make your money when you buy, not when you sell so whilst you should always buy with your exit strategy in mind (you should consider whether you wish to hold for the long term or if you intend to sell in the short to medium term you should bear the above in mind) a cold market gives the potential for picking up a bargain than in a market where properties are snapped up before the Estate Agent has had a chance to get their For Sale board up!

If you'd like to discuss any aspect of property investment in Sunderland please give me a call on 0191 567 8577 or email

Thursday, 15 October 2015

'Needs Work' 3 Bedroom Town End Farm Semi (8.25% Gross Yield)

This 3 bedroom semi in Town End Farm offers spacious family accommodation but it's pretty dated and therefore is going to need full redecoration along with a new kitchen and bathroom to maximise it's letting potential

It's being advertised at OIRO £72,950 so I'd assume that you should be able to get it for £70k or less - based on that assumption you'd be wise to budget on £10k for the works, so I'd budget on a total investment of around £80,000

Good quality 3 bedroom Town End Farm semi's are now achieving £550pcm so based on this it would achieve  8.25% Gross Yield

Click here for details 

Call me on 0191 567 8577 or email to discuss this opportunity or any aspect of property investment in Sunderland

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

4 Bedroom Ashbrooke End Terrace - Possible Workers Multi Let (11.9% - 13.8% Gross Yield)

This 4 bedroom Ashbrooke property has been rented out as a student let in recent years but it's now on the market for sale at £109,950 which makes it too expensive to work as a single family let but could work if rented on a room-by-room basis

It will need a full refurb throughout to bring it to a good standard that will attract decent working tenants but once done, given it's only a very short distance from the City Centre and Park Lane bus & Metro stations it will appeal to under 30's working in the City's shops, bars and restaurants or those needing public transport to travel further afield

The average room rent in Sunderland is £324pcm (£75 per week) according to who publish such figures on a monthly basis (interestingly the above is down 5.6% on last year)

It has two reception rooms (one of which could be used as a bedroom), three double bedrooms and a single room (which I'd discount from our calculations)

Based on renting 4 rooms at the above rate and based on a total investment of £130,000 it will return 11.9% Gross Yield - reconfigure the property to bring a 5th double bedroom into play and it could return £1,620pcm which based on a slightly higher investment of £140,000 would return 13.8% Gross Yield

Click here for details

Call me on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information about this, renting on a room-by-room basis or any aspect of property investment in Sunderland

Monday, 12 October 2015

Cheap & Nasty 5 Bedroom Student House - Needs "A Comprehensive Scheme of Upgrading" but Very Close to University

This 5 bedroom student terraced house is cheap at only £79,000 but the price reflects the fact that it will need a lot of work - even the Estate Agent selling it admits that!

I would exercise extreme caution about jumping into the shared student house market in Sunderland (the reasons are too numerous for this blog post - if you're interested to know why please give me a call...) but it could work for an experienced investor

The location is a positive, being in The Knoll which is a grotty studenty street about 200m from the Chester Road campus - it's really only this fact that makes me even put it on here as one to consider given students do like to be as close as possible to the Uni so it should let (even when the market is moving away from shared houses)

There's only 1 external pic so I'd assume the worst and hold your nose if viewing it....

Click here for details 

I would strongly advise anyone who's not an experienced Sunderland student landlord to walk away but for those who do fit the bill and are interested please all me on 0191 567 8577 or email for more info 

Friday, 9 October 2015

"Buy, Refurb, Remortgage" in Sunderland

I was speaking to one of our portfolio Landlords this week about the best way to increase the number of properties he owns and we spent some time discussing the "Buy, Refurb, Remortgage" model that can leverage one deposit pot to fund multiple property purchases over time

As with most cases when buying investment properties, getting it right at the start is crucial to success as this strategy relies heavily on getting good Below Market Value discounts

It's crucial to understand that Below Market Value (BMV) is not Below Asking Price! You need to have detailed knowledge of an area and understand the true market value of comparable properties in the area then seek out those where you can negotiate hard to get a true, sizeable discount

This will take time and patience and it may be difficult to pass up opportunities that appear to be 'Good Deals' on paper but just don't offer enough BMV discount...

Ultimately it's a numbers game and will mean you need to be prepared to have many 'cheeky' offers rejected by estate agents (or even be more creative and go direct to the vendors) before a low enough offer is accepted to make this work

One incredibly successful investor & trainer (Rob Moore of Progressive Property) has applied this strategy to secure hundreds of below market value properties and suggests that if you don't feel embarrassed putting in the offer it clearly isn't low enough!

Let's look at a typical example of a Sunderland property that you know has a market value of around £95,000 - £105,000 by looking at comparables for the surrounding area

You'd need to secure a deal to agree to buy it at no more than £70,000 and would put down a 25% deposit (£17,500) and get a mortgage for £52,500

It's vital that both the initial mortgage and the 2nd mortgage must have no Early Redemption Charges or these charges can ruin the profitability of a deal

You'd need to do a 'light refurb' of the property to add value, let's budget £5,000 for that (for this to work it's essential that you don't get tempted to buy real horror shows that require major structural work or a full renovation project)

You need to allow at least 6 months before applying to remortgage (so need to budget for this holding period) and it's vital that the same valuer does not attend as they will value it at the lower recent purchase amount rather than what you know as the real market value (so you'd need to apply to a different lender)

With this in mind whilst you are able to remortgage after 6 months it may be prudent to hold on for a year or two before seeking the remortgage to increase the chance of getting the higher valuation you require (so just rent it out in the meantime) - this is less of an issue in a rising market as house price growth can help achieve the higher valuation (but with Sunderland house prices still being pretty flat you shouldn't rely on this...)

So assuming you achieve the higher valuation you require in 6 months - 2 years, you'd remortgage at 75% of the higher Market Value amount of £105,000 which would pay off the initial £52,500 mortgage and would also allow you to take out £26,250 to pay off the initial deposit and leave a little left over

Even if you were only able to achieve the lower £95,000 valuation for the 2nd mortgage this would still give a cashflowing property with £25,000 equity and only 'leave in' £6,250

This strategy relies on buying well and achieving the higher valuation to recycle the deposit funds back out to fund further purchases

Interestingly the finance company Aldermore is now offering a product that may lessen the risk of not achieving the higher valuation  by offering an initial bridging loan at 75% of the current valuation then allowing this to be converted to a Buy to Let mortgage at 75% of the higher value (they'd knowingly send the same valuer) - clearly this comes at a cost but it's worth knowing the option is there

If you would like to discuss this Buy, Refurb, Remortgage strategy in more depth and see how it could work for you in Sunderland or would like to have a free, no obligation chat about any aspect of property investment in Sunderland feel free to give me a call on 0191 567 857 or email

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Large Terraced House in Thornhill - Potential For 4 Bedroom Multi Let Earning £1,560pcm

This 3 bedroom, 2 reception room terrace is on the market for £100,000 and needs a lot of work (a full refurb throughout including new kitchen and bathroom) which makes it unworkable as a family let but it could make financial sense if rented on a room-by-room basis to working adults

Ideally you'd look at reconfiguring it so that the large kitchen could double up as the shared living space and then that would give the opportunity to use the 2 reception rooms as bedrooms, which when combined with the 2 existing first floor double rooms gives 4 doubles to rent out (I've discounted renting the small box room)

You could look at installing ensuites into the 4 bedrooms (they are all big enough to accommodate this) and that would have a significant impact on the achievable rent - it would go from around £75  - £85 per room, per week (on a bills included basis) to £90 - £100 per week, depending on the overall condition

Doing the 4 rooms as above would avoid the need to obtain an HMO License (as Sunderland Council only require 5+ bedroom HMO's to require a License)

If you budgeted for the more major plumbing work involved in installing ensuites (as Saniflow style toilets should be avoided at all costs) you could be looking at £1,560pcm based on the £90 per room per week figure

I'm no builder so you'd need to do your own due dilligence and obtain prices for the work required

Click here for details

If considering this I'd also suggest you take a look at or similar sites to get an understanding of the competition out there, both in terms of the rents being sought but equally the standard of accommodation on offer - as some of it is of a very high standard

Call me on 0191 567 8577 or email if you would like to discuss this property, the Multi Let strategy in general or any aspect of property investment in Sunderland

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

'Needs Work' Three Bedroom First Floor Flat in Roker (7.7% - 8.5% Gross Yield)

This 3 bedroom first floor flat is being sold at auction, looking for Offers Over £52,000

There's a £6,000 Buyers Premium on top of the agreed sale price and it will need £5,000 -  £10,000 of work to finish off the incomplete refurb so it may be worth budgeting on a total investment of £70,000  

Image 1 of 7: Main
At this amount it will deliver 7.7% Gross Yield based on a very realistic £450pcm rent (it may be possible to achieve £495 depending on the condition of the property, which would push the Gross Yield up to 8.5%)

Click here for details 

Call me on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information on this property or to discuss any aspect of property investment in Sunderland

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

"Ready To Let" Town End Farm 3 Bedroom Semi (7.3% Gross Yield)

This three bedroom, corner plot semi in Town End Farm looks to be in immediately lettable condition and it should be popular with working families

Image 12 of 13: ExternalThe £89,950 asking price is at the higher end of what's realistic for this type of property in Town End Farm but even so it will return a decent 7.3% Gross Yield (based on £550pcm rent) with no need for further improvements

Click here for details

Call me on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information on this property or to discuss any aspect of property investment in Sunderland

Monday, 5 October 2015

Redhouse 2 Bedroom Auction Property - One to Watch

This 2 bedroom semi in Redhouse is being auctioned on 22nd October in Derby and given the location of the sale & given the agent seems to have very little information with little time before the sale it may still be available at the end of the month and open to offers

Click here for details (not that there are many pics or details) 

The Guide Price is £56,000 and the most recent sale of a comparable property was £88,000 earlier this year - so perhaps there is scope for a deal to be done (given the particulars suggest the reserve price is likely to be no more than 10% above the Guide Price, so £61,600)

It's being sold with vacant possession, another factor that suggest the vendor may be motivated to sell quickly at a price that stacks up as a bargain

You'd be looking at £450 - £495 rent depending on the condition of the property (can't tell what state it's in given there are no internal pics...but I'd suggest you should budget on it being not great!)

Call me if on 0191 567 8577 or email if you'd like to have a chat about this property or any aspect of property investment in Sunderland

Friday, 2 October 2015

Large, "Ready to Let" 3 Bedroom Hylton Castle Semi (7.4% Gross Yield)

This three bedroom Hylton Castle semi is being advertised at Offers Over £85,000 but given a) it's been on Rightmove since March 2014 and b) the most recent sale on this street for a 3 bed property was in March 2014 for £71k it may be worth a low offer as the vendors may be keen to sell

It's in a good condition so needs no work prior to letting

On a good day you could achieve £550pcm for it but let's play safe and budget on £495 (£500 being the magic number for properties in Sunderland) - even based on the lower amount and knocking £5k off the asking price it will deliver a 7.4% Gross Yield

Click here for details

Call me on 0191 567 8577 or email for more information on this property or for a chat about investing in Sunderland property