Friday, 29 January 2016

"Ready to Let" One Bedroom Terraced Cottage in SR5 (8.7% Gross Yield)

This one bedroom terraced 'cottage' looks to be in excellent condition so if priced right should be able to attract a good working tenant

It's in Southwick but don't let that put you off! The street (Broadsheath Terrace) is in the better part of Southwick close to and walking distance to the main shopping area - there are certain areas of Southwick I wouldn't recommend as you would struggle to attract a working tenant but this house, in this street doesn't concern me in this way

It's being advertised at £54,950 and you should be able to achieve £400pcm, giving a 8.7% Gross Yield

It's being sold by Your Move so click here for details and call them if you're interested

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

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Here Come The Big Institutions - But What Could It Mean For The Sunderland Property Market?

You may have picked up on the news this week that Legal & General have teamed up with a Dutch pension fund manager to build 3,000 'Build to Rent' flats in what looks to be the first institutional investor entering the UK private rented sector

I don't think anyone who's been an informed observer of George Osborne's recent attacks on private landlords could be in the remotest bit surprised about this - it's been a suspicion that the long term plan was to drive out small time, individual investors and replace the vacuum with the institutions

Image result for legal & general

Click here for details from a Guardian article covering this story

And so, here's the first of what may turn out to be many Big Boys muscling in on the private rented sector with an initial 650 apartments to be built in Bristol, Salford and Walthamstow

They're doing so in order to generate yields of between 3 and 5% to pay into pension funds

The article points out that they've recently invested in new student accommodation in partnership with universities and are speaking with councils to develop affordable housing - they have plans to invest £1bn in the rented sector throughout the UK

Whilst this might look like more Bad News, even if further Institutions do come into the market should Sunderland Landlords be worried?

In a word...No

Inevitably most of the Institutions money will be focused on Greater London, with the loose change left over being allocated the likes of Manchester/Salford, Bristol etc

I doubt the likes of Sunderland, Blackburn, Lancaster etc will get much of a look-in but even if they do the number of 'Build to Rent' properties in Sunderland will be counted in the hundreds, at most

Now I may be proven wrong on the above point but even if I am all of these institutions are likely to be doing similar to L&G and building new builds, I can't see them being interested in taking on and doing a refurb on individual houses in High Barnes or Town End Farm like you or I!

So we're likely to get more apartments or 'affordable' starter homes being built, which in the case of starter homes at least is no bad thing at least

I've taken a quick look at the number of available rental properties in Sunderland today and 342 of the 876 properties to rent are apartments. That's 39%

As I've said many times before, we don't need any more apartments in Sunderland...

The fact is that Big Institutions don't get to become Big Institutions by making rash, risky decisions - they'll do their meticulous research and will only tap into a genuine need if one exists

By way of comparison to the above figure there are only 94 three bedroom properties available to rent in Sunderland at the moment, making up only 11% of the available housing stock

As the above suggests, the Sunderland housing market is broken at the moment with too many apartments and too few family homes. That's why some switched-in investors we work with hone in on a particular micro-location (not just focusing on a postcode, limiting themselves further to half a dozen core streets within that) and are then laser focused on only buying 3 bedroom houses then refurbing them to a very good standard. Guess what? They get great tenants quickly, paying good rents who tend to stay a while... 

So if the Institutions come in an build 3 bedroom properties then that may create a bit of competition, offer more choice and get things moving - it isn't necessarily a bad thing

The other consideration is that we live in a society where we are allowed to make our own choices - some people want to live close to family or work, some like new builds, some like old properties. Using myself as an example, I prefer older properties but my wife prefers new builds (so it won't surprise you to know we live in a modern property..!) 

The serious point I'm making is that 250 or so Build to Rent homes won't convince someone who's lived and grown up in Grindon decide to up sticks and move miles away from their family support network and equally it won't make someone who prefers the large rooms & high ceilings of a traditional terrace on Chatsworth Street rent a comparatively small new build semi on a brownfield site in Pallion

So I wouldn't panic. Over the next few years there will be more Institutions following L&G and coming into the UK rental market but I doubt many will venture into Sunderland. Even if they do, they may actually help fix the market just a little bit rather than heralding the impending Doom & Gloom many may be predicting!

If you'd like to have a chat about any aspect of the Sunderland property market please feel free to pop into our Frederick Street office, call me on 0191 567 8577 or email 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Two Bedroom Semi In Always Popular Grindon (7.6% Gross Yield)

This two bedroom semi is in a popular location and is in a decent condition so it should be easy to let without too much trouble (or cost!)

Granted it probably could do with a lick of paint to freshen it up and neutralise a couple of the rooms but given the kitchen is fine and the bathroom looks to be modern and stylish the cost of this prior to letting shouldn't be prohibitive

It's priced at "Offers Over" £75,000 but if you budgeted on paying this and a conservative £475pcm rent (given £495 may be possible) you'd return a healthy 7.6% Gross Yield

It's being marketed by Thomas Watson Estate Agents so click here for details and call them to arrange a viewing

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

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Two Bedroom Cottage Close To Hospital (7.7% Gross Yield)

This two bedroom terraced cottage is in a good location close to the Hospital* and both the Pallion Shops and Metro - it also looks to be in a decent condition

*The location is good but it doesn't guarantee getting Hospital workers as tenants - click the blog article from last year when I looked into this Shock! Horror! Most Hospital Workers Don't Live Close To The Hospital!

This tidy cottage is priced at OIRO £70,000 and will return around £450pcm rent delivering a 7.7% Gross Yield

It's being sold by Dowen so give them a call to arrange a viewing

Give me a call if you'd like to chat about this or any aspect of property investment in Sunderland - call 0191 567 8577 or email

Monday, 25 January 2016

Tidy Two Bedroom Redhouse Semi (8.0% Gross Yield)

This two bedroom semi in the popular Redhouse area needs a lick of paint in a couple of rooms (the pink bedroom for starters) but other than that, with a modern kitchen and bathroom it's almost 'Ready to Let'

It will attract a good deal of interest from a range of working tenants

Based on buying at £70,000 (this is the 'Offers Over' price) and achieving £450pcm rent it will return a healthy 8.0% Gross Yield - £475 could be achieved but that would only increase the yield to 8.14% and I'd argue you'd be better off in the long run accepting £450 to encourage a quicker let and longer tenancies

It's being sold by Grant Philip Lowes so click here for details and then call them to arrange a viewing

Give me a call on 0191 567 8577 or email if you'd like to discuss this property or any aspect of property investment in Sunderland 

Friday, 22 January 2016

"Ready To Let" 1 Bedroom Flat Close to Doxford International (7.4% Gross Yield)

We're more used to seeing the 2 bedroom flats come up in nearby Moorside and Chapel Garth but this tidy 1 bedroom first floor flat will appeal to single person working at Doxford International business park

It's Ready to Let and based on achieving £400pcm rent and paying the £65,000 asking price it will return 7.4% Gross Yield

It's being marketed by Eight Estates so click the link for details and contact them to arrange a viewing 

If you're interested in discussing this property or any aspect of property investment in Sunderland call me on 0191 567 8577 or email

Just A Bit Of Fun For A Friday!

Take a look at the main Rightmove photo for this property that has just gone onto the market in SR6 - could it be improved in any way to increase the chance of getting interest from buyers and maximising the sale price?

Thursday, 21 January 2016

There Are Double The Available Rental Properties In Sunderland Compared To A Year Ago

Following last weeks analysis of how the Sunderland sales market has changed within the last 12 months, this week I turn my attention to the Sunderland rental market

I compiled data in January 2015 by looking at the number of available rental properties in Sunderland and using the industry accepted assumption that 5% of all available stock should be on the market at any given time, I analysed the areas showing a shortage or over-supply of properties

I've conducted the same exercise using up-to-date figures and it makes for some interesting reading

The first thing to jump off the page is that, as the headline for this post states, there are currently 888 properties on the market to rent in Sunderland compared to only 375 this time last year

That's a massive increase in a relatively short space of time and as a result the situation changes from one of net shortfall (with 154 fewer rental properties than would be required to have 5% available in Jan 2015) to one of surplus, with 8.9% of the total rental stock available, representing a surplus of 359 properties

Overall this represents as swing of 513 more properties being available now compared to 12 months ago

Looking at the figures in more detail, large increases are shown in the SR2 area, with 297 available properties in 2016 compared to 119 a year ago and also SR4 with an increase from 85 to 221 properties

But by far the biggest increase in percentage terms is SR5, with only 38 available properties in 2015 compared to 128 in January 2016

Looking at the figures for 1 month in isolation will always lead to the potential for freak figures skewing the data however the 3 postcode areas above have shown such large increases that it suggests something rather than anomalous data for this month in particular

It is difficult to determine what has caused this increase in availability

In the case of SR2 and SR4 it could be due to the seasonal availability of student properties (it is a great & upredictable unknown when students come out of the woodwork each year) which are heavily concentrated more in these postcodes than others

It may be that there are many more available properties in SR5 due in part to this being seen to be a good value area to invest with a steady supply of good quality tenants!

Looking back at previous data, the SR5 area needed an increase in property to rent given the shortfall this time last year, however the worry is that the pendulum could have swung too far in the opposite direction 

It's very telling that in line with my advice over recent years, the largest 2016 surplus is being shown in the SR2 postcode area, worth 11.2% of the total rental property stock being available, representing a surplus of 164 properties

The worry is that over-supply is not good news for Landlords, given it affects the speed at which a property can be let, the cost of maintaining it (Landlords will be pressured to continually improve standards in areas with a lot of competition) and will potentially have a negative impact on the achievable rent

Whilst the rest of the country (especially the South East) have experienced rent increases this has not been the case in Sunderland in recent years as following the small dip post-2008 rents have remained flat at best - my worry is that should we experience sustained surpluses throughout Sunderland like the data above suggests it is likely to lead to significant rent reductions

Whilst I never thought I would ever say this, should this situation of over supply continue the predicted exodus of highly geared or amateur/reluctant Landlords in response to the "Landlord Bashing" measures could actually be a blessing in disguise for those Sunderland Landlords who do stick it out for the long term!

If you'd like to have a a free, no obligation chat about any aspect of the Sunderland property market pop into our 11 Frederick Street office, email or call 0191 567 8577

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Two Bedroom Semi In "The Most Saleable Street In Sunderland" (6.5% Gross Yield)

This two bedroom semi may not deliver the most earth-shattering yield (although 6.5% is OK) but based on recent analysis this street is the most saleable in Sunderland, so investors should have no concerns about their exit strategy!

The street is Crossthwaite Grove in SR5 and I wrote about it in a post last year - click here to read the post

We know the street well having let and managed a similar property last year and the property was very popular with a number of tenants keen to let it at the time

This particular property looks to be in decent condition and save for a lick of paint to freshen it up should be Ready-To-Let

Based on achieving the £495pcm we're getting for the similar property in the street and paying the £90,999 asking price it will deliver 6.5% Gross Yield

It's on the market with Pattinsons so you'll need to click here and if interested arrange a viewing through them

Give me a call if you'd like more information on this property or any aspect of property investment in Sunderland - call 0191 567 8577 or email 

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Cheap But 'Needs Work' 1 Bedroom Flat Close To Hospital & University (9.6% Gross Yield)

This 1 bedroom, first floor flat is just off the busy Chester Road shopping area and is only 5 minutes walk from both the University and Sunderland Royal Hospital, so may appeal to a range of tenants

It needs redecoration in the lounge and bedroom and both the kitchen and bathroom could do with updating

It's also only got electric heating and hot water (no gas) so whilst the cost and hassle of installing a gas supply may not be worth it, I would certainly suggest replacing the 1970's storage heaters with something more modern, attractive and energy efficient

Delivering the flat to a high quality, fully refurbed standard as above should make it possible to achieve £400pcm rent and based on the £39,950 asking price plus £10,000 for the improvements will deliver 9.6% Gross Yield

It's on with Your Move so click here for details and arrange a viewing with Your Move if interested

If having done so you'd like to chat to me about this property or any aspect of the Sunderland property market feel free to give me a call on 0191 567 8577 or email

Monday, 18 January 2016

Studio Apartment in Washington With £10k Guide Price!

Avoid at all costs 

I really don't want to waste my valuable time explaining exactly why you should avoid this at all costs, trust me, you should, but if you really do want to chat about it call me on 0191 567 8577 or email 

Friday, 15 January 2016

Caution Advised! 1 Bedroom Student Pod For £35k

I've just spotted this 1 bedroom 'Student Pod' in a recently converted (commerical to residential) student development is being advertised at an eye-wateringly cheap £35k so given it will attract interest I thought that I'd better give you my opinions...

On first inspection it looks to be a great deal, the studios rent out at £85 per week for 51 weeks (£4,335pa) or £87.50 for 44 weeks (£3,850pa) which looks to deliver a juicy 11% Gross Yield even based on the lower figure

Click here for the very professional website

But it's not all good...there will be a service charge and given the on site facilities include a gym, 24h security, games room,plus  the all important (costly) lift you'd be wise to budget on around £100pcm for this

This in itself is not going to make it a bad deal and I would say the location of this one is good to appeal to those at the St Peters Campus 

I would be more concerned about the long term viability of the student market, given there is an ever increasing number of similar developments popping up all over the city, and each bright & shiny new one does tend to attract student tenants like moths to a flame, leaving the existing developments finding it increasingly hard to appeal to a finite number of students

Sunderland hasn't yet reached the saturation point/over-supply of some other cities such as Manchester, Leeds etc but that's not to say it won't happen in the future

If this happens, and at some point you fail to let it for an academic year you will get no income for the full 12 months, as unlike other property types you only have a fixed window to get it let to students and won't be able to get other tenant types to rent it whilst you wait for the next student intake

I would also say that this sort of accommodation tends to appeal to the International Student market and there is no guarantee that Sunderland will continue to attract such students in the same numbers in the future - if International Student numbers decline how would you get your money back out, given you'd be alongside many others in a similar situation?

I would also also ask why, if it is all so good, this is back on the market (for a low price) given the development was only completed and sold off to investors a couple of years ago...?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying avoid this at all costs - it could be right for someone as a cheap Let and Forget - however please do your own thorough due diligence, including a site visit and make sure you have confidence in your ability to let it 100% of the time, year after year

It's being marketed by Martin & Co so click here for details and call them to arrange a viewing

If you want to discuss this investment, the student market in general or any aspect of the Sunderland property market call me on 0191 567 8577 or email 

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Has The Sunderland Property Market Changed In The Last 12 Months?

I was discussing the current state of the Sunderland property market with an investor the other day and his opinion was that the market is pretty much the same now as it was a year ago and is unlikely to see any major changes this year, despite the best efforts of Mr Osborne...this inspired me to look into whether there really have been any significant changes in the last 12 months

Looking at the number of properties on the market, January 2015 there were 1,224 properties on the market for sale in Sunderland representing just over 1% of the total number of households. Of those 1,224 properties 8.7% were Sold STC.

Fastforward to January 2016 and 2,024 properties are currently on the market for sale with 19.5% showing as Sold STC

Clearly this is encouraging news showing that not only are there more properties available but crucially the market seems to be moving more quickly, both conditions being indicators of a suitable environment where prices can rise

This has to be good news, given Sunderland average house prices have flatlined in recent years at around £130-135k following the dramatic fall from the peak of over £175k in 2008

Infact, recent house price data suggests that Sunderland house prices rose by 4% last year...however that only brought them back to 2010 levels

Digging a little deeper and it's interesting to note that last year only 8.4% of Sunderland semi's and 6.3% of terraces (these being the main property types appealing to investment buyers) were Sold STC but this year there has been a dramatic increase with 24.4% of semi's and 18% of terraces being Sold STC

Last year Flats/Apartments seemed to be the best performing property type for attracting buyers with the highest proportion of Sold STC properties (20%) but now this property type is the worst performer (with the percentage of Sold STC properties falling to 13.8%) 

Last year I looked at the number of properties available and Sold STC by postcode and comparing these figures with today again shows encouraging signs - last year the SR2, SR3 and SR4 postcodes all had around 10% of their For Sale properties Sold STC with SR5 having a paltry 1.8% with buyers

Looking at the current figures, properties in all areas are performing far better in terms of attracting buyers but again the figures are flipped on their head with the highest percentage of Sold STC properties being in SR6 (27.0% of all 351 properties), closely followed by SR5 with 21.2% of the 250 properties on the market having buyers does appear that the Sunderland property market has changed in the last 12 months!

All of this is encouraging news for investors as a healthy sales market is necessary for a healthy rental market - Sunderland has performed well in recent years in delivering investors decent monthly returns but has performed poorly when looking at capital growth. Sound, long term investments should still be based on positive cashflow rather than gambling on values rising however Sunderland being able to match the capital growth potential of other areas offering decent yields can only be a good thing, both in attracting new investors and for current Sunderland investors

If you'd like to have a chat about the Sunderland property market or property investment give me a call on 0191 567 8577 or email

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Two Bedroom Pallion Terrace (7.9% Gross Yield)

I don't tend to suggest Pallion properties too often, given most of them that come onto the market are 'Cottages' and quite frankly there's an awful lot of competition already out there - this is different, it's a terraced house with parking and lawned garden and therefore may be easier to rent

It looks to have a decent kitchen and bathroom but would need a lick of paint prior to letting

Given the most recent sale (last year) of a comparable property on this street was for £73k I'd suggest aiming to pay no more than £75,000 and if you do it will return 7.9% Gross Yield based on an achievable £495pcm rent

It's being sold by Peter Heron so click here for details and arrange a viewing through Peter Heron

Call me if you want to discuss this property or for any aspect of the Sunderland property market - call 0191 567 8577 or email

Monday, 11 January 2016

'Needs Work' 2 Bedroom High Barnes Terrace That Might Suit A Flip?

This 2 bedroom terrace is new to the market but has the potential to be a profitable Buy to Sell or "Flip" property in addition to a long term rental, if you can get it at the right price 

It has all the signs of being a property where an elderly owner has passed away or has been taken into residential care, the carpets & decoration all suggest this, as does the 'No Onward Chain'

It's on the market for OIRO £94,950 which in itself is pretty cheap, given the 3 properties sold on this street last year sold for an average of £122,000 and the highest went for £127,000 (although it was a 3 bed)

Dowen are selling it so click here for details  and contact Dowen to arrange a viewing

It could work as a rental property, following refurbishment you would get around £495pcm as a 2 bedroom property as it's a sought after street, however the yield would be just-about-OK at around 6%

When Buying to Sell you'd be appealing to a different market (usually the First Time Buyer market) so I'd suggest you'd need to spend a little more on refurbishment to bring it to a higher standard

With this in mind to be worthwhile exercise I'd suggest you would need to negotiate pretty hard on the price and you should be aiming to pay no more than £85k, with an exit in mind of selling at close to the £125,000 stamp duty threshold - this might sound a tall order but it may be that the vendors circumstances or those dealing with the estate) may wish for a quick sale and are prepared to sacrifice a little on price to achieve this 

If you'd like to discuss this, the Buy to Sell strategy or any aspect of property investment in Sunderland call me on 0191 567 8577 or email

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Vaux Site Update

The planing application submitted by Siglion for the Vaux Site can now be viewed online at the Sunderland City Council website

Click here to go to the site

The application is in line with expectations with consent being sought for a mixed use development of office, retail, leisure & food and drink use with outline consent also being sought for 201 residential units

Assuming consent is granted Siglion hope to begin the initial phase of building and infrastructure works in early summer 2016

There may be movement at long last!!!!!

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Top 10 Predictions For The Sunderland Property Market in 2016

Last night I took part in a webinar hosted by Paul Preston of the consistently excellent Progressive Property, outlining their predictions for the UK property market in the coming year. It was insightful and informative and a number of their predictions will apply to the Sunderland property market in 2016...

I'll outline each of the Top 10 Predictions in turn along with my interpretation of how they may apply to the Sunderland property market

1. Rents Will See A Notable Increase In 2016
Estimates vary for the actual rate of increase but most analysts suggest that the recent 'Landlord Bashing' stamp duty and mortgage interest relief changes by George Osborne will see the supply of rental properties reduce as some hobbyist or highly leveraged Landlords exit the market. Combine this with increasing tenant demand and simple economics suggests that this will cause an increase in rents

I can't fault the logic and it would be of some consolation to the Sunderland Landlords who do stick it out, as generally speaking most Sunderland rents have remained static since around 2007/8 with some rents (for flats and apartments in or around the City Centre for example) falling significantly

I still can't help feeling that just as Sunderland is expected to see lower house price growth than pretty much all other areas in the UK, any rent increases in the next 12 months will still be relatively modest

2. There Will Be No Significant Change In The Base Rate In 2016
The recent economic recovery, with many households now feeling that they are back to doing 'OK' has been based to some extent on the 0.5% base rate that has been enjoyed since March 2009.

Even a relatively modest 1% rise on a £120,000 mortgage will result in an extra £100 per month in mortgage payments and many commentators suggest that the Bank of England will be unwilling to risk the relatively fragile recovery in the short term

This means that 2016 may be a good time to fix your mortgage rates prior to an increase which many expect to come in 2017 or conversely to continue taking advantage of low variable rates in the short term for 'Flips' etc

3. January - March Will See A 'Mini Buying Frenzy' With A 'Mini Slowdown' from April
Whilst those planning for the long term shouldn't be put off by the 3% Stamp Duty that will be applied to Buy To Let purchases from April, it would clearly make sense for those investors in a position to buy quickly to do so before 1st April and avoid the tax

Looking at Sunderland compared to other parts of the UK I see this as having less of a negative impact in Sunderland as in the more expensive areas - for example I was discussing this with a Landlord yesterday who was asking about the impact it may have on a purchase of a £70,000 property she was considering

I worked out that it would only increase her purchase costs by £900 - the first £40,000 is 'free' and then the 3% Stamp Duty is only charged on the amount paid over this - look at this over a 10 year period and it's £90 a year or £7.50 per month

I can actually see areas like Sunderland benefiting from this with increased interest from investors looking to minimise the Stamp Duty paid on their investments - clearly some may look to avoid the tax altogether by buying properties for less than £40,000 but that will very much limit what/where they can buy and the calibre of tenants they can expect to attract, which leads nicely onto...

4. An Increased Focus On Working Tenants As Housing Benefit Is Squeezed Or Cut
It is anticipated that at best Housing Benefit rates will be frozen or at worst they could be cut in 2016

This will mean tenants will be forced to 'top up' a larger amount or run into arrears

Combine this with the additional pressures facing Landlords as a result of the phasing in of mortgage tax relief changes and it may be that Housing Benefit tenants become an increasingly less attractive option, especially where margins are tightest on single lets

5. Smart Investors Will Move More Towards HMO's For Significant Returns
Once again this may be driven by the 'Anti Landlord' measures hitting single let Landlords in the pocket however as many smart entrepreneurs see every challenge as creating an equal or greater opportunity, it may just need a change in approach or focus to generate significantly greater returns

There are still widespread negative perceptions about HMO's being exclusively for students or generally being of low quality and many feel that it won't work 'in their area' but experience suggests that if priced and presented right, this strategy, aimed at working tenants, will work in all but the most rural of locations

It's true that it still remains a relatively niche sector of the market in Sunderland but even a quick look on or the like will show that there is demand for this sort of accommodation and I would predict that it will become more popular with working tenants in Sunderland during 2016 and beyond  

6. More Use Of Ltd Company Structures To Buy Property and 7. More Lenders/Products Aimed at Ltd Companies & HMO's
It is widely accepted that buying a property using a Limited Company is an inexpensive (you can setup a Ltd Co online for £20) and simple way to avoid the changes to mortgage interest tax relief, however this was previously a less attractive option because of the limited choice of finance products available combined with the increased cost and relative inflexibility of such products

Lenders have a vested interest & a commitment to their shareholders to ensure that they do not lose out as a result of the changes to the BTL market which is expected to see significant numbers of less professional or more highly geared Landlords throwing in the towel (as per George Osborne's ultimate master plan of seeing the private rented sector controlled by a small number of institutions rather than thousands of individuals)

Such institutions will have seen many market changes and will have reacted accordingly to ensure the long term profitabilty of their business, and I see no reason why the changes being implemented in 2016 should be any different

To highlight this I read this week that Aldermore (traditionally a provider of bridging finance) is soon to launch a product aimed at Ltd Company Buy to Lets and it is anticipated other lenders may be forced to follow suit

This means that Sunderland Landlords looking to purchase property via a Ltd Co or switch from single lets to HMOs should have more choice in the finance options available to them

8. 'Buy to Sell' (Flips) Will Become More Popular As Single Let Margins Are Squeezed
I agree that many who face increasingly slim pickings from single lets may look to other ways to profit from property, and Flipping (buying a wreck or below market value property, improving the property then selling at a profit) is an established way of making short term profits

It tends to work best in buoyant, rising markets (as those Flipping benefit not only from the increase in value from the work they have done but the natural organic price increase during the time the work is undertaken) so traditionally I'd say Sunderland may be less naturally suited to this strategy than say the Southeast but as always there will be opportunities in any market and success will come in having a clear exit strategy in mind then selecting the right property type or area to make it work and/or buying at a significant discount

9. Development Projects Will Provide Excellent Opportunities For Savvy Investors
Whilst there is (justifiable) concern over the negative impact of the Stamp Duty and Mortgage Tax Relief changes on the BTL market, one positive is that the government has recently extended the permitted development of commercial property into residential use

Whilst quite a specialist field and one requiring more upfront investment than many strategies it should not be discounted as training/knowledge is widely available and finance may also be secured for the right opportunity, through traditional lenders or Joint Venture partnerships

I can see this happening in Sunderland next door to our office with unused office space currently being converted into studio apartments and predict this trend, along with the conversion of disused pubs, to continue throughout 2016 and beyond  

10. Creative Methods Will Continue To Be Used By Contrarian Investors
Whatever you may think about the forthcoming 'Landlord Bashing' measures, proactive investors will continue to profit from property through creative methods such as using Lease Options/Exchange With Delayed Completion, Joint Ventures/Private Finance, Bridging Finance etc

I was very impressed with the level of insight provided by the Progressive Property webinar and it certainly gives food for thought in what is likely to be a challenging year ahead - I'd strongly advise anyone who is serious about property investment to check them out as they have a wealth of knowledge & advice at their fingertips

If you would like to discuss how any of the points raised above may affect you or the Sunderland property market or to have a discussion about your property investment strategy for 2016 please feel free to give me a call on 0191 567 8577 or email

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

"Just Needs A Lick Of Paint" 3 Bedroom End Terrace (9.5% Gross Yield)

This 3 bedroom end terrace in Carley Hill looks to have had a modern kitchen fitted recently, with 3 bedrooms and 2 reception rooms so it will be popular with a range of working tenants

It does need a lick of paint throughout to neutralise the decoration but other than that looks to be a sound property investment

It will achieve around £475-£495pcm so based on the lower amount will return a very decent 9.5% Gross Yield based on paying the £59,950 asking price

It's being marketed by Peter Heron so click here for details and arrange to take a look through them

If you'd like more of my thoughts on this, or to discuss any aspect of property investment in Sunderland please call 0191 567 8577 or email

Monday, 4 January 2016

Two/Three Bedroom Redhouse Semi (8.3% Gross Yield)

This Two/Three Bedroom Semi could be worth a look as it offers the potential for a decent yield and all the signs are that the vendor looks motivated to sell quickly

I say Two/Three bedroom as looking at the internal pics the 3rd "bedroom" looks to be in the (non-Dormer) loft and would only suit a small child or vertically challenged adult

Even so, it may be worth a look - it's on at a cheap price and is being advertised by a Manchester based online agent who specialise in dealing with people who are looking to move quickly

With this in mind it's on at Offers Over £65,000 but I would suggest going in with a cheeky offer  of less than that 

Based on paying the £65k and working on a realistic £450pcm it will return 8.3% Gross Yield

It's being marketed by Springbok properties so click here for details but you'll probably be shown round by the vendor

Call me if you'd like to discuss this or any aspect of property investment in Sunderland - call 0191 567 8577 or email