Saturday, 22 November 2014

Sherwood – the place to buy a buy to let?

One of the final chunks of census data has recently been released by the Government, and for those of you who like to look at RTW housing market, it is a treasure trove of information. Information is so important when making decisions on what (or not) to buy when investing in property. A few weeks ago, I was discussing the roads around Rustall and Showfield’s Road. Today, I want to look at the area around the Sherwood area on the North Eastern edge of Royal Tunbridge Wells. The census data allows anyone to look at the data for housing estates or areas, but even better down to individual roads. Such information allows us to weigh up potential hotspots in the rental market and show potential landlords where there could be an opportunity.

There are, in the Sherwood area of Royal Tunbridge Wells, 7,249 people living in 3,001 properties. It is the home ownership percentages that really got me interested, as it is this information, tied in with our intimate knowledge of the market, where we can match tenant demand to an under supply of rental properties.  Of those 3,001 households in Sherwood, 23.4% own their property without a mortgage (compared to the 32% Royal Tunbridge Wells average) and additional 29% households own their property with a mortgage (again the Royal Tunbridge Wells average is only slightly higher at 33.7% and that includes all the posh villages!).

However, the thing that surprised me was the low level of private rented property. Normally, when you have low percentages of home ownership, the renting is high. However, this is quite the opposite in the Sherwood area where 8.2% (or be exact 245 households) are in the private rented sector (compared with the Royal Tunbridge Wells average of 15.7%). The reason being is that the Sherwood area has a high proportion of social housing, in fact 36.7% or 1,101 households are under social housing ownership and as a large proportion of the existing home owners bought their properties from the Council it does not give much room for the private rented sector in Sherwood. With such excellent demand from homeowners and tenants, this could be the right area to purchase your next buy to let investment, as average yields in the Sherwood area are in the region of 5%-6% and Sherwood’s values mostly performed well over the medium to long term.

Therefore, if you are considering buying a property for investment in the near future, I am always happy to give you my considered opinion on which property to buy (or not as the case may be) to give you what you want from your investment. If you are a landlord, new or old, we’re certainly more than happy for you to pop in and see us at our office's on Vale Road for a chat or email me direct on

Friday, 14 November 2014

What type of property in Royal Tunbridge Wells sells the best?

Knowing how saleable a property is half the battle when deciding what (or not) to buy for your next property investment. Why?  Well because one day, you may need to sell that property. If you go into the purchase with open eyes, you know most of the risks and can barter the price accordingly if you have to. Bearing this in mind, last week, a couple from East Peckham popped into our offices to ask about investing in property. Their concern was if we have another property slump (and we will because that is what has happened to the British property market ever since the 1950’s), if they did need to sell, what type of property would be easier to sell. Now everything sells, even during a slump, but I did some research and followed up their query – I was actually quite surprised with the results.
A good guide to judge the saleability of property is the number of properties for sale, compared to the numbers that are sold, subject to contract. Now I carried out this comparison last week, so the numbers will be marginally different today, but of the 30,606 households in Royal Tunbridge Wells there are 1,046 properties on the market for sale. Of those 1,046 properties, 494 properties are fully available on the open market waiting for a buyer and 552 have buyers and are sold subject to contract. That means 52.7% of property on the market has a buyer in Royal Tunbridge Wells (in Tonbridge only 49.1% properties on the market have a buyer and SevenOak’s properties have 51.1%).
However, delve deeper, and in Royal Tunbridge Wells today, 54.7% of flats on the market have a buyer and great news for terraced house property owners, as 60.7% have buyers.  Semi detached houses fair even better, with 121 of the 195 on the market now having buyers (making 62%). The properties that appear to be sticking though are bungalows at a comparatively lower 47.3% and detached houses at 41.3%. 
I am always giving advice to my existing and new landlords in Royal Tunbridge Wells on what to buy (or not as the case may be).  Having this detail of information at my finger tips, allows me to spot trends in the local market, which then enables to me to give the very best advice to my clients. I don't charge for that advice as I have plenty of opportunity to earn money by finding the best tenants for my landlords in the years to come on the investments I have advised on. 

Monday, 10 November 2014

Ashenden Walk, Tunbridge Wells - Buy to let deal of the week

I am so liking this lovely 2 bed semi on the market with Andrews for £250,000 .. lets well, sells well, half decent yield. On this street they have risen in value by nearly 20% in 2 years.

Dont hang about .. nice inside ..look at the pictures (via the Zoopla link)

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Showfields property market outperforms Rustall by 42%

I was talking to a couple last week, who are considering becoming landlords for the first time after they had come into some money knowing the return they would get investing in the Bank. They have lived in Royal Tunbridge Wells all of their lives and wanted to buy something in a street or area that they know well.  They were looking for advice upon what they should buy.

Their budget was in the £200,00 region, so I initially looked at terraced houses in Rustall. The average value of a two bed property in the Rustall area is £201,600 (although the price range is quite wide and they can go as low as £180,000 bringing them just into our price range but as high £230,000).  The two beds rent on average for £853 per month, giving us an average yield of 5.07%. 

Then in true “Escape to the Country” tv style I showed them a “mystery property” which was a one bedroomed flat in the Hunter’s Court development on Showfields Road on the Southern edge of Royal Tunbridge Wells.  Built in the 1960’s with looks that only a mother could love these one bedroom apartments sell well and let well achieving £595 per month rental and selling for on average £98,700 giving a yield of 7.23% a year. The yield on Showfields is proportionally 42.6% more than Rustall’s and at this price they could buy two and achieve a gross rent in the region of £1,200 per month.

However, to judge a rental investment, you must consider the capital growth as well as the yield. Since 2001, the average Showfields flat has risen by 50.1%, whilst terraced houses in Rustall have risen by 174% - quite a difference. Ultimately, we found both places to be a good investment depending on your own situation, but as you can see, Showfields Road/Hunter’s Court does offer better yields, but at the expense of capital growth which Rustall’s terraced houses  offers.  

If you are a landlord, new or old, we’re certainly more than happy for you to pop in and see us at our offices on Vale Road for a chat or email me direct on