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Monday 28 April 2014

How Southampton buy to let has out performed most other investments

Found this interesting article ....

Buy-to-let investments have outperformed all mainstream investments over the past 18 years, with annual returns of more than 16pc, according to a study.
Former economist Rob Thomas investigated how much £1,000 would be worth now if it was invested in various asset classes in the final three months of 1996 – the year buy-to-let mortgages were first introduced.
He said every £1,000 invested in an average buy-to-let property bought with a 75pc loan-to-value mortgage was worth £13,048 in the final quarter of 2013, a compound annual return of 16.3pc.
These bumper returns were largely due to the mortgage, which “magnified” investors’ buying power in a process known as leverage.
A cash purchaser would have seen each £1,000 invested grow to £4,791 by the end of 2013 – a compound annual return of 9.7pc.

Thursday 24 April 2014


Tidy one bedroom flat in the top floor of a converted house, it benefits from a garden and off street parking. Internally it offers a lounge/diner, double bedroom, fitted kitchen and fitted bathroom. It also has the benefit of a loft space, its own private front door and entrance hall. Just over half a mile to the train station and Southampton City Centre, it is also well positioned to service the General Hospital and Solent University. It will let easily at £525 pcm yielding 6.6% Gross. Nice first buy or add on to an existing portfolio!

Thursday 17 April 2014


The Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR)  has revised upwards its forecast for residential property price growth in the UK in the next five years from 27% to 30.8%. The OPR anticipates 8.6% growth in 2014 / 2015; 7.4% in 2015 / 2016; 4.3% in 2016 / 2017 and 3.75% for each of the following two years.
So will Southampton property prices out perform or under perform this prediction. Well its a brave man who can predict the future, in Southampton we are certainly seeing increased demand for housing which has led to an increase in prices and the various Government backed schemes have certainly kick started the market. However levels of supply, interest rates, wage growth and the general economic recovery will also have an impact on price growth. And don't forget that certain property types and locations will also outperform the market. So if you need more detail on the numbers drop in for a chat or give me a call.

Friday 11 April 2014

Southampton 2 bed with tenant insitu yielding 6.5%

Really nice 2 bed flat for sale at £115k producing £625 pcm located in the St Mary's district close to the City Centre and all amenities including The Saints Home ground.

Thursday 10 April 2014

Attention Southampton Investors 6.7% Yield

The top floor 1 bed unit has just come on the market at a tempting price of £100,000. It is located close to Southampton Uni and the ever popular Portswood area. In need of a refresh put with the benefit of allocated car parking. Allowing £7000 for the refresh it will rent at £595 pcm and hence the attractive yield. It wont be around for long!!

Is the Southampton Student Letting Market sitting on a timebomb!!

The student letting market in Southampton has always in the past been buoyant, with 40,000 students annually descending into Southampton to begin and continue their student life. Student letting has always been seen as somewhat high risk but with high rewards - your unit may get trashed but the rents and yields are good.
 Within Southampton city there are 7,000 houses in multiple occupation (HMO), numerous studios, 1 and 2 bed flats and an ever increasing number of purpose built student accommodation blocks. However we have seen, over the last couple of years, a growing number of student houses which have struggled to let.  Marketing of the student houses now begins much earlier – November 1st as opposed to January 1st in most other cities – and some Landlords are now offering discounts on the rent to secure a quick let.
So, where is the problem?  Well, student numbers dipped slightly when student fees rose to £9000 p.a. but, more importantly, the mix also changed whereby more overseas students were attending the universities.   These students were not willing to rent the traditional student houses preferring instead modern apartments or purpose built halls of residence on campus than that of woodchipped wallpapered 5 bed Victorian houses with one shared bathroom and draughty single glazed windows.  This is a trend that has continued over the last number of years and all students are now looking for a better quality student house.
Today’s students have a higher expectation of the quality they demand in their student accommodation. They expect their properties to be well looked after and maintained, with good d├ęcor and furnishings that are not old and worn and even wi-fi and televisions provided.  Students will not pay £85 per person per week for a draughty old house, with mix and ‘not match’ second hand furniture that has come from a clearance sale, threadbare carpets and the famous wood chip wall paper. Good student landlords in Southampton have recognised this and have invested in upgrading their stock and are achieving good rents with no voids – happy tenants equals happy landlords!
Come the summer, there will be student properties that haven’t let. At present there are still hundreds of student houses available to let, so as a Landlord of an unlet student house what are your options?
Well, before we look at the options, we need to be aware of the regulations and legislation specifically where the council imposed their Article 4 legislation a few years back, which means it is extremely difficult to get permission for a student houses in the majority of the city - not a bad thing given the overcapacity and the additional licencing requirement of small HMOs.
This is where the issue of Article 4 will kick in and potentially hurt the student landlord population. Landlords with an existing student property will be very reluctant to rent to a family if they are unable to get a student let as it will mean they will lose their HMO status as they will have changed the planning use on the property from C4 to C3 and Article 4 does not allow you to switch back without a fresh planning application if they want to put students into the property in the next academic year.
One option is to drastically reduce your asking rent to the £70’s, even £60’s per person per week, making your Southampton student let the bargain of the week for cost-conscious students. Or you could consider throwing some extras, like free Sky Sports or Wi-Fi or even a cleaner?
However, you will always be chasing your rent downwards over the coming years, as more and more purpose built modern halls of residences get built. If you are in the student rental game for the long term, one option would be to let the property go empty (this doesn't affect the HMO status) this coming Summer, spend time re-decorating and putting in new flooring and take your trailer down to IKEA on West Quay Road to make it show house style and take some fabulous internal pictures (for future marketing). In September relaunch the property back to the market targeting post-grad students or professional shares. It will go in days and at a full rent of between £90 and £100 per person per week. Don’t forget to incentivise your new tenants to keep the property ship shape when undergrads start looking in November for the next academic years. Again, if its top drawer, it will go quickly and at full price.
Every landlord and every property is different, but if you are a Southampton landlord with student property that hasn't let, now is the time to talk to the Letting Specialist Belvoir and consider the options that suit you and your property best. So feel free to pop into our offices on London Road in Southampton or email me at  for more information.

This article was published in the Daily Echo on the 9th April 2014

Tuesday 8 April 2014

Southampton Landlords please beware - Mystery of the missing £50,000 after letting agent closes

Landlords in Ipswich have lost out on an estimated £50,000 after a letting agent shut up shop.

What a horror story in Ipswich, make sure it doesn't happen to you!

The Property Ombudsman has estimated that about 40% of all Letting Agents have not subscribed to a redress system and can be classed as unsafe. Check your existing agent NOW.  A Safe Agent is an agent who subscribed to a redress system such as the Property Ombudsman, has client money protection, Professional indemnity cover, Landlord client accounts and is a member of an accredited letting body such as NALS or ARLA. I am pleased to say Belvoir |Lettings Southampton complies with all on the above, your in safe hands with Belvoir.

Friday 4 April 2014

Southampton HMO Landlords

Leicester landlords prosecuted over unlicensed student HMO


Friday 4th April 2014
Two men responsible for an unlicensed multiple-occupancy house have been prosecuted by Leicester magistrates.

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Copper stolen from rented property

Southampton Landlords Beware ......Rented flat stripped of copper piping by career burglar tenant who tried to sell it to a scrap dealer for £1,000. It pays to get your tenant fully referrenced!!

SOUTHAMPTON BUY TO LET DEAL OF THE WEEK - close to St Mary's Stadium for all you Saints Fans....

This is a great opportunity to purchase a 2 bed mid terrace house in Northam, Southampton SO14. The property extends to 95 m2 and comprises a good sized living room, separate dining room, kitchen and two good sized bedrooms. The property is ideally located being close to the city centre, St Mary's football Stadium, shopping on Onslow Rd and nearby Portswood. The property would benefit from redecoration and some modernisation but there maybe some wriggle room in the price to factor this in. Rental wise it will let at £750 pcm which will produce a Gross Yield of 6.4%, we are very confident of this as last week we moved tenants into a two bed across the road!

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Southampton landlords and cannabis

Southampton landlord convicted for 

cannabis factory letting


Tuesday 1st April 2014    

A Southampton landlord who turned a blind eye to cannabis being grown in a flat he rented out has escaped jail.