Overseas property management 101: Finding the Right Property

Becoming a Landlord could be the Best Decision You would ever Make

Just ask James Chappell. He’s not only the co-founder of our company – and thus one-half of the reason behind City Docklands’ success, but also comfortably retired at the age of 42 (in fact, he started his retirement at 38). His secret? Knowing the ins and outs of the London property market, and putting that knowledge to good use.

Lucky for us, Chappell’s not keeping his secrets to himself. At City Docklands Limited, we want to help our buy-to-let (BTL) investors find the same success Chappell did.

It’s always the right time to invest in London

London is not only UK’s capital city; it’s also the financial capital of Europe. It’s where the multinational companies are, and where every business wants to be. With the jobs created by these businesses, come employees – working professionals and their families from all over the UK, and in fact, all over the world.

This constant influx of new residents keep demand and rental prices high, and void periods low. London has always had a healthy real estate market, with home prices seeing a rise of close to 80% in the last decade. The city’s housing market almost always sees growth a few percentage points higher than the national average.

No matter the external factors that may come into play, whether they are economic downturns or Brexit, there are advantages that come from being a capital city that can never be taken away. The connectivity, infrastructure, and sheer choice available in London can never be matched by any UK city, no matter how up-and-coming they may claim to be.

Finding the right property

They may all be located within the boundaries of the same city, but the various neighbourhoods of London are far from homogeneous. As a buy-to-let investor, the choice of location boils down to your budget and the type of tenants you are looking to attract.

Canary Wharf, London

If you have a bigger budget, Canary Wharf, London’s glittering CBD, may be the neighbourhood for you. Here, your targets are likely to be high-flying executives and successful professionals, as well as corporate tenancies. For the more culturally-inclined investor, the call of South Bank would be hard to resist, and your buy-to-let property would soon be home to creative professionals and a younger, trendier crowd.

Kensington, with its proximity to Hyde Park and many of London’s most prominent museums, is the perfect neighbourhood for those looking for a more family-friendly location.

Once you’ve narrowed down your preferred neighbourhood, it’s time to look at specific properties and do the maths. Rental yield should be the utmost priority for every BTL investor and an accurate calculation of yield should take into account not just the purchase price of the property, but also management fees for the building, as well as maintenance and furnishing costs.

At first glance, bigger properties may seem like a tempting choice, as they would give you more overall monthly rent, but the purchase price difference between a smaller and bigger property may not translate into proportionate increases in monthly rent, which means you could be better off with a smaller property than a larger one.

You should also factor in legislative restrictions that may be specific to different property types, such as the energy performance certificate for older homes. Older residences cannot be let unless they meet energy efficiency requirements. Fixing up old electrical wiring would, of course, add to costs and decrease yield.

Whatever your budget and preferences, City Docklands Limited aims to provide the most impartial and professional advice to help you achieve your investment goals. With more than 400 properties in our portfolio and our extensive understanding of the market in London, we’ll definitely find you the right property at the right price.

Article contributed by City Docklands Limited.

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