30 May

2 bedroom in vibrant City Centre

This two bedroom apartment in one of the busiest areas of the city centre, Concert Square looks like a great investment buy! It’s seconds away from Bold Street, my favorite road in Liverpool City Centre and in the middle of restaurants, bars and popular nightlife venues. The apartment would be suited to somebody who works in the city and likes to let their hair down every now and then! Click here for the details.

Apartments in the city are in demand so although this apartment is above a bar, you would expect to secure a tenant pretty quickly with an expected rent of £675PCM. Based on asking price, that’s over 6% yield but if you negotiate to £120,000 – it’s much closer to 7% yield making this an attractive buy. There has been a lot of investment in this area over the last few years to improve the overall appearance, now it’s a very appealing area.

You may have heard of AirBnB before but for any readers who haven’t.. AirBnB is a website where homeowners/ landlords can let there properties on short or long term basis. Most properties require just 1 night minimum stay. It’s perfect for people travelling around the UK who want a genuine living experience rather than staying in a hotel and is becoming increasingly popular. You can find apartments in Liverpool from £30 per night and as high as £500+  per night with higher rates at weekends. A standard AST would get you £22.50 per night so there is potentially a big difference! Of course, you’re not guaranteed to have 100% occupancy and you would be responsible for utilities and council tax. Click here to see an example of a two bedroom apartment costing £160 per night; if you let for just 5 nights a month, you would achieve a higher income than the standard AST… just something to think about.

 

As always, comments, questions and feedback are more than welcome.

27 May

9,027 Liverpool Properties lie empty– An injustice for the 14,357 people on the Liverpool Council House Waiting List?

 

9,027 Liverpool Properties lie empty – An injustice for the 14,357 people on the Liverpool

Easy problems should have easy solutions  – shouldn’t they?

Problems like Liverpool’s housing crisis, where we have a rudimentary numerical problem of too few homes for too many people … the answer is clearly to build more property in Liverpool – but that, unfortunately for those desperately seeking to purchase or let a property, takes a lot of time and huge amounts of money. So what of other solutions?

Whilst at a dinner with friends recently, the subject of property was mentioned (as I am sure it does at most dinner parties up and down the country). Normally someone always mentions empty properties as the solution to the problem. On the face of it, it seems so obvious. Now quite interestingly, I had recently done some research on this topic, which I want to share with you (as I did with those at the dinner table).

The most recent set of figures from 2015 state there are 9,027 empty homes in the Liverpool City Council area. So it begs the question … why not put them back onto the system and help ease the Liverpool housing crisis? Whilst they stand empty, 14,357 Liverpool households (not people – households) are on the Council House Waiting List for council houses. Surely, we can undoubtedly all agree that property left empty for years and years isn’t morally right with the burgeoning Council House Waiting List, not to also mention the issue of homelessness.

But a different story emerges when you look deeper into the numbers. Of those 9,027 homes lying empty, only 3,285 properties were empty for more than six months. The local authority has to report a property being empty, even if its for a week. So many of the Liverpool properties are either awaiting new homeowners or, in the case of rental properties, new tenants. Also most certainly, some properties are being refurbished and renovated, while others properties have homeowners who are anxious to sell but cannot find a buyer.

And this is where its gets even more interesting. Of the 3,285 long-term vacant properties (those empty more than six months), 981 belong to the council. However, before we all go Council-bashing, anecdotal evidence suggests these empty council houses are habitually in need of so much restoration that it’s not worth the Council’s while to do and are in the roughest parts of the council estates, they are properties that even the Council find difficult to fill.

The fact is that the number of genuinely long term empty properties is only a tiny drop in the ocean of the 206,515 properties in the area covered by Liverpool City Council and, even if every one of those empty homes were filled with happy cheerful tenants tomorrow, it would only meet a small fraction of Liverpool housing needs.

So what does this mean for all the homeowners and landlords of Liverpool? Well it means with demand being so high, especially for rental properties, the certainty of the rental market growing is an inevitability because young people cannot buy and councils don’t have the money to build new council houses. This in turn bolsters property prices as landlords continue to buy at the lower end of the market (starter homes, etc), which in turn sustains the rest of the market as those sellers move up the property ladder, releasing others in turn to buy on again.

These are interesting times in the Liverpool property market!

23 May

Colonel Drive, Liverpool, L12 – 8.4% Gross Yield

Colonel Drive, West Derby - Apartments

I’ve come across this great two bedroom ground floor apartment on the sought after development of The Point in West Derby for only £75,000.

These properties were originally sold of upwards of £130,000 but prices have dropped as several properties were repossessed when the credit crunch hit. Unfortunately there still continues to be properties repossessed over the years and this property is also a repossession. I’ve got great experience of these properties and I know that they will rent out to good quality tenants no problem for around £6,300 per annum.

The service charge is a reasonable £684 per annum and the development is still looking in great condition as it is well looked after. I have had an apartment valued by the bank when I was re-mortgaging over 2 years ago for £80,000 so I would like to believe that on the open market these properties would be worth at least £85,000.

I feel that this would make a good safe investment as it will show good signs of capital growth as well as generating a net yield of around 7.5%.

The property is currently up with Reeds Rains and I’m sure they will have plenty of interest in this property due to the price it is on offer. Click here to view the property!!

As always, I welcome your comments and thoughts regarding the blog and the properties that I showcase.

 

20 May

£2,900 boost to Liverpool First time buyers

£2,900 boost to Liverpool First time buyers

There’s a whole legion of wannabe Liverpool first-time buyers keen to get on the property ladder and they now have a 3% price advantage over the previously quicker responding army of Liverpool landlords with cash at the ready. Since the start of April, buy to let landlords have had to pay an additional 3% stamp duty so whilst demand from some Liverpool buy to let landlords has dropped away, in the interim, it offers Liverpool first time buyers (FTB’s) a chance to fill the vacuum with less competition from cash rich landlords (over two thirds of BTL properties were purchased without a mortgage in the last 7 years) who could bid more and complete quicker.

Looking at the average value of a terraced house in Liverpool currently standing at £98,300, that means if our Liverpool FTB went up against a Liverpool landlord, the landlord would have to pay an additional £2,949 in stamp duty. Early antidotal evidence from fellow property professionals in the city is suggesting landlords are reducing their offers slightly on Liverpool properties to reflect the extra stamp duty.

Whilst on the face of it, it appears landlords are being punished by No.11 Downing Street, I actually believe this increase in stamp duty for landlords is a good thing for the Liverpool property market as a whole.

Since 2011/12, the Liverpool property market has performed very well indeed. Over the last 12 months, £1,069,557,265 has been spent buying 6,931 Liverpool properties.  Figures from the Land Registry have just been released and month on month in our council area, property values are 1.7% lower, yet 3% higher year on year. These figures are nowhere near the heady days of 2004 (April to be exact), when Liverpool property prices rose by 43.1% in 12 months.

So as property values in Liverpool (and the UK as whole) start to stabilise and come back to some kind of balance, I am beginning to see savvy landlords view the Liverpool property market in a different light. Even with the Spring rush, gone are the days where you could make limitless money on anything that had a door, a few windows and roof. This stamp duty change has made more and more landlords, after reading the Liverpool Property Market Blog www.liverpoolpropertyblog.com take advice on what or not to buy and what to pay, meaning Liverpool landlords are being more calculated with their Liverpool BTL purchases. I am also seeing a variance between relatively brisk current price momentum and softer expectations in terms of property value growth in Liverpool, this in part reflects amplified uncertainty about the short term economic outlook (eg Brexit, Issues in the Far East etc).

Now I know a lot of Liverpool landlords brought forward their BTL purchases to beat the stamp duty deadline. However, it is probable that hunger from Liverpool investors will return for the right Liverpool property later in the year, especially if it’s at the right price and offers a decent yield. However, in the meantime, Liverpool FTB’s could and should, in the short term, make hay whilst the sun shines plug the gap and grab a bargain!