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Is investing in property a magic trick?


Letting agent Douglas Harvey, of Harvey & Co, has some advice about getting into the buy-to-let market.


From 2005 to 2008, it used to amaze me when investors told me they had been offered a property from a builder at 30 per cent less than market price… and that they would get a certain level of rental income.


While I am not an expert on sales prices, it was clear the


builder was getting exactly the price they wanted.


As a letting agent, it was also clear the high rental valuation was plucked from Paul Daniel’s hat and the real level of return would fall well short.


The situation was made worse with the credit crunch when property prices plummeted and lenders took fright. The buy-to-let market collapsed. However, Council for Mortgage Lenders figures show buy-to- let lending is up 10 per cent on 2011. As property prices are low


and rentals buoyant, buy-to-let is starting to look like an attractive alternative to stock market variances and low interest rates for some investors. Potential landlords need to give the move great thought as there’s more to it than property price and average rents – for example how much will maintenance cost and will the property will be occupied year-round?


Here are some guidelines for considering acquiring buy-to-let:


■ Obtain an accurate rental figure from a letting agent.


■ Think of the purchase as a medium to long-term investment.


■ Look at the edge of very fashionable areas as prices may be lower.


■ Choose an area where the people want to live.


■ Look at how much the property will cost to run, eg. Flats with lifts have higher costs.


■ Make the property attractive. ■ Speak to a reputable letting agent for advice on the local market.


West End Life Magazine


www.westendlife.biz | 13


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