Posts with tag: London landlords

10 First Time Buyer Hotspots in London that make Great Investments

Published On: March 14, 2017 at 10:56 am


Categories: Landlord News

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Wherever first time buyers are heading, that’s usually where landlords can secure a great investment opportunity. As such, London estate agent Portico has highlighted ten first time buyer hotspots where landlords can receive high tenant demand and strong yields:

  1. Walthamstow

Walthamstow is a vibrant and thriving postcode that is rapidly redeveloping. Fashionable cafes and independent shops are popping up constantly, and first time buyers are flocking to this part of Zone 3, conveniently located at the end of the Victoria Line.

Property here is excellent value for money, with the average flat costing around £300,000.

  1. Peckham

The fictional home of Del Boy and Rodney Trotter is now a hipster paradise, with rooftop bars on top of multi-storey car parks, anti-chain restaurants and affordable properties.

The average price of a one-bedroom property stands at a reasonable £350,000, although you could secure an ex-council home for around the £250,000 mark.

  1. Finsbury Park

With house prices in London at an all-time high, a lot of first time buyers are turning away from the more expensive parts of the capital – like central Islington – in favour of cheaper yet well connected postcodes, like Finsbury Park. It’s just a couple of stops from King’s Cross, so it’s ideal for commuters.

In fact, there are many good value pockets of north London that are attractive to buyers and tenants, such as Holloway, Caledonian Road and Stoke Newington.

  1. 10 First Time Buyer Hotspots in London that make Great Investments

    10 First Time Buyer Hotspots in London that make Great Investments


Average house prices in the Battersea area are high compared to other parts of the capital; it’ll set you back around £485,000 for a one-bedroom property. But that doesn’t stop Wandsworth in Battersea being an extremely desirable place to call home.

The average age of a first time buyer in London is edging closer to 40, and that fits the demographic of this area – young professionals in their 30s looking for two-bedroom properties, great schools, a middle class feel, open space and fantastic amenities.

  1. Bethnal Green 

Huge numbers of buyers are heading to Bethnal Green in search of warehouse conversions, quirky properties and a young, trendy vibe.

This east London location is also already popular with landlords, as rental yields are high (around 5.3% near Bethnal Green station) and demand from tenants is strong.

  1. Acton/Ealing 

Crossrail will soon be launching in Acton, making it an excellent choice for young first time buyers and tenants who work in the City or West End.

As well as an imminent transport upgrade, the W3 postcode offers period property and a quaint village feel – perfect for those thinking of starting a family. There is also a string of healthy brunch spots, bakeries and traditional pubs to enjoy on the lively Churchfield Road.

  1. Stoke Newington

Stokey, as it is affectionately called by locals, has come on leaps and bounds in terms of regeneration over the last five years, with a large number of new apartments popping up to accommodate growing demand.

First time buyers are attracted to the Victorian property stock, the arty, creative vibe and the village feel. There’s a farmer’s market on the high street at the weekend, and shops are brimming with indie labels and vintage finds.

  1. Leytonstone 

If you’re looking for a fantastic investment, Leytonstone will not disappoint.

Still revelling from the Olympic effect, Portico expects house prices in affordable Leyton to continue rising this year, so your property investment could get a big boost from both cosmetic renovation and capital growth.

  1. Tottenham

Crossrail has powered Tottenham’s popularity and regeneration, transforming the area into an up-and-coming hotspot.

And with journey times of just 15 minutes into central London, the area is slowly becoming a firm favourite with those looking for value and space for their money.

  1. Ilford

Ilford is one of the best value areas in London and, although house prices have been rising since the announcement of Crossrail, the average price of a two-bedroom property is still an extremely reasonable £280,000.

Better still, buyers looking at this part of east London can jump straight into a house rather than a flat – this will also appeal to tenants, making it a great investment hotspot.

Are you looking at any of these areas for your next buy-to-let property?

What the Spring Budget Means for the London Property Sector

Published On: March 10, 2017 at 11:10 am


Categories: Finance News

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Earlier this week, Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his first and last Spring Budget. While many were disappointed with the announcement, it may affect the London property sector.

If you’re a London landlord, homeowner, tenant or prospective first time buyer, Portico London estate agent has summarised how the Spring Budget will affect you:


Landlords across the country will be delighted that they have not been dealt any new blows in the Spring Budget. But, unfortunately, the Chancellor did not reverse the additional Stamp Duty charge or the mortgage interest tax relief changes set to come into force next month.

Currently, landlords are able to deduct all of their mortgage interest, and other finance costs, from their rental income before they calculate their tax bill. But, as of 6th April, tax relief will be cut to 75%, and will be gradually reduced until it is replaced with a flat 20% rate in 2020.

If you have a large buy-to-let mortgage, it’s vital that you meet with an accountant to talk through the changes and make sure you’ve accounted for them. If you don’t have a mortgage or you’re a lower rate taxpayer, it’s good news – you will not be affected by the changes.

The tax changes are certainly a hit for buy-to-let landlords, but investment in the London property sector can still be extremely profitable in 2017 if you invest smartly and make the most of record-low interest rates.

However, Hammond did offer a goodwill gesture, announcing that the amount you can earn in profit before tax is payable will rise from £11,000 to £11,500 from 6th April, then to £12,500 by 2020.

Limited companies 

As a result of the forthcoming tax relief changes, a large number of landlords have set up, or considered setting up, a limited company to pay less tax. This is because, unlike individuals, limited companies can still benefit from the full mortgage interest deduction mentioned above.

But the Chancellor has clearly suggested that he doesn’t want landlords to form limited companies to dodge the tax change, announcing in the Spring Budget that the tax-free dividend allowance for company directors will be cut from £5,000 to £2,000 from April 2018. The dividend allowance cut will cost basic rate taxpayers £225, higher rate taxpayers £975 and additional rate taxpayers £1,143.

What the Spring Budget Means for the London Property Sector

What the Spring Budget Means for the London Property Sector

Self-employed individuals

Hammond also made it clear that he’s determined to make the tax system more equal for employed people, company directors and self-employed individuals, announcing a 1% increase in Class 4 National Insurance contributions from April 2018, and a further 1% rise from April 2019.

Furthermore, he plans to announce more changes to “reduce the gap to better reflect the differences in state benefits”. Portico advises you think very carefully if you’re planning on setting up a limited company, as it may not be the best move.

First time buyers

The Office for Budget Responsibility released its predictions for house price growth alongside the Spring Budget, claiming that house price growth will drop by almost half by 2019. According to its forecast, house price growth will fall from an annual rate of 7.6% in 2016 to just 4% in 2018. In 2019, growth will edge upwards to 4.4%, before increasing to 4.6% in 2021, it states.

The Regional Sales Director of Portico, Mark Lawrinson, comments: “We’ve already seen the start of this in prime central London, with the first year-on-year price drop since the crash in ‘98. It’s likely this will have a ripple effect across London in the coming years, and price growth will start to slow.

“But as the Office for Budget Responsibility has predicted, price growth will not slow for long, as this is primarily due to a chronic lack of supply; money is as cheap as it can be to borrow at the moment, so if you are hoping to get on the property ladder in London, this may be the perfect opportunity to grab a good deal and enjoy the security of owning a home.”

He adds: “Unfortunately, nobody can predict the future, so if you’re in a position to buy today, then don’t hesitate; remember you’re buying a home first and an investment second.”


Unfortunately, Hammond did not announce any new savings initiatives. However, he did confirm the promised National Savings and Investments three-year bond (which he spoke of in the Autumn Statement last year), detailing that, as of April this year, the account will pay a fixed rate of 2.2% on deposits of up to £3,000.

Experts in the savings sector have slammed the initiative, claiming that savers would earn just “£6 a year more than they could get on the open market” – Anna Bowes, the Director of independent savings advice site

Thankfully, there are already lots of initiatives available for those hoping to buy their own homes:

  • The Lifetime ISA will launch on 6th April. For every £1 you save into the account, the Government will contribute another 25p, and it’s all tax-free. The annual contribution limit is £4,000, which puts the maximum Government bonus at £1,000 per year.
  • The Help to Buy ISA includes a Government bonus of 25%. So, for every £200 you save, you’ll receive a Government bonus of £50. The maximum Government bonus you can receive is £3,000.
  • Help to Save, which is set to launch in April 2018, will give lower income savers who can save £50 a month a tax-free bonus of up to £1,200.


Tenants in London were waiting patiently for news on when the Government’s letting agent fee ban will come into force. However, Hammond failed to mention the ban in his Budget. Although we do not have an exact date, a consultation is expected to take place this spring.

In conclusion, not much will change for those in the London property sector as a result of the Spring Budget announcement.

Prime London Rents to Remain Stable Until 2018

Published On: March 8, 2017 at 9:53 am


Categories: Property News

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Prime London rents are expected to remain stable until 2018, following a drop in values during the fourth quarter (Q4) of last year, according to JLL.

Prime London Rents to Remain Stable Until 2018

Prime London Rents to Remain Stable Until 2018

The firm’s latest prime central London report shows that rent prices fell by 3.1% in Q4 2016, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of decline, which left prime London rents 8.6% lower during the course of 2016.

The 3.1% decrease in the final quarter was greater than the 1.9% and 2.3% drops recorded in Q2 and Q3 respectively. But, importantly, JLL does not expect the trend to continue.

The company expects prime London rents to remain stable over 2017, before rising again from 2018 onwards, due in part to higher underlying consumer price inflation.

The Head of Agency at JLL, Lucy Morton, says: “Demand and activity remained robust during the second half of 2016. Importantly, the imbalance between supply and demand was corrected by the end of the year, with much of the excess stock soaked up.

“There continues to be strong demand for apartments in new developments, as tenants buy into the lifestyle of concierge, gyms, business facilities and smart living, with easy access to the City.”

She continues: “Overall, fewer overseas families moved to London with companies in 2016 compared with previous years, as organisations preferred to house their senior directors in high-end one and two-bedroom apartments to use more as a pied-à-terre, while leaving their families at home.

“There was another year-on-year increase in demand from high net worth international students last year, and we anticipate this will increase again during 2017.”

With prime London rents plummeting, landlords should be looking to more lucrative hotspots for their future property investments. Finance expert Paul Mahoney, of Nova Financial, believes that buy-to-let can still be a profitable investment option if landlords choose major UK cities, excluding London: /buy-let-still-profitable-major-uk-cities/

Are thousands of London lets defying licensing rules?

Published On: March 3, 2017 at 10:47 am


Categories: Landlord News

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An advice website has claimed that more than half of privately rented properties in a selective licensing region imposed by a council in London do not have the appropriate licence.

This alarming claims comes over four months after the scheme came into force.

Licensing issues

Research by London Property Licensing has uncovered the issue in Tower Hamlets.

On the first of October last year the council brought in the scheme for three wards in the west of the borough. This regime corresponds to all private homes in the boundaries whether they are houses or flats let to an individual, family or are in multiple occupation.

The application fee for a licence is £520 to £660 per property. In common with similar schemes across Britain, until an application is submitted, the landlord and/or letting agent are committing an offence if they let out a property in the selective region. This covers around 6,000 private rental units.

Responding to a Freedom of Information request, Tower Hamlets council told the website that as of last month, just 2,100 applications have been received by the council. 1,000 have already been approved.

Are thousands of London lets defying licensing rules?

Are thousands of London lets defying licensing rules?


London Property Licensing said: ‘Based in the council’s own estimates, there could be around 3,900 private rented homes in the west of the borough where no selective licence application has yet been submitted-accounting for almost two thirds of all private rented homes in the area’[1]

The website also says that there are now 23 different property licensing schemes operating in the capital.

Richard Tacagni, Managing Director of London Property Licensing, said: ‘The myriad of schemes operating across London is becoming a major headache for landlords and letting agents as they struggle to understand what rules apply where.’[1]



Fewer Tenants Recorded per Rental Property in Key London Zones

Published On: February 28, 2017 at 9:26 am


Categories: Property News

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Fewer tenants have been recorded on average per rental property in key London zones, according to letting agent Foxtons.

Fewer Tenants Recorded per Rental Property in Key London Zones

Fewer Tenants Recorded per Rental Property in Key London Zones

The agent’s London Lettings Report, which analyses 20,000 active tenancies across the capital, shows that tenant demand dropped slightly in the third quarter (Q3) of last year following the Brexit vote, pushing the average down to 5.3 renters per property in Q4, compared with 6.2 year-on-year.

Foxtons reports that this is close to the average number of tenants recorded per property between 2013-15.

The research also found that rising rental property stock is pulling rent prices down across all the London Underground zones.

Average room rents dropped from £560 to £535 in Zone 1, from £469 to £453 in Zone 2, and £395 to £375 in Zones 3-6.

The firm has also discovered a drop in longer-term tenancies, with 35% granted for two years or more last year, compared with 41% in 2015.

The Private Rental Sector Director for Foxtons, Sarah Tonkinson, comments on the findings: “We see the policies set out in the Housing White Paper as a positive start to increasing availability of affordable homes and improved lettings conditions for renters.

“The developing private rental sector will make a substantial net addition to London’s rental stock and provide much-needed long-term tenancies, with emphasis on providing high quality service and accommodation, in line with the new White Paper guidelines.”

If you let property in London, whether in Zone 1 or Zone 6, have you seen a reduction in tenant demand? If so, this may have caused you to lower your rent prices in order to attract new renters.

Granting new tenants a long-term tenancy is a simple way of securing your rental income for the foreseeable future and providing high quality homes to those who need it most – Remember to always stick to lettings law!

PCL lettings see strong end to 2016

Published On: February 21, 2017 at 12:18 pm


Categories: Property News

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The final three months of 2016 saw a strong growth in lettings volumes in the Prime Central London market. Activity was particularly strong at the highest and lowest end of the sector, according to the latest index from Knight Frank.

Data from the report indicates that the decline in annual rental value growth slowed marginally, down by 5% in January. In addition, there was a 5% year-on-year increase in the number of super-prime deals during 2016.


There was a 12% rise year-on-year in the supply of new listings during the final quarter of last year. However, this was lower than the 30% increase seen in the first nine months.

The largest falls in rents in the year to January 2017 were in Knightsbridge (-9.9%), followed by Notting Hill (-9.5%), Riverside (-9.3%) and South Kensington (-9%).

There were also substantial falls in Chelsea (-5.3%), Belgravia (-5.15%) and Mayfair (-3.8%).

However, other regions in Prime Central London are fairing better. City and Fringe, King’s Cross and Tower Bridge saw small year-on-year declines of 0.7%, 0.6% and 0.2% respectively.


Tom Bill, head of London residential research at Knight Frank, observed that the annual rental value decline of 5% seen in January was marginally stronger than that seen in the two months previously.

‘Rental values have been declining since May 2015 in part due to higher levels of rental stock. The fact landlords face a less favourable tax environment from April, has contributed to the slowdown in supply to some degree,’ Bill added.[1]

He also noted that demand continues to improve in the higher and lower end of the Prime Central London market. Particularly, the above £5,000 per week market, or the super prime, is seeing sustained demand.

PCL lettings see strong end to 2016

PCL lettings see strong end to 2016

The number of new tenancies agreed in Prime Central London was 20% greater in the final quarter of 2016 in comparison to 2015. Bill believes this will put upward pressure on rental values.

‘For rental properties between £1,500 and £5,000 per week, activity is improving but remains comparatively slower. The primary cause is that budgets for senior executives at financial institutions have been reduced due to the wider mood of economic uncertainty. While the UK’s decision to leave the European Union has raised some questions over the status of London as a leading global financial centre, this trend for greater efficiency pre-dates Brexit and relates to the increased regulatory pressures on banks as well as a low interest rate environment that curbs profitability,’ Bill concluded.[1]