Posts with tag: refurbishment

Results revealed for InterBay’s buy-to-let refurbishments report

Published On: October 1, 2019 at 9:24 am


Categories: Landlord News

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Mortgage lender InterBay Commercial’s report reveals refurbishments made by landlords have resulted in drastic improvements to the quality of private rental sector (PRS)

The report, entitled Unlocked value: The role of refurbishment in buy to let, shows:

  • The proportion of homes in the PRS in England deemed non-decent by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has fallen for ten consecutive years, decreasing to 24.5% from 44% in 2008.
  • The number of non-decent homes has fallen in absolute terms, down by 275,000, despite the sector growing by 45% over the period, adding 1.5m homes.
  • It is highlighted that the latest English Housing Survey shows that 84% of private renters were satisfied with their current accommodation.
  • A survey of over 700 property investors shows 70% of landlords who recently undertook a refurbishment did so to improve the property.
  • The same survey revealed 45% made improvements to increase a property’s capital or yield.
  • The analysis shows that landlords typically spent £12,000 per refurbishment, depending on the type of refurbishment.
  • Heavy work, such as a conversion or extension, stood at an average of £40,000.
  • Light work, such as modernisation or redecoration, came to an average of £7,000.
  • Overall, 28% of landlords spent less than £5,000 on their last refurbishment and 43% spent less than £10,000. Only 13% spent more than £100,000.
  • 82% of those who undertook such work saw monthly rent rises as a result. The average rent for a refurbished property rose by £81 per month, up by 8%.

Darrell Walker, Head of Sales, InterBay Commercial commented: “It may be an easy target for political point-scoring, but the PRS has been a success story since the financial crisis, catering for a growing proportion of the population that either cannot or chooses not to purchase a home. As the PRS has grown, it has also professionalised. As it has done so, the standard of accommodation for tenants has improved drastically too.

“Refurbishment has been central to this improvement. It is a win-win for tenants and landlords. Tenants see better quality accommodation, while landlords improve the rent they receive and maximise the value of the property. And with interest rates still bumping along the bottom, those borrowing to support refurbishment can access historically cheap funding to enable improvement works.

“Nonetheless, continued investment in the sector is not a foregone conclusion, and it must be supported rather than undermined. Landlords have been buffeted by the headwinds of policy change since 2015, and costs have risen for investors. Should this rate of change continue, it will weigh on landlords’ decisions to spend more on their portfolios, and risks undermining a decade of progress.“ 

Calculating the True Cost of your Refurbishment

Published On: July 10, 2017 at 8:19 am


Categories: Property News

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By Matthew Tooth, Chief Commercial Officer at LendInvest 

Refurbishment on the whole is a far quicker project than a ‘ground up’ development, and with a tendency to focus on cosmetic changes, it could be considered less risky.

Of course there are common factors to take into consideration when undertaking any development, from acquisition and general construction costs, to finance and marketing fees. However, there are various hidden costs that affect refurbishment projects specifically that need careful forethought.

So, what should you consider whilst calculating the true cost of your refurbishment?

Have your resources readily available

Calculating the True Cost of your Refurbishment

Calculating the True Cost of your Refurbishment

Although this is a key point to consider with any development, a refurbishment is (usually) a shorter build period, therefore, availability of resources becomes all the more critical to complete on time. For example, if you have forecast the refurbishment to reach completion in six months and are then told that there is a lead in period for certain materials of up to six weeks when you expected an instant purchase, this could cause work to stop and severe delays, which accumulates additional costs.

Establish clear access to the property

Most refurbishments happen within a built up residential area, and it’s in these situations that logistical problems can occur.

Neglecting to confirm viable access to the building for the supply of materials and machinery can cause unwanted delays.

Budget for professional fees

Fees for advisers such as solicitors, valuers or architects come as standard with any development and can amount to 10-15% of the overall cost. However, it is the tendency not to factor them in over the course of a refurbishment project that lands them on our list.

After purchasing a property for refurbishment, you will need to get building control certification to declare the property fit for purpose.

Planning for a heavy refurbishment? You may need an architect who expects to be paid promptly.

Factor in the cost of contractors before making a purchase

If you procure contractors after purchasing your property, you are leaving yourself unnecessarily in the dark when it comes to calculating the overall cost of your refurbishment. It is advisable to engage a consultant before acquiring the property and establishing the cost of their work, to manage your financial risk.

Check if the property needs structural work

A failure to have your property fully and professionally surveyed prior to purchase can lead to unplanned, unbudgeted structural changes mid-development. This can be a very pricey error!

Budget for unforeseen costs

Coming across unexpected issues such as hidden damp, faulty plumbing or electrics that need extensive re-wiring can put the total cost of your build up even further. Missing these on initial inspection is not unheard of, however, always budget to anticipate for hidden costs.

Allow yourself contingency time

When your project begins, you may think you have your refurbishment planned to precision, with all possible factors considered. However, in reality, the majority of developments run over schedule. Anticipating for contingency time is frequently overlooked, especially when obtaining finance, and can amount to around 5–10% of the overall cost of the refurbishment. This is why it is important to go with the right lender, who can provide flexibility when it comes to repayment.

How You Can Add £200,000 to the Value of your London Property

Published On: March 15, 2017 at 9:12 am


Categories: Property News

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Two architects have added £200,000 to the value of their London property by completely overhauling the former bedsit. And although they don’t advise anyone to live in the home while transforming it, it could be a good project for landlords…

Gary and Claire Tynan found it difficult to save for a home of their own while renting in north London, and originally planned to build their own property on a plot of land. However, this option was beyond their budget, so they decided to do up a flat instead.

The Canonbury bedsit they remodelled is 1,000 square feet and part of a 1870s historic building.

Having transformed it into a modern masterpiece, the pair has added £200,000 to the value of their home.

So how did they do it, and how can you too?

Open plan 

The biggest change is the open plan living room, which now takes up half of the whole flat. Divided by a huge partition, the space includes a living, dining and kitchen space.

The design is stylish, smart and practical, with lots of ideas on how to split the space and encompass storage, which is always a winner with tenants/buyers.

Although the building had a quirky warehouse feel that the couple liked, the kitchen was tired and old-fashioned. Reworking the living area into a spacious and practical space with monochrome finishings completely altered the feel of the home.

The bathroom 

The bathroom was particularly bad when the pair bought the property – the grout was mouldy and the joists were rotting. But the couple acknowledged that it was light and had potential.

Sorting out the plumbing was particularly important, as the pair moved into the home while they were working on it. After sorting out the bedrooms, they tackled the “revolting” bathroom.

Ensuring a property has a contemporary, clean and practical bathroom is essential – it is almost as important as the kitchen when adding value to a home, so it’s worth investing in some quality fixtures and fittings.


Although the flat is in a conservation area, you don’t need planning permission for most internal work (although you must check!), so adding in another bedroom was an easy decision.

The Tynans purchased the property in January 2016 and were already expecting a baby. This made having a third bedroom a priority, so they added a small nursery off one of the two main bedrooms.

Generally speaking, the more bedrooms you can offer a potential buyer/tenant, the more money they are willing to spend. But you must ensure that the space is actually big enough to be a bedroom and will be financially viable for you.

Design features

With a keen eye for detail, the architects have created a completely modern and metropolitan feel. Predominantly black and off-white, the property is a blank canvas that can be adapted as their family and tastes grow.

The most important aspect of the design to incorporate into your own investment is the simplicity. Not only is simple design currently very on trend, but it is also timeless and elegant – and shouldn’t cost too much money.

Taking the couple’s key themes on board, you can make essential changes to your property investment that will prove lucrative – both in terms of the rental income you can receive and capital growth potential.

Have you been inspired?

Londoners Splashing Out on Home Improvement Jobs

Published On: March 10, 2017 at 9:11 am


Categories: Property News

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Many Londoners are splashing out on home improvement jobs, with 82% of homeowners in the capital conducting DIY tasks each month in 2016, according to new research by Portico London estate agents.

Londoners Splashing Out on Home Improvement Jobs

Londoners Splashing Out on Home Improvement Jobs

Almost 20% of Londoners spent over £1,000 on home improvement jobs during the year, with B&Q voted the number one place to buy their materials, closely followed by Homebase.

However, despite the capital being full of keen DIYers, 70% of Londoners said they also paid for work to be done around their homes in 2016, with over half spending more than £1,000 on tradespeople or maintenance services last year.

Although plumbing and electrical work – the most specialist tasks – were the most common home improvement jobs that Londoners forked out for, one in three homeowners in the capital also paid to have painting and decorating work done, while 28% paid for gardening or outside work.

Interestingly, the study also found that Londoners would also pay a tradesperson to complete a number of relatively straightforward and small jobs around the home – 21% would pay for someone to fix or change a light, and 11% would splash out for a tradesperson to hang up their shelves.

This could be put down to the growth in availability of tradespeople for smaller home improvement jobs on new online sites, with Londoners rating recommendation as the number one thing they look for in a tradesperson, over price, expertise and good reviews.

The Managing Director of the estate agent, Robert Nichols, comments: “In today’s market, if you’re thinking of selling, it’s imperative your house is looking its best, whether that’s with a fresh lick of paint, a new bathroom or kitchen, or improved kerb appeal. Home improvements will not only boost the value of a property, they’ll also lead to a quicker sale, so hiring a handyman is certainly not a false economy.

“In fact, if you find a competitive day rate and get all your DIY jobs in one sweep, hiring a handyman or tradesman can actually be very cost-effective.”

Landlords, do you pay someone to complete small home improvement jobs in your properties, or do you do them yourself?

Majority of Brits Unhappy with Buckingham Palace’s £369m Renovation Project

Published On: November 28, 2016 at 10:13 am


Categories: Property News

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The majority of Britons are unhappy with Buckingham Palace’s £369m renovation project, following the Treasury’s announcement of the plans last week.

Majority of Brits Unhappy with Buckingham Palace's £369m Renovation Project

Majority of Brits Unhappy with Buckingham Palace’s £369m Renovation Project

To fund the 10-year scheme, the Queen will be given a 66% pay rise, which will last for the entirety of the renovation project. However, this news has resulted in a backlash from the general public and has left UK taxpayers questioning who should pay for the work.

Consequently, a petition requesting the Queen to pay for the refurbishment herself reached its target in a matter of days, attracting more than 140,000 signatures.

Conducting its own research on the controversial scheme, leading home services marketplace has found that two out of three UK taxpayers are unhappy with the costs.

The firm revealed that 68% of Britons are unhappy with the £369m price tag. As the home of Buckingham Palace, Londoners appear more supportive of the renovation project, with just 61% saying they are unhappy with the costs. Plentific believes that this may be due to those living in the capital being less surprised by the level of funding needed for the work.

Similarly to the sentiment felt around the EU referendum, Scotland has taken a distinctly negative stance and has proven to be the most unsupportive country in the UK, with 81% saying they are unhappy with the costs. 82% of residents in Edinburgh disapprove the costs, whilst Glaswegians are more sympathetic, with 77% feeling unsatisfied.

Bristol has shown the highest level of support throughout the country, with just 54% feeling unhappy with the £369m investment. Brighton, too, shows more understanding of the costs, at 59%.

The least happy locations in England are: Nottingham, 78, Liverpool, 73%, Sheffield, 72%, and Leeds, 70%.

The spokesperson for Plentific, Stephen Jury, comments: “Whilst the price for upgrading seems steep, these refurbishments are essential to the safety of the building and will allow Buckingham Palace to continue to attract tourism and generate revenue.

“For the average UK taxpayer, the cost obviously comes across as a shock, which is highlighted by our research with the majority not being happy with the bill.”

How do you feel about the £369m renovation project?

Landlords, Find Your Next Property Investment with Repolist

Published On: September 15, 2016 at 11:02 am


Categories: Landlord News

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Are you looking for your next bargain property investment venture? Then look no further! Landlords can find great value for money with Repolist.

Landlords, Find Your Next Property Investment with Repolist

Landlords, Find Your Next Property Investment with Repolist

Repolist is the UK’s leading real-time database of repossession, refurbishment and auction properties.

It analyses hundreds of thousands of properties for sale nationally, cataloguing them into a real-time, searchable database. Refurbishment projects and repossessed properties generally offer investors a bargain purchase.

Although all of the properties on the site are available through traditional high street estate agents, Repolist cuts down the amount of time and energy it would take you to find them. Property investors can browse investment opportunities instantly, at the click of a mouse. The Repolist database is also updated in real-time, so the information is as up to date as on other property portals.

Repolist also announced last year that is has teamed up with Zoopla. The site now takes a direct feed from the portal, as well as other major sites, meaning that Repolist now has one of the most comprehensive systems for identifying bargain properties in the UK.

Subscribers can enjoy a huge database of properties available across the country. Repolist also has an email alert system that delivers almost every refurbishment property on Zoopla to your inbox.

Property developers looking for much sought after plots of land can also search for potential sites on Repolist.

The site has the largest selection of land plots, refurbishment, auction and repossessed properties for sale in the UK.

The properties are organised in an easy and simple way, meaning that you can browse for properties in exactly the same way as you would on any major property portal.

It provides full and complete property listings, with full contact listings. There are no reservation fees or middlemen to complicate the viewing or purchase process.

Subscribers have access to over 15,000 real-time auction, repossession and refurbishment properties. Property investors can subscribe to Repolist for £89.99 per year – around 80% cheaper than competitor sites. Sign up here:

Landlords, can you use Repolist to find your next property investment?