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I have been on this forum for a long long time.

I never really post but probably read the threads everyday.

My views have changed dramatically on houses/property over the last 4 years and I have vastly improved my knowledge due to this forum and all the insightful views.

Some may hate this topic as it doesn't have a great standing on the forums ( especially the main ), but I just want to gather your opinions.

Would any posters join the BTL brigade when we hit the bottom?

I have spent serious time considering the options and think that I probably would.

I feel around 2013-14 to be about the right time to start. A lot of my reasoning comes from Harrisons model, who predicted spot on the recession/ HPC.

I would ride my 14 years up, however I feel that his theory of 4 years down might be extended this time round due to the scale of things.

I don't see us doing a Japan.

Would you?

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Would any posters join the BTL brigade when we hit the bottom?

I would consider it if the gross yields in decent areas hit the 10-15% level again. I wouldn't use leverage though.

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I would consider it if the gross yields in decent areas hit the 10-15% level again. I wouldn't use leverage though.

Why wouldn't you leverage?

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The only ones I have seen making a real success of it have been letting out inherited houses. They have no leverage and their costs are minimal.

I have seen too many struggling to pay the mortgage on the properties they bought too late in the cycle and the rent does not come near paying the mortgage each month.

Interest reates are at a historical low -- I've known them at 15%.

I personally think it is foolish to use a house as an investment tool - I'd rather keep my index linked NS certificates. They don't trash houses or phone me at midnight to say the roof is leaking. Just my personal opinion.

A so-called professional in the business

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-14402687

If the "professionals " can get it wrong so can the punters.

When did the guy buy them all? 2006/7?

I think there is a big difference in getting in at the right time and knowing when to get out and being plain greedy.

A lot of smart investors deep down probably knew that when house prices double in one year that the game is pretty much up, but greed just takes over and blanks out that thought.

Then again I don't know if we ever had a 'crash' like they did in the UK to use as a reference point.

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I feel around 2013-14 to be about the right time to start. A lot of my reasoning comes from Harrisons model, who predicted spot on the recession/ HPC.

I would ride my 14 years up, however I feel that his theory of 4 years down might be extended this time round due to the scale of things.

I don't see us doing a Japan.

Would you?

... but the crash that Harrison predicted has not really started yet in the rest of the UK. There may be other cycles at work that supercede the normal boom/bust cycle. You suspect yourself that it is different this time due to the 'scale of things'. A few years ago I did some research into grand supercycles or Klondratieff waves or depressions. It was my conclusion that a boom of the size we have just seen will take 20 years to correct i.e. a depression ending around 2027.

... My research into Japan led me to believe that our situation is much, much worse. Our imbalances are far greater. I believed then that it would lead to a flash crash/reset. It nearly did in 2008. TPTB have managed to avoid that so far. I think they are actually trying to do exactly as Japan. A slow crash taking many, many years.

... Would I 'invest' in a BTL? Having experienced being both a tenant and landlord, I would have to say definitely no!

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If you could get it for 80k and rent it for 600 a month you would say no?

Firstly speak to someone who is doing it successfully - there are bound to be many, even though the capital appreciation side of the equation has come to an end for the time being. What can you get for £80k? Where is it located? Will you always (ever?) get £600 per month? A recent NI report said 1 & 2 bed apartment rents have dropped by 10% - choose your property wisely.

i believe there is a Professor, no less, of Property Investment at Jordanstown and many EA's and 'financial planners' will fall over themselves to give you 'professional' advice.

Now, my view

If treating houses as an investment remember "past performance is no guarantee of future gains" and when the shoeshine boy's at it, it's time to get out. Everyone seems to think it's easy money especially if they've been left a house, can utilise the current low rates, or won't sell in this market and can afford to wait "until the market bounces back". But it is a bit like the gambler - he'll only tell you about his occasional big winning bets but not the many losing bets. The media now, however is slightly more transparent in following the price correction narrative - they have run out of spin from the VIs and are facing reality.

Be prepared to end tenancies and move tenants and families on if the circumstances necessitate it to your advantage. You could keep costs low re repairs if you have contacts in the trade. Living nearby and knowing the area, and neighbours would be advantageous.

Who could have foreseen 5 yrs ago - Banks nationalised, Coalition Govt, (another) war in Libya, 4.5% inflation, petrol @ £1.38 a litre, 300 yr low interest rates, 50% falls and falling in NI houses, £200 billion Quantitative Easing, Eurozone implosion, Celtic tiger bust, USA downgraded, pjone hacking, MPs expenses, London burning (and Boris as Mayor), pay freezes, £4 Billion of cuts in NI alone, construction industry decimated and in freefall, NAMA .....................

Ask yourself, What do you see in the next 5 yrs? Start with realistic interest rates and work your way forward

My main fear, however, would be Govt interference and a shift to actually provide an affordable housebuilding programme, rent reduction or regulation/legislation especially after the riots (see benefit cuts link below and green field building also). Housing difficulties have got out of hand and have been the genesis of many debt problems (sub prime). Sooner or later it will be tackled at the highest level. Depending on your exposure at that time, things could become very difficult indeed. Just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it won't.

Check post 449 from BVI re housing benefit cuts

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=68834&st=435

Original Report

http://www.bankofireland.co.uk/fs/doc/house-price-index/boi-qhpi-aug11-v4.pdf

Building on the green belt.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/greenpolitics/planning/8699775/75000-homes-to-be-built-on-Englands-Green-Belt.html

I'm sure it can be done. I don't think it will be easy or without risk. Some people will be better at it than others. And property prices will continue to drop in the near term.

I know of two friends who bankrupted themselves because of it and others who are bitterly clinging on and regretting it. Another has been at it for 20 yrs with several props and is in neg equity for the first time - but is confident he'll ride it out.

Recessions always shake out cowboys and amateurs. There's 3 more years to go, according to Mervyn King.

Good luck, it's probably looking more attractive as the months roll past, even with all the above caveats.

Edited by Shotoflight

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The main reason BTL has done so well even in recent times is because the HE is subsidising private LL instead of buying houses themselves, which would be alot cheaper in the long (once they stop subsidising the market), but of course they don't look at it in the long term, but it will reach a limit at some point very soon.

Basicaly they have been putting tax payers money into the system holding up prices at the bottom end. Simply because it is reliant on gov't money is a good reason to stay out. TBH there is not anything I would advise putting money into as a simple 'investment' other than an actual business that you know something about and can add value to. Money is labour and some labour is more valuable than others! Anything that doesn't require labour to get a higher-than-base return is (mostly) non-value add and weakens the economy.

Stop looking for easy money making schemes and do something useful.

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The main reason BTL has done so well even in recent times is because the HE is subsidising private LL instead of buying houses themselves, which would be alot cheaper in the long (once they stop subsidising the market), but of course they don't look at it in the long term, but it will reach a limit at some point very soon.

Basicaly they have been putting tax payers money into the system holding up prices at the bottom end. Simply because it is reliant on gov't money is a good reason to stay out. TBH there is not anything I would advise putting money into as a simple 'investment' other than an actual business that you know something about and can add value to. Money is labour and some labour is more valuable than others! Anything that doesn't require labour to get a higher-than-base return is (mostly) non-value add and weakens the economy.

Stop looking for easy money making schemes and do something useful.

I cant agree with this opinion at all. As you say the HE hasn't build housing for a long time and the Housing Associations are the most uneconomical method of providing housing imaginable. Therefore the social tennants have been forced to go out to the private market. The HE rarely pays the private rents and the tennents normally have to top this up.

Up to the late 60's around 60% of the housing stock was rental with only 40% living in houses they owned/mortgages. The main owners of the rental stock was, at that time large wealthy landlords. The creation of the HE changed that where they became the largest holder of rented stock.

Investment in rental property is a risky business and, as we have discovered not a path to quick riches or indeed a road that is for everyone. However, done right it can and has worked for people who put in the effort. I personally have a few, which I purchased quite a while ago. My plan was to pay down the mortgage over twenty years, subsidised if necessary and at the end have a house, debt free with an income to hand to my children. The price of the house, at that time is pretty much irrelevant as, in my opinion, it will be relative to outer houses. If they are worth £100k, then a slightly better house, in a good area may cost £130k. If they are worth 300,000 Yen, then a slightly better one may cost 350,000 Yen. Thats my plan. I could have went down the road of insurance bonds, stock exchange or other methods of investment. However, as I know even less about those than the housing market I went for housing. I am attracted by the thought that, if purchased at the correct time the 20 funding can be mostly acquired from the rental income. This is of course not always guaranteed. However, any other investment or saving fund normally requires monthly investments of quite some amount to reach the potential of the value of an average house in 20 years.

Unless you catch the Harrison curve at the right time (which would be luck more than anything else) don't look at investment house as a income supplement. It, more often than not will be the opposite, with you having to subsidise it to pay rates and general repairs, rent gaps etc. Thats the way you have to look at. It is a long term play and you need to work it into your long term plans. It is, in most cases a taxable return, just like any other business, unless you have inheritance planning in process.

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I cant agree with this opinion at all. As you say the HE hasn't build housing for a long time and the Housing Associations are the most uneconomical method of providing housing imaginable. Therefore the social tennants have been forced to go out to the private market. The HE rarely pays the private rents and the tennents normally have to top this up.

Up to the late 60's around 60% of the housing stock was rental with only 40% living in houses they owned/mortgages. The main owners of the rental stock was, at that time large wealthy landlords. The creation of the HE changed that where they became the largest holder of rented stock.

Investment in rental property is a risky business and, as we have discovered not a path to quick riches or indeed a road that is for everyone. However, done right it can and has worked for people who put in the effort. I personally have a few, which I purchased quite a while ago. My plan was to pay down the mortgage over twenty years, subsidised if necessary and at the end have a house, debt free with an income to hand to my children. The price of the house, at that time is pretty much irrelevant as, in my opinion, it will be relative to outer houses. If they are worth £100k, then a slightly better house, in a good area may cost £130k. If they are worth 300,000 Yen, then a slightly better one may cost 350,000 Yen. Thats my plan. I could have went down the road of insurance bonds, stock exchange or other methods of investment. However, as I know even less about those than the housing market I went for housing. I am attracted by the thought that, if purchased at the correct time the 20 funding can be mostly acquired from the rental income. This is of course not always guaranteed. However, any other investment or saving fund normally requires monthly investments of quite some amount to reach the potential of the value of an average house in 20 years.

A nice 132 page VI ebook for you all to have a glance at.

Of course it is slanted but an interesting read in my opinion.

http://www.emergencycashflowreport.com/tyecr/ECR-2011-2012.pdf

Look forward to the hole picking.

I would agree with you Belfast VI. I wouldn't be looking for quick cash, more something over a 15-20 year period that I would probably be supplementing myself.

Unless you catch the Harrison curve at the right time (which would be luck more than anything else) don't look at investment house as a income supplement. It, more often than not will be the opposite, with you having to subsidise it to pay rates and general repairs, rent gaps etc. Thats the way you have to look at. It is a long term play and you need to work it into your long term plans. It is, in most cases a taxable return, just like any other business, unless you have inheritance planning in process.

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Why wouldn't you leverage?

Partly because I wouldn't need to and partly because of risk aversion. If you buy a house of 10% margin you can easily lose your entire investment in a year (not to mention that you'd be paying more mortgage interest than you'd be getting in rent). If you buy with no margin, then you have a steady income stream and can more or less forget about the capital value.

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If you could get it for 80k and rent it for 600 a month you would say no?

That's a little short of the gross yield I'd be looking for, but it's heading in the right direction.

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http://www.emergencycashflowreport.com/tyecr/ECR-2011-2012.pdf

Thanks for posting the above.

It's definitely an interesting read, much of it like cycles etc will be no stranger to regulars on this forum. Having said that, I'm glad I didn't pay for it. Only read the first dozen or so pages but intend to plough through it all at some stage.

I see they think prices will be stable through to this time next year.

I strongly disagree, esp in NI.

I see they also buy between 25% and 60% below market value.

That would help and, along with getting the finance would be the (very) hard part but not impossible with friendly EA contacts or if you were an EA yourself.

They don't seem to do regional apart from a mention of London once or twice (maybe later in the book).

I think NI would test their rules and guidelines severely

I'm sure they get a right screw from their seminars and books and, by their admission, are successful or have been, in what they do.

They mention brainwashing and herds.

The one thing they have is a massive audience willing to listen to their message - just look at the popularity of the TV programmes and the print media's preoccupation with prices.

Everyone's an expert and everyone is looking for 'the edge'.

A bit like the horse racing tipsters - I often wonder that if they're that good, why do they need to let others in on the winning formula (competition) - they aren't a charity - and it attracts attention to their 'Secret Formula (such that it is)'.

Also, like card gambling films, the Holy Grail is 'The System'. If you have cracked it, would you put it in a book for £5.99 or whatever, or keep milking the system and nurturing the Golden Goose.

Personalities are funny. Some like publicity, acknowledgement and getting photographed with Alan Sugar. Others trundle away in the background, keeping a low profile.

If you have a cool head, you would probably gain more from trawling through the HPC site (NI Economy quite lively at the mo) rather than the book, but, as I said, looks to be interesting none the less.

Edited by Shotoflight

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The ebook is free.

They make their money by doing joint investments with other people's money it seems. Thus the need for publicity.

I think they are based around Peterborough and of course N.I is very very different, but their strategy is interesting.

I posted for everyone to have a look.

Of course all the die hards will tear it to shreds like they do everything which disagrees with their own opinion, but some of the analysis is interesting, especially that about the council housing future and the curent government policies ( don't know if stormont has a say ).

You could probably read it all in an hour.

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Rents 'reach new high' as demand remains strong BBC (UK)BBC link

Private rents in England and Wales rose to an average £705 per month in July, according to a survey by LSL Property Services, a firm of letting agents.

David Newnes of LSL said: "Rents are on an upward trajectory, and it is unlikely that tenants will gain respite any time soon."

"First-time buyers can't get mortgages, so demand for rented homes soars," he said.

The rental website Citylets reported recently that in Scotland, average private rents had reached £663 a month in the second quarter of the year.

Its one of the down sides for me. If people don't buy they have to rent (or live with mum). People who bought investment houses, before the herd, should do well. However, I would be wary of the HE's comments in the last UUJ report.

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Rents 'reach new high' as demand remains strong BBC (UK)BBC link

Its one of the down sides for me. If people don't buy they have to rent (or live with mum). People who bought investment houses, before the herd, should do well. However, I would be wary of the HE's comments in the last UUJ report.

You'd be right to.

I remember the hoo ha when these were announced (in advance) and people seem to have forgotton, a bit like working longer and child benefit cuts. There was a bit of backtracking, but not much.

Ian Duncan Smith said he was committed to reducing the HB bill by reducing rents. When the interviewer asked him how he thought he would do that, he replied "because I am the biggest landlord in the country".

Any investment rental strategy with exposure to, or reliance on, HB would need to pay attention and have contingencies, in my opinion.

Student lets will also become an unpalatable option for many, I would have thought - as finances tighten - a bit of a luxury for many.

I don't have the interest, risk appetite or finance to get into this game - I know many who have - but from a business strategy point of view and in todays environment it looks risky, uncertain, hard work and not particularly high yielding in the medium term unless you get everything right, have a bit of luck and know your limits and what you are doing (a big ask for any venture).

Guessing what the Govt will do - rent/regulation - could turn out to be a mugs game.

But hey ho, its easy sitting here at the laptop spouting. Many appear to have made a success of it. Good luck to them.

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Rents 'reach new high' as demand remains strong BBC (UK)BBC link

Its one of the down sides for me. If people don't buy they have to rent (or live with mum). People who bought investment houses, before the herd, should do well. However, I would be wary of the HE's comments in the last UUJ report.

Rents rise.

Less disposable income. Reducing consumer confidence/sentiment. Less able to save a deposit for a house.

Happy landlord. Unhappy tenants.

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NI Housing Market - Review and Perspectives 2010-2013

I came across this report which, please bear in mind, is over a year old (post 2010 March Budget). It may have been discussed or highlighted before, or slid under the radar. but some of its findings are of interest given recent discussions on this forum and elsewhere. Reading with hindsight is also informative

Some points that I found of interest - without (almost) repeating the whole thing:

They seem to use a mix of CML and DSD info for newbuilds, which as discussed elsewhere may leave a few gaps ie DSD only identify NHBC starts. Average household size is 2.55 and nearly a third have single occupancy, which is rising.

Since 1979 the Housing Executive has sold more than 117,000 dwellings to sitting tenants. They now account for 16 per cent of the market as a whole.

There were small declines in waiting lists and homelessness; One reason given - The impact of the deep economic recession – resulting in a growing reluctance of both couples to separate and children to leave the family home for economic reasons; the sharp drop in house prices since late 2007 has also meant fewer landlords seeking vacant possession in order to sell their houses.

The rapid growth of the owner occupied sector which characterised Northern Ireland’s housing market during the first seven years of the new millennium came to an end in 2007. A combination of a decline in the construction of new private sector dwellings, the increasing number of vacant properties, the sale of very few social dwellings and the growth of the private rented sector resulted in the overall number of owner occupied dwellings falling between 2006 and 2009 by approximately 8,000 to 461,000 (62% of the total stock).

During the three year period 2004/07 Northern Ireland experienced an unprecedented investor driven boom which saw house prices increase by 51% between Q2, 2006 and Q2, 2007. The inevitable correction followed.

Average house prices fell by more than one third from peak to trough and although the market now seems to have stabilised it is likely that the overall average price will remain flat throughout 2010.

The substantial fall in house prices between 2007 and 2009 has seen house prices return to their early 2006 level. In terms of the house price to income ratio therefore the issue of affordability for first time buyers is no longer as pressing. Nevertheless continuing caution by lenders and the requirement to pay substantial deposits means that affordability remains a key issue.

Terminology is interesting ie the boom and the inevitible bust, accidental landlords, credit crunch, recession, high deposits etc.

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?app=forums&module=post&section=post&do=reply_post&f=52&t=167940

The scale and rapid growth of the Private Rented Sector (PRS) struck me as chiming with anectdotal EA evidence of increased business on this front:

Preliminary figures from the 2009 House Condition Survey indicate a further substantial growth in the private rented sector, reflecting a combination of market conditions:

The ongoing investor driven boom between 2006 and the autumn of 2007 and renewed investor interest since the summer of 2009;

Since late 2007 the slump in house prices giving rise to the “accidental landlords”: including potential vendors, unable to sell their home at the desired price, who let their house out.

In 2009 there were approximately 125,000 dwellings in the private rented sector in Northern Ireland, equating to 17 per cent of the total stock. If dwellings which were privately rented when last occupied are taken into account, this figure rises to almost 20 per cent, a figure which is significantly higher than in England or Scotland.In Respect of the Private Rented Sector.

The report lists a £200m subvention, which has already risen to £250 million (Joe Frey UUJ Q2 2011).

Housing Benefit is playing an increasingly important role in the private rented sector. In 2001, 37 per cent of households received Housing Benefit. By 2006 this had increased to 45 per cent. In 2008/09 approximately 50,000 private tenants on Housing Benefit were supported by an annual private Housing Benefit budget of approximately £200m.

More than two thirds of tenants in receipt of Housing Benefit had to pay a shortfall between the benefit they received and the market rent. The mean shortfall was £20 per week.

The majority of landlords operate on a small scale although typical portfolio sizes have increased in the last five years. Two thirds (66%) of landlords had five properties or less (71% in 2005).

One quarter (25%) of landlords had entered the sector in the previous five years and a further 31 per cent six to ten years ago.

Landlords who entered the sector did so for a variety of investment related motives. The main reason for more than one third (35%) was to part fund their retirement, for 20 per cent it was to benefit from a rental income; one quarter saw it as an “investment”.

The portfolio of the majority of landlords (69%) is financed mainly through mortgages or loans: 38 per cent with Buy to Let Mortgages and 24 per cent with Interest Only Mortgages.

More than two fifths (41%) of landlords were in favour of a compulsory registration scheme for private landlords; mainly because it would “professionalise” the industry and help eradicate “rogue” landlords. However, 54 per cent were against

such a scheme, citing additional costs and bureaucracy.

The private rented sector continued to grow rapidly between 2006 and 2009. Following a lull in activity after the autumn of 2007 when the housing bubble burst, substantial falls in house prices have re-activated investors’ interest in the market.

The private rented sector is currently underpinned by Housing Benefit payments totalling approximately £200 million.The number of households in receipt of Housing Benefit doubled from 18,000 (2001) to approximately 36,000 (2006).

Vacant Properties Interesting in the context of rating vacant properties.

There were an estimated 40,000 vacant homes in 2006 of which approximately 35,000 were in the private sector. Of these 19,000 were not available for a variety of reasons, for example, they were awaiting demolition, were second homes, they were being modernised or their owners (or tenants) were in hospital or abroad. Of the remaining 16,000, almost 11,000 had been vacant for less than six months and must be regarded as part of the normal ‘churn’ in any housing market. Almost another 1,000 were unfit and in isolated rural areas were it was unlikely that they would be inhabited again. This effectively left 4-5,000 dwellings in the private sector which could be brought back into stock.

If you've got this far, maybe you should read the report. Or perhaps now you don't have to ;)

Apologies, but thought there was some very interesting food for thought, a year and a bit down the track from publication.

Edited by Shotoflight

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I think the big killer for HB BTL will be when all the money is paid to the benefit seeker rather than the landlord as mentioned in the report. Will the BTL amateur landlord have the cojones to go round knocking doors asking for the rent each month?

I agree it will be a killer, especially at the over priced bottom end. Previously LLs have been protected and it was a good model for getting paid, what it didn't allow for was proper competition. Now someone will actually think about trying to get better value for their money, rather than just check it is within certain limits.

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NI Housing Market - Review and Perspectives 2010-2013

I came across this report which, please bear in mind, is over a year old (post 2010 March Budget). It may have been discussed or highlighted before, or slid under the radar. but some of its findings are of interest given recent discussions on this forum and elsewhere. Reading with hindsight is also informative

Vacant Properties Interesting in the context of rating vacant properties.

There were an estimated 40,000 vacant homes in 2006 of which approximately 35,000 were in the private sector. Of these 19,000 were not available for a variety of reasons, for example, they were awaiting demolition, were second homes, they were being modernised or their owners (or tenants) were in hospital or abroad. Of the remaining 16,000, almost 11,000 had been vacant for less than six months and must be regarded as part of the normal ‘churn’ in any housing market. Almost another 1,000 were unfit and in isolated rural areas were it was unlikely that they would be inhabited again. This effectively left 4-5,000 dwellings in the private sector which could be brought back into stock.

If you've got this far, maybe you should read the report. Or perhaps now you don't have to ;)

Apologies, but thought there was some very interesting food for thought, a year and a bit down the track from publication.

Indeed it has been discussed before, I thought the vacant properties particularly interesting, and followed the rise to 60,000 after the peak and stayed there for a few years. There was some debate about the accuracy of the figures, although I did expect that most of the rise was from unsold normal houses and I haven't heard any new figures in the last 2 years.

Edited by Ride_on

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When deliberating over a buy to let investment, I would fully recommend that you do so for an immediate return on investment (ROI) and not hoping for the property to increase. This has to be the biggest lesson from the HPC.

Use the formula: annual net operating income / purchase price = yield

The net operating income should take in to account taxes (remember the purchase price is not tax deductible yet the rent is taxable), rates, HMO costs such as registration and maintaining gas and fire standards etc, repairs, insurance, replacing kitchens every 15 years or so, and taking an average rent per year between 9 and 11.5 months, depending on the property.

To take into account the money that you are putting at risk, along with the additional work that goes into it, I would strongly recommend you look for a yield of over 8% at the very minimum, and even then its a big risk as there are no guarantees that the UK wont be downgraded and interest rates on mortgages will go sky high.

If you can find a property which is giving you a good ROI from the start then it could be a good long term investment, but like I say I wouldnt be doing it for capital gains in the next 5-10 years. Personally, I think rents need to come up a long way and property to fall some way before its worth while. Try looking at the yield in NI compared to other countries and you will see the lack of value in the rental market here. Rents are too low and costs have spiraled over the past 10 years

And the only reason I am not totally talking you out of it is the fact that there are so little good investments out there!

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  • 335 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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