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Unbiased buy to let, property investment and letting coaching, mentoring, advice and seminars for landlords from top selling property author and media commentator.

Property Investment near London and Transport by Letting Focus

I was going through my blogs from two years ago to see how well my predictions have done - and generally I’m pretty happy.
One interesting blog post from that time looked at how house prices might change in the area around Ebbsfleet following the future completion and opening of the new international station there which would connect North West Kent to Brussels and Paris in a couple of hours.
This new line also connects Ebbsfleet with Central London - journey time less than 20 minutes - compared with local station Swanscombe to London which takes about an hour.
When I wrote the blog two years ago, I had just done a little tour around the area.
At that time the station was still being built - but it is now finished and smart new trains now whiz up and down the line at great speeds.
What interested me then and what had bought me down to Kent that day was the fact that this was a really great transport connection which would normally be expected to push house prices up nicely as it brings in demand from people to live in an area (as well as from businesses to set up business there).

New Build v Transport Connection
But what also interested me as a property investing buyer way back then was the huge amount of new build that was coming on stream and I was fascinated to see how this would play out - because lots of new property adding to existing stock can obviously soak up demand and hold prices back.
As an example, think about how the oversupply of lots of identikit new build flats in the years 1997 – 2005 clobbered prices of flats (and rent levels) in many of our inner cities in the period from 2000-2008.
When I wrote the blog two years ago, I felt that the new supply in the local area was of such scale that it was likely to negate most of the huge positive effects on house price growth which would come from the new international station.
So, I decided against buying there.

Back to Ebbsfleet, Swanscombe, Gravesend and Northfleet
Last week I went back.
My partner had insisted we went to the nearby Bluewater Shopping Centre to get a new sofa. “Your tenants would not put up with a broken sofa for 6 months” she said. “And neither will I”
As Hater in Chief of Shopping (and especially of Bluewater) I offered to do the house cleaning for three weeks. But no, she wanted me to see the new sofa.
So, I went and consoled myself with taking the opportunity to see what’s happened to prices of houses in the area near Ebbsfleet.
Well, I have to say the oversupply seems to have won (so far).
Offer prices of the sort of two up two downs I had looked at in Swanscombe and Gravesend were down from about £175K two years ago to less than £150K generally now, a fall that is greater than other areas I know well - in the more central suburban parts of south east London.
It’s not a scientific study I know, but right now there seems that all the new build stock around the area has easily soaked up the boost to house prices from the new station.

The Future for House Prices in North West Kent near Ebbsfleet

Things could yet change.
When the economy improves, new businesses will invest in that area which now has great transport connections. Whether there is enough effect from this to push up house prices very much remains to be seen.
The message is - always look into the effects that future new stock of housing will have on house prices. You can find this out from the local planning dept at the local authority.
Check out also, this article from my Articles page: http://www.lettingfocus.com/pages/myarticles_BuytoLetLandlords%26RentedSectorGrowth.html

The Old Post

Here is a link to that post from two years ago:

We are LettingFocus.com - the landlords' experts and I’m David Lawrenson, the author of “Successful Property Letting” - the UK’s top selling property and buy to let book for the last 3 years.
What’s unique about us is that we offer independent unbiased
seminar events for property investors and one to one advice covering all aspects of being a landlord and investing in property.
Property is largely unregulated and in the buy to let and property “advice” business I am fairly unique not linked to a property company, developer, estate agency or bridging loan provider.
I advise where to buy (which areas), what type of property to buy, when to buy, how to buy property at a low price, how to eliminate the risk of getting a bad tenant and more. I have been a landlord and property investor myself for over 25 years.

Our Events only take place twice a year. For our NEXT SEMINAR AND NETWORKING EVENT for Landlords and Property Investors click here:
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If you sell products to landlords and property investors and you have national coverage and would like to be on this page as a partner, please get in touch!
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Landlords are not selling because of reduced Capital Gains Tax CGT says Lawrenson of LettingFocus.com

The doomsayers and those who would love to see the demise of buy to let said that the new tax year would see lots of landlords selling their investments.
Well sorry folks, as I predicted we now have new evidence that this does not appear to be happening.
In fact, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has just found that just two per cent of landlords are playing to sell property when current tenancy agreements expire. This is down from the 4.6 per cent of landlords planning to sell in the three months to the end of January, and the 6.5 per cent in the three months prior to this.
There had been fears the restructuring of capital gains tax could see most landlords face a rush to the exit. However, this is clearly not the case.
"Fears landlords would take advantage of the more favourable capital gains tax regime to bail out of the buy-to-let market appear misplaced," commented Simon Rubinsohn, Rics chief economist.
He went on to add, "Significantly, with the reduction in loan-to-value (LTV) ratios by lenders leaving first-time buyers struggling to access the housing market, rents are now rising sharply and the expectation is that this trend will continue. The incentive to cash in on the lower tax rate is being outweighed by attractive yields."
I cannot say I am surprised.

Here is my tip of the week.
If you let to people who are unrelated and on a single tenancy agreement, it is best if you must make clear to them what joint and several liability means. To make it crystal clear, I send this email to all my tenants.
“Please note in case of any doubt, and as explained on your tenancy agreement that you are both jointly and severally liable for the whole rent. This means the tenancy is made with both of you as one party and with me as the other party.
It therefore means that you must usually BOTH give notice of your wish to terminate the tenancy at the same time and give me the due notice in writing.
Of course, when one of you leaves, the other could stay on but only if they notify me in writing of that fact and be prepared to pay the full rent on their own.
Also, jointly and severally liable, means that each of you is liable for the whole rent and in full for all moneys owing as a result of this tenancy agreement”
That usually does the trick but it is amazing how often tenants, especially student tenants fail to understand or check the meanings of terms like these when they sign an agreement.
I’m David Lawrenson from property consultants lettingfocus.com.
I’m the author of “Successful Property Letting - How to Make Money in Buy to Let” the UK’s top selling property title buy the book
It is fully up to date with all the recent changes to tenancy deposit schemes, HMOs, licensing, capital gains taxes and it has new sections on buying below market value. I’m an expert property public speaker and a well known property investment blogger and I contribute to newspapers and a host of property websites, write a property investment blog, a number of columns in the press and I run a landlords help service.
I also work as a consultant helping banks, building societies, housing associations and web portals with their buy to let and property products and services and am a regular speaker at property shows.
You can read more of my blog & find details of my networking, advice, property investors networking programme at my website.What’s unique about lettingfocus.com is that we offer independent property mentoring because unlike most people in the buy to let and property “advice” business we are not linked to a property company, a developer, an agent or bridging loan financier and do not receive commissions from any of these sources.If a property investment is lousy – We’ll tell you straight and we will tell you all about buy to let and property investment - the good and the bad and we won’t make silly promises that you’ll become a millionaire overnight.
Copyright: David Lawrenson 2008. This blog is updated once a week. Permission must be sought before using the material in the blog.

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Back on the Property Investment Road - And it Feels Good

Too much time spent writing about property can dull the mind.
So, I'm back on the property investment trail again and have just put an offer in on a great property in an area I know well and which I'm sure will go up well in time.
And it's great to be back in the buzz again.
So, here I am, sitting and waiting and hoping the seller will accept my fantastic offer.
I like this new area - it is bound to do well because of an injection of Government cash and faster transport routes.
I like it so much that I have written about it recently in a piece for the Evening Standard" which led to quite a flurry of interest from out of town property buyers.
After all the business I have bought to this particular town by writing about it in the property press, they should be paying me commission!
But seriously, it's great to be out doing deals again. What fun - and on such a lovely Spring day too.
It sure beats working for someone else in the deadly dull financial services sector.
On another topic, recently, I ran my first short networking and seminar evening.
It was great fun.
There were some great people that came and we had a fine discussion. So, we are going to do the same again soon.
This time, there will be less of me talking and more discussion from delegates.
If you know a lot about property investment, come on down -you will still learn things.
If you are a novice you will learn lots and lots - and don't worry, I wont let the professional investors make you feel silly if you ask an obvious question.
These sessions are for all people at whatever level.


LettingFocus.com is the home of landlord information.
Hello, I’m David Lawrenson.
I have been a landlord and property investor myself for over 25 years and am author of “Successful Property Letting” – the UK’s top selling commercially published property book for the last 3 years.
Primarily, I work as a consultant to banks, local authorities, social housing providers and other organisations – helping them with their landlord facing or buy to let product strategies and services.
I also write for property websites and am regularly quoted by the media.
I have written articles, guides and documents on letting property and property investing for numerous publications including The Independent, The Telegraph and for quality landlord and property websites.

Services for Private Landlords

For private landlords and other investors in the private rented sector, we do two London seminars each year.
We also find some spare time to help landlords and property investors by coaching them in how to make money in the private rented sector using ways that work, which are ethical, fair to tenants and which involve minimal risk to the investor.
We pride ourselves on giving independent unbiased buy to let advice on either a one to one mentoring / coaching basis or through our occasional group seminars.
With no links to property firms, developers or bridging loan providers we can advise on where and what type of property to buy for investment and when to buy it. We also show you how to manage tenants properly.


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