What’s The Next Big Suburb In London’s Property Market?

Ever wonder where the next big property hotspot will be? Here are three promising London real estate hot spots you may want to check out:

Leyton in East London

Leyton, postcode E10, is one of the suburbs basking in London’s post-Olympics sunshine.

The former Leyton Municipal Offices, which have gone through years of utter disuse, has been converted into a commerical building by well-known community developer Lea Valley Estates. While the local high road shops got a much need facelift through a colourful renovation of local shops’ facades. Needless to say, local businesses have been doing so much better in area, it could make Mary Portas, the self-proclaimed “Queen of Shops,” so proud!

Aside from the lively turn of things for the local businesses, Leyton is also teeming with Victorian and Edwardian terraces with prices ranging between £400,000 to £650,000. Judging these prices by London standards, these remote property investments are definitely a bargain.

For remote investors looking to invest now, there’s a new development called Claude Terrace offering Victorian-style townhouses designed for young families who are trading their flats for a proper house. A unit in Claude Terrace starts at £395,000.

Brockley in South London

Back in the 80’s, Brockley was the property hotpost for every London commuter. But thanks to the Overground extension going through South-East London, the suburb is now home to a hodge podge of new residents ranging from hipsters, yuppies, and even young families!

It’s not just the new residents that’s giving life to this suburb, the introduction of the East London line extension also ushered in a new batch of lively, shabby-chic bars and cafés, plus delis, and a micro brewery – which are all very popular with the locals.

What’s more impressive about Brockley is that despite it’s revival, there’s still a home for every budget in this commuter-friendly neighborhood. Other than the usual Victorian houses that line up UK’s capital, there are also, more modest, semi-basement terrace homes in the area.

Brockley Cross, once known for being a crime hot spot in the area, has been recently renovated and developed into a property with copper-clad flats and an art gallery. One unit in the building starts from £350,000.

Notting Dale in West London

Unlike it’s more famous namesake Notting Hill (which was the title and setting for Julia Robert’s immensely popular romantic comedy) Notting Dale was previously a slum before World War II. A few council estates were built over there in the fifties, but nothing much had changed for the area up until a few years ago.

Fast forward to 2015 and now Notting Dale is home to a few world renowned brands and personalities like: Chrysalis Records, Stella McCartney, Cath Kidston, and the celebrated fashion and portrait photographer Mario Testino.

London’s premier housing association are also creating new property developments in the neighbourhood. Peabody’s More West development brings a mixture of flats for purchase and shared ownership at the starting price of £415,000.

Another perfect development for remote investing is a scheme of four outstanding modern houses in Walmer Road. he houses are clustered in a courtyard and all have rooftop “salons,” terraces, and underground parking spaces.

Your Questions About Seller Finance, Finally Answered!

A lot of people have been asking me lately about seller finance, so I’m making a short blog entry about this little known investment strategy.

What is seller finance?

Seller finance (aka vendor finance) is a loan given by the seller to his or her buyer. Under these terms, the buyers will be giving monthly payments to the seller as though the seller was the bank. But what separates this from usual bank loans is that it opens the possibility of more “friendly” terms such as paying a lower deposit. There are quite a number of investors, such as Rick Otton, utilising this form of financing.

What happens when the buyer defaults in his payments?

Then there will be no title transfer and the buyer will have to move out.

When can seller finance be used?

Whenever a buyer – for some reason or another is unable to acquire bank financing (can’t raise the deposit, doesn’t have a good enough credit history, unable to show proof of income), then seller financing becomes the next best option.

What are the benefits of seller finance?

If you are a seller having a difficult time finding buyers, providing terms that are easier to meet than the requirments of the bank may help improve your prospects. More leads mean more offers and more offers improve the chances of securing a detail. When done right, seller finance can help speed up the sale process.

The obvious benefits for the buyer is that they won’t have to waste their time gathering tons of loan requirements and wait for years just to save the right amount of deposit fee.

Are there any disadvantages in these deals?

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Sellers must screen potential buyers carefully to avoid possible hassles in the future.

On the part of the seller, the biggest risk is the possibility that the buyer won’t have the proper capacity to pay. So if you decide to sell your property using seller finance, you will have to take the time to screen all applications yourself. This can be a tedious process. But if you don’t want the hassle of contending with a delinquent buyer, it’s best to be thorough.

The buyer, on the other hand, may pay higher monthly payments compared to the regular bank loan. Payments and interest will be dependent on the agreed upon terms with the seller. But one of the reasons why monthly payment is higher is because seller finance terms usually take place over a shorter period of time, unlike bank loans that extend up to 30 years.

How do you minimise the risks?

Sellers must take the time to ask pertinent questions. For instance, it’s important to verify that the buyer has a source of income. Granted, anyone can say that they have a job. But those with a stable income are usually more prepared to make a down payment.

Upfront costs in seller finance are already much lower compared to a regular 10-20% deposit required by banks. So if the buyer is hesitant to make a down payment, you should probably be looking at the next prospect.

Moreover, everything has to be in writing so that none of the parties can take advantage of the other. Hence, both the seller and the buyer should have their own barrister. They can explain what their terms should be, and the barristers will be responsible in putting the terms into writing.

A New Property Hotspot Is On The Rise

We usually associate property hotspots with bustling city communities where both population and development is high, but a sleepy market town in Suffolk proved that this assumption isn’t right all the time in last year’s top 10 new millionaire hotspots list.

If you still don’t know it by now, the list is made up of places where more than 5 houses for sale went for over £1 Million every year.

So which town in Suffolk produced record-breaking property transactions in 2014? It’s Sudbury people!

What’s more attention grabbing in this property news is not just the abundance of million pound property deals in this “sleepy town.” Out of the 10 places mentioned, Sudbury is the only postcode in the list not within the capital or the London commuter belt.

Subdbury ranked 6th overall in the list which included Stoneleigh and Headley in Epsom, and New Cross, Bethnal Green, Harrow, Edgware, Brentford, and Berrylands in Kingston-upon-Thames all locatied in London.

According to international estate agent, Hamptons, house prices in Sudbury jumped 12 per cent in 2014. This rate is 3.3 per cent higher than the 7.8 per cent average price increase across Britain.

So how did a sleepy market town turn into a property hotspot in just a short amount of time?

By now, everybody knows that it would literally cost an arm and a leg to buy a house in London. Property prices in the area posted all-time record bests almost every week due to high demand from foreign investors, first time buyers getting help from their parents, and the natural spike of prices after the recession.

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Demand in places like Suffolk is spiking.

At the moment, an average property in London stands at around £ 500,000. This is why London residents are exploring alternative locations such as the commuter belt, home counties, and even the bottom of Suffolk where they can find a house with the best bang for buck.

Tom Orford, a director from Savills, said in an interview that this spike in Sudbury’s property market is a result of the “Cambridge effect.” According to Orford, as properties in Cambridge become more expensive, people are turning to Suffolk to find houses.

In my opinion, if you are an office worker trying to get a place near the capital, Sudbury is an alright choice, since it’s the market town in Stour Valley and has great commuter links to London.

Caroline Edwards of Carter Jonas in Long Melford added that more buyers from London are choosing properties in West Suffolk not just because they’re cheaper but also for their beautiful architecture and interiors.

Aside from Sudbury, 2 other postcodes outside the M25 area made it to the top 16: Royal Tunbridge Wells and Oundle in East Northamptonshire.

Hot Spots For Investment Properties Overseas

Manhanttan, New York

This one is a given. Property prices in the “big apple” have always been higher compared to other cities around the world. But despite this top tier status, Karen Mansour of Douglas Elliman Development claims that NYC real estate continues to boom, especially in the financial district.

Elliman cites that new property developments like the new World Trade Center is putting the area in the line of significant growth. Current prices for luxury flats in the area of 75 Wall, in the heart of the Financial District, start at £480,000.

Barcelona, Spain

Unlike the Costas and other parts of Spain where house prices have taken a huge nose dive, Barcelona remains one of the top places for overseas property investment.

Why? Alex Vaughan of Lucas Fox reports that Spanish authorities are wooing foreign buyers by putting stylish 2 bedrooms in the city up for sale at the rate of £400,000, a two-bedroom apartment in the heart of old town, however, costs a bit more at £543,000.

If you’re looking to invest in prime investment property at a landmark European city, then now is the best time to buy in Barcelona!

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If you have the money, investing in Tuscany may yield good profits down the track

Tuscany, Italy

To be honest, property values in Italy have been on a never ending rollercoaster ride for the years following the global financial crisis. While the top-tier market for buy-to-let properties remain bouyant, the same cannot be said for the other sectors.

That being said, however, owning a house or any piece of real estate in Tuscany is the dream for a lot of people, so whether the property depreciates in value or not, you would still be the envy of some, if not, all of your friends!

There is demand for well-located pied-à-terre, and some favourable tweaks to the Italian tax system kick in this year. Beauchamp Estates is currently selling classic villas on a private estate near Arezzo, for £1.5m. If you have the funding for high-end properties, investing in Tuscany can be a very lucrative prospect down the track.

Turkey

The number of foreign investors buying property in Turkey, most notable Istanbul, rose by 78 per cent in the first half of 2013.

Julian Walker of Spot Blue International Property explains that majority of their clients was initially composed of British buyers, but more buyers from the Middle East are coming into the market. He says that more of them are seeing Turkey as a good place for property investment.

Zell Am See, Austria

Giles Gale of Mark Warner Property says that there is money to make in Austrian buy to let property, but you have to know where to look for the right property to make the big bucks.

In 2013, property values in the country experienced a 10-15 per cent growth thanks to high demand for top-quality developments and low supply. Apartments at the Alpin See resort in Zell Am See are currently on sale from £300,000.

An Intro To Remote Investing In The UK

Some of you may have heard of remote investing but are quite unsure how it works. In simple terms, remote investment is the act of investing in real estate even though you don’t live in the same place where the property is located. You may think it’s crazy to buy a house somewhere far, far, away like in the heart of a mountain range or an overseas property. But, believe it or not, there is a good demand for these kinds of properties.

The key is finding a property and match it with a determined buyer, and you’re going to hit the jackpot.
Take for example, Clare and David Mangon. They are formerly of Thames, Oxfordshire, but they were willing to shed £200,000 for a barn-like house made of ancient stone- called Ellers – in a really, really far off portion of northern Yorkshire Dales where winters are harsh and the company of other people is very hard to come by as houses are located long distances away from each other.

You might wonder why the Mangons were willing to stay in this area. But according to Clare, despite the obvious weaknesses of the location, they immediately “fell in love with the place” when they laid eyes on it for the first time.

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Remote investing is slowly gaining popularity in the UK

For a growing number of people who are getting worn down by the daily grind of urban life, there is a certain appeal for old, remote properties along with the simplicity that comes in more rural areas. As an investor, realising this growing trend can be very rewarding.

More and more people have gotten into remote investment in the past few years, and this is gaining popularity not only with UK residents, but also with a lot of people living overseas.

Castle Estates, a residential letting agency in Glasgow, says that more than 67.6 per cent or more than two-thirds of the landlords in their listing are remote investors.

What’s more astonishing in this revelation is that out of these remote landlords, 15.3 per cent of them live overseas.

The agency’s head shared that these remote investors live in Australia, Thailand, Switzerland, South Africa, and Canada.

How To Keep Track Of Your Remote Property Investments

Remote investing can be a very profitable venture when done right. However, not all investors are willing to invest remotely because they are unsure on how to keep track of the property. However, this concern can be addressed with these simple strategies:

Self-Managing Vs Hiring A Lettings Agent

Self-managing remote investment properties is, probably, the most popular system used by remote investors.

When you “self-manage” a property, by the way, this means you’re going to: oversee the screening of potential tenants, hiring of local handymen to take care of maintenance, and management of the entire property all on your own, even if it’s located hundreds of miles away from your home.

Believe it or not, some investors drive, take the train, or even ride an airplane just to check on their investments and their tenants, because it’s a cheaper alternative to hiring a third party or leasing agents.

As I’ve said earlier, hiring a lettings agent could take a chunk out of your potential profits, but the upside is you don’t have to make the constant trip to the other side of the country just to evict a tenant or make sure that the house is still in a good condition. Another advantage of hiring a local lettings agent is that they can make sure that the handymen you hire aren’t ripping you off on the price of their services.

But before you rush into hiring third parties, know that many remote investors have been duped by bad letting agents over the years! One of the many horror stories being circled around is of a letting agent, who used the property entrusted to him into his own, personal love nest!

A close friend of mine, who also invests remotely, says that the total profit dictates whether he would go for self-management or hire a lettings agent.

If flying solo would lead to higher profits, then he would take the trip to the moon and back as often as he can, but if hiring a lettings agent would produce the same profits, then he has no problem with a stranger looking after his investment.

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Finding property near family or close friends can make remote investing much more convenient

Keep It Close To Family

I’ve already discussed that remote investment requires the constant trip out of town. Not only will this cost you energy and time, but also money.

A strategy I’ve picked up along the way is to find a property near family relatives or close friends, so that when you’re going to make the trip out of town, you can stay over at their place during your visit.

You’ve hit 2 birds with one stone, essentially, since you were able to monitor the status of your investment property, while seeing your families and friends when business is done.

Look Out For New Technology

Mobile communication apps, like Instant Messaging, Skype, or WeChat, has made it easier for people to reach one another, these innovations have also helped remote investors connect with their buyers, tenants, and handymen from anywhere in the country within minutes.

One company called, MaxMon, also offers a new application for Android phones that gives owners daily reports on the status of their remote property investment. It also promises to alert the owner of intruders and critical environmental changes that could cause huge damage on your property.