Thursday, 29 October 2015

Could your Warrington property save you from Pension oblivion?

If you were born in the early 1970’s or late 1960’s, if you haven’t started to think about it yet, retirement is closer than you think. In fact the number of years you have left to work is less than the number of years you have worked. The basic state pension is worth £115.95 a week for a single person in 2015/16 (or £6,029 a year) and £231.90 a week for a couple (£12,118 a year) as long as your partner has paid their stamp (although there are certain get out of jail cards if they have not). 

As a household, could you live on just over £12k a year?

However, could the property you are living in in Warrington save you from a life of financial difficulty when you reach retirement? You see, a regular income is vital in retirement, and the bricks and mortar you own in Warrington could provide a way for you to finance life when you retire.

If you are in your 30’s, instead of saddling yourself with bigger and bigger mortgages, going from your first time buyer flat, to a terraced, to the semi and then the large detached house, you could instead keep your terraced or small semi, turning it into a buy to let property. Let the rent pay the mortgage and then rely on capital growth to provide you with a lump sum when you sell the property and retire.  One of the biggest plus points of buy to let is what is known as leverage. Let me explain ... say you have a deposit of 25% and the value of the property rises by 3% a year, your gains in fact multiply to 12%.  However, if property prices drop, 'leverage' can be catastrophic, as losses will also be multiplied. Property values have dropped a number of times in the last 50 years, but they always seem to bounce back ... property must be seen as a long term investment. Equally if prices did fall you would choose not to sell ( so would not make a loss ) and continue instead to benefit from the monthly gain made from rent.

Let me explain how leverage could work for you. If you had bought an Warrington house in Spring of 1983 for £75,000, using a 75% mortgage and 25% deposit, (meaning your deposit would be £18,750). Today, that Warrington property would have risen in value to £542,842, a rise of 623.8%. However, when you look at the growth on just your deposit, the rise is even better ... instead of 623.8%, we see a rise of 2795% (remembering that the mortgage would have been paid off).

However, buy to let is not all about capital growth and in retirement, income is more important than capital growth, as rent is the key to a steady income.

So surely the best strategy is to buy those Warrington properties with the high rents (when compared to the value of the property). These are called high yield properties in the buy to let world because the monthly return is so much greater. So surely they are the best in Warrington? Possibly, but the properties that offer these higher yields (in the order of 7% to 9% per year) tend to be in areas that are not particularly desirable to live in. Historically these areas have not offered such good capital growth when compared to the town average and have a higher tendency for void periods. 

Therefore, if a high maintenance rental portfolio wasn’t for you, another strategy could be buy a property with relatively smaller rental returns of 4% to 6% per year (i.e. Chapleford Village), but in a more up desirable area. Properties such as these tend to suffer from fewer void periods (i.e. when there is no tenant in the property paying you rent) and they historically have had better long term capital growth when compared to the town average.

Every landlord is different and every property is different. All I suggest to you is do your homework. It is essential that you are buying property in areas that suit your needs, goals and desires. Talk to someone who knows the patch. This really is a key point…even as I am typing this I have broken off to speak to a local landlord who has been given advice by an agent who does not live locally and only recently has worked the Warrington market. Frankly the advice on achievable rents in certain locations he had been given were laughable!

As regular readers will know, I am happy to share my knowledge and experience of the Warrington property market, high yields, high capital growth, what to buy, what not to buy and where to buy. News and views on the Warrington Property market can always be found on the Warrington Property Blog or you can email me on If you are in the area then feel free to pop in and meet my team over a brew we are based on 6 Bankside, crosfield street WA1 1UP the kettle is always on

Don't forget to visit the links below to view back dated deals and Warrington Property News. 

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