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Investment Property: Taking Advantage of Rising Rents

Investment Property: Taking Advantage of Rising Rents Rentals have continued their upward climb down and are predicted to go even higher as certain factors that kept the rental market healthy continue to have an impact on the rental figures in the UK. According to figures from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the demand for rental accommodations has continuously increased due to the stabilisation of property prices and the tightening of mortgage lending conditions. This bodes well for the property investor looking to add to his investment property portfolio.

Where to buy investment property

Buying a property despite the credit crunch may seem a disadvantageous move. However, according to investor 1st Asset, there are two markets that a property investor can look to. 1st Asset states that properties located in super-prime locations such as west London are worth considering. Areas that are set to receive major new investment boosts are likewise considered by the company as an excellent option. An example is east London which is being primed for the 2012 Olympics. For you to be able to take advantage of these areas, it's best if you get in the market quickly before the spotlight is directed at these markets and before buyers start to move in and prompt the increase of property prices.

Advantages of buying today

If you're looking to make a property purchase, today is a good time to go ahead with it. The reason? Stamp duty amongst many other things. Recently, the one per cent stamp duty threshold was increased from £125,000 to £175,000 for a period of one year. Because of this, many property buyers had the opportunity of paying lower stamp duty and significantly lowering transaction costs - which of course translated to considerable savings. Another good reason to buy today is the emergence of the buyer's market and therefore, the abundance of affordable properties. The current property climate has led to a rise in the number of repossessed properties, which are often sold cheaply.

What investment property to consider

With the increase in rents, it becomes sensible to invest in a buy to let investment property. It's true that the media is painting buy to let properties as investment vehicles to stay away from. However, the Council of Mortgage Lenders recently expressed its belief that the media representation of the fall of buy to let company Bradford & Bingley is erroneous. The media portrayal of the firm was thought to have caused a furore among many in the industry. CML released figures for the first half of 2008 that showed a lower proportion of buy to let mortgages in arrears of more than three months compared to residential mortgages. Apart from that, CML data indicated no difference in the rate of repossessions.

When buying an investment property for conversion into a buy to let, you should consider obtaining it at a price below its true market value to enable significant savings from the day of purchase. Acquiring a BMV property is possible by finding sellers motivated enough to agree to sell for lower than the market value of their properties - some define this as the price an estate agent could reasonably expect to achieve within three months of marketing the property. Once you have found such a property, you'll be able to take advantage of 100% financing from several private property investors ready to finance your investment.

What are the returns from letting property?

According to the Association of Residential Letting Agents, gross returns vary between 7% and 10% and will be lower for pricey properties. ARLA adds that the average rental return in Britain today flits around the 10% mark with the capital appreciation expected to match, if not surpass, inflation for the immediate future. As a general rule, the gross rents should range between 130% and 150% of the monthly mortgage payments.

Investing in property today may be regarded by some as unfavourable. But if you do your homework, make the necessary preparations and invest for the long term, you can be on your way to a successful and thriving career in property.

About the Author:

Parmdeep Vadesha is a property investment expert and founder of the largest community of property entrepreneurs on the web who buy below market value properties from distressed homeowners facing repossession, divorce and bankruptcy. He writes a monthly newsletter for over 70,000 property investors worldwide - www.Property-System.com

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