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Under the skin of the letting market

Here we share news and views on both the local letting market in & around Oxfordshire and all planned and recent legislation.


Finders Keepers Inspired Investment


2013 was a phenomenally busy year for Finders Keeper’s search and acquisition service, with many investors contacting us with a view to making their money work harder for them. Inspired Investment’s Frank Webster looks back at the past year:

“We see a real variety of investors, from landords coming into the buy-to-let market as part of an investment strategy, to some with funds in excess of several million, and the experienced ‘portfolio’ landlords who have many investment properties and are looking for advice on their next venture.

And where better to invest than in an Oxfordshire postcode? This area has, in the past, been described as almost ‘recession-proof’. With complicated, restrictive planning policies and not much land available for building the simple laws of supply and demand take force. From a landlord’s point of view property investment allows you to ring-fence your capital and if you’re in it for the long term – as we would advise – you will gain real benefits from having invested in Oxford.

Rents in this area have strengthened, and investors are now starting to see the benefit of the combination of rental income plus capital gains. The main groups of investors we have seen have been those investing for income, those investing for the future (to pass on to their children), portfolio clients and institutions.”

Woodstock

Woodstock is well located, close to Oxford and with good transport links

“With pension pitfalls, some clients are looking to property as part of their pension plan. A recent example was a new-build property in Woodstock, which is well-located close to Oxford and with good transport links. This property was acquired off-plan, which allowed us to influence the finish and ensure it was tailored for the letting market. Thanks to our connection with the developer, we had our pick of the plots and we were even able to pre-let the property before build completion. During this time the investor saw capital gain and has since seen a 5% return on this.”

Jericho

Grantham House is a fantastic investment for the future

“Some clients have been looking at property with a view to passing it on to their children, and even grandchildren in some cases! One client did just this recently, snapping up one of the apartments at Grantham House in Jericho. Portfolio clients have also been very interested in this development. We mentioned this exciting scheme in our Summer 2013 newsletter, and more than 50% of the units have already been reserved. The advantage of these apartments is that they could meet the demand for companies requiring flexible, non-hotel accommodation for their employees within an exciting area of Oxford.”

East Oxford

“We were contacted by an Oxford school needing to buy a property to house their incoming headmaster. The brief was very precise both in property type and location and was not something which is often available on the open market. They needed help from an agent to do the leg work and to specifically target a certain area to find just such a property. There was little available despite detailed searches and canvassing particular streets, but we were aware that we had a landlord, living overseas, looking to liquidate their existing house and purchase a new one in North Oxford. We opened up a dialogue and negotiated a satisfactory acquisition, which was a win/win for both parties.

Kidlington village centre

The increase in activity last year could be because finance is cheaper than it has been in recent years, and there are better deals available out there,” says Frank “whilst we cannot offer mortgage advice internally, we have great connections with financial services. We are discussing the market with developers and estate agents on a weekly basis too and so are able to move quickly if we get a ‘hot’ enquiry. Looking forward, we have recently been approached and retained to act for a private property fund for a development on the Woodstock Road, and our focus is now on Kidlington with the new planned Water Eaton train station.

Generally, depending on the budget, we can find homes that will offer income and capital gain. It’s just a case of being careful about where to purchase. The beauty of Inspired Investment is that we can help reduce that risk.”

If you are looking to invest in property, call us to discuss your needs on 01865 302308.