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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.


Is now the right time to invest in property?


Inspired Sales & Acquisitions is the soul of Finders Keepers. We started as a search service (it’s the “Finders” in our name) and over the years we have bought hundreds of properties for investors of all sizes. Today, the department deals with sales as well as helping investors to identify and acquire investment properties, with a focus on bespoke service.

We believe that this last year has shown Oxfordshire’s strength as a county and while it has not been immune to the effects of the global pandemic, it has performed well: at 3.8% unemployment remains well below the national average of 6.4%; we have highly qualified workers in top positions; and the many growth sectors provide potential for job creation in the region.

These are important factors to consider for the location of your property investment, but it’s worth first considering why property is a good investment opportunity:

Supply
There is an imbalance of housing supply and demand in Oxfordshire. In 2017 the Government announced their housing plan to build up to 100,000 homes in Oxfordshire by 2031 (7,143 per year). However, only 12,270 permanent dwellings Property Investment in Oxfordshire have been completed over the last three years, which is an average of around 4,000 per year.

Low savings rates
A quick search online shows that savings accounts rates hover around the 1% or less mark (depending on how long you tie your money in for). Of course, there is greater risk in investing in property, but the reward can also be greater and returns across the county vary from approximately 3.5% inside Oxford up to 6% in certain areas such as Banbury and Bicester.

Pension
The trend of people investing to add to their pensions has continued over the last few years and there are a few reasons that people do this:
1. Property still offers a solid return
2. Property values are on a long-term rising trend (Oxfordshire house prices increased 7.9% year-on-year)
3. It provides a regular, passive income through the rental payments Of course, there can be no guarantees with any investment, but generally property provides a long-term profit.

Tangible asset
Owning a buy-to-let investment means you have a tangible asset that you could potentially improve through refurbishments, upgrading and redecorations. This is something Finders Keepers excels at, as we have our own renovations and furnishing divisions. It’s what we call our 360° service because not only can we help you acquire a property but Finders Keepers can carry out any upgrades and then let and manage it for you.

Opportunistic time
With the stamp duty holiday coming to an end, opportunities have emerged for committed investors. House prices in the UK fell in January for the first time since April last year, likely linked to the upcoming end of the stamp duty holiday. Any extension will only be for a matter of months. With demand easing and house prices lowering slightly, now would be a great time to get a deal.

Why Invest in Oxfordshire?
As mentioned above, this county has a strong economy and although the global pandemic has, of course, had an impact, the county has performed well overall. Oxford itself can be described as a well-educated city, with the majority of its jobs in knowledge-intensive industries. It attracts workers with higher levels of qualifications, and the majority of the working population hold top professional occupations, meaning there is a steady stream of high calibre tenants and we are able to achieve stronger rents.

On top of this, demand for rental properties is strong in the county (see graph) and particularly in the city where just under half of homes are in the private rental sector.

Graph: Total phone and email enquiries from finders.co.uk, Rightmove and Zoopla

Future growth
Oxfordshire is in a very strategic location within the UK, well-connected to London, within an hour of Heathrow, and is an integral part of the Golden Triangle – that is London, Cambridge and Oxford – for research and innovation. It is also one of three counties nationwide to prepare a Local Industrial Strategy, which includes a vision to be a top three global innovation ecosystem by 2040. The aim of the strategy is to create 108,000 private sector jobs in the county.

If you would like to know more about property investment in Oxfordshire, contact Maxine for bespoke advice.
e: inspired@finderskeepers.co.uk
t: 01865 302314

CURRENT OPPORTUNITIES

  • Bicester: a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment in the town centre. For sale at £235,000 with a potential return of 5.87%
  • Oxford: a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment close to Summertown. For sale at £320,000 with a tenant in situ and a current return of 4.31%
  • Banbury: a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment a short walk from the town centre. For sale at OIEO £150,000 with a tenant in situ and a current return of 6.2%