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Bah Humbug – Christmas market property cost is at its highest in London

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The latest research by national fast sale estate agent, Springbok Properties, has looked at the cost of buying near the best Christmas markets around Europe and how they differ between city.

Pulling house price data for cities home to 20 of the best Christmas markets around, Springbok Properties found that the property cost of some annual festive cheer is £5,128 per square metre on average. 

This cost is at its highest in London, with property costing an average of £12,976 per sqm to live in the city where famous Christmas markets range from Winter Wonderland to the Southbank Centre Winter Market to name but a few.  

The second highest property cost when looking for a top Christmas market was in Zurich, Switzerland, where buying close to the historic Old Town market, situated in front of the opera house and home to more than 100 stalls will set you back £9,827 per sqm.  

The Village de Noel Christmas market at the Champs-Elysees maybe be world-famous but living nearby will also cost you over £9,000 per sqm, while a place in Munich so you can make the most of the cities famous market at the Marienplatz town hall comes in just under at £8,980 per sqm.  

In fact, most of the cities home to a top-rated Christmas market come with a festive property premium with Stockholm (£7,450), Vienna (£5,560), Copenhagen (£5,355) and Berlin (£5,126) all coming in over £5,000 per square metre when buying a property.  

But there are some more affordable options for mold wine, festive food, and merriment. Riga in Latvia is the most affordable location with an awesome Christmas market with property in the city coming in at just £1,570 per sqm. 

Closer to home, Belfast hosts a famous market at its City Hall with Candy Alley also one of the main festive attractions, all with the cost of buying hitting just £1,900 per sqm.  

Krakow in Poland (£2,179), Tallin in Estonia (£2,260) and Budapest in Hungary (£2,470) are also amongst some of the most affordable Christmas market property purchasing locations.  

Founder and CEO of Springbok Properties, Shepherd Ncube, commented:

“As is often the case with most things, the cost of living close to anything vaguely helpful, exciting or fun is at it’s highest in London and this applies when comparing the best Christmas markets about.

It’s a high price to pay for those in England for some once a year festive cheer and it may well be more cost-effective to look further afield to the likes of Riga and book your flights early for a festive getaway instead.” 

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Cost of maintaining a buy-to-let hits £12k a year in parts of the UK

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Leading property management platform, Howsy, has looked at the cost of maintaining a buy-to-let property each year and how this varies across the UK.  

Buy-to-let can be a tricky business if you don’t tackle it properly and there are a whole host of costs that can trip up the amateur investor. From the more obvious additional three percent stamp duty tax, to various other tax implications, void periods, mortgage costs, agency fees, the cost of finding a tenant, and more, Howsy’s previous research shows the average buy-to-let brings an annual return of just £2,000.

With the Government’s continued attack on UK landlords, making the most out of your investment financially can be tough and even when you consider all financial commitments for a property, many can still be caught unaware by out of the blue maintenance and repair costs. 

Buy-to-let landlords should squirrel away savings in anticipation of these events and an industry rule of thumb is an annual budget equivalent to 1% of your property’s value. 

So what does that equate to?  

Across the UK landlords should be tucking away an annual budget of £2,344 to cover repairs and maintenance, with this rising to £4,746 in London, with the North East home to the lowest repair costs at just £1,328. 

Of course, markets with higher rent returns may seem promising from an investment standpoint but the higher the reward, the higher the cost when things do go wrong. In Kensington and Chelsea, this annual 1% saving climbs to an eye-watering £12,292, hitting nearly £9,000 in both the Cities of London and Westminster.  

Outside of London, South Bucks and Elmbridge are home to the most expensive buy-to-let maintenance costs at £6,091 and £6,019 respectively.

Head to the likes of Burnley or Blaenau Gwent however, and this yearly maintenance budget drops to less than £1,000 a year.

Founder and CEO of Howsy, Calum Brannan, commented: 

“The buy-to-let sector can be a minefield for the amateur investor and now more than ever, it’s imperative that you do everything you can to maximise the return on your investment.

While technology now allows a greater level of control and service when managing your investment at a lower cost via online platforms, it isn’t just about the financial side of things. Providing a fit for purpose property is not only a legal requirement but essential to ensure a happy tenancy and a reduction in void periods.

Of course, things can go wrong and having the budget available to fix them is a must. In the worst-case scenarios, a cash pot equal to one percent of your property’s value might not be sufficient, but it should cover you for most eventualities and is a good benchmark to start on.

As with all buy-to-let investments, good preparation, organisation, and education are key, and whether you go it alone or have a great management agent if you stay on top of things, a bricks and mortar investment is still one of the best you can make.” 

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