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



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.” 


Living in an ASBO hotspot could cost you £60k on the price of your home



Research by national estate agent, Springbok Properties, has looked at the property cost of living in one of the nation’s most anti-social areas based on the average house price in locations with the largest number of ASBOs issued compared to the wider area.  

Springbok Properties looked at the average yearly number of ASBOs issued across criminal justice areas in England and Wales and compared the house prices for these areas to the wider region to see how they performed.

Across the nation’s top ten ASBO hotspots, the average house price is £213,880 compared to £228,109 in the wider regions, a -6.2% drop and cash difference of £14,230.

In contrast, the top ten areas with the lowest number of ASBOs were home to an average house price of £275,407, some 12.7% higher than the wider region, equating to an additional £31,043 in property values.  

The worst

The worst place for homeowners in terms of price depreciation in the top 10 ASBO hotspots was Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, where the average house price was a huge -19.7% lower than the wider region – a drop of £65,002!

Lancashire also ranked high in terms of house price decline, -12.1% or £20,228 lower than the wider region.

Other ASBO areas with some of the largest differences in house price are Avon and Somerset, Merseyside and the West Midlands.

The best

For the best neighbours and the most robust house price growth, head to Surrey. The area sees some of the lowest numbers of ASBOs issued on a yearly basis and the average house price is 36.4% (£119,773) higher than the wider region.

Warwickshire and North Yorkshire are also some of the best areas to live for a happy house price return.

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

“No matter where you buy in the UK there will always be some degree of anti-social behaviour but the figures show that homes in areas with a higher level tend to sell for less when compared to both the wider area and the locations with a lower level. 

Any degree of crime can be a big deterrent for potential buyers and so when looking to buy it’s important to do your research and consider things like anti-social behaviour in relation to your budget in order to find the best balance for your personal situation.

Not every area will be as bad as the top line figures make out so when viewing it’s always advised to ask the neighbours, or even local business owners, to get a realistic picture.”

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