Buy to let is essentially different from investing in stocks and shares or putting money in the Building Society. Whilst these other investments (Building Society Passbooks, Stocks and Shares etc.) are passive i.e. once the money has been invested it you leave it alone, with buy to let things are more hands on, in fact it’s almost a business. One thing the landlords I speak to say is the fact that they like buy to let because it is both an investment as well as a business. It is this factor that attracts many of my Northampton landlords – they are making their own decisions rather than entrusting them to others (such as the ‘City’ whiz kids in London playing roulette with their Pension Pot).
So if you are investing in the Northampton property market, you can earn from your investment in two ways. When a property increases in value over time, it is known as ‘capital growth’. Capital growth, also known as capital appreciation, has been strong in recent times in Northampton, but remember, the value of property does go up as well as down just like shares do, but the initial purchase price rarely decreases. Rental income is what the tenant pays you – hopefully this will grow over time too, so If you divide the annual rent into the value (or purchase price) of the property, this is your yield, or annual return.
I was talking to a landlord who bought a terraced house in the Parklands area of Northampton. He’d bought a very pleasant two bedroom terraced house in 1999 for £66,000, it sold again in January just gone for £150,000, a rise of 127.27% in just over 15 years – a compound annual return of 5.63%.
However, the real returns are for those Northampton landlords who borrowed money to purchase their buy to let property; they have made significantly higher returns than those who paid 100% cash. If the landlord had borrowed 75% of the £66,000 purchase price of the Parklands terraced house on an interest only 75% mortgage, he would have only needed to invest £16,500 (as his 25% deposit… borrowing the remaining £49,500), but his £16,500 would be worth today – £100,500 (£150,000 less £49,500 interest only mortgage)… a rise of 509.09% – a compound annual return of 12.80%… and I haven’t even mentioned the rent he would have received in those 15 years!
This demonstrates how the Northampton buy to let market has not only provided very strong returns for average investors since 1999 but how it has permitted a group of motivated buy to let Northampton landlords to become particularly wealthy. In fact, if this landlord had continued to re-mortgage the property as it went up in value, he could by our reckoning have had an additional two or three properties (albeit with larger mortgages but greater future potential).
As my article mentioned a few weeks ago, more and more Northampton people may be giving up on owning their own home and are instead accepting long term renting whilst buy to let lending continues to grow from strength to strength.