"From a commercial perspective many period properties can offer features that are rarely found in new-builds," says Belvoir's Commercial Director, Dorian Gonsalves
Period properties offer the scope and flexibility for a secure return
Age can be a definite advantage when investing in quality rental property according to Belvoir, the UK’s leading lettings specialist which has an office on Hillingdon Hill in Uxbridge.
“From a commercial perspective many period properties can offer features that are rarely found in new-builds,” says Belvoir’s Commercial Director, Dorian Gonsalves.
“Investing in them makes good business sense because they tend to outperform new homes in terms of rental levels and enjoy above average price rises.”
Of course, contemporary properties have their own attractions, with many investors keen on the fact that such developments are literally ready to go. Not everyone has the funds available to refurbish an older house, or is able to wait several months before it is ready to let and start earning income.
However, Belvoir says that sometimes the easiest property for agents to let is a well-maintained, well-equipped older one that has been finished to a high specification.
“Such homes are always in big demand and rarely stay on our books for long,” says Belvoir Uxbridge owner, Jeremy Wasden. “If a landlord is looking to invest in a property that never sits empty, then the best bet is very often one with age and character.”
"Period property is also frequently found in key locations close to key amenities like railway stations and tube stations, such as in Uxbridge or West Drayton. Areas such as Chiltern View Road, The Greenway in Uxbridge or Colham Avenue in Yiewsley spring to mind."
Belvoir offers landlords the following advice:
- Many tenants prefer properties that have a special charm and period features, such as original fireplaces, windows or doors. New-builds on modern developments tend to be identical - unlike period properties, each with their own unique selling points.
- Older properties may require a little more maintenance, but landlords can save - and also make - more revenue in the long term if they are able to handle minor DIY jobs themselves and also have a clear plan for on-going maintenance costs.
- Longer established homes can offer more space for the money and usually feature larger rooms and higher ceilings with greater flexibility to change and adapt the floor layout.
- Strong demand for quality period conversions means that such properties will command a higher rent.
- Well-maintained older buildings hold their value well and enjoy above average price increases.
- Landlords have greater scope with an older property allowing them to convert or refurbish it to meet local demand.
- Older homes tend to be found in the most desirable locations and are more likely to be in established communities with good schools and local amenities.
- Built-in storage facilities such as airing cupboards, wardrobes and pantries are popular features found in many older properties.
- Attics and cellars offer the investor considerable scope for conversion. Many older houses have larger gardens that are much sought after by families.
- Modern features can easily be installed in a period property. Marrying tradition with the latest technology will reap the biggest rewards for the buy to let investor.
“The beauty of a period property is its scope and flexibility,” says Jeremy Wasden. “An older house can be presented to the market as a high quality family home or converted into luxury apartments to attract young professionals. Or it could be let as a house under multiple-occupancy to meet local demand.
“Older properties may require more work upfront and will need a bigger on-going maintenance budget than a new build, but the rewards are worth it.
“Get it right and you will find yourself with an investment that not only yields a secure, premium rental income but also goes up in price at a rate faster than that of the average new-build.”