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Should you buy to let in Stevenage?

Of all the areas that we cover from our Offices in Hitchin and Welwyn, Stevenage appears to be...


Of all the areas that we cover from our Offices in Hitchin and Welwyn, Stevenage appears to be the most interesting and inspiring for the calculating investor. In discussions with the investors and landlords I meet every day I always bring up Stevenage as an excellent opportunity. What is apparent to me is that a fear of little or no capital growth in Stevenage’s property and a belief that the Stevenage rental market does not attract enough professional tenant types is what concerns potential investors the most. In my opinion these are somewhat outdated attitudes and as many will have realised the Stevenage property market is flying along. In fact we can now confidently say that we generally see more demand for properties in Stevenage than anywhere else.


So what has brought about this shift in the nature of Stevenage’s property market and increased demand so greatly?  I think the answer is large local business. Obviously the train station has played a part, but the station was here long before this recent surge in demand and I suspect acts as an assistant to this rise rather than its catalyst. This employment evolution of Stevenage is very attractive to potential inhabitants and an increased availability of professional employment results directly in a more numerous pool of well paid and desirable tenants.


Perhaps the marketing team at the Vista Tower development summed it up best when they outlined in their advert to buyers of their new apartments, “that there would be £250millon of investment in Stevenage in the next 10 years”, that Stevenage is regarded as “developing a reputation as a new UK entrepreneurial hub for the science sector” and that a new “Cell Therapy Manufacturing Centre is expected to created £1.2billion in revenue by only 2020”. With all this positive news coming out of Stevenage it is not difficult to see why demand is on the rise.


So what should you look to buy in Stevenage?

Well there are a few things to consider and one of the most important is that with an increase in local employment a reliance on convenient access to the train station has been reduced. This has created big demand for three bedroom houses in Stevenage with many ex council houses in areas like Chells and Shephall achieving fantastic rents of around £1050 to £1150pcm. These are often available to purchase for around £260k and this price offers a potential return of 5.3% if you achieve a rent of £1150. It is also really important to note that when buying free hold houses you are likely to avoid costs relating to service charges and leaseholds saving you potentially as much as £2500 per annum.


If £260k is out of your budget then perhaps consider purchasing a one bedroom house in a similar location. These range in prices from £140k to £175k and expected rents will be between £650 -£750. I strongly advise that you try to acquire these houses with gardens and allocated parking. Again you can avoid associated leasehold costs but this will be dependent on each property


If you are looking to purchase an apartment then there are an abundance of potential sites, though I would advise that you consider that tenants who tend to take on apartment like convenience and a more central location should be considered where possible. We feel that the Vista development offers excellent potential and we are also offering for sale a multitude of modern apartments in small development only a short walk from the town centre.   Please do remember that I am always happy to offer advice on potential investment properties and we do offer a Free Buy to Let work shop at our office on the last Friday of each month.

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