There are a number of reasons why many people see buy-to-let as a good medium term option: Nationally there’s a shortage of housing and unless we start building on a massive scale, it’s only going to get bigger. People’s lifestyles are changing so more people live alone, or in smaller family units, which only increases this demand. Pensions don’t seem to be delivering as they used to, so people are looking for other ways to fund their later life. It seems inevitable that as time goes on, the taxman will show a greater interest in buy-to-let, but that doesn’t stop an increasing number of people ploughing in on a monthly basis.
Equally, the long term demographics of Rugby make buy-to-let investment an attractive option. The town is at the centre of the UK motorway network – possibly the most central town in the UK. Its town centre station is on the West Coast Main Line too, giving access to Birmingham in 30 minutes and London in less than an hour.
Its the “birthplace of rugby” too, dating from the time when William Webb Ellis reputedly picked up the ball and ran with it. Webb Ellis was a pupil at Rugby School – which to this day is a focal point of the town centre and a major owner of property. Cemex has a large site in the town, but the major source of employment comes from the International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT) which moves a massive amount of road / rail freight and is surrounded by a huge warehousing estate where companies like Tesco, Eddie Stobart, Royal Mail and Mothercare are major stakeholders. Whereas many town centres in the UK have been regenerated in recent years, it’s fair to say that Rugby hasn’t, and from that perspective the best maybe yet to come – the potential is significant.
A range of property is also a feature of the town. In recent years there has been a large amount of new build, and this will continue with significant development planned over the next decade which should further enhance the towns status and facilities. There’s also the traditional town centre stock – popular with renters and which hasn’t been overly affected by the recent economic downturn. Whilst there have been apartments built during the boom years, Rugby hasn’t been saturated like some places in the UK. Rental properties in good condition enjoy very limited void periods.
Prices for rental property are around the £100k mark, assuming you’re after something with a couple of bedrooms. You might pay a little more for something in a particularly nice area, but one of the benefits of Rugby is that there are very few areas that are to be avoided – it’s a safe option for the cautious investor. Yields are safe at 6 to 7% and tend not to fluctuate too much due to the fact that the town isn’t huge, so there’s always steady demand.
Essentially, Rugby ticks lots of boxes, and is surely a place that will see growth and improvement over the next generation. We bought a business here, so we’re confident growth will happen! We see a solid market that is slowly but steadily expanding, and which is based on positive underlying themes rather than short term ‘flashes’. We’re delighted to advise on the area and suitable purchasing opportunities.