Buying property in ‘down and out’ areas can pay off, says a high-profile property investment expert.
With demand for London housing booming, prices in areas including Brent, once dubbed the city’s the “drive-by shooting capital” have been rising faster than in the up-market areas of Chelsea, Westminster, and Knightsbridge, even shocking agents at their climb.
Real estate investment expert, Rick Otton, says as London’s population continues to grow and housing demand rises, “down and out” areas can become more appealing.
“We’ve seen this happen before. And it will always be a fact of life. The real estate market works as any other market: supply and demand. When there is a shortage of housing people are forced to snap up what they need despite it being perhaps less desirable. This forces prices upward, and is what we are seeing in Brent.”
Francis P Henry, of Daniels Estate Agents, which covers the borough that includes Kilburn, Wembley and Willesden, tells OPP Connect, “It is no wonder why Brent has caught the eye of overseas buyers. Home to the National Stadium, much regeneration has made this a very attractive place to live.
“The homes here range from the beautiful Georgian homes of Kensal Rise to contemporary modern apartment in Wembley City. Ultimately you get more property for your money compared to neighbouring homes, whilst keeping quick transport links to City through multiple underground and overground train lines.”
Brent in North-west London has seen the fastest rising housing prices in London. Particularly, in the trendy Queens Park area, housing prices have outpaced Chelsea and Westminster and surprisingly even the ever popular Knightsbridge.
The latest figures from the Nationwide building society shows Brent home prices rose by almost a third in one year, to £465,502, more than anywhere else in the country.
Mr Otton says, “Unheard of prices are being recorded in Brent at this time. Agents are shocked to see humble homes such as a two bedroom flat that would have sold for £560,000 only a few short months ago selling for as much as £625,000 today.”
“The beauty of this market is that those lucky enough to find a property for sale in London in these areas can use rental income to pay them off. Average rent in the area has risen to £1,000 per week. It’s easy math to see you could be receiving rental income of £4,000 a month.”
So what is a good location? It all boils down to your return on investment. The key question I ask myself is “how can this property generate positive cash flow? Whenever I think in that manner, I get to reflect on what it is I want to achieve with the property. I get to think in more detail what my exit strategy will be and how I could execute the strategy. In that way, I am not caught up with the perception.”
In order to avoid paying the current soaring prices, Mr Otton says an option is to reach out a little further to Harlesden. Although this neighbourhood has a dubious reputation, it is bound to see the same encouraging price increases.
“It is not unreasonable to set your sights on Harlesden as the next area to start seeing rising prices. As surrounding areas continue to see a ‘gentrification’ you will be getting in on the bottom by investing in these properties now.”
Rick Otton is a property investment professional who has introduced ‘low-risk, high-reward’ real estate strategies to the UK, Australia and the United States. This year, marks the five year anniversary of his Buy A House For A Pound’ book, which is scheduled to be updated this year. His website is at www.RickOtton.co.uk.
The map of Greater London, which shows the location of Brent, comes from Wikipedia.
By Adrian Bishop, Editor, OPP Connect