There's been an awful lot of coverage in the media over the summer extolling the virtues of the Student Lettings market and we've seen a big up surge in enquiries from potential Buy to Let landlords. Since we don't offer a sales service, we're able to offer a completely objective view as to where and what to buy and, indeed, whether or not a student investment is the right way to go.
Right, let's start with the negatives and build it up from there. The four big downers for buying a student property in Norwich are:-
1) You buy the wrong property type
2) In the wrong place
3) Let it to the wrong tenants
4) And the killer, the University population drops from the previous year and you're left with an empty property with no alternative use.
Bearing in mind the University term has just started and demand for places at UEA was said to be very high this year, it must be very worrying for the owners of the 51 student properties revealed in a RightMove search (on 3rd October) to still be available to rent.
There's no question that student property owning is harder work than owning property let to salary earning professionals (although, use a good agent and it doesn't have to seem that way). This is one of the reasons why gross yields are better but the other big reason is that your wear and tear reinvestment costs are going to be higher.
All of these negatives can be very successfully overcome simply by buying the right house in the right place, then if you use a good agent, the other two issues just won't appear on the horizon. Most of the time, a high cash yield compensates for low capital growth prospects but it need'nt be this way; buying right and ensuring good alternative use can achieve both growth and a high yield.
Cash yields from student properties can be superb but only if you reinvest to keep them up to a high standard. Remember student letting is not a year round market and you will be competing against a large number of other Norwich student property landlords in the race to get yours over the line. And, if you want to win, please don't enter a donkey in the Grand National!
So where to buy? We'll happily give you our objective view and help you along the way if you would like us to. If you've already invested in a student property and have been disappointed by the outcome this year, give us a call, we'll be pleased to show you how it can be done properly. On the other hand, if you are the owner of a sad old donkey, now might just be the time to put it out of its misery!