Friday, 28 August 2015

Get in quick for this Penicuik BTL flat that is priced to sell!


Calling all landlords!  Get in quick, this won’t be around for long as the property is in a popular part of Penicuik, it is good inside and it is reasonably priced.

This property is a two bedroom ground floor flat at 13 Castlaw Court in Penicuik near Tesco and it is being sold by McEwan Fraser. It is a good size and internally it is in great condition including a quality kitchen and bathroom.


It is priced at offers over £89,995.  When you do your sums against an assumed sale price of £95,000 and an achievable rent of £625 pcm, this could generate you an annual yield of 7.9%.

We hope you find our posts useful.  If you would like some advice with your potential investment, please come and see us in our offices (6 Bank Street, Penicuik), call us (01968 674601) or email either of us (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk; linda@thekeyplace.co.uk).

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Penicuik Buy To let – Bedrooms?


Last week, a landlord from Penicuik emailed me to ask, after reading the Penicuik Property Blog, if he should extend his terraced house making an extra bedroom in the loft. He had a builder friend who owed him a favour, and he thought that a good way to make more money out of his property would be to get an ‘inexpensive’ extension.

Having more useable space is generally thought to be consistent with better quality accommodation and homeowners and tenants are prepared to pay for it. If you added a bedroom to a two bed terraced to make a three bed terraced, it will add 10% to the value of the property. Turn a three bed terraced into a four bed terraced and 9% will be added to the value. Looking at semi detached properties, and turn a two into a three bed and 12% will be added to the value, whilst making a three bed semi into four bed will add 9% in value.

However, before you rush off to the planning department there are some important considerations, whether you are a homeowner or landlord. What would be the cost of making that extra bedroom? The average value of a terraced house in Penicuik is currently £145,984 whilst the average value of a semi detached house is £196,527, meaning to make money the cost of the extension would need to be less than £13,868 on the terraced property and £20,638 on the semi detached house. Talking to a number of tradespeople in the Town, most are booking up into the New Year. Also, no matter how good a friend he was, I know of no builders that would charge as little as that. Maybe the builder was just thinking of a bit of pointing work on the chimney!

Well, that got me thinking about how bedrooms affected rental prices and rent-ability as well. The average rent of a two bed property in Penicuik is £625pm, but a three bed is only £150pm more at £775pm, whilst the average four bed rent is £1,000pm.  Interestingly, you will see that whilst bedrooms do have an effect on the rent that can be achieved and the rent-ability of the property – the difference does not warrant the expense, hassle and trouble of extending.

No, if you want to increase the value of your property, be you a Penicuik landlord or homeowner, there are things that cost a lot less than building extra bedrooms. Spruce up the exterior, emulsion all the rooms, install fresh carpets and curtains. For homeowners, a matter of a few hundred pounds will add thousands whilst for landlords these things can add an extra 10% to the rent that you can achieve.

For more advice and opinion on the Penicuik Property Market, visit the Penicuik Property Blog at www.penicuikpropertyblog.co.uk 

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Are ‘would be’ Penicuik homeowners warming to the idea of renting?



I was reading a report the other day produced by the Halifax, about the UK property market and why more and more of the younger generation seem to be renting rather than buying. I find it fascinating that over the last ten years, the British obsession of buying a house almost as soon as you left school, and the fact that if you rented you were seen as a second class citizen, has turned on its head to a point where the hopes and dreams to own a nice home will be replaced by the ambition simply to live in one.

In the latter half of the 20th Century, you left school, got a job, bought a small house and kept buying and selling property, constantly upgrading until eventually they carried you out in a box. However, the perceived shame and stigma of renting is no longer the case, as it seems that the British are now beginning to accept a lifetime of renting. This is a very important consideration for both Penicuik homeowners and Penicuik landlords as it will transform the way the Penicuik property ladder looks in the future and I might ask whether or not it will exist at all for some people? The make up of households is one important factor, especially in the Penicuik property market. The normal stereotypical married couple, two kids and dog of the 1970’s and 80’s has changed. More and more we have the need for larger houses where two families come together after divorces (+ kids) and need a property to house everyone through to an increase in the number of one person households.

Looking at the data for Penicuik, of the 901 private rental properties in the Penicuik Locality, 27.62% of those rented properties are one person households (249 properties). However, when we compare the number of one person Penicuik households who have bought their own property with a mortgage (i.e. therefore they are still in work), of the 4,705 owner occupied households in the area, only 355 of those properties are a one person household (i.e. 7.54%). Compared to a decade ago, this explosion in demand for decent high quality rental properties that one person households require has not been met with an increase in supply of such properties.  More and more I believe Penicuik landlords need to consider this change in the make up of Penicuik households, as I believe this could be an opportunity.

It is true that the Government’s introduction in 2013 of the Help to Buy scheme, where first time buyers only needed a 5% deposit, changed the perception of peoples’ ability to buy without having to save ten’s of thousands of pounds for a deposit. However, it might surprise you, 95% mortgages were re-introduced within six months of the Credit Crunch in late 2009, so again it comes down to people’s own perception. Many youngsters think they won’t get a mortgage, so don’t even bother trying.

Coming back to the deposit, it’s still a fact that once you start renting it becomes that much harder to save for a deposit, regardless of the size. Interestingly, 7 out of 8 renters polled by the Halifax (86% to be exact) refuse to sacrifice the quality of accommodation they currently live in to reduce the amount of rent they pay in order to save for a deposit.  This is the crux and the real reason why people aren’t buying but renting... and why demand for renting will continue to grow in the future (i.e. good news for landlords). Penicuik tenants can upgrade the quality and size of the property they live in for a minimal rent increase. The average rent of a two bed property in Penicuik is £625pm, but a three bed is only £150pm more at £775pm, whilst the average four bed rent is £1,000pm. If you had to make that jump when buying, the monthly mortgage payments would be stratospherically more than that! Without any social pressure and better quality rental properties compared to a decade ago, we will become a nation of renters within the next generation, as the UK is becoming more like Europe, where renting is ‘the norm’. 

Who is going to supply all these properties to rent? Landlords! Whether you are an existing landlord looking to grow your portfolio or looking to become a ‘first time landlord’, my thoughts are take advice from as many people as possible. However, as the majority of landlords buy their buy to let properties in the same town they live, you will need specific advice about Penicuik itself.

One place for such quality advice and opinion is the Penicuik Property Blog www.penicuikpropertyblog.com.

Friday, 14 August 2015

8.2% + yield on Penicuik 3 bed upper villa


Today’s buy to let opportunity is a 3 bed, upper villa on John Street opposite the Bank of Scotland that is being sold by McEwan Fraser Legal.  John Street is the main drag into Penicuik.

There is plenty of accommodation including a decent sized lounge, a fitted kitchen, 3 double bedrooms, a bathroom with a shower, gardens and on street parking.  The property is in lettable condition and, by the looks of the photos, it has been rented out before. Structurally there are a couple of things I would point out: one the bedrooms is a ‘small’ double (have a look at the photos and you will see what I mean!) and the fact that is an upper villa may put off some people, particularly families with small kids. 

http://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/36129638

Doing the maths. The price is £110,000.  Rent of £750 pcm is achievable on a property like this which gets you to a 8.2% yield.  You may get rent of £800 if you are lucky but I have assumed £750 to be on the safe side given that it is an upper villa.  Also, the property has been on the market since March of this year so there may be movement on the price.

We hope you find our posts useful.  If you would like some advice with your potential investment, please come and see us in our offices (6 Bank Street, Penicuik), call us (01968 674601) or email either of us (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk; linda@thekeyplace.co.uk).

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Flats in Penicuik – worth a look as over 7% yields with limited capital needed


I was talking to one of my landlords from Roslin the other week about the buy to let property market in Penicuik, when the subject of flats (properties not shoes – see picture!), and in particular whether they would make a good investment, came up.

He said that he was not keen on flats because he had heard people lose money on them in the past and, anyway, she wouldn’t want to climb stairs to a flat or suffer getting no peace in a flat as a result of noisy neighbours.  This is a reaction I have heard a few times so I thought that I would look into the buy to let flat market in Penicuik a bit further.

First of all, let’s take the personal stuff.  As with all buy to let investments, it’s about the returns you can make on the property rather than whether you would want to live in a property.  A flat wouldn’t be my first choice to live now but I was very happy living in flats when I was younger and, anyway, I am no longer renting. 

Secondly, let’s have a look at the financial stuff. 

There is a strong argument that buying a flat these days is not an issue as they are sensibly priced, the error people made in the past was buying them at the start of this century for more than the price of a house.

If you are a landlord with a limited budget, you can still find a decent property to let in Penicuik. Typically, a reasonably priced one bedroomed flat can be bought for around £85,000 in Penicuik – the average rent for this sort of property is likely to be around £500 - £525 per month so that’s a yield of over 7%.  A similar two bedroomed flat in Penicuik can be bought for around £95,000 and will also give you a yield of over 7% based on the average rent for these properties of around £600 - £625.  In either case, £85-95,000 is not that much for a buy to let property – assuming a 75% mortgage, that’s only £21,000 to £24,000 capital down to get a property.

We hope you find our posts useful.  If you want some advice on this property, another property you have in mind or anything else property related, come and see us in our office (6 Bank Street, Penicuik) or email either of us (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk; linda@thekeyplace.co.uk).

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Don’t judge a Penicuik property gem by its ‘cover’!


Sometimes Penicuik property gems are not the bonniest from the outside but are gems none the less and today’s Penicuik Property Blog is for sure one of these!

Today’s Penicuik Property Blog is a centrally located 1 bed flat at 15 Bridge Street, Penicuik just off the High Street.  The flat has a large lounge, big enough to take a dining table and chairs, a (newly?) fitted kitchen, a good sized bedroom, a bathroom with a bath over the shower, attic space, gas central heating and double glazing.


To be honest, it is not the bonniest property on the outside and it is on the first floor so has steps up to it, but it is a modernish property, the accomodation and decor inside is good and there is demand for centrally located 1 bed flats in Peniciuik.

The flat is on the market by our friends at Stuart & Stuart for offers in the region of £85,000 so let’s say you can get it for £85,000 which is not that much to shell out for a Penicuik property.  At a rent of £525/month this gives you a yield of 7.4%.

We hope you find our posts useful.  If you would like some advice with your potential investment, please come and see us in our offices (6 Bank Street, Penicuik), call us (01968 674601) or email either of us (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk; linda@thekeyplace.co.uk).

Friday, 7 August 2015

Get in quick for this Penicuik BTL flat that is priced to sell


Calling all landlords!  Get in quick, this won’t be around for long as the property is in a popular part of Penicuik, it is very good inside and it is reasonably priced.

This property is a two bedroom upper flat in John Street near the Bank of Scotland and it is being sold by Your Move. It is a good size and internally it is in great condition including a quality kitchen and bathroom.  A couple of things to note – it is on the main road, John Street, and it is an upper flat which will put some people off particiularly families with a buggy!


It is priced at offers over £82,000 so let’s say it goes for £85,000.  When you do your sums against an achievable rent of £625 pcm, this could generate you an impressive annual yield of 8.8%.

We hope you find our posts useful.  If you would like some advice with your potential investment, please come and see us in our offices (6 Bank Street, Penicuik), call us (01968 674601) or email either of us (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk; linda@thekeyplace.co.uk).

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Penicuik Property - Do you know the Facts and Figures?


Here at The Key Place, we can guide you to the right places to identify property values and yields in Penicuik and, as well as that, we can provide you with other useful property related information so you can make sure you know all you need to know before making your future investments.

I was reminded of this the other day when I was chatting to a landlord of mine and he said that I was a font of useful information about the Penicuik property market ..... at least I think he said useful! 

This got me thinking that others may be interested in some ‘useful’ property facts about our town of Penicuik....

There are 230 streets Penicuik with 6,627 households, and just 16% of all those houses (1,073 to be precise) have changed hands since 2008.

Compared to the national average, Penicuik has 18% less detached houses, 51% more semi detached houses, 95% more terraced houses and 52% less flats. This ties in with Penicuik having significantly less single person property occupancy compared to the national average (27% vs 35%) and correspondingly more 2 person + households.  This is a good indicator that Penicuik is good place to buy property in as yields on semi detached and terraced houses are generally higher than detached houses and flats.

Penicuik has more owned properties than the national average (71% vs 62%) and less Council/social renting than nationally (21% vs 25%).  Overall this means that only 8% of properties in Penicuik are privately rented which is much lower than the national average of 13%. Given that there is a shift towards people renting rather than buying their own home, this means that there is more to ‘go after’ in Penicuik.

We also have information at our fingertips on seemingly daft things which can turn out to be quite important.  For example, 92% of properties in Penicuik have gas central heating which is much higher than the national average of 74%.  This is really useful to know when refurbishing a flat and considering whether you can ‘get away’ with electrical heating ..... you probably can’t in Penicuik

I could go on but I better not!

If you would like more useful facts and figures pop in to see us at our offices (6 Bank Street, Penicuik) or email either of us (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk; linda@thekeyplace.co.uk).

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Volte-face for the Penicuik Property Blog this week!


Last time the Penicuik Property Blog was talking about one and two bed flats in Andrew Court; this time it’s a delightful semi-detached house in the pleasant Cornbank area of Penicuik – it shows we cover the whole market if nothing else!

Today’s property is at 19 Ravendean Garden, Penicuik.  Ravendean Gardens is off Rullion Road in the nice Cornbank area of Penicuik.  The property itself is a lovely 3 bed semi-detached property with a lounge, a separate dining room, a fitted kitchen, 3 bedrooms and a bathroom with shower over the bath.  In addition, there are well stocked gardens front and rear for the garden lovers amongst you.

This short of property would suit a professional family who could really make it their home so is likely to attach a longer term tenant.

Hunter Residential are selling the house and it is on the market for offers over £149,995.  Let’s say it goes for £160,000.  The right tenants should pay £900 for a house like this so that’s a yield of 6.8%.

We hope you find our posts useful.  If you want some advice on this property, another property you have in mind or anything else property related, come and see us in our office (6 Bank Street, Penicuik) or email either of us (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk; linda@thekeyplace.co.uk).