We have been established in London as a specialist investment agency for the past decade and we know the best and most lucrative investment opportunities, how to secure the right units and how to get the highest yields and capital growth.
Due to our expert knowledge we have been sourcing residential purchases for our clients to live in, either permanently or on a temporary basis whilst visiting the UK. Due to our extensive lettings knowledge, we are also able to offer short and longer term solutions for those who require income whilst the property is vacant.
To find out more about our sales service click here.
Look at the numbers
There are two ways to make money on property:
By the capital value rising, so that you sell at a profit
From the income that a rental can generate from the property
At Regent we’ve had years of experience helping people to take their first steps as property investors, and advising on how to expand or diversify portfolios. In this section we explain what makes financial and legal sense, share our ideas and insights on buying a property in London, as it is more than just acting on gut instinct.
You need to clarify your financial goals and look into the future to predict tenant preferences, where the economy’s heading, and how lifestyles will change. Regent Property can help you at every stage of the journey, starting with decisions about budget, areas and markets. We are here to look at properties with you, to offer you rental valuations and share our experience and knowledge so that you’ll be in the right position to take the next step.
Regent Property will help you get both parts of this equation right. It can be useful to found your decision making with the black and white data, such as the end return you want from your investment. But doesn’t everything in life have some colour around the edges? Regent property will guide you through the difficulties of the grey area.
What to buy?
The single biggest change we’ve noticed since the rental sector took off in the early 1990s is that you can’t just rent out anything. Matching the property to the market is becoming more and more challenging and every empty flat is a testament to something not being quite right.
A common mistake is to aim big. A larger flat must generate a higher rent, so a better return, right? Not always. A better method could be to go for a smaller property in an area where there’s more demand. And there are other decisions to be made based on the market you’re aiming at. What might seem like a quirky and edgy flat to a youngster would be a complete no go to an older person. And it’s the same with furniture – one style, unfortunately, won’t suit everyone.
Buying a property to let out is so much more than acting on a gut instinct. You need to clarify your financial goals and look towards the future to predict tenant preferences, where the economy’s heading, and how lifestyles will change. Regent Property can help you at every stage in the journey. Starting with decisions about budget, areas and markets, we’ll then look at properties together, give you rental valuations and share our experience and knowledge with you so that you’ll be in the right position to take the next step.
Where to buy?
London is huge and within half a mile there can be a difference in rent of £100 per week. Regent Property will help you identify where tenant demand is hottest and where capital values are on the rise.
We can also advise you about areas where the infrastructure has improved and properties that are close to transport. But first you need to think about who your tenants are likely to be. Where will they work? How old will they be? What will they do at weekends? If hard data and lifestyle factors can be put together you’ll be in the right place to proceed. Your next decision is whether to buy off plan or pick a popular location. Do you spread your risk by going to areas that are not so hyped up? How much risk are you comfortable with? But remember, Regent Property is here to guide you in the right direction.
A buyer's guide to property investment
Once you’ve found your investment property, you’ll want to achieve the highest possible return. This isn’t only about the income that the property will generate, but also how you go about buying it in the first place.
The press are full of stories about off-shore companies owning properties in central London, but this only demonstrates their advisors’ wisdom. They knew all along that a rental investment needs mitigating tax (in all its forms) as the starting off point for a solid and successful investment. Who should buy the property? Should you buy as a company or as an individual? If you’re married, would it be best to buy in joint names or should one of you capitalise on all available tax allowances? When do you intend to sell the property? Who will inherit the property if anything happens to you?
These are questions that only accountants can guide you through. The rules on the taxes that affect property – income, inheritance and capital gains – tend to change with every budget. Which accountant to use? Just as with legal advice, it’s vital to have a good accountant. Start with a firm of accountants who specialise in property investment guidance. Be confident that they understand your plan for the next 5-10 years and disclose as much information about your financial goals as possible, so that they can maximise your potential savings. Regent Property have worked with a number of firms who’ve helped our clients realise their property ambitions. If you’d like a referral please give us a call.
The legalities of property investment
Buying property in London can be complicated so you’re going to need a solicitor to act for you. But first, be sure to familiarise yourself with these essential legal issues which will affect the property you select.
Freehold or leasehold
A freehold property stands on ground that it owns.
A leasehold property is a building, or part of a building, standing on ground that belongs to someone else – the freeholder.
As a rule of thumb houses are generally freehold and flats are leasehold, where the owner of the land has granted leases to the owners of the individual units. The length of a lease directly affects the value of the property. A normal lease length is considered to be 100-999 years. Anything shorter will be cheaper, but you’ll find it hard to finance as lenders consider shorter leases more risky. If you should have the opportunity to gain a share of the freehold it’s generally considered a worthwhile investment as control of the freehold means control of the building. Again, you’ll need legal advice to extend or enfranchise any lease.
Planning permission in London is controlled by the individual borough councils, so if you want to buy a property and alter it you shouldn’t assume that what’s allowed in one area will be the same elsewhere. In London there are also the landowning estates – GIHLondon, Cadogan and Portman to name just three – which place further restrictions on what can and can’t be done to a period property. Never underestimate how long and expensive all this red tape will be to overcome.
Stamp duty land tax (SDLT): All property transactions in England and Wales are subject to stamp duty land tax, which is levied when you buy a property. This tax is added on to the asking price and paid to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) when you complete on the purchase. Governments tend to adjust the SDLT rate to try and regulate the housing market. Your solicitor will advise you of the different thresholds, but at the time of writing they are:
|Up to||SDLT % rate payable||Property value/lease premium/transfer value|
If you buy a house for £275,000, the SDLT you owe is calculated as follows:
0% on the first £125,000 = £0
2% on the next £125,000 = £2,500
5% on the final £25,000 = £1,250
Total SDLT = £3,750