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Old is the new new -Hawkeye

Apparently there are three words that are guaranteed to attract an audience on the Internet – SEX, FREE and NEW. The first I was struggling to work into a story about buy-to-let. I toyed with referring to invented research that being a landlord / landlady makes you irresistible to the opposite sex. Then thought wiser of it on the basis it could be a difficult one to substantiate. Given the site is free already, reference to this would be pointless & repetitive. So I’m stuck with the word NEW. Now obviously some politicians, mentioning no names Tony Blair have made a career and a party out of discovering and then rediscovering this word. I wish to stake no such vacuous claim.

Research out recently produced by Professor Michael Ball and sponsored by ARLA indicates that the perception that many of the ‘new’ landlords have being just buying up swathes of new developments in the UK’s metropolitan cities is false. It actually reveals that only 1% of properties come into the ‘chrome and glass’ shiny apartment category. Landlords appear to be heeding the warning that I have espoused for many years that all that ‘glitters is not gold’ and that you get more for your money by buying older properties in the suburbs or more established areas. At this point, I can hear a chorus of very successful landlords who have done ‘very well’ out of buying off plan developments and building up huge portfolios in next to no time saying “what’s the old ‘Git’ going on about?”

I still maintain that the best strategy for long-term investing is to always search for value and seek out the fundamentals. Have a look at my previous article ‘one lump or two’ where I look at the importance of working out the size of a property in accessing the value of the proposition.

I believe that new property often does not make good investment sense. Now for the first time there is research conducted by Stephen Ludlow of London estate agent Ludlow Thompson backs this up. He uses figures produced from the Land Registry and has found that over the last 3 years whilst old houses have gone up by 30.4%, new builds have only risen by only 12.8%.

In the aftermath of the Government’s recently introduced ‘Age discrimination Act’. Landlords should take time to reflect on the lessons of concentrating on the fundamentals of property i.e. the merits of location, size, demand and price. In this respect they may realise that ‘new’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

HAWKEYE – a unique perspective on property investing

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