An accountant friend called into the office last week to ask about the best place to invest in property in North Essex. He has a client who was looking to invest part of the proceeds of the sale of his business into buy to let property and wanted my thoughts.
Being this client’s first foray into investment property he was quite apprehensive and looking for reassurances from professionals within his local network for advice, including of course his accountant. My friend was looking for facts and figures rather than general sweeping statements that all was well with Colchester investment properties. After all a letting agent would only ever speak encouraging words wouldn’t he?
So let’s examine some of the facts.
Fact 1. There is an acute shortage of rental property in Colchester which has been growing for at least the last 5 years. This is particularly true of two and three bedroom houses in all of the key areas * throughout the town.
Fact 2. As a consequence of Fact 1, rents in Colchester have been rising at the fastest rate for the last 8 years.
Fact 3. Colchester has some of the most affordable property in North Essex. We know this by looking at the ratio of average salaries to average property prices in Colchester. Putting this to the test we found that the average Colchester property price towards the end of 2015 was £232,800 whereas the average salary was £18,346.00 giving us a very positive ratio of 12.6. In the CO1 postcode this improved further to 6.9%. Meanwhile just down the road in Witham the ratio is 14.5 making property in that town 15% less affordable than in Colchester. Interestingly when we widened the search to Chelmsford where the average property price was £298,000 the ratio was very similar to Witham at 14.7.
This data clearly illustrates that Colchester is the most affordable place to invest in property in North Essex .
So where exactly in Colchester should you be looking for investment properties ?
Unsurprisingly location is key to any sound property purchase and this includes investment properties. Look for proximity to good local amenities, including schools, doctors surgeries, shops and major areas of employment, such as the hospital or business park. Being within walking distance to Colchester north station is vital to the growing numbers of commuters who live in the town. Does the property have adequate parking, (ideally off road), and are there good bus services nearby ?
A good example would be Highwoods which has always been popular with home owners and investors alike. Having the business park and shopping centre so close by as well as good schools, the location is ideal for professionals and young families alike. The country park which extends to over 300 acres is a gem for nature lovers, walkers and cyclists. There are some great views of Colchester to be found there too.
If you’d like to have a chat about any aspect of the Colchester property market please feel free to call me on 01206 862288 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m happy to provide free email feedback on any investment property you may be considering. If you send me the hyperlink to the property from Rightmove or Zoopla I will usually respond within 24 hours. I am also happy to undertake free pre-purchase visits to your short list of potential properties to provide a rental valuation.