The recent changes affecting the buy to let market – such as increased stamp duty for second property owners and reduced tax allowances – have made it more important than ever to look for value when buying to let.
One way to get value is to look for property under the stamp duty threshold of £125,000. And so cut your stamp duty bill to the absolute minimum of 3% – a worthwhile and quite satisfying saving (A property at £126,000 would be 5%, or over £6,000.)
As an added advantage, cheaper properties tend to offer a higher rental yield than more expensive properties (but do check) and, in many cases are more lettable too.
In this report we’ll look at 8 locations you might not have considered where the average price of a property is below £125,000, often well below, and so which offer a good selection of properties on which the absolute minimum of stamp duty is payable by investors.
Tip. By and large you’ll need to look in the Midlands, north east, north west or Wales for these deals. Even in the cheapest parts of the south and east you’ll be hard pressed to find average prices much less than £200,000
Darlington. The north east is, at the end of the day, the cheapest place for property prices in England bar none. And if you’re looking for bargain basement prices you could do far worse than look at Darlington. It makes a much better proposition than parts of the north east that have been hit by industrial decline, yet isn’t much more expensive.
Average property price in Darlington: £97,000
Manchester. Read the pages of Property Insider and it won’t take you long to get the idea that we’re very enthusiastic about Manchester as a property investment location. At this kind of prices Manchester should really come with a first come, first served, buy while stocks last label. Of course, like most big cities you’ll have your work cut out to find a good, lettable property in a good, lettable area for this money – but we’re sure local agents will be happy to point you in the right direction.
Average property price in Manchester: £105,000
Halton. Halton is another one of those places that’s often overlooked, possibly because no one from outside the area actually knows where it is. If that’s you here’s a quick briefing: Halton straddles the River Mersey, is technically in Cheshire, and comprises Runcorn and Widnes plus a number of villages further out. So now you know. It’s very accessible for Liverpool and most of the north west with a new bridge set to improve its strategic position even more – a definite plus for the future of the local economy.
Average property price in Halton: £97,000
Caerphilly. Not the cheapest of the Welsh valley towns by any means. But rental demand here is supported by the fact is has good access to Cardiff (and the M4) – a place where investment property will cost you a whole 40% more. There’s a very tasty cheese of the same name too, not that that’s a reason for investing anywhere of course.
Average property price in Caerphilly: £99,000
Nottingham. It’s really a puzzle to us how a major city like Nottingham, with a buzzing city economy and one of the most popular universities in the country, can be so cheap. We’re sure they’re must be some catches with property investments at the lowest end of the price scale here though, so it would make sense to speak to some experienced agents on the best places to invest. Definitely well worth consideration though.
Average property price in Nottingham: £94,000
Calderdale. Where’s Calderdale I can hear you asking? Calderdale, for those of you not in the know, is the area around Halifax in West Yorkshire (which itself, isn’t strictly in Calderdale but that’s another matter). Calderdale has good access to Leeds – although property is far, far cheaper than in Leeds – and the rest of West Yorkshire as well as across to Manchester. An investor’s money can go a long way here.
Average property price in Calderdale: £98,000
Doncaster. One of Pi’s long term tips and, in many ways we think, an undiscovered gem for investors. Cheap as chips (Yorkshire fish and chips of course) is the only word for property here. Doncaster’s economy has seen better days but with great accessibility it it’s a favourite with companies wishing to relocate with some major industrial developments underway or planned. That should make it a favourite with residential investors too.
Average property price in Doncaster: £95,000
Liverpool. Liverpool is famous as the place that has more empty properties than anywhere else and that even sells off its empty properties (to owners occupiers) For £1. If you think the £92,000 average seems low then speak to local agents (we have done) here and they’ll tell you can buy a perfectly sound investment property in Liverpool, or across the river in Birkenhead, for much less than this – starting from just £80,000.
Average property price in Liverpool: £92,000
(Average property prices as supplied by the Land Registry at date of publication, rounded down to the nearest thousand pounds.)
Property Insider Editorial by Mark Hempshell, Editor in Chief