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Newport now a “lettings hotspot” as it bridges the divide

Newport is seeing a surge in house and apartment lettings as it benefits from its strategic location between Bristol and Cardiff, says Jamie Langley of Red Key Property Services.

City Bridge, Newport

© Copyright Nigel Davies and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence

Newport? Trendy? No one often manages to put those two words together, but Wales’s newest city is benefitting from a very positive trend at the moment: lots of people want to live here.

Our Newport branch has seen a 27% rise in lettings in the last 12 months – not all of which can be explained by our growing presence in the market. The fact is that more and more people want to rent rather than buy (and not just because of the problems around mortgages), and places like Newport are the winners.

Nationwide, not enough houses and apartments are being built, but there’s plenty of activity in and around Newport. Importantly, a high proportion of new builds are family homes, which are in demand, and many of our tenants look to live here because one partner works in Bristol and the other in Cardiff. Newport, neatly, bridges the divide.

It also helps that Newport has good schools, some excellent leisure facilities, beautiful countryside on its doorstep and (not least) easy train and motorway access to all points East and West, as well as further up the valleys.

With house prices here very realistic, you might expect people to buy rather than let… but not everyone is ready to commit to a mortgage; and with house prices stable, no one feels they are missing out by not being on the ladder. Renting also gives you the flexibility to move when a new job opportunity comes up – a real asset in an uncertain economy!

So what does all this mean to those considering becoming landlords? Arguably there has rarely been a better time. You can pick up two bedroom houses or apartments from £80,000 to £110,000 in Newport, and expect an annual rental from £6,000 to £7,200 (£500 to £600 pcm). Take off typical agency fees of 10 – 12% for those qualified agencies who offer a thorough service, and it breaks back to a very handy return of between five and six percent on your investment. Top up buy-to-let mortgages are certainly below that.

What’s more, choose the right property agency and all the hassle is taken away – sourcing properties and negotiating a good price, refurbishing them if necessary, finding and vetting the right tenants and guiding you through all the regulations.

For anyone looking for their first property investment, I honestly couldn’t advise anywhere better than Newport. And for those with a bit more cash to splash, we recently negotiated an 18-apartment deal for a new client… that’s how buoyant the market is right now.

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