Chatham v Gillingham: Which gives a bigger yield for landlords investing in the Medway Property Market?

I have been helping a landlord this week who bought a property in Chatham and undertook a complete renovation to turn it into a house of multiple occupation (HMO). He told me that he was having a tough time letting out the HMO’s rooms individually as the area doesn’t have the best reputation. After meeting and talking with him, I am in the process of arranging a company lease in order to get him the maximum rent possible and on a secure basis for 12 months. So this investment property should still bring in a good yield in the Medway property market.

A lot of my readers are asking about Chatham and Gillingham investment properties, and I assure them that both areas can bring high yields. These two Medway towns are similar in size and in population, with Chatham having approximately 80,000 residents to Gillingham’s 100,000. The average terraced property in Chatham comes in at £172,000 and rents average out at £700, giving gross yields of 4.8%. Meanwhile, an average terraced property in Gillingham is slightly more expensive at £175,000 but commands a higher expected rental of £800 per month, which provides a gross yield of 5.4%. Yields can be increased to upwards of 13% if purchasing HMOs in both Chatham and Gillingham.

Of the 12,312 homes in the ME7 postcode of Gillingham, 60.86% of them are owner-occupied; 11.8% are socially rented. This leaves 27.34%, or 3,366 privately rented homes in the area. In the west side of Chatham encompassing the ME4 postcode there are 5,898 homes with a very low owner-occupied ratio of 49.45% and a high percentage of social rents at 18.11%, leaving 32.44% privately rented properties in central Chatham.

Pump House No.5, Chatham Dockyard, Chatham, ME4 has been converted to a spirits distillery

In the outlying Chatham ME5 postcode, the 15,145 homes have a much higher owner occupied percentage of 73.32% and a far lower socially rented percentage of 12.43%, and there are only 14.25% or 2,158 homes in the private rented sector. Overall, Chatham had an average of only 23% of homes available for rent, or 4,839 available from a total of 21,043 homes.

So, Gillingham has a higher population alongside less available housing stock— a perfect recipe for increased demand for rentals. For this reason there is a higher percentage of properties in the Gillingham private rented sector to meet the increasing demand. Rents throughout Medway were one of the top performers outside of London in 2015, rising 8.8%. On the other hand, Chatham’s smaller population alongside greater housing stock may have reduced demand. But in any case, if your property is refurbished to a high standard, high yields are attainable.

I think those investing in Chatham would do well to stick to the west and north of Chatham bordering with Rochester and Gillingham. These areas are close to mainline stations, and are therefore more easily lettable. They are also near to the Chatham dockside and other amenities as well as local transport links.

Overall, you can do well in both Chatham and Gillingham but make sure you are picking the right type of property for the area. Alongside your own research, feel free to get in touch if you want a local insight on rental demand in Medway. Just email me the name of a street, or the link to a property in Medway, and I can advise on whether it is a good property investment. My email is hasan@bullfinchproperties.co.uk.

You can read more at www.medwaypropertynews.com or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bullfinchproperties.

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