There is so much happening at the moment in Medway that it’s hard to keep up! As such, I have written a lot recently about the local regeneration taking place and the impact it will make on the area and investors.
This regeneration includes Rochester Airport Technology Park, which has received a £3.7 million boost to redevelop it and is now part of the North Kent Enterprise Zone (NKEZ). Ebbsfleet Garden City and the Kent Medical Campus in Maidstone are also part of the NKEZ.
This means that as of April 1st 2017, businesses in the zone are not having to pay business rates for five years. This is the second enterprise zone in Kent, with the first being at the old Pfizer site at Discovery Park in Sandwich. The good news is that it is expected the NKEZ will generate around 9,000 jobs over the next 8 to 10 years.
Many of those jobs will hopefully be secured by local people. Though of course, some may come from people hailing other areas, who will want to live in Medway. This then will be great for investors and landlords as it should create additional demand for rooms and homes.
Creating these jobs will also surely have a knock-on effect on other businesses that will benefit from increased trade and further improvements to the area.
Landlords remain optimistic
As you know, there are new tax changes for landlords. Related to this, a recent report from Paragon Mortgages says that 78% of landlords surveyed understand the personal implications of the tax changes that came in this month. It also says that, overall, landlord optimism was stable for the first quarter of 2017. However, the full impact will not be seen for some time.
Although buying intentions remain subdued, the predicted large-scale sell-off by landlords of buy-to-let properties has not yet materialised. The report says the size of the average portfolio is 13 properties, which is unchanged from the last quarter of 2016. The forecast is also said to be stable, as landlords indicate they do not expect their property portfolios to change in size over the next 12 months.
The report also shows that in the first quarter of this year, the average loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is down to 35%. Since 2013, latest figures show 68% of landlords now have borrowings of less than half the value of their investment property portfolios.
So it seems the market is stable at the moment and we are still yet to see the full impact of tax changes. However, with the continued improvements in Medway, it still looks positive for investors and landlords alike.
My company has been receiving a number of glowing testimonials from landlords recently, which you can see on the Home-Share Facebook page. I would of course be happy to hear from you, or anyone you know, for giving advice on anything to do with lettings and property.
And feel free to join the Property Investors in Medway Facebook group, which is a great place for landlords and investors of Medway to swap tips and strategies together, as well as sharing networking opportunities.