East Grinstead House Prices up 26.7% in the last 5 Years

Over the last 5 years, we have seen some interesting subtle changes to the East Grinstead property market as buying patterns of landlords have changed ever so slightly.

The background to this story was the recently published set of buy-to-let (BTL) lending statistics. Roll the clock back 12 months and 6,700 BTL mortgages were granted (in the same month) for £900m, meaning the average BTL mortgage was £134,200. Looking at last month’s figures, and as one might expect with the Brexit issue overhanging the property market, the lending figures were down, yet not by the amount I originally thought. Last month, just over 6,100 new buy-to-let mortgages were granted for a total sum of £800m (meaning the average landlord mortgage was a respectable £131,100). Yet, when I looked back to the boom year of the 2014 property market, in the corresponding same month, only £1,030 million was borrowed on 8,300 buy-to-let properties (meaning the average buy-to-let mortgage was £124,100). It seems Brexit is having no effect on landlords buying habits.

Looking closer to home in East Grinstead, throughout 2018, I have been regularly chatting to more and more landlords, be they seasoned professional East Grinstead BTL landlords or FTL’s (first time landlords) and their attitude is mostly positive. Instead of reading the scare-papers (oops sorry newspapers), those East Grinstead landlords that look with their eyes, will see the East Grinstead property market is doing reasonably well, with medium term rents and property values rising; as quite obviously from the mortgage figures .. landlords are still buying.

The question I get asked all the time is .. “What type of buy-to-let property should I buy?  You can make money from property through both the rent (expressed as a yield when compared to the value of the property) and how the actual value of the home itself changes.

Since 2014, property values in East Grinstead have risen by 26.7%.

We have records of what each type of property (i.e. Detached/Semi/Terraced/Apartments) has achieved per square metre going back 20 years … and looking back over the last 5 years, these are the numbers ..

They all look to have similar percentage uplifts, however as you can see from the table there is in fact some variation throughout and although only slight this can equate to thousands of pounds in monetary terms.

This has proved that semis and terraced houses have performed the best .. although like the £/Sq.M figures, these are just averages. When investing, whilst East Grinstead apartments haven’t been the best performers in terms of capital growth, they do tend to generate a slightly better yield than houses, probably because several sharers can afford to pay more than a single family. But houses tend to appreciate in value more rapidly and may well be easier to sell, simply because there are fewer being built.

Now these are of course averages, but it gives you a good place to start from. The bigger picture here though is this - irrespective of what is happening in the world, be it Brexit/no Brexit, China, Trump, whatever, East Grinstead people still need a roof over their heads and we as a Country haven’t built enough homes to keep up with the demand since the late 1980’s. This means even if we have a short term wobble in 2019 when it comes to property values ..in the medium term, demand will always outstrip supply and prices and rents will increase – because, I doubt the local authority, let alone Westminster, have the billions of pounds required to build the one hundred thousand Council houses per year nationally for the next decade to fix this issue – meaning as the population increases, the only people who can fulfil the demand for accommodation in the medium term is the private BTL landlord.

Before I go …on average, housing associations and local authorities have built around 26,500 houses each year since 2010. The Labour government had a lower average, building about 19,000 homes per year, yet in the 1960’s, under both administrations, 180,000 councils were built per year!

Kate Boyes FARLA MRICS

Group Director

Kate has been letting and managing property for 15 years, having established Alexandre Boyes Residential Lettings in 2003 and Alexandre Boyes Estate & Block Management in 2007. Kate is fiercely proud of the reputation both teams have in Tunbridge Wells & East Grinstead. Kate launched a national product, Resident, in August 2014 being an online property management software that is now utilised by Alexandre Boyes clients enabling them to log in and transparently view information on their blocks of flats and estates.

Kate has a first class honours degree in Land Management from the University of Reading specializing in Investment & Finance, and trained at Nelson Bakewell (now Capita Symonds), a Property Consultancy, in London. She qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 2004, and is a Fellow of ARLA. She became a Board member of ARLA in June 2015, representing Kent, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk & Cambridgeshire.

"Our aim over the last 20 years has been to develop Alexandre Boyes into the 'go to' local agent, the alternative choice to the major brands. Contemporary, fresh marketing combined with genuine traditional values and service, and most importantly in depth local as well as professional knowledge make us the obvious choice."

Kate's role at Alexandre Boyes lettings focuses on valuations and new business, procedures & policies, and marketing. In block management she advises on new business, and oversees policy and procedures internally. When she isn't working (which is not very often!) she can be found enjoying a glass of wine at Sankeys or spending time with her three children at home in Sussex.