The Inside Edge
For the first time since I’ve been at Douglas & Gordon we made more money last month from lettings than we did from sales.
Given that we are a medium sized company that’s not as trite as it sounds. Renting seems to have finally lost it’s stigma and even seems to be where sensible people reckon they should be when property values appear to be on the way down.
Those who work in lettings have often felt, because of the lack of crash bang months, that the drip drip [albeit constant] nature of their income means they’re the poor cousins.
But with buy to let borrowing on the agenda again and with all the publicity surrounding Council tenants suddenly they’re front page news. About time I reckon. Having rented for over 20 years and been dead pleased with it, many commentators were amazed and quick to point out how I was missing out on the market. I politely replied that I had been investing in something slightly old fashioned and possibly more rewarding. It’s called your own company.
Such is the obsession with property (thank heavens as I’m an estate agent after all) that investing in something that actually yields jobs AND a return seems to have become a lost art. With 70% of the world’s wealth now tied up with property it’s hardly surprising.
Perhaps with standard investments yielding derisory returns entrepreneurs might start to see the light of day again, but with residential rents looking set to rise sharply, capital values stagnant at best, and borrowing costs as low as they’ve ever been I would think buy to let might just become the investment of choice for a few years to come.
Ed Mead is a regular contributor to The Big Property List blog. He has been an estate agent for over 30 years, and has been writing and commentating on the market for over half of that as the Sunday Times Property Expert and The Agent Provocateur for the Telegraph. He sits on the Board of The Property Ombudsman Ltd, has a regular LBC slot, and is happy to say it as it is.