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Buy to Let may be the investment of choice, says Ed Mead

by Ed Mead

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.

A to let sign outside a houseBut 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.

Author Biography

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.

Other places you can find Ed online are:
Douglas & Gordon blog
Ed Mead on Twitter

Douglas and Gordon Estate Agents



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11 responses to “Buy to Let may be the investment of choice, says Ed Mead”

  1. Stephanie says:

    My husband and I bought a flat to let last year. We consider it a very smart investment. We found a bargain and we’re now paying off debt left over from the University. It is a very lovely one and I’m sure we’ll eventually live in it ourselves but for now we’re enjoying the extra income.

  2. Kim says:

    We were having trouble selling our flat last year and we put off making the decision to let it instead as long as we could but now we’re glad we did. We were able to screen potential residents until we found a nice older couple we trust and now the income covers our new rent plus extra that we can invest.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Hey! What advice would you give first time home buyers if their plan was to buy to let? Is it a good investment for young people or should we wait until we build up our credit a little more?

  4. Tamara says:

    Most definitely renting frees up capital to invest elsewhere. With no overhead to pay (repairs, grounds keeping, etc.) it is amazing the money you save. I’ve bought more shares in the company I work for and could very well be able to retire early because of it. Then I’ll own the big home. But right now renting works for me – stigma or not.

  5. Stephanie says:

    It’s really encouraging to read the comments here (from women!) who are having success letting their properties. I’d piece in the Telegraph last year saying the market is flooded with rental properties and the value of the equity in properties has fallen. So reading the comments here (and this piece) makes me feel better about the future.

  6. Tamara says:

    Kim –

    Advice? Hmmm… location is everything, know your potential renters and get references on them, have a budget, get good insurance, and have a professional let agreement.

  7. Jennifer says:

    Hey Tamara – I think you were responding to me. Thanks for the pointers – they are excellent starting points. I’ll certainly be digging in further before I take the plunge into the market. There is a lot of information to to digest.

  8. Tamara says:

    Here is a good piece if you’re just now considering buying to let or are considering letting property you already own:

  9. Rick Deckard says:

    An estate agent encouraging people to buy – now there is a novelty ! (yawn)

  10. Ed Mead says:

    Thanks for reading Rick, and for unusually helpful comments. If you’d actually read it properly you might have noticed that I was in fact extolling the virtues of investing in businesses, but of course you chose to take the cheap shot, well done. Ed

  11. Martins Lettings says:

    Home lettings agents may offer houses for rent out in St Albans. St Albans is a nice place with loads of nice properties. lots of home types are free to be seen.

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