Blog post
August 25, 2020

Property investment opportunities in Eastern England

by Shane Wallace

As more people look for more space and lower costs within reasonable distance of London, the East is one of the attractive choices. 

When coupled with higher demand for people to rent, as opposed to home ownership to give flexibility to lifestyle and work, you have an area calling out for property investment from all parts of the sector. 

Government changes

The new stamp duty holiday, recently announced by the government, along with changes to the planning process, means both the construction and purchase of properties should increase as we continue into the second half of the year. 

The stamp duty holiday applying to Buy-to-Let properties in England, creates opportunities for landlords to continue expanding their portfolios. The planning changes could make it a positive environment for investors looking to purchase properties for refurbishment, development or for planning gain.

Since lockdown we have seen a mixture of different landlords expanding through auction and bridging finance to purchase properties that require anything from minor renovation works to full conversion, before exiting on our BTL mortgage. 

The influx of these cases evidence that landlords are keen to expand their portfolio and are looking for opportunities to keep outlay costs lower than conventional purchases.

With new planning changes we will see an influx in PD schemes and developments which will help keep the property market moving forward. 

A resilient rental market 

A report from Savills analysed how residential rents behaved during downturns including the 2008 financial crisis. 

It found that house prices fluctuate more widely than residential rents, because tenant demand remains consistent even when buyer demand does not. Looking post Covid-19, it predicted rental growth will be 13.6% between 2020 and 2024, only a slight dip from the 15.4% it was forecasting pre-crisis.

We know already that Eastern England is a desirable location for renters, and if the behaviour of central London-workers looking to live slightly further out of the capital after lockdown continues, it will remain that way going forward. 

Auction houses 

Auction houses remained open during the lockdown and we have seen a lot of appetite in the region from investors looking to buy cheap properties to refurbish for sale or rent. 

Buy-to-Let landlords in particular are seeing the opportunity to capitalise on lower-cost areas of Eastern England and then generate high rental yields after light refurbishment. It is providing an efficient, low-cost way for landlords to expand their portfolios. 

Projects of all kinds

In a region as diverse as this – with cities, towns, countryside and central london commuter areas – lenders need to have appetites for the variety of projects they will see. 

Both during and after lockdown, and with the impact of the new Stamp Duty and proposed planning changes, we have seen investors of all types adapt to the new normal in different ways, presenting new and exciting projects for us to consider and work through, which I can do with access to underwriters to get started on quick deals more quickly.

If you want to contact Shane about your next property investment, you can connect with him on LinkedIn, call him on +44 (0)77 4165 6555 or email him: [email protected]

For everything you need to know about your next bridging, development exit or Buy-to-Let deal – including LTVs up to 75% across our range – visit our intermediaries product page.