A new real estate search agency for expats who want to acquire property in London as part of a buy to let portfolio has been launched.
The London based property search agency offers clients the full range of property search services from the development of an initial shortlist through to sourcing expatriate mortgages and conveyancing solicitors.
The management team of expatfindaproperty, which has over 15 years experience in the rental sector, says that it can advise clients on all aspects of the rental process, including sourcing and project managing builders and arranging lettings agents.
Launched at a time when property prices have recovered strongly in many parts of London, director Erica Evans believes that now is a good time for buyers to carefully add selected buy to let apartments to a portfolio.
‘With rental yields in high quality Westminster apartments touching 5% recently, the new buy to let investor can assemble a portfolio which is cash flow positive from the outset, as expatriate mortgage rates are still at sub 4% levels,’ said Evans.
‘The overseas buyer faces many difficulties competing with locally based landlords. We are here to help even out that balance and can offer a full suite of services which the client can dip into and use according to their experience and requirements,’ explained Evans.
The London property market has stunned many with its resilience to the downturn that affected many parts of the UK in 2008 and 2009. Greater London house prices are, according to the UK Land Registry, within 3% of their level at the start of 2008. Volumes too have recovered to near identical levels, having dropped to their lowest point at the end of 2008.
Expatfindaproperty believes that accurate local knowledge is the key to building an efficient buy to let portfolio in this market. ‘Average prices can hide a multitude of sins, as an average cannot give a buyer an accurate picture of what is happening in a narrow postcode range. Our service comes in to its own because we are able to supply highly localised price information for the buyer to see and compare values,’ said Evans.
‘Moreover, we always visit properties before adding them to a client’s shortlist and we give detailed advice on the quality of the location itself, something which is usually missing from an estate agent’s presentation,’ she added.
According to Evans, many buyers simply do not appreciate the basics of the market and they assume that an estate agent will be there to help them to buy. Contractually, the estate agent works for the vendor, which is why many overseas buyers should have a buyer’s agent to look after their interests in the transaction.
An example was a recent project in central London where the company was able to negotiate a price reduction of 6% on a one bedroom luxury apparent in a block opposite a government building in the heart of Westminster, more than saving the cost of all of the agent, legal and refurbishment fees. The apartment was refurbished and repainted according to the client’s brief and let to overseas tenants based in London in less than 48 hours.