The monthly magazine providing news analysis and professional research for the discerning private investor/landlord

Focus on Yield

Kelly Lemon talks with Nick Carlile of Shepherd Cox Hotels

At the age of fifteen Nick Carlile received some information that changed the course of his life. His father sat Nick, his brothers and his mother down and told them that despite being at retirement age he was unable to stop working because his pension wasn’t enough for them to live on. Nick’s mother was distraught and in that moment Nick decided he would never allow himself to be in that position. Four years later at the age of nineteen Nick bought his first property and for many years his companies have bought hundreds of BTL houses. However, three years ago his strategy changed. After years of defending traditional BTL Nick now believes that “if you need income then traditional buy to let is now more questionable. There simply isn’t the income in this strategy to make it as viable as it was.” I am curious to know how Nick’s strategy has evolved. After all, between 2010 and 2014 he bought nearly 500 properties for other investors.

“I left school at the age of 16 and trained as a quantity surveyor. This meant working on building sites of all sizes and I learnt a lot when it came to refurbishment skills from the tradespeople on site. I bought my first house at the age of 19 in 1993 and for the next five years I bought and sold properties whilst refurbishing and living in them. I used the timeless strategy of buying the worst house on the best street. I then started to do larger refurbishments and hold onto the properties. Then in 2002 I bought a plot of land and carried out a self-build, which at the time was my dream house. This contained a lot of the equity that I had built up over the years and I wanted to sell it. However, my wife didn't so I found a way to release the equity and went on a property-investing course. The first property I bought from the course was a HMO and that allowed me to leave my job within 14 months. I then started to buy more aggressively buying run down properties and refurbishing them and then renting them out. I also focused on buying below market value and I did a number of sale and rent backs.”

After building up and systemising his own BTL portfolio Nick joined forces with Steve Bolton and they formed Platinum Property Partners. “The franchise helped people with money and time to build HMO portfolios. This was at a time when HMOs weren’t as popular and our clients were making very good returns. This market has become flooded now and it is much harder to make good returns from this kind of property. The extra legislation and restrictions such as article 24, along with the extra costs have certainly affected the HMO market.  

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