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Easy Game, This Right? Just BuyThe Property and Watch The Money Roll in?

Adam Lawrence, Property entrepreneur and co-founder of Partners in Property, comments

So, they said. But they were wrong, at times like this, weren’t they? Mortgages coming in at around a 7%+ the cost of debt, once you’ve considered the arrangement fees (ignore them at your peril). Closer to 8% on some of the two year products once you include the 5% fee - don’t fancy anyone’s chances taking them, if I’m honest - if expecting any capital growth then I’d be very cautious, otherwise you’ll just be plugging that 5% with your own cash in a couple of years’ time, unless the LTVs are nice and low (and even if they are, they got 5% worse overnight when you signed that mortgage deed).

Now that’s got your attention and made everyone miserable - let’s do better. Let’s take on that question - Buy, Hold or Sell? I’m going to set out each one individually, and then draw them together.

Buy: I’ll let you in to a little secret. It is ALWAYS time to buy. The old adage - the best time is 30 years ago; the second best time is now - that’s absolutely true. It is, however, like all pithy phrases, substantive but insufficient in its detail. What is worth buying - what can be bought - what’s available to buy? Every day great deals are done - the challenge is being involved in them.

Let’s build on that for a second. Today - what looks like a good deal? Net yield after operating costs needs to be coming in at an absolute minimum of 7.5%. Nothing else is even worth considering IF you are using leverage. If you are not reliant on leverage, then you need to consider what’s the best use of your cash - bonds might look attractive at the moment, but when the rate ebbs back down, what will you reinvest in? A couple of years on the sideline, if you already have plenty of property, might seem attractive (if you have no debt to pay down). 

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