Morgans Launches New Investor Service

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With North Leeds widely recognised as one of the region’s best performing areas for residential property investors, Morgans has launched an in-depth property investment advice service for potential landlords.

As part of the service, we continually and proactively scour the market for strong investment opportunities and view properties on an ongoing basis on behalf of prospective clients.  We will also carry out full independent rental appraisals of individual properties, based on its experience of renting to professionals in the area for nearly 20 years.

Investors that arm themselves with professional advice from the outset can achieve superb rental yields in Headingley that exceed the national average.

Because we are not sales agents, our new investor services offer new and existing landlords a unique opportunity to gain an entirely objective view about a property’s rental potential and value, which will ultimately help them decide whether or not to buy it.  We can also assist investors in pinpointing the best properties in the most sought after parts of Headingley, as well as sharing our in-depth market knowledge about how best to maximise yields.

This might mean carrying out some selective refurbishment work in order to maximise value, and this is another area we are vastly experienced in.  We work with a network of local professionals to carry out such work, including builders and architects.  Finally, potential investors can take advantage of our partnership with The Mortgage Advice Bureau, which offers up to the minute specialist buy to let mortgage advice from a full range of lenders.

 

the changing face of headingley that’s leading to a chronic shortage of rental property

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HEADINGLEY is experiencing a chronic shortage of rental property as the area continues to transform itself from a student enclave into one of the UK’s best performing areas for property investors.

Our rental portfolio is currently 99% occupied and there is a major shortage of properties available for rent at the moment and there are no signs of that changing anytime soon. We manage one of the largest portfolios of property rented to professionals in North Leeds and have the highest ever occupancy rate, since setting up in Headingley 18 years ago.

As well as record occupancy levels, we have seen a big increase in the amount of time tenants are staying at the same property. Typically, the majority of tenants would look at what the market has to offer after between 8 and 12 months, and many would choose to move. As supply has shrunk however, there are far less options available, and 25% more tenants chose to stay put this year than did during 2015.

I believe that the issue of undersupply could be partially addressed through the conversion of former student properties and HMO’s into properties suitable for letting to the professional market.

It’s only 20 years since the student tidal wave surged beyond its traditional boundaries, into Becketts Park, through Far Headingley and even into West Park. However, an explosion in the delivery of high quality purpose built student accommodation blocks in the city centre, along with ongoing investment in teaching and recreational facilities has had the effect of almost entirely reversing the trend.

Once again, Far Headingley and West Park are almost entirely student-free and Becketts Park is fast returning to owner-occupation, which it was originally designed for and inevitably better suited to.

We have always dealt solely with professional lets, and are the only agency in Headingley that focuses entirely on this sector, so we have a real understanding of what the professional market is looking for.

Over the last year in particular, we have seen a significant increase in the number of vacant student properties, due to some landlords being reticent to invest in developing them for the professional market, with some even leaving them empty in the hope that students will return. Figures from Unipol suggest that there were literally hundreds of empty properties across the area which had formerly been rented to students.

This is a very risky strategy and especially in light of the fact that some sensible investment now will almost certainly secure a professional tenant and a great return.  This is reinforced by the fact that Headingley has just been named as the UK’s top rental hotspot in terms of yields by comparison site TotallyMoney, which revealed that investors buying property in the LS6 postcode, can achieve rental yields of up to 10.79%, which compares to the national average of 3.3%.

As a result, we are encouraging property investors who own student accommodation or those wanting to expand their buy to let portfolios to buy in Headingley and provide more homes for rent – as the demand is certainly there.

It’s clear that the whole fabric of Headingley is also adapting to reflect these changes.  Symbolic of Headingley’s identity crisis is the fact that it took around 10 years for both Pizza Express and Nandos to find a footing, due mainly to local opposition.  It is to Headingley’s detriment that it shunned these archetypally family brands for so long.

At long last, it appears that the continued, and apparently permanent, migration of a large proportion of the student population southwards is spawning a whole new generation of bars and restaurants such as White’s Deli, The Cat’s Pyjamas, Red’s True BBQ, Sebby’s Deli and Head of Steam, who join an array of local stalwarts.

As a result, Headingley, which has often been second-choice for many young professionals behind Chapel Allerton, is fast re-emerging as a popular place for first time renters who want a slightly quieter life than the city centre can offer, or for those looking for a slightly greener and calmer place in which to make home. We believe that this trend will continue and that Headingley will once again become the place to be in North Leeds.

Getting ready to rent; top tips for the first time landlord

Jonathan Morgan (Picture: Barnaby Aldrick)

Whilst a well-managed property investment is in our view an essential element in a balanced long term investment plan, it can take a little planning to get there.

  • If you are buying in another city, ensure that you observe the first rule of property- view before you buy.                    However appealing the marketing, make sure that you at least visit the site and check the credentials as                  they have been put before you. Double check the ‘5 minute walk to the railway station’, the ‘host of bars                    and restaurants on the doorstep’ and the ‘easy access to major road links’.
  • If you are preparing to rent out your own home, make sure that you remove any valuable items or anything             of sentimental value. It is a simple fact that even the most diligent and pleasant of tenants can unwittingly                 damage or ruin fine items.
  • make sure that you have appropriate insurance and that it is noted on the policy that you are renting the                  property out.
  • take out specialist contents insurance which includes accidental damage.
  • if you are renting out your own home, make sure that you inform your lender.
  • choose a reputable agent with a high street presence and membership of ARLA.
  • ensure that you follow the agent’s advice in terms of whether to let furnished or unfurnished and, if it is to                be furnished, make sure that you install neutral, sturdy items which will stand the test of time.

Free property management for four months*

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The only dedicated professional lettings agency in the area
20 years’ experience
Owner-managed
Members of ARLA

We have a culture of low voids, premium rents, very low arrears and well-managed maintenance.

Introduce another landlord to us in North Leeds and we’ll give you
£100 of John Lewis vouchers when we let their property**   

“The whole experience has transformed our business compared with other letting agents that we have used in the past. Morgans immediately impressed us by virtually eliminating voids, correcting low rents, increased rental yields and finding perfect tenants. They really care. ” Leedshomefinders, 06.10.16.

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Call us for a free no-obligation rental appraisal 0113 2179090.

*T’s and C’s apply
**T’s and C’s apply.

Terms and Conditions:

Landlord offer (free property management for four months):
1.       This offer only applies to brand new Morgans North Leeds customers.
2.       Clients with multiple properties are welcome.
3.       Please note we don’t deal with DSS or students.
4.       This offer is valid between 2nd December 2016 and 31st March 2017.
5.       This is offered to brand new landlords and will give free property management for four months when signing up for a tenancy fully managed by Morgans North Leeds (6-month minimum).
6.       If you are a current landlord, you will also receive free property management for four months for any new recommendation on a one for one basis.
 
Voucher offer (introducing a landlord):
1.       Landlords must sign the property up for a tenancy fully managed by Morgans North Leeds.
2.       The property must be rented before the voucher will be sent.
3.       Voucher value = £100 per property, per landlord.
4.       This offer is valid between: 2nd December 2016 and 31st March 2017.
5.       The voucher is available to spend at John Lewis and Waitrose, with a 24-month use by date.
6.       For more details on voucher T&C’s please visit: http://www.johnlewis.com/customer-services/information-about-our-terms-and-conditions

Headingley Named At Top Rental Hotspot

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Headingley has been named as the UK’s top rental hotspot in terms of yields, as the area continues to reinvent itself and sheds its reputation as a student enclave.

The research by comparison site TotallyMoney revealed that investors buying property in the LS6 postcode, can achieve rental yields of 10.79%, which compares to the national average of 3.3%.  Parts of Bradford and York also performed well, at 10.33% and 9.73% respectively. TotallyMoney analysed 303,822 properties for sale, and 137,955 properties for rent, to come up with its rental yield figures.

Morgans first opened an office in Headingley in 1998 and now operates from a 1,200 sq ft office opposite Headingley’s Arndale Centre on Otley Road.  In recent years Headingley has changed dramatically.  Whereas students once played a large part in the area, the vast majority have deserted this traditional heartland in order to live as close as possible to the city centre, as well as Hyde Park and Woodhouse, which are both on the up in terms of the popularity stakes.

As a result, many student landlords in Headingley are upgrading their properties so they will appeal to young professionals and families in the private rented sector.  Lots of our tenants are now recent graduates, teachers, lecturers and young doctors who appreciate Headingley’s proximity to the University and Hospitals as well as its parkland, transport links and the ever-growing array of shops, bars and restaurants.

Many of those who would have previously focussed their home search around Chapel Allerton, can no longer ignore the pull of Headingley, and this surge of demand has led to strong rentals over the last few years- we expect this to continue. Although property values are also rising, this is happening at a slower rate, and that’s why the area can deliver impressive rental yields.

Headingley also offers a superb range of property, from smart, modern apartments through to larger family homes, and new build developments as well as lots of period properties. It is an increasingly obvious choice for investors looking for security and good long term prospects.

Weetwood Apartments Are An Ideal Idyll

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Two apartments set within one of the most spectacular parks in Leeds are now available to rent and will appeal to people looking for a spacious and hugely impressive home in a leafy part of Leeds.

Hollies Park Court, which was designed by renowned local architect Derek Walker, consists of just four individual apartments, and is located within the Hollies on Weetwood Lane, North Leeds.

It’s a fabulous development of individual and generously sized apartments that have a great specification and layout. The apartments sit within a secure and tranquil setting that is easily accessible for the City Centre, and a very sought-after part of Leeds. The two available apartments will no doubt appeal to people who want to be close to the City, but are attracted to the natural environment of the park setting.

The ground floor two bedroomed apartment is on the market for £1,200 a month. There is a modern attractive kitchen with a large open plan lounge and dining area, a large master bedroom with en-suite, a second double bedroom and modern bathroom.

The top floor apartment is on the market for £1,500 a month and includes character features alongside a luxury fitted kitchen with marble work surfaces, a large open plan lounge and dining area, generously sized master bedroom with en-suite and a double bedroom and modern bathroom.

Both apartments have recently been refurbished, and benefit from secured gated parking and enjoy spectacular views of the park.  People will love the floor space, design and style of these apartments, but what really sets these apartments apart from the norm, is their unique location in the park, which is a woodland haven where it is rumoured that The Lord of the Rings author J R R Tolkien had been known to wander.

North Leeds Apartment Schemes Let In Weeks

 

We’re keen to see more speculative development in the Headingley area after seeing demand soar for high quality rental property and successfully letting apartments in three prominent buildings since the start of the year.

Demand for high quality rental property in North Leeds is very strong as the recent successes at Grosvenor Lodge, The Hollies and Burton Crescent demonstrates. All three apartment developments are in excellent locations, which when combined with the superior interior specification, has meant that tenants have been very keen to secure them. 

All seven of the two and three bedroom apartments at Grosvenor Lodge, which is located on Grosvenor Road, let within two weeks and just one apartment remains out of the five at The Hollies which is located within a picturesque park in Weetwood. The first three available apartments at Burton Crescent, which is a former student development that is being renovated to create a number of private rental properties, have also let within a matter of weeks.

Tenants are looking for properties that are spacious, well-designed and come with all the mod-cons – location is also key – most want homes that are on the doorstep of all of Headingley’s amenities. The apartments at Grosvenor Lodge have mainly been let to doctors, university professors and pharmacists who were all looking for a conveniently located property close to the university and hospitals. The apartments at The Hollies have all been rented by professionals and two of the newly renovated apartments at Burton Crescent also let to professionals on the first viewing. The one, two and three bedroom apartments at all three schemes let for between £695 and £1,100 per month.

There is a real lack of good quality one and two bedroom properties in North Leeds for professional tenants who want real quality and a great location. Features like bespoke kitchens, bathrooms and wet rooms, underfloor heating, off-street parking and flat screen televisions have helped to make these homes very popular and we would encourage landlords to consider redeveloping any student properties they may currently own into homes that appeal to the professional market.  This is already a fast growing trend in Headingley and in many cases landlords will benefit from improved yields and the added advantage of being able to let the properties all year round. 

Headingley’s Elinor Lupton Centre Deserves Better

 

The Elinor Lupton Centre on Headingley Lane is a landmark that has stood empty since 2008-in its current boarded up, sorry-looking state it looks very different from the stunning building that, until recently, has been a Headingley icon for more than 100 years.

In a surprising twist, JD Weatherspoon has bought the building and is keen to transform it into a pub and hotel, which has unsurprisingly divided local opinion. There has been some local opposition to the plans on the basis that some residents don’t want any more pubs but also considerable positive feedback, the thrust of which is mainly around the need to preserve the building. 

We shouldn’t dismiss Wetherspoon’s plans without having a sensible debate about their detailed proposals. They have achieved great things with many heritage buildings around the country, they are a big employer, they appear to be reasonably community minded and they sell beer produced by local brewers. 

Despite similar initial concerns from locals, the company’s venues have proved popular in the upmarket towns of Ilkley and Harrogate.

After a number of failed proposals for the building, there is a real chance that JD Weatherspoon could give the Elinor Lupton Centre a new lease of life. 

 

Lend Your Voice To Our Christmas Carol Event

We are very much looking forward to an afternoon of Christmas carols at our our Headingley office from 4.30pm – 6.30pm on Sunday 21st December.

We will be raising money for Caring Together, a Leeds charity that supports older people in Woodhouse and Little London and will be singing carols and enjoying food and mulled wine from local cafe and deli Sebby’s. We would love to see members of the local community join us on this very special occasion to celebrate Christmas together with a fun filled sing-along.

We have been a real part of the fabric of Headingley for over 16 years now, and since we moved into our new offices almost three years ago we have established an on-going calendar of successful events and fund-raising activities that are always good fun. We recently donated £800 to Caring Together, which enabled the charity to buy thermal clothing for older people.

Caring Together does a superb job supporting over 300 members of the local community by running fun activities, trips and outings, and providing advice and practical support to anyone aged over 60. It’s a local Neighbourhood Network Scheme that’s free to join and is run by a small dedicated team and lots of volunteers so we are delighted to offer our support to them anyway we can.

We will be serving hot drinks, mince pies and ginger bread men and singing a wide range of festive songs and would be delighted to welcome local people who want to join in the fund-raising fun. Get in touch with Debbie on 0113 2179090 if you would like to join us.  

Professionals and Families in Headingley

When you ask anyone in Leeds about Headingley, 99% of them will probably say ‘cricket and students!’ For 20 years, students have been a major factor in Headingley life, both in halls on Alma Road and Shire Oak Road, as well as in Victorian and Edwardian terraced houses which were largely built for family occupation. Increasingly however, students are deserting this traditional heartland in order to live as close as possible to the city centre. And, if they can’t afford or don’t want to live right in the city centre, many are opting to live closer to the campus, in Hyde Park or Woodhouse, which are very much on the up again.

There are differing opinions as to what has caused this sea-change, and academics struggle to understand the precise factors at play. It seems that the growth of campus living is a major factor which serves not only to provide homes for thousands of first years – and increasingly returning students too – but also creates a much more vibrant lifestyle hub, which students want to live close to. The closure of halls in the area has also reduced the number of students commuting down the A660, and the same time the number of students walking into the campus is visibly increasing. Just as the tidal wave of student demand has pushed all the way out to West Park over the last 20 years, it has begun to recede at a similar pace in the last few.

Developers are creating homes that specifically appeal to the next generation of students and a number of purpose built developments have established enclaves, particularly around Burley Road, the University Campus and Woodhouse and this clustering draws students further towards the city.

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