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  • Property-a-holics

    BTL in Sunderland - any insights?

    Hello I am looking at buying a house in the North of Sunderland, near the Stadium of Light.

    It is a 3 bed in decent nick.

    Does anyone have any knowledge of how easy to let this type of property?

    Thank you

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    Hi Rob,

    I don't invest in Sunderland but I have heard a number of negative comments about it as far as investment is concerned.

    It was badly affected during the economic downturn with prices declining by up to 40%.

    It is a very poor area with a lot of social problems and there are many poor quality HMOs in the area.

    A quick look on Rightmove revealed 15 pages of very similar 3 bed properties. Very few had "let agreed" on them.

    I did the same search for Guildford, where I live, and there were 7 pages of results with many of them marked "Let agreed". (Tick the appropriate box on the search criteria).

    This suggests that there is a lot of 3 bed houses available to rent in Sunderland.

    I would strongly recommend that you contact local lettings agents and ask them about tenant demand. I am also fairly certain that you will be looking at LHA tenants.

    Hope that helps a bit?
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    Hi Rob, We have numerous 3 and 4 bed houses in Washington, which is about 3 miles from where you are looking at buying, the rental market is very buoyant, when we have a vacancy I normally fill it within days, usually it is a case of tenants move out one day, and new tenants in the next day, unless we decode to do some maintenance works when no one is in the house. I have had no need to advertise a property for many years now, I normally receive about 4-5calls a week from tenants looking for houses.

    The main employer in the area is Nissan and it's associated supply chain, so if you decide only to take working tenants that is no problem in the area. We now only take working families in this area, in other parts of the North East you cannot do this, as some areas are mainly dss areas.

    I have a few colleagues with property in the area you are looking at and they have no problem letting the houses.

    Regards Andy

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    Hi Andy,

    Thanks for local knowledge - very helpful.

    Do you feel my snapshot of Rightmove was not a true reflection of demand in the area or do all those 15 pages of houses let very quickly?
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    Hi Vanessa, Sunderland comprises many differing areas, local knowledge is defiantly key. Some areas are hard to let, other areas no problem. 3-4 bed houses in good local authority estates will let within days, very strong demand at the right price.

    However certain victorian terraces are slow to move.

    Certain areas have recovered well since the recession, however other areas are still 30-50% below 2007 prices. W

    e have one complex of flats in Washington that are still at prices achieved in 1990, however the yield looks fanatic, buy for £15k, rent at 5k per annum, 33% return.

    However we would not touch them, very hard to let and many anti social behaviour problems. Andy

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    More than £7 million is being ploughed into a new housing estate in Sunderland, giving hope to eager first-time buyers looking to purchase through the government’s Help to Buy scheme.

    A total of 35 affordable homes are set to be completed later this year at the Barnes View estate in Nookside, Grindon. First-time buyers will be encouraged to take their first step on the housing ladder with various incentives on the properties, while the development will also provide opportunities to buy large family homes and spacious bungalows.

    Full/source article

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    I live about a mile-and-a-half from the stadium. It very much depends in exactly which area you're talking about. Where I live house prices vary from £150K ish to £800k ish within 1/4 of a mile, another 1/4 mile and you're looking at footballers houses etc, then a mile or so the other way you're looking at low end properties.  Sunderland, like every other large town or city has areas of social deprivation, but to say that of the whole area is unfair. Sunderland has many different areas and covers a large area. Grindon as mentioned above is a good 15-20 minutes drive from the area you're looking at. If you can be more specific on the area, or street I might be able to offer more insight. I note the comment regarding the amount of ads on Rightmove, and how Sunderland has slightly more than double the amount of pages of ads than Guildford has. Sunderland is a significantly larger area in terms of population and size so thats maybe a pointer as to why. I could put London or Birmingham in the search and get tens of thousands of properties to rent on Rightmove, but that doesn't mean they're are bad areas to get tenants and the tenants are all LHA etc, they are just bigger more populated areas. No doubt like all towns and cities you will have areas you will struggle to find decent tenants, but you will also find areas that you will have no problems and will get long term decent tenants. If you want some specific area opinion, send me a message if you don't want to post the street, or post the street if you want to. Hope that helps.

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    I broadly agree with the comments from the other posters local to sunderland. Pick the right area/district within the city, present your property well and you'll have a solid investment. I rent in different towns and cities in the north east and have 4 properties in sunderland (1 is a hmo) and each of them perform well, and are among the better performers in my portfolio. My last vacancy in Fulwell (about 1/4 - 1/2 mile from the stadium) filled just a couple of days after being marketed, and that was in the run up to Xmas, when the market slows. I'm happy to provide my opinion on specific areas.

    One further point I would mention is that there seems to be a lot of investment going on in the city currently, including the sheepfolds area which is right next to the stadium. If the investment strategy "works" then that will have a very positive impact on the local economy.

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    What is the rental demand like in the city centre?

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    sunderland of course is very dependant indeed on Nissan and if they pull out of the area , this rather depressing town will collapse into one of the poorest areas in England, with prices totally dependant in housing benefit


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