View more on these topics

Don’t follow the UK buy-to-let herd out of fear – look abroad for better deals

We are all familiar with the old business adage ‘buy low, sell high’, but most of us don’t apply it to property investments.

Latif Sayani, Mortgage Strategy columnist and managing director of Fuel Investments, often extols the virtues of UK buy-to-let, but I’m always left with a sense of bewilderment by his simplistic argument, which boils down to ‘buy-to-let is a good investment and house prices always go up’.

Let’s think this through for a second. Imagine an investment that’s a one-way bet and only goes up in value – it sounds too good to be true. So why isn’t every merchant bank in London buying up every house in the capital?

I did my time investing in UK buy-to-let but on the whole I now try to find better markets. Buy low, sell high still applies, which is why I now invest in Berlin. It’s about 80% cheaper than London and my latest block of flats yields a whopping 28%, even with several empty units. And how much did I pay for it? About £90,000.

Following the UK buy-to-let herd cannot be the way – life isn’t that simple. Everyone I know is a landlord here and when a market gets that saturated it’s time to leave.

Forget claims of a risky and unregulated Eastern Europe – apart from Estonia, Slovenia and Poland. Germany is a safe, cheap place to buy. No wonder every London fund for German real estate released recently has been heavily oversubscribed. Don’t let the fear of the unknown put you off.

R Butler
AMS Mortgage Finders
By email

Recommended

Optoma launches insurance product

Optoma Broker Solutions has launched an accident, sickness and unemployment insurance product for mortgages and secured loans.The product is available through a web platform on the Optoma website optomaonline.co.uk.Specific terms of the cover include cover for new and existing mortgages or secured loans on exactly the same terms and conditions, back to day one cover […]

Nationwide hikes fixed and tracker rates

Nationwide has increased its rates on some of its fixed rate and tracker mortgages. The new rates are available from Tuesday June 26 2007.For home movers the new deals include two-year fixed rates starting from 5.98%For remortgage and additional borrowing customers deals include two-year fixed rate starting from 6.08%Existing Nationwide mortgage customers get a £100 […]

Godiva launches ERC-free sub-prime range

Godiva Mortgages, the specialist lending subsidiary of Coventry, is launching a range of credit impaired mortgages without early repayment charges.Borrowers with credit problems will be able to choose from a range of flexible trackers and fixed rates in the near prime, extra light and light adverse categories. All the products offer a free valuation and […]

Higher rate cloud has a silver lining

Interest rates are rising throughout the world and will probably hit 6% here by the end of 2007. This is bad news for clients on fixed rates but will eventually help first-time buyers, says Frank Eve

A funny old year

The past 12 months have been turbulent – just take a look at this chart of the FTSE 100 over the last year. There have been some points which I’m sure would have caused your clients some concern, and possibly even had them looking for an alternative investment with reduced volatility; perhaps without reducing their […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up