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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Investment -catchment cash cow?

I live in a leafy suburb of Nottingham.

Not something to be necessarily proud of but...

It has given me a certain perspective on the property market. One that has shown it's consistent out performance over the last 20 years and despite a slump in the property market a resilience that other parts of Nottingham have not demonstrated. It is what the ACORN survey on UpMyStreet identify as in socio economic group 14 with 1.48% of the population living in areas like it.

Why has the area done so well. Is it the architectural splendour of the buildings? No certainly not. Anybody who know West Bridgford well will no that the streets and avenues of pretty non descript Victorian and 20th Century housing can hardly be described as an architectural treasure. No the rise and rise of this unremarkable suburb repeated across the UK is a result of the spectacle of middle class ghettoisation.

Catchment area is the key

Research conducted by Santander Mortgages reveals that more than one in three (37%) parents with a child aged 10 or under have said that the catchment area of a good school was their top priority with many willing to pay an extra £12,141 to secure the home - and school - of their choice.

We instinctively all know it's about catchment areas as middle class parents desperate to get their kids into the right school over pay and over convince themselves that their unremarkable semi-detached house is worth the massive premium they are paying because of the lovely 30's style authentic door! Not the reality that they are paying for the chance of little Jack or Emma joining the rank of unremarkable children gaining 5 A stars!

Lessons for a canny landlord

Lessons for a canny investment decision are to buy an unremarkable family property with a good rental yield in the catchment area of a good school. No property investment is bullet proof. Recent global economic events have shown that. But as far as it goes, providing the educationalist don't change the system to a lottery style approach a property generating healthy rents in these areas is probably as good as it gets.

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