Thursday, 22 December 2016

Penicuik Property Blog - Festive Greetings To All Our Readers

Well investors 2016 is drawing to a close and the property world is beginning to go into Christmas hibernation, so I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all the followers of the blog for your support during 2016.

Your support has been much appreciated and I have enjoyed the debate the blog has generated with you all, the majority of whom have become good friends, as well as valued customers. It has been an interesting year for investors in the Penicuik property market, with increases in average prices combined with tax changes and more new legislation to be taken on board, to name but a few.

Those of you who follow the blog know my views moving into the New Year and those of you with existing profitable portfolios in place have different challenges, to those just starting out in their property investment careers. As ever, I will endeavour to continue to post articles covering all investment opportunities in the property market in Penicuik, when I return to the blog the week commencing 9th January.

In finishing I would like to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

If you would like to explore how I can help you with your property investments, or should you require any advice about investing in the Penicuik property market, wish to enquire about our Investment Analysis Reports, Property Sourcing, Residential Lettings or Property Management services, please do not hesitate to call me on 01968 674601 or email me on

Alternatively, please feel free to pop in and see us at our offices in Bank Street for a chat, the coffee is always on.

Don't forget to visit to view back dated articles and deals from the Penicuik Property Blog. 

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Top 5 reasons a Penicuik property beats a pension

I regularly chat with Penicuik people who have money to invest to discuss how they could put this to work in the Penicuik property market. Whilst for some this forms part of a larger investment portfolio, for many property has become an alternative to a private pension.

I believe there’s many good reasons that people are making this choice. Here’s a few of them:

5) Accountability to yourself

Frankly I, and many others, would rather keep their money where they can see it. I don’t like giving it away to a faceless fund manager to play with (whilst paying them fees, often regardless of performance).

I can touch my properties, I know the market and can make an informed decision as to what property I buy and how it is managed. It’s far easier to track how my properties are performing rather than relying on a pension scheme to ride the right waves to keep up with or outperform the market.

4) Short term income

Property can pay me straight away. Yields in Penicuik for sensible buy to let properties average six to eight percent which is far better than I can get from a savings account and eventually from an annuity, whilst rent normally increases over time in line with inflation. Hargreaves Lansdown suggest a 55 year old would now receive just 1.9% + inflation or 3.9% fixed for life from their pension fund.  And on top of yields there are long term investment returns ..... see 3) below.

3) Long term investment returns

Property has outperformed all the other main asset classes (which pension funds will track) over the long-term. Monies invested in 1996 would have grown two decades later by 292% in government bonds, 308% in the stock market, 479% in property and 1,305% in property leveraged with mortgage borrowing.

2) Flexibility

Owning property gives flexibility as to whether you use some of the income or equity at any time you need it, rather than it being locked away in a pension scheme with set rules as to when you can access your money.

1) Benefits on death

This is the big one for me and has really hit home as I wade through my late father’s financial affairs.
Many pensions pay outs stop on death whilst some transfer to a spouse at 50% of their original value until their death when they then stop completely. 
Property meanwhile will continue to yield rental payments even on the owner’s death. And perhaps more importantly, it can be passed down to the next generation, rather than vanishing into the pension provider’s coffers instead.

If you think there might be a better future for your money in property and you would like to discuss your options whilst using my knowledge and experience of investing in the local property market, please get in touch.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Penicuik’s Wyvis Park property market outperforms Namur Road’s by nearly 55%

Last week, a couple from Valleyfield came in to the office to discuss potentially investing in property for buy to let. One of the most important things you will consider before investing is the balance between annual return/yield and the annual value increase/capital growth. Namur Road in Mauricewood is one of Penicuik’s premier roads to live on. It is one of the most sought after places to live on the Edinburgh side of Penicuik. The average house sells at around £220,000 and rents are roughly £900 per calendar month.

With this in mind, it was a surprise to find that houses on Wyvis Park, off Eastfield Farm Road in Peniciuik, have outperformed those on Namur Road. This is because a house in Wyvis Park can be bought for around £110,000 and the achievable rents can be around £700 per calendar month.

The yield which could be achieved from property on Wyvis Park is around 7.6% per year. When we compare this to the possible 4.9% on Namur Road, it is nearly 55% higher in Wvyis Park.
However, we must remember that yield is not the sole consideration when investing in buy to let properties. The average value of a house in Wyvis Park in 2006 was £93,697, which has since risen by 19% in the last 10 years. A house on Namur Road in 2006 was £140,750, meaning the value has increased by an impressive 57% in the same 10 years.

Having this detail of information at our finger tips, allows us to spot trends in the local market, which then enables us to give the very best advice to our clients. We don't charge for that advice.  If you want some advice, come and see me in our offices (6 Bank Street, Penicuik), email me ( or call me (01968 674601).

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Penicuik buy to let advice for 2017

The Penicuik buy to let market has been quiet over the past few weeks. Sellers have not been keen to sell at levels that would be interesting to investment buyers, who lack confidence in the current market or bought earlier in the year to avoid LBTT changes. But some sellers have come to realise that unless they take action on their pricing they will not be selling this year.

If you do not buy now, the New Year will bring the usual inflated prices that come with the optimism of the turn of the year, even if it is not warranted. April then represents the next opportunity to invest if the first quarter does not deliver for sellers. In my experience April is always the first month that you can call the market for the year. If the first quarter has been strong, all will be fine. If it has not, it will be April before sellers react and start to take action to get sold.

Top Tips for Investing in Penicuik

Before investing, there are numerous things you need to research (including, but not limited to): cash amounts, mortgages and rates, fixed costs (such as service charges in flats), potential repairs and improvements, furnishings, gross and net yields, plus likely returns on capital employed.

Investing in new-build flats, old houses or purpose-built premises all have merit in different ways in Penicuik. It depends on your investment objectives, time frames and budget.

Penicuik is a great place to invest but you need to work out which area you are going to invest in which is, at least in part, determined by what sort of property and tenants you are looking for.

Size and Location

Two bedroom properties seem to be the most popular, houses OR apartments, with larger bedrooms better than singles. Good nearby transport links are also useful and gas central heating and double-glazing are becoming requirements for most tenants. 

However, three bedroom properties have grown in popularity. I am noticing more requests for three bedroom properties by Penicuik tenants; however the supply just is not there. I understand in most cases the yields are very similar to that of a two bedroom, but the initial cost is more for the larger property. However, you have fewer void periods with a larger three bedroom property and if you purchase at the right price the chance of growth will be greater than that of a smaller property.

As mentioned above, location of the property is vitally important in Penicuik. The main drivers are access to transport links, local shops and restaurants… local schooling can also be a factor.

Think carefully about the size and layout of the accommodation too. Most tenants will dislike small living spaces and odd shaped rooms.


The condition of property should also be considered. Tenants want dry, structurally sound properties in good condition (cracked fittings, marked walls, damaged appliances, grubby kitchens and bathrooms are all a turn off).

Think about the age of the property. The younger the property, the fewer maintenance issues you will have. If you purchase a character property, I would strongly suggest that BTL landlords have the gas and electric checks done on the property before buying. If problems are found, potentially, the cost of rectifying the issues could come off the agreed sale price.

A BTL property should look good from the outside (kerb appeal). If the inside is immaculate but the outside isn't you will struggle to get people through the door.

When Should You Buy?

So if you are buying to let in the next six months, it is worth getting out now and looking for those motivated sellers. Or you can keep watching the market (and this blog!) with a view to buying in April or beyond. There is of course the possibility that the economic news will be sufficiently good through the first quarter to encourage others to buy… then you will have to go with higher market values!

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

Email me on or call on 01968 674601. If you are in the area, feel free to pop into the office – we are based at 6 Bank Street, Penicuik. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.