Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Traditional Edinburgh buy to let opportunity




The buy to let opportunity from The Edinburgh Property Blog is one bed flat in Fountainbridge that is in walk-in condition.

The flat is in Gibson Terrace in Fountainbridge.  It has a lounge with a kitchen as well as a study off it, a double bedroom and a shower room.  The decoration and carpets look in good order and it has a fairly new kitchen and shower room.




Turning to the financials.  The asking price for this property, which is on the market with VHM Solicitors, is offers over £130,000 so let’s say it goes for £145,000  The flat should let for around £700 pcm which get you to a yield of 5.8%. 

We hope you find our posts useful.  If you would like some advice with your potential investment, please call me on 0131 603 4570 or email me on news@thekeyplace.co.uk.


#edinburgh #property #buytolet #realestate #ownermanagedbusiness #retirement #retirementplanning #energyefficiency #privaterentedsector #prs #privaterentedsector

Friday, 12 October 2018

Welcome to our new blog - Confessions of a Letting Agent



Landlords often ask us what goes on behind the scenes at The Key Place and so we thought we would share our experiences, and what we have learned from those experiences, with you.

I had a call from one of my team to say that a tenant of ours had stormed into the office shouting and swearing and demanding money to stay in a hotel. 

A wee bit of background to this:  a landlord that we only find tenants for (TFO) has the flat upstairs from his, and there was a pretty big leak from her flat into the flat below.  The TFO landlord lives overseas and we don’t hold insurance for her, and so there was a delay in getting the leak fixed and the works dealt with.  Our angry tenant had to move out and we agreed to put him up in alternative accommodation or to give him an allowance to stay with friends and family.  He chose to stay with friends and family. 

So why the sudden change of heart that led to him storming into our office demanding cash to stay in hotel?  A few months ago this would have seemed completely out of character as he was a good tenant with a secure job who paid his rent on time.  I was suspicious about what was going on.  Well I called him myself and told him that we had found him a B&B locally and that I would pay for his room directly, and give him an allowance for food.  He wasn’t happy with this offer and wanted the cash instead.  In fact he not only wanted the cash, he was desperate for the cash.  This got me wondering what for?  Drugs? Drug debts? Certainly something that was causing him a lot of stress.  Having called his bluff, I never heard from him again. 

This got me thinking about what had happened.  The tenant was acting irrationally as he clearly wanted cash instead of just a bed.  However I chose not to offer cash, and by calling his bluff, I found out that it wasn’t a B&B he was after at all. 

The other consideration here is the overseas landlord trying to manage her flat from overseas.  Had her property been fully managed by The Key Place, the problem would have been dealt with much quicker.  We offer insurance to our fully managed landlords and so could have actioned the claim on her behalf too.

This is just one of many real life stories in our new Confessions of a Letting Agent blog. 





#edinburgh #property #buytolet #realestate #ownermanagedbusiness #retirement #retirementplanning #energyefficiency #privaterentedsector #prs #privaterentedsector 

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Edinburgh Property - Do you know the Facts and Figures?


Here at The Key Place, we can guide you to the right places to identify property values and yields in Edinburgh and, as well as that, we can provide you with other useful property related information so you can make sure you know all you need to know before making your future investments.


I was reminded of this the other day when I was chatting to a landlord of mine and he said that I was a font of useful information about the Edinburgh property market ..... at least I think he said useful! 

This got me thinking that others may be interested in some ‘useful’ property facts about our City of Edinburgh ....

There are 4,264 streets in Edinburgh with 215,822 households, and just over 36% of those houses (78,654 to be precise) have changed hands in the last 10 years.

Compared to the national average, Edinburgh has far, far more flats and far far less houses – it 79% more flats compared to the national average and 54% less detached houses, 45% less semi detached houses and 34% less terraced houses. This ties in with Edinburgh having many, many tenements and having significantly higher single person property occupancy compared to the national average (40% vs 35%) and correspondingly more 2 person + households.

Edinburgh has less owned properties than the national average (59% vs 62%) and less Council/social renting than nationally (17% vs 24%).  Overall this means that 24% of properties in Edinburgh are privately rented which is much higher than the national average of 14%.

We also have information at our fingertips on seemingly daft things which can turn out to be quite important.  For example, 81% of properties in Edinburgh have gas central heating which is much higher than the national average of 74%.  This is really useful to know when refurbishing a flat and considering whether you can ‘get away’ with electrical heating ..... it is less likely that you can in Edinburgh

I could go on but I better not!

If you would like more useful facts and figures call me (0131 603 4570) or email me (news@thekeyplace.co.uk).


#edinburgh #property #buytolet #realestate #ownermanagedbusiness #retirement #retirementplanning #energyefficiency #privaterentedsector #prs #privaterentedsector #firsttimebuyers

Friday, 5 October 2018

Criminal offence ..... call to action


All letting agents now require to be registered with, and regulated by, the Scottish Government.  It is a criminal (not civil) offence to trade as a letting agent after 1 October 2018 if you are not registered with, and regulated by, the Scottish Government.

Registered letting agents require to adhere to the Scottish Government Letting Agent Code of Practice which means that, amongst other things, they have to have suitable policies and procedures in place, there staff need to be appropriately qualified, and they have to control their clients’ money sensibly and they have to have professional indemnity and client money insurances in place.


Call to action ..... landlords

If they use a letting agent, landlords now have a duty to only use a registered one to ensure that they are legally compliant.  I keep hearing more and more practical reasons why this is the case, for example, did you know that you will be refused a mortgage on a buy-to-let property if you use an agent who is not registered?

Landlords please use a registered letting agent.

Call to action ..... letting agents


There is significant work in getting a letting agent into a good enough shape to be able to be come regulated.  If letting agents who have not registered are looking to sell their business given the hassle involved, get in touch as I know people who are looking to buy such letting agents – they have the resource (both £££ and people) to complete a quick deal. 


Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Buy to let in Edinburgh made easy!



Today’s buy to let opportunity from The Edinburgh Property Blog is one bed flat in Gorgie.

The flat is in Wardlaw Place in Gorgie.  It has a lounge with a kitchen off it, a double bedroom, a bathroom (with shower over the bath) and a separate WC. 


Turning to the financials.  The asking price for this property, which is on the market with Ennova, is offers over £110,000.  Based on information in the advert, the seller is assuming that the flat will sell for £125,000 so let’s say it goes for £125,000  The flat is currently let for £650 pcm which get you to a yield of 6.2%. 

We hope you find our posts useful.  If you would like some advice with your potential investment, please call me on 0131 603 4570 or email me on news@thekeyplace.co.uk.



Friday, 14 September 2018

The Edinburgh property market – ten years on from Lehman Brothers



Can you believe this week marks ten years since Lehman Brothers collapsed and the dominoes of the late 2000’s financial crisis fell? The property market had actually been slowing before this, with the number of sales in the first half of 2008 down 40% compared to 2007. House prices had already dropped 10% too.

This trend accelerated though with Lehman Brothers demise. House prices fell a further 10% in the following six months, finally bottoming out in March 2009 (not that anyone knew they’d stopped falling at the time). This meant they had fallen from a high of £190,032 in September 2007 to £154,452 in March 2009; a drop of 19%.

Not coincidentally, in March 2009 interest rates were dropped to an all-time low (at the time) of 0.5%, where they were held for nine years. That’s a staggering decline considering they were still at 5% just six months beforehand, when Lehman Brothers went bankrupt. It’s quite the news story nowadays if interest rates change by 0.25%…back then we had six months in a row of them dropping between 0.5% and 1.5%!

Interestingly the average mortgage ‘SVR’ (Standard Variable Rate) in September 2008 was 6.95% (1.95% above the base rate) whereas it is now 4.1% (3.35% higher than the current base rate of 0.75%). So, compared to the stated base rate, borrowing money is actually more expensive now than it used to be - something which could be key if the base rate begins to rise.

It took until August 2014 for house prices in the UK to surpass the previous high of September 2007. During those seven years it was those in negative equity who faced the trickiest situation. With house prices retreating to levels last seen in April 2005, it was the property buyers between April 2005 and September 2007 who became trapped in their homes. For some this led to becoming accidental landlords so they could move on, whilst for others it meant having to wait out the storm.

Fast forward to today and the average UK property price stands at £228,384; 20% higher than the September 2007 ‘peak’ and 48% higher than the March 2009 low. Whilst you might have preferred not to buy between April 2005 and March 2009, anyone who did so should now have come out the other side ahead.

What still hasn’t recovered though is the volume of homes being sold. The record year for property sales in the UK remains 2006, with 1,581,727 sales. The following year there was a small dip of 6%, before the number of sales fell off a cliff in 2008, with just 765,313 homes changing hands (a drop of 49%!). A decade later and the volume of sales has recovered (to 1,098,215 in 2017) but are still well down on the levels seen in the years before the financial crisis.


For many it was the lowering of interest rates that helped them keep their homes; arguably stopping house prices from falling further. This, along with artificially pumping money into the economy, has led to asset prices becoming ever more expensive in absolute terms, whilst some will say it has only served to kick the can further down the road.

#edinburgh #property #buytolet #realestate #ownermanagedbusiness #retirement #retirementplanning #prs #privaterentedsector

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Another acquisition for the fast expanding Edinburgh based The Key Place


The Key Place, the "go to letting agency" across Edinburgh and the Lothians, Central Scotland and the Scottish Borders, specialising in property management and buy to let investment, is delighted to announce that it has taken on PH Young’s letting business based in Bo’ness.

Robert Young, The Key Place’s Chief Executive, commented “We are delighted to have taken on PH Young Lets as, on top of it being an excellent, well run business, it enables us to consolidate our strength in property lettings across Central Scotland.  I can see this being the first of many acquisitions that we make over the next couple of years and, with the regulation coming into the sector next year, I expect that a fair number of property letting agencies will be looking to exit the market rather than go through the hassle of becoming regulated.”