For this month’s Investment Focus, I’m looking at a query from one of our readers who emailed to ask what £50,000 could buy in the Belfast property market today.
This potential investor is new to buy-to-let, has looked at areas of North Belfast and even considered some auction properties there. She thought perhaps the New Lodge area might be a good option given its development potential and proximity to the centre of town.
The first thing I always do is establish whether the investor is interested in living in the house at some point, but this lady is purely focused on making the right investment. Great start. This means we can focus completely on the key areas of good buy-to-let purchasing: yield and demand.
With this in mind, I’d agree that North Belfast probably offers the most potential within this budget. It remains probably the most affordable part of Belfast, but is definitely on the up too, so now is probably a very smart time to buy. It already has great links to the city centre, and with the new university opening and so many hotels being built or about to open their doors, this can only benefit the north of the city.
However, there are also some good options to consider in the east; think BT5 – in and around the Beersbridge Road. There are quite a few little one-bed flats with asking prices in and around the £40,000 mark. Definitely worth a look.
Finally, don’t discount South Belfast. As we covered in an early Investment Focus, Belvoir is a great area for buy-to-let investment – affordable properties, popular with renters and great transport links.
Keep an eye out for decent flats in high-rise blocks too; these never hang about long on the rental market and can often be relatively low maintenance, as there’s usually no roof repairs or rising damp to worry about.
If you're not sure about this type of buy, just make sure you do your homework to get a feel for the place. Visit it at different times of the day - get a feel for the atmosphere after dark. It will inform your ability to pick a good tenant for a flat there.
We have similar properties in the area (albeit in better decorative order) renting for £475 which, if you got it for around the asking price, would be a massive 12.67% yield. Even at the lower end of the scale, you could probably ask at least £425 for a house like this and see a healthy yield of 11.33%.
This one-bed flat needs a little work to bring it up to a good standard to rent out, but at £45,000 that's still a nice, safe purchase. You could see about £450 a month in rent, giving a maximum potential yield of a whopping 12%.
11A Moylena House, Finaghy BT10 0EG
A great two-bed flat in good condition, decorated to a good standard. It's currently let for £450, a 10.8% yield at its asking price. Get the right tenant and that should be a straightforward earner.