2,281,588 People use Rugby Train Station a year –

How does that affect the Rugby Property Market?

It might surprise you that it isn’t always the poshest villages around Rugby or the swankiest Rugby streets where properties sell and let the quickest. Quite often, it’s the ones that have the best transport links. I mean, there is a reason why one of the most popular property programmes on television is called Location, Location, Location!

As an agent in Rugby, I am frequently confronted with queries about the Rugby property market, and most days I am asked, “What is the best part of Rugby and its villages to live in these days?”, chiefly from new-comers.  Now the answer is different for each person – a lot depends on the demographics of their family, their age, schooling requirements and interests etc. Nonetheless, one of the principal necessities for most tenants and buyers is ease of access to transport links, including public transport – of which the railways are very important.

Official figures recently released state that, in total, 3,134 people jump on a train each and every day from Rugby Train station. Of those, 1,514 are season ticket holders. That’s a lot of money being spent when a season ticket, standard class, to London is £5,760 a year.

So, if up to £8.72m is being spent on rail season tickets each year from Rugby, those commuters must have some impressive jobs and incomes to allow them to afford that season ticket in the first place. That means demand for middle to upper market properties remains strong in Rugby and the surrounding area and so, in turn, these are the type of people whom are happy to invest in the Rugby buy to let market – providing homes for the tenants of Rugby…

The bottom line is that property values in Rugby would be much lower, by at least 3% to 4%, if it wasn’t for the proximity of the railway station and the people it serves in the town

And this isn’t a flash in the pan. Rail is becoming increasingly important as the costs associated with car travel continue to rise and roads are becoming more and more congested. This has resulted in a huge surge in rail travel.

Overall usage of the station at Rugby has increased over the last 20 years. In 1997, a total of 777,598 people went through the barriers or connected with another train at the station in that 12-month period. However, in 2016, that figure had risen to 2,281,588 people using the station (that’s 6,268 people a day).

The juxtaposition of the property and the train station has an important effect on the value and saleability of a Rugby property. It is also significant for tenants – so if you are a Rugby buy to let investor looking for a property – the distance to and from the railway station can be extremely significant.

One of the first things house buyers and tenants do when surfing the web for somewhere to live is find out the proximity of a property to the train station. That is why Rightmove displays the distance to the railway station alongside each and every property on their website.

For more thoughts on the Rugby Property market – please visit the Rugby Property Blog http://www.rugbypropertyblog.wordpress.com

Iain Havell

Rugby Rents rise by 14.8% since 2005

The Rugby Property Market is a very interesting animal and has been particularly fascinating over the last 12 years when we consider what has happened to Rugby rents and house prices.

There’s currently much talk of what will happen to the rental property market following Brexit. To judge that, I believe we must look what happened in the 2008/9 credit crunch (and what has happened since) to judge rationale and methodically, the possible ramifications for long-term investors in the Rugby property market. You see, an important, yet overlooked measure is the performance of rental income vs house prices (i.e. the resultant yields over time). In Rugby (as for the rest of Great Britain), notwithstanding a slight drop in 2008 and 2009, property rentals have been gradually increasing.

The income from rentals has been progressively increasing over the last 12 years. Today, they are 14.8% higher than they were at the beginning of 2005. In fact, over the last five years, the average growth has been 1.4% per annum. From a landlord’s point of view, increase in average rental income is not to be sneered at. However, the observant readers will be noting that we are ignoring an important factor – our friend inflation.

Turn the clock back to 2005, and we have a property being rented for say £900 a month and that is still being rented at £900 a month today, in Spring of 2017. While the landlord is not getting any less income, this £900 is no longer worth as much. Let me explain, in 2005, £900 may have bought a two-week 4* holiday in Italy. Yet, holidays have increased in line with inflation (which has been 38.5% since 2005), so our holiday would cost today £1,246 (£900 + 38.5% inflation = £1,246). Therefore, the landlord could no longer afford the same holiday, even though having the same amount in pound notes from their rental property.

This means when we compare rents in Rugby to inflation since 2005, Rugby landlords are worse off today, when they receive their monthly rental income, than they were in 2005 by 23.7% in real terms (rents increased by 14.8% since 2005, less the 38.5% inflation since 2005 – net affect 23.7% drop)

However, rental income is not the only way to generate money from property as property values can increase. Although in the short term, cash flows are diminishing, many Rugby landlords may be content to accept that for a colossal increase in capital value.

Property values in Rugby have risen by 26.4% since 2005

This equates to a reasonably salubrious 2.2% per annum increase over the last 12 years. Even more interesting that this includes the 2008/9 property crash, this will make those Rugby landlords and investors feel a little better about the information regarding rents after inflation.

Moving forward, the prospects of making easy money on buy to let in Rugby have diminished, when compared to 2005. Last decade, making money from buy to let was as easy as falling off a log – but not anymore.

It would be true to say, my rental income verses property prices study does lead to noteworthy thoughts. I am often asked to look at my landlord’s rental portfolios, to ascertain the spread of their investment across their multiple properties. It’s all about judging whether what you have will meet your needs of the investment in the future. It’s the balance of capital growth and yield whilst diversifying this risk.

If you are investing in the Rugby property market, do your homework and do it well. While some yields may look attractive, there are properties in many areas that do not have the solid rudiments in place to sustain them. If you are looking for capital growth, you might be surprised where the hidden gems really are. Take advice, even ask your agent for a portfolio analysis like I offer my landlords. The clear majority of agents in Rugby will be able to give a detailed analysis of past and anticipated investment opportunity (especially the awful effect of inflation) on your portfolio. However, if they can’t help – well, you know where I am, the kettle is on!

For more thoughts on the Rugby Property market – visit the Rugby Property Blog http://www.rugbypropertyblog.wordpress.com

Iain Havell