Welcome to our first quarterly newsletter.
Each quarter we will be pulling together relevant information on the local property market and updates on our business and the industry.
Osprey Lettings: Who are we?
As a relatively new entrant into both the Oakham and Kettering Lettings markets we are often asked who we are and why we have started here. In fact we have been managing properties in Leicestershire for the past 10 years in both Market Harborough and then Uppingham. The difference was that these offices were not “shop front”. Osprey Lettings is a division of the larger company, Residential Property Group ltd, who have specialised in managing properties since 2000. Initially focussing in Yorkshire the business has since grown and expanded geographically throughout the East Midlands and as a Group we manage in excess of 900 properties in all from 3 offices.
In July 2014 we took the exciting step of opening a “shop front” office in Oakham, swiftly followed by another office in Kettering in September 2014. We are extremely pleased to report strong business in both locations since opening, and the Directors have ambitions to expand further geographically. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the dedication, energy and enthusiasm of our staff in both offices and we would urge anyone interested in discussing lettings, property management or property investment to contact us. We believe the service we offer is unique; we specialise in Lettings and Management (not Estate Agency), we have a combined team of 20+ people solely dealing with lettings, property management, maintenance, accounts and property investment.
The breadth of knowledge and quality of service we hope is of benefit to our existing Landlords and for new clients.
Introducing the Team:
With the opening in 2014 of 2 new offices we were delighted to welcome a number of new members of staff to our team.
Our Oakham team is led by Isobel Goodwin (Branch Manager) and Alice Cox (Senior Lettings Negotiator). Other members of the team are Emma Hall (Lettings Negotiator) and Marianne Thompson (Property Manager).
Our Kettering team is led by Rachael Robertson (Branch Manager), Verity Smith (Lettings Negotiator) and Lucy Wealthy (Property Manager).
We also have other staff dealing with property finding, accounts and business development.
Between them they bring a wealth of experience in property management and lettings and particular expertise of the local lettings market. Please do contact any of us for further information or just a chat!
The market in Rutland, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire:
Over the past 12 months the sales market has been fairly active and we are seeing an upward underlying trend in house prices. Playing catch up with the London and South East market we are now seeing more investment buyers coming out from London where they see value in these regional markets in absolute prices, a better rental yield and more solid longer term economic growth prospects. Recent changes to pension rulings has led to a small but noticeable increase in investor buyers, whilst we do not envisage the recent budget announcements on the buy-to-let sector to have any negative impact on the market.
Savills recently issued 5 year price forecasts of 19-25% for the East Midlands and East of England, which are 2 of the 4 strongest regions in the UK, whilst London is expected to grow only 10% over the same period. When one considers total return (including rental returns) we believe, as Savills do, that our local markets are poised for good long term price growth
The lettings market in Rutland, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire:
Demand remains extremely high for all properties throughout the areas above. We expect this to remain the same for the foreseeable future and there is some rental growth feeding into prices at renewals. Both our Oakham and Kettering offices are reporting a large number of tenant enquiries and average void periods are extremely low. It is important that properties are presented as best possible and with increasing legislation it is important that properties do meet the stringent standards required these days.
Landlords and Residential Property Investment:
We have been finding, refurbishing, letting and managing properties throughout the East Midlands since 2000. We are able to compare the benefits of investing in different locations and different budgets. For example, we can compare and recommend whether to invest in city centre Birmingham or the market town of Oakham and indeed the commuter areas of Peterborough. We specialise in finding properties for investors throughout the East Midlands and East of England; a niche area where we have expertise, contacts and experience.
We have long preached the benefits of investment in “East Midlands and the East of England”; areas such as Peterborough, Kettering, Northampton and the market towns of Oakham and Stamford. We believe in the local economies of these areas, their employment prospects, their proximity to London and the consequential flow of wealth. We believe that the total returns over a 5 year period should be higher in the East Midlands and East of England than anywhere else in the UK.
Some investment opportunities we post to our twitter page on our website, but given the existing strong demand from clients we would recommend registering your potential buying interest with us. We can assist with the purchase of an individual property, as well as constructing a larger investment property portfolio.
Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors:
You may or may not be aware that from October 2015, to remain legally compliant, Landlords must ensure that their properties contain smoke alarms (1 per floor) and that they are tested at the start of every tenancy along with the installation of a carbon monoxide detector in high risk rooms, such as rooms that contain solid fuel fires, boilers etc. Whilst Landlords who fail to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms will face a civil penalty, it remains the tenant’s responsibility to test them regularly. The processes currently in place by Osprey Lettings are to check that all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are installed and are in working order in each of the properties that we manage. They are checked at the new tenant’s move in stage, during the routine maintenance visit and after a tenant has vacated. Any faults found are reported for immediate repair.