Friday, 28 October 2016

Helston – more than worth a look for property investors?

In a property investment sense Helston is often overlooked in favour of the larger coastal towns like Falmouth, St Ives and Newquay. This may be because of the wider choice in general amenity as well as a greater opportunity to holiday as well as long term let properties in these coastal ‘hot spots’.


Let us not downplay Helston though. There is much to find appeal in this historic market town. It boasts the only military base of note in the County, one of the most popular theme parks in the region as well as a diverse local economy. The schools compare favourably in terms of performance, and it boasts on its doorstep an attractive coastal geography second to none. It is unsurprising therefore that in recent years canny corporates like Sainsbury’s, Tesco’s, Whitbread’s and latterly Premier Inn and Weatherspoon’s have all invested heavily to provide better amenity to the area. They clearly know something which the rest of us should take notice of?   


House prices have gone up over  the last decade, but increases have been more modest than say Falmouth which is only 10 miles away. Using Zoopla house price statistics for the last 12 months, the average house price in Helston was £246,744. This compared to a heady £312,937 for Falmouth. Looking at more than 800 property sales between the two towns, properties in Falmouth are 27% more expensive than buying in Helston! Although wider statistics don’t exist in the same way for rental properties, we have extrapolated  comparable rental returns from our portfolio of more than a 100 rentals between the two towns. The key statistics are that while prices are 27% more expensive in Falmouth, rental returns are  only 15% greater than in Helston. This would suggest that relative to the traditional investment hotspot of Falmouth, there is good value to be had in investing in Helston.

The rental market for two and three bedroom family homes is particularly buoyant. Recent experience have highlighted that several working families are chasing too few family properties. The driving force for this is the familiar tale that working class families on modest incomes, many with zero hour contracts struggle to find the deposits necessary to get a mortgage. Unless lending patterns change, long term letting for many Helston families will be a way of life.


Two bedroom properties in Furry Way and Nanscoba Place (see photos above)  currently on the market with Christophers Estate Agents are on for sale at around the £150,000 - 160,000 mark. They will return a rent of £600-625 per month. The equivalent in the Longfield area of Falmouth are on the market for closer to £200,000 and will return £700-725. The gross return in Helston is around 4.7% to 5 % versus 4.35% for Falmouth.

Just like the words of the song that celebrates this old town’s most famous day, as a property investor choosing to take the plunge you might just be Dancing here, prancing there,  jigging, jogging everywhere…..


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