The managing director of one of Swindon’s “longest established” lettings agencies has described the Wiltshire town’s lettings market potential as “formidable.”
Mike Dewhurst, managing director of Dewhurst & Co, said, “From the very beginning we have always focused on high-quality properties and Swindon certainly has plenty of those.”
Mike explained, “We currently manage some twenty properties in Swindon’s Old Railway Quarter. They’re mostly one and two bedroom apartments, but heritage properties like these are popular with tenants who value stylish designs and quality finishes, often professionals from the adjacent National Trust and English Heritage HQs or people working in the financial sector.”
According to Mike, in North Swindon, where Dewhurst’s Taw Hill Lettings Office is located, it’s still possible to rent a “lovely four bedroom house” for around £950 per calendar month.
“That’s great for local families,” he explained, “but also represents a genuine opportunity for commuters from places like Bristol, Newbury and Reading. If the key factor for a potential tenant is access to the M4, why rent in one of those expensive locations when you can rent for several hundred pounds cheaper in Swindon?”
Mike claims that while accessible rents in Swindon are “obviously good news for tenants” – this doesn’t make the town a bad place to invest in buy-to-let properties.
“In the first place,” he said, “landlords will pay much less for a property in Swindon than other cities and towns in the South West. And rents in Swindon are still growing, a 5% yield per annum is more than realistic, and you can also expect capital gains year on year.”
While a small minority of landlords may choose to manage their own properties, Mike claims that these days most investors – whether they have a large property portfolio or just one house to rent out – realise it “makes sense” to hire a professional property management company like Dewhurst & Co.
“Savvy landlords treat their properties as a business commodity, not a DIY hobby,” explained Mike.
He added, “You need to be pretty confident to invest in shares without the help of a stockbroker, and who repairs their own car these days? By the same token, why rely on a wing and a prayer when it comes to property management?!”