Reading: an undiscovered property investment hotspot near London

 

The strong jobs market and economic growth seen in Reading in recent years are setting it up as a contender for one of the most promising property investment locations in the south-east.

In recent years, capital values, rental yields and tenant demand have all seen an upwards trend in Reading. According to local estate agent Haslams, the town has many promising factors to make it a great place for buying opportunities for homeowners as well as investors.

The firm’s latest house price index shows values have gone up by 4% in the town over the past year. While the south-east has seen smaller price hikes than other parts of the country, Reading is an ideal spot for those looking at buying close to but not within London.

This is corroborated by a number of independent analyses of the area. In a recent EY report, for example, the Thames Valley was marked out as one of the strongest performing regions over the next three years in terms of its economy. And Reading in particular was chalked to see 2.2% growth in GVA.

Reading rental values holding their own

Property investors and landlords are finding a growing tenant demand in the area, with demand returning from international tenants as well as students and foreign businesspeople. According to Mike Shearn, chief operating officer at Haslams, Reading has also seen an “all-time low for void periods” as rental properties are snapped up by tenants.

He comment: “Data from Goodlord has shown that 94% of tenants no longer have any cause for concern over the pandemic affecting their income and ability to rent a home, which follows high levels of activity in the market,” Shearn added.

“In terms of rental values, the last three months saw a 5% increase caused by the lack of stock and the resurgence in the number of international tenants.”

He continued: “As we enter the last three months of the year, there is an exciting opportunity to achieve an excellent return on investment, with demand continuing to remain at a high.”

Reading versus London

A couple of decades ago, London was the go-to spot for property investment due to its impressive capital gains. Most that did invest back then are seeing the rewards now. However, the strengthening of housing markets away from the capital has been underway for several years, and with prices in the capital now higher than ever, many investors are opting for up-and-coming areas with more room for capital appreciation.

What’s more, levelling up across the country means jobs markets elsewhere are giving the capital a run for their money. Employment prospects in Reading have gone from strength to strength, and the town is often known as the “Silicon Valley” of the UK thanks to its reputation as a technology hub.

The area has a lot to offer young professionals and families. With numerous shops, bars, restaurants and social spaces, many no longer need to travel to London. However, for those that do, trains into Paddington can take as little as 23 minutes. What’s more, with the arrival of Crossrail, commuters and travellers will be soon able to reach the capital from Reading by tube.

Shearn says: “Reading – and the wider Thames Valley region – is demonstrating an incredibly buoyant job market and when this is coupled with interest rates remaining at an all-time low and people with an appetite to move home, the result is an incredibly strong lettings and sales market. This in turn has driven capital values, rents and yields.”

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Reading: an undiscovered property investment hotspot near London

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