Want to Buy Cheap Houses for Buy to Let? Essex is a Prime Location

Essex is a Prime Location to Buy Cheap Houses for Buy to Let cheap houses essex towns

Nestled to the North and East of London, with excellent travel links into the city and many towns and villages just a stones throw from Stansted Airport, Essex offers an attractive range of cheap houses and flats for sale perfect for the buy to let market.

With low buy to let mortgage rates currently on offer, a constant increase in demand for rental properties in the county, combined with stagnant house prices, it’s a prime time to purchase one or more buy to let investment properties in Essex.

Who Can I Rent To? USP’s for the Buy to Let Market in Essex

While families and couples make up most of those seeking rental properties in Essex, there are other client groups that you should be aware of if you’re looking for lucrative property investments in Essex.

Below you’ll find each rental market group explained and further down the page, property prices on 2 bedroom flats and 3 bedroom houses in many of the major towns in Essex, as well as what you can expect in terms of rental income.

Families, Singles & Couples Unable to Get Social Housing

Demand for one, two and three bedroom flats and houses for rent in Essex is constantly on the rise. This is mainly due to the reduction in council and housing association provision available. Some Essex renters are looking for landlords that will accept DSS payments (so this may be a profitable area for you to consider), while the large majority are working people who either cannot afford to buy or cannot get the amount needed for a house deposit.

There are also opportunities for property investors to rent out their buy to let properties to housing associations (look up East Thames), many of whom will pay you a guaranteed monthly rent, regardless of whether the property is let or not.

Londoners Who Want More for Their Money

Even with an average yearly all zone rail ticket costing in the region of £3 – 4k many Londoners have worked out that they are much better off financially living in Essex than they are in London, and not simply because of lower rents and house prices. They also benefit from lower costs for other things (pub prices, cinema tickets, gym membership and energy bills to name a few) as well as much more in the way of green spaces and a good deal less crime.

Popular Commuting Towns in Essex

  • Harlow – Mainline Rail into London Liverpool St– 30 mins Journey Time
  • Basildon – Mainline Rail into Fenchurch St – 35 mins Journey Time
  • Chelmsford – Mainline Rail into London Liverpool St – 35 mins Journey Time
  • Grays – Mainline Rail into Fenchurch St – 35 mins Journey Time
  • Epping – Central Line Tube into Liverpool St – 33 mins Journey Time

Londoners Retiring to the Countryside

Retirees are more likely to buy than rent in Essex and they tend to want to relocate to the seaside towns such as Frinton or Clacton, the picturesque villages or small town locations. Saying that, many retirees will rent for a period of time before they decide to buy to get a feel for an area, so there are opportunities in the buy to let market catering to this client group.

Another point for the property investor to be aware of is that the older generation will, more often than not, want to buy a house that is ready to move into. So if you buy a cheap repossessed house, bungalow or ground floor flat in the right location, ensure that it is decorated to a high standard and is adapted towards the older persons needs, you can expect a very healthy profit.

Stansted Airport Workers

Stansted Airport and the businesses contained within it, employ thousands of workers both skilled and unskilled. From baggage handlers and fast food operatives to pilots and PR executives, Stansted is a major employer in Essex and the surrounding areas, and each employee needs somewhere to live.

For those looking at investing in higher end properties, targeting Stansted employees who come with high incomes and who are looking for something special, such as detached period cottages, the villages in west and central Essex such as Dunmow, Thaxted, Takely and Elsenham are good locations due to their proximity to Stansted airport.

If you prefer to target the lower earners, then towns such as Harlow and Bishops Stortford (which is actually in Herts), are excellent places to purchase buy to let properties.

Students

Essex is not awash with centres of higher learning, but there are 3 main universities located in Colchester, Southend, Chelmsford and Writtle (nr Chelmsford) and catering to their needs is one option for those in the buy to let market.

  • University of Essex – Colchester & Southend Campuses
  • Anglia Ruskin University – Chelmsford,
  • Writtle Agricultural College – Nr Chelmsford

Hospital Workers

There are 26 main hospitals in Essex with many of their workers requiring both short and long term rental properties close to their place of work.

House Prices and Average Rental Incomes in Essex Towns

So let’s take a look at how cheaply you can buy 2 and 3 bedroom properties in the major towns in Essex and the potential rental incomes for each.

Note* The property prices listed here are not the average house prices you’ll find on sites like findaproperty.com and similar websites, these are the prices you can expect to pay if you’re buying repossessed houses or properties that needing updating through house auctions or estate agents.

(Prices Correct as of March 2011)

Harlow

2 bed flats from £85,000

Monthly Rental Income = £650 – £725

3 bed houses from £115,000

Monthly Rental Income = £750 – £900

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Basildon

2 bed flats from £70,000

Monthly Rental Price £625 – £725

3 bed houses from £110,000

Monthly Rental Income £750 – £1,000

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Colchester

2 bed flats from £80,000

Monthly Rental income £475 – £600

3 bed houses from £120,000

Monthly Rental income £670 – £900

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Chelmsford

2 bed flats from £105,000

Monthly Rental income £595 – £750

3 bed houses from £143,000

Monthly Rental income £700 – £950

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Braintree

2 bed flats from £75,000

Monthly Rental income £500 – £695

3 bed houses from £120,000

Monthly Rental income £695 – £900

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Southend

2 bed flats from £75,000

Monthly Rental income £550 – £750

3 bed houses from £125,000

Monthly Rental income £690 – £900

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Grays

2 bed flats from £80,000

Monthly Rental income £650 – £800

3 bed houses from £110,000

Monthly Rental income £750 – £1,000

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Harwich

2 bed flats from £50,000

Monthly Rental income £400 – £575

3 bed houses from £80,000

Monthly Rental income £470 – £700

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Witham

2 bed flats from £100,000

Monthly Rental income £525 – £695

3 bed houses from £115,000

Monthly Rental income £675 – £1,000

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Epping

2 bed flats from £190,000

Monthly Rental income £750 – £2,000

3 bed houses from £240,000

Monthly Rental income £1,000 – £1,700

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Romford

2 bed flats from £105,000

Monthly Rental income £650 – £1,200

3 bed houses from £130,000

Monthly Rental income £850 – £1,500

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Ilford

2 bed flats from £95,000

Monthly Rental income £650 – £1,100

3 bed houses from £180,000

Monthly Rental income £900 – £1,500

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As you can see from the information above, there are plenty of buy to let opportunities in Essex catering to a wide variety of potential renters. If you’re clever about where you choose to invest your money, you can target several client groups at once e.g. Harlow is well placed to attract Stansted workers, hospital workers, London commuters and families. As well as ensuring you buy your properties at a good price, all you need to do as a property investor is ensure that you advertise your rental properties in the right places to target each of these groups of people.


About Mark Knowles

I am a long time professional blogger and SEO specialist in the real estate industry. I can be contacted here: mpk [at] bankproperties.com and also here:
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