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Should I Buy To Let in Crawley?

Crawley is an excellent place for buy-to-let landlords to purchase properties. With high numbers of working people who already rent in the private sector, along with convenient transport links to London, this is the perfect location for buy-to-let property investment.

Crawley, a town and borough of West Sussex, is one of the more affordable parts of what is known as a highly desirable County. Crawley itself is made up of thirteen residential areas; Langley Green, Northgate, Pound Hill, Maidenbower, Furnace Green, Tilgate, Broadfield, Bewbush, Ifield, West Green, Gossops Green, Southgate, and Three Bridges. Each of these neighbourhoods have a range of housing, including detached and semi-detached houses, terraced houses, bungalows, and low-rise flats. Apart from at one end of Pound Hill, there are no high-rise flats in Crawley.

Sitting between London and England's South Coast, the town has established itself as a centre of business and employment, with large industrial areas, with connections to the airport and local business.

Is Crawley a Good Town for Buy To Let?

Crawley is an excellent town for buy-to-let investment. It is an attractive place to live for all manner of reasons including employment, shopping, attractive houses, as well as boasting first-rate transport links to London. Also, in terms of transport links, the town is just a few miles from Gatwick Airport, making it an excellent place to live for anyone who travels a lot on business and is looking for rented accommodation in a good area. London Heathrow Airport is just under 30 miles away, as is Shoreham Airport, and various Piers and Ferry ports. It is in a prime location, situated 28 miles south of London's Caring Cross Station, and 18 miles north of Brighton and Hove.

In terms of schools, there are a number of schools with good performance levels, including faith schools, and a community college. You will also find sports and recreational facilities for children and young people, along with after school clubs and playgrounds.

Crawley has something for everyone, be it families, retired couples, or young professionals. Exceptionally positioned, it is a desirable area for all sorts of people looking to live there both temporarily and permanently. Many of the houses in the town are set back from roads and have their own private gardens. Each area within Crawley has it's own community centre, church, basic shopping area, as well as the required schools and green spaces. All in all, Crawley is an amiable and accessible place to live.

What Type of People Live in Crawley?

There are a large amount of couples without children, so one and two bedroom properties will prove popular, with a high likelihood of both parties being in employment too. However, it is also somewhere that families will choose to live, and data shows that Crawley schools favour very well in keeping with the rest of the UK.

The Crawley postcodes of RH10 and RH11 have demographics that show it has higher than the UK average of people living in privately rented accommodation, over double the amount in fact of those in the town's socially rented accommodation. This is good news for private landlords, and those in the buy-to-let market, as it means there is a large target market of people looking to privately rent.

Unemployment rates have a long history of being low here, reaching as far back as the Second World War. During the 1980's the town had the lowest level of unemployment in the UK, and a 2013 survey showed that the unemployment rate was only 1.47% of their working age population. Through continued investment, Crawley has become one of the most prolific business centres in the South East.

Despite the majority of it's population being in employment, the number of households who will be on lower wages is high, including office workers, unskilled, semi-skilled, and skilled workers. It is still extremely difficult for people earning an average or below average salary to get a mortgage, and so privately rented properties are in demand.

What Yield will I get from my Crawley Buy To Let Property?

Looking at collated data which gives the current UK averages for Crawley, we can work out an idea of yields available from buying to let in the area. One example could be a two bedroomed flat which costs anywhere between £140,000, and £200,000. The monthly rent that is usually charged for a two bedroom flat in Crawley is on average £995 per month. Obviously, the lower the cost price of the flat, the higher the yield, which works out as 5.97% on the £200,000 property, and 8.53% on the £140,000. The rent you charge might be higher or lower than the average £995 per month, and clearly there are the usual property buying and maintaining costs to bear in mind when considering the yield of any property.

Alternatively, looking at Crawley data for a three bedroom house, the current average asking price is documented to be £302,000, and calculating this against the average monthly rent of £1284 will deliver a yield of 5.10 %. However, three bedroomed houses in Crawley can be seen to charge monthly rents of up to £1800 per month, which would in turn generate a yield of 7.15%. If you buy a property at below the average selling price, which there are many on the market at, then the yield will again be greater.

It is common for yields on Crawley buy-to-let properties to be between 5% and 7%.

The average gross yield on buy to let in the UK is reported to be 4.17%, and so taking into account the ongoing property maintenance costs, and the initial buying fees, the yield on Crawley property is favourable.

So, does it make sense to Buy-to-Let in Crawley?

In conclusion, it does make a lot of sense to buy property to let in Crawley. Not only does the area receive continual development, it has a reputation for it's business and industry generation, as well as excellent links to the capital, as well as airports and ferry ports – this is somewhere which will continue to attract people for business and employment.

In terms of demographics, the statistics show that the town has very low unemployment, and a high number of households renting their home privately. These two things are both highly positive for the buy-to-let landlord, and with the number of households without children being high, one and two bedroom properties should prove easy to let.

Families do certainly settle in Crawley too though, and the impressive facilities and school choice for parents and children are good. Three bedroomed properties can expect to generate substantial rental prices, in turn delivering a very good yield.

In terms of Yield on Crawley Buy-to-Let properties, here are some examples;

One bedroom flat in Three Bridges - £190,000 cost, £850 rent pcm = 5.37%

Two bedroom terrace in Pound Hill - £280,000 cost, £1200 rent pcm = 5.14%

Three bed semi in Maidenbower - £360,000 cost, £1550 rent pcm = 5.14%

Four bedroom detached house  - £450,000 cost, £1995 rent pcm = 5.32%

Buying properties below the market value, or as a renovation project, can see higher long term yields, it really does depend on the circumstance when buying the property.

All figures are worked out at the time of writing. If you would like to work out the potential yield of your buy-to-let property, many free calculators can be found online. Please be aware that these figures do not take into account any purchase costs, and you should always factor in your ongoing maintenance costs for the property, as well as make allowances for months where the property might lie vacant.