Westminster Council is deliberately fuelling the buy-to-let market in north Westminster through City West Homes, its council property management arm.
A posting on the City West website says;
Where to buy next in Westminster for buy to let?
The property we deal with is often the best performing property in the whole of Westminster in terms of rental yield return as the majority of the properties we deal with are ‘ex-council’ with returns over 5%.
Church Street NW8: The regeneration of the area is in the short-term pipeline. There is also going to be a host of redevelopment on the southern end of the Edgware road.Three bedroom properties can be bought for around £470,000 and can be let for up to £500 per week to professional sharers and students for example. A good return, and the opportunity for growth based on a non-market driver i.e. area improvement.
Westbourne Park W2: This area not too far from uber trendy Notting Hill and is underrated (and in London terms undervalued) in our opinion as there are 2 bedroom flats available in the Brunel Estate that can be purchased at £450,000 offering a return of over 5% with the capital value driver of Notting Hill and Westbourne Grove under a mile away.
Lisson Grove NW1: Around 5 minutes from Marylebone this area will easily ride the fortunes of the locality. Currently a 3 bedroom property can be obtained for under £650,000 offering a return of over 5%. This micro area is next to a prime zone 1 station, Regent’s University and has BNP Paribas as another pull for tenants. Next month we will be looking at additional areas in Westminster and our experiences on tenant requirements for an ex-council buy to let landlord to consider.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, has written to the Council’s Chief Executive, Charlie Parker, to ask;
“Why is City West Homes doing its best to fuel the buy to let investor market in Church Street and Westbourne and price out ordinary families?
Under the FoI Act, please can I have all your documents relating to the Council’s plans for “a host of redevelopment on the southern end of the Edgware road”.
This is clearly a case of Westminster Council and City West Homes working against the interests of residents and in favour of financial interests from everywhere else. How can you possibly justify this? How does this fit with any of your so-called ‘regeneration’ plans?”