Michael Hardy Blog, News & Updates

A guide to buy-to-let in Wokingham

21 May, 2015

A regular feature in family-friendly location lists (notable for its low crime rates, great schools and excellent transport links) Wokingham has plenty to shout about. The Berkshire town was even voted one of the 20 best places to live by the Sunday Times in 2014.

Situated within easy commuting distance of London, Reading, Basingstoke and Guildford, Wokingham makes a great base for anyone after a balance between rural and city life.

With a thriving property market in the area, there are plenty of people wanting to rent as well as buy. This makes it ideal for buy-to-let investments, but you’ll want to do some research before parting with any cash.

Average property price/size in Wokingham

It helps to have an overall understanding of the local housing market prior to making any major investment decisions. According to valuations and property market information site Mouseprice, house prices in Wokingham average at £343,695.

This is well above the UK average, which the Office of National Statistics (ONS) noted was £273,000 in January 2015. House prices have seen an increase of 11 per cent in the past year and another property boom is expected.

Average house prices for Wokingham by type, according to Mouseprice data are:

Detached: £392,942

Terraced: £216,584

Semi-detached: £247,247

Flat: £183,917

There are more two-bedroom properties than any other size available to rent in Wokingham, with average rents for these properties sitting at £1,049 per calendar month (pcm), according to home.co.uk. Three-bedroom properties are the second most common, with rents averaging £1,311pcm. Both types get snapped up fairly quickly, with an average time spent on the market of 41 and 47 days respectively. Four-bedroom houses spend longer on the market (79 days), but can pull in a comfortable £1,931pcm.

There is a fairly even split between houses and flats in the town, with very few single rooms available to rent. From this, we can make an educated guess that most tenants are likely to be families or professional couples, with a few sharers looking for co-tenants completing the mix.

Best Wokingham property in terms of average yield

With buy-to-let assets, it's not just the price that investors need to consider – yields in the area are also important, to help ascertain just how much a property will return.

According to Rental Yield, the average yield for a two-bedroom property in Wokingham is 5.22 per cent – above the national average of five per cent.

Average yields for Wokingham by house type, according to Rental Yields:

1 bed: 5.13 per cent

2 bed: 5.22 per cent

3 bed: 4.04 per cent

4 bed: 3.86 per cent

5 bed: 3.87 per cent

It is also important to consider capital growth when looking at buy-to-let prospects. As properties across the UK continue to increase in value, it's likely that homes in desirable areas like Wokingham will provide strong capital growth over time.

For investors, the ideal buy-to-let property is one that strikes the perfect balance between yield and capital growth. Of course, this is not always possible, so you should base your decision on the factor is most important to you, taking the above information into account.

Finding tenants in Wokingham

According to home.co.uk, the average time on market (ToM) for a rental property in Wokingham is 50 days, so you can be sure of finding a tenant fairly quickly, especially with the help of a specialist estate agent who has knowledge of the local area.

Data shows that tenants in Wokingham tend to be reliable when it comes to paying rent on time, and most keep their properties in good condition. In fact, Wokingham has the second-lowest eviction rate in the whole country – ranking 324 of 325 in official possession claim figures. It seems Wokingham tenants are a pretty reliable bunch!

The ripple effect

As the market continues to grow, houses in the capital are expected to reach an average price of £1million by 2030. London can no longer house its growing population and city workers are choosing to look elsewhere for property. This means the perfectly situated commuter spot of Wokingham will become more and more popular, making it an ideal area for buy-to-let property.

Seeing as London is just a 50-minute train journey away, Wokingham residents can get the best of both worlds; earning city wages while taking advantage of comparably cheaper purchase and rental prices. There’s more to it than that, though – you also have the stunning countryside surroundings and fantastic local amenities to consider.

As the area continues to grow, with a vast array of new developments planned, now is a great time to explore the buy-to-let market in Wokingham.