Sunday, 29 June 2014

Property: to buy, to sell or to hold...

I've been mulling over a number of decisions about property investments recently.

Firstly, the tenancy on my existing rental property is up for renewal so i took the opportunity to check the current sale value, which was materially higher than the value i'm currently holding the property at in my accounts.  I was very tempted to sell & lock in the capital gain, especially given the steep rise in local valuations and the potential for these to fall back.  However, i decided to hold on to it and continue to rent it out for another year, primarily as there are no obvious alternatives for investing the cash this would release at a comparable yield. I'm already struggling to manage down my excess cash balances so don't want to compound the issue further.

In addition to this i'm also looking at additional smaller property investments in a different location that has not seen similar price rises in recent years, and as a result offers more attractive yields. My current cash holdings are around 37% and whilst the overall cash balance yields just over 2%, incremental cash is earning closer to 1%. I'd therefore like to start managing this balance down, and the property investments i'm looking at could yield around 5%.

Given the high yield and lower valuations, i did also consider selling my existing property and buying on a much larger scale in the new location.  However, for now this isn't attractive as (a) there's a chance i may return to the existing property location in the future so benefit from hedging against price movements there, and (b) i don't have experience of the market in the new location so will start small and see how it goes.

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