Friday, 28 June 2013

"but the collapse in interest rates has left them making more than ever ...."

The king & queen of buy-to-let

Fergus and Judith Wilson, former schoolteachers turned buy-to-let property tycoons

Fergus and Judith Wilson, former schoolteachers turned buy-to-let property tycoons.

Former schoolteachers Fergus and Judith Wilson have 700 houses around Ashford and Maidstone, in Kent, bought using buy-to-let loans. "Life could not be better," they say. The typical rent they charge on a two-bed house has risen from £725 in 2008 to £850.

Many expected their debt-leveraged property empire to crash during the financial crisis, but the collapse in interest rates has left them making more than ever.

On average, they pay 2.25% interest on their loans, with some of costing as little as 1.65%, compared with the 5% rates first-time buyers typically pay.

"Properties that were breaking even or losing us £50 per month are now making as much as £900 a month profit," says Fergus. The average capital gain on his properties has been "£9,000 per unit over the past year", he says, suggesting he has made a paper gain of at least £6m. "For every £1 we are making in rent, we are making another £1 capital gain."

He expects home ownership in Britain to continue to decline to little more than half of all households, bolstering his rental business.

"There is such a shortage of property, it couldn't be better. Some of the tenants are telling me they have given up entirely on the idea of home ownership. Gordon Brown said we are 3m properties short in this country and he was right. Many young people have to get it into their heads that they are going nowhere in the property market. Thatcher sold off the social housing, which we could probably do with now, but that's all in the past."

He adds that most of his new tenants are migrants from eastern Europe. "Around 90% of what we're letting in Maidstone is going to Hungarians … It's a landlord's market for the simple reason that there is such a shortage of housing."

other uplifting tales covered in the same article, Meet the new class of landlords profiting from Generation Rent, include:

Renting the already rented - Dan Burton says he "got bored" studying at the LSE and stumbled into property after subletting spare rooms to student friends in 2009.

The secret millionaire with 672 houses - Kevin Green only started in buy-to-let in 2000 but has now amassed 672 properties.

The 'daddy' of multiple occupation - Jim Haliburton is the self-styled HMO Daddy, with a £10m-plus empire of 100 HMOs – houses of multiple occupation – with 800 tenants around Wednesbury, a depressed town in the West Midlands.

and The Tory minister's son with 40 ex-council homes - Charles and Karen Gow, KCG Property


Lola said...


Lola said...


Graeme said...

part of me says well done for making a good punt...but does this befit society and just what did you do to earn this reward? Moatly to do with low interest rates and restrictions on builds....LVT is possibly an answer.

Rich Tee said...

Makes me feel sick, although this phenomenon is concentrated in the south of England.

I live in the north and the flat below mine was empty for three months before it was let. This is not unusual.

The person I am most angry with is myself for ever trusting any of the f*ckers who run things in this country. Never again.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, I aaaahgree.

G, it doesn't, it is and it will, respectively.

RT, that's the beauty of shifting to "LVT with personal allowances". Quite simply, most people outside London/South East simply will not pay any net tax.

Bayard said...

There is nothing new in this. Before the introduction of council housing, these sort of people were two-a-penny. Nowadays we tend to think of landlords as rich and posh (perhaps it's the "lord" in landlord), but many many ordinary working class people were landlords in the early part of the C20th. It's hardly surprising that the decline of council housing has seen this type of landlord reappear.