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What stats are needed in the ultimate 'Location Guide'?


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If you were to be provided with the ULTIMATE location guide, what information would you want to see about each location?

Tenant demand? Regeneration schemes? Affordability? Transport links?

Comment below with the info you would expect to see in the ultimate location guide!

Mark Rocks
Community Builder and Content Writer

www.propertyhub.net

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Developer (data about him, contacts), Type of area (residential, industrial, etc.), Historical summary (what was done recently, what problems). Probably all this will be important only for those who are planning to move.

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@Mark Rocks

The problem with all these guides are that they are way too generic to be of any use to an investor other than to highlight a city/town with good fundamentals that warrants further DD by the investor. 

Pick any location you are familiar with. Even in good areas, there will always be streets to avoid, streets that are less desirable for whatever reason, council estates which back on to a certain side of the street, schools with rough kids that scare the neighbourhood moms... I've seen it all (and in London with streets where houses sell for well over £1m). Just because a general post code has good fundamentals doesn't mean you can just go ahead and buy any property that comes up. 

Notwithstanding, the comments above are all good, in particular, tenant demand and tenant profile including affordability (average incomes vs average rents), how long properties sit on the market until let (and ratio of properties to let vs let agreed), and what properties are most in demand e.g. house or flat, # and size of bedrooms, garden, garage etc which will be a function of the tenant profile (you learn all this by speaking with local agents). Crime rates etc are available online, while you can look for planning applications in the street/post code you are buying (not always successfully though). 

Ultimately, the best information is the info that comes from locals who know the market well and can tell you what a good deal looks like in the area based on the factors above. Then providing a map and drawing boundaries between desirable parts of each post code and highlighting the less desirable parts of town where a deeper discount is required relative to comps that can be within 0.25-0.5 miles away. This then gives investors a very clear sense of where they should be focusing their search efforts. 

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Agree with all of the above. Without wanting to re-state what other people have already suggested, top of my mind (that I actually force myself to write down in my own research) would be…

Qualitative

- Blurb about recent past of the local market i.e. for development projects, demand for rentals, tenant profile, periods of over supply/under supply, local employment market

- Blurb about redevelopment / investment projects and honest appraisal about how far progressed / likely to happen they are (i.e. beyond the all positive spin and marketing hype that you see in brochures for new developments)

- Blurb about economy inc. types of sectors of employment and employment opportunities, including specifics with names of blue chip employers present and future 

- Blurb about population trends inc. immediate metropolitan area and any other metropolitan boroughs within commutable distance 

- Blurb about transport links and commuter times from x commuter belt to city centre, and from city centre to London (if outside London)

- Blub about universities, university population, quality of schooling

- Area map with logical way of dividing up the areas of similar tenant profile/property prices (more granular than postcodes) including areas to avoid. Similar to what you already do in your location profiles in the magazine, but you could take it further with a few more details/overlays like tenant profile (student/young prof/single family let/multi family let etc), rental/property price range e.g. £ or ££ or £££ etc., overlay of schools, universities, blue chip employers, transport links, large offices, business parks, distribution centres, large apartment blocks, regeneration areas/projects, other landmark features, local council licensing areas if applicable 

Quantitative

For the data driven nerds amongst us (who spend inordinate amounts of time looking for stats and then when found, even more time trying to understand what they are telling you)

- ONS Gross Value Added (GVA) past, present and trends, inc. breakdown of the area that the GVA statistic covers (might be a lot broader than the above mentioned location map and not necessarily comparable between GVA regions)

- ONS Gross Domestic Household Income (GDHI) same caveats as above 

- Population and population growth (e.g. Statista)

- Unemployment rate

- Addressable rental market (e.g. proportion of rentals)
- Average house price (e.g. Hometrack, Nationwide, Zoopla, Halifax)

- Average rental, cost of living inc. rental, purchasing power indices (e.g. Numbeo)

- etc… you could almost plot this dimensions on your own index that aggregates various data points and compares with other areas. Very difficult to do but very powerful (and valuable to your readers) if done right!

Happy to help with the project in any way, shape or form if useful 

Best,

Simon

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