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Hello from London - Buying in Cambridge

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Hi everyone!

I'm Laura, I'm in my early 30s and work full-time. I started listening to The Property Podcast last year and have been binging the episodes, the content is absolute gold.

I have a handful of BTLs in Australia and will be purchasing my first property (residential mortgage) here in Cambridge this year. I know the Cambridge property market is overpriced, but I'm a fan of blue chip areas & I'm looking at pockets which are still relatively affordable for a first home buyer. I'd love to hear from anyone else who has bought in Cambridgeshire and what their experiences have been. And if there are any regular meetups in Cambridgeshire, I'd be keen to come along.

My plan is to create a regular passive income & achieve financial independence in the next 10 years. I also plan to own a property in Portugal - one of my hobbies is surfing ;)

Thank you, looking forward to learning from you all!

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Welcome to the PH Forum @laura358 - happy to have you join us!

I'd love to hear more about what drove you to invest in BTLs in Australia? I'm not well versed in the area and would love to know more!

Do you think after you've got your own home in Cambridgeshire you'll want to invest in BTLs in the area, or are you considering other areas for investing?

Mark Rocks
Community Builder and Content Writer




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Hi Mark, 

Thanks for your reply! The Aussie BTLs were because I was living there (I'm an Australian citizen) which made it a lot easier! Now that I'm settled here in the UK, I'm turning my attention to this market. After this Cambridge purchase, we'll reassess as usual, but the focus will probably be on getting the place in Portugal if all is looking good 🤞

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi. I recently sold a flat in Cambridge (CB1) that I bought in 2015, at the peak of the Cambridge property bubble.

Shortly after I bought the flat, a huge number of flats were built around Huntingdon Meadows and all over Cambridge, which led to there being too much supply of flats in Cambridge. This was disastrous for property values, esp as mine was an older property (now 20 years old). I sold it earlier this year for only a slim profit, despite it being high spec (new en suite, top boiler etc). I rented out the flat from 2019, but didn't get a good yield, esp after the service charge went from £1,500 to £2,500 over night.

So if you are looking at Cambridge, be very aware that there is so much new building going on even nowthat you might not make a good return.

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Hi Suzanne,

Thanks so much for your reply, this is a really valuable insight and sorry to hear about the poor return. I guess that is why it was called a "property bubble"! That increase in service charge also sounds like a nightmare.

I'm looking at houses which I'm hoping will be more manageable in terms of supply/demand, but I agree the yields in Cambridge don't stack up compared to other places e.g. the North.

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I guess I can be circumspect about it as I didn’t buy the flat as a BTL, but as a place to live in during the week while I was working in Cambridge. Also, it did give me an income for 3 years, and I sold it at a modest profit (not enough to pay capital gains tax though). So it’s not all bad. But as you say, when looking to invest in property to rent out, yield is a very basic hurdle. 

I now invest in Maidstone where yields are so much better and I was able to buy and refurb a 3 bed house for the money from the Cambridge flat, had £50k left over and the rent is £150pcm better, with no service charge. 

I personally like to invest near where I live as I self-manage (don’t want to give away margin the letting agents) and I have good connections with the trades. It’s also easy to pop round, esp during refurb. 

Good luck!

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