Is now a good time to invest in property?

Interesting question, isn't it?

The doom mongers (many who missed out on the property boom) say that property prices will fall dramatically (and so do most newspaper columnists), yet the property 'optimists' say that now is a very good time to start buying.

So who is right?

Everybody has an opinion, but look at the person who is giving the opinion and what their motive is. For example, if someone is selling property, will they say prices are going to fall? And which headline sells more newspapers? Prices to Crash by 30% or Prices to Drop by 3%?

Nobody knows how far property prices will fall (if they do) and how quickly they will recover. The important point is that if your property investment deal stacks up, there is no reason not to buy in the current market for the long term.

In fact, experienced and smart investors are starting to see some GREAT deals coming through now!

The important thing now is to make sure that you can answer 'YES' to the following three questions:

  1. Are you buying at a *genuine* discount (and are you avoiding apartments altogether)?

  2. Are you generating a positive cash flow? (This is essential.)

  3. Are you planning to hold on to the property and you don't need to sell quickly? (Unless you are trading/developing.

If you can answer 'yes' to the three questions above, you won't have to worry about what happens in the property market in the short term, as you have purchased for the long term. By sticking to these three golden rules, you will make the following happen:

  1. Your discount will still cushion you from any further property falls (if they happen), so you will avoid negative equity!

  2. Your positive cash flow will mean that your property is generating you a rental profit - so you're making money from your property from day one!

  3. By not selling in the short term, you won't lose any money (even if property prices decline)

REMEMBER: Property investment isn't about speculating for the short term. If this is what you want to do, then you run the risk of getting your fingers badly burned!

But what about waiting until prices fall by 20% or even 30% plus?

Nobody knows if and by how much property prices will fall, so why get into the speculating game?

If you are serious about property investment, then you really cannot lose in the long term!

For example, if you are able to buy a property now with a *genuine* 20% discount and it generates a positive cash flow, then why would you put the purchase off?

REMEMBER: Property is not like buying shares, where you never know if stocks will recover!

This really is a market for 'cash rich' investors who have fast access to money and there are some great deals out there!

Further information

  • Find out how how to make money from property investment, whatever the economic climate, with Lawpack's Buy to Let Essentials
  • Landlords: Get better organised and save accountancy and legal fees by using Property Management Software

Published on: June 2, 2008

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