Buy-to-let owners 'worst hit by falling prices'

Owners of buy-to-let properties are among the worst hit by falls in housing prices, experts said today.









Researchers compiling a top ten list of places suffering the largest price drops discovered it was dominated by regeneration sites in Northern city centres, which have proved popular with buy-to-let investors.



Many buyers of such properties, often in new developments on old brownfield or industrial sites alongside canals or rivers, have since seen their investments lose thousands in value.



Selwyn Lim, director of property website Mouseprice.com which produced the research, said: "These areas attracted the most buy-to-let investors during the boom and have recently suffered due to supply outstripping demand."



Properties around Birmingham Canal, close to the city's centre and home to many young professionals, suffered the worst price fall in the past year - 17.3% or an average of £32,000.



Buyers of flats in canal-side developments built as recently as 2003 have already crystallised their losses by selling at less than the price they originally paid, researchers said.



Properties on Manchester's fashionable Deansgate suffered a similar price slump of 17.1%, while Erebus Drive in Thamesmead was the worst-affected area in London, with a drop of 16.9%.



"Interestingly, the greatest price falls are not connected with how expensive the relative locations are," said Mr Lim.



"Price falls have not discriminated according to how much a property cost in the first place or how desirable an area was."



The ten areas where average values have fallen the most over the last year are:



Area Oct 2007 Oct 2008 Annual price change



1. Birmingham Canal, Birmingham £185,500 - £153,500 - 17.3%



2. Deansgate, Manchester £237,000 - £196,500 - 17.1%



3. Erebus Drive, Thamesmead, south east London £251,000 - £208,500 - 16.9%



4. Elmwood Lane, Leeds £178,000 - £149,000 - 16.3%



5. Millsands, Sheffield £142,000 - £120,500 - 15.1%



6. Lakenham, Norwich £165,000 - £140,500 - 14.8%



7. Abbey Road, Barking, east London £194,500 - £166,000 - 14.7%



8. Dame Dorothy Street, Sunderland £153,000 - £132,000 - 13.7%



9. Russell Rd, Barnet, north London £305,000 - £266,000 - 12.8%



10. Walton Hall Avenue, Liverpool £99,500 - £87,000 - 12.6%



Mouseprice.com said the average values related to the postcode sector rather than the specific street or locality named, which is the area in the relevant postcode with the greatest numbers of owners selling at a loss. Researchers looked at properties in England and Wales.





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