I have heard a lot about people moving away from HMOs due to the risk. I understand it – many places are over concentrated in therefore occupancies and refinance valuations have dropped. This is something we saw in Brighton – the student market became saturated and rents and occupancy dropped.
Does this make them bad investments? It depends on you and your product. Are they hard work – yes, is there more regulation – yes, is the competition fierce – yes. So if you are looking for an easy hands off investment, where occupancy will always be constant and you will not need to reinvest in your asset then HMOs are not for you.
If, like us you are professional landlords and developers, happy to put in the work and actually enjoy the experience of creating nice places to live that is relevant to the market and prepared to reinvest and reconfigure assets so that they remain relevant – then they are great investments – AS PART OF A BALANCED PORTFOLIO. Do I just own HMOs, no.
Do I continue to buy them, yes! HMOs are moving on, the trend is with Coliving – shared living by choice, with much more consideration to the quality and practicality of the property to reflect the needs of the market. HMOs are here to stay, it is not that people only stay in them out of necessity but that they now do so out of choice, better for many that than a lonely studio flat or bedsit.
SO there is a market and they do work IF you do it right and CONTINUE to do it right. Do not oppose regulation, it is usually done to improve standards and protect both landlords and tenants. Embrace it and even encourage it, get ahead of the wave, become a thought leader and get involved in the conversation.