One of my clients is looking to make an addition to her rental portfolio and had been looking at a number of properties over the last few months.  She’s not bothered about the increased stamp duty and based on discussions we had prior to the increase she was of the opinion that prices might drop a little. I believe she was right although perhaps all the Brexit commotion also has something to do with that at the moment.
During her search she made me aware of a couple of properties she was looking at on both Judge Street and Whippendell Road and asked me my opinion on both locations.
Whippendell Road Property in Watford
Both roads have their own pros and cons.
Judge Street is going to be more popular with professional commuters who want the fast train from Watford Junction to Euston.  The parking on Judge Street is slightly easier than some of the surrounding roads due to the College Yard development on Gammons Lane. If you don’t know the development it backs on to Judge Street so there no terraced houses on one side of the road which means a lot more space for cars.  Have a drive down Judge Street, you’ll see what I mean. The stock is typical Victorian terraces which is just what my investor client is looking for.
Whippendell Road is a slightly different kettle of fish as there are some pros and cons depending on where you are on the road.  The top end is close to town which is a benefit to people working in the town centre or who want to be close to the popular Chater Infant and Junior schools. The middle part of the road is popular with key workers at the hospital as its just a few minutes walk away. The bottom end has seen increased interest ever since the Croxley Rail link was announced and certainly due to the location of the new met line train station off Ascot Road and the closure of the existing met line station (planned for 2018). The stock is pretty much the same, Victorian Terraces, although there are some large ones on this road.
Parking is difficult on Whippendell Rd which means you may have to park further away from your house which can put tenants off. However plenty of hospital workers don’t have cars or walk to to work so this is less of a problem for them.
My personal preference would be Judge Street. Both streets have their pros and cons – I simply like Judge Street better and if I had to make a choice then I’d choose Judge Street every time. However my opinion or gut feel should not be your reason to buy, you should always check the numbers too.
The average price paid on Whippendell Road in 2015 was £307,658 whereas the average price paid on Judge Street was £301,237. So a slightly lower price point although not a significant difference.
Let’s compare that to the average price paid on each street in 2009 when properties were at their cheapest after the crash.  On Whippendell Road you could pick up a house for £204,822 whereas on Judge Street the average house price was £182,900.
The above figures mean Whippendell Road has experienced a 50% increase since 2009 and Judge Street has experienced a 65% increase.
The average yield on both streets based on 2015’s average price is actually exactly the same @ 4.8%. The average rent on Whippendell Road is marginally higher – in line with it’s slightly higher prices.
So there we have it. As well as my gut feel, these figures indicate Judge Street might be the better street to invest in
If you are considering an investment property and would like to go on a little more than gut feel then why not get in touch and I’ll see if I can provide a little more insight.
I write these articles and publish them for free as I love property and I enjoy connecting with local landlords and investors. Sometimes I’m asked what I actually do so I hope you don’t mind my little plug here….
I am one of the Directors at Caley & Co. We’re a local independent Lettings and Sales agent that value customer service above all else.  If you have a property you’d like us to Let, Manage or Sell for you then please do get in touch. I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
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Thanks for reading this.  I hope it was useful or at least thought provoking.