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A brief guide to period properties capital growth investments

Period property refers to any property that is around 100 years old and is of historical importance. But, the term is commonly used to describe Victorian, Georgian or Edwardian properties. A capital gain is the profit realised from investments in capital assets like bonds, real estate and stocks. Europe has a rich stock of period houses. This presents attractive prospects for period properties capital growth investments.

Period properties capital growth investments

The prospects for capital growth investments in the UK and European commercial property market are limited. However, there are many period properties capital growth opportunities for discerning investors who apply smart strategies to capitalise on the limited opportunities in the period property market.

In order to capitalise on available period property investment opportunities, you need to not only know the types of period houses available in the country, but also research the period properties themselves properly before making a perchance and subsequently embarking on a renovation of the property.

Types of period properties

The common types of period properties available in the UK include:

- Georgian properties, which are properties built between 1714 and 1837

- Victorian properties, which are properties built between 1837 and 1901

- Edwardian properties, which are properties built between 1901 and 1925, and

- Art–deco properties, which are properties built between 1925 and 1940

Period property investment risks

Like with any major investment, there are risks involved in purchasing a period property. Some special risks in period property investing, however, exist because investing in period houses is more than just purchasing a piece of property. It is also about purchasing a piece of history.

The risks in period property investment come in different forms, such as structural defects, damp and cost of re-instating period features. The key element in accessing and avoiding adverse risks is the survey.

You need to get a feel for the costs required for essential works on the property and reassurance that the property is not about to collapse as soon as you buy it. This can only be achieved with a comprehensive survey of the property. Any light survey is of little use.

Period property survey and purchase

If you want a period properties capital growth investment, you need to initiate a comprehensive building survey undertaken by a qualified professional. The professional needs to have a good understanding of older properties to make the right calls.

A comprehensive building survey provides you with a reality-check on the actual condition of the property, gives you a rough guide to the cost requirements for re-instating the property, identifies the importance of the period time frame and outlines any specialist construction features that may be required for the period.

Armed with this information, you are able to gauge the appropriateness of the asking price of the property against the work required to re-instate it. You also empower yourself to make sound investments decisions and eliminate many investment risks with the information.

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