Taking advantage of a buyer’s market means that investors will be looking to the long term for significant returns on their property price. In November 2007, Hometrack reported an average year-on-year housing price growth of 4.4% and expected the market to slow further over the coming months.

So where are the hot spots for those buying investment property today? The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors is forecasting that London, the South East, Scotland and Northern Ireland will see the most significant price increases over the next five years.

Scotland is one of the most affordable places for buying investment property with prices almost one-third less than the national UK average. Scotland is also seeing higher-than-average growth due to economic prosperity from high oil prices.

In the historic, university city of Aberdeen, the estate agent Gavin Bain & Co currently holds a range of properties from £68,500 to £450,000. There are numerous buy-to-let prospects for those buying investment property, including a 2-bedroomed apartment in a modern city-centre development in Candlemakers Lane for sale at £165,000. For the same price, Andersonbain & Co is marketing a well-presented 3-bedroom semi-detached family home in the Sheddocksley area. If you’re looking for something really special then take a look at Honeybank, a traditional 3/4-bedroomed granite cottage in Newmachar. Close to the Swailend golf course the owners of this property are looking for offers over £245,000.

Northern Ireland’s property surge is the result of a period of investment and regeneration. Ireland’s property finder, PropertyNews.com, has over 800 properties to choose from and there’s something for all budgets. Among these are several 5-bedroom character properties in the university area of Belfast on the market for around £350,000 each. Close to amenities they offer great investment potential in a buoyant student rental market.

Throughout the UK, investors wishing to maximise their short-term profit are continuing to follow the trend of buying investment property as a development project. In the current property market, houses that are in need of modernisation are being snapped up quicker than those that are in pristine condition. For a £10 to £20 monthly fee, Renovate Today will keep you up to date with lists of properties in need of renovation in your chosen region. If you want to find an auction agent in your area take at look at the Prime Location website, which lists agents throughout the UK in the Property Investment section.

Another way to maximise profit when buying investment property is by choosing a new property off-plan. Developers will often offer discounts on the market price to those who commit to buying before completion. The Ellesmere Property Group is just one company that specialises in off-plan property. They are currently offering a 17% discount on apartments in the cutting-edge Ingenta development in the Ancoats area of Manchester. The Ancoats region is currently being revitalised with new bars, restaurants and fashionable retail outlets and is attracting much new investment. There are 30 properties within the development with gross prices starting at £181,260.

Award-winning property portal New Homes Direct is a good place to look for anyone buying investment property off plan. Many of their properties are offered with discounts of 10 to 20%. They are currently marketing a large development of 109 apartments in Leeds with units available from £80,000 to £162,500 with an off-plan discount of 18%.

With the UK property market cooling and expected to stabilise next year, now could be the time to take advantage of a buyer’s market. This summary shows you just a taste of what is out there for those interested in buying investment property right now.

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