Landlord News

Buy-to-Let Booms in North West England, Savills Reports

Rose Jinks - February 25, 2019

Buy-to-let investment is booming in the North West of England, according to the latest figures from property firm Savills.

Despite economic conditions making the buy-to-let market challenging for property investors, analysis of the Savills data shows that the North West has overtaken the South East of England as the most popular region for buy-to-let landlords.

Maxim Cohen, the Chief Executive of mortgage advisory business The UK Adviser, explains why the region is so popular: “It is no surprise that the North West and its property continues to thrive, and the feedback we have had from our UK Advisers has supported this growth trend. The North West hasn’t experienced the same levels of property inflation and demand that the capital has in recent years, and, therefore, the market hasn’t been distorted.

“With property prices sky-high in the capital, incoming rents do not match the high mortgage payments, making yields unprofitable and not worthwhile. However, property in the north has not experienced the same problem, despite increased investment in cities such as Manchester and Liverpool, with the recent investment in the North West bringing business and people to the region, who increase the demand for rental properties.”

Buy-to-Let Booms in North West England, Savills Reports

He continues: “The introduction of national and international businesses to the Manchester and Liverpool areas has also increased demand for rental properties in commuter towns, and revitalised towns such as Altrincham, Didsbury and Chorlton in South Manchester, which have seen a boom in buy-to-let properties.

“Slow property market activity in the wake of Brexit negotiations also means lenders are offering rock-bottom mortgage rates to tempt landlords, following the Bank of England’s base rate decisionlast year. However, the low rates are unlikely to stay that way for long, creating an urgency for investors to buy now, before rates change. Many mortgage lenders will continue to offer incentives, such as free valuations and cash back, to attract business from landlords.”

However, Cohen notes: “Of course, depending on the outcome of Brexit, house prices in the UK could take a hit. Deterred by the uncertainty of the property market, an increasing number of individuals could be looking to rent property instead of buying, pushing up the demand for rental housing and the cost of rent. If you’re currently considering investing in buy-to-let property, it’s worth monitoring the property market, as house prices have the potential to drop significantly. However, a drop in house prices will not be as significant in the North West compared to the capital, making it attractive to investors. If there is a noticeable drop, investors will need to be prepared to act quickly to secure the property they want, as more landlords look outside of the capital.

“Getting your finances in order ahead of 29thMarch will make you a more attractive buyer and allow you to react quicker to any market changes. Alternatively, bridging loans and other alternative finance options can give landlords access to fast, flexible finance to secure property acquisitions in a competitive market.”

He concludes: “2019 is set to be an uncertain time for landlords, but the market is thriving around the UK. Considering alternative locations for investment may mean higher yields and a profitable year, despite the pessimism of the industry.”

Landlords, are you attracted to the booming North West?