Posts with tag: rental properties

Further Increase in New Lettings Listings Recorded in September

Published On: October 19, 2017 at 9:05 am


Categories: Property News

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A further increase in new lettings listings was recorded in September, according to the latest Property Activity Index from Agency Express.

Across the UK, the number of new lettings listings rose by 0.9% over the month to September, yet the amount of properties let during September dropped for a second consecutive month, by 2.8%.

Further Increase in New Lettings Listings Recorded in September

Further Increase in New Lettings Listings Recorded in September

Looking at the index’s rolling three-monthly data, figures remain down, with new lettings listings dropping by an average of 1.9% and the number of properties let down by 1.2%.

Around the country, seven of the 12 regions included in the Property Activity Index recorded growth in new lettings listings, while five saw increases in the amount of properties let during September.

The month’s top performer was the North East. Following a slumber market in August, lettings activity bounced back, returning robust growth for both new listings, which were up by 17.8%, and the number of properties let, which rose by an average of 20.9%.

Wales followed suit, reporting a record best increase in the amount of properties let during September, which was up by 18.6%.

Other regional hotspots included:

New lettings listings 

  • South West: +8.4%
  • North West: +7.1%
  • East Midlands: +6.4%
  • East Anglia: +4.4%

Properties let

  • Wales: +18.6%
  • East Anglia: +9.2%
  • West Midlands: +1.7%
  • East Midlands: +1.7%

The greatest declines witnessed over September were in Scotland. On a monthly basis, the number of new lettings listings dropped by 17.9%, while the amount of properties let during the month was down by 16.2%. Looking over Agency Express’ historical records, the decreases recorded this September are greater than those experienced in 2016 and 2015.

The Managing Director of Agency Express, Stephen Watson, comments: “This month, we have witnessed some growth across the UK lettings market. One or two regional pockets have reported record bests, while others performed consistently.

“The index’s rolling three-monthly data does show that we are still recovering from the slower pace experienced during June and July, but, as we move into October, we would hope to see further increases.”

Is it Time to Leave the Buy-to-Let Market for Good?

Published On: September 20, 2017 at 9:38 am


Categories: Landlord News

Tags: ,,,

This year has seen record numbers of landlords selling their rental properties in response to regulatory changes and economic uncertainty post-Brexit. But is it time to leave the buy-to-let market for good?

Is it Time to Leave the Buy-to-Let Market for Good?

Is it Time to Leave the Buy-to-Let Market for Good?

A recent survey by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) shows that this trend is set to continue, with 22% of landlords planning to sell at least one of their rental properties over the next 12 months, while less than a fifth said that they are planning to purchase additional buy-to-let properties.

Many landlords have exited the buy-to-let market for good following the Chancellor’s new taxation rules, which have seen investors charged an additional 3% in Stamp Duty since April last year and a reduction in tax relief on finance costs from April this year.

So, should more landlords be selling up and investing their money in other asset classes? Or should they sit tight and ride out the storm?

According to Peter Armistead, the Managing Director of Armistead Property, landlords should not sell their properties unless they can get a better return elsewhere.

He explains: “It is widely recognised that buy-to-let property is a medium to long-term investment. If we take a long-term view, it is easy to see how property performs so well compared with other asset classes.

“Over the last 35 years, for which accurate house price index information is available, house prices have increased 11% per year on average. The longer landlords can hold onto property, the better.”

He continues: “Investors that acquire property in the best buy-to-let hotspots in the UK can enjoy yields of between 8-12%, excellent capital growth and steady rental income. However, if landlords are experiencing poor leads or they think that the long-term potential of an area is not very good, then it’s best to sell.

“But, before landlords put their property on the market, it is worth investigating if you can remortgage, raise the rent, repurpose the property into a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) to boost yields, or renovate/refurbish it to attract different tenants. There are plenty of mortgage brokers that can provide refinancing for property portfolios, which may be much more attractive than selling up.”

He adds: “The best time of year to sell buy-to-let property is March-June and September-November. Ideally, landlords should sell when they don’t actually need to i.e. you aren’t being forced into a quick messy sale. It’s best to give the property a makeover with a lick of paint, new carpets and maybe a new kitchen to maximise the selling price.”

Are you planning to leave the buy-to-let market for good?

Number of buy-to-let landlords is falling

Published On: September 11, 2017 at 8:58 am


Categories: Landlord News

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An interesting new investigation has revealed that the number of buy-to-let landlords in Britain has dropped by 154,000 since 2015.

This was despite the volume of rented homes increasing by 171,000 over the same period, according to the report conducted by Countrywide.

Landlord Falls

Countrywide’s latest monthly letting index for August shows that the number of landlords has dropped in the last two years, owing largely to the tax changes implemented by the Government.

Despite these changes, there has been a rise in the supply of available properties to rent, from 4.9m in 2015 to 5.1m today.

The number of landlords owning a single buy-to-let property has fallen from 73%, down from 86% in 2010. On the other hand, the number owning 10 or more properties rose by 33% in the last ten years. The average portfolio size owned by buy-to-let investors currently stands at 1.44.

Regional Rates

Landlords based in the North East of England are likely to own the most properties, with an average of 1.54. This was followed by Yorkshire and the Humber (1.52) and London (1.51).

In terms of rents, the average for new lets in Britain rose to £954pcm in August, up by 1.6% on the same period one year ago.

Rents increased mostly in the South West, Scotland and East of England, increasing by 4.7%, 2.8% and 2.5% respectively.

Number of buy-to-let landlords is falling

Number of buy-to-let landlords is falling


Johnny Morris, Research Director at Countrywide, said: ‘The increasing number of rented homes is being driven by landlords expanding their portfolios rather than new landlords entering the market.’

‘Increasing regulation in the sector accompanied by recent changes to income tax relief on mortgage interest payments seem to be favouring more experienced, professional landlords.  Despite expanding portfolio sizes the sector is still characterised by those owning just one or two homes, 73% of landlords own one home.’

‘Rents rose in all regions across Great Britain to stand 1.6% up on the same time last year.  The number of landlord purchases continues to remain low which is feeding through into fewer homes on the rental market.’

‘Rents in London rose for the second consecutive month, driven by a pickup in rents in outer London.’[1]




Buy-to-let alterations could result in stock surge

Published On: September 5, 2017 at 9:10 am


Categories: Finance News

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Alterations to buy-to-let lending criteria being introduced at the end of September are set to entice a surge of rental stock, with landlords looking to offload properties that are not giving them substantial yields.

From 30th September, the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority is set to tighten lending criteria still further, following the introduction of stress tests earlier in 2017.


Mark Lawrinson, regional director of London agency Portico, believes that landlords will have their entire portfolio scrutinised when applying for additional buy-to-let funding.

‘If you have six properties and four are generating enough rental income to cover mortgage payments and then some, but the other two are not, your new mortgage application may not be approved by some lenders,’ Mr Lawrinson explained.

Lawrinson said this could signal the start of a period of rental properties coming to the market, with landlords looking to offload those generating the lowest returns.

‘The new rules could also have a knock-on effect on rental prices, as landlords look to cover any shortfalls or carry out works to a property to both increase the capital value and the rent, in turn improving the yield and the return,’ he continued.

Buy-to-let alterations could result in stock surge

Buy-to-let alterations could result in stock surge


Richard Blanco, representative of the National Landlords Association, feels it could already be too late for landlords looking to remortgage before the new criteria comes into effect.

Mr Blanco observed: ‘Many lenders will unfairly assess landlords’ existing mortgages through a 145% x 5.5% prism even though they originally got their mortgages on looser criteria years ago. This could create mortgage prisoners: borrowers who are unable to switch lenders. This is a reminder that if you do remortgage to another lender, always choose one that has a good track record in switching customers to competitive follow on rates once the initial product has expired.’[1]

Concluding, Mr Lawrinson said: ‘We have certainly seen less professional landlords adding to their portfolio this year, but there is still money to be made in buy-to-let if you invest smartly.’[1]



Supply of rental accommodation in London falls

Published On: May 25, 2017 at 11:39 am


Categories: Landlord News

Tags: ,,,

The most recent report from ARLA Propertymark reveals that the number of rental properties available in London fell substantially in April.

From 148 properties per member branch in March, this figure fell to 101 in April – a drop of 32%.

Across the UK as a whole, the number of properties managed per branch actually rose, from 183 to 185.


24% of letting agents saw landlords increasing rents during April – a fall of just 1% from March.

The number of tenants negotiating rent reductions also slipped during the last month, with 2.8% of agents seeing rent reductions – down from 3.6% in March.

In April, the volume of landlords selling their buy-to-let properties remained constant to the previous month. In March, the number of landlords looking to sell-up increased from three to four per branch for the first time since November.

Supply of rental accommodation in London falls

Supply of rental accommodation in London falls

What’s more, tenants were found to have stayed in their rental accommodation for an average of 17 months – a fall from the 18 months recorded in March.

David Cox, Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark, noted: ‘Although the rental market in London has seen a large drop in the supply of properties available to rent, it’s a different picture in the rest of the UK where we have seen little or no change to activity since March. It’s likely we’re seeing the rest of the rental market outside of the Capital plateau as a result of the election in June, with renters potentially holding back on their property searches until after 8th June. It’s important that housing is at the top of the new Government’s agenda, as we have had two elections and a referendum in the last three years which is stalling the policy process meaning that we do not have the right houses available to provide the homes people need.’[1]




Almost 6,300 Rogue Landlord Complaints Filed in Three Years in the North East

Published On: May 8, 2017 at 10:07 am


Categories: Landlord News

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Tenants in the North East of England filed almost 6,300 rogue landlord complaints between 2014-2016.

Almost 6,300 Rogue Landlord Complaints Filed in Three Years in the North East

Almost 6,300 Rogue Landlord Complaints Filed in Three Years in the North East

A Freedom of Information request submitted to the Tyne and Wear authorities by local property campaigner Ajay Jagota shows that the five councils received a total of 6,297 complaints about the condition of their private rental properties or the behaviour of their landlord during the three-year period.

Some 2,075 complaints were received in 2016, which, although is up by 3.4% on the 2,007 recorded in 2014, is actually down on the 2,215 complaints received in 2015.

Jagota, the Founder of KIS sales and letting agent, says: “To put these figures into context, every day in every local authority in Tyne and Wear, at least one person complains about the condition of their rented home, yet only one rogue landlord has been convicted in three years.”

Separate research shows that just one council – Sunderland – has brought a successful prosecution against a rogue landlord in the corresponding period.

The highest number of rogue landlord complaints was received in Newcastle, where complaints rose steadily from 1,007 in 2014 to 1,127 in 2016 – an increase of 8%.

In contrast, Sunderland saw rogue landlord complaints drop from 509 in 2014 to 290 last year, while Gateshead and North Tyneside recorded declines from 2014 to 2015, but experienced growth again in 2016, leaving them 7% and 4% below 2014 levels respectively.

South Tyneside Council refused to supply the information, claiming that it would take an officer 18 hours to retrieve it, what the authority describes as “substantial effort and disproportionate exercise of trawling”. The decision has been appealed.

Jagota reacts: “As both a resident of and business owner in South Tyneside, I find their decision to refuse our request extraordinary. How can you admit that you hold some information, but at the same time claim you don’t know where it is?”

With the General Election campaign underway, all the main political parties are making a pitch to voters that rent, but Jagota fears that the proposed policies “are just tinkering around the edges when more profound reform is needed”.

He adds: “It’s critical for all good operators in the private rented sector that the rogues are brought to task, and the only way that can happen is that the local authority executes the powers invested in them and ensure they take action when complaints are made.”

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