March Buy to Let Regional Review

Posted 31/03/2016 by: Reeds Rains


Latest news about the way we live

The Government recently released its findings from the English Housing Survey 2014-15 (EHS), which looks at people’s housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of their homes. Key changes for the property market show that:- 

The private rented sector (PRS) remains larger than the social rented sector, with 4.3 million households renting privately in England. It also shows that the number of households renting with children has risen to 37% or over 912,000 more households. 

And the Government research shows that the demographic of renters is changing too. A decade ago, just 24% of 25-34 year olds rented, while a staggering 46% of them rent today.  And the expectation that those renting today will buy in the future has also declined slightly. This, together with our own research on tenants, shows that everyone is renting these days, from young to old, professional couples to families, and that’s partly due to affordability but also partly due to the demand for a much more mobile lifestyle than we’ve needed in the past. 

To find out more about what’s happened to the way we live in the last 12 months, visit the .gov website.

Latest rental information from the EHS suggests that private rents in the 12 months to the summer of 2015 hardly changed from the previous year, while from a landlord perspective, our own house price survey found that “demand from landlords and second-home buyers contribute to a surge in homes sales, up 12% month-on-month”. 

Adrian Gill, director of Reeds Rains, comments: “House prices flew forwards in February, with the average home value in England and Wales increasing 0.8% (£2,277) during the month, equal to an average increase of £79 each day.  This  is  double  the  0.4%  monthly  growth  seen  in  January, which  could  be  as  a  result  of  buy  to  let  investors  rushing  to complete quickly to avoid April’s additional 3% Stamp Duty surcharge, which has also seen sales shoot up 11.8% since January… Typical property values are now £16,866 (6.2%) higher year-on-year;  the fastest annual growth rate seen in eleven months,  driven  by the gulf in  the  number of aspiring  home buyers, compared  to the limited supply of homes for sale.”

For more on our house price index, tenancy arrears and Buy to Let data, read our latest property reports.


Are you properly trained to manage? New rules in soon!

By November 2016, anyone letting and managing a property in Wales will need to secure a licence, so it’s vital that you make sure you know what you can do to let a property and which jobs you will need to be accredited for.

According to Rent Smart Wales, the type of things that you’ll need to be licensed for include: 

•    Showing prospective tenants around 
•    Referencing 
•    Preparing a tenancy and checking-in a tenant
•    Collecting rent 
•    Helping answer tenant queries with regards to maintenance and repairs, plus securing access to the property 
•    Ending the tenancy 

Even if you have been doing these jobs for years, unless you are already properly licensed or use an accredited agent, such as Reeds Rains, you’ll need to undertake a course and make sure your properties have the correct licence before November this year. 

Latest property price reports for Wales show that property price growth is starting to come to the area after four months of relatively little movement. The average annual change over the last three months was an increase of 2.8%, year on year. 

For more Buy to Let statistics, read our latest property reports.

Northern Ireland 

Latest research from Ulster University and the Housing Executive shows that the private rented sector in Northern Ireland continues to flourish, even while house prices are starting to recover. The report shows that 2015 started well with a slight increase on rental transactions in the first half of the year. Terraces and townhouses remained the most popular type of rental (42%) with apartments coming a close second (31%). However, larger houses still let well, with 17% being semi-detached and the rest detached. 

With regard to rent levels, the data shows 45% of rental properties let during January-June 2015 rented for between £250-£499 and a similar number (43%) let for anywhere between £500-£749, while just 11% achieved £750 or more. 

Overall, rents year on year were static for terraces/townhouses, up slightly for apartments and increased by 2.4% for semi-detached. Detached properties performed the best, growing by 4% year on year. 

How is your property performing? It’s always worth checking with your local Reeds Rains office that you are maximising your rent – particularly to help cover increased tax costs over the coming years. 

Take a look at our latest England & Wales Buy to Let Infographic here.

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