Landlords keen on buy-to-let as rental prices hit record highs

Ben Southwood
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LANDLORDS are set to boost investment in a resurgent buy-to-let sector, which is enjoying a combination of healthy demand from tenants and below-peak house prices, a survey showed yesterday.

Nearly half of landlords polled by LSL Property Services said that now was a good time to invest in property, while less than a hundredth thought now was a time to reduce portfolios.

Of those who believe now presents an opportunity to increase investment, 82 per cent pointed to tempting property prices and 53 per cent cited tenant demand.

“House prices are still subdued in many parts of the country and tenant demand is still growing,” said LSL boss David Newnes.

“This is presenting landlords with the opportunity to secure strong yields…and boosting confidence in buy-to-let,” he went on.

The strength of demand is illustrated by booming rents – tenants have been hammered by record average highs of £725 a month across England and Wales in July. Even so, 44 per cent of landlords reported rising tenant demand, while just one per cent said they faced diminished demand – and 64 per cent expect demand to continue to boom.

Around two fifths of landlords expect to take advantage of this clamour for real estate by hiking rents further over the next 12 months. However, half of landlords who have tried to get a mortgage recently say it has become more difficult to access loans.