Belvoir Agents Find Landlords Leaving Sector

Some buy to let property investors have made the decision to quit the sector, according to Belvoir chief executive Dorian Gonsalves.

Belvoir has found that nearly 70 per cent of their agents believe that the government may have underestimated the detrimental effect of the changes to mortgage interest relief on landlord finances.

Gonsalves reports: ‘Almost 70 per cent of Belvoir agents believe the government has under-estimated how many landlords will be affected by the changes to mortgage interest relief. Most agents expect investor enquiries to remain the same, or to fall, especially for room rents. Average void periods for one week remain the same, although there has been a slight increase in two-week void periods.’

However, despite this mild disruption, the majority of tenants appear to be seeking consistency with their renting experience. The agency’s latest lettings sector market report revealed that nearly half of the tenants surveyed will be choosing to stay in their properties for 13 to 18 months. A further 36 per cent will remain for up to two years.

This growing tenant stability is complimented by a rise in average rents. The firm found that average rents in the second quarter of 2017 saw an annual rise of 2.75 per cent. This brought them up to an average of £751 per calendar month.

Unsurprisingly there were significant regional differences in average rents across the UK. North West England was found to offer landlords particularly low average rents at £597 per month. Yorkshire came slightly higher, at £665.

As usual, London and the South East pulled far ahead of other regions, with the South East earning rents of £1,048 whilst London saw an average of £1,446. However, property purchase prices are certainly much higher in London and the South East, which will affect the rental yield achievable.

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