Over the past year supply has continued to drop, as demand increases according to the latest rental index from FindaProperty.com. Samantha Baden, property analyst at FindaProperty.com, said: “In the past couple of years Britain has turned into a nation of renters. The challenges of the property market since 2008 mean that renting has become mainstream and has lost whatever stigma it once had”
Across the country a recent report shows on average rents are up 4.9% since this time last year, however the data showed wide variations across different areas of the UK. Oxford's rental market continues to do very well, but as with the national picture, Oxford itself has variations with some areas out performing others. The Jericho and North Oxford areas currently are showing the highest growth. College and County recently let a 4/5-bedroom house valued late in 2010 for £3300pcm. The property was marketed in May 2011 and went on to achieve £3995pcm, a 21% increase on its original valuation based on market comparables. This top end of the market in Jericho and North Oxford continues to surprise with achievable rents fast approaching central London levels.
Student property landlords also have good reason to be positive with forecast rents between September 2010-11 increasing on average 4.3%. However over the past two years we have seen a real shift in the student population with average budgets rising and students becoming increasingly sensitive to finish and location, it is again the top end properties that are performing best. One of our landlords recently purchased a property on Bullingdon Road, which at the time was being managed by another agent, and achieving £330 per person per calendar month. After a two month renovation costing less than £20,000 we were able to re-market the property and achieved £440 per person per calendar month.
A recent survey from buy-to-let lender Paragon reveals that nearly half of landlords reported that tenant demand rose during the first quarter of 2011. The report went on to say ‘We are seeing evidence that strong tenant demand is feeding through to higher rents, Rising rents means that over the first quarter of 2011 yields increased to 6.2%, the highest level since the fourth quarter of 2009. Higher tenant demand also results in landlords being able to let their properties faster and the average void period fell for the third quarter in a row to 2.8 weeks in a year. It is easy to see why lenders are starting to prefer buy-to-let investors to first-time buyers’. College and County landlords have even more reason to be happy, as our average annual void is just 2.7 working days!
With no sign of change in the foreseeable future, it’s a good time to be a landlord…