According to Intercounty LSL, landlords total annual income returns to 5%, the highest level since 2010, this combined with the fact that tenants arrears have fallen for the second month in a row means there has never been a better time for would be landlords to get into the buy-to-let market.
In March, the average rent in England and Wales fell by 0.3% to £705 per month, a decline from £707 in February. Despite the monthly drop, rents continue to rise on an annual basis, with rents 2.7% higher than a year ago.
The biggest decreases were in the South West and the East Midlands on a monthly basis, with rents falling by 1.5% and 1.4% respectively. Rents also dipped in London, falling by 0.3% – its second monthly decline in the first quarter of 2012. Rents rose in two regions, increasing by 0.7% in the South East and 0.6% in the East of England.
Despite a monthly decrease in average monthly rents, rents have increased by 4.9% annually in London, the region with the fastest long-term growth. In fact, despite recent declines, London’s average rent was 0.2% higher in March than at the end of 2011. The next biggest annual increase was in the East of England, where rents rose by 3.4%. On an annual basis, rents have only fallen in two locations, dropping by 2.2% in the East Midlands, and 0.4% in the North West.
David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services comments: “The recent dip in rents will be welcome news for tenants, with the cost of renting at its most affordable level since July. The rental market was still feeling the knock-on effect from the stamp duty deadline in March, with an increased number of tenants rushing to leave the sector in the first part of the year, easing tenant competition. On top of this, a growing number of investors have been entering the market – or expanding their portfolios – to take advantage of strong yields and improving annual returns.
“However, drop-off in rents is likely to be short-lived. With the passing of the stamp duty deadline increasing the cost of moving, and banks’ funding conditions likely to limit high value mortgage lending to first-time buyers, would-be buyers will be more reliant than ever on rented accommodation. As we head into a traditionally busier period for the market, a redoubling of tenant demand is likely to push rents higher once more, despite the improved supply.”
Strengthening property prices in the first quarter of the year have pushed up the total annual return on a property to 5%. This represents an increase from an average of 2.7% a year ago, and marks the highest level since December 2010. This represented an average return of £8,217.
If property prices maintain the same positive trend as the last three months, an average investor in England and Wales could expect to make a total annual return of 10.7% per property over the next 12 months – equivalent to £17,657 per property. The average yield on a rental property was 5.1%, compared to 5% a year ago.
If you are looking to invest in a rental property why not contact, or pop into your local branch of Intercounty, we will take the time to find the best rental property in your budget and area.