Buy-to-let buoyant


Buy-to-let buoyant
The buy-to-let sector remained buoyant during the last three months of 2007, despite widespread predictions of a moderating property market in the UK.

According to research from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (Arla) released today, only one in ten landlords are considering selling their property.

Furthermore, some 40 per cent of investors are looking to expand their portfolio over the coming year.

"This is good news for the whole of the private rented sector and for the housing market, particularly as it comes from surveys carried out well after the credit crunch had begun to bite," commented Arla's head of operations, Ian Potter.

Investors now make an average rate of return on a cash purchase of residential investment property of 10.8 per cent.

However, there were some signs of the impact from the credit crunch on the property market.

In the third quarter of 2007 investors borrowed 74 per cent of the value of an investment property from lenders, but this had fallen to 70 per cent in the final quarter, as lending became increasingly difficult.

Landlords now expect an investment to last 16.7 years.

Only one in 12 investors expect their investment to last for less than five years and a mere two per cent see it as short term, ie less than two years.

Yet, there was a warning contained within the Arla research.

Up to 7.5 per cent of investors purchased property off-plan during the final quarter of 2007, against the advice of the organisation.

"The rental market is too fluid to make judgements on rental values and likely demand months or even years in advance, for property that has yet to be built," continued Mr Potter.

"We cannot repeat this warning often enough. The potential investor must take local advice from the professionals about the property, the way it is furnished and the realistic market rent."

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