Yields for buy to let landlords are becoming slimmer than in previous years, due to UK house prices rising faster than rents, it is claimed.
According to the latest data from BM Solutions, the average rental yield fell slightly in the second half of 2013 from 5.6% to 5.5%, with the smallest average yields apparent in London at an average of 4.8%.
Despite this, average rents in London stand at £1,417 per month – some 102% higher than the UK average of £701.
Recent price rises in the property market have caused a generation of young people to grow increasingly pessimistic about their chances of ever reaching even the first rung of the property ladder according to a recent report from Halifax.
The “Generation Rent” report found that despite the launch of the Help to Buy scheme, which aimed to assist those with a small deposit, 36% of tenants aged 20 to 45 believe that they have no realistic prospect of owning their own home in the next five years.
The government’s plans to increase court fees have been called extortionate as landlords seeking repossessions of their properties face higher costs.
Fees relating to Section 8 (PCOL) claims and Accelerated (S21) claims will increase by as much as 60% from 22 April, which Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action says are only justifiable if landlords receive a better service in return.
Application for possession currently costs £175, but will increase to £280 when the changes come into effect.
LSL Property Services have advised that the rental market is on target to reach a significant benchmark during April when the rate of average earnings growth outpaces the level of rental increases for the first time in four years.
Over the course of 2013, average salaries increased by 1.1% whilst rents rose by 1.6%. And as recently as 2012, rents increased by 3.2% over the course of the year compared to a relatively paltry 1.3% increase in average pay packets.
Unless restrictions on new shared housing are eased more people could be forced into poor quality ‘beds in sheds’ accommodation, according to private landlords.
Recent changes to housing benefit rules mean more young people are fighting for each room in shared houses – and MPs on the Works and Pension select committee have warned that vulnerable tenants could end up in inappropriate or even illegal housing.
Increasing the age limit at which single claimants can only claim for a room in a shared house from 25 to 35 “may have reduced the availability of safe, appropriate accommodation for younger people, some of who are vulnerable,” according to the committee’s report.
It advised that the government should “investigate introducing exemptions for vulnerable people, and take steps to increase provision of appropriate accommodation.”
However, the Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA), warns that planning red tape is making it difficult to provide the new shared homes needed to keep up with demand.
The unexpected recent changes to UK pension regulation – which allow savers to do as they please with their pension pot – have led to speculation that many retirees could choose to invest in the buy to let property market.
Many of Britain’s 1.4 million private landlords have enjoyed a significant profit over recent years, helped by rising rents, a shortage of available property and limited mortgage availability for first time buyers increasing the pool of tenants. So it is easy to see why many pensioners could see property as a simple way to guarantee an income.
However experts are warning that potential landlords need to do their homework and bear in mind that mortgage rates are unlikely to stay at their current historic low for much longer.
19% of new build homes built since April 2013 were purchased using the Help to Buy equity loan scheme, according to a new report.
Countrywide’s quarterly housing market review also highlighted significant regional variations, 49% of new homes built in Newcastle in the past 9 months purchased using the equity loan, compared to 9% in London.