Average home let within 20 days as rent rises go on

Countrywide logoBritain’s largest letting agency says rents grew by an average of 3.1 per cent in 2015, taking the average monthly rent to £919pcm. 

Rents rose in every region of Britain with the East of England seeing the highest growth – 6.5 per cent – and Central London the lowest with a mere 0.5 per cent.

Some 34 per cent of tenants who renewed their tenancies faced higher rents, an increase of seven per cent from 2014. However, the average rent for renewing tenancies only grew by 1.3 per cent, much less than for those moving into a new home.

The continuing imbalance between supply and demand has intensified competition for homes in the market, says Countrywide.

The average property is now let within 20 days of being instructed – two days quicker than it was in 2014.

Greater London as a whole saw a slowdown in rental growth in 2015 compared with 2014 yet rents still rose by 4.7 per cent on average. Affordability issues have kicked in across London; the proportion of under 25s living in the rental sector in the capital fell by four per cent in 2015, the continuation of a longer term trend.

Surrounding regions in the South of England have seen small growth in the proportion of under 25s in their market, as Londoners look further afield for more affordable markets.

“2016 looks to be a complicated year for landlords as the government focuses its efforts on boosting homeownership. The additional 3% stamp duty charge, stricter regulation and changes to tax relief from 2017 onwards will all take their toll on investor sentiment and impact behaviour” admits Johnny Morris, research director at Countrywide.

“With stock at a premium, the smaller landlords who decide to sell up will add upward pressure to rents, although any rises will be tempered by affordability pressures” he warns.

Source: Letting Agent Today

 

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Third of new lets are agreed before existing tenant moves out

Increasing numbers of landlords and investors are able to re-let their property before the existing tenant moves out, according to Countrywide. 

The UK’s largest estate agency group reports that so far in 2015, 33% of all new lets were agreed while the property is still occupied, up from 27% last year.

The average let agreed while tenants are in place is equal to 105% of the asking rent, or an average of £35 a month more than the asking rent.

In London, 51% of new lets are agreed while there is still a sitting tenant in the property, up from 41% in 2014.

Where a deal is agreed before the existing tenant leaves the property, there is an average of just six days between the existing tenant moving out and a new one moving in.

Where a property hasn’t been let prior to a tenant leaving the property, the first week of marketing is when landlords are most likely to achieve the highest rent, says Countrywide.

During the first seven days, the average let is agreed at full asking price; a figure which unsurprisingly falls the longer a rental property is on the market.

The first weekend after coming onto the market is when the majority of the most motivated would-be tenants view the property.

Countrywide says that in 98% of the cases where a landlord accepts an offer below the asking rent are after the property has been on the market for more than a week.

In slower rental markets, generally outside of cities, the average landlord has to wait an extra 15 days to find a tenant willing to pay the full asking price compared to those letting a property in the city centre.

“In larger rental markets, more new lets are being agreed well in advance of the current tenant leaving. As a result we’ve seen void periods fall, with a growing number of landlords having a new tenant lined up over a month before their existing tenant leaves. While leaving some time for maintenance between tenancies is advisable, increasingly there’s just a matter of hours between a tenant moving out and one moving in,” says David Fell, a research analyst at Countrywide.

“The buzz around a new property coming onto the market is usually the landlord’s best chance of securing the tenant willing to pay the most rent. In more competitive markets, the first tenant to view a home is often willing to pay a small premium to ensure the landlord takes the property off the market and that no further viewings take place. Proactive tenants who are looking to move quickly are frequently willing the pay the most,” he adds.

Source: Property Investor Today

Buy-to-let market continues to look attractive

To Let signsAverage rents rose, rent arrears dropped and lettings times became faster in the first quarter (Q1) of 2013, Countrywide’s latest quarterly lettings index, which is based on over 50,000 properties, shows.

The firm report that rents increased across much of UK, led by Wales and the East of England, where rents rose to £616 and £814 per month respectively.

Average rents in outer London increased by 5.4% year-on-year to £1,107 per month. The highest rents were in Inner London at £2,387 per month in Q1 of this year, up 1.9% from the prior year.

Increasing rents and stabilising property prices are making rental yields highly attractive to investors, with the average yield at 6.2%.

However, rents fell in the South-East, down 1.1% to £1,054 per month.

In Scotland average rents also fell, down 2.6% to £580 per month. Scotland was also the only region in the UK with an increase in arrears, up 2.6% from the prior year to 6.6% of the rent roll.

Inner London had the highest arrears at 7.3% of rents due, despite a drop of 0.1% over the year.

The highest rental yield was in Wales at 6.7% closely followed by both the North and Midlands at 6.5%. The lowest rental yield was in Inner London at 4.6%.

Based on the average yield and the Q1 2013 average monthly rent of £835, the average investor could expect to make a total annual return of approximately £10,000 per property over the next 12 months.

Countrywide found that the average time it took to let a property in the first quarter of 2013 was 14.5 days, down on last year when it was 15.1 days.

Nick Dunning, Group Commercial Director at Countrywide plc, said: “The rental market continues to develop strongly with some interesting movement in market dynamics from London to the regions. The growing average monthly rents across the UK shows the increasing attractiveness of regions outside London. London remains a good place to buy property, but investors are venturing further afield for investment opportunities.

“Scotland is an anomaly to this – with falling rents and increased arrears being compounded by recent legislative changes, investors might be deterred from buy-to-let investment.”

Source: Property Investor Today
 

Now is the perfect time for buy-to-let

Couple browsingAverage rents rose, rent arrears fell and lettings times became faster in the first quarter of this year, Countrywide has reported.

The largest property chain says it provides the perfect recipe for buy-to-let investors. It puts average UK rental yields at 6.2%.

The Countrywide data, based on over 50,000 properties, is claimed to be the largest index of its kind, covering the whole of the UK.

It says rents rose highest in Wales and the East of England, to £616 and £814 per month respectively. Average rents in outer London rose 5.4% year on year to £1,107 per month. The highest rents were in Inner London at £2,387 per month in the first three months of this year, up 1.9% from the prior year.

However, rents declined in the South-East, down 1.1% to £1,054 per month.

In Scotland average rents also fell, down 2.6% to £580 per month. Scotland was also the only region in the UK with an increase in arrears, up 2.6% from the prior year to 6.6% of the rent roll.

Inner London had the highest arrears at 7.3% of rents due, despite a drop of 0.1% over the year.

The survey showed that rising rents and stabilising house prices are making rental yields highly attractive to investors, with the average yield at 6.2%. The highest rental yield was in Wales at 6.7% closely followed by both the North and Midlands at 6.5%. The lowest rental yield was in Inner London at 4.6%.

Based on the average yield and the Q1 2013 average monthly rent of £835, the average investor could expect to make a total annual return of approximately £10,000 per property over the next 12 months.

Countrywide found that the average time it took to let a property in the first quarter of 2013 was 14.5 days, down on last year when it was 15.1 days.

Source: Landlord Today
 

Strong yields tempting investors

One in ten properties in the UK is delivering gross rental yields of 10% or more, while average yields across the country are 6.2%.

The figures are from Countrywide, the UK’s largest property and mortgages chain, which says that of all properties purchased and rented out through Countrywide last year, approximately half achieved gross rental yields of more than 7%.

Countrywide also reports that for a second consecutive year, the number of new tenants registering for private rented accommodation increased by 25%, with more than 340,000 new tenants signing up in 2012, up from more than 275,000 in 2011.

Buy-to-let mortgage lending in the first nine months of 2012 amounted to £11.8bn, up 19% when compared to the same period in 2011.

Nick Dunning, group commercial director at Countrywide, said: “The availability of more competitive buy-to-let mortgage products, along with fantastic yields, is creating a good opportunity for investor landlords to expand their portfolios to match the high demand for rental accommodation, as renting for longer is becoming the new norm.”

Regionally, the South of England recorded the highest volume of new tenants registering with Countrywide in 2012 – the 116,000 applicants represented a 27% rise from the previous year. However, the growth of new tenant applicants was highest in the North of England, where Countrywide recorded a 49% increase to almost 63,000.

Countrywide figures also show that the average rent in England, Scotland and Wales in 2012 was £827 per month, and in London more than £1,600 per month.

Source: LandlordToday
 

Britain’s rental boom leads to high demand for retirement rentals

The UK is in the midst of a rental boom according to Countrywide, the UK’s largest lettings agent and property services group, with a 24% rise in the number of renters in the past 12 months.

The research revealed that couples under the age of 35 make up the largest proportion of new renters during 2011 however; there is a growing number of retirees moving into rented accommodation.

Girlings Retirement Rentals, the market leader in retirement renting in the private sector, echoes this view reporting a huge demand for retirement properties within hotspots such as West and East Sussex, Dorset, Devon and Hampshire.

Peter Girling, Chairman of Girlings Retirement Rentals comments: “The increase in the number of renters reported by Countrywide is mirrored in the over 55s market. A greater number of the retired and semi-retired are realising the financial benefits of renting in retirement. They no longer want home ownership; they want to access their capital and are either selling their homes to downsize or moving from mainstream rental accommodation into purpose built retirement developments to benefit from a more social and community-led way of life.”

“One reason why we have seen an  increase in later life renters is the availability of assured (life-long) tenancies  as security of tenure is important for older people – they don’t want the upheaval that comes from renting a property on the standard six month Assured Shorthold Tenancy and move when the landlord gives notice. We are also seeing real demand hotspots emerging in Sussex, Dorset and Devon. We hope that the government will review and invest in the development of purpose built retirement developments as part of its housing review, particularly in these desirable areas.”

Source: propertytalklive.co.uk