Housing stock falls on positive buy-to-let news

Housing stock falls on positive buy-to-let news

Leading property portal Rightmove.co.uk has released its latest research findings suggesting the buy-to-let market in the UK has shrugged off Stamp Duty rises and Brexit to return to a positive outlook.

Their Rental Trends Tracker for the third quarter of 2016 shows buyer enquiries from potential landlords and investors are now up 30% since May, while new rental listings on the portal this quarter are 6% higher than in 2015.

These results follow a slump in interest after the new Stamp Duty rules designed to encourage more professionalism in the private rented sector came into force in April, coupled with the surprise vote to leave the EU.

Sam Mitchell, head of lettings for Rightmove, commented, “Investor activity has bounced back following the stamp duty changes, though some agents report that many investors are looking to knock sellers down on their asking prices to make up for the additional Stamp Duty they now need to pay. New rental supply has held up despite concerns that the Stamp Duty changes would lead to less fresh stock.”

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Average rents were up 0.5% on the quarter and 3.2% annually to £779. That is down from quarterly growth of 2.7% and yearly increases of 4.1% in the second quarter. Meanwhile, rents continue to fall in London, down 0.7% on the previous quarter and down 1.5% annually to £1,885 a month.

The most in demand areas outside of London were Ashton-Under-Lyne in Greater Manchester where average rents on a two-bed property were £524 a month. This was followed by Wellingborough in Northamptonshire where average rents were £660.

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Latest figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) show that demand from buyers has increased for the first time since February, while new sales instructions from owners fell for the seventh consecutive month, indicating a squeeze on the number of available properties on the market, which could in turn push up prices.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS’ chief economist, said,

Central London remains something of an outlier with contributors telling us this is the one part of the market where there may be further give on prices in the near term. Elsewhere the price trend still seems on the up.”

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