Landlords show optimism about Britain’s buy-to-let future

Landlords show optimism about Britain’s buy-to-let future

Buy-to-let is still regarded as a stable asset class for long-term investment in the UK. Research now shows that landlords in the private rented sector have a more optimistic outlook now than one year ago.

Independent property consultancy, Allsop, published their research stating that 37% of landlords expect rents to grow over the next six months and 44% see their property portfolio to be in a good or very good shape for the next three months.

Business as usual for most of UK landlords

At the same time, the number of landlords planning to invest in another property over the next twelve months dropped to 16%. The lowest level in four years.

Reasons for the drop in interest are varied.

One research suggests that the recently proposed ban on letting agent fees has created confusion amongst the members of the property market. Like other decisions and changes connected to the country’s undersupplied housing market, the ban on letting agent fees was dropped but not really discussed any further.

Whilst the intention behind the ban – to create a safer and more stable private rented sector – is admirable, clarity is needed for both agents and investors.

And the ban is only one change in a whole series of modifications to the market. The increase in stamp duty which was introduced just under one year ago is another one. Mortgage tax relief is about to change, phasing in from April 2017.

And if all of those changes weren’t enough then there’s still Brexit to come. Which brings a whole other level of uncertainty with it. More big picture uncertainty.

Is tax change the biggest risk for buy-to-let investors?

However, Brexit is also where the story starts to change. Today, the Government is triggering Article 50, meaning it will start its two year timeframe for negotiations on how the UK will exit the EU. This means uncertainty will slowly be replaced with facts and figures again. A time of forecasts will turn into one of facts.

And we see the same happening in other parts of the property market as well. Whilst London seems to follow its downward trend, Britain’s more regional cities are picking up the slack. They’re proving that the UK’s property market deserves its stable asset class tag by showing resilient growth across house prices, yields and commercial property.

So maybe it’s not about being hesitant and more about adjusting what you’re looking for.

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