There’s been an interesting turnaround over recent months in the types of property investment people are most attracted to at the moment.
Property investment in the UK remains a hugely popular way of earning a long-term income or achieving a lump sum profit upon sale, thanks to the strength and resilience of both the traditional housing market and the rental sector. In the current climate, location and property type are particularly important for investors.
Recent research from specialist lender Castle Trust Bank has revealed the top three specialist property investment types being favoured at the moment based on its figures, as well as the investment strategies that seem to have fallen out of favour.
At the top of the list, refurbishment was singled out by 40% of brokers surveyed as the most popular choice for clients at the moment. Refurbishment finance can be taken out to help a buyer with the property purchase and with the cost of refurbishment itself, and it is often lent on a short-term basis.
This could indicate that a high number of people are currently looking for a ‘bargain’ in their property investment strategy, snapping up a cheap property and embarking on a complete overhaul. This is often followed by ‘flipping‘ the investment, which is a popular but sometimes relatively risky strategy.
Boosting property investment returns
Many investors at the moment are prioritising yields over potential capital appreciation, and much of this is to do with rising mortgage rates eating into monthly returns. For those who want a regular, long-term income stream, renting a property out in a high-yield area can be one of the best strategies.
However, not all rental properties are equal when it comes to yields, and the second most popular property investment type according to Castle Bank Trust was the high-yielding asset class, houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).
HMOs have been rising in popularity in recent years as their reputation has improved, thanks to the growth of the high-end HMO market targeting professional tenants. Due to the fact that each room tends to be let on its own tenancy agreement, they can also offer much higher yields than traditional buy-to-let.
The third top choice for investors at the moment, says Castle Bank Trust, is multi-unit freehold blocks (MUFB). This involves purchasing a single freehold property that contains multiple separate units, such as a purpose-built block of flats or a converted house.
In a similar way to HMOs, MUFBs offer separate income streams from each individual unit. This minimises void periods if tenants move out, as you are still likely to be receiving income from the occupied unit/units.
However, the research also found that furnished holiday lets/short-term lets had fallen out of favour among investors over the past quarter, and this was now the least popular property investment type. The sector had seen a surge in activity in the wake of Covid.
New priorities for lenders
Although lenders are certainly beginning to compete again when it comes to mortgage rates and deals, it seems investors are currently more keen to prioritise a lender they can trust rather than one who offers the best rates, according to Anna Lewis, commercial director at Castle Trust Bank.
“When it comes to choice of lender, speed and certainty are at the forefront for brokers, with rate having less prominence. This perhaps reflects the recent environment of uncertainty and frequent rate rises, where speed of decision has often made a significant impact on the rate a client has been able to achieve.
“However, in a competitive market, speed and certainty have always been crucial in bridging, enabling investors to respond quickly to market opportunities and build their portfolios.”
Specialist mortgages tend to be more expensive than more traditional borrowing, such as a standard buy-to-let mortgage, so this is something to take into account before embarking on any new property investment. Seeking expert advice can be a crucial step to ensure you are making the best decision.
BuyAssociation specialises in helping property investors find their ideal investment opportunity, whether that be a straightforward buy-to-let, an HMO or something else. Browse some of our current projects here, or get in touch for more information.