Whatever investment type you are looking for, placing your focus on what today’s tenants want and expect from their rental homes is a strong strategy to consider.
Whether you’re a first-time investor, a buyer from overseas or you’re looking to add to your portfolio, you will likely have a list of criteria that you’re looking to tick off with your next investment. As well as your ideal spend, this may include a top location, number of bedrooms, and property type.
However, considering what today’s tenants are looking for and keeping an eye on recent trends and changes within the rental market can also be key to your investment’s success. Ensuring your property is occupied at all times by a high-quality target tenant will make one of the biggest differences to your returns.
According to Katrina Scadding, head of lettings at digital-first letting agent hapi.space, the top three things that tenants are currently prioritising are the location, the quality and the finish of a home, while the size of a property is not having as much influence on its popularity.
While some investors may have a very particular location in mind, others may be looking on a more general level, choosing between a city, a town or a more rural area, for example. In recent years, city living in particular has boomed when it comes to its popularity among renters, boosting the investment potential of these places.
Many of the UK’s city cores are continually expanding in order to meet the needs of growing populations and soaring demand for properties, with the country’s regional cities in particular seeing a surge in popularity as tenants are less able to afford the high prices and competitive market in London.
Scadding notes that the likes of Manchester and Birmingham in particular are fulfilling the requirements of many tenants, making them top investment destinations at the moment for buyers looking to let out their properties in high-yielding, high demand areas.
“Especially in cities like Manchester and Birmingham, we are always going to see people wanting to move to these cities, but I think there is also quite a large shortage of good-quality properties across the area, which is also increasing demand when these properties do become available,” she says.
Rental market isn’t slowing down
Speaking about the rental market so far this year, Scadding says: “The rental market’s always going to be really busy, really crazy, really fast-paced, and I don’t think that’s going to slow down anytime soon.
“Our main focus is: find a really, really good quality tenant, so someone that’s going to really look after the property, going to pay their rent on time every single month, and look to stay in the property long-term.”
Scadding also does not expect much to change in the coming year within the market, forecasting that rental prices will continue to rise due to inflation and other factors. Tenant demand also appears to show no signs of abating, meaning buy-to-let landlords are seeing fewer and shorter void periods between tenancies.
Getting more from your investment
Another new trend for landlords to consider when operating their property investments is a growing preference among tenants for the latest technology. Most of us now use smart phones, apps and digital services on a daily basis, and the same is increasingly expected among today’s tenants.
Offering a digital mode of communication and operation can therefore be a selling point for some tenants – particularly when you consider the fact that, statistically, the majority of city centre tenants are likely to be young professionals in their 20s or 30s.
hapi has tapped into this trend by offering a fully digital service to landlords and tenants, saving time by allowing users to find everything at the touch of a button on their smart phone. Scadding believes technology is now a key selling point for many tenants.
“I also think that a lot of the backend stuff is what tenants are looking for. A good managing agent that is responsive, they’re able to communicate with, and has a really accessible platform that they’re able to get all the information that they need, as and when.”
hapi offers a portal that every tenant and landlord can access, where they can manage everything from their tenancy or their property in one place.
BuyAssociation specialises in helping UK-based and overseas investors find their ideal property investment opportunity in the UK’s key hotspots. Get in touch for more information.