Investing in property has long been a popular choice for individuals looking to build wealth and secure their financial future. For many in the UK, property investment has been synonymous with stability and profit potential.
Guest post written by Jack Goring-Bielby, finance content writer at Mortgage Advice Bureau.
Before you dive into the world of real estate, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons carefully. Here are some of the key factors to consider when deciding if property investment is the right choice for you.
The UK housing market
The UK property market has traditionally been robust, and it’s considered a relatively safe investment option. Historically, property values have tended to increase over time, which has made it an attractive choice for investors seeking capital appreciation.
However, it’s essential to recognise that the property market can experience fluctuations, and past performance is not a guarantee of future returns.
Recently, the UK property market has experienced some rather extreme fluctuations. While this can be attributed to a variety of factors, one of the biggest was former PM Liz Truss’s mini budget in September 2022, which sparked chaos in the mortgage market.
Multiple lenders withdrew from the market completely, while others withdrew hundreds of mortgage products, including buy-to-let deals1. Another result of the mini budget saw the Bank of England (BoE) raising their bank rate. This has been continuing to this day (fortunately, in September the BoE decided to stick with 5.25% until the next update in November).
Despite the bank rate being held at 5.25% in September – bringing with it a much welcome sigh of relief among homebuyers and lenders – traders and brokers across the country are suggesting that the BoE may raise the rate again in November. They are suggesting that this is because of higher oil prices. Irrespective of the cause, a potential rate rise would bring yet more uncertainty for landlords, and could make the prospect of investing in a buy-to-let property less appealing.
Has buy-to-let changed at all over the past few years?
Indeed, despite the housing market looking more positive than it has over the past year, there are still difficulties in the BTL market. In an article published in Property Industry Eye on 25 of September2, it was reported that buy-to-let landlords have sold more properties than they have purchased over recent years, with that number increasing as more landlords are exiting the market due to higher mortgage rates.
Also, in a new survey conducted on 26 September, e.surv found that 79% of surveyors had reported a decline in landlords planning to buy new investment properties, whilst half of surveyors found that there has been a large increase in landlords planning to exit the market entirely over the last 12 months.
In light of these difficulties, however, an exodus of BTL landlords from the market may work in other landlords’ favour, as there is less competition for properties.
Making the decision
Deciding whether to invest in property is a significant financial decision that requires careful consideration of your goals, risk tolerance, and financial situation.
Before making a decision, it’s essential to conduct thorough research. One of the most effective ways to do this is to consult with a mortgage adviser. By working with them, you’ll gain access to key insights and properly be able to assess your ability to manage the responsibilities that come with property ownership.
Moreover, consider your long-term financial objectives and whether property investment aligns with your overall investment strategy. While property investment can be a profitable venture, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, and the right choice depends on your individual circumstances and financial goals.
1 Financial Times Adviser, 2023
2 Property Industry Eye, 2023