City letting for landlords

London has always been known for its high property prices and expensive cost of living.

For some people this may appear to be a deterrent when it comes to getting themselves onto the property ladder.

However, with the recession taking hold in the UK, those looking to enter the buy-to-let market may find that they want to take heed of some advice about purchasing properties in the capital.

According to recent figures, many estate agents are finding it difficult to sell properties they have on their books and attract consumers wanting to purchase their own home.

Because of this, the buy-to-let sector may be a better option for anyone looking to get onto the property market and by drawing up a letting inventory or their own rental agreements landlords-to-be could find that they save themselves even more money.

What's more, statistics show that the number of people looking to rent a property is outweighing the numbers who are looking to purchase their own home.

According to iammoving.com, the ratio of renters to owners was previously almost equal.

"It is probably now 70 to 80 per cent rented and 20 to 30 per cent owner-occupied," explained Simon Preston, chairman of the company.

Furthermore, house purchasing statistics for the capital support this as there are now around 25,000 to 40,00 moves a month. This is in comparison to 2006 where numbers were around the 100,000 to 160,000 mark, Mr Preston continued.

"It is a huge reduction and stats recently said that estate agents in London in August probably sold one property per office," he added.

Judging by this information it may be that making a property purchase in London with the intention of letting it could prove to be a far more lucrative business option for investors.

Those who are looking to become landlords in the capital may also want to take make use of the current downturn in property prices.

According to iammoving.com, prices "have stood up a little bit more firmly in London over the last 12 months or so".

Mr Preston furthered this by adding that "they are perhaps getting a little bit softer and may be decreasing at a faster rate than elsewhere in the country".

In a city which is renowned for its high-price property locations, with 39 of the most expensive residential streets in the England and Wales being located in Greater London, according to Halifax, anyone looking to invest may therefore find that this is the ideal time.

A report published by Frank Knight in November 2008 revealed that residential prices in prime areas of London declined by 3.6 per cent that month and were down by 3.9 per cent in October.

The bigger picture also shows that prices have fallen by 14.1 per cent over the past year.

Therefore, now may be the time to take the plunge and purchase the first forms needed to draw up a rental agreement.


  • Property News from Lawpack: Find out how landlords can make money from property investment, whatever the economic climate, with Lawpack's Buy to Let Essentials

Published on: December 11, 2008

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