We felt it was time to check our view that the Buy to Let market was in a phase of significant growth by surveying 30 randomly selected IFA’s (with mortgage permissions). Of those 22 reported a significant growth in buy to let enquiries since the start of the year. This shows professional landlords are reviewing their mortgages and looking to purchase buy to let property as the new year unfolds. It also shows they believe there is a high demand from tenants to rent their properties.
What Kinds of Enquiry are Coming In?
There’s two main categories of enquiry brokers are reporting. One of the Government owned banks is reported to be asking it’s clients to consider remortgaging or face significant hikes in fees. These clients often have portfolios significantly larger than those acceptable to the major buy to let lenders (some restrict at just 3 properties!). Luckily expert brokers can place these with ease which is leading to busy brokers and happy clients (well we didn’t survey the clients so be sure to let us know in the comments if you’re one of those affected by a bank asking you to leave and how your broker helped out!).
The second type of enquiry which is very common is landlords looking to take advantage of the booming demand for cheap housing by purchasing HMO’s and arranging HMO Buy to Let Mortgages on them. The reason brokers are so busy with these types of enquiries is no doubt that the two main lenders in this category are not available to high street borrowers and of the brokers we surveyed just 1/2 were aware of one of the most flexible lenders to place their business with. For this reason we strongly recommend you talk to an expert in placing HMO mortgages rather than a generic residential mortgage broker.
Outlook for Property Investment in 2011
It’s generally considered to be a good time to own or invest in property. There are a number of areas experts are concerned with – not least the risk of a double dip recession. However there are many ways a landlord can profit in it a recession and if you know what you are doing it is likely a combination of canny purchases and strong rental demand fueled by young people unable to become first time buyers due to tough lending and immigration will give you plenty of opportunity to do so.
Some parts of the country are overexposed to public sector workers or other elements of the economy most likely to be hit by the government cuts and a likely flat growth rate or downturn leadng to much worse results in those areas. One should certainly focus on parts of the country most likely to yield good results in other sectors or where there are other factors leading to high property dmeand to ensure the maximum chance of success. Having said that most publications are reporting a fall in void periods and increased rent rates across the country at present so landlords should not have any pressing short term concerns but as we all know this is a long term gain and some thorough ground work now will lead to a much better performing portfolio in the long run.