Buy to let is enticing professionals back into the market

Landlord Expert
By Landlord Expert November 25, 2009 12:03

Investors are snapping up newly built flats in northern cities at substantial discounts, clearing out the unsold stock of several leading housebuilders.

Many such buyers are accountants, doctors and solicitors who are becoming landlords for the first time, weary of the low rates of interest from deposit accounts and attracted by the returns available from lettings.

The same professionals are also increasingly active in London’s property market, according to Cluttons, the estate agents, either acquiring rental flats or homes for their grown-up children.

Stuart Law, of Assetz, a Manchester-based property investment business, said that his company had advised on the sale of about 1,000 units in developments this year at an average price of £120,000. Such is the rental demand in Manchester that a tenant may be in occupation five days after the completion of the sale. Birmingham and Liverpool also appeal to investors, but Leeds, the location most associated with large numbers of unsold flats, is of less interest.

Mr Law said that housebuilders that wanted to achieve quick sales in order to boost monthly targets were happy to deal with buyers who had ready cash, rather than those who needed mortgages.

As a result, the housebuilders were willing to offer reductions of up to 17 per cent, which Mr Law said was the typical price decline from the market’s peak, plus another double-digit discount.

Deals are also being done with the banks that have acquired apartment blocks after the administration of the developers. One example is Waterside, a scheme in Liverpool, where City Lofts, a business now in administration, was the developer.

The glut of unsold inner-city apartments in northern towns and cities — including some properties that were hastily and shoddily built in the construction spree of the boom — was one of the factors behind the housing market downturn.

Now, however, investors will consider only those apartments that are of good quality and are close to good transport connections and amenities.

• The number of monthly mortgage approvals has doubled since this time last year, according to the British Bankers’ Association. The number of loans granted for house purchases in October rose to 42,238, up by 97.7 per cent on the same month last year and a 21-month high. The figure rose 4 per cent from September, when 42,073 loans were approved. However, the monthly rise in net mortgage lending remained steady at £3.1 billion. The total value of all approved home loans remained 20 per cent lower than a year ago.


Landlord Expert
By Landlord Expert November 25, 2009 12:03

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