A BUSY SUMMER AHEAD FOR THE BTL MARKET

The buy-to-let sector has seen a raft of positive news in recent times as lenders are becoming increasingly active and landlords are taking advantage of some favourable conditions. The recent change in the stamp duty threshold has served to generate an even greater volume of enquiries and this demand is showing no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

Of course, the additional 3% stamp duty surcharge on additional properties will still apply, but investors will benefit from not having to pay the standard stamp duty on purchases of up to £500,000. According to research from Hamptons International, the stamp duty holiday will save the average investor almost £2,000 which will encourage more landlords and investors to add to their portfolios before next spring, and many are looking to take advantage of this sooner, rather than later.

STAMP DUTY AND ELECTRICAL SAFETY: KEEPING TRACK OF BTL CHANGES

The buy-to-let sector is well accustomed to change, but this doesn’t mean that landlords should become complacent when it comes to the implementation of any new policy or legislation.

In a quick recap of recent BTL-related events, April saw the introduction of minimum energy efficiency standards and the second part of the Tenant Fees Act was introduced in June. It is now time for landlords to turn their attention to the new electrical safety standards which came into force on 1st July. This means that all electrical installations must now be inspected and tested by a qualified person before a new tenancy begins.

ADVICE AND THE TECH BENEFITS FOR LANDLORDS

We’ve seen a huge amount of tech innovation throughout the buy-to-let marketplace in recent times and even more so during the pandemic. This period has really shown how lenders and advisers are utilising a variety of online platforms to support landlords, investors and developers in getting to grips with shifting market conditions.

There has been a plethora of webinars, online events, virtual roadshows, launches of Covid-19 information hubs and live feeds, plus regular updates across social media. And this demand for information around BTL was evident when a recent series of webinars hosted by specialist finance trade body FIBA saw a whopping 1,000 registrations from the intermediary community.

COULD COVID-19 RESULT IN MORE PEOPLE BECOMING RELIANT UPON THE RENTAL MARKET?

As we head into what we all hope will be a sensible exit from lockdown, it’s inevitable that the past few weeks immersed within the confines of our own homes will have changed the outlooks, priorities and material needs of many homeowners and renters. And it will be interesting to see how these factors could impact the property market.

There are also other factors to take into consideration. Will remote working change the way businesses run and provide greater flexibility for a larger proportion of the workforce, therefore influencing the way people do, or don’t, commute. Or maybe people will require another room to incorporate that new office and realise that their current space is not enough for their future needs.

FOLLOW THE RISING RENTAL TRENDS

Following my recent blog post on the return of surveyors and valuers to the property market, it’s interesting to see what impact this may have had on the rental market, from a statistical sense.

According to Rightmove, demand for properties in the private rented sector is up by 22% compared to last year. The data from the property website showed that since letting agents were permitted to reopen on 13 May, the demand for rental homes has increased at a quicker rate than the sales market. Lockdown break-ups, job losses and urgent relocations are thought to have contributed to this surge in demand throughout the rental sector.

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