THE BTL HEATWAVE CONTINUES

It’s been a busy summer across the buy-to-let marketplace. An array of landlords remain well placed to benefit from some highly favourable conditions as competition heats up across the lending arena, rental income is strong and a lack of good quality stock continues to fuel demand. Another important factor within this is improving rental voids and this trend was evident in recent data from Goodlord.

This outlined that the North West saw the biggest month-on-month decrease in void periods in August, with its average dropping from 20 days in July to 18 in August – a decrease of 10%. London and the East Midlands also saw their average void period reduce in August, by one day.

RENTAL ARREARS ON THE DECLINE

It’s no secret that the pandemic has impacted landlords and tenants in many different ways. From a financial perspective, it has placed additional pressure on a variety of businesses and personal incomes. As such, it’s important to chart these personal journeys and form a better understanding of how such entities are coping.

TENANT DEMAND HITS RECORD HIGH

The proportion of landlords reporting increasing tenant demand has hit its highest level since 2016.

Research from Paragon Bank found that just under 39% of landlords have seen increased tenant demand over the past three months, with 18.2% saying it has grown ‘significantly’ and a further 20.3% reporting slight increases. The percentage of landlords seeing growing demand has risen by 8% since the prior quarter and there’s a continuing trend of increasing tenant demand in the form of a 25% rise year-on-year. Additionally, there was a 2% decrease in the proportion of landlords reporting a fall in tenant demand compared to Q1 2021.

THE VALUE OF ADVICE IS ONLY INCREASING

It’s been said many, many times over many, many years but the value of financial advice will only continue to rise. Trust, perception and professionalism remain key elements within this process and, with this in mind, it was interesting to see YouGov’s analysis of the UK’s most recommended brands over the course of the pandemic year rank MoneySavingExpert.com as number one.

The consumer finance advice website was said to have had a string of strong endorsements from its customers and reaching the top spot was a testament to the depth of loyalty felt by its members. It topped brands such as John Lewis, Monzo, Brewdog and Starling Bank to achieve this coveted accolade.

THE BTL MARKET IS HOTTING UP

Summer is finally here. For how long we don’t know, but let’s enjoy it while it lasts. And it’s not only the weather which is hotting up.

On the back of robust yields, increased product numbers and competitive rates, it’s no surprise to see confidence rising across the BTL sector and there is little to suggest that this is likely to fall anytime soon, despite the tapering of the stamp duty holiday.

This is a sentiment which was highlighted in recent data from Paragon Bank as it revealed that 53% of mortgage intermediaries expect to see an increase in buy-to-let business over the next 12 months. This figure compares to a figure of 50% – when respondents were asked the same question in Q1 2021 – whilst the proportion expecting declining levels of buy-to-let business remained consistent at 10%.

DEMAND GATHERS PACE IN CITY RENTAL MARKETS

As lockdown restrictions continue to ease, more people are returning to their offices and regular – if still not daily for many – commutes are becoming more commonplace. As a result, activity appears to be on the rise in the more urban areas and we are starting to see city living become more appealing after something of a shift away from this during the pandemic.

Of course, this largely depends on a mix of individual outlooks, lifestyle choices, family, work and finances. What we do know is that the market did experience a demise in rental demand across the UK’s major cities in recent times. And this has raised some questions over people’s appetites for city living and landlords’ approaches to urban properties which have proved highly desirable in times gone by.

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