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Could the buy-to-let market be undergoing a resurgence? New figures from property research specialists Hamptons seems to suggest so. Furthermore, the data in the company’s monthly index reveals the high yield buy-to-let areas landlords are investing in.

Hampton’s report is worth looking at in some detail. In this post, we look at some of the key data that is of value to investors.

Investors are buying more properties than they sell

Since 2016, buy-to-let investors have been selling more properties than they buy. There are good reasons for this. 2016 was the year in which the 3% Stamp Duty surcharge took effect. In addition, this was the year that mortgage interest relief began to be phased out.

However, during the first three months of 2022, landlords bought more properties than they sold. During this quarter, investors snapped up 13.9% of all homes, collectively worth £8.5 billion. This compares to 12% and £4.6 billion for the same period in 2021.

Additionally, the proportion of homes sold by buy-to-let investors dropped to 10%, the lowest figure in a decade. In the first quarter of 2021, this figure stood at 14%.

Landlords are investing in high yield buy-to-let areas

Although margins on buy-to-let properties have taken a hit over the last six years, many landlords are reacting by investing in high yield buy-to-let areas. So far this year, 73% of London-based landlords bought property outside the capital. This figure is up from only 24% a decade ago.

Which are the highest yield buy-to-let area?

Without a doubt, the North East is the country’s buy-to-let hotspot. In the first three months of 2022, 27.7% of homes in the region were snapped up by investors. To put this into perspective, only 12% of properties went to first-time buyers. There’s a good reason for this: average yields in the North East are 9%, compared to 6.5% across England and Wales as a whole.

Where are landlords investing?

Hamptons’ figures also reveal where the highest proportions of investors are buying property. Only one is in the North East, but all of the areas offer a higher-than-average yield. The six most popular local authority areas are shown in this table.

Local Authority Region % properties bought by investors Average gross yield
Middlesbrough North East 58% 8.9%
Calderdale Yorks & The Humber 50% 7.7%
East Staffordshire East Midlands 48% 6.5%
Peterborough Eastern 43% 6.0%
Boston East Midlands 39% 8.0%
Swindon South West 36% 6.1%

 

What are landlords paying?

While sales are booming, a lack of housing stock has resulted in a very competitive market. During 2022, 40% of investors have paid over the asking price for their buy-to-let properties. Indeed, for the first time, the average investor is paying more than the asking price.

Are rents rising?

Rents are rising. There are about 300,000 fewer rented homes today than there were in 2017. Inner London rents are rising 21.3% year-on-year. In the South East, there’s strong growth of 14.9%. However, as new properties enter the rental market and the cost-of-living crisis worsens, it’s highly likely that rent growth will slow down.

Should I invest in high yield buy-to-let areas?

There are lots of pros and cons to investing in a different area. If you buy properties that are a long distance away, it can be difficult to manage them yourself. That may mean hiring a lettings agent, which will eat into your margins. Before investing, it’s wise to do your sums first and assess how much time you’ll need to put into each property. If you’re a THP client, please feel free to talk through your options with your account manager.

 

Need further advice on any of the topics being discussed? Get in touch and see how we can help.

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About Jon Pryse-Jones

Since joining THP in 1978, Jon Pryse-Jones has been hands on with every area of the business. Now specialising in strategy, business planning, and marketing, Jon remains at the forefront of the growth and development at THP.

An ideas man, Jon enjoys getting the most out of all situations, “I act as a catalyst for creative people and encourage them to think outside the box,” he says, “and I’m not afraid of being confrontational. It often leads to a better result for THP and its clients.”

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