Landlords identify mortgage relief changes as their biggest challenge ahead

Martin & Co has registered 15 new tenants for every property instructed to let in the first seven months of the year and conducted 12.4 viewings for each one, underlying demand in the sector, the agent has said.

Revealing the results of its 2016 landlord survey, Martin & Co found that in the second quarter of 2016, the average rent paid on new tenancies was 2% higher year-on-year, rising from £729 to £744 per month.

The biggest annual rent increases have been in the Midlands and Scotland, rising 6.3% and 5.6% respectively.

The agent’s landlord survey report shows buy-to-let investors are still battling through the various political and tax changes hitting the sector.

The agent has also unveiled an analysis tool as part of a market intelligence report to highlight current and future hotspots for buy-to-let investment based on ten factors:

A fast growing tech sector
Visitor destination
Centre of excellence
City living culture
Development activity
Infrastructure investment
Policy support
Student accommodation
Young professionals
Commuter attachment

Each area is given a score out of seven on every category.

The UK’s major cities of Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, London and Cardiff all score highly at more than 45.

For those looking for less obvious investor destinations, the tool highlights Aylesbury and central Bedfordshire with a score of seven for development. Both have witnessed a 5% increase in housing stock since the 2011 census and both have a substantial development pipeline and increasing population, according to the report.

Ian Wilson, chief executive of Martin & Co, said: “The majority of landlords are taking the vote to leave the EU in their stride. Landlords should be encouraged that in the weeks since the Brexit vote, demand to live in rental properties has remained strong.

“We expect demand to increase in coming months, as some home purchasing decisions are put on hold and households turn instead to the rental sector for their accommodation.

“While tax relief changes and additional purchasing costs are affecting landlords’ decisions, the UK’s lettings market remains a strong, profitable asset class.”

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