Belvoir MD Dorian Gonsalves says: “Belvoir has over 140 offices nationwide and I think it is important to get a sense of what is going on in regions beyond the M25 corridor. Across the country we are seeing a modest rather than dramatic increase in rents, which is improving yields, but house prices are continuing to fall and there is a clear demand for rental properties from tenants who are choosing to enter or remain within the private rental sector because of lack of access to mortgage facilities or insecurity about jobs.
“The latest statistics from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) show that more than 17% of English property stock, or one in every six homes, is now within the private rented sector (PRS) – an increase from 16.4% in 2009 and up 229,000 in number. Since 2000, the number of properties in the PRS, which currently stands at 3.9 million, has risen by 1.8 million, reflecting the shift in housing tenures that England is currently experiencing.
“However, it is not always the highest rent that is the driving force for landlords. A recent survey showed that the majority of landlords would be happier to take a slightly lower rent and retain good quality tenants rather than risk someone who may not look after their property, or pay the rent on time etc.
“A good local agent should be in tune with the demands of the local market, which can fluctuate from month to month, and in doing so accurately predict how much tenants are likely to pay. If an agent under-estimates the valuation they are likely to get a long list of people after the property, but by getting it right they should avoid a bidding war, which may not necessarily be in the landlord’s best interests.
“I would always advise anyone that is considering buying an investment property to seek the advice of a specialist lettings agent prior to purchase so that they can gain free, impartial and expert advice on where property hotspots are, what realistic rental valuations are likely to be and what types of tenants the property is likely to attract.”
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