With recent changes in regulations and unstable house prices, is property still a good investment?

If you’re looking for a long-term investment, buy-to-let property can still provide rewarding returns.

We explore the benefits and drawbacks of buy-to-let investments to help you decide whether expanding your portfolio or becoming a first-time landlord is still worth the risk.

 

Buy-To-Let Investment: The Risks

We would be lying if we said investing in property was completely risk-free. It’s important to understand the risks involved before making any big investments.

Here’s a look at some of the potential risks currently facing the buy-to-let sector;

 

Unstable Property Prices

With Brexit on the horizon, no one can be entirely certain what the after-effects will do to the UK property market. If house prices fall, you may lose out on money if you decide to sell.

However, this works both ways. If the property market experiences an uplift post-Brexit, as it often does after slow periods, your investment worth could grow by a significant amount.

 

Stamp Duty Changes

The changes to stamp duty made in 2016 mean that landlords now have to pay up to 3% more on buy-to-let properties. This can greatly increase your initial outgoings so needs to be factored into the decision-making process.

However, this doesn’t apply to first-time, buy-to-let buyers who can pay the standard home mover rates instead.

 

Reduction to Tax Relief

A new tax system is being phased in, and by 2020, buy-to-let landlords will no longer be able to deduct any mortgage interest payment from their rental income before paying tax.

These changes mean most landlords will be paying higher tax on their rental properties and may even find they move up a tax bracket.

 

Void Periods

Unfortunately, void periods can happen, and are sometimes out of your control. Extended void periods can negatively affect your annual returns and are best avoided.

To prevent void periods, there are some simple steps you can take;

  • Invest in quality marketing
  • Keep up with maintenance
  • Think about your target tenant
  • Ensure compliance with current health and safety obligations

 

Investing in Residential Property: The Rewards

When you get it right, buying residential property to rent can still be a profitable investment. Here, we explore some of the benefits;

 

HMO Properties: Higher Rental Yields

Investing in an HMO property is a good way to see larger returns on your investment.

An HMO property is shared by multiple people or ‘households’, and according to Property Investment UK, can provide rental yields up to three times higher than single lets.

With the demand for shared housing continuing to grow in cities and student towns, investing in property with the idea of renting it as an HMO remains a solid investment.

 

Location: Maximising Returns

When looking for a stable investment property, location remains key.

While larger cities in the North such as Manchester and Liverpool are currently experiencing an uplift in local housing markets, some areas of London are slowing down.

Finding the right rental market in an up-and-coming area will improve your chances of enjoying a higher rental yield.

For example, properties in larger University towns make a great investment for student landlords as there is a steady supply of students looking for housing.

To get a better idea of where to invest now, the following areas have been tipped as providing a solid investment;

  • Northampton
  • Leicester
  • Manchester
  • Leeds
  • Newcastle
  • Nottingham

Look for areas with a younger population who haven’t yet stepped a foot onto the property ladder and areas with good transport links into popular areas.

 

Long Term Rewards

As long as you’re willing to exercise patience, investing in buy-to-let property still brings with it worthwhile, long-term rewards.

The security of a steady income flow and the possibility of inflation provides a solid return on investment and a safety net for retirement.

 

The Brexit Effect: Should I Be Worried?

Due to Brexit uncertainty, many people have delayed selling or buying a home. But that shouldn’t necessarily put you off investing in buy-to-let property.

The UK population is growing, and people still need homes to live in. In fact, as first-time buyers are thinking twice, the demand for renting may even rise in the short term.

Although it’s hard to predict, unstable house prices and rising mortgage rates could result in a higher number of people looking to rent, allowing private landlords to enjoy a stable rental market.

Either way, the residential property market continually experiences ups and downs, meaning that quiet periods don’t usually stay quiet for long.

 

 

Look After Your Investment with No Letting Go

If you’re thinking of investing in buy-to-let, it’s vital to have all of your documents and property checks in order.

Here at No Letting Go, we help landlords, letting agents and property professionals alike manage their portfolio by providing reliable inventory reports and other essential services.

From check-in services to property appraisals, discover our wide range of professional property inventory services to see how we could help protect your investment.

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