Mortgage Approvals Fall – Demand Rises


Despite the unstability of the UK property market, PRS is fast becoming a growth industry.  Rents are still rising, regardless of uncertain economic conditions.  Annual yields appear to have increased within the private residential sector to nearly 5 per cent from last year.  Rents are now approaching their 2007 peak, with a rise in April of 0.6 per cent, which is 2.2% higher than April 2009.  The average rent is now approx £663 per month.

Although mainly due to the steady flow of sought after tenancies through unrealistic and unobtainable consumer mortgages, there is also a lack of social housing available and demand for tenancies within the PRS is expected to increase throughout this year.

The Bank of England reported that consumer mortgage approvals fell 18 per cent in the first quarter of 2010, which would suggest an increase for more people looking to the private residential sector to accommodate their housing needs.

CLG statistics for England show house building starts in the first quarter of this year, ending March 2010 were still 49 per cent lower than March quarter 2007 but 62 per cent higher than the same quarter in 2009.  The annual housing completions in England totalled 113,420 in 2009/2010, but showed a fall of 15% from 2008/2009 figures.

With some support from the BTL lending community, the current evidence would suggest a steady investment for any landlord, as demand is high and still increasing for residential rental accommodation, but supply is limited due to financial restrictions imposed on investers by banks.  Government reform would benefit the landlord through scrapping the LHA payment policy, which pays housing benefit payments to the tenant rather than direct to the landlord, giving banks and lenders more faith in the sector.

Madalena Penny