Rental Voids Fall for 3 Consecutive Quarters

Latest Landlord News by: Madalena Penny

Further evidence this month indicates that tenant-demand is picking up momentum for landlords and letting agents.

Paragon’s data captured through their recent landlord survey reveals rental voids have fallen yet again.  Making Q1 of 2011 the lowest point for empty properties in the private rented sector since the 1st quarter of 2009, with just an average 2.8-week wait for landlords to place empty properties with tenants.  Paragon, who service approximately 40,000 landlords re-entered the BTL market last year due to the favourable conditions surrounding the lettings industry.

Out of those landlords surveyed, 45% admitted to rental voids of 2 weeks or less, with only 38% suggesting rental voids lasting between 2-4 weeks.  At this time, landlords are enjoying some good yields on portfolios, with a never-ending stream of tenants to choose from.

Landlords are still advised that they need to protect themselves through tenant referencing if acting independently and to protect their income through rent guarantee schemes, regardless of the tenant culture dominating the tenure trends.

Further analysis on present economic conditions for landlords and property investors can be validated by surveys surrounding the BTL, RICS and other research being carried out in this sector.  HSBC recently published some research surrounding the market for first-time buyers.  What was once classed as average market conditions, some 400,000-500,000 first-time buyers each year would buy their first home, now there are only 200,000 entering the market.

Results from the study showed that a whopping 90% of all UK households, which were surveyed, including rented and homeowners admitted that they aspired to own their own home.  However, only 19% of these aspirational homeowners ever expected to purchase a property within the next five years, with 45% never expecting to be a homeowner at all.

Some of the reasons cited for their pessimistic view were not surprising. 69% of those surveyed thought they would never be able to raise the required deposit demanded by lenders and 59% believed they would have insufficient income to meet with mortgage responsibility.

It’s strongly indicated it would be beneficial to landlords and property investors to move forward this year and expand on portfolios, but it should be emphasised that while Buy-to-Let is a great long-term investment it is not worthwhile for those who expect to cash in short-term.

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