Landlords and Lettings
Jackson-Stops & Staff Director of the Cotswolds, David Parris, takes a look at the buy-to-let market in the countryside. With all the press coverage about house prices and the impact that Brexit may or may not have, I wanted to touch on the current strong and steady rental market which is offering a degree of comfort. As many of you will already know, the reduction of higher-rate tax relief and higher stamp duty was an institutional attempt to cool the buy-to-let market. However, this may have had the effect of pushing rents higher. Without the comfort of year-on-year rises in capital, some investors are staying away from the less attractive buy-to-let market and, as a result, supply is constrained. Even if demand remains the same, market forces would dictate that under this scenario, rents would rise. Nevertheless, this is tempered in the Shires by a new breed of investor; those moving away from the traditional high demand markets such as London and moving towards higher yielding, lower demand markets which those in the countryside tend to be. Our Jackson-Stops London offices report a distinct shift away from the higher-end corporate lets to the more moderate middle market. The expected return of the overseas investor with the weak pound making property up to 30% cheaper has not been as lucrative as had been predicted. As one of our clients put it, to get the rent out in Sterling cancels out any advantage the buy-to-let purchase may have given.

The Basic Rules of Buy-to-Let

To conclude, the rental market remains stable; rents are not rising at a disproportionate rate and demand is there. I always recommend you stay with the basic rules:
  • -Think about the market you are aiming for and buy appropriately.

  • -Shop around for the best buy-to-let mortgage, there are some competitive deals out there

  • -Keep it neutral, taste is so subjective!

  • -Know the pitfalls; the rental market has been generally good but what would happen if house prices dip? Would you be able to keep your investment and what if rates rise on the mortgage?

  • -Finally, remember to factor in a month and a half empty period a year to be on the safe side. And, use a good agent such as Jackson-Stops & Staff to find a good quality-tenant and to manage your property if required.