Many landlords expect tenant demand to rise in 2013

Two thirds of landlords (65%) anticipate demand for rental accommodation will rise further in the next twelve months, while just 3% expect demand to shrink, according to a recent poll.

The survey of 1,223 individuals by LSL Property Services found that in the past six months, 43% of landlords have seen tenant demand increase, while just 5% have seen demand decrease. Investors expect this growth to continue resulting in higher rental values.

Just 1% of property investors anticipate they will reduce rents in 2013 while 39% of respondents expect to increase their rents in the coming 12 months, with 10% anticipating rises greater than 5%.

Those landlords who expect to raise rents anticipate they will do so by an average of 4.6. Currently, average rents are rising at an annual rate of 3.4%, according to LSL’s latest Buy-to-Let Index.

David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, said: “Fierce tenant competition in 2012 enabled many landlords to raise their asking prices when letting their properties, preventing inflation from eating into their rental income – and this is likely to continue in the next 12 months. Pension savers have been hit particularly hard by the Autumn Statement, and as rental incomes improve, buy-to-let looks increasingly attractive as an alternative long-term investment.

With the underlying fundamentals behind long-term investment looking strong it should come as no surprise that 49% of landlords believe that now is a good time to invest in property while in sharp contrast, less than 1% think now is a good time to reduce their portfolio size.

Brown added: “Rising tenant demand has been at the heart of the recovery of the buy-to-let market, and will continue to be so. With lending to first-time buyers without substantial deposits historically subdued, and the number of UK households increasing, landlords expect demand
Article courtesy of Property Investor Today

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