Even in the UK, Rental Investments are Hot

The American rental climate has been favorable for landlords, and now the warm weather has spread to other parts of the world. UK private property landlords have seen strong increases in their own rental yields. Despite the dark reports of the UK property market, demand for quality rental properties is still increasing.

It’s not just in some parts of the country. Rental sector landlords have seen increasing rental yields in all parts of the UK. Last year, monthly Buy-to-Let rents increased by 4.8%, giving property investors a rental yield of 6.1%.

That number fluctuated depending on location. Residential property rents in East Anglia increased as much as 8%. Other parts of Northern England grew only 6.9%, and in Greater London that increase was only 5.6%.

But the fact that rental yields were positive across the country shows the distress of the housing market on the rest of the British economy. Housing prices are set to fall again annually, after a short-term boost by a break in the stamp duty tax.

As we’ve seen here in the US, those falling housing prices are a signal of the movement of capital away from that industry. The only other alternative for that capital is to move towards rental units.

It’s why rental yields have been unanimously positive across the board for all of the UK.

In the US, we’ve seen rental markets boom in cities like San Francisco and Seattle, where tech jobs have attracted hundreds of thousands of new residents. A similar phenomenon may be happening in the UK, but we are yet to see if we can attribute it to tech booms.

It’s more likely UK investors are seeing their yields go up due to the wariness of the middle class. Housing has been a scary industry for those that were forced out. It’ll likely be some years before many are ready to jump back in.

BM Solutions, the organization that conducted the study mentioned, recently commented “There is a very healthy demand for rental properties across the UK right now”. After the stamp tax break ends, costs for owning a home will further increase, and this will only drive rental demand even higher.

Currently, the rental industry is a strong niche, and at the time it seems to be international. We’ve only yet to see how long this ride will last.

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Bryan Perez

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By Bryan Perez