Buying to let has never been so popular, with high tenant demand and rising rents providing investors with an opportunity to enjoy a regular and reliable extra income.
Allison Thompson, managing director at property specialist Leaders, says: “Despite the tax changes for landlords due to come into effect on 1st April, recent research shows buy-to-let is still the best investment option in terms of overall return.
“Rental demand for all types of properties is already at an all-time high and experts predict that up to a quarter of all households in the UK will be renting by 2025.
“As such, it is no surprise that investors remain extremely keen on property. But that is not to say every home presents a lucrative investment opportunity, so prospective landlords must do their homework to ensure a property will deliver the return they are looking for.”
Allison has identified five factors every landlord should look for in a property before buying to let.
1) Local employment opportunities
Quality tenants will be attracted to homes either close to or with easy access to their places of work. So consider where big businesses are based or areas with a number of local employers and look to buy there.
2) Excellent transport links
Proximity to a rail station or the motorway network will make a home more appealing to people who need to travel for work, family or social commitments. Avoid those remote areas that are notoriously difficult to reach and instead focus on investing in a well-connected part of town.
3) Quality of housing
With tenants staying in one place for longer, they typically look for quality properties that can be a home to be proud of. Therefore properties which are maintained to a high standard will achieve higher rents and benefit from longer tenancies and fewer voids. So, either look to buy a high-quality property or refurbish one to a high standard.
4) Attractive local amenities
Areas with plenty to offer will naturally appeal to tenants. Look for homes that are close to shops, pubs, restaurants, schools and entertainment facilities, all of which can draw people to an area. Not only could this increase demand for your property, it is also likely to push sales prices up in the coming years.
5) Meeting local demand
Working out who you are aiming to let to and buying a property to suit is a must. If you want to take advantage of a large local student population, investing in a house with four or five bedrooms is a shrewd move. Similarly, if a town is popular with young professionals, buying a stylish apartment is wise.
Allison adds: “There is plenty to consider when buying to let and understanding local demand can lead you to the perfect property. Working with a local lettings expert such as Leaders can provide insight into this and ensure you invest in a property that delivers the return you are looking for.”
Get your buy-to-let project started today by visiting Leaders’ Property Investment Hub – a dedicated portal featuring available investment properties and, in many cases, full rental histories.