New survey reveals UK buy-to-let hotspots

Posted 11 August 2015 by Tilly Rubens

The buy-to-let climate is very much thriving across the UK with London, Birmingham and Bristol leading the way, according to a new survey carried out by Barclays Mortgages. Regions that have seen a significant increase in buy-to-let properties purchased include Leeds, Glasgow and Plymouth.

The success of Birmingham could be attributed to the planned HS2 train line to London which is set to begin construction in 2017. Greater London areas such as Slough, which attracts some of the UK’s largest businesses, are continuing to do well, as are popular university towns like Bristol, Nottingham and Manchester

Plymouth is another city which has seen a staggering increase in buy-to-let properties purchased, shooting from 212th in the Barclays ranking last year, to 16th in 2015. The city’s growing economy and £90m investment pledge from the government, as part of its support for seaside towns, could be the reason behind the growing surge in the rental market, as more businesses flock to the South West.

Andy Gray, Barclays managing director of mortgages, says: “It’s encouraging to see homeowners are still feeling confident about the rental market and view buy-to-let as a valuable way to support their finances. Whilst London still leads all things buy-to-let, areas like Plymouth and Peterborough show there are some great-value hotspots outside the capital city that are worth investment as the economy grows.”

Despite planned tax relief cuts to buy-to-let properties announced recently in the Budget, the survey found that only one in ten (9%) are planning to sell their buy-to-let property and less than a quarter (23%) would consider the idea. The survey also found that over 75% of buy-to-let properties owners own more than one property, with those in Bradford and Glasgow leading the way, averaging a huge eight properties per person.

As a nation, buy-to-let owners interestingly prefer to be their own managing agent, with over half (52%) opting to manage their properties themselves. This is despite the headache which sometimes comes with managing rental properties including carrying out repairs and dealing with tenants who do not want to pay their rent .

Good structural conditions, strong transport links and capital growth prospects were stated as the main attractions for investors of buy-to-let. When it comes to inside the house, minimal renovation was stated as the most important attribute. The data found that council and ex-councils flats are becoming increasingly popular, with over half (52%) of all London buy-to-let owners purchasing this kind of property.

While money is at the forefront of most property owners’ minds when purchasing a home, trustworthy and reliable tenants come a close third as priorities for UK buy-to-let owners. A survey of UK buy-to-let homeowners found three quarters chose to purchase their property in order to invest in their family’s future, including retirement and supplementing university fees.

Table of buy-to-let hotspots

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