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London and South East landlords enjoy sustained rises in yields, says Paragon Mortgages

Investor landlords in Greater London and the South East have seen rising yields on their rental

properties for the third month in a row, the June edition of Paragon Mortgages&#39 Buy-to-Let

Index shows.

Traditionally, the south-eastern corner of the country has offered lower yields on rental properties, as higher property prices are not matched by higher rents to the same extent, while the Midlands and North offer higher yields. However, so far this year yields in the capital have risen, from 6.42% in February, to 6.73% in March, 6.90% in April, and 6.95% in May.Meanwhile, in the SouthEast they have risen more modestly, from 6.45% in February, to 6.62% in March, 6.64% in April and 6.66% in May.

Paragon managing director John Heron says: “Over the past few months, we&#39ve seen some firming of yields in those parts of the country where they have tended to be consistently lower. In fact, London landlords have seen an increase of over 50 percentage points over the past quarter, reflecting lower prices paid by landlords for the properties they add to their portfolios. The average price for a rental property bought in Londonin May was £229,899, down from £237,950 in March.”

At the same time, there may be signs this month that the nationwide surge in landlord property values has started to stabilise, with prices paid by residential property investors up only fractionally by 0.10% this month.

Heron adds: “The unrelenting rise in property prices since the end of last year, as investors found themselves competing with owner-occupiers to buy houses, meant that by April landlords were paying 11% more than in December 2003 for a property and 25% more than they were 12 months before. This month, we&#39ve seen an almost negligible rise of just0.10% – the equivalent of just over £100 on a property worth £137,000.”

Year-on-year, the rate of increase of landlord property values has also declined, from over

25% in April to 22.7% in May. Paragon&#39s data continues to show house price inflation for investors at higher levels than the latest figures published by Halifax and Nationwide (an effect of the shortage of properties on the market and competition to buy), but the gapis now starting to narrow.

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