Savvy brokers can cash in as rental demand shoots up

With landlords needing finance as the rental market hots up, brokers should focus their energy on this sector

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Sally LakerManaging Director Mortgage Intelligence Holdings

The rental sector has been hot to trot for some time now. The number of new properties for rent is decreasing, whereas tenant demand is on the up.

This is fuelled by the need for large deposits and low LTV restrictions in place for potential home owners.

For some time I have said that this represents a significant opportunity for proactive brokers.

The economic climate is changing the way we think about renting property and it is becoming a viable alternative to buying for more and more people.

With an uncertain property market, unemployment rising and poor-performing financial investments, renting out property can provide a flexible solution for many home owners.

This is not the only reason interest in property rentals is on the increase. With pension funds taking a battering, property could offer better long-term performance when planning for retirement, particularly as property is now more affordable than it has been for a long time.

Professional property investors are also seeing the current climate as an ideal time to grow their portfolios as rental demand rises and rental yield outstrips interest on savings.

We are seeing a shift away from home ownership by younger people which represents an opportunity for all of us

In 2008 the rental market was different as rents were pushed down by oversupply caused by emergence of so-called accidental landlords.

The latest figures by the Association of Residential Lettings Agent suggest that property voids in the UK reached an eight-year low as it fell to 3.2 weeks from 3.6 weeks.

The lowest void period was registered in the South-East at only 2.9 weeks.

Landlords with rental property in London are cashing in as competition among prospective tenants reaches fever pitch, the findings of a new study suggest.

With growing numbers of young professionals opting to sit out of the London property market and rent rather than attempt to buy a home in such an uncertain time, figures from Easyroommate.co.uk show the extent to which enhanced demand is pushing rental prices up.

The site has reported that rents have risen by 35% in some parts of the capital, thanks partly to the fact that the City is on the up.

While other parts of the UK may not be as buoyant, the general trend is positive for the rental sector as we go in to the new year.

Rumour has it that demand for rental property will heat up even further in the medium term and gazumping will become more common as tenants look for ways to get ahead of the competition.

We are seeing a shift away from home ownership by younger people which represents an opportunity for all of us.

Landlords need access to competitive buy-to-let mortgages and this demand is set to continue. Brokers willing to focus their efforts on this sector could reap benefits if they take action now to secure a position in this growing market.