Private Rented Sector Update

Two sure signs of renting’s popularity: lodgers and skips!

SpareRoom.co.uk has noted a 41% increase in the number of over-50s taking in lodgers over the past two years. This is a further indication that renting is becoming much more of a norm. Clearly the demand is there and the fact that older home-owners are willing to come into the market to meet it shows that little stigma is now attached to doing so.

Meanwhile, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) ‘Skip Score‘, which looks at the number of skip licenses issued across England and Wales, has revealed residential and small-scale commercial construction and renovation is performing strongly nationwide, not just in London. Many buy to let properties are likely to be benefiting from this surge as more and more landlords, new and old, enter the sector. In the words of Dayle Bayliss of the RICS, “The results indicate there’s an air of optimism across all levels of the construction sector.” Although perhaps that should not be extended to the construction of homes, which continues to face chronic inaction.

Tip of the Week

All landlords should be prepared if selective licensing is being planned in their area, especially in Wales. The Welsh Assembly recently passed a bill which would make registration and licensing a legal requirement for all landlords. Pending amendments, it could be enshrined in law by the summer so make sure you are ready. Speak to your council about any extra costs and conditions of licensing. Enfield in North London is also planning to introduce licensing, following in the steps of Newham, and schemes are also being extended in Stoke on Trent.

New Mortgage Options

The availability of buy to let mortgages in the first quarter of 2014 was one third higher than in 2008 just before the financial crash, according to Mortgages for Business. Landlords should be doing all they can to find a good deal as competition between lenders continues to prompt rate reductions and deals. This is unlikely to change soon as the Mortgage Market Review has made it harder to get a residential mortgage, leading lenders to concentrate on the buy to let market. Many people are advising landlords to find a good long term fixed rate deal as increased interest rates loom on the horizon.

The Woolwich has reduced rates on its two-year fixed buy-to-let mortgages at 75 per cent loan to value (LTV) to 3.59 per cent and cut rates by up to 0.40% on other packages.

The RLA is offering a special fixed rate mortgage until 30/6/2017 at 3.69% at 60 per cent LTV. You can call 0844 858 4420 for more information or speak to an independent buy to let mortgage expert.

Kensington has removed its administration fee of £195 and is offering free legals and valuation on all remortgages, and free legals on new purchases. Note that their mortgages are only available through intermediaries.

Kent Reliance has launched a range of specialist large loan buy-to-let mortgages with rates from 4.39% and has reduced rates for standard buy-to-let large products, starting from 4.19%. Again they are only available through a specialist, qualified mortgage adviser.

Finally, Blemain Finance has reduced rates across its buy-to-let plans. It also now offers no six month minimum ownership period and will consider a variety of property types, purposes and customer profiles. As well as first charge Buy to Let products, Blemain also offers second charge buy to let loans which allow landlords to raise finance against an existing property.

You can also find a good overview of the market here, and more details on specific deals here. Please always remember to use an expert, independent broker to find you the best buy to let deal for your circumstances.

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