In December last year, four landlords per average letting agency branch quit the market and sold up – with an even higher figure in London. The number of landlords in the capital selling their properties hit six per branch during December.
The trade body’s Private Rented Sector report also found that the supply of rental property across England was down 4% year-on-year.
Why are they leaving?
As we alluded to above, landlords have in recent years faced a raft of new regulation and legislation designed to make buy-to-let investment less attractive.
This hasn’t only included an extra 3% stamp duty surcharge on second and buy-to-let homes and the slow withdrawal of tax relief, but also changes to the Wear and Tear Allowance, new energy efficiency regulations and tighter restrictions on buy-to-let lending.
As letting agents operating in London, we fully understand the challenges and issues being faced by landlords and sympathise with those who feel they have no choice but to leave the market.
And with the government seemingly remaining intent on punishing landlords further – despite the rapid growth of the private rented sector and an increase in renting across all demographics – there may be fears that things won’t get any easier.
Those thinking of entering the market may, too, be put off if they believe there will be more difficulties than rewards.
However, with the right type of rental homes in the right kind of market, landlords can still achieve good yields and make a decent return on their investment.
Demand high in up-and-coming areas
Here at Living in London, we operate in a number of areas which enjoy high demand from tenants – whether it’s young professionals opting for Canada Water or Surrey Quays as an ideal base for their daily commute to Canary Wharf or The City, or creatives and foodies looking to enjoy the breweries, food markets, art galleries and design studios of Bermondsey and London Bridge.
In all our locations, there is plenty to recommend to tenants – from bars and restaurants, to green space, riverside walks, great pubs and independent coffee shops.
As a landlord operating in these areas, you should have little trouble filling your rental homes with good, reliable tenants.
What’s more, with property here being cheaper than other parts of London, your yields won’t be squeezed as as much as they would be in more expensive areas of the capital.
To help you get the most from your tenancies, you need to partner with an experienced, reliable local letting agent, who can help you keep on top of all new and existing regulation and legislation, occupy your home with good tenants and manage the whole process throughout to keep issues and stress to a minimum.
A long-term reliable asset class
Property has often been considered the go-to asset class for many investors looking to make solid, reliable long-term returns.
One of the key reasons for this is due to high tenant demand which means landlords can fill their properties quickly and keep void periods to a minimum.
What’s more, all the recent evidence points to demand for rental homes continuing to rise. It’s been widely reported that there is a growing number of middle-aged and family renters who are helping to swell the private rented sector to a greater size than ever before.
The most recent English Housing Survey confirms that nearly 20% of households now rent privately, making it the second largest form of tenure in the country. In London, meanwhile, private renting is the biggest form of tenure, with nearly 30% of households living in privately rented accommodation.
And this is only set to grow in the coming years, with predictions that approximately 25% of households will be renting by 2021.
Meanwhile, for those with a firm eye on capital gains, the continued resilience of London house prices is a cause for optimism. Despite the issues caused by chronic Brexit uncertainty, prices in the capital rose by 3.4% in February, according to Rightmove’s latest house price report.
Working with property experts is essential
As our agency was created by three landlords who all own property in London, we have a special understanding of what it takes to ensure a smooth tenancy, as well as the importance of tailoring our services directly to landlords. We’re also well aware of the challenges landlords face and well-equipped to help you overcome these obstacles and thrive in the current market.
Our property management team takes care of the tenancy throughout, while we have a team of experts to ensure your property is occupied with the right tenants from the start.
We also offer high-profile marketing to make sure your homes get the exposure they deserve, while our Canada Water office has an unrivalled location inside Canada Water tube station, ensuring that the number of eyes on your home (via our state-of-the-art interactive touchscreen display and dynamic window cards) is huge.
For more information on the services we offer, get in touch with us on: 020 7231 0002.
We also provide instant online valuations so you can see how much your property is worth on the current market.
The days are getting shorter, the nights are drawing in, the leaves are falling off the trees and the temperatures are starting to dip a bit – all of which means we’re leaving summer behind and entering autumn.
Which, as luck would have it, is arguably the best season in which to sell a home as the traditional post-summer boom in housing activity coincides with a desire from buyers to be in their new home before Christmas. It is typically a very busy period – as both buyers and sellers put their home moving plans into action – and here we take a closer look at why that is.
The holidays are over, the kids are back at school, and people want to arrange moves before the festivities begin. This all means activity ramps up in September, October and November. While summer is generally a quieter period for the property industry, this summer was particularly quiet thanks to the excellent weather, World Cup fever and ongoing uncertainty over Brexit negotiations.
The uncertainty over Brexit is still there – and may cause some people to think twice – but other variables are now in favour of stronger market activity.
Given the desire to be in their new home by Christmas, buyers may also be more eager to push through sales in a fast manner, which will be music to the ears of sellers who dread frustrating hold-ups or delays.
As a seller, you can improve your chances of selling by trying to hold viewings in the daytime (when you can shine the best light on your home), clearing your gutters, drains and driveway of leaves, keeping your home warm and toasty during viewings if the weather is cold outside, and decluttering your property so it doesn’t feel too personal or lived in.
Here at Living in London, we operate in one of the capital’s most exciting and up-and-coming areas. In Canada Water, for example, there is what is known as the Canada Water Masterplan, which aims to create a new urban centre for London in SE16.
The project, devised and led by property development and investment firm British Land, puts forward plans for the 53-acre regeneration of Canada Water. After four years of planning and consultation, the plans were finally submitted to Southwark Council in May.
The green light is expected to be given at some point this autumn. If the plans are approved, work could begin on the first detailed plots in spring 2019 (with a target completion date of 2022). The whole Masterplan, in turn, could be completed and fully functioning by 2033.
It would deliver up to 3,000 homes, in addition to retail, leisure, work, entertainment and community space, with the first three buildings set to be constructed on Surrey Quays shopping centre’s current overflow car parks between Deal Porters Way and Canada Water Dock, plus the empty site at Roberts Close.
The first phase would generate 270 homes as well as plans for 285,000 sq ft of workspace, a leisure centre, shops and places to eat and drink. Proposals for affordable social rented housing have also been included.
As well as bringing visitors, tenants and buyers to the area, existing residents of Canada Water will be given a major boost by the project as it becomes a nicer place to live, work and commute from. At present, it could be argued that Canada Water is mostly a commuter hub – a good base for people working elsewhere in the city. However, new leisure, work, entertainment and food/drinks spaces could help to change all that.
Those looking to sell should also be boosted by the plans, with greater media coverage of the area possibly leading to higher levels of interest from potential buyers.
In nearby Rotherhithe, meanwhile, there has been an update on the proposed Rotherhithe Bridge - a pedestrian and cycle bridge which would connect south east London to the docklands peninsular, making ‘sustainable transport a life changing option for thousands of commuters’.
The low lying bridge, downstream from Tower Bridge, will need to be designed so it can open to allow tall boats to pass.
Now, in response to the recent public consultation on the planned bridge, the team behind the initial proposals - reForm Architects and Elliot Wood Engineers – have relocated their design to its original 2013 northern position. The new location, along with a 20% reduction in the scale and 5m reduction in the height of the bridge, would bring ‘tangible public benefits and cost savings to the scheme’.
The update on their official website added: “We once again publicly offer our innovative bascule design for independent scrutiny as part of the ongoing process which TfL confirm will need to demonstrate that the best design and cost outcome has been achieved.”
The bridge, which has the support of the Mayor and TfL, would be the first bridge built in central London to the east of Tower Bridge. But it has proved controversial, with a high-profile and heavily scrutinised battle over the design of the Rotherhithe-to-Canary Wharf crossing.
Consultancy giant Atkins was appointed by TfL in March to provide engineering and architectural support to the project, but reForm Architects is no longer being considered for the design support contract after another design consultancy, Arcadis, allegedly advised against the bascule-type bridge design. It’s still unclear who will actually be responsible for the eventual design of the bridge, but a planning application could be made in 2019 and Sadiq Khan said in the summer of 2017 that he’d like to start construction as soon as possible.
Autumn, then, has so far been busy in terms of developments to the areas we operate in, but as we outlined above it’s also a good time to sell a home – with demand likely to be high as plenty of buyers enter the market seeking a home before the turkey needs carving.
Do you know how much your property is worth?
The market in 2018 has been an interesting one so far, but how has the performance of London's property sector affected the price of your home and how much you could be selling it for? If you would like an 'instant valuation' to get a better idea of what your property is worth for sales or rental, please click here. Or if you would prefer to discuss your options in more depth, please feel free to contact Living in London on 020 7231 0002.