The UK rental property market is set for a 'more stable' year in 2013, one agency predicts.
'The high demand and lack of stock which, over the past 18 months, has forced rapid rent rises in the areas within which we operate, ranging from between 10% and 30%, were simply not sustainable,' comments Caroline Kavanagh, Managing Director of Townends.
'Rents now appear to have peaked for the time being as a steadier number of instructions make tenants feel more inclined to consider the options out there, although this has left some landlordsí rental expectations for continual rises in the New Year, a little out of kilter. As we move through 2013, key elements such as price versus location versus property condition will drive the market, and as affordability continues to impact tenants we will see even more taking an open minded approach to making a sideways move in order to find something cheaper or avoid a rise. It will be the shrewd landlords that are flexible enough to avoid driving their tenants out, but rather adapt with local market conditions, that do well.'
'At the start of this year, a spring lift in residential sales encouraged some accidental landlords to test their properties on the sales market, but this brief stint was followed by a fair few returning to lettings only a few months later. Those that now remain, appear to have reached a level of comfort whereby the benefits of becoming a professional landlord are increasingly apparent and outweighing any desire to sell,' Cavanagh continues.
'As a result, itís unlikely we will see an influx rushing to sell next year but rather decisions will be based on individual circumstances. Equally, its unlikely there will be a further flurry of accidental landlords as we appear, for now, to have reached ía new normí in an overall more stable sales market.'
Nonetheless, the market remains positive, says Cavanagh, with existing landlords expected to reinvesting and expanding portfolios.
'Itís possible these more stable rent levels could be sustained throughout much of 2013, with the exception of pockets of the market which consistently outperform others. Tenants will also remain in an increasingly advantageous position as ARLA continue to put pressure on the Government to regulate the industry in order to protect tenantsí welfare. Existing policies will continue to be strengthened forcing landlords to be ever more professional and demonstrating to tenants the importance of using an ARLA or TPO registered agent.'
See also: UK Rents
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