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LSL Buy To Let Index

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Summary

Residential property services company LSL began publishing monthly LSL Buy to Let Index of the rental property market in England and Wales March 2009. The sample size is around 18,000 properties and much of the data is aimed at landlords and property professionals.

Data

Figures published in the LSL index include an average monthly rent for England and Wales as a whole as well as for nine regions of England and Wales separately. LSL also shows the monthly and annual percentage change in the average rent. Data specifically aimed at landlords includes the average annual return for a property and the average yield, which is the percentage of income return the landlord receives from the property. The year on year change and regional differences in the average yield are also shown. Its total figure and percentage of rent in arrears each month is another useful figure for landlords.

Method

The average monthly rent figures are based on actual rents agreed when the properties are let rather than asking rental prices. The monthly yield figures are unadjusted and do not take into account seasonal fluctuations in the property market, when properties are empty or when tenants are in arrears. The annual returns are calculated using annual rental property price inflation and void adjusted yield data.

Advantages

  • LSL’s monthly release makes it among the most up to date rental property indices.
  • The figures are widely covered in the national media.
  • The index is produced in a consumer friendly way despite its commercial focus.

Disadvantages

  • With only 18,000 properties it has one of the smallest samples of the main rental price indices.
  • LSL’s rental index lacks useful consumer data such as the average time on the market and average asking prices.

Verdict

Despite its small sample size and focus on a landlord and property professional audience this easy to read index provides a useful guide to the rental property market for those looking to rent a home. The monthly publication of the LSL Buy to Let Index and use of agreed rental data ensures it is up to date and more accurate than those based on asking prices.

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