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News: Landlords shrug-off credit crunch woe

Thu, 08 Nov 07

Almost a quarter (23.4%) of landlords plan to expand their property portfolios over the next five years, according to research carried out by the National Landlords Association... 

Nearly 60% of landlords believe the size of their property portfolios will remain unchanged over the same period. Fewer than 18% of landlords suggested the size of their portfolios would reduce over the same timeframe, and a tiny 2.4% said they planned to exit the private rented sector completely.

Currently, NLA members have an average of 9.4 properties in the lettings market, a number that has remained steady over the past year.  But according to the latest survey results this number is set to go up in the future.   

Chairman of the NLA, David Salusbury said, “The fall-out from the so-called credit crunch has dominated public attention in recent weeks, but in times of financial uncertainty people continue to need a roof over their heads.  That landlords are committed to invest further in the private rented sector over the next five years demonstrates that they remain confident about their businesses over the medium term.”  

Private sector will play a ‘key role’

Landlords fulfil the valuable social function of providing affordable housing for a wide cross-section of people in society.  With the latest statistics from the ONS estimating the UK population will reach 70m by 2028 and an extra 5 million households set to be created over the next quarter of a century, continued investment by landlords will be essential if the UK is to meet the demand for rented homes.

David Salusbury continues: “As the population grows and the number of households in this country continues to expand, the private rented sector will play a key role in providing homes to a larger number of people who need either a temporary or a longer term housing solution.  That includes people who move jobs, those who have arrived in this country from abroad, families who are on benefit and some of the most vulnerable sections of the community.”      

Renting is not the housing choice of last resort, however.  Many people regard renting as a lifestyle choice that gives them greater flexibility and can be more cost effective than buying.  The quality of rented properties has risen steadily, according to the English Housing Survey.”

Caution is appropriate for newcomers to buy-to-let, however, and people purchasing investment properties must do their homework, check the sums add up and ensure they understand their rights and responsibilities.

Long term perspective needed

Mr Salusbury continued: “Residential property investment is not a means of getting rich quick.  t is unclear as to whether house prices will rise or fall over the next 12 months, and those who are buying a property to let as someone’s home need to have a medium or long-term perspective.

“Demand for the right property in the right location remains sound, but there is an over supply of new build flats in some areas, which may make them difficult to let or sell.”

“Landlords must be familiar with their legal obligations, in terms of health and safety requirements, houses in multiple occupation, tenancy deposit protection and tax. The NLA is committed to supporting the independent landlord by offering extensive information and support in return for a modest annual subscription.”

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