Cost of renting edges downwards

| January 20, 2012
Cost of renting edges downwards

The average cost of renting a home in England and Wales fell to A?711 in December, 0.8 per cent lower than Novembera��s average, according to LSL Property Servicesa�� latest Buy-to-Let Index.

December was the second consecutive month in which rental costs have fallen, but over 2011 as a whole, they showed an increase of 4 per cent.

The impact of Christmas spending caused an increase in rent arrears, with 10.7% of all rent late or unpaid at the end of December 2011, compared with 9.3% in November 2011.

Yorkshire and the Humber, the West Midlands and the East Midlands were the only regions where the cost of rents didna��t fall in December, compared with the previous month.

Even rents in London fell by O.9 per cent during the month, representing their first fall for a year.

However, on an annual basis, rents rose in all regions expect the south-west of England, and the north-east of England, in 2011, with London suffering the fastest rise with a 5.6% increase.

David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services said: a�?The seasonal relief continued for tenants as rents dipped again in December, but the drop-off was much smaller than a year agoa�?.

With demand for rented property continuing to increase, Landlord Assist today suggested that 2012 will be an excellent year for buy-to-let investors

Landlords will benefit from historic low interest rates and an easing of lending criteria.

Graham Kinnear, managing director at Landlord Assist, said: ‘There are few tangible investments at present which can offer growth, income and a positive hedge against inflation quite like the buy-to-let market.

Yorkshire Building Society today announced an easing of its buy-to-let criteria, including a reduction in minimum property value from A?150,000 to A?100,000.

Buy-to-let mortgages will now be available to borrowers as young as 25, compared with 30 previously and they will need to have a minimum income of just A?20,000, compared with A?35,000 previously.

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