Cost of renting edges downwards
The average cost of renting a home in England and Wales fell to £711 in December, 0.8 per cent lower than November’s average, according to LSL Property Services’ 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 didn’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: “The seasonal relief continued for tenants as rents dipped again in December, but the drop-off was much smaller than a year ago”.
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 £150,000 to £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 £20,000, compared with £35,000 previously.