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TBS in The Times: Return of the savvy buy-to-let landlord

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Knight Frank
London and Country specialist property buying agents
28 Jun 2019  |   Philip Eastwood

Buy to let Landlords have been stung with higher rates of tax (George Osborne introduced a 3 per cent tax surcharge in 2016) and rising costs but instead of leaving the market in their droves they are switching tactics and are becoming price conscious investors.

The North, Midlands and the South West are all particularly popular at the moment – prices are lower and rental yields can be higher than in London. A study by Benham and Reeves shows that despite the tax changes in 2016 73 per cent of Landlords still believe property to be the least volatile long term investment compared with other asset classes. Put simply, long term investors are keen to pick up bargains and ride out the blips in the sales market.

Although cheaper properties outside of London are attractive to many, those Landlords looking to invest in the Capital (and the South) are doing so in bulk. Philip Eastwood, Partner at The Buying Solution, says; “Landlords are certainly more active than they were this time last year. We’ve seen a notable increase in savvy international buy to let purchasers looking to secure more than five units in new build schemes to take advantage of the reduced stamp duty on block purchases (and make the most of the weak pound). Usually they tend to snap up the two bed apartments as these are likely to rent the quickest. The key though is to purchase buy to lets in developments that will hold their value. Those that have a unique element within a boutique development like a conversion of an old building tend to hold their values when compared with many of London’s cookie cutter schemes.”

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