Miller Homes East Midlands has predicted that 2012 will be the year of the investor. According to the housebuilder there are strong indications that investor sales are set to rocket, with private landlords returning to the property market for the first time in more than three years.
The housebuilder, which has a portfolio of developments across the region, is expecting a second buy-to-let boom as rental values in many areas reach an historic high and void periods become a thing of the past.
Paul Walters, regional sales manager for Miller Homes East Midlands, said: “According to recent data from the LSL Property Services Buy-to-Let Index, the average rent in England and Wales has never been higher. Demand for quality rental properties is continuing to soar and anecdotal evidence suggests there is fierce competition among tenants to secure a home – particularly in some of the region’s prime locations.
“At Miller Homes’ developments across the East Midlands, we have begun to see a marked increase in the number of landlords who are looking to capitalise on the current situation, and we expect this upward trend to continue throughout 2012.”
According to Mr Walters, there are signs that the second buy to let boom will be here to stay.
“Today’s first-time buyers face many challenges when getting on the property ladder. Many believe that they are priced out of the market and face the prospect of spending years saving for a deposit. And while housebuilders, including Miller Homes, and the government are working hard to make homeownership more accessible, with schemes such as FirstBuy providing support for eligible purchasers, there is still a widespread and often incorrect perception among first time buyers that a home of their own is not achievable in the current climate. As a result, many are turning to renting – not just as a quick fix for a year or two, but as a long-term solution.
“Taking the economic situation into consideration and the fact that the UK is experiencing the worst housing shortage since the Second World War, conditions are looking favourable for savvy investors. Low returns on savings and record low interest rates also make property look like an increasingly attractive investment proposition.
“The buzz around property investment can be seen across the East Midlands right now. Not only are we seeing this on our developments, recent research by property consultancy CBRE featured Nottingham, home of The Vales development in Bingham, as part of a list of areas where residential property investors can expect solid returns for their money. According to the report, the city offers investors a gross yield of 5.1 per cent.”
As Mr Walters concluded, the return of the investor represents a growing confidence in bricks and mortar.
“When the recession first hit back in 2009, the availability of buy-to-let mortgages dried-up overnight and investors all but disappeared from the marketplace. We are taking the return of the investor as a positive sign that property is once again being seen as a sustainable investment and that crucially, would-be landlords are finding it easier to raise the necessary funds. 2012 therefore looks like a milestone year in residential property and is set to be a real turning point for the industry, investors and buyers alike.”