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Commercial Finance

Investors look to the regions for buy-to-let investment

Buy-to-let landlords seem to be turning their backs on London and seeking property in the regions to optimise their rental yields, according to the latest industry research.

Cities and towns with large populations of students in the North and Midlands appear in the top ten of Britain’s buy-to-let hotspots, with only three London boroughs – Newham, Tower Hamlets and Southwark – making the top 20.

Many landlords are now thinking more carefully about their buy-to-let property purchases; choosing locations where the property’s value will rise at a higher rate than the cost of mortgage borrowing.

High house prices in some areas of London – traditionally the favourite for buy-to-let in Britain - seem to be discouraging landlords from purchasing property there, because they will be able to get higher yields outside the capital.

Liverpool, for example, was top of the list for buy-to-let hotspots. The average house price in the city is £122,283, with an average annual rent of £12,252 and an average annual mortgage cost of £2,421, making a rental yield of eight per cent, before taxes.

Buy-to-let properties in the Midlands may also be attractive for investors, with yields in Nottingham, for example, of 5.6 per cent. The average yield in Coventry is 5.4 per cent, while in Greater Manchester and Portsmouth, which also appeared in the top five buy-to-let hotspots, yields were 4.3 per cent and 4.2 per cent respectively.

Compare this to London, where yields are just over three per cent according to one estate agent’s buy-to-let index, and it seems there may be more profitable options outside the capital.

Despite changes to tax and regulation, we’ve seen resilience in the buy-to-let market, with figures published last month revealing record numbers of ‘professional’ buy-to-let investors growing their property portfolios through limited companies.

We’ve seen people adapting to the changes by using larger deposits for their purchases, for example, or focusing on lower loan-to-values so that they can make the most of their investments.

Find out more about our buy-to-let products here.