Should I sell or place my property on the rental market ?

There are very confusing messages about the housing market at the moment with the ONS ( Office for National Statistics ) issuing their figures and then the Land Registry issuing their own different figures.

The Building Societies, banks and house builders all have their own stories to tell, but which is right and which should you believe ? In short it is all positive, but there are now concerns about how short this mini housing boom or pick-up will last.

A quick look at the 2 main property portals show us that in the LU5 & LU6 (Dunstable & Houghton Regis mainly ) postcodes around 100 properties have been listed for sale in the last 30 days and in that same period 43 properties were listed as sold/sold subject to contract.

In the last 14 days 58 properties have been listed for sale and of these 15 have been listed as sold/sold subject to contract. This does show that there are plenty of buyers out there and the Estate Agents are doing a good job in finding them, but it also shows that there are far more properties going onto the market than are being sold.

If we take a look at the rental market the combined total of available properties in LU5 & LU6 today is 108. Two years ago each postcode on its own would have had close to 100 properties available to rent.

We have seen a big shift of tenants into the area in the last 2 years. Many have moved from Luton so that they are still being close enough to travel back to Luton by bus ( maybe using the new Busway ). The proximity to the M1 attracts many renters from London and the price difference in rent as the London commuters work their way out of London past St Albans, Hemel Hempstead and Harpenden is quite dramatic.

With the large distribution centres basing themselves on the Woodside Estate and employers such as Honeytop employing many hundreds of staff, the current market for rental properties in the area is a strong one. Good news for Landlords. We have recently found that some properties will be let before reaching the property portals if they are well presented and looked after.

The rental market is a growing one for all the reasons I have discussed before such as a change in lifestyle choice and the flexibility required by many of the workers today. We were like our European neighbours a country of renters until the 1950’s when we took it upon ourselves to buy the property we wanted to live in. With a little help from the Governments this escalated through the 70’s and 80’s. In the 90’s the trend tapered off and since around 2005 the trend has reversed as the number of owner occupiers has begun to fall while the Private Rented Sector has again begun to grow. This is highlighted in the graph above showing the changing housing trends for the under 30’s since 1997.

Should you consider renting your property out as an investment? With rental yields of easily over 5% but more likely 7% and the potential for Capital Yield on the property it is worth 30 minutes of anyone’s time to investigate.

Call our shop on 01582 343209 to make an appointment and we will explain all the procedures and give you an expected rental figure for your property so that you can make an informed choice.