The Countrywide Monthly Lettings Index published April 2018 shows that average BTL rents rose by 1.7% over the last year, and landlords are withdrawing more cash from their properties.
The results of Countrywide’s survey puts the average rent in Great Britain at £951 pcm. That represents a rise of 1.7% year to date – see table below.
Whereas Average rents in Scotland fell for the second month in a row, rent rises in the Midlands were the highest at 2.8%, followed by both Greater London and Wales at 2.1%.
Johnny Morris, Research Director at Countrywide, said:
“A record number of landlords are re-mortgaging to release money to spend on their properties instead of trading up. The additional transaction costs incurred from the stamp duty changes for second-homeowners means more landlords are choosing to invest in their properties, refurbishing and improving them and holding on to them for longer to maximise gains.
“Average rents grew in seven out of eight regions across Great Britain, with Scotland being the only region to see falls. Rental growth during the first quarter of this year stands at 2.1%, 0.5% faster than the same period in 2017, as low stock levels continue to drive growth.”
The survey also reveals at trend of landlords re-mortgaging, extracting cash from their properties to be spent on improvements.
The minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES), which came into effect in 1st April, forcing landlords to improve properties where they fall below the minimum energy efficiency rating of “E”, is a likely reason for some of this.
Over the last 12 months a record number of landlords (5.6%) say they re-mortgaged for property improvements with 9,523 landlords withdrawing money for this purpose, a big increase over previous years.
Every UK region saw a rise but the Southern regions saw the biggest growth in landlords releasing cash. In London, according to Countrywide, 7.4% of landlords re-mortgaging released money for home improvements, up 4.4% in the last two years.
London Landlords took out the most money to be spent on buy-to-let improvements, on average at £35,470 per landlord, well above the same figure in Yorkshire & the Humber at £11,150, and the average for Great Britain as a whole, at £22,850.