Judging demand for rent in an area with no current rentals

by Readers Question

9:51 AM, 10th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Judging demand for rent in an area with no current rentals

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Judging demand for rent in an area with no current rentals

There is an area near me that I know is popular for people to live in – it’s a pleasant place, not too far from town, close to decent schools, low crime etc etc. However, there seems to be pretty much NOTHING available to rent there… and I’m trying to work out if that means it is a good or bad place to BTL. Judging demand for rent in an area with no current rentals

House prices there are slightly higher than other areas nearby, but not ridiculous, and there’s a few on the market that are in my budget. However, as I’m so new to the BTL game I’m just not sure if the fact that there’s currently no lettings on the market in this area means it would be landlord suicide to buy a house there for the sole purpose of letting it out.

I mentioned the lack of lettings in this area to an estate agent yesterday and they said “well that’s because they get snapped up so quickly” but I don’t know whether or not to believe that… I guess it just seems a little unlikely to me that in the time I’ve been looking at rentals on rightmove every night there hasn’t been a single property up for rent in this area when every other nearby (including more expensive and nicer areas) has several new rentals available almost daily.

So what would you guys do – would you write this area off as having no demand? or think of it as a good place to BTL because there’s no competition? If you would buy a property to rent there, how would you decide what price to rent it out at when there’s nothing else nearby to go on or compare to?

Also a related question, which I think I already know the answer to unfortunately – is there anywhere you can see previous rentals and prices in a specific area (like you can view previously sold house prices on rightmove and zoopla) ?

Thanks

Chris



Comments

Mark Alexander

10:15 AM, 10th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Hi Chris

A good letting agent will be able to advise you on this.

I recommend you to contact LettingSupermarket.com - see >>> http://www.property118.com/letting-supermarket-full-management/68829/

They have access to information that isn't available to you. It is called Rightmove Plus, a system which is only available to Rightmove agents. They can see all lettings via Rightmove in an area going back several years.

If you go and view a few houses and find one that seems to make sense then you could always discuss a provisional offer with the owner, subject to establishing rental demand. With their permission you could then advertise their property to see how many viewing requests you get. They may even allow you to conduct viewings. If you are happy with the results you could then go ahead with the purchase. Do be honest with both vendors and prospective tenants though, it will stand you in good stead.
.

Ian Cognito

11:54 AM, 10th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Firstly, I'd do a standard Rightmove search for 'Properties to Rent' within your chosen area (be careful how you define the area) and make sure you tick the 'Let Agreed' box. That should tell you all you need to know.

Ian Ringrose

14:55 PM, 10th June 2015
About 3 years ago

You could try putting a fake up on with UPad and see what response you get.

Chris Townsend

15:33 PM, 10th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "10/06/2015 - 10:15":

Ahh ok I didn't realise they had access to that part of rightmove. That certainly sounds useful. I have been speaking to high street letting agents but the problem is they are all also estate agents and I feel like they are biased towards whatever will help them sell the houses they need to shift.
I looked at that online letting agent you recommended in one of my other questions but the problem is they don't do viewings for you do they, so I don't think I can use them. I guess they might be happy enough to just give me some quick advice over the phone regardless, but that might be a bit cheeky if I know I'm not going to use them.

Chris Townsend

15:41 PM, 10th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Cognito" at "10/06/2015 - 11:54":

I had been doing plenty of rightmove searches already, but like I said there is pretty much nothing available to rent in that area. I didn't tick the Let Agreed box so thanks for that tip - that has brought up a couple that I hadn't previously seen, but still not many. I think I'll just keep speaking to different estate agents and try to see what the general opinion of lettings in this area is

Mark Alexander

15:55 PM, 10th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Chris Townsend" at "10/06/2015 - 15:33":

Hi Chris

I don't know when you last contacted LettingSupermarket.com but they have been expanding rapidly and now have agents in most parts of the Country. If they have an agent local to you then Yes, they will do the viewings.

Where are you based?
.

Chris Sheldon

16:48 PM, 10th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Chris Townsend" at "10/06/2015 - 15:41":

Hi Chris,

Please feel free to email across the details of the property in question through the contact us area of our website including:

1. Property Type as specific as possible i.e. middle/end terrace
2. Property Postcode
3. Number of bedrooms
4. Number of bathrooms
5. any other features which are notable i.e. parking etc..

We do also do viewings so after you've received the report please feel free to give our offices a call and we can let you know if we can help.

Chris

Joe Bloggs

1:01 AM, 11th June 2015
About 3 years ago

if it is a popular area, then why would it not be popular for renters? i suspect few properties are to rent as its more a family area and they tend to stay longer so there is less churn. the real question to ask is what are the returns...rental returns in nice/ family areas are usually rubbish.

Ian Ringrose

8:34 AM, 11th June 2015
About 3 years ago

In a low turn over area, it may take a long time to find a tenant, then the tenant may remain for a long time. Deciding to the rent level to ask for will be hard.

Chris Townsend

8:43 AM, 11th June 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Joe Bloggs" at "11/06/2015 - 01:01":

Yeah it is more of a nice family area than a student or young first time buyer area etc, so that makes sense. For some reason I hadn't considered that. I think maybe I'll just stick to the areas I know are popular for renting then - the only reason I was considering this area was because I thought if it is popular to live in and there's no rentals available there at the moment then it could be quite profitable if I got a few up for rent there... but sounds like that might not be the case and it might just take a long time to get a tenant

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