23:14 PM, 21st March 2011, About 12 years ago
Buy to let landlords are enjoying more income from the investment property portfolios, according to new figures from a leading lender.
Around one in three landlords have put rents up this year, says research from Paragon Mortgages.
The buy to let lending specialist claims 5% of landlords have seen rents surge by up to 8% in the first three months of 2011, while 20% of landlords have hiked their rents by between 2% and 4%.
Paragon chief executive Nigel Terrington said: “Supply and demand dictates rental pricing and landlords are experiencing significant tenant demand for their properties at present.
“Obviously landlords do not want to make rented accommodation unaffordable, but a considerable proportion of them have been able to make small increases to their overall rental income during the first quarter.
“Government figures show that nearly 300,000 extra households moved into privately rented accommodation in England alone last year and that is placing increasing strain on stock in the sector.
“It is encouraging that buy-to-let lending increased by 22% during 2010, but more needs to be done to ensure that the private rented sector can expand to sufficiently meet tenant demand.”
The figures contradict those released last week by LSL Property Services, the country’s largest network of letting agents. The firm runs brands like Your Move and Reeds Rains.
According to the LSL data, rents moved by a marginal 0.02% between January and February to an average £684.
Countrywide, one of the other major nationwide letting agents, says 19,000 new homeseekers signed up at one of their branches for a rental property in February – slightly up on January and more a less at a par with the figures from a year ago.
In other property market news, housing portal Rightmove disclosed the gap is widening between asking prices and selling prices, indicating sellers had an unrealistic view of how much their property was worth.
The web site says the average cost of a home put on the market in England and Wales during the four weeks to March 12 rose by 0.8% to £231,790, following a 3.1% increase in February.
Annual house price inflation slipped to 0.5% in January, compared to 3.8% in December and a peak of 10.6% in May 2010, according to the Communities and Local Government Department house price index.
The average price of a UK home fell by 1.4% in January to £208,552
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