Buy To Let Updated:
Rental properties are being snapped up in record time as demand from tenants continues to remain at a record high across the UK .
The latest quarterly research from Countrywide has revealed properties were being let within an average speed of 12.7 days in the third quarter of the year, some half a day quicker than in the previous quarter.
At the same time, tenant demand for each property was 11.9% higher than in the second quarter of 2011, while the volume of viewings increased by 17.8%.
Such is the clamour, an average of five tenants are competing for each available rental property, despite a marginal increase in the number of properties available.
Unsurprisingly, demand from property investors is strong, while the amount of first-time landlords continues to grow.
Indeed, 23.5% of all landlords in the third quarter were investing in property for the first time, compared to 18.7% at the start of the year.
"Since the beginning of the year we have seen a significant increase in tenant demand for private rental property and although there are still some slight fluctuations that can be linked to seasonality, we've found that the demand for rental property has remained incredibly high throughout the year," said Margaret Longden, co-managing director at Countrywide Residential Lettings.
"We expect this demand to continue over the coming months, not only because many first-time buyers are struggling to save the substantial deposits currently required to purchase property, but also because a lot of people now see renting as a realistic alternative to home ownership, whether it be because they are awaiting further house price falls or because they are attracted to the flexibility that renting can offer."
The increased availability of buy-to-let mortgage deals has also been highlighted as a factor affecting investor demand.
Indeed, John Hards, co-managing director at the group's residential lettings business, said that the availability of competitively priced buy-to-let mortgage deals has helped to make property investment an increasingly attractive option.
"The reports of fall in house prices and the increasingly high levels of tenant demand have only helped to highlight this further, and as the gap widens between supply and demand levels, there are some great opportunities for those looking to build their property portfolios or invest in the market."
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