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It’s ‘not all doom and gloom’ for the BTL sector, but where are the yield hotspots?

Buy-to-let landlords who have adopted a high yielding investment strategy may be interested in new analysis of the BTL market that reveals where the best investment opportunities currently are.

The research, undertaken by Shawbrook Bank, has identified the North West and Scotland as the top UK hotspots to invest for yield at the moment.

Shawbrook Bank’s research shows the North West region, and the city of Manchester in particular, to be the top new investment hotspots due to higher rental yields, with an average rental 5.4% achievable in the region, thanks in part to lower property prices.


Lower property prices mean it is easier to achieve better rental yields and the city is attracting students and employees from all around the country. The average UK house price is currently £228,000, which is 43% higher than the average house price in the North West - £159,000. 

Although the North West leads the ranking, Scotland also offers attractive rental yields, at an average of 5.3%, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber with 4.9%. 

Emma Cox, ‎sales director for commercial mortgages, commented: “Landlords have had a rough ride over the past few years with multiple tax changes, but our research shows that it’s not all doom and gloom for potential investors in 2018.

“Lower rental yields in London and affordability constraints for investors has driven interest North, where borrowers are chasing the yield and heading to locations with lower average house prices.”

Looking at residential property prices, the research from Shawbrook Bank predicts annual property price inflation to be more subdued in the five years up to 2023 than over the last few years.

The report forecasts average annual house price predictions for the years 2017 to 2023 to be at 4.5%, compared to an average of 7% for the high-growth years of 2014 to 2016.

Stretched affordability ratios, years of weak wage growth and the prospect of further interest rate rises all weigh in on the outlook for house prices in the UK for the next few years.

Shawbrook Bank expects price growth in London to continue to trail behind the rest of the country for the next two years, due partly to the fact that fewer investors from overseas are investing in the English capital.

According to fresh data from estate agent Aston Chase, the percentage of high-end purchases from overseas in London’s most expensive postcodes dropped from 44% in 2016 to 35% last year.

Cox added: “There are still interesting times ahead for savvy investors and good investment opportunities remain. However, when landlords invest far away from their home turf, they can run the risk of falling foul to local knowledge.

“Smarter local investors may be seeing an opportunity to divest themselves of their less desirable housing stock, so it’s important for buyers to do their research to make sure they understand the local supply and demand before investing.”

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Poll: Do you agree that the North West of England and Scotland are the top UK hotspots to invest for yield at the moment?


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    i manage yields of around 5 - 6 % in east anglia.

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    In Scotland, after the SNP's war on tenants (and therefore on tenants) a flat worth £250,000 can generate £2100 per month, so over 10% yield and zero voids due to supply and demand imbalances.

    If, like me you invest 25% and borrow 75% at around 2% interest only, then the gross yield on your own investment grows to over £21k pa on £63k invested, making around 33% before costs and taxes. Given my earliest properties were bought over 20 years ago for under £100k on 90% mortgages, these are delivering annual gross yields of over 200% on my initial deposits even before any capital growth is taken into account.


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