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Rental investors dig deep

PUBLISHED: 10:24 20 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:03 22 October 2010

Investors are digging deep into their pockets again to buy property for renting, according to the findings of a new nationwide report.

Investors are digging deep into their pockets again to buy property for renting, according to the findings of a new nationwide report.

The latest survey by the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), using information supplied by 470 member offices, records a sharp upswing of investment activity.

Nearly one third of respondents said landlords were active in the market during April-June, compared to just 17 per cent for the first quarter.

Other key points are that rents have risen in the south of England but fallen elsewhere, and that while there are more tenants than available properties in London and the South East, the rest of the country is close to equilibrium.

Overall, just over a third (36pc) of letting agents questioned say there are currently more tenants than properties, compared to 34pc who believe the reverse, and the remainder who think supply and demand is in balance.

Recent volatility in world stock markets is thought to have helped switch the investment spotlight back to residential bricks and mortar, and the views of Norwich letting and management agents support the ARLA findings.

Chris Hall, immediate past president of the National Association of Estate Agents, has opened a dedicated lettings and management office at Cromer Road, Norwich to cope with growing business, and says investors have been 'out in force' locally.

Phil Cooper, manager of Keys in Norwich, adds that flats and modern houses seem to be the preferred property choice of investors currently.

Roger Lake, director of TOPS Property Services, states first-time landlords are very active, with two and three-bed houses in particular demand and most purchasers searching at the lower end of the market.

However, he warns there is an over-supply of rental homes on Riverside, and adds that some larger city centre flats are also sticking.

Chartered surveyor Nigel Steele, of Jackson-Stops & Staff in Norwich, is also concerned about possible over-supply of new-build rental homes in the city.


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