Having looked at the year in retrospect this may be good time to consider what the next year might bring in the private rented sector.
One thing seems certain and that is that it will be challenging. Scotlands position on Brexit and the single market is likely to undermine the long run of financial stability that has been the touchstone of our economy and of course this will impact on the housing market which depends largely on the confidence of investors and developers.
That said , the Capital and to a lesser degree , Scotlands second City Glasgow are going to see some fairly large increases in demand for affordable homes and as brown site space is in very limited supply its hard to see how that demand will be satisfied unless a lot on new investors come in to the PRS and more importantly build their portfolios in areas where rents are still manageable.
Perhaps some Government support is needed to create a more balanced sector but at this present time all the new legislation seems to be working against this. Changes to tax relief , stamp duty and fees all seemed destined to curb the enthusiasm for Buy to Let but it still is the single most attractive form of investment in an age of almost zero interest on borrowing and more persuasively , savings.
This year the areas where the greatest demand for property is broadly the same as the year before and indeed the year before that so we know where the demand is centered. It would be in any prospective investors interest to have an informal discussion with us before embarking on the serious business of purchase and we are very happy to offer that service on request.
As an industry we support any opportunity to come together to help formulate policy and there are signs that this is happening but not to the degree that there is a coordinated body whose combined voice is being heard in Parliament. The legislation is still being handed down rather than being filtered up from the grass roots.
A more regulated sector is welcomed but it cannot be entirely at the expense of the landlord on whom we all ultimately depend to provide the property market with its raw material. Our job as we move forward is to encourage more investment , a greater range of property types to offer to our tenants and to work with our landlords to value other aspects of the letting experience beyond the rent itself. By that I mean , faster time to let , longer lets and tenants who are likely to look after a property well and enjoy the amenity that it provides. All of these combined should ensure that voids are reduced , rents are consistently paid on time and demands for repairs and improvements less frequent.
If your thinking of buying to let next year , give us a call. We dont charge for advice.
We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.