According to recent figures released by The Bank of England, mortgage approvals soared at the start of January 2016. A total of 74,581 mortgages were approved against home purchases, worth a combined total of £13.9 billion – the highest in two years.
The figures show just how buoyant property investment in the UK is at present, in spite of recent research highlighting the increasing difficulty for first-time buyers to purchase a home. What’s causing the surge in mortgage approvals – and what does this mean for those looking for property investment opportunities?
Why So Many House Purchases?
Part of the reason that house purchase numbers have soared recently is down to the fact that stamp duty is due to rise for buy-to-let investors, as of April 2016. The 3% increase, which looks set to cost property investors thousands more on their house purchases, has caused people to rush to invest before the new rates kick in.
The Longer-Term Implications
Howard Archer, UK and European economist at HIS Global Insight, comments that the sudden increase in house purchases could ‘exert upward pressure on house prices in the near term.’ He adds: ‘This move may modestly dilute housing market activity and upward pressure on prices.’
However, rising house prices may not necessarily be bad news for property investors. Indeed, this may force more people into rented accommodation, which means a steady supply of tenants for those who invest in buy-to-let property. Likewise, demand may push rental prices upwards, resulting in a higher annual rental yield.
Buy-to-Let Property for Sale… at a Reasonable Price?
With house prices and stamp duty set to rise, it’s understandable that property investors are nervous about what the future holds for their property portfolio. As estate agent windows become full of increasingly more expensive houses and apartments, the prospect of making a good return looks ever less likely.
However, there are alternatives to purchasing on the general market, which offer significantly better return on investment. Here’s just a few options:
1) House auctions. Property auctions in the UK are one of the few areas where investors can still find a bargain. Although buying a house at auction might be a daunting thought if you’re unfamiliar with the auction process, there’s far greater scope for finding a property with significant potential to generate good capital growth and solid returns.
2) Property investment agents. London, and other cities in the UK, are notoriously expensive; yet it’s often here where you’ll find a plentiful supply of tenants – who need to be in the area in order to work. Rather than searching the estate agent windows for buy-to-let property for sale, talk to a specialist property investment agent. They often have properties on their books that aren’t available on the general market – at a greatly reduced price, with sellers that are keen to find a buyer.
The Buy2Let Shop in Bromley
If you want to find out more about investing in property in the UK, or want to polish your bidding skills in order to buy a house at auction, get in touch with The Buy2Let Shop. We’re property investment agents in London, and we offer help with finding properties that offer great returns. We can assist with buying a house at auction, and we also regularly host property seminars, providing up-to-date insight into the industry.
To find out more, simply visit our site today.