29 June 2015

The upsurge in house sales across Harrogate has been so strong that the district has become one of the first in the country to bid farewell to “accidental landlords”.

During the economic downturn, these were the property owners who turned to renting out their properties because they could not sell them for the price they wanted or within the timescale they needed.

And, according to a leading Harrogate residential sales and letting specialist, their disappearance from the town’s property scene is yet another positive signal of the strength and speed of the turnaround in market conditions.

53_chatsworth_place_5_400Their demise has opened an unprecedented window of opportunity for investors to take advantage.

And to help investors with their quest for the right property, we have launched a dedicated ‘buy-to-let’ feature on our website. For the first time, it enables would-be investors to search solely for properties that Linley & Simpson has already vetted to be ideal investment opportunities

“There is a growing shortage of rental properties across Harrogate and surrounding villages as a result of the recent upsurge in property sales and purchases,” said Tara Cuddy, lettings manager. “This has in turn marked the end of the customer we would refer to as ‘accidental landlord’ – someone who would let their property out because they could not find a buyer. “

Their extinction, however, has created a gaping hole in the supply of rental properties. And it is one which canny investors – who now include those savers aged over-55 able to cash in their pensions for the first time - can fill to their advantage.

“Never has there been a better time for landlords to expand their portfolios or start a portfolio with a view to injecting some much needed rental stock to a currently extremely buoyant rental market.”

There are several types of property that are very high in demand and low in supply that buy-to-let investors should be targeting in Harrogate:

  • One and two-bed terraced/town houses at rentals between £525 per calendar month and £700 pcm – popular among couples with and without young children.
  • Two and three bedroom semi-detached houses/town houses/terraced houses at rentals between £700pcm and £950pcm.
  • Three and four bedroom semi-detached/detached/ terraced houses at rentals between £950pcm and £1150 pcm.

The smaller homes attract couples with and without young children, while the larger properties are a magnet for working professionals, many with children, relocating or staying in the area for the good schools on offer.

Houses of the above type/size generally cost in the region of £150,000 to £300,000 and are likely to deliver an annual gross investment yield of 4.5% to 5.5% - far higher than savings rates offered by the banks and building societies.

“Whilst not the very highest buy-to-let investment yield available that Linley & Simpson has achieved in Yorkshire, Harrogate offers landlords a lower risk option and that holds appeal to many,” added Tara.

“Property values in Harrogate increase at a slightly better rate than elsewhere in Yorkshire, offering better potential for capital growth for the buy-to-let investor.

"Harrogate property prices were not hit quite as hard as other areas during the property slump of 2008 to 2012."

“We are seeing properties selling now for in excess of the 2008 prices before the property market downturn."

“Houses are letting at a record speed. Our ‘viewing to let ratio’ is currently five to one and we often have three or more ‘live’ applicants for certain types of properties in short supply.”

The Property Ombudsman
Association of Residential Letting Agents
Association of Residential Letting Agents
On the Market January 2015
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