Opportunity knocks for buy to let

There are a number of buy to let opportunities presenting themselves amidst the current drop in house prices.

Landlord Mortgages, which specialises in buy to let products, said prices were falling across the current UK property market resulting in a wealth of opportunities for potential investors.

Lee Grandin, managing director at Landlord Mortgages, said, "The question of to what degree house prices will go down is unclear. Opportunities will come but it is difficult to call when the market has bottomed out."

He went on to suggest that landlords were able to acquire properties at 20 to 30 per cent under current market value.

"You could then say that it could be a good purchase based on the likelihood of house prices generally going down," Mr Grandin said.

"However, there is always the possibility that it could actually drop further so it is all to do with what you perceive to be a good deal."

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reported that the house price balance fell for the ninth consecutive month in April 2008, with 95.1 per cent more chartered surveyors reporting a fall in house prices than a rise – up from 79.4 per cent in March.

Furthermore, Nationwide found the average house cost £178,555 in April – down one per cent from the same point last year.

"A lot should ride on the likely rental yields from a property and one should expect maybe 30 per cent higher rental yield than only a year ago, so yields on average would drop to about five and a half per cent," Mr Grandin said.

"Maybe the purchase price should be looking at six and a half to seven per cent yield and anyway, it is quite hard to get a buy-to-let mortgage if you’ve got a full yield.

"But there will be many opportunities to acquire cheap property over the next year or so or maybe longer."

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