13 September 2016

PROPERTY investors in Yorkshire remain undeterred by the political and economic challenges arising from Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, according to latest statistics.

Research by the leading residential letting specialist Linley & Simpson has revealed that the county has enjoyed a post-Brexit bounce with a surge in buy-to-let activity in August.

A record 37 per cent - almost 2-in-5 - of all purchases carried out in-month through the company’s 11 Yorkshire branches, which also offer a growing residential sales service, were to investors. 

This represented a 78 per cent increase in sales to investors from July to August. 

Between them, they invested more than £3.5m, buying properties ranging from £55,000 to £315,000. Two-thirds of properties were flats, and the overall average investment property sold for £140,000. 

The agency also saw a 22 per cent spike in the number of investors registering their interest in buying a rental property. 

Director Will Linley welcomed the figures as a signal of the strength of Yorkshire’s house sales market – as well as of the resilience of the private rental sector. 

“Britain may have voted to exit the EU but the early signs are that investors are not exiting the property market on the back of it – in fact, quite the reverse,” he said. 

“In common with other sectors, the property market was filled with uncertainty after the referendum. The hype billed it as a journey into the unknown and I think it is fair to say nobody knew for sure what would happen. 

“But any concerns over the impact of Brexit are certainly calming – if not ridden out completely – judging by our research. These figures are among the first indicators we have had since the vote and they highlight confidence in the market right now.

“The Bank of England’s decision to cut the base rate last month for the first time in seven years may also have helped to instil a feel good factor.”

Mr Linley added that more encouraging economic data; the rise in the value of the Pound; high levels of employment; and fading fears of a recession have also combined to inject more positivity into the sector.

Aside from Brexit, the figures also show that the private rented sector has also successfully absorbed other changes – such as the introduction of the stamp duty surcharge in April and the abolition of tax relief on properties.

The latter changes had been introduced by former Chancellor George Osborne to create a “level playing field” between homeowners and investors.

“It has not been the easiest year for landlords given the magnitude of uncertainty that all these changes have caused,” said Mr Linley. “Now they have bedded in, and investors and lenders had the time to digest any impact, there is a renewed interest in buy-to-let.

“Our figures would suggest that, for the moment at least, they have failed to dampen the enthusiasm among investors for rental property. And that the Yorkshire love affair with buying and letting a home is poised to continue – no fewer than 92 per cent of our new investors come from Yorkshire.”

In terms of who is buying, the specialist buy-to-let team at Linley & Simpson record first-time investors versus seasoned investor. And figures show an almost even split of buyers – 45% are new investors and 55% are seasoned investors adding to their portfolios. 

During August, the most popular area targeted by buy-to-let investors was Harrogate, which accounted for one-fifth of all sales. Ripon was next popular followed by Roundhay in Leeds and Leeds city centre – the latter two areas benefiting from a resurgence in rental popularity. 

The post-Brexit surge also comes at a time of peak-demand for rental properties. August has also been a record month in Linley & Simpson’s 19-year history with 347 new tenancies. The most popular areas have been Leeds with 60 lets and York with 57 lets. 

For more information on our current list of buy-to-let properties Click here 

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