Landlords from Battersea to Bethnal Green met on Wednesday 21st November at the Annual London Landlord Seminar, in association with National Landlord Association (NLA) and Portico, to discuss the state of the lettings market.
In a presentation that covered everything from new legislation to identifying rental hotspots, landlords received a detailed analysis of the current state of the rental market and what’s next. The evening opened with an announcement by Portico CEO, Robert Nichols, about the agency’s new partnership with Airbnb through Portico Host.
Regulatory changes and updates
Richard Blanco of the NLA give an informative update on changes to legislation in 2018, including an increase in personal allowances - up to £12,500 for the lower tax bracket and £50,000 for the higher bracket - changes in lettings relief for shared occupants, Future High Street co-funding, and additional funding for Universal Credit. Three-year tenancies were discussed at length, as were HMO licensing and EPC rating updates, GDPR standards, the tenant fees bill, and the impact of Section 24 tax changes.
A shift in the lettings industry
Broadening his discussion to the overall market, Blanco acknowledged a shift in the industry, and the growing preference for larger landlords and owner/occupiers, and that there was a shift toward professionalism in the sector. He gave a voice to the long-term frustrations that many private landlords have toward letting agents and allowed that voice to be heard through three ‘case study’ landlords who were interviewed about their experiences. These landlords ranged from first-time investors to seasoned property professionals, who discussed their good experiences (and bad ones) in navigating the new legislation, boundaries to mortgage finance and the day-to-day management of their portfolio.
A bright future ahead
Portico’s Mark Lawrinson delivered an update on the state of the property market. His research showed a gradual downturn in the London and wider English and Welsh property markets, but nothing so severe as 2008. Rental prices are holding firm, but declining property values have boosted yields.
Investment hotspots in 2019
Mark went on to highlight his rental hotspots for 2019, citing East Ham and Croydon as the places expected to achieve the best yields in 2019, at 5.7% and 5.5% respectively. Followed by Forest Gate at 4.8%, Tottenham at 4.5% and Wood Green at 3.9%. These areas are seeing the implementation of major infrastructure and / or significant regeneration schemes. Other areas undergoing such project work can also expect to achieve good yields, see our yield map of London. The evening finished with a panel discussion on the future of lettings in London, with panellists Jennifer Wynter (London Borough of Hackney), Richard Donnell (Hometrack), Chris Norris (NLA), Nicola Geldart (David Philips) and Robert Nichols (Portico).
It was clear that while landlords have faced challenges this year and will continue to do so, there is no stamping out their entrepreneurial spirit and desire to succeed.
If you didn't get a chance to attend the seminar this year, we hope to see you at next years!
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