Like most people, I find Christmas not only a time for family, fun and festivities - but also a time for reflection on the past 12 months and some thought as to what the New Year may bring.
Reflecting on the changes to the Swindon property market over the last 12 months, a few keys points occur to me about the property market in general and, in particular, our specialised area, residential lettings.
Sales agents must have had a dramatic 12 months, with the average rise in prices in Swindon being in excess of a staggering 7%, and the lack of properties coming on to the market has led to sales agents being able to sell those available, in record time.
Part of the service we offer, at no cost, is doing initial viewings of potential rental properties, on behalf of (or with) landlords, and the amount of times recently that I have been told â€œsorry, that one is now soldâ€ - even though it many have only been on the market a few days - is astounding. So that alone indicates that if you were selling, it should have been your year, but if you were looking to buy it just might have been a bit harder than you anticipated.
This has, of course, had a knock on effect on the rental market with some landlords making the timely decision to sell up, adding to the shortage of good rental properties. The basic law of supply and demand dictate and consequently, from the middle of this year, we have seen rental prices increase by a similar average to sales, again in excess of 7%. Thus giving current (and future) landlords a better return on their investment. As an added bonus, there has also been a great reduction in void periods.
The trend looks set to continue through the first half of 2016, so if you are thinking of investing to become a landlord, there couldn't be a better time to start, before you completely miss the boat. If you are already a landlord now could be the perfect time to look for that extra property to add to your portfolio.
If you have a tenancy approaching renewal, it's the ideal opportunity to review the monthly rent you are asking, but remember to be fair to your tenants. Good tenants are hard to find and need to be retained wherever possible, so rent increments will not necessarily match the current market value. If you should need any help with rent reviews always ask your agent, if possible, as they should be able to help. If that is not the case, you are very welcome to speak to us and as always, we will be happy to offer our impartial advice.
In short, if you are considering property investment, please don't hesitate to call or send a short email, for our complimentary landlord services and a full market appraisal on any potential purchase. 2016 just might turn out to be your year.
If you need help with any of your rental issues or queries then we are always willing to help.