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The pros and cons of buy-to-let

19.06.2018 Site Manager

If the idea of investing in property appeals to you, you might want to consider the long-term investment of a buy-to-let property. Despite extra taxes and regulations within the buy to let sector in recent months, the market is going from strength to strength as the latest tax year showed a record high of 2.5 million investors, an increase of 27% in five years.

We’ve weighed up the pros and cons of a buy-to-let investment to help you consider the options.

Pros – Are buy-to-let properties a good investment?

High demand from tenants

In an increasingly challenging property market, the demand for rental property in the UK has continued to rise, making it an ideal time if you’re thinking of investing in buy-to-let. This makes for a lower-risk investment than alternative property ventures, as the chance of an empty building will be smaller with residential tenants than if you deal with commercial property.

Follow the demand and research potential areas carefully. Consider the transport links for commuters, numbers of schools in the area and whether there is a university close by.

Long-term investment

This very much depends on whether you see a long-term investment as an advantage or a setback. At a glance, it may seem like your money is tied up for a long period of time, but as a landlord you will generate a regular income that allows you to meet your own mortgage repayments, and this type of investment is generally considered more secure than many outside of the property market. Plus, depending on the rate you get with a buy-to-let mortgage, you could benefit from low monthly payments that improve your profit margins.

Flexibility

The benefits of letting property include the flexibility of working for yourself and the opportunities that can come from this. You might find that you branch out and grow your portfolio, or even set up as a limited company to invest in property full-time.

At the end of the day, the decisions are all yours – including the ability to sell when the time is right, and potentially make a huge profit.

Cons – Buy-to-let finances

 

Ongoing costs and maintenance

Don’t forget that your buy-to-let investment will be another person’s home for a length of time, and you will have a legal duty to ensure the property is safe and properly maintained. 2018 has seen new the introduction of new legislation for landlords to adhere to, and there is more to come. You’ll need to consider the rights and responsibilities of yourself as a landlord, as well as those of your tenants, so make sure you do your research.

Mortgage rates for buy-to-let are unpredictable

As with any investment, there will be a certain risk attached. One of the biggest risks around a buy to let mortgage is of course, the uncertainty of how long rates will stay low for. A two-year fixed-term rate used to be the norm, but many borrowers are now choosing to fix for five years due to ambiguity in the wider business environment.

Consider the taxes

There are a number of taxes that will apply to you as a buy-to-let investor, so it’s important to consider this before going ahead.
In April 2016, stamp duty was increased by 3% at each tier of property value, whilst the following year saw the reduction of tax relief for buy-to-let investors. This affects the amount of income tax you will have to pay as a landlord, as the system of calculating tax bills has changed and you can no longer deduct mortgage expenses from your rental income.

At Austin Gray, our residential team are experts in marketing property in the Brighton and Hove area, and are able to advise on trends within the current housing market. If you would like to speak to a member of our team for more information on finding the right property for your needs, get in touch with us today on 01273 232232 or find our contact details here.