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UK buy to let property investors confident about market conditions in 2010, surveys show

The January Rental Confident Index from online rental agents Upad shows 64% of landlords feel more confident about the market, up 6% from the last survey in December.

More students looking for rooms, uncertainty about interest rates and also repossessions means more business for them, they told Upad.
One the down side buy to let mortgages are still difficult and those that are available often demand high arrangement fees or large deposits. Payments of housing benefits direct to tenants also make it difficult for landlords.

‘The results from this survey bode well for the private rental sector, which, I believe, will see real growth during 2010. This is a positive start to the year after what has been a very difficult period,’ said James Davis, founder and chief executive of Upad.

‘Many professional landlords are taking a medium to long term view by taking advantage of purchasing deals in the current economic climate. In doing so they run their portfolio like a business, which will help to minimise unnecessary void periods,’ he added.

The recent Young Index, also indicates growing confidence among landlords. It shows that most believe that market conditions are better than in the third quarter of 2009 with 99% of those questioned planning to hold their real estate assets for at least another year.

At the same time, the proportion of UK investors looking to hold their assets for 10 years grew by 5% in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 49%, up from 44% in the 3rd quarter, while 22% of respondents plan to hold for 20 years or more.

The Young Index also revealed that the vast majority of UK buy to let investors, some 59%, are willing to expand their property portfolios in 2010 by purchasing new properties in London, while 43% of investors are looking to buy new properties outside the capital. The figures have changed substantially from the same time last year, when they stood at 33% and 8% respectively.

More than 75% of buy to let landlords said they believe that property prices in London will stay the same or rise within the next 12 months, while 60% think property prices outside London will rise in 2010.