THE founder of the dedicated property investment search portal, Buy2Let.com has today warned that estate agents shying away from buy-to-let in the wake of new Government measures to try and stifle the market are missing out on their share of £1.5bn in fee income.
Martin Wilkinson, who launched the portal this summer, says that despite the chancellor and Bank of England’s attempt to control the private rental and buy-to-let sector, the distinct shortage of homes will continue to drive demand. He commented:
“The recent extension of the Bank of England powers on the buy-to-let lending sector, and the reduction of the tax relief for investors are only marginally limiting. AS with other forms of asset investments, the majority of buy-to-let investments are cash purchases – around 70% – and without a robust supply of homes, council housing or adequate affordable housing, the PRS is the only option.
“Estate agents should not be put off by the Government’s attempts to curb the growth of buy-to-let, and in fact, with the assistance of portals like ours, now is a great time for agents to cash in. The sector generates around £100bn in transactions every year, generating typical fees of £1.5bn – that’s the equivalent of £60,000 for every estate agency branch. Furthermore, for agents that offer rental services, there is an option to generate even more income from buy-to-let investors.”
Buy2Let.com is the first portal of its kind to list genuine buy-to-let properties for sale, allowing investors to search and compare properties – which are categorised as vacant, tenanted, and HMOs – by annual yield; something which the owner-occupier property portals cannot offer. Agents and developers already using Buy2Let.com to market their investment properties include Northwood UK, Leaders, Aspen Woolf, Property Frontiers, Walton Robinson, and Stirling Ackroyd, giving them an opportunity to reach the investment market.
Martin Wilkinson continues:
“We know that some agents and investors have been put off buy-to-let by these recent changes, but for many landlords, its business as usual. A buoyant rental market is producing some fantastic yields, and rising property prices mean that investors continue to build up equity too, in addition to their rental income. There are actually very few asset classes, includes, bonds or annuities, which offer the same levels of return as a buy-to-let portfolio, so the sector will continue attract savvy cash investors who are looking for long-term investments with decent returns.”