The market share of buy-to-let investors has been dominated by London for many years, but the rest of the country is now beginning to catch up – particularly the south-east and the north-west.
There was a 3.1% rise in the number of buy-to-let mortgage applications from the north-west of England last year, according to figures from buy-to-let lender Commercial Trust, while the south-east saw a 3.4% increase on the previous year – closing the gap between the region and London to 0.3%.
The north-east also saw a 0.9% rise in applications to the buy-to-let lender, an indication that the UK’s non-core regions are finally catching up with the capital city. The market has been levelling out across the country since 2015, according to Commercial Trust, with Yorkshire and Humber also increasing its share.
Quality of life
Andrew Turner, chief executive at Commercial Trust, said: “The traditional dominance of London as a hub for buy-to-let investment has undoubtedly shifted somewhat during 2017.
“There is a growing trend for people looking to rent outside central London, to places with good transport links, but where rental prices are lower. This is creating reinvigorated demand in the south-east from commuters, while for investors, property prices here are slightly less prohibitive than in London.”
With the government investing more in the north of England through its Northern Powerhouse scheme, economies outside of London are gathering momentum and areas like Manchester, Nottingham and Liverpool are seeing greater levels of devolution. The cost of living in such cities is lower than in the capital, while job markets and transport links are creating vast improvements and increasing living standards in many areas.
Turner added: “This is leading to internal migration to these industry hubs and is in turn developing increased demand in the private rental sector prompting some landlords to identify investable regions.”
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