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The C word

by ARPM

Not the sweary one, the Covid one or even the Christmas one (it’s closer than you think). In this blog, we’re talking about confidence.

Confidence is what helps keep the market on track, whether that’s sales or lettings. In fact, when it comes to the private rental market, the confidence to buy an investment property is just as important as keeping a property. Then there’s confidence attached to money – both landlords and tenants will be acutely aware of the precarious nature of the economic outlook.

ARPM knows, however, that your lettings business depends on positivity and the ability to reassure. If, as an agent or property manager, you are looking for your own confidence boost, read on.

Writing for Propertwire.com, Craig Upton from UK Property Finance touched on the matter of confidence. His entire article revolved around the theme of ‘Is now the right to time invest in buy-to-let?’

Upton tackled an aspect of the property market that may not be music to ears of dual agents who are hoping for a speedy sales recovery. He says it may be a while yet before home movers regain the confidence to make big financial purchases, such as a property. 

It’s a valid point, especially among a backdrop of job losses and the retraction of 5% deposit mortgages. The upside? Upton highlights how would-be buyers will stay in or turn to rental accommodation as a safer, less risky move.

While buyers may display a lack of purchasing confidence, the buy-to-let market is showing robust credentials. Research from Leeds Building Society released in August looked at mortgage applications and found that between March and mid-July 2020, the volume of buy-to-let mortgage applications outperformed those from owner-occupiers. The lender cited low mortgage rates, high tenant demand and the stamp duty holiday as factors behind an increase in buy-to-let purchasing activity.

While Covid has led to some landlords pausing investment plans (the research also showed 79% of landlords who were considering acquiring a buy-to-let property before the pandemic said their plans had changed), 50% still want to purchase but are taking a fresh look at their plans. 

A shifting dynamic now means 29% are reconsidering the type of property they are looking to purchase, while 29% are looking at new locations and an additional 20% are reassessing what they are willing to invest. 

Here are landlords showing willingness but they probably need a confidence injection, which can easily come from a property manager who is able to show they can competently advise on acquisitions, dispose of properties in low yield areas in favour of purchases in more profitable locations and run legally-compliant portfolios.

Confidence, however, can easily be knocked if your clients feel overwhelmed with the changes in the private rental sector or if they listen to hearsay rather than taking advice from trusted sources. If you stay silent, landlords will be left to brood and opportunities will pass everyone by. 

The rental market is good – there’s no need to ‘talk it up’. Present the facts: low mortgage rates, high tenant demand, a stamp duty break that’s making additional property purchasers cheaper and skepticism among movers who aren’t willing to make high-value purchases. If you can back that up with a ‘hand’s off’ property management service, you’ll infuse investors with confidence to progress their plans. ARPM can increase your own confidence – contact us if you’d like a dose of property management positivity.

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