Buy-to-let landlords expand in the North East but slow down in London

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Many buy-to-let landlords are buying properties in the North East of England because of higher yields, reported in January 2017.

In April 2015, stamp duty on buy-to-let properties rose to 3%. This year, the tax relief on mortgage interest payments is reduced, and there are more stringent affordability tests that make it more difficult to obtain a commercial mortgage. These changes have made buy-to-let investing less profitable, so in order to counteract these charges, landlords are now looking to buy in areas that provide higher rental yields.

In London, where property prices are high, only 5% of landlords said that they would increase their property portfolio this year. London rents fell by 9.4% in the last 12 months.

According to the Office of National Statistics, the average house price in London is £482,000 and £313,000 in the South East. In the North East, the average is £127,000. Though North East rents are lower than London, buy-to-let property investment in the area can be profitable.

The National Landlords Association says that in the North East of England, the number of landlords that are buying more properties in the next three months is 19%, which is double the figure last year.

The North East is not the only area that attracts landlords – Bootle, Birkenhead and St. Helens in Merseyside, along with Burnley and Accrington in Lancashire, have high rental yields. Outside of England, Swansea and Glasgow also provide high yields.

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