My flat has just become vacant, should I sell to a first time buyer, or re-let?

Question

All I seem to hear at the moment is initiatives to help first time buyers, and as a landlord I feel like the enemy! My property has recently become vacant, am I better selling it whilst the market is still high, or should I re-let?

Answer

Whilst there are certainly plenty of new initiatives available to help first time buyers onto the property ladder, not everyone is in this enviable position (and it doesn’t suit everyone to buy!) so there is always going to be a need for well kept, privately let properties.

According to a report from ARLA, the level of privately let homes across the UK has fallen by 5% since April 2015, so it is likely that your property will be very well received if you put it on the rental market now – this is unlikely to change any time soon.

The report also suggests that an average of four landlords per estate agency across the UK are selling their rental properties following the changes in the recent budgets, further reduce the level of stock available. Following the increase in stamp duty, it is expected that there will be fewer new investors coming into the industry to fill the void, so if you have a property that you are able to keep, it is possibly wise to do so – especially if you are in an area which has historically provided you with good, reliable tenants.

It has been a frustrating time for private landlords, but if you can let your property the future may be brighter - ARLA expects rent prices to rise, with two-thirds (66%) of member agents predicting rent increases in the future.

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