Kent, the place to buy-to-let by Debbie Pennell

By Debbie Pennell, Regional Head of Residential Lettings & Property Management

London’s rents have been dropping in recent months, no doubt underpinned by Covid-19 restrictions.

The flight from the Capital has been facilitated by a change to the previously accepted ‘norm’ of daily commuting to a centrally located office.

Many employers and employees responded to a ‘work from home’ call in the first lockdown, which resulted in a surprising outcome.

Deloitte research found that 55% of workers believe that their colleagues are just as, if not more, productive now than before lockdown. And after lockdown 61% of desk-based workers would prefer to work from home more often. We don’t have statistics on whether they thought they were more productive though! Undoubtedly there were some problems for working parents who were also home schooling, but once schools went back these eased. Also, networking, collaboration and social interaction were seen as positives of going in to an office and working with colleagues. However, it seems that employees could be relied on to work at home.

When looking to rent a property, ‘within walking distance of a London tube station’ may be lower in the search criteria, and quality of location or more space for a home office higher up the list.

Because of this, Kent is ideally positioned to benefit as both a rental destination for tenants and perfect to invest in a buy-to-let property.

Investors have also been making the most of the Chancellor’s Covid-related Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday for property up to £500,000. Latest data from Hamptons International records that nationally, landlords drove 15% of sales last month (November 2020), the highest share of sales since the run-up to the introduction of 3% SDLT on second homes in 2016.

Overlay that with the London tenant retreat and it is easy to see why Kent is popular for buy-to-let investors and that rental returns are rising due to demand and augmented by a lack of stock.

Of course, and in time, what comes around goes around. However, there is an opportunity to invest in good rental property and landlords – whether new to the sector or those who wish to extend their portfolios – would be advised to look south of the river Thames.

Currently, demand is outstripping supply with properties being let in a matter of days.

Caxtons is always looking for landlords who have available buy-to-let investments, and who are interested both in letting to reliable tenants and protecting their valuable asset – and we have good tenants with proven track records who are seeking rental property.

If you would like advice on where to buy an investment property in Kent, or on letting or managing your rental property please email me at [email protected] or call 01474 537733 to discuss further.

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