Smarter Rent co-founder Alex Sullivan says: “People often ask us if now is the right moment to invest in property. While none of us can see into the future, we can see that in the recent past the Bank of England has upped the base rate thirteen times in a row.
“In the five years before Covid-19, ultra-low interest rates and cheap mortgages caused a spike in property investments. The stamp duty holiday of 2020 was designed to reboot a sluggish post-pandemic property market, but it resulted in a buying frenzy which fuelled rising house prices.
“Now, we’re experiencing an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis. With the base rate at 5.0 per cent and mortgage rates higher still, the favourable economics that contributed to the boom in landlords has gone. As a result, a third of landlords plan to sell at least one property according to the National Residential Landlords Association.
“While many are leaving the market, this can present an opportunity for savvy investors who are willing to take a longer term view and invest in a quality home that serves the changing needs of renters, but you have to be smart about how you do it. This is why:
“The number of new properties for sale has risen by nearly 4% compared to 2022 and is only trailing 6.0 per cent behind the pre-pandemic levels of 2019. This means supply is tipping in the favour of buyers, rather than sellers.
“At the same time, higher mortgage rates are squeezing some buyers out of the market. High supply and low demand makes it a buyer’s market. You may be the only one bidding, so make a cheeky offer.
“According to Zoopla, 42 per cent of sellers are currently accepting five per cent or more off the asking price of their homes. This means if you’ve got the cash to invest, you can get a good deal that will result in capital growth over the long term, as well as give you a rental income short term.
“While no one can predict what’s next, the hope and expectation is that the government will get inflation under control. If this happens, inflation rates will be cut and buyers will flood back into the market, putting an end to this opportunity in front of investors.
“Smarter Rent is for investors who don’t want the hassle of sourcing or managing a rental property. We find the property, help secure it, interior design it and then manage it.
“We hand-pick properties in the best locations to minimise risk. We earn 30-50% more in rental income for owners compared to traditional agents, and our occupancy rate is 95 per cent-plus.
“Our investors pay more upfront to bring properties up to high standards and fit them out with everything they need so that their occupiers get the homes they deserve.
“Contracts are fair and transparent. A comprehensive concierge service means we look after our residents at all times, meaning our investors rarely hear from us.
“Smarter Rent properties aren't just rentals, they’re exceptional homes that our renters love.
“We recently sourced a two-bedroom house in Woking, Surrey for one of our investors. It needed renovation and we secured it for £302,000, almost £25,000 below the asking price.
“The house has now been rented out for £3,200 a month and will earn its owner 40% more than similar properties in the area, plus capital lift.”