Is now the time to invest in buy-to-let UK property?

Is now the time to invest in buy-to-let UK property?

The rental market, just like that for any other investment class, comes in waves, with ups and downs occurring throughout the years, so knowing when to purchase homes for this type of venture can be a tricky thing to master.

For example, 2013 was a testing time for the private rented sector, with the government's help to increase home ownership leaving many anxious about the future of the buy-to-let market thanks to the potential for falling demand. 

However, this proved not to be the case, and the market even became stronger in the past year. Now in the second quarter of 2014, it seems like the time for uncertainty is over, and potential landlords might want to get themselves a piece of the action to ride the new wave of confidence.

A new survey carried out by The Online Letting Agents has shown that the vast majority of landlords are now so positive about the immediate future of the sector that they are poised to increase what they charge their tenants, helping to push yields higher and improve their incomes moving forward.

It said that in the next 12 months, some 90 per cent of respondents are planning to increase their charges. 

Of these, more than half (51 per cent) said that they will be raising rent by three per cent, while another 33 per cent said that they will be likely to charge an additional five per cent. 

In the south of England and in the capital, the number of people who are looking for a place to rent is now the driving factor behind this almost blanket confidence. 

"There is huge demand for rental property in the London and the South East and this is pushing up prices," said Eleanor Carroll, director of The Online Letting Agents.

As well as their intentions, landlords are also feeling rather positive with their predictions for the year ahead. According to the survey, some 35 per cent of owners said they expect to see rents in their areas rising by as much as six to ten per cent, while 65 per cent said they will go up by up to five per cent.