The buy-to-let market, like much of the country, has been on pause since Theresa May triggered Article 50 in March 2017 to take the UK out of the European Union.
As the latest Brexit deadline approaches, landlords are continuing to put off investing in more property until the UK’s future looks more certain.
A recent survey found that while 60% of property investors have continued to invest since the 2016 referendum, 17.1% are waiting until after Brexit before they invest again.
But according to property investment experts, these uncertain times provide some great opportunities for landlords looking to grow their portfolio.
While price slowdown and government changes may deter more casual investors, UK property, and with it the buy-to-let sector, can still bring a healthy return as part of a long-term strategy. The price of a property in the UK has continued to increase since its last peak in 2007, climbing 20% in 11 years from an average of £189,489, property to over £230,000 in 2019.
The rewards are certainly not lost on savvy investors from South Africa, Dubia and Hong Kong as well as the UK, with nearly 85% of property investors still investing in the UK, according to SevenCapital’s Brexit Survey.
Andy Foote, director at SevenCapital, believes landlords should act now before a potential post-Brexit buy-to-let boom and suggests would-be investors could learn from the tactics of some of the world’s most successful investors who use a downturn to their financial advantage.
He said: “Amidst the confusion it’s easy to understand why those more averse to risk would want to wait until they feel they have a better understanding of which way the market is likely to turn in the event of Brexit. However, if we are set for a property boom in the aftermath, there’s a chance that those who have waited could end up paying a higher price when they do come to invest again.
“It’s also worth bearing in mind the tactics some of the world’s most successful investors have followed, which include investing in a downturn when there is less buyer competition and as such more opportunity to negotiate a deal. Then you play the waiting game for the next 10 to 20 years as the market recovers and grows.
Foote said landlords should consider how much they want to invest in property and how long they are planning to keep their investment for. Anything over 10 years, he said, will “more than likely recover and deliver a good return in the long run.”
“So then why wait to invest, why not invest now and wait and give your property the longest possible chance to deliver the best return?”