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New lease of life for BTL despite void problems

Nearly a fifth of landlords had to subsidise their mortgage payments last year, with rent not covering the full amount.

But the survey of 3,384 landlords by Savills Private Finance at the end of 2004 claims that landlords are confident about the prospects for buy to let.

Sixty-one per cent say capital growth is more important to them than rental income, which indicates that landlords are willing to endure some short-term pain to benefit from growth in the long term.

Only 12 per cent of the landlords survey plan to generate income from their property portfolio.

Savills acknowledges that the last 12 months have been difficult for the BTL sector but says landlords can be successful as long as they do their research carefully before buying a new property and make sure they can deal with mortgage payments during void periods.

SPF managing director Mark Harris says: “The outlook for the buy-to-let sector is far more positive than the doom-mongers would have us to believe, as the motives of landlords for investing insulates the sector from a mass exit. The sector is likely to get a further boost from the ability to include new and existing BTL properties in a personal pension from April 2006.”

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