Property investors not deterred by coronavirus chaos, research claims

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Property investors not deterred by coronavirus chaos, research claims

The latest research from Property Hub has revealed that a huge 98% of property investors still consider property to be a good long-term investment.

Property Hub, which cites itself as the UK’s number one property podcast and one of the largest property communities in the UK, surveyed 1,731 of its members and found that sentiment remained incredibly strong.

The property industry, like nearly all sectors, was plunged into chaos with the arrival of coronavirus, which saw many developers and housebuilders withdraw from site and lenders remove their most competitive products, leaving buyers in limbo as risks were reassessed.

“Sentiment is an important factor with property,” Rob Bence, chief executive at Property Hub, said. “If sentiment is positive, this bodes incredibly well for the sector; development will continue, buyers will buy, lenders will lend and the market will continue to strengthen.”

Of those surveyed, half said their confidence in the current market has remained the same, with 8% revealing they’re feeling more optimistic with the market now than they did before the coronavirus took hold.

Nevertheless, investors aren’t completely closed-off to the challenges they face. While over half said they were optimistic they could ride them out, 42% said they were only fairly sure they could survive and 3% said they couldn’t survive at all.

“There’s no doubt that we have some challenging times ahead as an industry,” Bence, who co-hosts the Rob & Rob property podcasts with respected investor Rob Dix, continued. “But investors investing for the long-term understand how the property cycle works and know that if they can hang on, the low which we may or may not see, will be temporary.”

Many investors will sit and ride out the challenges, but others are eager to exploit market conditions, with a whopping 80% saying they’re likely to invest over the next 6-12 months, compared to the 19% who have shelved their plans for the time being.

“What’s interesting is the data around the rental statistics,” Bence added. “Only 16% of investors we surveyed expected rental values to drop, while 19% are expecting an increase. So while we initially thought investors might start to have a bias towards income-generating properties, this indicates their strategies might not change at all and we’ll still have investors in two firm categories: those who invest primarily for capital growth (long-term) and those who invest for income – although there are those who combine the two.”

Bence’s comments are backed up by data from Property Hub’s own lettings division, which has seen a 30% increase in rental applications received during lockdown, ‘demonstrating that demand for rental properties is still here’.

Bence says that, when it was clear lockdown was coming, ‘we took steps to do a video viewing of every empty available property which has helped keep the rental applications flowing’.

“We’ve even had rental properties snapped up in less than 24 hours over the past few days, so we’re seeing an active rental market right now, despite the social distancing challenges our team are facing,” he concluded.

Source: Property Investor Today

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