What to look for in a Buy to Let investment

So, you’ve made to decision to buy your first investment property to rent out, or you’re adding to your current portfolio. But what type of properties should you be looking at, and in what location?

Property Type

Recent research shows that the most sought-after properties are now houses, or somewhere with outdoor space, and more space inside too. The pandemic has changed a lot of our habits, and routines forever, with lots of renters now looking at home working as a long-term possibility. An extra room to use as a home office is now something many renters are looking for.  Across the country it is taking an average of 30% less time to let out a house than in the last quarter of 2019, while the time to let a flat has remained largely unchanged, taking just 2% less time.

Property Size

2 bedrooms houses are by far and away the most popular choice amongst renters, whether they are detached, semi-detached or terraced. With the average age of the first-time buyer now at 30, more and more families are renting up until this point, so multiple bedrooms are a must. Appealing to this market will help to achieve your preferred rental values and could possibly secure you longer tenancies with some tenants happy to sign up to three-year contracts.

Rents across the board are higher, with the average charge for rent for a 1-4 bed property increasing by 3.9% in the south west to £845 (Zoopla Rental Market Report)


The 10 most searched for criteria by those searching for their next rented home online were:

  1. Garden
  2. Parking
  3. Garage
  4. Balcony
  5. Pets
  6. Flooring
  7. Bills included.
  8. En suite
  9. Rural
  10. Studio


Data is showing that renters are looking to more rural areas than before. Again, this is largely thought to be due to the changes caused to our lives by the pandemic.  City centers are not as popular due to the higher density of flats, smaller accommodation, and larger numbers of people.  It can also be cheaper to live out of the city centers, and with the cost of a commute not a concern for more people, it’s fast becoming the first choice for more renters to leave the fast pace of the city, and head out to the villages.

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