Buy to let investors have mixed feelings about the monthly house price data published by the major lenders. A would be landlord sitting on a pile of cash will be keen to see an oversupply of houses on the market, especially if he or she thinks rents are holding up. On the other hand a landlord who bought at the wrong time, is in negative equity with rentals barely covering the mortgage payments will be keeping fingers crossed for price rises.
The February figures were weak-Nationwide and Halifax both say prices fell slightly. There are more homes on the market and not enough buyers and the forecasters are being very cautious. The ITEM Club, run by Ernst and Young says that prices will drop 1.4pc this year but should recover a little next year. The National Institute for Economic and Social Research reckons prices will fall 1pc in 2010 but should rise by just over 3pc next year. This contrasts sharply with the 6pc rise in prices we saw in 2009.
Halifax sums it up by saying that last year we had a combination of low interest rates, a supply of cash rich buyers and relatively few properties on the market. Most of the published data relate to the market as a whole. Property investors, whether they are accidental landlords or professionals really need figures that focus on the buy to let sector. Does anyone have any good sources of information to recommend?
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