Buy to let activity in the North of England is on the rise. That’s according to new research from mortgage broker Commercial Trust Limited. The amount of new buy to let purchase applications has grown significantly year on year in the first three quarters of 2017, with the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the North West all showing healthy growth.

As a share of overall purchase applications, those from landlords in the North East have increased by 77.6%, while Yorkshire and the Humber has seen a rise of 73.2%. The North West is also up by 24.8%.

In the South East, the number of new applications from landlords increased by 17.3%. But, while overall, London continues to attract the most buy to let mortgage applications, its influence has diminished, with a 25.4% drop compared to the same period last year.

Andrew Turner, chief executive at Commercial Trust Limited, explained this decrease by pointing to research which shows that London-based tenants are now looking to move further afield. Such occupants prefer to commute into the city in a bid to pay less rent. However, he did stress that London and the South East continue to play an enormous role in purchase applications nationally.

According to Mr Turner: “With property prices typically cheaper and a strong demand for private rental homes from a workforce in regenerated cities and from thriving student populations, there is plenty of incentive for those looking to invest in property, to look North.”

Mr Turner highlighted the latest Your Move Index, which shows that the North East and West are delivering the best yields for buy to let landlords in England and Wales. This is down to investors taking advantage of low interest rates, high rental demand, and less expensive property prices.

Mr Turner also feels that the 3% stamp duty surcharge on second homes, which came into effect in April last year, has been a crucial factor in the upsurge across the North of England. He commented: “With property prices typically more expensive in London, the stamp duty levy is often significantly more, so perhaps landlords are casting their net further afield.”

Source: Today’s Conveyancer