Is My Rental Property a Good Investment?

Daniel Williams
Daniel Williams
Senior Property Writer
Updated 19 November, 2021
6 Min Read

Is my rental property a good investment? Is my rental property a good investment?

One of the most crucial parts of property investment is making sure your investment is lucrative enough to generate a solid return on investment. But how do you identify a good opportunity from a bad one?

If you’re asking ‘how do I know if a rental property is a good investment?’, you can find out in this easy-to-follow blog post. 

Here, you will learn about five factors that make a profitable residential rental property. 

Other topics we will discuss include: 

  • What is a good rate of return on rental property? 
  • How to determine a good rental property? 
  • Is rental property really a good investment? 
  • What makes rental property a good investment? 

Keep reading to learn more… 

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Is rental property a good investment in 2021? Is rental property a good investment in 2021?

Is Rental Property Really a Good Investment in 2021? 

Currently in the UK, the real estate market is thriving. With house prices growing at the fastest rate since 2004, and average rental income now at an all-time high of £1,061 PCM, there’s never been a better time to invest. 

But not all investments are made equal, with property needing to meet certain criteria to generate high returns. 

To help you understand what makes a rental property a good investment and help you answer the question “Is my rental property a good investment” here are five factors you should consider when looking to buy real estate.

1. Choose a City With Strong Rental Demand 

The first step in how to determine a good rental property is deciding on its location. 

Location is vital to the success of a property investment as it will impact average rental income, capital gains potential, and most importantly, tenant demand. 

You’ll want to invest in a city that offers a young population with affordable property, with good universities and job opportunities to give you plenty of options for your investment property.  

Likely the best places to invest in UK property in 2021 that generate high rental income and strong capital gains potential are:  

You can learn more about property investment in these cities by clicking the links. 

Pick a neighbourhood and target the right tenant Pick a neighbourhood and target the right tenant

2. Pick a Neighbourhood and Target the Right Tenant 

Now that you’ve decided on your city, it’s time to narrow down your search for what neighbourhood you want to invest in. 

Research here is vital as you will need to learn more about the top postcodes in the city by working out their investment potential and rental income. You can do so by checking out our property guides listed in our first tip. 

You should focus on average rental income to see your return potential, as well as the area’s affordability, population, amenities, schools, and crime rates.  

By picking your neighbourhood, it will greatly impact what type of tenant you target and the type of investment property you choose. 

If you choose a city centre, which is recommended, you will likely be able to target both young professionals and student tenants, meaning you can buy normal residential property or student accommodation. 

For our money, the best property type to choose for beginner investors is city centre off-plan apartments as they are more affordable and prove incredibly popular amongst young professional tenants.

3. Focus on Rental Yield/ Cap Rate 

Perhaps the best way of answering “is my rental property a good investment” is by working out the rental yield. 

rental yield is a percentage figure that shows how much return on your investment you will earn through rent every year. 

Not only does a rental yield show your rental income, but more importantly, it shows just how good of a return on investment you’ll be getting from rental income. 

You can calculate rental yield by dividing the yearly rental income/ annual rental income by the initial investment purchase price and multiplying by 100 to work out the gross rental yield (returns without expenses). 

Example: 

Property Purchase Price: £100,000 

Monthly Rental Income: £1000  

Calculation: ((£1000 x12)/£100,000) x100 = 12% gross rental yield 

To work out the NET rental yield, which is a more accurate figure, you’ll need to know your monthly expenses – something that will be difficult if you don’t already own the property. 

Types of expenses that can impact landlord profits are: 

  • Property taxes and a large tax bill like stamp duty or income tax 
  • Running costs or maintenance costs on rental properties 
  • Mortgage interest/mortgage payments (you can learn more in our buy to let mortgage interest guide) 
  • Property management company expenses for managing investment properties 

So, what is a good rate of return on rental property and real estate? Generally, a good rental yield is 5% or above. It’s common to find buy to let properties in places like Liverpool that offer 8% NET rental yields.  

By targeting buy to let properties with high rental yields, you can set yourself up for massive investment success.  

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Think about capital growth when investing in property Think about capital growth when investing in property

4. Think About Capital Growth 

Depending on your goals, you may see property investing as a perfect gateway to early retirement.  

If this is what you have in mind, a fantastic way for buy to let investors to buy rental properties is by focusing on capital appreciation. 

Capital appreciation, otherwise known as capital growth or capital gains, is the change in a property’s value over time. By targeting properties with high growth potential, you can net yourself a significant profit later down the line. 

But how do you target capital appreciation? Well, the best way is to focus on cities with high growth potential and affordable residential buy to let property. 

For example, the average Manchester buy to let property has increased in value by 315% since 2001 – the highest capital growth rate out of every major UK city.  

You’ll set yourself up for even bigger capital growth potential by investing in more affordable off-plan homes. 

Take City Point, for instance, a fantastic Liverpool student buy to let property offered by RWinvest that increased in value by over 16.67% in just nine months! 

By buying off-plan investment opportunities in cities like Liverpool, you can set yourself up for significant success later down the line. 

5. Consider Regeneration/ Future Development 

If you’re wondering, “is my rental property a good investment?” it’s a good idea to target locations with high urban regeneration potential. 

Regeneration is vital to the success of a neighbourhood and can include improvements to transport links, green spaces, employment opportunities, and local amenities, making an area a much better place to live. 

Cities like Manchester and Liverpool are fantastic examples of this, with huge regeneration since the 1980s transforming both areas into economic powerhouses with thriving buy to let property markets. 

In areas with high regeneration, you’re likely to see increasing rent levels and capital appreciation, setting yourself up for huge success. 

You can check out if an area is set for regeneration by reading the city council’s regeneration master plan, such as Regenerating Liverpool. 

Alternatively, you can read our ultimate guide to urban regeneration where we break down the major upcoming regeneration projects in the UK’s top investment locations. 

How to determine a good rental property? How to determine a good rental property?

How to Determine a Good Rental Property? 

Now that we’ve looked at five ways you can work out what makes a rental property a good investment, it’s time to summarise five ways to determine a good rental property. 

This includes: 

  1. Your investment property is in a top investment city with strong rental demand. 
  2. Your property is in a city centre location and targets young professionals or students. 
  3. The property generates NET rental yields of 5% or higher. This will mean high yearly rental income, low house prices, or lower monthly expenses like mortgage interest payments. 
  4. Your property is affordable to buy and is in a high-growth potential area like Manchester or Liverpool. 
  5. When investing in rental property, your property is found in an area with ongoing regeneration projects.

By matching these criteria, you will know if a rental real estate is a good investment. 

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Are you wondering how to invest in property as a beginner, and ready to invest in the best real estate the UK property market has to offer? Then choose RWinvest today.

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Daniel Williams
Daniel Williams
Senior Property Writer

Daniel Williams is a senior property writer at RWinvest. Regularly publishing in-depth articles on topics such as the best investment areas in the UK and guides on how to invest, Daniel has a keen eye for statistics and analysing property market changes.