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Is Now A Good Time To Invest In UK Property?

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    Is Property Investment a Good Idea Right Now?

    Should I invest in property right now or wait? After two years rife with uncertainty, you may now be asking yourself this question.

    At the time of writing, fresh concerns have arisen with the new Omicron Covid-19 variant beginning to spread across the globe.

    With such rising issues, you might now be hesitant to take the plunge and put your money on the line.

    So, is now a good time to invest in property?

    Let’s find out the answers to all these questions and more in this simple beginner’s guide.

    Here, you’ll learn:

    • What happened to the UK property market in 2022?
    • Reasons why now is and isn’t a good time to invest in property
    • How to maximise return potential on property?
    • How to invest in property checklist

    So, whether you’re making a first-time investment in the UK or are already a seasoned investor, the following guide is perfect for you.

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    What Happened to the UK Property Market in 2022?

    To help determine if now is a good time to buy an investment property, let’s start our guide by looking at how the UK property market performed over the previous year.

    We’ll take a look at average UK house prices, the rental market, and the UK student sector to see what growth the industry has seen in 2022.

    UK Property Prices 2022

    One of the biggest indicators of a healthy property investment is rising property prices, which will allow real estate investors to sell their buy to let or real estate investment for a profit.

    Thankfully for prospective investors, the UK market has seen some decent growth over the last year.

    According to official Land Registry data on the UK House Price Index, the current average UK property price is valued at £285,009.

    This means over 12 months to March 2023, the average UK property value has increased by 4.1%.

    UK Student Market

    The strength of UK residential properties has been mirrored in the student investment market, too.

    A report released by Savills in Q1 2021 found that over £5.77 billion was spent on purpose-built student accommodation in 2020. This is while UCAS applications increased by 8.1% in 2021.

    The massive level of investment, Savills says, is a sign that investors remain confident in the return potential of PBSA.

    This is good news for investors, particularly those looking to diversify their portfolio, with both student rental properties and traditional residential rental property offering significant returns.

    You can learn the latest about the UK student market by reading our guide to student property investment.

    UK Rental Market 2022

    The UK rental market suffered through most of 2020 but experienced a significant resurgence in 2021.

    A report from the National Residential Landlords Association in March 2021 analysed the market and found that over 7% of tenants – roughly 840,000 people – had built up arrears due to Covid. 18% of those arrears were priced at over £1,000.

    This had an impact on landlord profits, with 60% of NRLA members losing income from the pandemic.

    However, the rental market proved resilient throughout the remainder of 2021 and into 2022. A report from estate agents Hamptons found that it took just 8.9 days to rent out a property in April 2021, down from 31.9 days in April 2019.

    Rental demand was so high, in fact, that popular cities like Manchester now have fewer than 500 rental properties available according to Urban bubble – the lowest ever-amount.

    This has led to an increase in monthly rent, with HomeLet finding that the average UK rent reached a record-high of £1,061 PCM.

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      Is It a Good Time to Invest in Property?

      Now that we’ve looked at what happened to the UK housing market in 2021 and 2022, it’s time to assess if now is a good to invest to invest in property and if you should invest in property now or wait.

      Yes, It’s a Good Time to Invest in Property

      1. Substantial Capital Growth In 2024 and Beyond

      Thanks to the huge capital growth potential in the UK, real estate investors can earn some serious landlord profits in 2024 and beyond.

      Over the past year, UK prices have increased by over 4.1%, and this can get even higher depending on where you buy the property.

      For instance, in Liverpool, property prices increased by over 7.19%.

      This is why research is vital for a property investor, as you can find a seriously profitable investment in 2024 depending on what city you buy your property.

      2. High Rental Demand and Rising Rental Prices

      Alongside the huge capital growth, buy to let property is also thriving.

      Over the last 12 months, rental income reached a record-high of £1,213 PCM, thanks to high demand seen across the UK rental market.

      Rental demand has been high in the UK for several years, particularly in areas popular with students and young professionals.

      In 2021, however, the housing market saw a surge in demand for rental accommodation due to changing attitudes during the pandemic.

      Renters are now more focused on finding apartments and homes that they’re comfortable in, allowing them to efficiently work from home.

      This has meant that properties with qualities like high-speed internet and desk space have risen in popularity.

      Due to this higher annual rental income and affordable prices, the average UK rental yield has exploded, with cities like Manchester offering almost 9% gross rental yields.

      The future of the rental market seems safe, too, with research estimating that by 2039, the number of UK renters will exceed the number of homeowners.

      3. The Real Estate Market is Resilient

      Despite some concerns surrounding investment in 2023, it’s important to note that the housing market has proved time and time again how resilient it can be.

      While one of the risks of investing in rental property is that property prices can fluctuate with changing real estate market trends, the property market has repeatedly shown its resilience.

      With the likes of Brexit and Covid-19 decimating the stock market and causing the worst crash since 1987 in 2020, property has remained strong, providing a welcome boost of certainty in the face of Covid variants like Omicron.

      • Brexit – Despite the huge economic uncertainty following the Brexit vote, property prices only fell by 1% in July 2016 despite a 10% decrease predicted by the Treasury. Soon after, property prices rose by £2,623 in October 2016 alone. We’re now firmly in post-Brexit Britain and property prices have never been higher, reaching a record-high of over £250,000 according to Nationwide.
      • Covid-19 – After the UK property market closed between March 26th and May 13th 2020, property prices only fell by -1.02%. They then saw a huge uplift after the market reopened, experiencing an overall increase of £37,621 since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

      Thanks to this resilience, property investors can feel confident that their rental property will remain an income-generating investment for many years to come.

      4. Positive Property Price Growth Ahead

      Another reason why you should invest in property now is the considerable property price growth anticipated in the coming years.

      Industry experts Savills recently updated their renowned long-term huge growth predictions up to 2028, with the UK expected to see a 17.9% rise in property prices by 2028.

      This gets even higher in certain locations, with the North West and Yorkshire and The Humber expected to see an 20.2% rise in prices.

      Rent is also set to rise, with the same report finding that rent will increase by 18.1% by 2028.

      Again, this is why research is important in UK property to maximise your investment and choose areas with high growth potential.

      5. Amazing Opportunities Available in 2024

      Maybe you’re a first-time buyer in the UK property investment market. Or, you could just be an investor who usually invests solely in the stock market but is looking for a way to build a diversified portfolio.

      Whatever your reason to explore investments in the UK property market, the time to start investing in UK property is now.

      As Warren Buffet once said:

      ‘Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.’

      When others who would normally be buying and selling their own investments are behaving cautiously, the most successful investors act fast and take advantage of every opportunity to build wealth.

      There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that right now is the best time to buy property for investment purposes. Property prices are set to continue rising massively, and many UK developers have started offering temporary deals for their properties.

      Savvy investors who are prepared to negotiate will find that they’re able to get the most for their money on top of the already below-market rates that come with off-plan properties.

      6. Investing in Property is Achievable

      Buy-to-let is one of the most popular investment strategies for beginner investors due to property investments being a lot more achievable than some other types of venture.

      First-time buyers of investment properties will often have lower budgets available than those who are more experienced.

      Compared to the process of buying a home to live in, purchasing buy-to-let properties, particularly those that are off-plan, can be a lot more affordable due to below-market rates offered by developers.

      For those who can’t afford to pay for their investment in cash, buy-to-let mortgages are available.

      Investors can use part of their rental income to meet their monthly mortgage payments, which often still allows for a significant rental income depending on rental yields.

      Payment plans also allow buyers to split payments into smaller chunks to make the payment process more manageable and straightforward.

      Reasons Why It May Not Be a Good Time to Invest in Property

      Landlords are becoming more widespread in the UK, with more and more investors looking to make a safe and strong investment for retirement.

      For this reason, the stock of available property has been gradually decreasing throughout the years, leaving a huge supply and demand imbalance.

      As such, the government has been doing more to clamp down on investors by increasing taxes and minimising the amount of tax relief available.

      For starters, investors now pay a 3% additional charge on base stamp duty rates when buying real estate.

      Another substantial addition to the tax bill is when investors are borrowing money with a buy to let mortgage.

      Previously, if you had a buy to let mortgage, you could get mortgage interest relief that allowed investors to deduct mortgage interest before paying income tax. This meant that higher rate taxpayers got a 40% tax relief on their mortgage payments.

      Now, though, investors get a flat 20% tax credit for both basic rate taxpayers and higher rate taxpayers.

      This essentially means a higher tax bill for investors borrowing money to buy rental property.

      To learn more about buy to let mortgages, be sure to speak to a mortgage broker to see the best mortgage lenders for you. Alternatively, check out our buy to let mortgage guide, updated for 2024.

      While rising property prices are good news for those who already own property, they can be prohibitive for new buyers.

      The latest house price report from Rightmove in November 2021 found that the price of new properties coming to market are valued at £342,401 on average.

      Although you can find property far cheaper than that, it can still be difficult to afford.

      In our guide to how much money you need to invest in property, we found that you’ll need around £30k to afford a £100k property if you choose to get a buy to let mortgage.

      If you don’t have £30k available, you may struggle to find the right property for you and secure your own home. If you do have this money now, the answer to the question, “should I invest in property now?”, is yes, as prices are only going to get higher over the coming years.

      You can learn more about minimising the costs of buying rental property further down this page.

      While you will still be earning regular rental income, the true success rate from a buy to let investment is the capital growth you earn over 10 or more years.

      This makes property perfect for those planning ahead for retirement, but is less suited to those looking for faster returns.

      As such, if you’re asking, “is it the right time to invest in property?” this will depend on your own investment goals and if you’re willing to wait for 10 or more years before your property may double in price.

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      What Are the Alternatives to Property Investment?

      While the answer to the questions “is property the best thing to invest in right now UK?” is yes, it may not be the perfect investment for you.

      Now that we’ve looked at reasons why you might think now is the time to invest in real estate, let’s take a quick look at some alternatives to property investment to see if there are other strategies more suited to your goals.

      Firstly, while most of this guide is aimed at those buying residential property to let, it should be said that there are plenty of other strategies to consider.

      They include:

      • Commercial properties
      • Holiday lets
      • Hotel lets
      • Buy to sell/ house flipping
      • Property development
      • Property crowdfunding
      • You can learn about all these strategies and more by reading our 2024 guide to the best property investment strategies.

      Click the links to the guides below to find what strategies are available within your budget.

      Buy-to-Let Investment Guide

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      Off-Plan vs Completed Property

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      How to Maximise Returns on Property?

      There are a few ways you can maximise the return potential of your real estate investment.

      1. Target desirable locations for your target tenant – You’ll need to pick the right location that targets your ideal tenant. For example, if you are trying to attract young professionals, choosing a city centre apartment that has easy access to popular amenities and good transport links is a good idea.
      2. Research the right city – There are huge regional variations in the UK, so you will need to research the right city that is offering a competitive rental market. Focus on long term capital growth predictions, rental yields, affordable house prices, urban regeneration, and strong rental demand to maximise your investment potential.
      3. Equip your property with needed features – Covid-19 has changed what tenants want in a property, so be sure to buy property that meets these goals. Research from Benham and Reeves found that access to green space and fast broadband are now the two most popular features in a rental property.
      4. Keep your investment for an extended time – To maximise your capital growth rates, you should keep your property for as long as possible before selling. The potential for capital growth can depend on your property type, too, with student accommodation offering less capital growth than a residential home.
      5. Take a DIY approach or buy new builds – If any work needs doing to your home, try and take a DIY approach and do any handy work yourself. This way you can reduce expenditure and maximise your profits. If you don’t want to do renovation work, be sure to buy a new build home that should be ready for tenants as soon as you buy it.

      2024 UK Property Market Forecast Out Now

      Get the latest projections for the UK property market in 2024 with our latest guide.

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        How to Invest in Property Checklist

        To finish up our guide to “should I invest in property?” we’re going to give you five topics to think about to help you invest in property in 2024.

        Do You Want to Be a Landlord?

        Ask yourself are you ready to be a landlord and can you fulfil the landlord responsibilities legally required of you.

        If you have a full-time job, this may be difficult, so you’ll need to hire a property management company that will cover all landlord responsibilities for a monthly fee.

        Should You Buy or Finance?

        With the price of buy to let property increasing across the UK, you may have to opt for a buy to let mortgage.

        But keep in mind that buy to let mortgages work differently to traditional mortgages, as they charge higher mortgage interest and mortgage payments and you’ll typically need a 25% deposit.

        They’re also mainly interest-only, which means you will only cover the mortgage interest each month without touching the overall debt.

        Upon the end of your mortgage term, you’ll need to pay for the full debt.

        Make Sure You Research the Right Locations

        As mentioned earlier, researching the right location is vital.

        You’ll need to consider the affordability of an area, rental yields, rental income, and capital growth potential.

        You can learn more about the best places to invest in property in 2024 by reading our guide.

        Alternatively, you can read up on specific locations widely considered top property locations like:

        Consider Off-Plan Property

        To keep property costs to a minimum, buying off-plan property is an ideal solution.

        Off-plan property is a property that is available to purchase but hasn’t yet been completed. The benefit of this is below market rates.

        For instance, to get the best investment deals UK, you can buy off-plan property with RWinvest for up to 55% below market value.

        Understand the Costs of Rental Property

        While the cost of property can generally be around £30k upfront for a £100k property, there are plenty of other costs you need to consider.

        Not only do you need to factor in the upfront cost, but you should also consider maintenance costs, operating expenses like homeowners insurance, and any unexpected costs that can appear.

        For a full breakdown, be sure to read our guide on how much money do you need to invest in property in 2024.

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        Is Property a Good Investment UK 2024?

        So, is buying property a good investment?

        If you’re interested in maximising your income through investment, you should already know that property investments are one of the best and most popular ways to do this.

        Rental income is currently higher than ever, with huge property price growth predictions of an 20.2% rise in some areas by 2028.

        However, a good property investment can depend on the type of property they buy and the area they invest in.

        Investors that search for the perfect property can make some significant rental returns if their property has high rental yields. They can also make long-term investment returns through capital appreciation if their property grows in value by the time they sell it.

        But what is a good investment property? And what is a good investment property return?

        A good investment property is an investment that brings in rental yields of over 5% and is based in an area that has a lot of potential for capital growth.

        On the other hand, a great investment property offers rental yields of 7% or over. It is located in an area that boasts strong property price growth predictions and shows evidence of past housing market growth.

        When you know where to look, it’s easy to find the best property deals on the market. You should spend time researching the UK housing market to determine the areas with the highest rental yields and fastest-growing house prices.

        Depending on your goals, it is a good idea to invest in property. This is because property is a safer investment than many other strategies, and performs well during times of uncertainty. For instance, in the Covid-19 pandemic, property prices increased at their fastest rate since 2004 and reached a record-high of over £250k for the first time ever.

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          Get the Best Investment Deals UK With RWinvest 

          If you’re still wondering ‘should I invest in property now or later?’, asking ‘why invest in property right now?’ and feeling unsure about what to invest in when it comes to UK property opportunities, contact us today.

          We’re happy to talk you through the fantastic offers currently available and help open your eyes to the fact that the time to start investing is now.

          We are RWinvest, an award-winning property investment company with over 18 years of experience in residential and student property.

          If you’re wondering about what to invest in right now, you can buy the best investment deals UK with us, starting from just £154,950 for the stunning Rice Works – a new residential serviced accommodation in Liverpool.

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          Author

          Reece Pape

          Reece Pape is a property writer at RWinvest. Reece is passionate about keeping property investors updated on must-have information and housing market news, utilising the latest property market statistics and data.

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