THE ARLA REVIEW & INDEX

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1 THE ARLA REVIEW & INDEX for Residential Investment FOURTH Quarter 2014

2 Fourth Quarter 2014 Compared with three months ago, the average weighted rental return for houses is up from 5.0% to 5.1%, its second increase in succession. The average weighted rental return for flats is unchanged at 5.1%. On balance ARLA members report substantially increased achievable rent levels over the last six months on all types of rented property but the average proportion of respondents across all property types who say they think achievable rent levels have increased over the last six months has fallen slightly from 54% to 53%. The overall average capital asset value of rented houses has fallen by 2.7% over the last three months, reversing the increases seen in the last two quarters. This fall comes as a result of falls in the average value of rented houses for those managing properties in Prime Central London (down by 2.4%), those in the Rest of the South East (down by 3.1%) and those in the Rest of the UK (down by 2.6%). Over the same period, the overall average value of rented flats fell by 2.6%. This fall has come as a result of falls in the average values of rented flats for those managing properties in Prime Central London (down by 2.4%) and those in the Rest of the UK (down sharply by 10.2%). Contrastingly, the average value of a rented flat for those in the Rest of the South East rose by 1.0%. Since the last survey three months ago, demand in the rented residential property sector has weakened a little, in terms of the overall proportion of respondents saying that there are more tenants than there are properties available for them, with the figure falling from 68% to 65%, but this fall comes after three increases in succession. The overall decrease this quarter was the result of a big fall for the Rest of the UK (down from 73% to 65%) and a smaller fall (from 78% to 77%) for those in the Rest of the South East, which outweighed the increase (from 44% to 47%) seen by those managing properties in Prime Central London. The proportion of ARLA members who think landlords are currently increasing their net investment in residential property by buying properties increased this quarter, rising from 27% to 30%, partially reversing the fall seen three months ago. Meanwhile, the proportion of respondents who think landlords are currently decreasing their net investment by selling properties is down sharply, from 32% to 23%, its first fall for a year. As a result of these changes, the relationship between the proportion saying landlords are buying and the proportion saying they are selling has reversed again with buyers now exceeding sellers. Compared with three months ago, the average void period is down from 2.8 weeks to 2.7 weeks whilst the average number of new tenancies signed up in the preceding three months is up from 31 to 33. This is in line with the seasonal trend we have seen over the last 11 years (other than the worst years of the recession) which is for the third quarter to see an increase in the number of new tenancies. The average proportion of ARLA members offices portfolios which are made up of investment property is up a little compared with three months ago, from 53.7% to 54.5%, reversing the change seen then, and the average number of purely investment properties which are managed by ARLA members offices is up quite sharply, from 135 properties to 148, more than reversing the fall seen three months ago. On average, ARLA members say that tenants remain in the same property for a period of 20.5 months, a figure which is up a little from 20.1 months in the third quarter of 2014 and this is the third increase in succession.

3 Fourth Quarter 2014 (continued) The proportion of ARLA members offices who believe that they are seeing an increase in rental property coming onto the market because it cannot be sold has shot up again over the last three months, rising from 16% to 24%. Detached houses remain the type of property most likely to be coming onto the market for this reason with studio flats continuing to be the type least likely to be doing so. Over the last three months, there has been a fall in the proportion of ARLA members offices saying that they are aware of an increase in tenants asking lenders for references on potential landlords to ensure they are financially viable, with the figure dropping from 9% to 8%, partially reversing the rise seen three months ago. There has been a rise in the proportion of respondents who say they have seen an increase in tenants haggling with landlords over rents in the last 6 months with the figure rising from 32% to 35%. Half of ARLA members offices (50%, up from 47% three months ago) say that none of their potential or existing tenant clients ask them if they are licensed, a figure which falls to less than four out of ten (38%, up from 32% three months ago) when it relates to potential or existing landlord clients but these changes simply reverse the changes seen three months ago. Only a small minority say that most or all of their potential and existing tenant and landlord clients ask this question (2% and 5% respectively, down from 3% and 8% three months ago) but again, these changes just reverse the changes seen last quarter. Nearly one in ten ARLA members offices (8%, down from 9% three months ago) think that the proportion of potential or existing clients asking if they are licensed has increased over the last 12 months. N.B. All these figures are averages and there will be significant local differences as well as significant differences between individual firms in the same area. The ARLA Review and Index of Returns on Buy to Let Investment is compiled from the results of the quarterly survey of ARLA member letting agents and of investor landlords who subscribe to the ARLA Buy to Let website. This is the largest survey of its kind. The data, which covers yields, rents, void periods, types of rental property, regional differences etc. is drawn from 573 letting offices run by ARLA member firms and 1,016 investor landlords. The Review and Index takes account of capital appreciation so as to provide the data for total returns on Buy to Let Investment both for cash purchases and purchases with a mortgage (geared investment). The Index, which was set up in September 2002, is designed to provide a comparison with other types of investment over a period. However, it should be noted that the Index is a measure of percentage returns on investment and as such does not move in line with inflation whether this be house price inflation or changes in consumer prices. It should not, therefore, be expected to rise over time just because prices have risen. If the Index remains at the same level as it was when it began in 2002, i.e. at 100, this simply means that investment returns for buy to let have remained constant. Thus if returns on investment in buy to let were good in 2002, then an Index of 100 in 2014 means that returns are still good and vice versa. It should also be noted that the Index is affected by changes in the average rate of house price inflation over a 20 year period which is used to estimate capital appreciation over the next 5 years. This 20 year average is changed once each year in the second quarter in order to take account of changes in long term house price inflation. ARLA appreciates the high level of response to these surveys from both member firms and individual investors. The research is carried out on behalf of ARLA by Owen Carey Jones, who is responsible for conducting independent research for a number of mortgage lenders and for their representative bodies. For the detailed results of the ARLA surveys visit

4 The ARLA Index (Q ) Cash Purchase 87.5 (Q = 86.9) Geared Investment (Q = 101.6) INDEX 120 ARLA Buy to Let Cash Purchase Index INDEX 110 ARLA Buy to Let Cash Purchase Index Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q Annual Rates of Return on Buy to Let Investment The tables below show the annual figures used in calculating the Rate of Return on Buy to Let Investment over a five year period. This result is shown in the last column of each table. Throughout this Review, Rates of Return include both Rental Yield and Capital Appreciation, the latter being calculated using the average rate of house price inflation over the last 20 years, which is changed annually in the second quarter and which was changed with effect from the second quarter 2014 survey. Annual Rates of Return on Buy to Let Investment (Cash Purchase) Region Gross Annual Average Net Annual Capital Rate of Return Rental Void Period Rental Appreciation on Inv. Yield (%) (days per year) Yield (%) (% per year) (over 5 years) Prime Central London Rest of London Rest of South East South West Midlands North West North East Scotland/Wales/NI All Regions Annual Rates of Return on Buy to Let Investment (Geared Investment) Region Gross Annual Average Net Annual Capital Rate of Return Rental Void Period Rental Appreciation on Inv. Yield (%) (days per year) Yield (%) (% per year) (over 5 years) Prime Central London Rest of London Rest of South East South West Midlands North West North East Scotland/Wales/NI All Regions

5 Effect on Annual Rates of Return of Different Rates of House Price Inflation The following tables show variations in the average net annual compound rates of return over five years for each region, based upon variations in the anticipated average rate of house price inflation. Annual Rates of Return for Different Rates of HPI (Cash Purchase) Region Average Average Average for Average Average -2% -1% last 20 years +1% +2% (6.86%) Prime Central London Rest of London Rest of South East South West Midlands North West North East Scotland/ Wales/NI All Regions Average Rates of Return All Properties (Cash Investment) Average Rates of Return All Properties (Geared Investment) Prime Central London Rest of London Rest of South East South West Region Midlands North West North East Scotland/ Wales/NI Prime Central London Rest of London South East South West Region Midlands North West North East Scotland/ Wales/NI Annual Rates of Return for Different Rates of HPI (Geared Investment) Region Average Average Average for Average Average -2% -1%% last 20 years +1% +2% (6.86%) Prime Central London Rest of London South East South West Midlands North West North East Scotland/ Wales/NI All Regions

6 Quarterly Changes in Average Annual Rates of Return The tables below show how the net annual compound rates of return over five years from this quarter have changed compared to the projection for the last quarter. These figures are based on the average rate of house price inflation over the last 20 years which is changed annually and was been changed with effect from the second quarter 2014 survey. Quarterly Change in Average Annual Rate of Return (Cash Purchase) Region Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Change Q4/Q3 Prime Central London Rest of London Rest of South East South West Midlands North West North East Scotland/Wales/NI All Regions Quarterly Change in Average Rate of Return (Cash Purchase) Quarterly Change in Average Rate of Return (Geared Investment) Quarterly Change in Average Annual Rate of Return (Geared Investment) Region Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Change Q4/Q3 Prime Central London Rest of London Rest of South East South West Midlands North West North East Scotland/Wales/NI All Regions

7 Differences in Annual Rates of Return for Houses and Flats There is currently no overall difference nationally in rates of return between houses and flats but flats tend to outperform houses in Prime Central London, the Rest of London, the Rest of the South East, the South West and Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland with the reverse being the case in the Midlands, the North West and the North East. Differences in Annual Rates of Return for Houses and Flats (Cash Purchase) Average annual rate of return (%) Region Houses Flats Average Prime Central London Rest of London Rest of South East South West Midlands North West North East Scotland/Wales/NI All Regions Average Rates of Return All Properties (Cash Investment) Average Rates of Return All Properties (Geared Investment) Houses Flats Both Houses Flats Both Differences in Annual Rates of Return for Houses and Flats (Geared Investment) Average annual rate of return (%) Region Houses Flats Average Prime Central London Rest of London Rest of South East South West Midlands North West North East Scotland/Wales/NI All Regions

8 Fourth Quarter Calculation Examples Cash Purchase Example (As used in projecting the Annual Compound Rate of a Return on a Cash Purchase for a five year period without a mortgage) Description Amount ( ) Notes Investment Purchase Property purchase price 354,279 Acquisition costs 7,086 2% of purchase price Total investment cost 361,365 Source of Funds Deposit 100% price plus costs 361,365 Mortgage 0% purchase price 0 Rental Yield Gross annual rent - year 1 18, % of purchase price Assumed rate of rent inflation 2.3% p.a. Rent lost in voids 944 p.a. 19 days per year Net income after voids - year 1 17,410 p.a. Mortgage interest 0 p.a. Net income after voids and interest 17,410 p.a. AFTER 5 YEARS Value of property after 5 years 493, % per year growth on original value Selling costs 9,873 2% of sale price Value of investment 483,780 Value after 5 years less sale costs Capital growth after 5 years 33.9% Net income yield after 5 years 92,194 Allowing 2.3% rent inflation Annual Compound Rate of Return 9.77% per year Geared Investment Example (As used in projecting the Annual Compound Rate of Return on a Geared Investment over a five year period assuming a 75% mortgage) Description Amount ( ) Notes Investment Purchase Property purchase price 354,279 Acquisition costs 7,086 2% of purchase price Total investment cost 361,365 Source of Funds Deposit 25% price plus costs 95,655 Mortgage 75% purchase price 265,709 Rental Yield Gross annual rent - year 1 18, % of purchase price Assumed rate of rent inflation 2.3% p.a. Rent lost in voids 944 p.a. 19 days per year Net income after voids - year 1 17,410 p.a. Mortgage interest 6,643 p.a. Net income after voids and interest 10,767 p.a. AFTER 5 YEARS Value of property after 5 years 493, % per year growth on original value Selling costs 9,873 2% of sale price Value of investment 218,070 Value after 5 years less sale costs Capital growth after 5 years 128% Net income yield after 5 years 58,980 Allowing 2.3% rent inflation Annual Compound Rate of Return 23.70% per year Assumptions & Sources of Data 1. The average rate of return on a Cash Purchase is the return based on the purchase price of the property plus initial acquisition costs. 2. The average rate of return on a Geared Investment is the return based on the cash outlay in terms of cash deposit for the purchase (i.e. purchase price less mortgage loan) plus initial acquisition costs. 3. Initial property acquisition costs are assumed to be 2% of the property purchase price. 4. Average gross rental return as a percentage of the property value is taken from the latest survey of ARLA members. 5. The average number of weeks during which a property is not let (the void period) is taken from the latest survey of ARLA members. 6. These figures do not include agents fees and charges nor any estimation of the costs of minor repairs and maintenance. 7. The average mortgage is assumed to be on an interest only basis and to be equal to 75% of the property purchase price. 8. The average mortgage interest rate is taken as Bank of England Base Rate +2.00%. During 2007 and 2008, it was taken as the average 2/3 year fixed rate on offer from leading BTL lenders and before that it was taken as the Bank of England Base Rate +1.75%. 9. The average annual rate of house price inflation is adjusted in the second quarter of the year and is based on the national mix-adjusted average for the last 20 years which was 6.86% for , 6.45% for , 5.89% for , 5.66% for , 5.21 for , 6.66% for , 7.95% for , 8.21% for , 8.66% for , 8.80 for , 8.70% for and 8.55% for The average annual rate of rent inflation is assumed to be the same as the overall rate of inflation based on the Retail Prices Index (RPI). For this quarter, the figure was 2.3%. 11. Average selling costs are assumed to be 2% of the value of the property at the end of the period. 12. The average Net Return on Investment is based on the outcome after 5 years, before tax. 13. Average rented residential property prices are taken from the latest survey of ARLA members. 14. The figures shown for All Regions are unweighted overall average figures. N.B. The five year projection period has been selected to reflect the likely minimum lifetime for a Buy to Let investment

9 Investor Profiles The average length of time for which respondents have been investment landlords has remained consistent since last quarter at 15.6 years. 3.2% of respondents have been landlords for less than one year, a slight decrease on the figure of 3.7% recorded three months ago. On average, landlords have 8.6 properties in their portfolio; up from the 7.8 properties reported last quarter. 33.8% have one or two properties, down from 35.2% recorded three months ago, while 18.7% have more than 10 properties, an increase on last quarters figure (17.6%). The proportion of investment landlords who do not expect to sell properties over the next twelve months has risen, from 64.9% to 66.7%. However, 16.1% said they do expect to sell one or more properties in the year - a slight decline from 16.6% three months ago. The percentage expecting to buy has increased, from 24.0% to 24.9%. The average life expectancy of residential lettings property increased from 19.9 to 20.3 years. Over eight out of ten (82%) landlords expect to keep their property for more than ten years. The majority of landlords asked said that they had become a residential landlord either in order to achieve a combined yield from rental income and capital appreciation (45.0%) or that they had done so in order to create a nest egg for their long term future (31.9%). 1.1% said they had invested for a short term capital gain, a decrease of 0.2% on three months ago. The average loan to value ratio across buy to let property portfolios decreased from 41.4% to 39.2%. Almost a third of respondents (30.3%) estimate the loan to value ratio of their rented residential portfolio to be between 51% and 75%. This is down from 31.5% of respondents last quarter. ARLA surveys for the fourth quarter of 2014 were carried out in November 2014 among members of ARLA, investor landlords, and members of RLA. For reasons of space, this printed Review and Index does not contain all the results from the quarterly ARLA surveys on which the Review and Index is based. All results are obtainable on the Buy to Let section of the ARLA website, How long have you owned residential property to let? Little more than one in twenty respondents (6%) had been residential landlords for one year or less whilst nearly four times as many (23%) had been residential landlords for more than 20 years. However, the vast majority, amounting to more than seven out of ten respondents (71%) had been residential landlords for between 2 and 20 years with the largest proportion, almost a third (33%) having been residential landlords for between 11 and 20 years. The next largest group was those who had been residential landlords for between 6 and 10 years (23%). Years as a Landlord of Respondents (%) Jun 14 Sep 14 Dec 14 Less than one One or or to to to Over Average (years) Base: All answering (984) (904) (944)

10 How many rented residential properties do you currently have in your portfolio? More than a third of respondents (34%) had only one or two properties in their portfolios with almost two out of ten (19%) having more than ten properties in theirs. Number of Properties of Respondents (%) Jun 14 Sep 14 Dec 14 One Two to to to to Over Average (no. of properties) Base: All answering (982) (903) (943) Analysis of these results shows that the average size of respondents portfolios was 8.6 properties, up from an average of 7.8 properties three months ago and reversing the decreases seen in then previous three quarters. In the next 12 months, do you expect to buy any further properties to let? A quarter of respondents (25%) said that they expected to acquire further properties to let during the next 12 months but almost twice as many (49%), said that they did not. In addition, more than a quarter (26%) were unsure whether or not they would acquire further properties to let in the next 12 months. Response of Respondents (%) Jun 14 Sep 14 Dec 14 Yes No Not sure Base: All answering (969) (896) (933) Compared with three months ago, there has been an increase in the proportion saying they expect to buy properties in the next 12 months (up from 24% to 25%, partially reversing the change seen then) whilst the proportion saying they do not is almost unchanged at 49%. The proportion saying they didn t know fell from 28% to 27% Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q

11 In the next 12 months, do you expect to sell some or all of your let residential properties? Two thirds of respondents to this survey (67%) said that they did not expect to sell any of their let residential properties in the next 12 months. Nevertheless, one in six (16%) said they did have such expectations with slightly more (17%) being unsure whether they would be selling any properties in the next 12 months or not. Response of Respondents (%) Why did you first decide to invest in residential property? Jun 14 Sep 14 Dec 14 Yes No Not sure Base: All answering (969) (897) (933) Compared with three months ago, the proportion saying they do intend to sell some or all of their properties in the next 12 months is down slightly from 17% to 16% and the proportion saying that they do not have any such intentions has risen from 65% to 67%. The proportion saying they are unsure has fallen from 18% to 17%. Where are your residential investment properties located? More than half of respondents (52%) said that they had properties in the South East (including London) with nearly a quarter (23%) saying they had properties in London itself. Location of Respondents (%) Jun 14 Sep 14 Dec 14 Central London Rest of London (inside M25) South East (outside M25) South West Midlands North West North East Scotland Wales Northern Ireland Base: All answering (907) (850) (903) Most respondents either said that they had become residential landlords in order to achieve a combined yield from rental income and capital appreciation (45%) or that they had done so in order to create a nest egg for their long term future (32%). Reason of Respondents (%) Sep 14 Dec 14 Short term capital gain (less than 5 years) Rental income Combined yield from rent & capital apprec Create nest egg for long term future Other reasons Base: All answering (853) (907)

12 What is the approximate overall loan to value ratio of your rented residential portfolio? The largest proportion of respondents, amounting to three out of ten (30%) said that the approximate overall loan to value ratio of their rented residential portfolio was between 51% and 75% with almost another quarter (24%) saying it was between 26% and 50%. However, a quarter (25%) said the loan to value ratio of their portfolios was 10% or less. Loan to Value of Respondents (%) Ratio Mar 14 Jun 14 Sep 14 Dec 14 Up to 10% % to 25% % to 50% % to 75% % to 90% Over 90% Average (%) Base: All answering (805) (794) (742) (775) Analysis of these figures reveals that the average loan to value ratio of respondents portfolios is 39%. From original acquisition time, what do you expect to be the average life expectancy of your property investment, before you liquidate your property assets? Clearly the vast majority of residential landlords are in the business for the long term with more than eight out of ten (82%) saying that the average life expectancy of their property investments is more than 10 years. In fact, only one in thirty respondents (3.3%) said they saw their investment as being for 5 years or less and less than one in two hundred (0.4%) saw it as being very short term (i.e. for less than 2 years). Average Life of Respondents (%) Expectancy Jun 14 Sep 14 Dec 14 Less than 2 years to 5 years to 10 years to 20 years Over 20 years Average (years) Base: All answering (940) (854) (904) Average Life Expectancy of Property Investment Before Liquidating Property Assets Less than 2 years Q3.14 Q to 5 years 5 to 10 years 10 to 20 years Over 20 years Simple analysis of these results reveals that the average life expectancy of their property investments for all respondents is 20.3 years, a figure which is up from 19.9 years three months ago, the second increase in succession.

13 T H E C H A R T E R An Investor should Plan to be a Buy to Let Landlord over the medium to long-term as it is an investment that produces a variable combination of rental yield and capital appreciation. Make an objective business decision when purchasing a property based on research of the needs and requirements of the local market, not based on personal taste. Be aware that the rental market is fast moving with fluctuating supply and demand. This can influence achievable rental levels and occupancy rates. Take informed advice from both professional Letting Agents and specialised financial advisers from the beginning. A Lender should Conduct a thorough analysis of affordability and not lend more than you can afford to repay. Undertake a professional assessment of the security and the reasonableness of the forecast rental income. Provide clear information on Buy to Let products and services and on your obligations as a borrower. Explain what to do if you get into difficulties with mortgage payments. An ARLA Letting Agent should Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the legalities, regulations and obligations that apply to Landlords, Tenants and Agents. Provide realistic and up to date guidance on supply and demand based on a detailed local knowledge of the market. Hold Professional Indemnity Insurance, separate Client Bank Account, and be covered under a Client Money Protection Scheme and employ trained, qualified staff. Have access to a complaints process over the standards of letting agents as well as consumer redress which may award compensation where a consumer has suffered loss as a result of service failure by the agent. Deposits held, where appropriate, require to be protected under a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme. ARLA 2014 ARLA Administration, Arbon House, 6 Tournament Court, Edgehill Drive, Warwick CU34 6LG Telephone Fax:

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