UK Property Market Far from Stalled

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While the property for sale market has been slowed dramatically, the lettings market is booming. Reading Letting Agents Jon Hallett report sharp growth in demand for let properties and help for people letting their own property. Hallet's have responded with a guide for first-time-landlords.

While clearly the credit crunch has also impacted employment, people still need to move in connection with their job or for other reasons

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According to most sources, the UK property market has ground to a halt. However, Reading Letting Agents Jon Hallett beg to differ.

With news of the credit crunch influencing every story regarding property, the impression given is that the sharp decline in new mortgage lending has led to a complete halt in the housing market. While this is true with regard to property sales, it has led to a boom in the lettings market which has grown by 30 percent on a year-on-year basis.

"While clearly the credit crunch has also impacted employment, people still need to move in connection with their job or for other reasons" says Jon Hallett Director Mike Hallett. In fact he points out that "in the Thames valley area at least - the need for housing remains undiminished, and people are putting a house purchase on hold and moving into rental properties."

Those simply looking to move to a new home now have some interesting opportunities. They can rent from the comparatively abundant properties on the market and let out their own home, or let their own home and take advantage of the buyer's market that exists to purchase something of a bargain.

During the boom years of property price growth, renting was seen as 'missing the bandwagon', with rent wasted when it could have been invested. There has been a notable change in sentiment with renters now feeling that they are avoiding the equity value losses of home owners, and that their rented accommodation is offering both flexibility and value.

As for the 'buy to let' landlords, the news has been full of stories of mortgage-related issues for "buy-to-let" market, but bargains abound for the careful buyer who is looking to buy an investment property.

Landlords letting their properties have seen their investments holding up well, with rents growing by 16 percent in 2007, while property values declined by 8 percent. A slight softening of rental values has been detected over the past weeks, but demand is higher than ever for rental properties in the Reading area.

However, Mike Hallett warns "Would-be landlords should choose their agents carefully". Many estate agents have turned to letting as the sales market has dried up, but lack the experience that helps first-time landlords avoid pitfalls that can turn property letting into a negative experience.

Letting specialists such as Jon Hallett Limited, have experience in guiding first-time landlords through the process, can make sure that things go smoothly and the pitfalls are avoided. JHL also provide our landlords with free resources such as our Essential Guide to Letting your house, which is downloadable from the Jon Hallett website: http://www.jonhallett.com.

Jon Hallett Ltd have offices in central Reading as well as nearby Woodley and Wokingham, and have been operating in the area for more than fifteen years.

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