February 22, 2024 11:10 am

Insert Lead Generation
Nikka Sulton

According to the latest House Price Index from Haslams lettings agency, there’s a noteworthy development for investors in the private rental sector, as a new hotspot has emerged. The data reveals that Reading boasted rental yields of 5.55% in December 2023, outpacing prime London’s 4.46%. This shift positions Reading as an attractive destination for those seeking promising returns on rental investments.

The report highlights a substantial 29% increase in rental values in Reading since Q2 2021. Despite this upward trend, Haslams agency points out a fascinating aspect – premium properties in Reading can be acquired at a cost up to 30% less than the average home in London. This pricing disparity underscores the potential for investors to secure attractive properties in Reading at a more favorable cost compared to the competitive London market.

Investors in the private rental sector now have a compelling opportunity in Reading, where the combination of robust rental yields and comparatively lower property prices presents a unique advantage. As the demand for rental properties continues, particularly in areas with favorable returns like Reading, this emerging hotspot could become a strategic choice for investors looking to optimize their portfolios.

Projections from developer St Edwards indicate a promising trajectory for the UK rental market, forecasting a steady annual increase of 13%. Reading, in particular, emerges as a focal point within this landscape, boasting a secure and thriving rental market where a substantial 32% of households opt for private rentals. This figure significantly outstrips the South East average of 19%, solidifying Reading’s status as a preferred choice for those seeking rental accommodations.

In addition to its robust rental market, Reading is positioned to outshine London’s sales market, with a projected three to five per cent price growth expected over the next five years. This signals not only the town’s resilience but also its potential for sustained economic growth. These insights from St Edwards shed light on Reading’s real estate dynamics, making it an attractive prospect for both investors and tenants alike.

Beyond the realm of property, Reading’s economic prowess is further underscored by notable accolades. FDI Intelligence has bestowed upon Reading the prestigious title of the best European City for Business in 2023. Additionally, business consultancy EY projects Reading to be the fastest-growing location in the country between 2024 and 2026. These recognitions and forecasts highlight Reading’s multifaceted appeal, combining a flourishing business environment with a thriving property market, making it a compelling destination for various endeavors.

Mike Shearn, Group Investment & Development Director at Haslams, sheds light on the exceptional rental rate growth in Reading, attributing it to the town’s expanding population and the persistent scarcity of high-quality rental properties. This combination has contributed significantly to the surge in rental yields. While the anticipation is that such remarkable growth might not be replicated in the future, Shearn expresses confidence that rental yields will likely remain at elevated levels for an extended period.

As the real estate landscape evolves into 2024, Shearn underscores the increasing importance of landlords adopting a sensible approach to pricing their rental properties. In this dynamic market, strategic and realistic price-setting becomes paramount. This foresight is crucial for landlords to navigate potential challenges and ensure the continued attractiveness of their rental offerings.

The analysis by Haslams suggests that, despite potential adjustments in growth rates, the rental market in Reading is poised for stability and sustained high yields. Shearn’s insights provide landlords with valuable guidance, emphasizing the ongoing need for a strategic approach to pricing and a keen understanding of market dynamics for long-term success in the rental sector.

“Whilst underlying demand will remain strong, many tenants’ budgets are now at peak stretching-point. In terms of capital values, we believe that the improved consumer sentiment, buoyed by lower inflation and mortgage rates, will result in heathy growth from 2025. This may further improve yields for investors”.


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