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Despite claims about the start of a housing market recovery in the United Kingdom (UK), the possible double-dip recession has even more people looking to rent across the country and landlords are taking notice. Market experts are urging landlords to be realistic regarding rent increases as more people seek out rental opportunities. The new financial climate in the Eurozone has many people looking to rent both out of necessity and preference, due to there being more flexibility in the arrangement, and landlords could easily take advantage of the increased interest analysts believe is coming. For more on this continue reading the following article from Property Wire.

The residential property rental industry in the UK is likely to remain strong in 2012 despite a weak economy and worries about jobs but landlords need to retain a realistic approach to any rent increases, it is claimed.

Dorian Gonsalves, chief executive office of national lettings franchise agency Belvoir believes that rents are likely to rise moderately, remaining more or less in line with inflation and salary increases.

‘Rental fluctuation is likely to be very regional with some areas such as the South East likely to see a higher increase as rental prices force people out of London into the Home Counties. The current crisis is clearly making consumers nervous, affecting both the buy to let and mortgage market,’ he said.

‘Our franchise owners continue to report increased tenant demand. However unlike reports in the national press, any rental increases are likely to be modest and occurring only in pockets of the UK, with some areas experiencing no increase at all,’ he explained.

Although in recent weeks there have been reports claiming that housing sales have increased, the double dip recession is likely to have a negative impact on this, he pointed out. ‘This then produces a market that is ripe for opportunist investment landlords who are able to secure property purchases that represent real value for money. Belvoir offices are already reporting increased activity from buy to let landlords and investors,’ said Gonsalves.

‘There is a shift towards more people renting as a preferred lifestyle choice rather than from necessity. People who rent can plan their spending more accurately and have flexibility to follow job offers etc. This is becoming increasingly important in the current financial climate,’ he added.

Feedback from franchised offices across the network shows that tenants are now staying longer in properties. ‘Even modest rental increases, which were heavily published in the national press, tend to give tenants the impression that without very good reason it makes no financial sense to move to a larger or different type of property,’ Gonsalves said.

‘There is no doubt that if potential investors seek the right advice the returns can be extremely lucrative,’ he added.

This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.