Buy to let property offers safe haven from financial turbulence

The turmoil that originated in China last Monday has brought financial markets the world over almost to their knees – but UK landlords should be safe, according to a leading commercial broker.

The Shanghai stock exchange suffered its biggest collapse in nearly a decade on 24 August, sending out shockwaves that rattled financial markets across the globe. London’s FTSE lost £84 billion in a single day, whilst New York’s Dow Jones index tumbled by 588 points.

Over a week on, rattled markets are still struggling to recover, and the troubles in China – the world’s second largest economy – are likely to stall global economic growth. Some asset classes remain safer than others, however – including UK buy to let property.

Andrew Turner, director of Commercial Trust, said: “Assets such as gold, bonds and indeed property are safe havens for investors who do not wish to overexpose themselves to the traditionally volatile stock market.

Buy to let landlords typically invest for steady, long-term gains and therefore should not be affected by the peaks and valleys that shares see on a day-to-day basis. If anything, the recent turbulence could convince more people of the relative security of bricks and mortar.”

Indeed, despite speculation that Chinese investors could pull out of the prime London market following last week’s losses, estate agents have reported increased levels of interest from overseas buyers. Furthermore, slowing growth could force the Bank of England to keep interest rates down for longer, keeping the cost of borrowing low and adding yet more heat to the UK property market. Between rising rents and property prices, a growing private rental sector and a strengthening buy to let mortgage market, rental property looks like a strong choice for a savvy investor.

Mr. Turner concluded: “Buy to let remains a sensible, viable investment for those who play it right. By remaining as educated and informed as possible and seeking professional advice where appropriate, investors can maximise their chances of retaining a profitable asset that will weather any short-term economic storms that crop up.”