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Sun continues to shine for landlords in the South West

As property owners in the South West prepare to sort out their landlord insurance for the coming year, they will take great heart from the latest surveys by both letting and estate agents.

Although online letting agents LSL Property Services recently reported that December 2010 proved to be a disappointing end to what proved to be a fairly good decade for most landlords, as rental prices eased slightly, those in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset still saw their profit margins maintained.



Is the South West a good investment for landlords?

With an average rent of £637 the South West does not compare with the rates achievable in the capital, but many landlords will be delighted by the 1.7% increase in December. Industry experts, shocked by the general fall in rental prices across the UK last month will also be mildly surprised by the growth in a part of the country where increases in the winter months are far from the norm.

Property owners in the area will also be delighted by the promising figures released by the Land Registry recently. They suggest that the South West is the only region in the country outside of the capital that is still experiencing house price increases. Although less than 1%, the increase means homeowners in the area are seeing their investment grow which can only be good news in the current climate. The combination of the two factors means landlords in the South West will be looking at increased rental yields on their books and can go forward and buy property insurance on new projects with more than a modicum of confidence.

Does landlord insurance cover void periods?

Of course the region sees a fair amount of seasonal readjustment to its figures because of the lucrative tourist industry. This can mean a bonanza for some landlords in the summer and is further reason to rejoice at the December figures. As a rule the winter months, with the exception of Christmas week, often generate little income for some landlords, many of whom actually take out empty property insurance over this period.

Winter is usually a period for consolidation and gives some landlords the chance to update their properties in time for the onset of the summer and spring season where they hardly have time to draw breath. The advent of updating and upgrading properties means that landlord insurance policies must also be constantly evaluated, but this is no problem for the organised landlord especially one who is seeing his business booming.

By Simon Dack

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