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3 Dec 2018

Revealed: the UK's top buy-to-let hotspots

Find out which are the highest-yielding areas for buy-to-let investors

The verdant greens of Sherwood Forest, the wild roars from Trent Bridge stadium and the buzz of more than 60,000 students: these can all be found in the county of Nottingham, which has been revealed as the most lucrative place to have a buy-to-let property.

Bustling areas which are home to biguniversities, such as Liverpool, Manchester, and Leeds dominate the top 25 areas for the highest buy-to-let yields according to new research carried out by financial comparison site Totally Money.

So, where should landlords be looking for an investment bargain in 2019? Find out where the biggest buy-to-let yields are on offer, and the areas to avoid if you're looking to make a decent profit from a buy-to-let property.

Nottingham: a buy-to-let yield of almost 12%

Totally Money identified the postcode area of NG1, which is in a prime position to house students at Nottingham Trent University, as the area in the country with the biggest potential buy-to-let yields.

With average monthly rental yields of £1,525 and an average property price of just £152,000, prospective investors could bag a yield of 11.99% in this postcode area.

NG7, which includes the University of Nottingham, also sits in the top five, with a potential yield of 8.89%. The average rent is £1,187 a month, against an average property price of around £160,000.

Across the whole of Nottingham, the average asking price for a property is £267,900, and the average monthly rental income is around £750.

Mapped: buy-to-let hotspots across the UK

Use this interactive map to discover where the buy-to-let hotspots are across the UK.

Research produced by TotallyMoney.

Top 10 highest-yielding postcodes

Two spots in the top 10 are in Liverpool, enjoying higher-than-average monthly rental yields and low property prices.

The report from Totally Money says: 'Of those, L7 ranks highest, delivering an average rental yield of 9.79%. The postcode covers the city centre, Edge Hill, Fairfield and Kensington, close to two of Liverpool's three universities.

'L1 yields 9.33% and L6 yields 7.85%. The L2 postcode u2014 known for the trendy Cavern Quarter u2014 only just makes it into the top 25 buy-to-let hotspots [with a yield of] 6.80%.'

Meanwhile, theNE1 postcode, ranked seventh in the table, is not far from both Newcastle University and Northumbria University, suggesting that proximity to higher education sites are driving up rental yields.

PostcodeAreaNo. of properties for rentAverage monthly
rental value
No. of properties
for sale
NE6North East540£834216£118,7898.43%
NE1North East357£1,095157£161,0358.16%

Buy-to-let in London: good or bad idea?

The capital remains a challenging place to get a decent yield from your investment, with property affordability presenting the biggest drag on yields.

While areas in East Ham and Thamesmead offer properties with lower asking prices and, therefore, more attractive yields, the huge level of investment required in London doesn't provide much bang for your buck.

East Ham, London's highest-yielding postcode area, is way down at position 296 in Totally Money's nationwide yield rankings.

At the other end of the scale, the lowest-yielding London area is Highgate (N6), which has an average monthly rent of £2,469 but an eye-watering average property price of £1.53m.

PostcodeAreaNo. of properties for rentAverage monthly rental valueNo. of properties
for sale
E6East Ham151£1,421211£354,1624.81%

Areas with the lowest buy-to-let yields

Keen to avoid the buy-to-let 'not-spots'? Bournemouth has the lowest rental yield in the country, as a result of relatively low rental values combined with huge house prices.

Properties in Watford, popular with commuters, have an average asking price of just under £700,000, and postcode areas in Bolton, Doncaster and Wakefield will all struggle to generate decent returns because of low monthly rental values.

PostcodeAreaNo. of properties
for rent
Average monthly
rental value
No. of properties
for sale

Buy-to-let mortgages: what do I need to know?

If you're looking to borrow money to fund an investment property,buy-to-let mortgages are usually arranged on an interest-only basis. While this means you will have lower monthly repayments, as you're only paying off interest, you will need to have a plan to pay off the actual loan at the end of your term.

There are stricter affordability rules for buy-to-let mortgages. You typically need a deposit of at least 25% and the projected rent will need to cover 125% of your mortgage repayments.

Landlords have to pay tax on their rental income, although they currently enjoy tax relief of on mortgage interest. Find out more in our guide to buy-to-let mortgage interest tax relief.

They also face a buy-to-let stamp duty surcharge, paying an additional 3% on the standard stamp duty rates. Use the calculator below to work out how much your stamp duty bill might be.