JANUARY is always a busy time for the lettings market and this month is proving to be no exception for letting specialist Leaders.

Kim Smith, who is Leaders Basingstoke branch manager, at the firms office in Winchester Street, said: “Demand for rented property in Basingstoke remains high, with plenty of people looking for good quality homes to rent right now.

“As a result of the favourable market conditions we expect to see an increase in investors entering the market, looking to make the most of the attractive yields and potential capital appreciation. This is good news for tenants as it will give them more properties to choose from.”

Kim said despite the introduction of the Help to Buy scheme, which is certainly helping some people buy their own homes, Leaders expect rental demand to remain strong.

“This is partly due to high property prices, meaning even a five per cent deposit is beyond the reach of many, but it’s also due to the fact many people choose to rent because of the flexibility and convenience it offers,” said Kim, who has 20 years experience in lettings.

“Renting enables people to move easily for job opportunities and the best school places, and is also a useful solution for those between owning homes or letting out their own home.

“Many people also prefer the convenience of renting and do not want the responsibility of home ownership.

“Tenants are now savvier than ever before, with high expectations, especially as many are anticipating staying in their rented home for some time.

“It is therefore crucial that properties are of a high standard, with neutral décor, good quality fixtures and fittings and modern kitchens and bathrooms.

“Sub-standard properties will not let easily or achieve a good rent in the current market.”

Kim said overall the lettings market for 2014 looks positive for both tenants and landlords in Basingstoke.

She said: “Tenants will have more choice of quality properties in this active market and landlords are more aware of what tenants want and need.

“For landlords there are plenty of good quality tenants who will look after and make their rented property a home.”

Kim said anyone thinking of investing in a property will be encouraged by the positive market conditions, however it is vital to get impartial, expert advice on rental figures, potential yields and the regulations that must be complied with when letting property in order to make an investment as successful as possible.

Kim said: “Our experienced team in Basingstoke has an unrivalled knowledge of the local market and we’re always happy to help. We’re looking forward to another busy year!

For advice on all aspects of letting, renting or buy-to-let contact Leaders Basingstoke on 01256 332971 or email basingstoke@leaders.co.uk.