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The latest instalment of the Property Partner Residential Market Index is out today.

The headline figures are striking: total returns for buy-to-let property in England and Wales rose to 9.6% in the 12 months to the end of March.

The PPRMI is a dedicated buy-to-let index, and provides the most accurate picture yet of how residential property has performed as an asset class over the past year.

Highlights this month include:

  • Buy-to-let portfolios up 2.3% in 3 months
  • London buy-to-let returns rise 16.5% in 12 months compared to minus 3.9% for FTSE

Commenting on the figures, Rob Weaver, Property Partner’s Director of Investment said:

“Total returns for residential property crept up to 9.6% in the year to March, as investors rushed to beat April’s stamp duty deadline.

“This was especially true of London, where annual returns were in double digits, reaching an eye-watering 16.5%. The East was strong too, and from first hand experience the Northern Powerhouse regeneration plan is boosting investment activity in the North West and in particular Manchester.

“Monthly figures can be volatile, but what’s clear is that regional disparities in the housing market are widening, with Yorkshire and Humberside and the North East regions looking fragile.

“Investors are understandably showing caution ahead of the EU referendum. But the fundamentals – high employment, wage growth, cheap borrowing and the chronic shortage of supply – remain in place and are positive.”

The index is the first regular dataset to combine rental income AND capital growth to show the total rate of return of residential property investments over time. It is based on research carried out by the property crowdfunding platform Property Partner of Land Registry and ONS data.