furnished living room

Investors – where are the five most profitable cities for furnished properties?

New research has revealed how much money landlords and investors can make in cities around the UK by furnishing their property – and the difference is quite significant in many cases.

The study from CIA Landlord Insurance also examined where there is high demand and active listings for furnished properties, to show where renters can expect to find the largest selection of properties to suit their needs.

London premium for furnished homes

View of London ThamesThe research found that landlords and investors in the capital can make almost £10,000 pcm if they furnish their property. On average, landlords with rentals in London receive £2,189 a month in rent, but if they furnished their property, they can expect to maximise their profits by 316% and rake in nearly £110,000 a year on average – £9,120 per month, the research claimed.

The green-conscious, hipster-friendly city of Bristol – which has become increasingly popular in recent years among students and young professionals, and is currently enjoying the limelight in the second series of BBC comedy-drama Outlaws – is the second most profitable location for landlords with furnished properties, with the average monthly income of these being £2,038.

Following closely behind is Brighton and Hove, another trendy city popular among students and young professionals, where landlords can rake in £1,898 per month for their furnished property, giving them a yearly income of almost £23,000.

Reading and Edinburgh also made the top five.

Affordable conversions

The study suggests that furnishing a one-bed property costs comfortably less than £2,000, on average.  Paul Gibbons, property specialist at HouseBuyers4u, said furnished properties include all or most white goods such as cookers, fridges, freezers, and washing machines, and basic furniture like sofa, chairs, tables, wardrobes and beds. “Unfurnished does not include any furniture and the tenant is expected to furnish the house,” he added.

Based on this, the average price of furnishing a one-bed property will be £1,666, CIA Landlords estimates.  Less profitable in the South West On the other side of the coin, the least profitable location for landlords with furnished properties is Plymouth, as these types of rentals cost £606, according to the research. This is £225 less per month than unfurnished ones. As a result, landlords could be reducing their annual income potential by £2,700 if they provide furniture for their tenants.

The other locations in the top five least profitable locations for furnished properties included Stoke-on-Trend, Wolverhampton, Bradford and Derby. Despite this, Wolverhampton offers the most business opportunities for landlords with furnished properties.

While London, as you might expect, has the highest proportion of furnished properties in the UK – in May 2022, there were over 10,000 furnished rentals listed on Zoopla – this also means landlords and investors will likely face higher competition in attracting and retaining tenants.

The UK city with the least amount of furnished rentals is Swindon, with just 28 furnished properties listed in the town in May 2022. Wolverhampton also has a smaller amount of furnished properties available – 32 furnished properties were listed in comparison to 88 unfurnished, but Wolverhampton’s higher population, 252,791 residents, in comparison to 185,609 in Swindon, means landlords also have a larger market to attract business to.

Increasing demand for furnished properties

In the UK, searches for ‘furnished rental’ have risen by 19% in the year. By contrast, there has been a fall in people looking for unfurnished rental properties, with internet searches dropping by 202% in the same time.  Christopher Walkey, owner of Estate Agent Networking, commented: “Although a fully furnished or part furnished property will come with more responsibility for the landlord, by offering such a property, landlords can look to target, and increase, interest from certain types of tenants who are looking for shorter term rental agreements.”

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