Private landlords planning a property purchase should research their local markets and consult with letting agents over which homes are performing well, an expert has said.

Miles Shipside, commercial director at estate agents Rightmove, suggested that oversupply could be emerging as a problem for the private-rented sector after many sellers switched to renting rather than opting to sell at distressed prices last year.

Figures published by Rightmove today showed that 37 per cent more properties for rent have entered the housing market since May 2008.

"The ideal investment at the moment would be properties that return close to ten per cent, so that if rents or capital values fall a bit further and take some years to recover, the investment still stacks up financially,"Mr Shipside said.

His advice comes as many investors could be considering landlord services or landlord software to try and take advantage of low house prices in the UK and capitalise on increased rental demand amid low mortgage availability.

Figures published by Nationwide earlier this month revealed that property prices fell by 15.9 per cent last year. ADNFCR-2002-ID-18980579-ADNFCR

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