We are aiming to deliver a dividend yield of 3.5% to 4% within 3 years, rising to 5.5% to 6% longer term, and an average annual total return of 17% over the long term. We use a detailed financial model built by Grant Thornton, which is populated with known cost and performance factors based on our 25 year track record. The key assumptions are as follows:
House prices: we expect house prices to rise at 7% p.a., in line with the long term average.
Rental increases: we expect rents to increase by 5% to 6% p.a.
Occupancy: we expect average occupancy to remain at 95%
Bank gearing: we will operate at between 30% and 50%, averaging around 40%