JANUARY 15, 2018 | BY A & S Property
Proportion of homes acquired by landlords at 9-year low, says Countrywide
The proportion of homes bought by a landlord fell to a nine-year low of just 12.5% last year, as higher taxes deter many property investors, according to Countrywide’s latest monthly lettings index.
Between 2016 and 2017 the proportion of homes sold to landlords fell in every region, nowhere more so than in London, where 5,400 fewer homes were acquired by a landlord year-on-year, the study shows.
The declining volume of landlord purchases has meant the number of homes on the rental market has dropped.
In December 2017 there were 4% fewer homes to rent across Great Britain than in December 2016, with London recording a 21% fall, the largest of any region.
Despite the stamp duty hike induced fall in stock, there were 5% more homes available to rent than there were two years ago. However, in London the number of homes on the market has dropped by a third.
The fall in the number of people investing in the buy-to-let market comes despite the fact that rental growth across Great Britain picked up in 2017.
Last year rents rose by an average of 2.4%, an increase from 1.8% in 2016. The average rent ended the year at £960 per calendar month, up by £23 a month from the start of the year. While rents rose a third faster than they did in 2016, rental growth was still behind the 3.2% recorded in both 2015 and 2014.
Unsurprisingly, given the higher taxes they now face, 46% of landlords increased the rent when re-letting their home last year, up from 37% in 2016.
London had the fastest rate of rental growth in England last year, rising by 3.2%. however, it was Scotland, at an average of 3.3%, that had the fastest rate of rental growth in Great Britain.
Johnny Morris, research director at Countrywide, said: “Last year saw the rate of rental growth pick up to get closer to its long-term average. Most of the rise comes from a pickup in rental growth in London, after falls in 2016. Rents rose across every region of Great Britain last year, although the north of England saw rents rise at a slower rate than they did in 2016.
“Rental growth has been supported by a fall in the number of homes on the rental market, with the biggest fall in London. It looks like increased competition between tenants for rental homes will drive faster rental growth in 2018.”
Cost of a new let
Regions ranked by rental growth
Proportion of homes bought by a landlord in 2017
Year-on-year change in the number of homes on the rental market
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