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Decrease in Landlord Buy to Let Investments Highlighted in Latest Survey

Landlord interest in the buy to let market seems to be waning, according to a recent survey by e.surv. The research, involving over 500 valuers and surveyors, reveals that a significant 79% of surveyors observed a downturn in landlords keen on acquiring new investment properties. Additionally, about half of the surveyors noticed an uptick in landlords either looking to consolidate their holdings or completely withdraw from the market over the past year.

e.surv expressed concerns, stating, “These challenges could have several implications for the UK housing market if left unaddressed, including a reduction in the supply of rental properties and an increase in rent for tenants already facing a cost of living crisis.”

With the demand for rental properties surpassing supply throughout the UK, 44% of those surveyed indicated a drop in the number of rental properties available on the market. Given this strong demand, it’s logical that properties are being rented out more swiftly, and often at or above the listed price, especially in buzzing rental markets. This trend is particularly evident in London, where 45% of surveyors noticed rentals being finalised above the asking price. Additionally, 40% reported quicker rental timelines.

Commenting on these findings, Rob Owens, e.surv’s head of research, said, “The buy to let market is facing a number of challenges at present, with rising mortgage rates the biggest concern for landlords. This is leading to a decline in landlords participating in the sales market and an increase in landlords looking to rationalise their portfolios or exit entirely.”

He further stressed, “These challenges could have a significant impact on the UK housing market, reducing the supply of rental properties and pushing up rents for tenants. It is important that the government takes steps to support the buy-to-let market and ensure that it remains a viable investment option for landlords.”

On the sales front, the survey indicated a consistent flow of homes available for purchase this month. However, these properties tend to remain on the market for longer periods, with top-end market prices feeling the pinch. Additionally, incentives for new builds have become more common, typically revolving around purchase-related expenses like deposit contributions, assistance with legal costs, and contributions towards stamp duty or land tax.