2.5 Million Landlords:
Research carried out by property agency Ludlow Thompson, based on HMRC and BoE data, shows that the number of buy-to-let investors increased by five per cent over the last year, and the figures show a 27% increase over the last five years.
If these figures are to be believed, that brings the total number of UK buy-to-let landlords to a record high of 2.5 million. So, with UK landlords now owning an average of 1.8 buy-to-let properties each, that puts UK buy to lets at 4.5million.
Not surprisingly, given the high tenant demand, London remains the biggest market for buy-to-let investors, that’s despite a dip in central London property prices and rental values, hit by high stamp duty. Tenants are still struggling to find an adequate supply of rental accommodation in the capital.
The Ludlow Thompson research also would suggest that far from being down and out following the government’s tax and regulatory changes, the sector is strong and still showing healthy growth, albeit at a slower pace. The company claims that previous research they have carried out shows that even after the tax hikes, landlords are still benefiting from an aggregate of £16.7bn in tax relief.
Stephen Ludlow, chairman at Ludlow Thompson has said:
“Rising numbers of landlords shows the enduring appeal of buy-to-let, particularly in London.
“The level of buy-to-let mortgage lending shows the sector’s continued resilience considering that the 2015 level includes investors rushing to beat the new Stamp Duty. Additionally, the difference is likely to be much smaller as the figures do not include investors that have incorporated, refinanced, or made additional purchases using commercial loans.
“Even taking into account the implementation of Government changes to buy-to-let tax relief, there are a number of tax reliefs available to landlords. Investors should also note that, historically, growing earning power and rising wages have tended to lead to rising rental values.
“The long-term picture for the buy-to-let market remains strong. As a ‘London-leaning’ Brexit looks more likely, a final deal will focus on strengthening the appeal of the capital as a go-to destination for overseas professionals, graduates and students alike.”
“The level of buy-to-let mortgage lending shows the sector’s continued resilience. Around 12.7% of all mortgages in Q4 2017 went to buy-to-let investors. This figure is slightly down from 14.4% in Q4 2016 and 16.3% in 2015.”
With investment in buy-to-let still outperforming other major asset classes, including bonds, cash and shares, and rental demand showing no signs of slowing down, placing upward pressure on rental values, UK landlords continue to see residential property as a strong and secure investment.