The number of VAT and/or PAYE enterprises operating in the UK's residential and commercial rental sectors climbed 2% in the past year, despite the government's best efforts to deter investment.
Analysis of government data by debt advisory firm Sirius Property Finance reveals that there are now 60,000 businesses in the sector, representing five-year growth of 12%.
London continues to be the rental investment capital with 12,160 rental businesses, accounting for one fifth of the UK total, while the South East (13%) and North West (10%) are also among the most prominent regional markets.
Sirius reports that the North East is home to the lowest proportion of buy-to-let enterprises, accounting for just 2%. In the past 12 months, Wales has seen the biggest increase in businesses (3%), while the North West leads the way in terms of five-year growth at 15%.
Head of corporate partnerships, Kimberley Gates, says the UK's buy-to-let sector continues to grow despite recent changes to capital gains and tax allowance rules.
She explains that although demand for rental homes remains profitable, many landlords have decided to set up their own businesses in order to further improve profitability, which is driving the increasing number of companies operating in the sector.
'It would be bold to predict anything other than continued growth in the buy-to-let ecosystem over the coming months and years,'� adds Gates, 'especially in densely populated urban areas, because as long as home ownership continues to be so incredibly expensive, rental demand will always be strong.'�