Property management consultancy boss Mary-Anne Bowring says the chaos that will caused by Covid-19 in the medium term means landlords need an incentive to invest in the private rental market.

Buy-to-let (BTL) investors should be encouraged to return to the rental market to boost the supply of homes post-Coronavirus, says property consultancy Ringley.

It believes landlords should be treated differently to second homeowners or overseas buyers, and the company’s boss is urging the Government to scrap stamp duty surcharge on second homes to stimulate the market.

Ringley group MD Mary-Anne Bowring says extra regulation, higher stamp duty and reduced mortgage relief have led to many BTL investors exiting the rental market, with the number of BTL landlords hitting a seven-year low in 2019. 

She predicts a spike in rental demand due to the uncertainty caused by the crisis as households put off major financial decisions such as buying a home and opt to rent for longer.

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“The disruption caused by Coronavirus will likely see rental demand grow, as banks squeeze potential buyers with tighter lending restrictions and people put off buying or selling a home,” she says.

“Eliminating additional stamp duty for buy-to-let investors would help stimulate the supply of rental homes while also driving wider activity in the housing market.

“Landlords are a crucial source of development finance through off-plan sales and will help support getting Britain building again.”

Bowring adds that as well as short-term stimuli, the Government should also consider structural reforms that are long-lasting and reflect changing housing needs.

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