One in five (20%) landlords are looking to sell at least one of their properties this year, research from the National Landlord’s Association (NLA) has found.
This is the highest level of intended property sales in a decade and comes after a 3% stamp duty surcharge was introduced, mortgage interest relief was withdrawn and stress tests were introduced.
Richard Lambert, chief executive of the National Landlords Association, said: “It is our view that these policies are undermining the viability of many landlords’ businesses and removing the incentives to invest in residential property for business purposes.”
The NLA predicted landlords charging higher rents and there being fewer properties to choose from.
Charles McDowell, Aldermore’s commercial director of mortgages, said: “The most worrying comment in the report is that most landlords will increase rents before they sell, to cover the increase in costs, due to these changes.
“This would be a disaster for tenants, especially those who are renting and have aspirations to buy their own home, as ultimately it will affect their ability to save a deposit and get on the ladder.
“We have always believed that first-time buyers are the lifeblood of the housing market, but to have a healthy first-time buyer market, we need a healthy private rental market, not one that adds further obstacles to a house buying journey, which is already difficult for tenants and prospective first time buyers.”
Despite lamenting the news he wasn’t surprised so many landlords are looking to downsize their portfolios.
Simon Heawood, chief executive of Bricklane.com, said: “We will see steadily increasing outflows from the buy-to-let market, in favour of a continual consolidation of portfolios around professionalised, large scale landlords, who in turn benefit from scale advantages, tax-efficiencies, and professionalised approaches to investing and driving up tenant service provision.
“A perfect storm is brewing for landlords looking to property simply as a financial asset.
“Policy makers across the political spectrum are acknowledging that homeownership is valuable because it affords permanence and security, and not just for the financial returns which placated constituents of yesteryear.”