The growth of the private rented sector has slowed owing to government intervention and economic uncertainty, Kent Reliance’s Buy to Let Britain report has concluded.
However the report added that the continued absence of first-time buyers from the housing market will continue to support growth of the private rented sector in the long run.
Andy Golding, chief executive of OneSavings Bank, said: “Landlords were left reeling after the introduction of tighter regulation and higher taxes, while the spectre of Brexit is already weighing on the housing market. This has naturally deterred investment into the private rented sector, especially from amateur speculators.
“Political opinion may be set against the PRS, but without it, the housing crisis would be deeper still. First-time buyer numbers, despite recent fanfare, are a long way from pre-recession levels and with household numbers growing, and new housing starts inadequate, it is the PRS that will continue to pick up the slack. Policy should recognise that, and support growth in supply across all tenures.
“A housing market with dwindling supply of rental accommodation yet growing demand would, without a significant rise in affordable housing, provide the worst of all worlds for tenants: higher rents, with less choice and security, hampering their ability to save to buy a home.”
In the last three months just 1% more landlords increased rather than shrunk their portfolios.
Tenant demand has also eased, as 19% of landlords reported tenant demand increasing in the last three months, while 23% saw demand fall.
However, the report emphasised that this figure was heavily influenced by London, where political and economic uncertainty is having a large effect in prime areas.