April Saw Many Buy to Let Investors Selling Investment Properties

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April saw the largest number of buy to let investors selling their investments since records were initiated in 2015, according to ARLA Propertymark.

The number of investors exiting the market rose to five per branch from four per branch in March. During March, ARLA Propertymark found that figure rose for the first time in nearly a year, having sat at three landlords per branch consistently since April 2017.

The number of prospective tenants registered per member branch has continued to rise, and is up by 9 per cent in April. In March, there were 66 tenants on agents’ books in comparison to 72 in April. This marks the strongest demand seen since September when there were 79 per branch.

ARLA Propertymark, David Cox, chief executive, said: ‘The barrage of legislative changes landlords have faced over the past few years, combined with political uncertainty has meant the BTL market is becoming increasingly unattractive to investors. Landlords are either hiking rents for tenants or choosing to exit the market altogether to avoid facing the increased costs incurred. This in turn is hitting renters most, at a time when a huge number of people rely on the rented sector, and leaves us with the question of where will these people find alternative homes?’

He continued: ‘As demand for private rented homes massively continues to outstrip supply, the government can no longer divert its attention from the broken housing market. The recent news that the government is regulating the industry is a step in the right direction, but ultimately we just need more homes.’

The number of tenants who saw rents rise grew to 26 per cent in April, this is the highest number since September 2017 during which 27 per cent of landlords increased rents for tenants. The number of rental properties letting agents managed remained the same as March in April, with 179 on average per branch. Year-on-year, this figure is somewhat low as in April 2017, agents managed a similar 185 per branch. However, in April 2016, they managed 185 and 193 were recorded in 2015.

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