Speaking at The Buy to Let Market Forum in Manchester Mark Long, director of research agency BDRC Continental, said 41% of landlords surveyed chose a lender based on advice from their broker.
This compared to 36% who chose a lender with the lowest rate while 26% went with a lender based on past experiences.
The survey’s aim was to find out how it felt to be a landlord in the recovering market and what made the buy-to-let borrower tick.
It identified that the “tipping point” to becoming a professional landlord, able to make a full-time living from property investment, came when a portfolio consisted of 11 or more properties.
Of those surveyed, 16% said they had increased their portfolios in the last three months and the average acquisition was 2 properties.
When landlords were asked if they intended to increase their portfolios over the coming three months this figure increased to 18%.
It rose again to 22% and 27% for landlords expecting purchase buy-to-let properties over the next six and 12 months respectively.
Long said: “Larger landlords are likely to be the most acquisitive this year and will engage more with lenders than smaller landlords who are expected to remain slightly more cautious.”
And the findings uncovered a growing segment of mortgage-free landlords who are turning away from the stock market and choosing to invest in property.
Long said this is more likely to be landlords who own one property – just under 50% responded to say they did not have a mortgage.
But 15% of the largest landlords also reported their portfolio was unencumbered.
“We are seeing an emergent new breed of investor coming into this segment of the market,” said Long.
“They are backed by previously invested funds. There is an active decision being made to uncouple from the stock market and plough into bricks and mortar.
“This is a very strong growing trend which we have observed over the last two or three years.”