More than two out of three buy-to-let sales were made by cash buyers, according to Countrywide, with landlords buying in the North East the most likely to buy in cash, with almost eight out of 10 sales made in this way.
On the other hand, investors in London were the least likely to buy with cash, with the method accounting for around two in five sales.
The value of cash sales is now a third higher than in 2007, with a substantial uptick in mortgage-free buyers seen over the past two years.
Cash comes from remortgaging
A large amount of cash comes from landlords remortgaging homes they already own, Countrywide said.
The research also showed that annual average rents grew by 0.5% in October to £958 a month. The biggest rise in rents were in the Midlands and Wales, with 2.2% and 2.6% respective increases.
London was the only region were rents fell year on year, down 0.9% to a typical £1,706. In the East of England and South East annual rent growth was at 0.3% and 0.8% respectively.
Johnny Morris, research director at Countrywide, (pictured) said: “Landlords have increased their housing wealth considerably over the last 10 years.
“This means cash purchases are steadily becoming a bigger part of the market. But a landlord buying with cash will often have a mortgage either on their personal home or other properties in their portfolio.
“Rising prices have allowed landlords to take equity out of both their personal or other rental homes to expand their portfolios,” he added.