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Landlords plan to hold steady on property purchases and sales – research

  • 28/06/2019
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Landlords plan to hold steady on property purchases and sales – research
Property investors still believe the buy-to-let sector is a good long-term investment but have had their confidence rocked in the sector by government tax and legal changes.


As a result, research from estate agency Benham and Reeves found landlords were likely to maintain current portfolios, with most landlords being unlikely to either buy or sell properties in the next five years.

The survey of 5,000 landlords found that 73 per cent considered property to still be the best, least volatile long-term investment against all other asset classes.

However, the government’s changes and Brexit approach have significantly knocked confidence.

Landlords are split 50-50 on whether it will remain a good investment when the tax changes have completed rolling out.

Meanwhile 68 per cent were less confident in the market following the Brexit vote, with only two per cent more confident.


Reluctant to make decisions

Also, notably, only 20 per cent said they felt familiar with the planned changes to the property and investment laws, with the remaining 80 per cent unfamiliar.

Two thirds added that stopping evictions via Section 21 Notices would make them more cautious about future investment decisions.

As a result, landlords appear reluctant to make major decisions in the short term.

A combined 83 per cent said they were either unlikely or very unlikely to sell property this year, and only 28 per cent thought they would consider buying a property next year.

This figure did increase to 50 per cent in the next five years, suggesting they felt more confident in the medium-to-longer term than the next couple of years.


Gone to war with landlords

Benham and Reeves director Marc von Grundherr criticised government policy but noted investors were typically taking a pragmatic approach.

“The government has really gone to war with buy-to-let investors of late and a consistent string of detrimental changes to the sector through stamp duty increases, tax relief changes and a ban on tenant fees has had the desired impact of denting industry sentiment and dampening appetite for future investment due to a reduction in profitability,” he said.

“However, for the institutional buy-to-let investor, this is but a mere blip on a much longer timeline and the overwhelming overtones are that while Brexit poses a challenging obstacle for the immediate future, the market remains the investment option of choice with many confident on a return further down the line.

“This is a testament to the durability of buy-to-let bricks and mortar in the UK as, despite a government-backed clamp down, it remains a lucrative business and one that continues to gain the backing of those that are on the front line.”


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