The study of 983 homeowners and mortgage holders included 147 residential landlords. Of those, 16 per cent of landlords surveyed said they expected to buy more properties in the future.
Landlords cited regulatory issues as the main reason for wanting to leaving the private rental sector. A further 24 per cent said the end of tax relief on buy-to-let mortgages was leading them to sell up.
For those growing their portfolios, the ability to earn a good income was the main driver. Some 83 per cent of landlords cited this as their motivation, while 57 per cent said rising property prices would make buy-to-lets a good investment.
A further 61 per cent said low savings accounts interest rates made property the better investment.
The appeal of buy to let
While regulatory changes are driving existing landlords out of the sector, 11 per cent of the 836 homeowners and mortgage holders said they were thinking of becoming landlords in the next five years.
Their main reason was the low rates on cash savings, with 55 per cent saying they wanted to put their cash into property to earn a better return. Meanwhile, 48 per cent said they saw buy to let as a good way to diversify their investments and 42 per cent felt certain buy to let would generate a good income.
Denise Wells, head of mortgage operations at The Nottingham, said: “Our research suggests sellers currently outnumber buyers in the buy-to-let market with regulatory issues and tax changes among the reasons persuading landlords to pull out of the market.
“However, it remains the case that there are potentially strong returns to be earned in the buy-to-let market and we continue to see landlords buying rental properties whilst our research indicates that many more potential landlords are considering going into the market too.
“Whether landlords are buying or selling it is crucial they get the best possible advice on their finances and source the most competitive mortgages.”