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Smaller towns and cities grow in popularity amongst landlords

  • 08/03/2022
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Smaller towns and cities grow in popularity amongst landlords
Buy-to-let landlords are choosing to buy in smaller towns and cities, with purchase activity in some areas increasing nearly sevenfold.


According to lending data from Paragon, mortgage completions in city and town centre postcodes during 2021 doubled on 2020, and major growth was recorded in secondary towns and cities.

The highest completion growth was in Milton Keynes, which reported a 667 per cent compared to the previous year.

This was followed by Bristol and Manchester, which increased fourfold respectively, and Luton which grew by 258 per cent.

Plymouth, Stoke, Northampton, Cardiff and Nottingham also reported strong increases in completion activity.

In London, buy-to-let completions grew by 95 per cent in 2021, with activity mainly concentrated in Zones 2 and 3.

Completion activity in Zone 3 grew by 183 per cent and by 93 per cent in Zone 2. Zone 1 completion activity rose by 38 per cent and Zone 4 rose by 13 per cent.

Paragon Bank’s director of mortgages Richard Rowntree said: “The strongest growth was not necessarily in the UK’s major cities. Aside from London and Manchester, the top 10 growth locations were in secondary cities or large towns.

“The likes of Milton Keynes, Luton, Bristol, Northampton and Nottingham experienced strong double or triple-digit growth in completions during the year.”

He added: “There appears to be one of, or a combination of, three factors that each of these locations share. They are in commutable distance to a major city, they mostly have vibrant universities and they have healthy local economies.

“Landlords have been reacting to changing tenant demand and there is clearly demand for tenants to retain urban living, but perhaps targeting smaller towns and cities.”

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