The next most popular regions being eyed by landlords are the South East and Yorkshire & The Humber, where 16 per cent of landlords are targeting new properties.
Overall, one in seven landlords plan to expand their portfolios in the coming year.
More than two out of three buyers plan to fund their next purchase with a buy-to-let mortgage, while just 18 per cent will release equity from existing properties to fund new purchases. Demand for mortgages is similar across all portfolio sizes although almost a quarter of landlords with 11 or more properties will release equity.
Brokers continue to dominate the market. More than 70 per cent of landlords used a mortgage broker or intermediary to arrange their last buy-to-let mortgage, while 19 per cent went direct to a lender. Landlords with six to ten properties were the most likely to use brokers at 79 per cent. Meanwhile 29 per cent of landlords with one property dealt directly with a lender.
Alan Cleary, managing director of Precise Mortgages, said: “The increasing professionalisation of the buy-to-let market means landlords are becoming more focused and selective in where they buy properties and how they fund their purchases.
“Recent rate cuts across the buy-to-let market are highlighting the opportunities to increase portfolios and profitability as well as underlining the need for expert advice from brokers particularly among landlords with bigger portfolios.”