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ARLA: Buy-to-let investors provide recession solutions

The proportion of investment landlords who do not expect to sell during the next 12 months has risen sharply from 77% to 88%.

Instead, the annual life expectancy of residential property investments averages 16.3 years, with more than one in five investors expecting to maintain their investments for over 20 years.

These investors report an average Loan to Value ratio across their portfolios of 56%. Only a third estimate their Loans to Value at more than 76%.

The average rate of return on a buy-to-let investment over the past five years is 10.59% for an outright cash purchase and 21.54% for a mortgage-backed investment.

These results were revealed in the latest quarterly ARLA Review and Index, today, (January 12). The data is drawn from 488 lettings offices and 328 Investor landlords. This represents the largest independent survey of its kind in the private rented sector.

Ian Potter, Head of Operations for ARLA, said: "Again and again, these independent surveys show that Buy to Let landlords are helping to guarantee the growth of the private rented sector and these are the people who provide the housing solutions for those hit by the current recession and into the future."

Landlords are now reporting that immigration from the new European Union countries is having less effect on the rental market than before. The proportion saying that immigration has some effect is dropping, while the proportion who believe that immigration now has a minimal or no effect is rising.

Meanwhile, three-quarters of all landlords are waiting for their next tenancy change before getting their now mandatory Energy Performance Certificates. However, 95% are aware of the requirements for tenancy deposit protection.

The data for the fourth quarter ARLA Review and Index was collected during November 2008. The surveys of lettings offices and investment landlords are supported by the ARLA Group of Buy to Let Mortgage Lenders: Bank of Ireland Mortgages, Cheltenham & Gloucester, GMAC RFC, Mortgage Express and Paragon Mortgages.

The Review & Index and all surveys can be downloaded from http://www.arla.co.uk

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