337 landlords responded to the question “Are you more confident or less confident about the buy-to-let market than you were last month?”
Of those who said that they felt more confident, most cited increased tenant demand for properties as the reason. Comments included:
• “Rents are edging up even in South Wales. There’s demand from young women in particular for well presented properties that are competitively priced. “
• “Within the last month I have raised rents by 10% across my whole portfolio. Whether this is a true reflection of the rental market or whether rents have been artificially inflated due to lack of first time buyer activity, remains to be seen.”
• “There seems to be a great demand for good quality rental properties. Wish we had more!”
Landlords who felt less confident in the sector mainly cited difficulties around finance as the reason. Comments included:
• “Interest rates are on the way to an increase, very difficult to fix mortgage.”
• “Unhappy until mortgage market recovers and CGT comes down to a sensible level.”
• “I have no idea when things will improve, looks we are in for a very long painful haul!”
CEO, James Davis, said: “This is the highest we’ve seen landlord confidence since January last year. It’s clear that demand for rental property is on the increase throughout much of the UK, and that many landlords are reaping rewards from that.
“But we continue to share a number of concerns. Lack of finance is causing problems throughout the housing market. Landlords need to be able to expand their portfolios to meet increased demand for rental property: instead, they’re being held back by banks offering only expensive and inaccessible finance deals. Lack of supply of rental property is – as one of our respondents noted – pushing up rents in many areas: at a time when many jobs are in jeopardy, we might think that expanding the number of properties available would be preferable to making renting more expensive.
“The Housing Minister last week made a strange statement implying he would intervene in the housing market to keep prices stable and low. It would be more useful if he would intervene in the finance market to ensure that both landlords and first time buyers have access to the mortgage products they need.”
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