The number of private landlords in the UK has fallen over the last two years, according to new figures published by Countrywide, despite the number of rented properties rising.
The report shows that the number of landlords renting out properties in the UK peaked in 2015 at 3.72 million. At this time, however, there were 171,000 fewer homes available to rent compared to today.
There are now just over 154,000 fewer landlords, 3.56 million in total, but the number of homes currently being rented has increased from 4.9 million in 2015 to 5.1 million today.
The research points to a change in the structure of the private rented sector in Britain, with fewer small landlords owning one or two additional properties and more corporate and portfolio landlords.
According to the research conducted by Countrywide, the number of landlords who own ten or more properties has risen by a third over the last ten years.
The changes in the structure of the UK rental market in recent years coincide with changes to the tax and regulatory system faced by buy to let investors.
The introduction of Section 24, which phases out mortgage interest tax relief for private landlords, the hike in Stamp Duty and the cap on tenants’ deposits, along with tough new lending conditions being introduced by the Prudential Regulation Authority have all hit landlords’ finances and made it harder for them to borrow.
Commenting on the findings, Johnny Morris, Research Director at Countrywide, said; “The increasing number of rented homes is being driven by landlords expanding their portfolios rather than new landlords entering the market.
“Increasing regulation in the sector accompanied by recent changes to income tax relief on mortgage interest payments seem to be favouring more experienced, professional landlords.
“Despite expanding portfolio sizes the sector is still characterised by those owning just one or two homes, 73% of landlords own one home.”
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