Landlords want more innovation in UK buy to let property market

Private rented sector plays an important role in provision of housing

Almost three quarters, some 74%, of residential property landlords in the UK agree that the buy to let market needs greater innovation, according to new research from the National Landlords Association (NLA).

It also found that an overwhelming proportion, some 89%, also believe that the sector would benefit from more lenders or greater competition.

However, although many landlords were dissatisfied with the current range of buy to let products on the market, the research found that property acquisition is in fact on the rise with one in ten landlords having added properties to their portfolios over the last three months and one in five expecting to do so in the next year.

Furthermore, more than half of landlords surveyed do not believe that access to buy to let mortgages is getting any easier, with three in five agreeing that their individual circumstances as landlords are not being considered by buy to let lenders.

‘Early signs of increasing property acquisition suggest that landlords are feeling more confident about future prospects of the buy to let market,’ said NLA chairman David Salusbury.

‘However, while these findings are encouraging, some professional landlords, with more extensive portfolios, seem to be struggling to secure funds for additional expansion,’ he explained.

‘The private rented sector is playing an increasingly important role in the provision of housing. Buy to let products must be sustainable, with consideration for the longer term, if the private-rented sector is to rise to this challenge,’ he added.

The NLA Landlord Optimism Index has also levelled out after a period of slow improvement following a significant drop four years ago, suggesting that landlords are a little more cautious about their future prospects.

Other findings from the NLA research show that seven in ten landlords, 72%, carry borrowing on all or some of their letting portfolio and landlords have an average of about eight buy to let loans held per portfolio. Also, 20% of landlords took out a new loan or re-mortgaged in the last year.

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