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The number of landlords exiting the market ‘is concerning’, says RICS

A growing number of buy-to-let landlords are likely to exit the private rented sector over the next 12 months due to policy changes, according to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) survey of its members.

Some 61% of surveyors felt landlords would exit the market over the coming year, while only 12% felt there would be a greater number of entrants.

More than half - 52% - of those surveyed projected that there would be a net reduction in landlords over the next three years, with just 17% predicting an increase.

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With demand from renters likely to outweigh supply, respondents estimate that over the next five years rental growth will outpace that of house prices, averaging 3% per annum, against 2% for house price inflation.

Paul Bagust, from RICS, described the findings as “concerning”, especially given house price rises.

According to RICS, UK house prices rose marginally in August, although the national figure hides major regional disparities. 

Agents in Northern Ireland reported the most widespread price increases over the past three months, while prices have fallen across many parts of London and the South East.

Bagust said: “A functioning private rented sector is crucial to a healthy housing market and it’s predicted that over 20% of all households will be PRS by 2020. The sector is extremely diverse, including many one home landlords.

“RICS is part of a sector wide collaboration developing a revised industry-led PRS Code of Practice, to raise standards for both consumers and landlords, bring clarity to those already in the market on various policy measures, and encourage landlords back into a professionalised market.” 

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