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Landlords remain confident about BTL, study finds

Almost two-fifths of landlords are feeling positive about the future of the rental market, and are thinking about buying more properties to rent in the future, according to a recent survey by NatWest.

The study found that portfolio landlords are generally keenest to expand with 48% of landlords surveyed with three properties and 41% of landlords with four properties wanting to invest more in buy-to-let.

Landlords in the North-East and North-West were more likely to affirm they were looking for more buy-to-let properties, with just over half - 51% - in the North-East and 44% in the North West. This compared with just 30% of South East landlords.This could partly be due to landlords in the North West having the highest rental yield in the country of 10.6%.

So what's affecting the rental market? 

A major influence on the change in the rental market is the prominent growth of Airbnb. Landlords are no longer sticking to traditional methods of renting property, with a third of landlords either having rented a property with Airbnb or considered it. Interestingly, it’s the live-in landlords who are overwhelmingly in favour of Airbnb, with over half stating it has had a positive influence on the rental market.

In 2017, Airbnb announced that one of the fastest growing Airbnb destinations in the UK is the East Midlands, where inbound guest growth had increased by 134% since summer 2016. Surprisingly, only a minute 8% of landlords in the East Midlands thought that Airbnb has had a positive influence on the rental market.

It’s the landlords up North who seem to be the most optimistic overall. A quarter of North-East landlords thought Airbnb was positively influencing the rental market and 22% of landlords in the North West and Scotland. Of course whilst London landlords are positive too, the 90 day limit for letting Airbnb in the capital is restricting their income.

Overall, it’s a sunny outlook for the future of the rental market, supported by the fact that almost 20% of tenants surveyed by NatWest said they plan on renting forever.

Sophie Proctor is content marketing executive for Performics.

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