The number of landlords planning to sell some or all of their buy-to-let properties remains at an historic high, according to new research.
A fifth of landlords - 19% - said they would offload properties this year due primarily to the mortgage interest relief changes.
The survey of more than 1,000 private landlords suggests that a perfect storm of increasing demand from renters and landlords selling up will have a major impact on the market, which will inevitably place upward pressure on rental values.
The figures, from the National Landlords Association (NLA), show that up to 380,000 landlords are looking to sell property in the near future.
The data indicates that almost half - 45% - of landlords who intend to sell property in the coming year plan to sell individual flats and apartments, with a third - 33% - looking to sell terraced homes, which is bad news for renters, but potentially good news for first-time buyers.
Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association (NLA), said: “These findings sound like positive news for potential new homeowners, but the reality is not everyone wants, or is in a position financially, to buy.
“In fact, if all these homes are sold as planned then it will lead to a significant fall in the supply of property available to those who choose to rent, or have no other option but to rent.”
The NLA has produced a video and discussion paper – the hustle for homes – about the relationship between landlords and first time buyers in the market.
Lambert added: “Everyone seems to have a gut instinct about the extent to which they feel landlords and first time buyers compete for homes in the UK, but homeownership is a highly emotive issue so the facts are often overlooked.
“There’s certainly no denying that competition exists, but the significant barriers to homeownership are more likely to be the high cost of a deposit or ability to access mortgage finance.
“With our new video and discussion paper we hope to provide more of an accurate picture of these issues, and importantly we want to focus the debate on what can be done to ensure that everyone has a roof over their head - regardless of whether they rent or own.”