One in four buy-to-let landlords are planning to expand their portfolio this year, according to new research.
With buy-to-let continuing to deliver solid returns that outstrip many other asset classes, a fresh report from Rightmove shows that 25% of buy-to-let landlords are planning to add to their portfolio this year.
Phone and email enquiries to agents peaked on Monday 6th July, and rental demand is now 40% higher than this time last year, the research by Rightmove shows.
Asking rents outside London hit a record of £845 per month, up 3.4% on the same time last year, the highest annual rate since Q2 2016.
In contrast, London asking rents have dropped by 0.6% compared to a year ago and down 2.8% in the last quarter, as levels of total available stock have soared by 41% compared to this time last year, fuelled by landlords with holiday lets now competing for long-term rentals.
New rental listings dropped by an average of 50% during lockdown, but are now up 1% on the same time last year.
Total available stock is also up 1%. However, there are large variations at a local level, with total available stock currently up 41% in London and up 34% in Edinburgh, fuelled in-part by a surge in long-term rental supply from the curtailed holiday short-let market.
Overall rental demand is at a record high and so this may lead to further upwards price pressure except in areas of over-supply.
Rightmove’s commercial director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside said: “The pause in the rental market has led to some distorted figures over the past few months, especially in cities where landlords with short-term lets made the swap to instead try and find a long-term tenant. Both rents outside London and demand being at a record high isn’t good news for many tenants looking to move right now, especially as we know there will be even more competition for those attractive properties with more space, bigger gardens and a spare room.
“There are early signs that some existing London renters are looking to move further afield, adding to the large increase in the number of properties up for rent on Rightmove in the capital, so prospective tenants there could find there’s some room to negotiate especially if they are happy to sign a longer-term contract than usual.
“Many renters may feel they’ve been left out of the chancellor’s recovery packages, but one glimmer of hope is that the temporary stamp duty savings may entice more investors to expand their portfolio. If this does happen we could see more choice for tenants and in turn prices may stabilise for a while, but it will take some time.”