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Surprise rise in number of buy to lets despite attacks on landlords

The number of private rental homes has increased by 18,610 in the last five years - defying those suggesting an exodus of landlords in the wake of changes to tax relief, stamp duty and tenant fees. 

London is not only home to the largest rental sector with over one million private million homes, but has seen a 6.4 per cent increase in stock in the last five years - that’s 63,000 more homes to meet tenant demand. 

In the West Midlands, stock levels have climbed by 4.4 per cent closely followed by the East Midlands with a 3.9 per cent jump.  


The South West, Wales and East of England have also seen an increase in the number of private rental properties within the sector. 

But not all regions have witnessed an uplift.

The North West has been hit hardest by a reduction in availability with 556,005 private rental homes - 34,000 less than five years ago.

In the South East, the level of privately rented homes has fallen by 5.2 per cent during the same timeframe, meaning there are 36,500 fewer properties for tenants to fight over. 

Drops have also been seen in Yorkshire and the Humber, Scotland and North East England.

The data has been gathered by finance firm Octane Capital. Its chief executive Jonathan Samuels says: “Much has been made about the government’s intentions to deter landlords via a string of legislative changes designed to reduce buy to let profitability, but as it stands, we’re yet to see any top line decline in private rental stock levels as a result of these changes. 

“That said, some areas of the British rental market have faired far better than others and while stock levels have increased across the majority, there have also been some notable declines. 

“The private rental market remains vital to so many across Britain and it’s crucial that the government recognises this and does its best to nurture the sector in order to encourage landlords, not deter them.”

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    Anyone else struggling to believe this? Demand is so far outstripping supply and I personally think it's obvious why - because there is far less rental stock.

    Theodor Cable

    Does that mean I can get more rental prices?

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    Some one's picking figures out of fresh air, total rubbish.

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    Total nonsense. The govt’s own figures show the PRS has reduced from 20.7% of stock to 18.7%, or just 16% in the south-east since 2016. Lettings agents in many places are carrying zero stock. The NRLA show 11,000 properties a month leaving the sector. It is factually incorrect by any measure to say the PRS has increased in size since 2016.

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    If this is true why are tenants fighting to rent my properties, even sometimes offering higher rent? I would be cautious about using Octane Capital for any data collection although I do concur with their comment that government should nurture landlords rather than deter them.

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    This is hard to believe. I'm wondering if some Landlords have changed their business plan and have now become a Limited Company. The larger portfolio Landlords would benefit from this and I understand that a limited partnership was the recommended route, though not without complications.
    I guess also all the converted office space that are now residential flats may come into this equation!
    Not for me though.

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    As others have eluded too, i am finding this somewhat difficult to believe, in all the years i have been a LL i have never had estate agents contacting me direct to check if i have any properties to let, this is due to them having propsective tenants in a desperate state. Also let us all understand that right here and now we still have S21 and the minimum EPC is still E....... Let us see how the picutre looks after 2025/28.


    I get calls and emails from all and sundry these days. Even a cleaning company that I've used in the past contacted me and they've been collared by prospective tenants. Madness. Nowhere to rent down here at the moment. My neighbour used to do standard ASTs. Refurbed a couple of houses and now geared up for short term holiday rentals. Says it was the best thing that he ever did. He's even happy to leave them empty for a month and go on holiday without any hassle. Tempting ....

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    Simon, I confess my experience is different when ever I advertise a property a dozen Agents will be contacting me immediately. When I am not advertising they will contact me periodically to see if I have anything available. Other than this I have letters virtually every week looking for my HMO’s offering guaranteed rent & 5 years Contracts that I never take up. I believe it’s sub-letting and Rent 2 Rent guys money for old rope, they make more than you and own nothing you’ll be the fall guy if it goes wrong or might even invalidate your Insurance. They get our Names & Address from the Council’s HMO Register, (do they buy) so much for data protection Act & privacy policies.

  • George Dawes

    Article by Mickey Mouse

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Regionally ' selected ' figures are not a true representation.
    Its pure publicity spin by companies wanting to get an article published to attribute their name too.
    Landlord Today should be more circumspect over their choice of 'material '.

  • Trevor Cooper

    I suspect the figures are heavily weighted to 5 years ago, successively diminishing year on year.

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    Trevor, you can’t believe the figures or the Council’s either they talk about affordable homes but they sell off new build affordable homes to the Developers that build them. Like Alexandra Avenue, ex Public House in Harrow. Got permission to over Develop site for 61 flats with a promise to include 12 affordable Flats. I understand they got permission for more but just as example. When they were finished they gave Council a cash amount to change status of affordable to sell / rent as shared ownership, what a joke which means no affordable housing. Flats sold prices £390k average.
    Ealing Broadway part of new Development same nonsense sometime back 59 affordable Flats included in the Planning Scheme but when they were finished they were sold back to the Developer so again no affordable housing and reported in the papers at that time a loss to the Borough and tax payers of £20 millions approx. I won’t bothered to mention the huge price of those Flats check sold prices for yourself. It will take a lot of LL fixed penalties to recover that. I am not suggesting those are isolated cases.

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    Its Dickens Yard you can possibly get one bed Flat for £500’000.00 or a 2 bed one currently for sale 75m2 asking price £920’000.00 no wonder they didn’t want any affordable.


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