Jo Eccles, director of London-focussed buying agency and property consultancy Eccord, says she is witnessing some landlords willing to quit the sector - even if it means they make a loss.
In her latest market report to clients she writes: “A number of our buy to let landlords who acquired their properties after the peak of the market in 2014 are reluctantly considering the prospect of exiting at a loss and are seeking valuations with a view to selling in the next 12 to 24 months.
“Landlords remain very cost conscious, having faced over the winter months rising repair costs, issues with damp and mould – caused by high utility bills and tenants opening their windows less – and greater demands from tenants who are spending more time at home and have higher expectations for the smooth running of their rental property.
“Landlords are also conscious of looming energy efficiency regulation that will require them to achieve an EPC C rating by 2025 in order to let their property to new tenants. Many will face significant expenditure on upgrades to bring it up to the required standard, and those owning listed properties face an even greater challenge."
She continues: “Net yields remain low and with little prospect of meaningful capital growth over the next three years, landlords are re-evaluating and deciding whether to reduce and consolidate their portfolios when existing tenancy agreements expire.
“Whilst the frenzy and heat has come out of the rental market, tenant demand continues. Of the tenancies we manage which are due to come to an end between April and July this year, 90 per cent are renewing and we are achieving five to nine per cent rent increases, saving our landlords having to pay renewal fees which would otherwise be due if renting out the property through a traditional letting agent.”
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