Landlord News

Leeds Building Society responds to buy-to-let market bounce back

Em Morley - August 20, 2020

Leeds Building Society has noted that industry data shows buy-to-let is proving to be more robust than residential.

It highlights that landlords are looking for different property types or searching in new locations as a result of COVID-19.

To better understand the impact the pandemic has had on investor activity, Leeds Building Society has looked at the latest figures from the CACI Mortgage Application Reporting Service. They show that between March and mid-July there was a higher volume of buy-to-let mortgage applications than residential.

Matt Bartle, Director of Products at Leeds Building Society said: “In terms of the volume of applications over this period, the buy-to-let market fell less steeply and recovered more quickly than residential.

“We’ve also seen increased purchase activity; suggesting landlords are taking advantage of a combination of factors, including stamp duty relief, low interest rates, and tenant demand.”

The market data is supported by the additional insight from the Society’s own research with landlords. This involved a UK survey of 1,075 people at the end of June 2020. It looked at how people’s needs and attitudes to homes have changed since the start of lockdown.

Of those surveyed, 79% of landlords who were considering investing in a buy-to-let property before the pandemic said their plans had changed. Half still want to buy but are taking a fresh look at their plans:

  • 29% are reconsidering the type of property they are looking to buy and 29% are looking at new locations.
  • 20% are reassessing what they are willing to invest, while 22% are rethinking their timings.

Leeds Building Society reports that half of those surveyed said they hadn’t been planning to buy any new properties before the lockdown and still had no plans to do so.

Matt Bartle comments: “It’s interesting to see how well buy-to-let has been holding up in this period.

“Bearing in mind the changes that coronavirus has brought to all our lives it’s not surprising to see landlords reviewing future plans for their property portfolios as tenants’ needs and priorities are also affected by the pandemic.

“The recent Government announcement on stamp duty appears to be spurring prospective purchasers into action, including buy-to-let landlords.

“As our survey reveals, investors are having to adapt quickly and reassess opportunities and the future shape of their portfolio.”