The number of landlords operating in the UK has hit a record high of 2.5m, according to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) data acquired by London estate agent ludlowthompson following a Freedom of Information request.
Despite the tough changes introduced in the buy-to-let sector over recent years, the figures suggest that there is still a desire for investors to become landlords.
Strict new mortgage rules and difficult tax conditions have not deterred more investors entering the buy-to-let sector, with the number of landlords rising by 5% in 2015-16 to reach a record high of 2.5m.
The rise in buy-to-let landlords
ludlowthompson’s study found that the amount of landlords in the UK has increased by 27% in the past five years, from 1.97m in 2011-12.
Landlords now own an average of 1.8 buy-to-let properties each, which has risen for the fifth consecutive year.
The average number of properties per landlord
With investment in buy-to-let outperforming other major asset classes, including bonds, cash and shares, ludlowthompson says that landlords continue to see residential property – especially in London – as a strong investment.
Long-term landlords with the agent have recorded average annual returns of 9.9% since 2000.
Stephen Ludlow, the Chairman of ludlowthompson, says: “Rising numbers of landlords shows the enduring appeal of buy-to-let, particularly in London.
“The long-term picture for the buy-to-let market remains strong. As a London-leaning Brexit looks more likely, a final deal will focus on strengthening the appeal of the capital as a go-to destination for overseas professionals, graduates and students alike.”
He continues: “Our own figures underline the strength of London’s attraction, with a significant increase in rental applicant numbers since the start of 2018. In addition, job creation in the capital remains healthy, its social scene is world-class and new, better transport links continue to come online.”