A majority of private landlords say they are less confident about the market than they were three months ago, according to the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).
Figures highlighting the gap between the percentage of landlords planning on selling up and those planning to buy reflect this result. The aforementioned gap has increased sevenfold in the last two years from 4% to 21%.
There is one positive outcome for tenants to be mentioned: many landlords are now not increasing rents. The RLA has reported that two-thirds have frozen rents over the last year.
Confidence now seems to be at its lowest in London and Wales and highest in the West Midlands followed by the North East and Yorkshire and The Humber.
The figures, which are contained in the RLA’s latest Confidence Index, show that in the third quarter of 2019, 55.1% of private landlords were less confident about the market.
34% of landlords are planning to sell property over the next year. This is compared with 22% two years ago. Just 13% plan to purchase at least one property to rent out compared with 18% two years ago.
The main reason that has been provided by landlords for this drop in sector confidence is the recent tax changes. Many have stated that the fact that this has been adding to increased costs has led them to the conclusion that selling up is the best option.
David Smith, Policy Director for the RLA, said: “We warned the government that the tax increases they have imposed on landlords would be counter-productive and these figures show how right we were.
“All they are achieving is driving landlords to leave the market, damage investment and so making it more difficult for tenants to find somewhere suitable to live.
“Whoever is in government following the election needs to completely change the approach and start to support good landlords to encourage them to invest to meet the rising demand for rented housing.”