Fewer landlords looking to buy more properties, particularly in London

Fewer landlords are looking to add to their portfolios with new research suggesting the number registering to buy has fallen substantially across England and Wales

Overall the number of landlords looking to buy was down by 36% but down even more, by 47% in London, according to the latest research from agents Haart.

The research also shows that the number of tenants entering the market fell by 15.6% on a monthly basis but remain 22% higher than in November 2017.

The average rent fell by 0.9% month and month and was down by 3.6% year on year to an average of £1,315 across England and Wales. But in London rents were up 1.2% on a monthly basis and are 6.9% higher than a year ago at £1,937.

While the number of buy to let sales rose by 1.2% year on year across England and Wales, the figure fell by 35% in London.

But the agents points out that this comes at a time when prices paid for buy to lets are down substantially, by some 8.3% in England and Wales and by 28.1% London year on year. This compares with overall house price growth of 1.4% across England and Wales in November.

Paul Smith, Haart chief executive officer said it is promising to see house prices climb in the face of political and economic uncertainty and November and December are typically quieter months for the property market. He expects the market to pick up in the New Year.

‘The monthly drop in the numbers registering to buy in London, which coincides with a huge increase in the number registering to rent, is indicative of buyers waiting for the political in-fighting to blow over,’ he said.

‘However, if the Government were to provide clarity on Brexit, this would act as an ignition to unlocking the market’s huge potential. Throughout 2018, the market has enjoyed a number of underlying strengths,’ he explained.

‘With demand for property remaining significantly higher than supply, and a range of low fixed mortgages readily available, coupled with the fact that employment figures are at their highest in decades, there is plenty of reasons to be confident about the UK’s housing market going into 2019,’ he added.

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