Despite recent talk of a mass exodus of landlords from the buy-to-let market, the number of investors has increased over the past five years. Data from Ludlow Thompson, the London sales and lettings agent, shows there to have been an increase of 27% over that time period.
The agent has also pointed out that, not only are there more landlords, but they are also buying more properties – in total, an average of 1.8 properties each. During the last tax year, we saw the Government’s 3% Stamp Duty surcharge for additional properties come into force, as well as the phasing out of BTL mortgage interest tax relief. Despite this, we have seen a record number of landlords join the sector, at 2.5 million.
Jonathan Stephens, Managing Director of Surrenden Invest, the property investment consultancy, has commented: “The UK property market represents such an outstanding investment opportunity that domestic and overseas investors have been undeterred by tax hikes and Brexit alike.
“Landlord numbers continue to rise, and the latest addition of 1% more Stamp Duty for foreign investors is unlikely to make much difference. The market fundamentals are strong enough to withstand it – ultimately, the UK property market remains a place where investors can make healthy returns in both the medium and the long term.”
There continues to be a keen interest in UK property, especially in regional cities. Because of this, Surrenden Invest has highlighted the importance of potential investors considering the true cost of buy to let properties.
Jonathan Stephens also pointed out: “Buy-to-let mortgages are just one of the costs involved in investing in buy to let – there are also legal fees, the cost of furnishing the property, service charges and ground rent for new build developments, management fees and, of course, Stamp Duty Land Tax.
“It’s only after investors have taken all of these into account that they can work out their returns.”