Research from Foundation Home Loan has revealed that landlords are reviewing their portfolio sizes as a result of ongoing political uncertainty within Britain.
When quizzed on how they have been impacted on by uncertainty since the EU Referendum and General Election, 38% of UK landlords said they had reviewed the size of their portfolios.
7% said they had sold off properties to either cut portfolio size or to diversify. This figure increased to 19% for those holding 20 or more properties, with the new underwriting rules from the PRA creeping up.
30% of landlords asked reported rent rises, with the East Midlands seeing the highest amount at 41%. The North West, South East and East of England also saw a number of landlords increasing rents, at 35%, 33% and 33% respectively.
However, increasing tenant demand in the region has not been sufficient to deflect the weight of wider pressures brought on by tax and policy changes, with East Midlands seeing the highest number of landlords reviewing their portfolios (50%).
Central and Outer London came in close behind at 45% and 40% respectively.
In terms of rental market confidence, 71% of landlords said that they have experienced a fall. This percentage increases to 78% and 77% in Central and Outer London respectively.
Jeff Knight, Marketing Director at Foundation Home Loans, observed: ‘Landlords have been met with a raft of changes, from stamp duty charges to shifts in tax policy, and the lack of certainty on the political front has clouded the picture somewhat. The response has been to ‘batten down the hatches’, streamlining larger portfolios and protecting income by increasing rents – decisions that can be reviewed once the buy to let market is more accommodating. The fact remains that, whether it’s as a stepping stone to home ownership or a longer term lifestyle decision for tenants, the rental sector is an increasingly important part of the housing mix. This will ultimately be best served by a wide choice of property, and good landlords who can have confidence in decent returns.’