According to new research by the UK’s largest estate agency brand, 60% of landlords believe now is a good time to invest in buy-to-let, an increase of 4% from September 2014.
It was also found that 45% of landlords have witnessed an increase in tenant demand, another increase of 4% from September 2014. This finding is corroborated by the recent boost in lettings activity, with new tenancies agreed in England and Wales going up 6.9% in the month to March 2015.
Landlords expect this trend to continue. The proportion of landlords who expect tenant demand to increase further now stands at 63%, up from 56% in January 2014. Only a tiny minority (3%) think demand for rental property will decline within the next two years.
Not only is demand strong, but confidence in buy-to-let investments to offer better capital returns than other forms of investment is high. Over half (54%) of landlords think now is a prime time to invest in the private rented sector. Some 18% of landlords have already expanded their buy-to-let portfolio in the last 12 months. A quarter expect to purchase another rental property in the next year, up from 22% in September 2014.
Flying in the face of recent anti-landlord sentiment pushed by certain politicians in the run-up to the general election, only 4% of the 1,200 landlords surveyed ranked securing the highest possible rental yield as their top business priority, putting it at the bottom of the list. The most important thing for the majority of landlords (62%) was finding tenants they trust, followed by having the rent payed on time (25%).
Regarding the election, 41% of landlords do not support proposals to ban charging fees to tenants, with only 32% in support. Also, 36% of landlords were found to prefer 1-year tenancies to be the maximum length. 86% of those who oppose the enforcement of longer tenancies do so because it risks taking away their ability to remove bad tenants.