One in 10 landlords now plan to purchase properties and expand their portfolio, compared to just 3% at the end of last year, according to research by Simply Business.
The business insurance company, which provides insurance to over 250,000 landlords, found that at the end of last year, 82% of landlords claimed that they had no plans to acquire another property in 2020, while just 3% were intending to add more than a single property to their portfolio.
Now it seems sentiment has changed, as landlords look to take advantage of the Chancellor’s stamp duty holiday introduced in July.
Soon after the announcement was made, a tenth (10%) of landlords said they were now planning to purchase more properties and expand their portfolio, and just 5% said they had any intention to sell any existing properties.
Simply Business says this rise in confidence could lead to a spike in investments away from the capital. At the end of 2019, a third (29%) of UK residential landlords already believed properties in city centres no longer represented a worthwhile investment.
Lockdown appears to have pushed up renter and homeowner demand in greener towns and villages, with recent figures from Rightmove also revealing that property searches have doubled for homes in small towns and villages with populations less than 11,000.
According to Alan Thomas, UK chief executive officer at Simply Business, the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown have been ‘transformational’ in UK renters’ attitudes towards property, effectively shifting where landlords are looking to make their next investment.
He says: “The pandemic has resulted in people spending more time at home – both for work and leisure, while many of the benefits of city living have been impacted. It’s no surprise to see that renters are valuing larger properties with outdoor space.”
“There appears to be a shift in terms of what is considered a desirable property by tenants, and residential landlords – crucial to both the economy and the local communities where they provide housing – along with the market in general, are reacting to this.”
“What is clear though, is that the UK buy-to-let market is going through somewhat of a transition, driven by a move away from the previous demand for city centre properties,” he concludes.