Landlords Stake Their Faith in Buy to Let

Property investors added 477 homes daily to their buy-to-let rental portfolios in the first three months of 2022.

While landlords are stepping up on the number of homes they are buying, the number for sale dropped from 14 per cent of all sales in 2021 to 10 per cent in the first quarter of 2022.

Landlords are buying more homes than they sell for the first time since the stamp duty surcharge for additional homes was introduced in Spring 2016.

Investors purchased 42,980 homes worth £8.5 billion in Q1 2022.

Overall, the private rented home market gained 13,480 properties in 2022, compared to a net loss of 7,640 last year.

Share of homes bought and sold by investors

The data suggests landlords have rediscovered their faith in buy-to-let as an investment, says estate agency Hamptons International, which released the data.

The number of private homes to rent shrank by 300,000 from the market peak of 5.3 million homes in 2017 and has slowly dropped to 5 million in 2021.

The data also reveals the North-East remains the UK's buy-to-let hotspot.

Almost 28 per cent of all purchases in Q1 2022 were made by landlords, who snapped up twice as many homes as first-time buyers in the region. The report points out that rental yields in the North-East run at about 9 per cent, compared with an average of 6.5 per cent for the rest of the country.

In the North-East, Middlesbrough is the country's buy-to-let hotspot, with 58 per cent of sales going to investors during the past six months.

The agency explained that investors are heading for the highest yielding council areas to buy their rental homes to hedge against inflation and increase returns. More landlords are buying in the top-yielding areas - seven out of ten in Q1 2022, from 57 per cent 10 years ago.

The study also disclosed house price growth had outperformed inflation most years.

Where landlords are buying rented homes

These are the leading buy to let hotspots in the UK based on purchases over the past six months/

RankCouncilRegion% of homes bought by landlordsAverage gross yield
2CalderdaleYorkshire & Humber50%7.7%
3East StaffordshireWest Midlands48%6.5%
5BostonEast Midlands39%8.0%
6SwindonSouth West36%6.1%
8NottinghamEast Midlands34%7.6%
9YorkYorkshire & Humber31%5.8%
10PlymouthSouth West29%6.1%
11ExeterSouth West29%5.9%
12Barking & DagenhamLondon28%5.4%
13DerbyEast Midlands28%6.7%
14LeicesterEast Midlands28%6.1%

Source: Hamptons International

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons, said:  “Tax and regulatory changes have weighed heavily on the buy-to-let sector over the last five years causing more landlords to sell up at a time when fewer new entrants were looking to buy.

“As a result, there are around 300k fewer privately rented homes in Great Britain today than at the peak of the sector in 2017. While we expect investors to continue purchasing at around the same rate over the course of 2022, it’s unlikely to be enough to make up for the full loss of rental homes during the last five years.

“A lack of rental homes is one of the reasons why rents have been rising at such pace over the last year.”

Meanwhile, The Times has ranked Britain's best places to live.

Judges considered several factors, including location, community spirit and house prices.

Here are the winners:

1IlkleyYorkshire & Humber
3Crystal PalaceLondon
8Chalke ValleySouth West

Source: The Times

Buy to let FAQ

Where is the best place to buy an investment property?

There's no definitive best place to buy, and the decision depends on the type and location of the property and many other local factors. Many landlords prefer to purchase homes in their local area, but others looking to build a more extensive portfolio may have to look farther afield.

Why are landlords leaving buy to let?

The information that landlords are leaving buy to let is anecdotal rather than supported by factual data. The market is constantly churning as investors leave and join for many reasons, including retirement, ill-health and selling up to spend the cash.

What is buy to let yield?

Yield is the financial return on investment from a rented home, which could be a buy-to-let, house in multiple occupation (HMO), or a holiday let.

How is buy to let yield calculated?

Yield is easy to work out on a calculator:

  1. Take the value of a property, i.e. £150,000
  2. Add up the rent for a year, i.e. £8,400 paid by the tenant at £700 a month
  3. Divide the rent by the market value, i.e. £8,400/£150,000
  4. Multiply the answer by 100 ie 0.056 x 100 = 6 per cent

The workings give the gross yield, which means no expenses are included.

What's the difference between net and gross yields?

A gross yield gives the return on investment without deducting any expenses.

The net yield has an extra step in the calculation - subtracting the year's property expenses from the income:

  1. Take the value of a property, i.e. £150,000
  2. Add up the rent for a year, i.e. £8,400 paid by the tenant at £700 a month
  3. Subtract the year's property expenses, i.e. £4,000, to leave income as £4,400
  4. Divide the rent by the market value, i.e. £4,400/£150,000
  5. Multiply the answer by 100 ie 0.029 x 100 = 2.9 per cent

View Related Handbook Page

Investing in a Property

Investing in a private rented property can be achieved in a variety of ways. Sometimes landlords inherit a property that they then turn over to renting. Sometimes owners of properties become unintentional landlords because they are unable or unwilling to sell a property at the value the market currently dictates.