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Number of UK landlords hits 2.5 million

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New research shows that despite challenges in the buy to let (BTL) sector over the last few years (e.g increased stamp duty land tax; tax relief for landlords limited to a 20% basic rate; and, changes to the Wear and Tear allowance), there still remains an appetite to be a residential landlord.

Reporting on the data from ludlowthompson and sourced from HM Revenue & Customs figures, LandlordToday publication said the number of landlords rose by 5% in 2015-16 to reach a record high of 2.5 million. 

The study also found that: 

  • the number of landlords has increased 27% in the past five years - up from 1.97 million in 2011-12;
  • an average landlord owns 1.8 buy-to-let properties – rising for the fifth consecutive year;
  • long term landlords with ludlowthompson report an average return of 9.9% a year since 2000;
  • 7% of all mortgages in Q4 2017 went to BTL investors, a drop from 14.4% in Q4 2016 and 16.3% in 2015. 

Stephen Ludlow, chairman at ludlowthompson, commented: “Rising numbers of landlords shows the enduring appeal of buy-to-let, particularly in London.

“The long-term picture for the buy-to-let market remains strong. As a ‘London-leaning’ Brexit looks more likely, a final deal will focus on strengthening the appeal of the capital as a go-to destination for overseas professionals, graduates and students alike.

“Our own figures underline the strength of London’s attraction with a significant increase in rental applicant numbers since the start of 2018. In addition, job creation in the capital remains healthy, its social scene is world-class and new, better transport links continue to come online.”