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Record numbers of landlords improving their let properties

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According to the new data, the numbers of landlords re-mortgaging to release funds for improvements to their properties has reached a record high.

The Countrywide plc Monthly Lettings Index for April 2018 reports that in the last 12 months:

  • 9,523 landlords who re-mortgaged their buy-to-let (BTL) property withdrew money for home improvements – this is up from 8,459 in 2017 and three times more than in 2016 (2,967);
  • 6% of landlords who re-mortgaged released funds to spend on their property, an increase of 1.9% on 2016;
  • The average cost of a new let reached £951 pcm in Great Britain in March 2018, a 1.7% increases on the same period last year.

Regionally, in the last 12 months:

  • the greatest increase was in the East of England where 10.4% of landlords who re-mortgaged released money to spend on home improvements – an increase of 6.8% in the last two years;
  • landlords in London took out the most money to spend on BTL improvements, an average of £35,470.  This is over three times the amount an average landlord in Yorkshire & the Humber withdrew (£11,150).

Nationally, the average landlord re-mortgaging to make improvements took out £22,850. 

In a press release, Johnny Morris, Research Director at Countrywide, said:

“A record number of landlords are re-mortgaging to release money to spend on their properties instead of trading up.  The additional transaction costs incurred from the stamp duty changes for second-homeowners means more landlords are choosing to invest in their properties, refurbishing and improving them and holding on to them for longer to maximise gains.  

“Average rents grew in seven out of eight regions across Great Britain, with Scotland being the only region to see falls.  Rental growth during the first quarter of this year stands at 2.1%, 0.5% faster than the same period in 2017, as low stock levels continue to drive growth.”