Countrywide says landlords spent £12.1 billion buying rental properties in the first half of this year - a full 30 per cent less than three years ago.
Research from the agency group’s Hamptons International brand says the value of homes purchased by landlords is now at its lowest level in five years.
Purchasing peaked in early 2016 in the rush to beat the government’s three per cent stamp duty surcharge.
In London, landlords spent £3.5 billion purchasing rental homes in the first half of this year, 40 per cent less than in the same period of 2015 and 22 per cent less than H1 2017.
Countryside says landlords are increasingly heading north where purchase prices are relatively low and yields relatively high.
In H1 2018 landlords purchased 64,260 homes in Great Britain; landlords bought 12 per cent of all homes sold in H1 2018, down from 17 per cent in H1 2015.
In London, landlords bought 9,070 homes in H1 2018, a huge 36 per cent less than in H1 2015.
The South East, Scotland and South West have seen the biggest falls in the number of homes bought by landlords, down 45, 44 and 40 per cent respectively.