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Graham Awards


Lettings sector confidence plunges to historic low

Landlords’ confidence in the success of their own businesses has plunged in recent months. 

Only 29 per cent of landlords have positive expectations for their letting business over the next three months, down from 44 per cent at the same time last year.

This is now at a historic low, according to the latest BVA BDRC Landlords Panel surveying over 700 active landlords in the second quarter of this year.


The panel uses five confidence indices – Capital Gains, Rental Yields, UK Financial Market, UK Private Sector and Own Letting Business.

Confidence in capital gains fell to 23 per cent in the quarter, from 32 per cent in Q2 2018, and prospects for rental yields dropped from 49 per cent in the second quarter of 2018 to 39 in  the second quarter 2019; this is the lowest recorded in over nine years. 

More broadly, confidence in the sector and economy overall declined with 15 per cent optimistic about the UK Private Rented Sector, down from 21 per cent a year ago, and only 11 per cent optimistic about the UK Financial market, down from 15 per cent in Q2 2019.

However the proportion of landlords making a profit fell by just one per cent in Q2 from Q1 2019, and only four per cent of landlords say they are making a loss. 

Being a landlord remains a strong investment with a third of landlords able to make a full-time living off of their lettings, and 53 per cent able to supplement their day job.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Part of the problem is the doom & gloom style coverage of each and every legislative change that happens. As agents, these changes aren't going to go away and are unlikely to stop any time soon so it's vital we try and help our landlords see the upside to the changes happening- even if some may be a little way off. It's in our own interest to do so or we risk losing landlords who possibly leave without really understanding the positives (and actual negatives) of the applicable changes being introduced.

    • 27 August 2019 12:36 PM

    There is no upside for LL!!!
    This because substantial numbers of LA are just passing on costs to LL.
    This is just causing LL to terminate LA services.
    Some LA are coping with the TFB by keeping fees the same and are managing via other creative ways to replace the now banned .
    tenant fee income.
    Remember it is far easier to retain an existing appropriate pricing than the costs involved of sourcing new clients.
    LA can and must change.
    You can't just increase prices and accept LL will take it cos they WON'T!!!!!
    A difficult time for all but then this situation is unprecedented.
    S24; S21 etc and now for LA the TFA are all business disruptors.
    It cannot be the same as in the last 17 years.
    I am so glad I am not a LA but then I'm not glad I'm a LL a situation I hope to rectify soon by not being a LL letting on AST.
    I don't envy LA at all.

  • Mark Wilson

    At the time of this survey who has confidence in anything? Based on the past financial incentives buy to let is a dead man walking. Regulation will only tighten as build to rent is the new kid on the block and the perceived housing solution. W

    • 28 August 2019 00:54 AM

    I believe most mortgaged LL could easily reduce their property portfolios to nearly unencumbered properties with quality tenants making those LL viable.
    I know it goes against the grain to deleverage but with S24 there really ISN'T much point.
    I think it is great that BTR is occurring.
    This will allow LL to abandon rubbish flats and move to houses.
    I would like BTR to buy up all rental flats.
    Leaving small LL to provide houses which are far less costly to manage.
    No stupid Ground Rents and Service Charges.
    BTR love flats as it is far easier for them to manage.
    Of course the big danger to BTR is RENT CONTROLS!!!
    NOBODY is mentioning this least of all the BTR operators pushing their company shares to investors.
    No way would I invest in ANY BTR operation.
    Looney Labour who could achieve power want RENT CONTROLS.
    Far worse than S24!!

    S l
    • S l
    • 28 August 2019 09:57 AM

    unfortunately paul, the BTR investing are big on internet and i constantly get emails and calls for investing in new development all around UK especially manchester liverpool etc where there are students. Its not as attractive as owning a house as LL as the costs as you clearly stated involved lots of other charges leaving next to nothing as profits.


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