Cynics who rejected claims that landlords would quit the buy to let sector because of increasing bureaucracy and higher taxes may have to think again.
Figures out today from Countrywide’s Hamptons International agency, relating to the whole private rental sector, show that there were 2.66m landlords in Britain in 2019.
This was some eight per cent or 222,570 fewer than the peak in 2017, and it’s the lowest figure for seven years - back in 2012 there were 2.58m landlords in Britain.
“Tax and regulatory changes have caused some landlords to sell up and leave the sector” says the agency.
However, the average landlord last year owned 1.93 buy to let properties, the highest level since 2009.
Last year 30 per cent of landlords owned more than one buy to let property, the highest proportion on record.
This is up from 21 per cent in 2016 when many of the tax and regulatory changes were announced and is double the proportion recorded a decade ago when just 15 per cent of landlords owned multiple buy to lets.
Landlords in the North East had the biggest portfolios, 2.05 homes on average, followed by those based in Yorkshire & the Humber (2.03) and London (2.01).