Portfolios increased by landlords in 2012

by Sarah Ashcroft

Landlord investment has increased in the past 12 months, newly-released research has found.

Data from the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (Arla) shows that individuals operating in the sector owned an average of eight buy-to-let properties during the final quarter of 2012, up from seven at the start of the year.

This points to a rise in activity in the market, which could be because landlords are increasingly confident about the strength of the rental market. Indeed, 29 per cent of landlords revealed they bought a property in the past year.

Ian Potter, managing director of Arla - a body that was formed back in 1981 and has over 6,000 individual members - stated that the data shows how landlords are "carefully but concertedly increasing their portfolios".

"Activity is returning to the buy-to-let market. Whilst many investors naturally remain cautious, the climb to an average of eight properties per landlord shows that 2012 was a strong year for the private rented sector," he added.

Mr Potter stated a mixture of strong tenant demand and affordable prices means that this sector will continue to grow. This could mean there is an increase in people seeking buy-to-let advice in the future, as more and more individuals recognise how sound an investment property can be.

"It also means there is increased need for higher standards in the sector, to ensure the growing number of tenants and landlords are protected," he remarked.

Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders reveal that landlord confidence is rising, as there has been an increase in the value of buy-to-let mortgages, with £4.2 billion advanced by the body for this purpose in the final quarter of last year.

Part of the reason for the popularity of the sector at present is that many individuals are struggling to get accepted for mortgages and this is forcing them to rent out houses for much longer than they originally intended to.

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Published on: January 23, 2013

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