A quarter of UK landlords plan to increase portfolios next year

More than a quarter of private landlords in the UK plan to increase the size of their property portfolios in the next year, compared to just one in 14 who plan to sell up, according to new research from Butterfield Mortgages.

The prime mortgage provider commissioned an independent survey among 2,000 UK adults. It found that of those who own buy-to-let (BTL) properties, 26% plan to increase the size of their portfolio in the coming 12 months.

Two-thirds (67%) intend to keep their portfolios at the same size as they currently are. Despite speculation that there will be an exodus of landlords from the BTL market, just 7% of the landlords surveyed said they plan to shrink their portfolio in the next year.

Butterfield Mortgages’ study also revealed that nearly half (49%) of landlords found the rise in interest rates a challenge in terms of managing their property investments. Only 37% of landlords said they had increased their tenants’ rent in the last year, with 62% feeling uncomfortable about doing so at a time when many tenants were dealing with the increased cost of living.

However, as interest rates and mortgage repayments start to stabilise, 69% of landlords expect to increase rents in the coming year, which could see improved rental yields in the months to come.

Alpa Bhakta (pictured), CEO of Butterfield Mortgages, said: “For the best part of a decade, speculation has been rife that landlords will quit the BTL market in their thousands. However, our data is the latest to challenge such predictions, showing that the vast majority of private landlords remain committed to either maintaining or growing the size of their property portfolios. It underlines the enduring appeal of BTL as an asset class, even despite added costs and regulatory complications for many.”