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UK landlords more upbeat about the private rented property sector but say lending is too tight

Some 61% feel good about the buy to let sector, up from 57% in February, according to the latest monthly rental confidence index from Upad, the national landlord advertising portal.
Survey respondents leaving comments stressed the increased positivity with the private rental sector, but continued to highlight issues such as student accommodation and Government funding.
They said there are positive signs lending is returning to the market, which has been the biggest block in the past two years but are concerned that plans by universities to build more Halls of Residence accommodation could result in less demand for private rental accommodation. They also want to see more lending.
The 39% who said they are feeling less confident about the market put their pessimism down to lack of lending. Finance that is available is too expensive and there are still too many bad debts and regulations in the sector. They are also worried about future interest rate rises.
‘For the fourth consecutive month since we launched the Index, landlords have highlighted their growing confidence in the market. In the months to come, it will be interesting to monitor the lending capacity of the UK’s banks, and the impact this will have on the sector,’ said James Davis, founder and CEO of Upad.
‘Overall though, I feel that this month’s survey indicates the market is continuing to go from strength to strength, he added.
Landlords keen to expand their portfolios can now consult a new online mortgages comparison site launched by the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA).
The free service is aimed specifically at buy to let borrowers and is flanked by sister sites, NAEA Mortgages for residential purchases and ICBA Mortgages for the commercial property sector.
‘We’ve had a wealth of requests from our members to offer this comparison service. This should have the benefit of assisting the landlord and, at the same time, providing tenants with a better choice in the marketplace,’ said ARLA operations manager, Ian Potter.