Landlords have increased their property portfolios over the past 12 months to take advantage of falls in house prices, research conducted by the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) has found.
The average number of properties owned by landlords has increased from 6.3 to seven in the last year, bringing an end to the trend of shrinking portfolios in the buy-to-let sector, which began in early 2008.
Ian Potter, operations manager at ARLA, said: "There is a huge potential for investment at present, but take heed from the number of buy-to-let repossessions that this recession has seen and only borrow what you can realistically manage."
Investment in the buy-to-let sector has increased at a substantial rate in the last five years, with the average number of properties per investor increasing from four in 2004 to almost double that number now.
Chris Norris, Policy Manager at the National Landlords Association (NLA), said figures showed the resilience of the private rental sector
"The reported 11 per cent increase in average portfolio size, from 6.3 to seven properties, is good news for the private-rented sector and, crucially, means that more homes are being made available.
"This upturn demonstrates the resilience and counter-cyclical nature of private renting that the NLA has long recognised. Our members have been reporting for some time that market conditions are improving, and experienced landlords are very keen to make new acquisitions.
"Unfortunately, many have been prevented from expanding their lettings businesses by the lack of available finance in the mortgage market. This should be a major focus for Government at the moment."
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