Industry News Rhianna Abrey 15/02/2023

Rental supply crisis worsens as landlords face growing mortgage costs

Almost a third of private landlords with a buy-to-let mortgage face the prospect of significantly higher costs this year, according to new research findings gathered by BVA/BDRC for the National Residential Landlords Association.

Data compiled by the research consultancy has found that 63 per cent of landlords have a buy-to-let mortgage on at least one property. Of this group, 29 per cent plan to re-mortgage at least one property over the course of the next year.

The Bank of England has forecast that by the end of the year, monthly repayments for buy-to-let landlords are expected to rise on average by around £175. It has warned that a fifth of landlords with such a mortgage will face increases of over £300.

The NRLA argues this will exacerbate an already serious supply problem in the rental market. According to the Bank of England, the mismatch between the demand for, and supply of rented housing, is in part a consequence of higher borrowing costs.

In a sign of the supply crisis facing tenants, the research found that 65 per cent of landlords in England and Wales confirm that demand for private rented housing  increased during the final quarter of 2022. This was up from 56 per cent who reported increased demand during Q4 2021.

Despite the strong demand, 30 per cent of landlords said they plan to cut the size of their portfolio in 2023, the highest level of planned disinvestment seen in more than six years. Just nine per cent said they plan to increase the size of their portfolio over the next 12 months, down from 14 per cent who said the same in Q3 2021.

The NRLA is calling on the Government to accept its call, and that of the cross-party Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee, for a review of the impact of recent tax rises on the sector to boost the supply of properties to rent. The Committee rightly concludes that “landlords with small portfolios are currently critical to the provision of private rented accommodation.”  It argues that a tax review of this kind should “make it more financially attractive to smaller landlords.”

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said:

“It is time the Government stepped in and accepted calls by the NRLA, the Select Committee and others for tax measures to encourage the supply of homes to rent. Without this, renters face a bleak future as finding somewhere to live becomes increasingly harder.”