Landlords have increased their property portfolios in the past year to take advantage of the downturn in property prices, according to research from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
A survey of residential landlord investors revealed that the average number of properties held per landlord rose from 6.3 to 7.0 in less than a year. This increase in 2009 ends a trend for shrinking portfolios in the buy-to-let sector, which began at the outset of 2008. Buy-to-let investment has increased dramatically since the early part of this decade with properties per investor increasing from four in 2004 to nearly double that amount now.
Ian Potter, Operations Manager at ARLA said: “Low interest rates and proportionately higher rental yields are making the buy-to-let market attractive again to experienced investors. I would sound a note of caution to both experienced and new investors – research the market thoroughly and seek advice from a professional ARLA or NAEA member. 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”.
Experience levels among property investors have certainly grown with the average landlord having run a portfolio for 9.2 years up from 7.8 six months ago.
Data is taken from the third quarter of the ARLA Survey of Residential Investment Landlords (covering the third quarter 2009, July – September). Together with the ARLA Members’ Survey of the Private Rented Sector, this forms part of the quarterly ARLA Review and Index. All surveys and statistics can be downloaded from www.arla.co.uk.