Research by the National Landlords Associations (NLA) suggests landlords' confidence has fallen to its lowest level since the darkest days of the financial crisis in 2007, thanks to a raft of new legislation aimed at increasing home ownership in the UK. The most recent of those includes measures due to be implemented in April, which adds a three per cent surcharge onto stamp duty for buy-to-let homes.
According to the figures, just 43 per cent of landlords are confident in their business, an all-time low - and down from a peak of 67 per cent.
Things have become so bad, they're considering selling up - with 19 per cent saying they want to sell up in the next 12 months.
That could lead to a sell-off of 500,000 homes in the next 12 months, followed by another 100,000 each year up to 2021. The net effect will be that the UK's private rented sector could shrink by 136,000 properties.
“Up to half a million properties could come onto the market as a result of the Summer Budget and Autumn Statement, which the chancellor will no doubt deem a success," said Richard Lambert, chief executive of the NLA.
“But there is no guarantee that these will be the one or two-bedroom flats or small houses that will appeal to first time buyers, especially as landlords are more likely to offload less desirable stock in less desirable areas.
“We’ve always said that Osborne is blinded to the impact of his decisions by his commitment to homeownership. He may have intended to focus on the small-scale part-time investor, but it’s the larger and more professional landlords who will be hit worst by cuts to mortgage tax relief and increases to stamp duty, and who appear most likely to leave the sector."
Figures published this morning by Savills suggested the UK will need a million new rental homes by 2021.
"Demand for rented homes could still rise more sharply than we have forecast," Susan Emmett