Almost half of UK landlords have tried to sell their property in the last 12 months, as owners look to rid themselves of mortgage pressures in a worrying blow for renters.
In a survey which quizzed both landlords and estate agents – conducted by lettings platform Goodlord – some 77.5 per cent of respondents in London alone cited rising mortgage rates as a reason for homeowners trying to exit the market.
A further 98 per cent of estate agents in London reported that at least one of their landlords was selling a property. As a whole across the UK, 47 per cent of the landlords have tried to shift their property in the last 12 months.
The ecosystem of the UK’s housing market has been battered in the last year – first by the fall out of last September’s mini budget and then by the central bank’s 14 straight interest rate hikes which sent borrowing costs into a frenzy.
Despite mortgage rates cooling from their summer peak, landlords appear to still be bruised from the fall out, as 80 per cent of agents warned that they expected more landlords to reduce their property portfolio in the next 12 months.
The figures will spell misery for the UK’s 4.6 million private tenants who have seen the renting pool shrink over the last year.
Some 73 per cent of renters said that finding a property to rent was “one of the most stressful things they have ever done.”
The dwindling supply has also allowed landlords to ramp up the asking monthly renting price on their properties – 13 per cent of tenants this year said that they paid more rent per month than the rate originally advertised.
“When tenant contracts come to an end, they now look around the marketplace and realise that there’s little point moving to another property, as it’s likely to cost them another hundred pounds or more per month,” Mark Gray, director at Elevation Lettings.
“That in itself has contributed to much lower numbers of fluidity of movement and availability across all the property portals.”
“London has always experienced high demand from tenants which has been met as much as possible by private as well as corporate landlords,” Richard Davies, chief operating officer of Chestertons, said.
“With major changes such as the Renters Reform Bill being introduced as well as rising interest rates generating less profit for overleveraged landlords in particular, the market has seen some deciding to sell up.
He added: “At the same time, however, we are liaising with homeowners; not landlords; who delay their sale due to the weaker sales market and put their property on the rental market instead.”