The volume of rented homes has increased by 171,000 since 2015, with the average size of a landlord portfolio now reaching a new high of 1.44 properties.


Countrywide’s latest monthly letting index for August reveals the number of landlord has fallen over the last two years. This is mainly due to negative changes introduced by the government including higher stamp duty and the phasing out of mortgage tax relief.


Despite this, there has been an increase in the supply of homes available to rent from 4.9 million back in 2015 to 5.1 million today. The number of landlords who own just one buy-to-let property has fallen from 86% in 2010 to 73% today, while the number who own 10 or more properties has increased by 33% in the last decade.


This pushes a conclusion that the changes introduced by the government have pushed out a number of landlords who only owned one property.


Location wise landlords based in the North East are most likely to own the most rental properties (1.54) followed by landlords based in Yorkshire and the Humber (1.52) and London (1.51).


The average rents for new lets rose to £954pcm in August an increase of 1.6% on August 2016.


Rents increased the most in the South West (4.7%), Scotland (2.8%) and East Anglia (2.5%) while London saw rents rise for the second consecutive month up 1.8% year on year.


Johnny Morris, research director at Countrywide, said: “The increasing number of rented homes is being driven by landlords expanding their portfolios rather than new landlords entering the market. Increasing regulation in the sector accompanied by recent changes to income tax relief on mortgage interest payments seem to be favouring more experienced, professional landlords.  Despite expanding portfolio sizes the sector is still characterised by those owning just one or two homes, 73% of landlords own one home.”


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