A property expert has poured scorn on a survey suggesting a quarter of landlords are about to sell their properties – describing it as “less accurate than the polls than missed Brexit and Donald Trump”
So, are they going to sell up?
No. No they aren’t.
The Residential Landlord Association this week released a survey of 1000 buy to let investors claiming that a quarter are going to stop renting out properties because of coming tax changes.
The industry body is calling on Chancellor Phillip Hammond to reverse restrictions on tax relief for mortgage interest, which will affect landlords from next April.
Ajay Jagota – of North East based sales and lettings firm KIS, dismissed the claim, and believes it shows a wider problem of misleading or incomplete data affecting decision making in the housing market, in particular with regards to regional variations.
He said: “I’m not disputing that these tax changes will affect landlords, and that the ultimate losers will in all likelihood be the tenants whose rents go up to cover those costs – but this poll is less accurate than the polls which missed Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.
We work with a similar amount of landlords to the total number who took part in the survey, and not one of them has even hinted to me at any point this entire year that they are thinking of selling up. Other major agents I’ve spoken to have said the same thing. So where are these one in four landlords who are packing in?
1000 probably self-selecting landlords are being said to speak for the owners of more than 9 million rented homes across the UK. They don’t.
There’s a wider issue here that some eye-catching headline figures are once again failing to accurately reflect reality on the ground. It happened in the 2015 election, it happened in the EU referendum, it happened in the US presidential election – but it also happens in housing. As a local agent you know the micro details about community you serve which will be missed by - even the Office of National Statistics would miss. You can even see when an individual street is on the up. But you are then told that statistics show how things are entirely different from what you’ve seen with your own eyes.
Another survey this week said that UK rents are approaching the ‘ceiling of affordability’ for rents. Even taking that finding at face value the North Easterner spends 28% of their salary on housing costs compared to the national average of 40% or closer to 50% in London, so that ceiling is some way off here.
This has a huge impact when it comes to measures like the Mortgage Market Review of 2014, which was designed to cool down a property market in the North East had barely begun to warm up. All of this is evidence for the need for regionally devolved housing powers.”