A new study by debt advisory specialists, Sirius Property Finance, analysed UK government data on the number of VAT and/or PAYE-based enterprises classed under renting and operating of owned or leased real estate, and how this market has grown in recent years.
The analysis shows that there are currently 60,000 businesses operating in the sector, marking an annual increase of 2.1% and five-year growth of 12.8%.
London continues to be the rental investment capital of the nation with 12,160 rental businesses accounting for one-fifth of the UK total.
The South East (13.2%) and North West (10.5%) are also among the most prominent regional markets. The North East is home to the lowest proportion of buy-to-let enterprises, accounting for just 2.1% of the national whole.
In the past 12 months, Wales has seen the biggest increase in businesses (3.5%), while the North West leads the way in terms of five-year growth at 15.4%.
Kimberley Gates, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Sirius Property Finance, commented:
“The UK’s buy-to-let ecosystem continues to grow and grow despite the increasing number of deterrents put in place by central government, the most prominent of which is probably recent changes to Capital Gains and Tax Allowance rules.
"However, demand for rental homes is not going to diminish, so the rental sector remains a profitable one to be part of. As such, many landlords have decided to set up their own businesses in order to improve the profitability of their enterprises and this is likely driving the increasing number of companies operating in the sector.
"It would be bold to predict anything other than continued growth in the buy-to-let ecosystem over the coming months and years, especially in densely populated urban areas because as long as homeownership continues to be so incredibly expensive, rental demand will always be strong.”