Over the last few years, the government has hit buy-to-let investors with a stream of punitive measures, reductions in tax relief on buy-to-let mortgages in 2017 and a surcharge on stamp duty for second homes to name two.
This perceived and sustained attack on the sector has understandably prompted many landlords to question if it's actually worth it anymore. Buy-to-let investor's profits have already taken a substantial hit and despite dodging a bullet in the budget with a capital gains tax hike, the threat of one still remains.
According to a new independent survey of more than 340 UK-based landlords, there is a diminishing appeal of the buy-to-let market, with over two-thirds of UK property investors believing the buy-to-let market is no longer financially viable.
The new research from investment firm, FJP Investment, surveyed 1,004 UK property owners, of which 344 owned two or more investment properties. It found that 68% of multiple property owners believe buy-to-let investments have become far less attractive over the past five years.
When delving into the reasons why 71% of landlords and property investors believe they have been unfairly targeted by the Government through tax reforms and new regulations since 2016. 67% said that in the future they would consider other forms of property investment that do not incur the same taxation and complexity as buy-to-let and second home purchases.
44% of property investors said they plan to sell one or more of their properties in 2021. However, the same number stated they intend to purchase a house or flat this year.
Finally, when it comes to property prices, 55% of property investors are confident that UK house prices will rise over the coming 12 months, while 54% expect prices to increase by more than 10% between now and 2026.
Jamie Johnson, CEO of FJP Investment, had this to say: “After years of reform and regulation, the appeal of buy-to-let investments is clearly on the wane. Tellingly, property investors are confident house prices will rise, with the added cost and complexity of investing and then letting out multiple properties meaning that people are seeking alternative forms of bricks and mortar investment.
“With the stamp duty holiday extended until the end of June, and the UK inching towards an end to lockdown, the next few months will be critical for the property market. Time will tell if there is indeed a mass exodus of investors from the buy-to-let sector, but this new research underlines the fact that there is far less appetite to be a landlord.”