Where are the UK's current buy-to-let growth hotspots?

A new analysis of over 100,000 landlord insurance policies has revealed which UK cities have seen the highest increase in buy-to-let properties over the last 12 months.

Related topics:  Landlords,  BTL,  Investment
Property | Reporter
29th January 2024
Glasgow 126
"It’s heartening to see continued growth in the buy-to-let sector, with our data demonstrating that Glasgow is becoming an attractive spot for landlords to invest"
- Alan Thomas - Simply Business

New research from Simply Business has revealed Glasgow as the UK city with the biggest rise in the number of buy-to-let properties in the past year, closely followed by Nottingham, Leeds and Bristol.

According to Simply Business, Scotland's largest city topped the list with a 12% increase in the number of buy-to-let properties, whilst Nottingham and Leeds came in second and third respectively, both with an increase of over 8%. London, whilst being home to over 40,000 buy-to-let properties, saw the smallest growth in the number of privately let properties.

Top 10 cities for buy-to-let properties in 2023:

1: Glasgow
2: Nottingham
3: Leeds
4: Bristol
5: Leicester
6: Manchester
7: Birmingham
8: Liverpool
9: Edinburgh
10: London

Edinburgh, the city with the biggest growth in 2022, slipped to ninth place this year after seeing just over 5% increase. Leicester experienced a similar drop; falling from second to fifth place in the last 12 months. Meanwhile, Leeds' position skyrocketed to third place in 2023, after failing to even make the top five places last year.

Landlords looking away from the capital for investment properties

London remains unmatched for the total number of private rental properties available, with properties in the capital accounting for 40% of policies provided through the broker in 2023. Conversely, the capital has seen significantly slower growth - just 4% compared to 21% in 2022 - suggesting that landlords could be looking away from the capital for their property investments.

Rental property is still considered a good investment

Despite the current climate, many landlords still consider rental property to be a worthwhile investment, with 50% saying that they would recommend investing in buy-to-let property.

Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business said: “It’s heartening to see continued growth in the buy-to-let sector, with our data demonstrating that Glasgow is becoming an attractive spot for landlords to invest. Landlords provide housing to over five million households nationwide, but a combination of economic uncertainty, changing regulations, and rising costs meant there was no shortage of challenges facing the nation’s landlords in 2023.

“Insuring more than 450,000 landlords allows us to gain first-hand insight into the integral role they play in the housing market, plus the challenges they’re facing. It’s important that landlords are given the time and information they need to prepare for significant upheaval in the coming years, so they can continue to provide much-needed housing for almost five million households nationwide.”

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