Landlords are reluctant to sell their buy-to-let investments

House prices rising

With property prices reaching pre-recession levels and continuing to rise, many landlords and homeowners are buying property as an investment, expecting values to increase even further over the next 50 years. Many homeowners don’t move that often once they've bought their first property - about 3-5 times in a lifetime - and the figures are quite similar for landlords looking to buy and then sell their buy-to-let properties.

New figures from Countrywidelettings and estate agent suggest that long-term landlords are dominating the property market, with most landlords selling their rental property less often than the average homeowner. The Countrywide figures show that in 2015, landlords who sold their rental properties did so after an average of 17 years, 3 years longer than the average homeowner, and interestingly, 5 years longer than landlords in 2007. What’s more, landlords in the UK have consistently sold their properties less often than homeowners in every year over the last decade.

The report also found that the average time between sales for both homeowners and landlords widened during the financial downturn that started in 2008. From 2007 to 2010, the time between house moves for the average homeowner increased from 11 years to 16 years, while it increased from 12 years to 20 years for landlords. However, since 2011, the figures have started to drop, with the amount of time homeowners hold on to their properties falling from 16 years to 14 years, and 20 years to 17 years for landlords.

Private rental sector growing

The Countrywide report went on to discuss the current state of the private rental sector and found that there are currently 1.4 million more rented properties in the UK today compared to in 2008. However, the report found that this growth was not necessarily good news for the market; the growth has reduced the upward pressure on rents in many parts of the United Kingdom, but it has also hurt housing transactions as more and more landlords hold on to their properties. According to the report, 100,000 extra property sales might have taken place since 2008 if the private rental sector hadn’t grown so substantially.

Despite these figures showing how many landlords and homeowners are active in the property market, the report also revealed that a large proportion of properties in the UK haven’t been sold since the Land Registry began collecting records in 1995. Apparently, 50% of all privately owned homes in the UK have not been sold in the last 20 years, but this figure drops to 32% amongst landlords.

Rents rising on new lets

Along with data on timescales, the research also broke down the rents for occupied units, new lets and renewals. In Wales, the average rent for property renewals was less than for occupied units and new lets. Currently, the average rent for property renewals in Wales is £621, lower than the £643 for occupied units and significantly lower than new units at £701. Interestingly, every part of England and Wales noticed a marked annual increase in new rent costs.

Are you a landlord looking to buy or sell your property, or perhaps you’re a private homeowner looking to upgrade or downsize? Whatever your need, the team at CPS Homes can help you find your dream property across Cardiff, in many beautiful areas, and we can also help you prepare for the new landlord licensing scheme Rent Smart Wales. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us today on 02920 668585, email: or pop into one of our offices in Cathays, Cardiff Bay or Roath!

09 December 2015


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