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Home Press releasesProperty marketOne in 10 landlords plan to exit the sector following spring statement cold shoulder

One in 10 landlords plan to exit the sector following spring statement cold shoulder

Following a disappointing spring statement for the buy-to-let sector, the latest test of landlord sentiment by lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves, has found that not only were half disappointed that a reintroduction of mortgage tax relief didn’t come to fruition, but one in 10 now plan to exit the sector as a result.

The survey of UK landlords commissioned by Benham and Reeves found that 49% were disappointed that whisperings of a potential reintroduction of mortgage relief were unfortunately just that and the government didn’t decide to u-turn on the subject in last week’s spring statement.

It was hoped that the government would throw the buy-to-let sector a bone following a string of legislative changes that have caused many to exit the sector and 71% of those surveyed by Benham and Reeves stated that they would have also liked to have seen some other form of incentive announced.

12% of landlords also revealed that they had planned to increase the size of their portfolio but will not refrain, while a further 6% will still push on with their plans to expand their investment.

However, 10% stated that they will now reduce the size of their portfolio due to a lack of support from the government, with an additional 8% already having planned to do so.

What’s more, one in 10 also stated that they plan to exit the sector due to a lack of government incentives to remain, while 7%, again, had already planned to exit prior to the spring statement.

So where are those who exit planning to place their money?

Stocks and shares ranked as the most prominent buy-to-let alternative, with premium bonds, bonds, commodities and classic cars also rank amongst the most popular alternative investment avenues.

Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented:

“The government has been waging war on buy-to-let investors for quite some time now and many within the sector were hoping that the spring statement would finally see them thrown a sugar lump, rather than shown the stick.

Unfortunately this failed to materialise, but while disappointing, the majority of landlords remain unfazed and, let’s face it, unsurprised. Although they have no plans to increase the size of their portfolio, they also won’t be reducing it.

However, one in ten have had enough and with the government failing to incentivize them in any way, they are reducing their portfolios and exiting the sector. With some 2.74m landlords currently operating within the sector with around two properties per landlord, that’s a potential reduction of over half a million rental homes.

This is, of course, bad news for the nation’s tenants, who will be left with even less choice when it comes to quality accommodation and an even higher commitment when it comes to the cost of renting.

It was expected that the government was going to reintroduce mortgage tax relief within this week’s spring statement. Were you disappointed to see that this didn’t materialise?
Answer Respondents
Yes 49%
No 51%
Would you have liked to see some other form of incentive announced?
Answer Respondents
Yes 71%
No 29%
Were you considering increasing your portfolio size, but will now refrain from doing so?
Answer Respondents
Yes, I am considering, but will now refrain 12%
Yes, I am considering, but will not refrain 6%
No, I am not considering 82%
Will you now reduce the size of your portfolio as a result?
Answer Respondents
Yes 10%
No 82%
I was planning to exit anyway 8%
Do you plan to now exit the sector as a result?
Answer Respondents
Yes 10%
No 83%
I was planning to exit anyway 7%
If you plan not to invest further into property, or to exit the sector altogether, where will you place your money? (Tick all that apply)
Answer Ranking
Stock market 1st
Premium bonds 2nd
Bonds 3rd
Commodities 4th
Classic cars 5th
Wine or whiskey 6th
Art or antiques 7th

Survey of 1,087 landlords carried out by ProperPR on behalf of Benham and Reeves via consumer research platform Find Out Now (15th March 2023).


About the Author

Established in 1958, Benham and Reeves is one of London’s oldest, independently owned property lettings and sales agents. With specialism in residential sales, corporate lettings and property management in prime areas of London, the company operates from 21 prominently located branches and 14 international offices.