A majority of private landlords say they are less confident about the market than they were three months ago.
This is reflected in figures showing that the gap between the percentage of landlords planning to sell properties and those planning to buy has risen seven fold in the last two years from 4 percentage points to 21 percentage points.
One positive outcome for tenants is that many landlords are not increasing rents with two thirds freezing their rents over the last year.
Confidence is at its lowest in London and Wales and highest in the West Midlands followed by the North East and Yorkshire and The Humber.
The figures, which are contained in the Residential Landlords Association’s latest Confidence Index, show that in the third quarter of 2019, 55.1 per cent of private landlords are less confident about the market.
A third, 34 per cent, of landlords are planning to sell property over the next year compared with 22 per cent two years ago. Just 13 per cent plan to purchase at least one property to rent out compared with 18 per cent two years ago.
The chief reasons given by landlords for the loss of confidence and causing them to sell up are recent tax changes which are adding to increased costs.
David Smith, Policy Director for the Residential Landlords Association, said:
“We warned the government that the tax increases they have imposed on landlords would be counter-productive and these figures show how right we were. All they are achieving is driving landlords to leave the market, damage investment and so making it more difficult for tenants to find somewhere suitable to live.
“Whoever is in government following the election needs to completely change the approach and start to support good landlords to encourage them to invest to meet the rising demand for rented housing.”
RLA election manifesto
Ahead of the General Election on 12th December, the RLA has published its six point plan for the private rented sector. One of these six key asks is for the next Government to boost the supply of homes to rent, to meet rising demand.