57% of landlords rate overall prospects for their lettings business over the next three months as good or very good. This is, in part, due to increased tenant demand but also because of property value increases across the UK resulting in better capital gains. Increased optimism levels can also be at least partially explained by stronger profitability, with portfolio landlords back on track to generate sufficient revenue to ‘save income’ each month.
There has also been a slight improvement on how landlords perceive the UK financial markets. 28% said they expect markets to improve further over the next three months which is a five% improvement on this time last year.
Chris Norris, policy manager, NLA, commenting on the Index, said: “Landlords have faced considerable challenges recently. Everything from longer void periods to an increase in rental arrears have taken their toll on landlords’ optimism. However, it is good to see we may well have turned a corner.
“Alongside a more positive outlook for their own lettings businesses, landlords are beginning to think more actively about possible acquisitions in the next quarter. This should be further encouraged by an increase in the level of available buy-to-let mortgage finance on offer. With rent arrears and void periods both stabilising, 2010 could prove to be a real catalyst for landlords who are looking to expand their portfolios. However, it remains to be seen whether recent Government leaks about possible increases in Capital Gains Tax will see off any landlord confidence in the coming months.”