Landlord optimism reaches record high

The Q4 Private Rental Sector Trends survey of around 200 landlords found that 38% of landlords were feeling optimistic about the prospects for their portfolio and during the second half of 2013 landlords’ optimism was at its highest level recorded by the survey.

John Heron, director of mortgages, said: “2013 has been a good year for buy-to-let and landlords certainly seem to be more active in the market. We have seen a steady increase in the levels of optimism among our landlord customers and this looks set to stay in the New Year.”

Those surveyed were also feeling positive about the value of their property investments with a third (33%) expecting an increase in net value in 2014.

This has also been an upward trend having dipped to an all-time low between 2008 and 2009 and remaining relatively flat through 2010 to 2012.

Just over a fifth of landlords are planning to invest in further buy-to-let property in the first quarter of 2014.

Of those landlords looking to buy, large-scale landlords were more likely to expect to purchase property (25%) than small-scale landlords (8%).

Heron added: “We expect buy-to-let lending market wide in 2013 to be in the region of £20bn and whilst this would represent a material level of growth over 2012 we should keep things in perspective.

“This only takes us back to the level of buy-to-let lending that we had 10 years ago and over that period the private rented sector has increased by 80%.

“Any talk of boom conditions in the buy-to-let market would appear to be premature indeed.”