Buy-to-let landlords could sell off hundreds of thousands of investment properties over the next five years in response to Chancellor George Osborne's tax crackdown.
Property experts have already warned that the Chancellor's moves to impose a 3% surcharge on stamp duty for investors from April and slash tax relief from 2017 spells catastrophe for buy-to-let.
Now a new survey by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) suggests that more than 200,000 landlords are preparing to sell up.
This is equivalent to one in 10 landlords and if each sold an average of 2.5 properties that would total 500,000 buy-to-let disposals.
With a further quarter of buy-to-let landlords considering selling some properties, the real figure could be even higher.
RLA policy director David Smith said: “It is no exaggeration to say 2015 has turned into an annus horribilis for the residential landlord.”
Smith said that Osborne has effectively declared war on individual landlords. “His three-pronged attack hits the very foundations.
“Mortgage interest relief will be cut to basic rate tax progressively from 2017.
“Next April sees the 3% stamp duty surcharge for rental property, and capital gains tax changes are in the pipeline too.
“It would appear the PRS has become little more than a cash cow for the Treasury.”