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Survey paints gloomy picture for buy-to-let

Just one in five of the UK’s landlords believes there is still money to be made in the buy-to-let market, new research has found.

The survey, carried out by online letting agent PropertyLetByUs.com, shows the impact of recent and upcoming regulatory changes – the majority of which are viewed as being introduced at landlords’ expense.

The firm also found that more than half of landlords bought property in the first three months of 2016 in order to beat the stamp-duty increase which came into effect on 1 April.

However, the research also found that only one in six landlords were seeing a reduction in their profits, with many employing new strategies to offset the government’s tax hikes.

Jane Morris, managing director of PropertyLetByUs.com, said: “Many landlords are opting for incorporation, at the same time as raising rents. The latest figures from the HomeLet Rental Index reveal that between January-March 2016, rent on new tenancies signed on rental property outside of London were, on average, 4.9% than in the same period of last year.

“The figure in Greater London was 7.7% higher than a year ago, although Scotland wasn’t far behind with an increase of 7.3% in the same period, just ahead of the East Midlands with 6.8%.”

Morris added: “The surge in landlords investing in buy-to-let property in the first quarter of 2016 has created a bubble of new rental properties in some parts of the UK. However, in the longer term, it is likely that the tax changes will limit the supply of rental property and discourage potential new landlords from investing in the buy-to-let market. The good news is that tenant demand will continue to rise, as unaffordable house prices push home owning out of reach for many people.”

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