More than half of landlords in the private rented sector, some 55%, believe that their profitability has been affected by regulatory change, but most still make a profit, new research shows.
The latest quarterly landlords panel report from mortgage firm BM Solutions, also found that 31% of landlords surveyed make a full time living from their property portfolio, while 55% use the income to supplement their earnings.
When asked if they planned to sell at least one property in 2019, some 23% said they are while those with bigger portfolios are twice as likely to be planning to do so and overall just 15% intend to add to their portfolio.
But despite the fall in their confidence levels, the vast majority of landlords still make a healthy living with 88% saying that they still make a profit from their letting business.
But the outlook is not all rosy. Average rental yields in the UK have dropped to a three year low of 5.6%, according to the report which covers the fourth quarter of 2018.
And confidence in the UK financial market in the near term dropped by 8% year on year to just 9%, its lowest level for five years, down from 17% in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The trend of regional differences in housing market activity can also be seen in tenant demand. In the East Midlands, there was an 8% rise in demand and in the South West a rise of 6%.
The East of England saw the biggest fall in demand, down 18%, followed by a 12% fall in the South East and an 11% fall in central London.
While overall rental yields fell to an average of 5.6%, some areas are seeing better yields such as outer London, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the North East all at 6%.
‘The buy to let industry has been through many regulatory changes over the past few years, and the effects of this are clearly being felt, however, the landscape is not entirely bleak,’ said BM Solutions head Phil Rickards.
‘The proportion of landlords making a profit from their lettings activity remains at 88%, equalling the record high seen in quarter three 2018. It is clear that the market is sensitive to the current legislative and macro-economic environment and this has been reflected in the latest findings,’ he added.