The pandemic-induced shifts reshaping the BTL market
As activity levels continue to slow down a little, there is an opportunity to reflect on the past 12 to 18 months and identify changes in tenant demand and landlord behaviour to build a better picture of the BTL sector moving forward. With this in mind, some enlightening research emerged from Goodlord and Vouch to reveal which pandemic-induced shifts have proved short-term, and what market movements look set to reshape the industry permanently.
The report, which also includes insights from some key industry figures, cited sustained optimism throughout the industry with growing levels of positive sentiment being demonstrated amongst letting agents and landlords. Although challenges were still evident.
Lack of stock was named as a top concern by agents, with 32% raising this as their primary concern. In addition, 83% of respondents reported seeing landlords leave the sector in the past year and 64% believe that the coming year will bring more attrition. Almost half of the agents said more than 5% of their landlords had left the sector in the past year. 28% said between 5-9% of their landlords had left the sector. 14% said between 10-19% of their landlords had left. The combination of stamp duty holiday and mounting regulation has seen a greater proportion of landlords cash in their portfolios. 43% of agents surveyed said they believed legislation was the prevailing factor in landlords exiting the sector.
In more positive news, tenant demand remains high. Most tenants predicted that they would remain in the rental sector for many years to come. 54% said they would not expect or weren’t sure if they would own a property in the next 5 years. Less than half of tenants – 46% – said they did expect to own a property within five years. Tenants also reported a decrease in their desire to move or relocate. Only 16% of tenants said they had moved or considered moving as a result of Covid-19 in the past 12 months – a decrease of 11% on the previous year. Of those who did move to a different area in the past year as a result of Covid-19, 80% said that they don’t intend to move again.
This data represents something of a mixed bag but you only have to look at the overall performance of the BTL over this time to realise that opportunities will continue to present themselves for landlords and investors. And how important good, professional advice can be in an increasingly complex lending environment.