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81% of landlords confident about 2017 performance

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Some 81% of landlords feel confident that their property portfolios will perform well over the course of 2017, according to the Shawbrook Client Barometer.

In a survey conducted by specialist lender Shawbrook, 60% of property investors stated that they felt confident about the lending environment during 2017, compared with 58% in July 2016.

Demand for rented accommodation appeared to be on the rise, with nearly one in three (30%) landlords reporting an increase in renters when comparing the first half of 2016 with the second.

Two-thirds (66%) also stated they plan to acquire an additional buy-to-let property during the first half of this year.

Karen Bennett, managing director of commercial mortgages at Shawbrook, said that following last year’s tax changes, investors are still getting a feel for how the changes will affect them, with 42% listing this as the main barrier to further investment in buy-to-let.

Over a third (35%) said that tax relief changes had affected them the most so far.

The 3% extra stamp duty levy was identified as a main challenge by 33% of landlords.

Although 23% said they had not been impacted by the changes to housing policy, 19% of investors admitted they had little or no understanding of the changes.

“The amendments to housing policy have presented some challenges, and we may start to see wider consequences as a result, such as landlords hiking rents to combat the negative impact of such measures,” added Karen.

Of those property professionals who said they had felt the impact of these changes, 57% plan to raise rents and 48% plan to set up a limited company for their properties to mitigate the effects.

Karen concluded: “The fact that interest rates have remained low for now means that landlords will continue to enjoy some relief, but things may change if inflation continues to go up and the Bank of England is forced to raise interest rates.

“As our exit from the EU is now officially underway, the full effects of Brexit are still unknown – however, it’s very positive to see that despite an unclear long-term outlook, Shawbrook customers continue to focus on the many potential opportunities available to them.”

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