Landlords’ confidence took a hammering in the second quarter of the year, as they were hit by the evictions ban, Government regulations and the Covid downturn.
The National Residential Landlords Association’s (NRLA) confidence index reveals that those with portfolios in London and Wales are feeling least confident about their future compared to 12 months ago, with those in the North East and North West most bullish.
But nearly all the regions improved their score from the first quarter – just as lockdown was starting. The only significant drop was seen in the South West, which the NRLA believes could just be seeing a slight lag; its previous fall wasn’t as great as many others, and it’s also where rents have seen the largest rise.
A fear of losing good tenants, along with local market conditions and the general state of the economy have all impacted on their decision-making, with a slight fall in the number either buying (10%) or selling (15%) in the last 12 months.
It also makes landlords believe they can’t raise rents; only 18% have done so in the last 12 months while 72% have frozen them.
But they’re certainly not suffering from a drop in demand as the survey finds that more than 60% of vacant properties are taken up within a four-week period.
Looking to the future, fewer landlords want to sell and only slightly more are planning to buy properties.
The NRLA says the gap between the two has fallen markedly since last summer and explains: “This could purely be a Covid-effect. It could also indicate that the pain inflicted by tax changes and new regulations, plus future changes in the pipeline, are now more fully baked into landlords’ plans.”