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Insights

Buy-to-Let Landlord Report 2022

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Landlords are a vital facet of the UK’s housing provision. Through carefully considered investment, supported by buy-to-let mortgage lending, they meet the needs of a diverse mix of people, providing good quality, affordable homes to millions of tenants.

Richard Rowntree, Paragon Managing Director for Mortgages, introduces our report focusing on buy-to-let investors, Landlord Report 2022, below. Download the report here

With the private rented sector (PRS) the UK’s second largest housing tenure, consisting of around 4.5 million households, it is difficult to deny that private investment is a vital component of the UK’s housing provision.

Despite varying levels of investment from successive governments, social housing supply has been outstripped by demand for decades. More recently, rapidly rising house prices and continued economic uncertainty have pushed homeownership out of reach for many, driving further demand for privately rented homes.

Institutionally funded build-to-rent developments, identified as a possible solution to the UK housing shortage, have proven popular with some tenant groups but have had limited success in meeting the needs of others.

The gap that we see emerge between supply and demand is often filled by the subject of this report – buy-to-let landlords.

Download report

Maligned in the media, landlords are often cast as the pantomime villains whose ruthless pursuit of profits and devil may care position on property upkeep leaves tenants living in unsafe, poor-quality dwellings.

In this report we’ve drawn on in-depth insight of our own customer base and combined it with analysis undertaken by independent researchers. A picture of the UK’s landlord population emerges, and it is quite different.

While there are undoubtably unscrupulous operators within the landlord community, these are the relative minority and in the main, private property investors are upstanding members of the communities in which they live and provide homes for, which are often the same.

Despite how they are perceived, we see that landlords share our concerns for the environment, feel personally responsible for making a difference and agree that businesses have a wider social responsibility than simply making a profit.

Many landlords and tenants enjoy long and positive relationships, fostered by flexibility and an accommodating approach when things go wrong – the Covid pandemic an obvious example.

And although relationships appear to be more harmonious than the headlines would lead you to believe, private property investment is not without its challenges.

A substantial number of landlords cite increasing regulation and tax burdens as influencing their decision to exit the sector. This increasingly challenging environment has reflected the abandonment of tenure neutral housing policy evident from midway through the previous decade.

Estimates highlight how to meet the forecasted demand for 1.8 million new households, PRS supply will have to increase by 227,000 homes a year over the next decade.

This illustrates how the place of landlords is as important as ever.