Landlords remain bullish despite Brexit uncertainty

With the government locked in its latest round of Brexit negotiations, 85 per cent of landlords are undeterred by the prospect of leaving the EU, according to the third annual Landlord Voice Survey from Simple Landlords Insurance.

Despite enduring uncertainty over the future of Britain’s economic relationship with Europe, less than one in 10 landlords (8 per cent) said they would postpone expanding their property portfolios because of Brexit – fewer than in 2016 – while 3 per cent of landlords said they would increase their investment in the buy-to-let market.

Influences closer to home, however, seem to be of more concern. Simple’s research found that market forces including stamp duty, capital gains tax and stricter mortgage lending rules mean that more than half (56 per cent) of landlords owning at least five properties, and 41 per cent overall, have re-evaluated their investment plans in the past twelve months.

For larger landlords, the Government’s decision to slash tax relief on mortgage interest payments from April this year was of particular concern, while smaller landlords worried most about periods of unoccupancy.

As a result, just 1 per cent of landlords with larger portfolios, and only 3 per cent overall, consider the Government to be supportive of the buy-to-let market.

Yet despite this, landlords remain confident of their prospects, with just 3 per cent planning to exit the market in the next 12 months, a marginal increase on 2016. Almost a third of landlords (32 per cent) with five or more properties plan to invest over the next two years.

Director of Operations at Simple Landlords, Alex Huntley said:

“Brexit turns out to be the least of landlords’ worries – it’s government policy that’s causing the most sleepless nights – and causing landlords to mistrust policy-makers.”

“Yet despite the uncertainly and instability in the market, landlords remain remarkably up-beat about their future prospects. The bigger the landlord, the more positive the outlook.”

“Opportunities remain for landlords who are focused on managing their investments, staying ahead of the regulatory curve, and growing steadily but surely.”