London & Manchester named as most attractive cities for buy-to-let landlords in 2020

London and Manchester have been named by landlords as the most attractive cities to invest in buy-to-let properties in 2020, according to new figures released today.

The study of 800 UK landlords – by leading landlord insurance provider Simply Business – uncovered their assessment of the buy-to-let market, which has been hit by a series of legislative changes in recent years.

The research showed London and Manchester as the cities where landlords expect the buy-to-let market to be most robust this year. Combined, the two cities received over a third (18% each) of votes when asked which city represents the best investment opportunity.

While the capital’s housing stock usually retains strong value, London house prices fell 1.8% in 2019, ending the year as the weakest performing region in the UK. But today’s figures suggest that existing landlords may now be recognising the opportunity to acquire more properties in the capital.

London shares the top spot with Manchester, whose own buy-to-let market is supported by the city’s strong student population and burgeoning media scene.

The research also suggests that UK landlords believe buy-to-let prosperity will be well spread across the UK’s regions in 2020. Liverpool and Birmingham came in as joint second with both cities securing 10% of the vote among landlords when considering where their next investment in 2020 lies.

The top 10 cities that UK landlords feel offer the best investment opportunities in 2020 are listed below:

  1. London and Manchester (joint first)
  2. Birmingham and Liverpool (joint second)
  3. Edinburgh
  4. Bristol
  5. Leeds
  6. Oxford
  7. Glasgow
  8. Cardiff
  9. Southampton
  10. Sheffield

Bea Montoya, Chief Operating Officer at Simply Business commented: “Buy-to-let landlords are crucial to the UK economy, contributing a combined £16.1 billion through pre-tax spending. The sector also now houses 20% of British households and has a huge presence up and down the country, so it’s wholly encouraging that landlords view a broad spread of regions as attractive areas to invest this year.

“London usually comes out on top for being the most expensive city to invest in property in the UK, but falling house prices are making it an attractive place to invest once again.

“We know a quarter of landlords are planning to sell at least one property this year, largely due to government reform and tax changes, so it’s reassuring to see that landlords are still eying up investment opportunities up and down the country.”