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Rising number of landlords making a loss on their buy-to-let property

22nd February 2012


Rents may have risen in the private sector over the last year, but professional landlords are feeling the pinch.

By Paul Farrow

The latest findings from the BDRC Continental quarterly Landlords Panel research reveals the biggest rise in the number of portfolio landlords making a loss since the Landlords Panel began in 2006.

The research shows that in the fourth quarter of 2011, the number of ‘portfolio landlords’ – those with 20 or more properties – who reported making a loss rose from just 1pc in the third quarter of 2011, to 8pc in the last quarter of the year.

At the same time, while portfolio landlords reaped the highest rental yields at 7pc, average rental yields for all landlords fell in the last three months of 2011, down to 5.9pc from 6.7pc in the previous quarter. The last quarter of 2011 saw rental yields for all landlords fall to their lowest level in the year. This is despite almost half (46pc) of landlords having increased rents for tenants in the previous 12 months and one in three (34pc) planning to do so during the first half of 2012.

However, BDRC Continental’s research reveals that landlord sentiment remains upbeat about the prospects for the private rental sector, with 80pc saying that they feel positive about being a landlord.

This may be because the number of landlords reporting a recent void period in their property fell five percentage points – from 41pc in the third quarter of 2011 to 36pc in the fourth quarter . But while half of landlords have experienced arrears, there is only a marginal difference in the number of landlords who are concerned about rental arrears in the next 12 months and those who are not.



Mark Long, Director for BDRC Continental said: “Unsurprisingly, in a difficult economy a larger portfolio of property brings greater exposure to risk and those landlords are clearly feeling the impact of rising costs and a decline in profitability. This is the highest level we have seen of landlords with 20-plus properties making a loss, and the biggest increase between one quarter and another. In previous waves of the research the highest figure of loss making for this group was 4pc in the third quarter of 2009. Some landlords are clearly feeling the pinch.”

Source:  Telegraph 21/2/12