It's probably true to say that, over the last few years, portfolio expansion has been the name of the game for many. Visit some auction rooms and you could very easily be trampled underfoot by eager investors keen to take advantage of what seem to be attractive prices and strong tenant demand. But, look just beneath the surface, and you will find that some landlords are actually selling their properties right now.
Selling in the midst of a buy to let stampede could be considered an odd thing to do so in this report we will investigate the situation, with the help of a variety of experts, and look at why some landlords are selling when everyone else seems to be buying. Are they crazy…or do they know something the rest of us don't?
First of all, do the statistics have anything useful to tell us? Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders say that, in Q2 2013, lenders advanced more buy to let mortgages by volume (40,000) and value (£5.1bn) than in any period since before the financial crisis in 2008. However, 24% of these loans by value were remortgages suggesting significant numbers of investors are refinancing and not necessarily buying new properties. This summer's newly launched 'Rent Check' report, published by Allsop and BDRC Continental, reports that a fairly modest 23% of landlords surveyed were planning on buying further properties over the coming year. ARLA research for Q3 2013 says that 26% of landlords surveyed said they expected to increase their portfolios over the next 12 months while 49% said they did not. Fifteen percent of respondents expected to sell properties over the next 12 months, while 67% did not.