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Second ‘Lost Decade’ Ahead For Nearly 1m First-Time Buyers

The growth of the PRS has slowed as government intervention and economic uncertainty has bitten, but the prolonged absence of first-time buyers in the housing market will support its long-term expansion, according to the eighth edition of Kent Reliance’s Buy to Let Britain report.

The value of the PRS in Great Britain failed to rise in the last quarter, as house prices fell and the sector grew more slowly. It now stands at £1.4trn, according to the report.

The combined effects of higher stamp duty costs, reforms to the tax treatment of mortgage interest, and tighter lending rules are responsible for the slowdown. The number of households in the sector increased by only 3% in the last year, to 5.7m, far slower than the rate of increase seen over the past decade.

On the supply side, only 1% more landlords increased rather than shrunk their portfolios in the last three months, according to a survey of 1,043 landlords, run in association with BDRC Continental. Meanwhile, analysis of UK Finance data shows the number of outstanding buy to let mortgages increased by just 1.5% a year, one sixth of the rate seen three years ago, as house purchase demand has slowed.  

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