At the same time, however, the number of properties that are available to rent across the UK has risen. The data shows that between 2015 and 2017, the number of homes to rent nationwide has climbed from 4.9 million to 5.1 million. The rise of 171,000 in the space of two years suggests that although landlord numbers have fallen, those who are investing are buying larger portfolios than they had done in the past.
According to Countrywide, this is a trend that has been ongoing for the last few years. It said that in 2010, the average size of a portfolio in the UK was 1.24 properties per landlord. This rose to 1.33 in 2015, and it has continued to climb since. In 2017, the average landlord owns 1.44 rented homes, the survey said.
"The increasing number of rented homes is being driven by landlords expanding their portfolios rather than new landlords entering the market," said Johnny Morris, research director at Countrywide.
"Increasing regulation in the sector accompanied by recent changes to income tax relief on mortgage interest payments seem to be favouring more experienced, professional landlords. Despite expanding portfolio sizes the sector is still characterised by those owning just one or two homes, 73 per cent of landlords own one home," he added.
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