Landlords are increasing the size of their portfolios

Terraced houses remain the first choice for landlords as London rents continue to rise

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The Independent Online

The average portfolio size has increased to 14 properties with 21% of landlords planning to invest in more property over the next three months, suggests a new report.

Research by specialist buy-to-let mortgage lender Paragon Mortgages shows a rise in landlords’ property portfolios during the past three months from an average of 12.9 properties in the period January-March 2012, to 14.1 today. This time last year, the average portfolio size was 12.5 properties.

A fifth (21%) of landlords who took part in Paragon's quarterly Private Rented Sector Trends Survey said that they were planning to add to their portfolios in the third quarter of this year, a figure which is up from 18% over the same period last year.

Of those landlords who are planning to purchase buy-to-let property in the next three months, 49% will be investing in terraced houses which remain the most popular property type for landlords to invest in.

More than a quarter of landlords (26%) expect to buy flats or maisonettes and 23% are hoping to purchase semi-detached houses.

Meanwhile, rents in London have risen for a second consecutive month, reaching a recordhigh of £1,038 pcm, an increase of 0.6% over May.

The latest Buy-to-Let Index from LSL Property Services showed the average rent in England and Wales rose by 0.4% to £712 per month, with the highest rises in the North West and East Midlands, where they rose 1.7% and 1% respectively. Rents declined in four regions, with the largest falls in the North East, where they fell by 1%, and the West Midlands, where they decreased by 0.9%. 

The end of spring has brought with it renewed activity in the rental market," commented David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, "and rents have returned to the level seen before the impact of the stamp duty deadline rush by first-time buyers.The reality is that thousands of frustrated buyers are still financially trapped between a rock and a hard place. Historically high rents and rock-bottom savings rates are hampering attempts to save for the larger deposits banks now require, not to mention meeting the cost of the reinstated stamp duty tax. In turn, fewer tenants are able to leave the sector, and the strong tenant competition is pushing up rents as a result, making saving for a deposit harder still."