GOING GREEN: Has Covid signalled the ‘beginning of the end’ for city centre rentals?

A third of landlords are planning to buy additional buy-to-let properties in rural and coastal areas and believe that city centres ‘no longer represent a worthwhile investment’.

This has been revealed by a new poll, which also claims that the ongoing lockdowns have pushed up renter demand in greener towns and villages.

Recent figures from Rightmove have shown that property searches have doubled for homes in small towns and villages with populations less than 11,000.

Researchers from insurance firm Simply Business also found that the Chancellor’s stamp duty holiday for properties for sale under £500,000 has increased the number of landlords buying properties overall three-fold.

Stamp duty boost

Ten percent of landlords now say they plan to buy or have purchased a property this year, up from 3% before Covid struck.

And only 5% of landlords said that they were planning to reduce their portfolio, suggesting that landlord resilience remains strong.

This is despite the recent tax changes, an increase in the number of licensing schemes around the UK and the ongoing restrictions on how and when landlords can evict tenants with rent arrears.

“The coronavirus outbreak and consequent lockdowns have been transformational in UK renters’ attitudes towards property, and therefore where landlords are looking to make their next investment,” says Alan Thomas, UK CEO of Simply Business.

“What is clear though, is that the UK buy-to-let market is going through somewhat of a transition, driven by a move away from the previous demand for city centre properties.”

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