UK Residential Market Survey Breakdown - May 2023

Tuesday 04 July 2023

RICS recently released their May 2023 UK Residential Market Survey & there are some interesting correlations.

The first graph on the left (below text) shows the number of new landlord instructions. Since mid-2016, generally speaking, new landlord instructions have been falling. It’s no surprise as since 2015, and the UK government have been making it less appealing to those wanting to become landlords with numerous tax changes.

2015 – Chancellor George Osborne announces a 3% stamp duty surcharge on all buy-to-let property purchases. Plans to phase out tax relief on buy-to-let rental income for higher and additional rate tax-payers over 5 years. Landlords will have to pay tax on their rental income rather than profits as a result.

2017 – The Bank of England tells lenders to require much higher rent-to-income ratios before approving buy-to-let mortgages.

2019 Capital gains tax applied to accidental landlords who sell more than 9 months after moving out of their previous home.

2021 – All tax relief withdrawn for landlords as the 5-year phase-out ends.

New Landlord Instructions - Over past 3 months
Rent expectations - Next 3 months

Now, looking at the graph on the right, which shows the rental growth from 2018 (excluding a few dips during covid times), rental expectations have been increasing.

As more landlords are exiting the market due to the changes in tax legislation mentioned above, the supply of rental properties is lower.

We all know the general rule of economics when demand is high & supply is low, prices get pushed up.

The correlation, therefore, between landlords exiting the market & rental prices increasing is closely matched.

Not great news for those renting, but good news for landlords staying in the market as they can warrant asking for higher rents, making now a great time to own or invest in a buy-to-let property.


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The UK Residential Market Survey is used by the government, the Bank of England and other key institutions, including the IMF, as an indicator of current and future conditions in UK residential sales and lettings. It is covered extensively in the media and is the leading source of market intelligence, highly regarded both by investors and across the industry.

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