UK buy-to-let mortgage statistics and insights 2023

The UK's buy-to-let mortgage market has witnessed significant growth over the past few years. This type of mortgage has proved to be particularly popular for investors looking to leverage the UK property market. Statistics from Confused.com have highlighted just how big this market has become. So in this article, we’ll delve into these buy-to-let mortgage statistics and insights from 2023 to help prepare us for the new year.

Key Statistics and Insights for Buy-to-Let Mortgages for 2024

Buy-to-let mortgages have skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years, reaching a staggering valuation of £41.3 billion in 2022. This sharp rise, amounting to an 88% growth since 2013, underscores the enduring appeal of property investment in the UK. The market's resilience is particularly noteworthy given the various economic and regulatory challenges it has faced over the past decade.

Regional Variations in Rental Properties

In England, 15.29% of homes are privately rented, showcasing the prominence of the rental sector in the housing market. Scotland follows closely with 14.9%, and Wales and Northern Ireland each have 14%. The regional variations are stark, with London leading with over a fifth of its homes being rented.

This high proportion in London can be attributed to the city's vibrant demographics, including a significant number of young professionals and students who opt for renting over buying due to the high property prices. In contrast, the Northeast shows the lowest percentage of rented homes, suggesting regional economic and demographic differences influencing the housing market.

This regional disparity in the buy-to-let market offers investors a unique opportunity to make the most out of this landscape. By focusing on areas that provide high rental yields alongside affordable house prices, the opportunity to grow investments quickly is more pronounced here. By implementing the rent-to-house price ratio as a metric, investors are in a much better position to find the right investments and reap the profits.

Analysis of Buy-to-Let Mortgages in the UK Mortgage Market

The buy-to-let mortgages' share of 12.8% in the total gross advances of the UK mortgage market represents a considerable segment. The value of these mortgages, approximately £41.3 billion, indicates a strong investment appetite in the buy-to-let sector. Despite this, the market is still primarily dominated by mortgages for owner-occupied properties, which make up over three-quarters of the market. This distribution highlights the dual nature of the UK housing market, balancing between investment-driven and owner-occupier-driven segments.

Evolution of the Buy-to-Let Mortgage Market

The market size of buy-to-let mortgages in the UK has experienced various fluctuations. After a steady increase, the market peaked in 2016 at £40.1 billion, buoyed by high demand as the industry recovered from the 2008 financial crisis. However, legislative changes such as increased Stamp Duty, phasing out mortgage interest relief, and changes to the wear and tear tax allowance led to a market downturn. The total market size dropped to £31.9 billion by 2018. The market's resilience was evident in its rebound to £41.3 billion by 2022, overcoming challenges including the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This significant growth in the buy-to-let mortgage market, alongside the resilience of the market, showcases how appealing it is to investors. However, the surge of competition has forced lenders to make obtaining loans more difficult. As a result of this, prospective investors in buy-to-let properties are encouraged to undertake in-depth research to find the most suitable mortgage deals for their needs.

Financial Aspects of Buy-to-Let Mortgages

The average deposit required for a buy-to-let mortgage is typically 25% of the property's value, considering the common loan-to-value ratio limit of 75%. This translates to a significant financial commitment for investors, given the UK's average house price. This high entry barrier underscores the level of investment and risk associated with buy-to-let mortgages, making it a market primarily accessible to more financially established individuals.

Landlord Demographics and Portfolio

England's landlord population is overwhelmingly comprised of private individuals, with a smaller presence of companies. The data reveals that property investment tends to be more common among older age groups, with most landlords aged 55 and above. This age distribution may reflect the accumulation of financial resources and a preference for property investment as a retirement strategy. The varied portfolio sizes, with a considerable number of landlords owning just one property, suggest a market with diverse investment scales and strategies.

Loan-to-Value Ratios Among Landlords

The loan-to-value ratios among landlords with debt are spread across a wide range, indicating diverse financial positions and risk appetites. The fact that a significant proportion of landlords have a buy-to-let mortgage, while a substantial number report no debt, highlights the varied approaches to property investment in the UK. These strategies range from leveraging to fully owning properties, reflecting different levels of financial commitment and risk tolerance among landlords.

Types of Rental Properties and Tenants

The types of rental properties in the UK are varied, with terraced houses and purpose-built flats or maisonettes being the most common. This diversity reflects the broad range of housing needs and preferences across the country. The tenant demographic is equally diverse, with couples without children and single occupants forming the largest groups. This diversity indicates the rental market's ability to cater to various lifestyles and household compositions.

Rent Setting Trends

The decision-making process for setting rents shows a dynamic rental market. The increase in rents for new tenants by 45.5% of landlords indicates a market responding to demand and property value trends. Conversely, the stability in rents for existing tenants, with most landlords keeping the rent the same, suggests a balance between attracting new tenants and retaining existing ones. This balance is crucial for the sustainability and growth of the rental market.

Making the Most Out of Buy-to-Let Markets Requires Careful Research

As the statistics from Confused.com show, the UK's buy-to-let mortgage market in 2023 presents a complex and evolving landscape. It is clearly influenced by regional variations, legislative changes, and economic conditions. The market's resilience and growth, despite these challenges, make it an incredibly appealing investment opportunity. However, to truly capitalise on this unique market, investors should perform in-depth, comprehensive research.

To help with your research, we strongly advise looking into the insights and resources available at PropertyData to help you make the most informed investment choices. This platform offers a plethora of useful information, tools and support for your investment journey.

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Transparent data promise

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the statistics used?

Averages shown are the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How do you know the square footage of properties?

We use proprietary technology to read the square footage of properties from agent floorplans. Although we cannot determine the square footage for all properties, we can usually get sufficient coverage. Agents are sometimes known to inflate square footage, and this should be borne in mind as a weakness of this data.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property "price paid" data provided by the Land Registry.

How often is the data updated?

Once per month when released by the Land Registry, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month.

What time period does the data cover?

You can customise the time period using the filter at the top of the view. The default time period is up to 9 months back from today's date. The latest data covers the period up to 2024-04-30, although some sales that took place before this date may still be added in the coming months.

How is the raw data processed?

No additional processes are applied to this data.

What are the statistics used?

Averages shown are the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property "price paid" data provided by the Land Registry, and Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) data provided by Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities.

How do you know the square footage of properties?

We match the Land Registry data to EPC data provided by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities. Due to the fact that not all properties sold have had an EPC and vagaries of addressing in the UK, we are not able to determine the square footage of all properties, but we can usually get sufficient coverage.

How often is the data updated?

The private paid data is updated once per month when released by the Land Registry, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month. The energy performance certificate database is updated monthly.

What time period does the data cover?

You can customise the time period using the filter at the top of the view. The default time period is up to 9 months back from today's date. The latest data covers the period up to 2024-04-30, although some sales that took place before this date may still be added in the coming months.

How is the raw data processed?

No additional processes are applied to this data.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Room let listings on SpareRoom, the UK's biggest room letting website.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from SpareRoom, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded. Yields are calculated by comparing only properties with the same number of bedrooms, e.g. 3-bedroom properties for rent with 3-bedroom properties for sale.

What is the yield calculation used?

The calculation used is (average_weekly_asking_rent * 52 / average_asking_price), expressed as a percentage. It is a top-line gross yield, meaning no expenses are considered.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated in near real-time.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from Zoopla, Rightmove or Spareroom, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Yields are calculated by comparing only properties with the same number of bedrooms, e.g. 3-bedroom properties for rent with 3-bedroom properties for sale. For the SpareRoom data, hypothetical properties consisting of two to six average double rooms with shared bathrooms are used to derived average rent. For all sources, listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What is the yield calculation used?

The calculation used is (average_weekly_asking_rent * 52 / average_asking_price), expressed as a percentage. It is a top-line gross yield, meaning no expenses are considered.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property "price paid" data provided by the Land Registry.

How often is the data updated?

Once per month when released by the Land Registry, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month.

Zoopla Zed-index

What time period does the data cover?

The data covers transactions in the last six years

How is the raw data processed?

No additional processes are applied to this data.

What are the statistics used?

The average shown is the interquartile mean, a type of average that is insensitive to outliers while being its own distinct parameter. The 80% range means that 80% of the listed properties fall inside this range.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The listings data is updated in near real-time. The Land Registry data is updated once per month when released, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month.

What time period does the data cover?

The price paid data shown goes back to January 2015. The listings data is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

What are the calculations used?

Average sales per month are for the last 3 finalised months. Turnover is average sales per month divided by total for sale. Inventory is 100 divided by turnover.

Where does the raw data come from?

Property listings seen on rightmove.co.uk, zoopla.co.uk and onthemarket.com.

How often is the data updated?

The listings data is updated in near real-time. The Land Registry data is updated once per month when released, typically towards the end of each calendar month covering up to the end of the previous calendar month.

What time period does the data cover?

This is a real-time market snapshot - the data covers currently listed properties. Once properties are removed from the portal, they are soon removed from this tab.

How is the raw data processed?

Duplicates from multiple sources are matched and reconciled as far as possible. Listings with obvious errors, where price or number or bedrooms appear out of range, are discarded.

Where does the raw data come from?

We receive data on the extent and corporate ownership of all land titles in England & Wales from the Land Registry.

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated once per month when released, typically in the first few days of each calendar month.

What time period does the data cover?

This is an ownership snapshot - the data represents ownership as recorded by the Land Registry at the last monthly export.

How is the raw data processed?

No additional processes are applied to this data.

Where does the raw data come from?

We source different expert forecasts Savills, Knight Frank, OBR

How often is the data updated?

The data is updated annually when new forecasts are released, typically towards the beginning of the year.

How is the raw data processed?

We calculate a consensus forecast using a simple mean average.