By Paul Brett, managing director, intermediaries at Landbay.

The final buy-to-let industry lending figures for 2022 are not yet available but it was a strong year for the sector and a record year for us.

UK Finance has lowered its lending forecasts for 2023 in comparison with 2022, for both residential and buy-to-let lending, but I think the market will still be buoyant. This is despite the BTL sector getting some stick in both the trade press and national newspapers, which have tended to focus on landlords selling up. While it is true some landlords are selling, many are also buying.

What we are seeing is portfolio landlords, those with four or more properties, expanding their businesses and looking for opportunities to invest further. Intermediaries should be aware that the BTL market is still strong and landlords want to add to their portfolios, despite what the press would have you believe.

While mortgage rates are higher than a year ago, they are coming down (following the rate hikes and removal of products after the mini-Budget last September). Swap rates have been falling and competition among lenders means intermediaries will be seeing some good rates coming through. Even though Bank of England base rate is forecast to rise further, it’s what happens in the money markets and having strong, diverse funding to tap into that matters for non-bank lenders like us.

Buyers’ market

The various house prices indices are all predicting a fall in home values this year ranging from 5% to 30%. That is a big difference although the majority appear to be somewhere around the minus 10% mark.

A fall in house prices means there will be properties for sale that landlords could consider as value for money. We know there are landlords waiting for the right opportunities to come along and others are taking a wait and see approach as to what happens. These landlords are watching the housing market, the economy, mortgage rates, inflation, rents, yields and regulation.

Survey findings

We recently carried out research among BTL landlords and found positivity among the vast majority, with medium to larger landlords actively looking to increase their portfolios (see table). Our survey found that 42% of landlords intend to buy property in the next 12 months, 21% don’t know and 37% are not looking to purchase.

Intention to buy properties in the next 12 months

Number of properties owned by landlord

Yes, intend to buy

Don’t know

No, do not intend to buy

20+ properties




11-20 properties




4-10 properties




1-3 properties





The main reason for 54% of landlords considering buying is the potential drop in house prices. The second biggest reason, cited by 30%, was the increase in demand as the supply of rental properties has lowered.

Almost four out of five landlords (79%) who intend to buy more property do not intend to sell any of their existing properties. The rest said they may sell some property and the main reason given by three quarters was dependent on remortgage costs. The other quarter said they will sell less efficient property to raise capital to buy other property.

One in five landlords don’t know if they will buy more property with most of those saying the reason for hesitancy is because they are waiting to see how the market pans out. There are also those in the unsure category who will buy if the right opportunity arises.

Meanwhile, 37% of landlords said they don’t intend to buy more property but 64% of those don’t intend to sell any either.

Selling property

According to our survey, 70% of landlords do not intend to sell any of their properties in the next 12 months. For those who do intend to sell, it’s more of a policy of managing their portfolio as 28% will dispose of some of their properties and only 2% intend to sell them all.

BTL is a long-term investment and buying and selling has always been an everyday occurrence of property investment. For many landlords, it is a full-time business, but there are plenty of people who invest in property to boost their pension, regard it as an investment for their children’s future or just to provide some extra income.

Whatever their reasons, intermediaries should be prepared for BTL purchase business especially from portfolio landlords, as well as large numbers of remortgaging due this year.

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