The Association of Residential Letting Agents have commissioned a report


On the Buy to Let Sector. In short this is what it says

  • At the tenth anniversary of its launch by ARLA, the Association of Residential Letting Agents, Buy to Let has proved to be a force for good in the housing market and a major industry in its own right.
  • Today over a million households live in Buy to Let properties. These property assets are worth well over £120 billion and the Buy to Let sector contributes over £30 billion to the economy each year.
  • This contribution is worth more than that made by all the pubs, hotels and restaurants in the country and is over four times more than the contribution from the motor industry.



istockPresenting his report for ARLA to an audience from Government, The City and the property industry, Michael Ball, Professor of Urban and Property Economics at the University of Reading Business School, forecast an average growth in numbers of Buy to Let tenancies of 20-30,000 a year over the next ten years. He pointed out that while demand for Buy to Let mortgages will grow faster as the sector is still relatively under-mortgaged.

The report shows that Buy to Let has spread the reach of the private rented sector into areas that had little or no private renting before. This has had the knock-on effect of reviving housing markets and assisting in inner city regeneration.

In the mid-1990s less than half the PRS was owned by individuals, now they own two- thirds of the sector. This is due not only to individual desire to invest in property but also because corporate organisations have been running down their property assets.

This private ownership has occurred without the vast majority of Buy to Let investors becoming financially stretched. Investor landlords have substantial cushions of their own wealth, including equity in owner-occupation, employment and other non-rental income.

Without Buy to Let, the ARLA 10 year report asserts, the Private Rented Sector would be a lot smaller.

A shrunken Private Rented Sector would have provided for less choice in housing and standards would have suffered. Competition between landlords in the provision of rented property has brought considerable gains to households in rented accommodation. This is one of the reasons why more people rent. The benefits of renting appeal particularly to young mobile people. Changing lifestyles, affluence, employment patterns and financial circumstances have combined to encourage more younger people to rent rather than own their homes, as they may have done in previous decades.

However, most tenants will build up savings, maybe have children, and so – the report suggests - succumb to the benefits of home ownership.

But today, many young people are moving to home ownership at least a decade later in life than they did before.

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