16:02 PM, 30th November 2011, About 10 years ago
The number of buy to let properties has increased by 756,000 homes since 2007, according to the latest government housing statistics.
The latest figures from the Communities and Local Government Department say landlords rented out 3.938 million homes in April 2010.
The number was up from 3.182 million in 2007 and now represents 17.3% of the total English housing stock of 22.693 million homes.
In 2007, buy to let made up around 14.3% of the homes in England.
The number of private rental homes now matches the total rented from housing associations and local councils.
Despite a growth in the number of rental properties, the Council of Mortgage Lenders recently pointed out that landlords are buying 50% less homes than at the height of the house price bubble in 2007-08.
Meanwhile, research by buy to let mortgage lender Paragon suggests 22% of landlords expect to buy additional homes to let in the coming year.
Most landlords (57%) also consider the prospects for the private rental sector in the coming year are good or very good.
Around 8% are considering selling one or more rental properties in the next 12 months.
The average portfolio size marginally increased from 12 to 13 homes in the last quarter.
Terraced homes are the most popular housing type, with 65% of landlords owning at least one; while 58% own a flat, 48% a semi-detached house and 24% a house in multiple occupation (HMO).
Paragon managing director John Heron said: “This is an interesting time for the private rental sector, as landlords are experiencing high levels of tenant demand as other areas of the housing market come under increasing strain.
“Looking at the year ahead, I am pleased to see that landlords are expecting to add to their portfolios, as there is no sign that tenant demand is going to slow in 2012.”
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