The average BTL portfolio grows – along with annual returns

The average BTL portfolio grows – along with annual returns

8:01 AM, 27th October 2022, About 8 months ago 12

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Despite the Government’s best efforts to dampen buy-to-let profitability, the average landlord has not only increased the size of their portfolio but has also boosted their rental income, research reveals.

The findings from Ocasa, the specialist rental platform, show that landlords enjoyed an 18% increase in their estimated total rental income.

Researchers looked at the data on current gross rental incomes, the average number of buy-to-let properties in a portfolio and the total rental income per portfolio, as well as how these factors have changed over the last year.

Across the UK, the average BTL investor has bolstered their property portfolio to an average of 8.2 properties in 2022 – that’s a 17% increase on the average portfolio size of 6.9 properties in 2021.

Average gross rental income of the average property

At the same time, the average gross rental income of the average property has also climbed by a marginal 0.5% to £7,891.

As a result, the average buy-to-let investment portfolio is now returning an annual level of rental income to the tune of £63,917 – an 18% increase on 2021.

Investors in Yorkshire and the Humber currently boast the largest portfolios with an average of 15.5 properties, followed by the North East (10.8) and East Midlands (10.5).

Buy-to-let investors in Yorkshire and the Humber have also seen one of the largest increases in portfolio size, up 50% year on year, second only to the South West where the average buy-to-let portfolio has increased by 69%.

Largest boost to buy-to-let portfolio sizes

Central London has seen the third largest boost to buy-to-let portfolio sizes with a 43% increase and while the average portfolio size there is amongst one of the lowest at just 8.3 properties, investors are not only seeing the largest levels of rental income, but they’ve also seen the largest increase in this level of rental income.

In fact, the average central London buy-to-let portfolio commands an estimated £93,890 in rental income per year, up 42% annually.

The South West has also seen a 42% increase in the estimated rental income of the average buy-to-let portfolio, along with the North West (37%).

‘The buy-to-let sector has really hit the ground running’

Ocasa’s sales and marketing director, Jack Godby, said: “It’s great to see that, despite the UK Government’s best efforts, the buy-to-let sector has really hit the ground running in 2022.

“Like any area of the property sector, investment levels, property prices and rental values can vary drastically from one region to the next and this understandably has an impact on the size of a buy-to-let portfolio, the rent achieved per property and the overall return made.”

He added: “However, it’s clear that strength is building across the market with respect to an increased level of income.

“The fact that only two regions have seen the average portfolio size reduce is also testament to the resilience and consistency of bricks and mortar as an investment vehicle.”

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10:28 AM, 27th October 2022, About 8 months ago

I'm struggling to reconcile these figures with others. I believe it used to be the case that the average landlord had about two properties. site thinks it's between 1 and 4:

Another recent post on property 118 says that the average number of rental properties held in a company is 3.3 (which means that there are some people with just 1 or 2 properties in a company and that's likely to be because the owners derive income from somewhere else e.g. salary so as they are out of the 20% tax band the only way they can avoid an excessive tax bill is to incorporate.
Whatever the real number is I'm not surprised the number is going up because present tax policy on BTL punishes the small investor trying to use property to provide a pension.

Ross Tulloch

14:04 PM, 27th October 2022, About 8 months ago

I do not understand this at all. Some trustable sources are saying similar to this, that the amount of landlords and properties are increasing and others like me are selling and say there are fewer than ever properties for rent. I wonder what the truth is

Old Mrs Landlord

14:06 PM, 27th October 2022, About 8 months ago

It would appear that landlords with larger portfolios probably held in companies, took advantage of stamp duty holidays/reductions to purchase some of the properties being sold off by those owning only a few buy-to-lets in their personal names, thus changing the ratios. I note also that the figures this research was based on were the gross rental returns. I imagine the net figures would tell a rather different story.


14:08 PM, 27th October 2022, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 27/10/2022 - 14:06
I think that's probably correct; and I suspect that this market research is also based on a biased sample.

Paul Essex

16:22 PM, 27th October 2022, About 8 months ago

You can also interpret the 'data' by suggesting that landlords with very small portfolios are leaving the market. These properties are either being lost or bought up by larger landlords with a more resilient portfolio.

Old Mrs Landlord

16:31 PM, 28th October 2022, About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Essex at 27/10/2022 - 16:22
Yes, that's what I said. It would explain the statistics and fit with what letting agents are telling us.


16:41 PM, 28th October 2022, About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Old Mrs Landlord at 28/10/2022 - 16:31
it also fits with my own experience. A landlord friend I was chatting to last weekend has a pension and two properties which he uses for income. He has let one of the properties to the same couple since 2016 and hasn't increased the rent over this period because they are such good tenants. He was telling me last weekend that because interest rates have gone up and he can no longer deduct all his finance costs he's raised the rent on the property for his good tenants. He's having to pay off the mortgage on the other property (from which I inferred he means sell). He's had to take on extra part-time work to supplement the drop in his income. Having only two properties I understood him to be typical of the majority of landlords.

So government policy in this area just impacts the smaller investor; people with big portfolios just incorporate and mop up the little guys; people with big salaries using property as a pension just pay their accountants to incorporate for them.

Tax policy in this area really only hurts the little guy and the inevitable consequence of this is an increase in the number of incorporated rental businesses, plus an increase in the number of properties per company. Tax policy in this area is also inflationary. I'm just not sure of the accuracy of the numbers in this research; I think it's a biased sample.

Accommodation Provider

11:53 AM, 29th October 2022, About 7 months ago

Yeah now correct for 10% inflation and .... there is nothing. Bad journalism.... there is no hype. Go write incorrect inflammatory stuff for the guardian please

Edwin Cowper

12:35 PM, 29th October 2022, About 7 months ago

If its true - and somehow no-one ever asks me - that the 'average' BTL portfolio has increased that's a very good reason for the government to stop it. It is artificially inflating the housing market as was subsidising builders by giving owners 20% loans on their property to pay the builders. Giving them supranormal profits (because without that they could not pay the price). The reason there is such a high rental demand is because ordinary people cannot afford to buy ordinary houses at prices inflated by BTL and Builder subsidy. Lowering stamp duty increases the problem.The circle goes on and on. 2 teachers cannot afford to buy a small house in Leicestershire. That's how bad it is. I am of course a btl landlord

There needs to be increase in supply now not in the future. As a former top ten builders solicitor I know how that can be achieved as I also knew how 9000 extra 2s & 3s could be supplied by the top 10 with increase in profit. However government didn't listen because it was too easy, and I knew it worked because we had done it when it suited us economically.

Old Mrs Landlord

9:06 AM, 30th October 2022, About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Edwin Cowper at 29/10/2022 - 12:35
As you are obviously in a position to know what you are talking about, I should be interested to hear exactly how BTL has inflated and/or is inflating house prices. It was always obvious that the Help to Buy loans would have that effect but the exact mechanism by which BTL causes property price inflation escapes me. It makes no sense for investors who are buying to let to pay more for a place than someone who is buying to live there. Our little portfolio is made up of properties which had been languishing unwanted on the market and which, with one exception, needed work and expenditure to bring them up to a lettable condition.

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