Many would no doubt chorus yes, they are And the terms private Rental Sector and Buy to Let market are often used interchangeably to describe the same important part of the UK’s housing stock. But I’d say they’re mistaken, and here’s why
Our latest Landlords Panel research indicates that a significant proportion of the Private Rental Sector is in fact unencumbered from any form of Buy to Let mortgage borrowing; 29% of respondents told us that they do not owe a penny on their lettings portfolio, regardless of its size.
There is of course a relationship between portfolio size and BTL borrowing. If we look more closely at the 3 in 10 landlords without leverage, it’s those with smaller property portfolios that are most likely to be mortgage-free. Indeed 52% of this group have just a single property to let, though 11% have 20+ properties under management and still have no BTL borrowings in place. And just how some achieve this envious position makes for interesting reading.
The most frequently cited reason for being a mortgage-free landlord is having purchased property outright using previously invested funds. This is a growth segment, up 10% year on year, with investors increasingly likely to choose bricks and mortar over more traditional investment vehicles such as the stock market. Similarly, respondents claim to have purchased their property(ies) via a lump sum (not previously invested).
We also see 1 in 7 landlords in the unencumbered segment who were previously BTL borrowers, but have managed to pay down their loan(s) over the years.
What a fantastic position to be in rental income, capital gains (eventually) and not a penny owed to the bank/building society/specialist lender.me, jealous? Never!
So you can see, the PRS and BTL markets are not one and the same. Just ask the 3 in 10 lucky landlords!