THE number of new buy-to-let properties being advertised in Portsmouth is falling, according to recent statistics.
Figures from UK housing investor Property Partner showed that, since July, 40 per cent of UK towns and cities have seen a drop in the number of new buy-to-let properties being put on the market.
In Portsmouth, the figure is higher than the national average of 15 per cent, at 21.6.
Although this figure is significantly lower than in places such as Brighton – which has seen a 40 per cent drop – it is still seen as a cause for concern.
Dan Gandesha, CEO of Property Partner, said: ‘You’d expect a seasonal drop-off in the number of new buy-to-let properties coming on to the market during August but September has proved worryingly slow.
‘Alongside tougher lending criteria and cuts to mortgage interest tax relief starting next year, many landlords will be now doubting it’s worth the hassle, particularly in the south east.
‘Profits have been hit hard and those landlords that decide to stick with it, may just be forced to push up rents – not a promising prospect for tenants.
‘Over the past decade, more and more people have moved away from home ownership and become long-term renters. It’s time for the government to make build-to-rent a key priority.’
Portsmouth City councillor Darren Sanders, chairman of the housing and social care scrutiny panel, and ward councillor for Baffins, said that while the figures were surprising for Portsmouth, it is a nationwide problem.
He said: ‘One of the problems that we have is that we aren’t meeting the required targets for housing construction, due in part to the fact that we have to find where to put them.
‘It is interesting – the figures say we need more homes but many people in the city believe we already have too many.
‘There has been a major shift to private renting in the past couple of decades and that has changed the shape of the housing market in the city – couple that with the government’s poor affordable home ownership schemes, and it’s understandable how this has happened.
‘That being said, it is clear that we need to do something to ease the pressure on the many families in Portsmouth who are struggling to get by.’