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Landlords are looking for different types of property or searching in new locations as a result of coronavirus, with industry data showing Buy to Let is proving more robust than residential.

To better understand the impact of the pandemic on investor activity, Leeds Building Society looked at the latest UK industry figures,* which show that between March and mid-July the volume of Buy to Let mortgage applications held up better than residential.

Matt Bartle, Director of Products at Leeds Building Society said: “In terms of the volume of applications over this period, the Buy to Let market fell less steeply and recovered more quickly than residential.

“We’ve also seen increased purchase activity; suggesting landlords are taking advantage of a combination of factors, including stamp duty relief, low interest rates and tenant demand.”

The market data is supported by the additional insight from the Society’s own research with landlords, as part of its Lockdown Learnings,** a research series looking at how people’s needs and attitudes to homes have changed since the start of lockdown.

Of those surveyed, 79% of landlords who were considering acquiring a Buy to Let property before the pandemic said their plans had changed. Half still want to buy but are taking a fresh look at their plans:

  • 29% are reconsidering the type of property they are looking to buy and 29% are looking at new locations.
  • 20% are reassessing what they are willing to invest, while 22% are rethinking their timings.

Half of the landlords surveyed by Leeds Building Society said they hadn’t been planning to buy any new properties before the lockdown and still had no plans to do so.

Matt Bartle said: “It’s interesting to see how well Buy to Let has been holding up in this period.

“Bearing in mind the changes that coronavirus has brought to all our lives it’s not surprising to see landlords reviewing future plans for their property portfolios as tenants’ needs and priorities are also affected by the pandemic.

“The recent Government announcement on stamp duty appears to be spurring prospective purchasers into action, including Buy to Let landlords.

“As our survey reveals, investors are having to adapt quickly and reassess opportunities and the future shape of their portfolio.”

* Source: CACI’s Mortgage Application Reporting Service, volume

**A UK survey sought the views of 1,075 people at the end of June 2020

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