The Welsh Government has published the latest dwelling stock estimates, showing that the total number of dwellings in Wales continues to grow steadily with an estimated 1.4 million dwellings at 31 March 2016. This reflects an increase of about 11 percent since 2000-01.
The estimated number of private sector dwellings has increased steadily over the last ten years, mainly due to an increase in the number of privately rented dwellings. These accounted for 14 percent of all dwellings at 31 March 2016.
This is good news, particularly at a time when more housing is needed.
However, the RLA’s Investment, Finance and Tax Report 2016 indicates that landlords are not feeling particularly optimistic about the direction of the PRS, particularly in light of tax changes to mortgage interest relief.
The report, based on 2,883 responses of UK landlords, with 138 of those from Wales, shows that nearly 60 percent of respondents are not confident about the future of the PRS. Â Seventy-six percent reported that the 2015-2016 budget announcements would negatively impact their rental income, with 70 percent stating they do not plan to add to their portfolios.
The upcoming snap election in June gives political contenders an opportunity to rethink key issues, particularly finance changes, the idea of a letting agent fee ban, calls for longer-term tenancies, and the less popular idea of rent fixing.
Rents average Â£635 in Wales, according to the RLA’s research, with an average tenancy length of 4 years. There have been calls for statutory detailing of longer term tenancies, but as the RLA research demonstrates, this might not be needed after all, as it is already currently transpiring naturally in the market, where it suits the individuals.
As for rents charged to tenants within the next 12 months, 53 percent of the RLA’s surveyed landlords stated that they intended to keep the rents they charged tenants the same, with 58 percent reporting doing so because they want to keep the tenant in the property. Â Of the 46 percent who reported an intention to raise rent, 48 percent blamed the need for the raise on changes to mortgage interest relief.
Worryingly, 60 percent of landlords stated that the finance changes have made them consider reducing investment.
The tax changes and growing regulatory burdens like national licensing of Rent Smart Wales are sending many landlords over the edge, or out of the market, as it were.
Tell us. Â Are you considering moving out, too?