After the SDLT holiday and the pent up demand in the wake of two lockdowns, it was worth looking at how the makeup of properties secured against our mortgage portfolio had changed during the last year.
By way of background, there are more terraces in the UK than any other property type and they range from small back-to-back homes to rows of large Victorian and Edwardian houses.
- Terraces make up around 27% of UK housing stock
- Semi-detached houses at 25%
- Flats at 21%,
- Detached houses at 18%
- Bungalows at 9%*
For Landbay, there has been a complete change during 2021. Providing buy-to-let mortgages for flats has traditionally been the bulk of our business followed by terraced housing, but this year there has been a shift.
In February, there was a noticeable change with mortgages for terraces outnumbering flats. From February to August this year our mortgage book for new loans averaged 36% for flats and 41% for terraced housing, including end of terrace. When compared to the same period last year flats accounted for 47% of our BTL loans with terraces at 27%. The rest of the loans are on semi-detached houses followed by detached plus a handful of bungalows and cottages and the patterns here have remained fairly consistent.
Properties with two bedrooms are the most popular across our portfolio with landlords who buy terraced houses tending to go for three bedrooms, while two bedrooms are the next most popular. Interestingly, we have seen a pick-up in landlords buying four bed terraced housing, and this started in October 2021.
Part of this is to do with the increasing popularity of HMOs but, in addition, the pandemic has highlighted what has become known as the ‘race for space’. People want a spare room to use as a home office – and that is the case for those who rent property as well as own it.
Another change we have noticed over the past year is that just over half of our clients have bought properties valued under £250,000. Before this, the trend was slightly in favour of properties over £250,000. What we are seeing is a rise in the number of landlords favouring cheaper properties with the statistic for June and July 2021.
The evidence from our book does show a shift in buying habits, with many portfolio landlords diversifying and buying different types of property in different locations. It demonstrates that landlords are looking to spread their risk and not afraid to try a different approach in order to increase rental yields.
*Source: BRE Trust, The Housing Stock of The United Kingdom (2020), based on ONS data 2017