• Landlords’ losses to hit £5.7bn by 2024 as rents look set to fall

A very interesting read the other week regarding how the recession is set to hit Buy-to-let landlords, as face having to reduce rents by at least 5% over the next five years as a growing number of tenants look set to face financial hardship as a mammoth recession looms.

Data analysis Home Made predicts that the upcoming Covid-19 recession will see landlords’ losses hit £5.7bn by 2024 – four times worse than the circa. £1.3bn loss experienced by BTL landlords during the 2008 recession. 

The proptech rental start-up analysed rental value trends post the global financial crisis a decade ago and applied these figures to 2020 to predict the size of the upcoming hit to the rental economy. It projects that rental income will not be back to pre-Covid-19 levels until early 2024. 

London is expected to be the most impacted region, with a rental income decline of at least 9% or £3.9bn in losses for the capital’s landlords by the time pre-Covid prices return – with Westminster, Tower Hamlets and Wandsworth hit the worst. 

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Asaf Navot, founder and CEO of Home Made, said: “Landlords across the UK need to brace themselves for reduced returns. In a recession, renters with tighter budgets are less inclined to take a risk and move homes due to reduced disposable income and increased job market uncertainty which drives rents down – and the Covid-19 recession looks likely to hit harder than any in living memory.”

Landlords can protect themselves by acting fast and securing longer-term tenancies with their current renters, or alternatively by reacting quickly to the pent-up demand on the new rental market following lockdown, according to Navot. 

He also urges landlords to consider choosing to prioritise long-term income over short-term gain by offering rent reductions for lengthier contracts, guaranteeing greater financial certainty.  

In addition, landlords should consider what else can be done to make properties more attractive to renters in the ‘new normal’. 

Navot added: “Highlight any outdoor spaces, consider allowing pets in the property [pet owners stay around 80% longer in a rental property] and adjust the space for home working. This will all help you stand out and let your property in a slower market. 

“We’re yet to see the full extent of the recession and it’s likely to be a renters’ market for the foreseeable future, but this is far from doomsday.