The majority of UK property professionals are set to expand their portfolios in 2019, remaining resilient despite a backdrop of uncertainty and squeeze on affordability.
MT Finance polled property professionals as part of its research into the future performance of the UK property sector. It found 80 per cent of investors plan to increase their portfolios in 2019, while 20 per cent said they are not making any changes to their portfolio in 2019.
Nobody questioned planned to reduce their exposure to the UK property market this year.
Of the 80 per cent looking to expand their portfolios, 39 per cent are looking to buy in the South East of England, 25 per cent Wales, and 13 per cent the Midlands. About 16 per cent of respondents said they would not be buying property in the UK and no respondents said they planned to buy in London.
MT Finance describes the poll results as “encouraging”, especially as 51 per cent of respondents said they were uncertain of the conditions for property investors in 2019, and 28 per cent believed conditions will not improve in the coming year.
When asked what the biggest challenge for property investors had been last year, four out of 10 (40 per cent) of respondents cited affordability. Ongoing Brexit uncertainty was the second biggest challenge at 32 per cent, followed by accessing funding at 17 per cent.
MT Finance commercial director Gareth Lewis says: “The UK property market has seen a reduction in high value purchase transactions. This is reflected in the latest data from HMRC, who revealed stamp duty receipts fell by £1bn last year.
“The results from our Q4 Property Investor Survey highlight how higher stamp duty and a lack of affordability has pushed property investors out of London, where more rental properties are vital.
“While there is continuing uncertainty, particularly over how the Brexit negotiations will unfold, UK property investors remain resilient. The fact that property professionals have revealed they will continue to invest in the UK, despite the uncertainty and numerous challenges, bodes well for the future of the market.”