The number of properties offloaded by landlords fell to a seven-year low in 2020 as the coronavirus crisis meant investors had limited opportunities to sell up, research has found.
Across Britain, an estimated 131,900 properties were sold by landlords in 2020, marking the smallest number since 2013, according to estate agents Hamptons.
Looking just at England and Wales, the average landlord selling up last year had owned their home for just over nine years and sold for £82,450 or 42% more than they had paid for it, the research found.
In London, the average landlord selling up last year sold their property for £302,200 or 71% more than they originally paid for it, having owned the property for nearly 10 years on average.
Despite the sizeable gross profit, typically landlords who sold in London last year made a smaller sum than those who sold in 2016, when they made an average gain of £364,960.
Last year, the average Kensington and Chelsea landlord sold their property for £784,980 more than they paid for it.
At the other end of the spectrum, landlords in the north east of England continued to make the smallest gains within England and Wales.
The average landlord who sold up in the North East made £11,310 according to Hamptons, which used Land Registry figures as part of its research.
Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons, said: “Last year, the number of homes sold by landlords reached a seven-year low.
“A pause in the housing market during the first Covid-induced lockdown, which suppressed overall transactions, combined with an eviction ban throughout the remainder of 2020, limited the opportunity for landlords to sell up.
“Landlord sales have been relatively high over the last few years due to tax and regulatory changes that have reduced the profitability for some investors.
“But given tax relief on mortgage interest will be fully phased out from the 2020/21 tax year, it seems as though most landlords who would be hit hardest by these changes have already left the sector.
“Over the last few years, the average capital gain made by a landlord has been shrinking.
“But despite the pandemic, stronger house price growth seems to have reversed this trend.
“Landlords who have been in the game for the longest period of time have reaped the largest rewards. The average landlord who owned their buy-to-let for more than 15 years made more than three times more than a landlord who had owned their property for less than five years, many of whom would have renovated and invested further in their property to add value.”
– Here are the average gains made by landlords across England and Wales who sold up in 2020, according to Hamptons, with the year-on-year increase or decrease:
London, £302,200, £3,760
South East, £102,200, minus £5,380
East of England, £90,590, minus £2,630
South West, £68,250, £2,160
West Midlands, £50,240, £5,220
East Midlands, £44,560, £2,960
Wales, £37,120, £1,170
North West, £34,780, £170
Yorkshire and the Humber, £30,800, £940
North East, £11,310, minus £3,500