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February, 2019
UK property investors remain positive

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% of investors plan to increase their portfolios in 2019, while 20% 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% looking to expand their portfolios, 39% are looking to buy in the South East of England, 25% Wales, and 13% the Midlands. About 16% 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% of respondents said they were uncertain of the conditions for property investors in 2019, and 28% 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%) of respondents cited affordability. Ongoing Brexit uncertainty was the second biggest challenge at 32%, followed by accessing funding at 17%.

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.”