Buy-to-let growth sees ‘one in five’ British homes owned by a private landlord reports Richard Dyson in the Telegraph

Private landlords now own almost one out of five homes in Britain and they will buy a further million in the next five years, according to research highlighting the growth of buy-to-let.

Two million private landlords now own and rent out five million properties, according to the report by Paragon, a mortgage lender.  This means 18 per cent of households now rent from private landlords.  The proportion is growing, as investors continue to see property as a source of future income and fewer people can afford to buy.

The report, 18 Years of Buy-to-Let, drew on information from a range of sources and was published to mark the eighteenth year since the “invention” in 1996 of buy-to-let.  The number of properties owned via buy-to-let has almost doubled in the period, it said, and is now worth £1 trillion.

Buy-to-let became highly popular in the housing boom of 2005 to 2007, when property investment proliferated and thousands of investors bought newly built flats without even viewing.

However, the widely-predicted bust never followed.  The banking crisis led to a mortgage drought, which prevented younger generations from buying and instead swelled the pool of renters.