Buy to Let Statistics UK 2024

Buy to Let Statistics UK 2024 - Landlord and Private Rental Trends
Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents
    Scroll to Top

    Buy to let is a way many people in the UK make their living. But how big is the buy to let market, how many people in the UK already own property they rent out and how many more might be interested in doing so?

    We polled the public to find out and looked at a whole host of market data to bring to you an easy read round up all of 2024’s must know buy to let statistics for the year. Let’s jump right to it.

    Key Buy to Let Statistics Summary

    For those only looking for the numbers, here are what we would consider the most important buy to let statistics of the year. You can get more context and detail within the remainder of this article:

    • 45% of adults in the UK already own or invest in a property they rent out
    • Those aged 55 and over (8.58% of them) are likeliest to own a property they rent out
    • A third of people in the UK who don’t already would like to own a property they rent out in the future
    • A HUGE 60.91% of 25 to 34 year olds would like to own property they rent out in the future
    • Almost 1 in 10 people in both Scotland and Northern Ireland own a property they rent out
    • Over half of people aged 16 to 34 hope to own a property they rent out in the future

    What Proportion of the UK Already Owns Property They Rent Out?

    In January 2024, we surveyed a demographically representative sample of 2,001 people in the UK aged 16 and over. We wanted to find out how many already own property they rent out and how many might want that in the future.

    We asked:

    • Please indicate whether you would want to invest in property to rent out? (Select one)
    • No, I have no interest in investing/owning property I rent out
    • Yes, I would like to invest/own property I rent out in the future
    • I am not sure if I would like to invest in property to rent out
    • I already invest/own property I rent out

    Here’s how they answered:

    Please indicate whether you would want to invest in property to rent out
    Response% who gave this response
    No, I have no interest in investing/owning property I rent out41.13%
    Yes, I would like to invest/own property I rent out in the future33.63%
    I am not sure if I would like to invest in property to rent out17.79%
    I already invest/own property I rent out7.45%

    responses to being asked about interest in owning rental property

    We found that 7.04% of people in the UK (aged 16 and over) already own property they rent out.

    We dig a little deeper into the data to find out how much variation there is in the likelihood of someone owning a property they rent out by gender, region and age.

    There was very little variance by gender, with 7.04% of men and 7.84% of women owning rental properties.

    Unsurprisingly, age is a big factor though.

    Proportion of People Who Own a Property They Rent Out
    Age Bracket% of People Who Already Own a Property They Rent Out
    16 – 247.77%
    25 – 344.24%
    35 – 448.44%
    45 – 546.62%
    55+8.58%

    proportion of people who own a property they rent out by age

    It’s not a surprise that age influences this. Afterall, it would stand to reason that the longer someone has been working, the likelier it is that they have accrued assets.

    There’s evidence of this being the case. Those ared 55 and over are the most likely to own a property they let out. 8.58% of respondents in this age group said they do.

    However, what is surprising is that this is not a linear thing. In other words, despite what we might assume, it isn’t simply the case that proportion of property rental owners increases with each age group.

    The youngest are not the least likely to own rental property. Our statistics show that our second age group, those aged 25 to 34 are the least likely to own property they rent out.

    The youngest (16 to 24s) are actually likelier than both the 25 to 34s and the 45 to 54s to own a property they rent out.

    Regional Variance in Rental Property Ownership

    We also found variation from region to region in terms of the proportion of people who own a property they rent out.

    Here’s the data:

    Proportion of People Who Own a Property They Rent Out
    Region% of People Who Already Own a Property They Rent Out
    East of England8.47%
    Greater London7.72%
    East Midlands9.52%
    West Midlands5.06%
    North East4.94%
    North West5.38%
    Northern Ireland9.09%
    Scotland9.47%
    South East7.17%
    South West8.00%
    Wales8.42%
    Yorkshire and the Humber7.27%

    proportion of people who own a property they rent out by region

    So, essentially, where somebody is affects the likelihood of them owning a property they let out much more than age or gender does.

    Those in the North East of England are the least likely to own a house they rent out (4.94%) while those in Scotland (9.47%) and Northern Ireland (9.09%) are the most likely.

    How Many People Want to Become Landlords?

    We then looked at how many people aspire to own a property they rent out in the future.

    Overall, a third said they would (33.63%). Once again we saw little variation by gender (33.2% of women and 34% of men).

    But when we broke it down by age we absolutely saw some variation in the numbers.

    Proportion of People Who Want to Own a Rental Property in the Future
    Age% of People Who Want to Own a Property They Rent Out in the Future
    16 to 2459.36%
    25 to 3460.91%
    35 to 4444.38%
    45 to 5429.27%
    55 and over9.99%

    proportion of people who want to own a property they rent out by age

    The younger people in our survey were significantly likelier to aspire to owning a property they rent out and essentially becoming a landlord than older.

    Fewer than 1 in 10 of the 55 and overs said they want to do this in the future (though let’s not forget that this is the group where people are the likeliest to already be in that position).

    For those aged 16 to 34, it’s the majority who wish to become landlords in the future.

    Aspirations to Become a Landlord by Region – The Statistics

    We broke that data down by region again to see how where we live affects these aspirations.

    Proportion of People Who Want to Own a Rental Property in the Future
    Region% of People Who Want to Own a Property They Rent Out in the Future
    East of England31.75%
    Greater London50.19%
    East Midlands33.33%
    West Midlands37.08%
    North East39.51%
    North West33.63%
    Northern Ireland40.00%
    Scotland26.04%
    South East27.93%
    South West33.14%
    Wales13.68%
    Yorkshire and the Humber30.30%

    It’s Wales where people are the least likely to aspire to become someone’s landlord, with just 13% of people holding this ambition.

    By contrast, in Greater London, just over half (50.19%) of the population hopes to own a property they rent out in the future.

    In Scotland, where 1 in 10 people are already landlords, a further 26% aspire to be.

    Buy to Let Mortgage Demand Statistics – 2024

    We took a look at the estimated number of searches in Google UK for each month going back to January 2020 for the keywords “buy to let mortgages” and “buy to let mortgage rates,” to give us an idea as to interest in buy to let mortgages.

    We looked for each month and then calculated to total for each of 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 and found:

    Number of Searches in Google UK Per Year for Buy to Let Mortgage Demand Related Keywords

     

    Year“Buy to let mortgages”“Buy to let mortgage rates”Total of Both
    20208700001785001048500
    2021804500116100920600
    2022735500156600892100
    2023664500202300866800

    We can see that the searches went over 1 million in 2020 though online activity and searches across the board typically went up during Covid lockdowns which could influence this.

    In 2022 and again in 2023 (years free of Covid restrictions) we’ve seen numbers fall. However, there are still over 850,000 searches every single year in the UK for just those two mortgage rate related queries.

    We can see the data month by month for 2023, to get a picture of how this varies by month as well:

    Number of Searches in Google UK Per Year for Buy to Let Mortgage Demand Related Keywords

     

    Month“Buy to let mortgages”“Buy to let mortgage rates”Total of Both
    January 2023740002220096200
    February 2023605001810078600
    March 2023605002220082700
    April 2023605001480075300
    May 2023605001480075300
    June 2023605001810078600
    July 2023495001480064300
    August 2023495001480064300
    September 2023495001810067600
    October 2023495001480064300
    November 2023495001480064300
    December 2023405001480055300

    total searches for buy to let mortgages

    Ultimately, the later in the year it gets, the lower the number of searches for these queries.

    Interest peaks at the beginning of the year (New Year resolutions maybe?) and then gradually falls and finds itself at its lowest in December.

    With that New Year peak in mind, we then looked at data for January 2024 and compared this with January of each of the previous 4 years to see whether this trend of decline might be continuing.

    Here are the numbers:

    MonthBuy to let mortgagesBuy to let mortgage ratesTotal
    January 2020740001810092100
    January 20219050014800105300
    January 202274000990083900
    January 2023740002220096200
    January 20247400027100101100

    Now let’s chart the totals:

    In summary, January 2021 (a lockdown month in the UK) was the peak for searches for “buy to let mortgages” and “buy to let mortgage rates” combined. It fell again in January 2022, but has since seen increases in both January 2023 and January 2024.

    Comparing January 2020 (pre covid) with January 2024, we can see search demand around these queries is up by 9.8%.

    Other Buy to Let and Landlord Statistics

    So our own data suggests demand may be on the up for buy to let mortgages and that a significant volume of the population either already owns rental property or would like to in the future.

    But what about other wider market statistics? We took a look at existing research so we could close with another fast facts section.

    A December 2023 release from the Office for National Statistics shows us:

    • In the 12 months ending June 2023, the UK population borrowed a combined £30.5 billion in buy to let mortgages
    • Mortgage rates and other factors have impacted the buy to let market. The figure above (£30.5 billion) represents a decrease of 20% against the previous year
    • Nationwide is the UK’s biggest buy to let lender based on lending total

    A Market with its Challenges

    The buy to let market, like all property markets, can be affected greatly by factors such as mortgage rates, house prices and so forth.

    Make no mistake. This is still a sizeable market and many will consider owning property a long term game as opposed to something to profit on in the short term. So the buy to let market is going nowhere soon. But what happens with our economy and interest rates here in the UK will greatly influence whether or not this market sees sizeable growth.

    With extensive experience in offering accounting services for landlords all over the UK, we’ve got plenty of knowledge on the financial side of buy to let and being a landlord. So whether you’re an established landlord already or just taking your first foray into this world, give us a call if you’d like any advice.

    Methodology and Caveats

    We ran our survey in January 2024 with market research specialists, Censuswide. Why did we choose to run this survey with Censuswide? Well, because we want the data credible. Censuswide operates on ESOMAR principles which means it takes all necessary steps to ensure survey questions are fair, not leading and that the audience is representative.

    Our poll surveyed 2,001 people in the UK aged 16 or over. This was a demographically representative sample to ensure maximum data accuracy.

    For our keyword data, we used kwfinder.com

    What we need to make clear though is the following:

    • Someone searching for buy to let mortgage rates by no means indicates a person is about to take one out. It indicates interest in the topic only
    • One search does not necessarily mean one individual making a search. For example, one person might make several searches per month from a couple of different devices and is therefore likely to count as more than 1 individual search

    For any questions or to see raw data, please contact us.

    Chris Demetriou

    Chris Demetriou

    Chris is Head of Business Advisory​ at Archimedia Accounts and is a specialist in tax. For more advice book a FREE consultation:

    Contact Chris

    Need friendly advice?

    Complete our quick call back form and we’ll be in touch to offer you friendly yet professional advice: