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UK buy-to-let landlord statistics 2023

This page includes relevant buy-to-let landlord statistics for 2023, such as demographic stats, the regions with the most buy-to-let owners, and the average number of properties owned by buy-to-let landlords.

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Recent buy-to-let landlord statistics show that £8.5 billion worth of properties were bought by UK landlords in the first quarter of 2022 alone. 

For many, becoming a buy-to-let landlord is seen as an appealing business venture, with many landlords using the scheme to build property portfolios that generate considerable income.

Like with a lot of industries, the aftermath of events such as Covid-19 and the cost of living crisis has created some degree of volatility in the housing market. To some extent, fluctuating prices have impacted the future plans of both current and prospective buy-to-let owners.

Our research collates various UK buy-to-let landlord statistics for 2023, by analysing trends, assessing how buy-to-let landlords have changed over time, and help make predictions about the coming years.  

Quick overview of buy-to-let landlord statistics 2023

  • £8.5 billion worth of buy-to-let properties were purchased by UK landlords in Q1 2022.

  • There are currently around 2.74 million landlords in the UK, with more than two-thirds (68%) over the age of 55.

  • Milton Keynes saw the greatest growth in buy-to-let properties between 2021-22, with a 667% increase.

  • The average UK landlord has eight properties in their portfolio, generating a gross annual rental income of around £61,000 per property.

  • More than 50% of UK landlords operate in either the South East, South West, or London.

Buy-to-let landlord demographic statistics

Buy-to-let mortgage statistics from the ONS suggest there are around 2.74 million landlords in the UK, based on the number of individuals who declare income from a property on their Self-Assessment tax returns. 

What is the most common age group to be a buy-to-let landlord?

Buy-to-let investors and tenancies are most likely to be aged between 55-64 years old (31% vs 35%), closely followed by 65-74-year-olds (24% vs 25%). Cumulatively, this means that almost two-thirds (63%) of landlords are over 55, with the median age being 58 years old. This is slightly more for tenancies, with more than two-thirds (68%) aged over 55. 

A breakdown of UK buy-to-let landlords and tenancies by age group

A comparative bar chart showing the percentage of UK buy-to-let landlords and tenancies by age group

Becoming a buy-to-let landlord is not easy. It requires time, patience, and capital. This might help to explain why approximately a third (32%) of landlords are retirees, compared to 34% for tenancies, with 15% under the age of 44 for landlords and 11% for UK tenancies. 

Buy-to-let landlord statistics by background

The gender split amongst UK landlords is also fairly even, with just over half (55%) identifying as male. On the other hand, ethnic representation is not evenly distributed amongst the UK landlord population, with 88% identifying themselves as White, followed by 4% as Indian, 2% as Black, and 1% from Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin.

A breakdown of the percentage of buy-to-let landlords in the UK by ethnicity

Ethnic groupPercentage of the landlord population (%)
Pakistani or Bangladeshi1%

(Source: English Private Landlord Survey)

When asked for their motivations to become a landlord, 42% said they wanted to invest in a property, with 40% stating it was a way to contribute to their pension or supplement an income (35%). 

Very few claimed it was to provide a home for a friend/relative, or that they had inherited the property (both 6%). 

A breakdown of the most common reasons buy-to-landlords referenced as their reason for becoming a landlord

Reason for becoming a landlordPercentage (%)
Preference to invest in property42
Contribution to pension40
To supplement income35
Provide a home for relative or friend6
Inherited or was given property6
To let property as full-time business4
Could not afford a mortgage to live in1

(Source: English Private Landlord Survey)

The overwhelming majority of landlords (94%) choose to operate on their own, or as part of a group of individuals. This is contrasted by one in 20 (5%) who work as part of a buy-to-let limited company

A breakdown of the most common ways landlords operate their lettings business

How landlords operate their lettings businessNational percentage (%)
As an individual or group of individuals94%
Mixed - part individual, part company1%
Part of a company5%

(Source: English Private Landlord Survey)

Only 1% opt for a mixed approach, with some of their portfolio managed by themselves, and the rest with a company/agent. 

Which regions have the most buy-to-let owners?

According to recent buy-to-let statistics, UK landlords are most likely to live in the south of England. More than 50% operate in the South East, South West, or London, with more than a quarter (26%) in the South East alone. 

A breakdown of UK regions and the percentage of landlords who own property there 

Coloured map of UK regions and the percentage of landlords who own property there

As of 2021, the North of England was responsible for far fewer buy-to-let properties than anywhere else in the country. While the North West’s total of 13% was the highest percentage outside the south of England, this was only the fourth-highest percentage overall in the UK – behind outer London, the South East, and the South West.

The North East had the lowest overall percentage in England (6%), while only 1% of all buy-to-let properties were found in Scotland.

Map of the UK with the ten towns/cities that have experienced the largest growth in buy-to-let rental properties in 2021.

In 2021, buy-to-let growth was greatest in Milton Keynes, with a 667% increase in the number of buy-to-let properties compared to the previous year. This is more than double the rate of growth for Manchester and Bristol, who both experienced triple growth in the number of buy-to-let completions during 2021. 

The growth rate was almost double (95%) in London in the same period, compared to 70% for Cardiff, and 64% for Nottingham.  

What is the average loan amount on a buy-to-let mortgage?

The latest buy-to-let landlord statistics found the average loan on a five-year mortgage was £136,602. Five-year mortgages represent the most common duration for buy-to-let mortgages, accounting for around 43% of quotes issued between 2020 and 2023.

A breakdown of the average Buy-to-Let loan value by length of mortgage

Duration of mortgageAverage loan valuePercentage of quotes issued
1 year£126,9922%
2 years£131,01137%
3 years£129,3721%
5 years£136,60243%
10 years£123,7461%

(Source: Uswitch)

The next most common duration was a two-year mortgage, which had an average loan value of £131,011. This means that those opting to repay their mortgage over two years receive around 4% less on average than those with five-year mortgages.

Those seeking 10-year mortgages typically received the smallest loans, with their average loan value of £123,746 around 9% lower than those with five-year mortgages.

Which region do landlords receive the biggest buy-to-let loans?

London was the region in which landlords received the biggest buy-to-let loans. With an average loan amount of £226,116, buy-to-let landlords in London receive around 45% more than any other region. London was also responsible for the most buy-to-let quotes between 2020 and 2023, accounting for over a fifth (22%) of total quotes during this period.

A regional breakdown of the average value of buy-to-let loans across the UK

RegionAverage value of buy-to-let loansPercentage of overall Buy-to-let loan quotesPercentage of overall buy-to-let loan quotes
Greater London£226,11621.92
North West£92,92015.16
South East£155,78912.28
West Midlands£105,8789.31
East Midlands£90,6789.08
North East£82,3007.86
South West£125,7697.61
East of England£144,8166.31
East England£108,7881.05
Northern Ireland£64,1190.31

(Source: Uswitch)

The average value of buy-to-let loans was significantly higher in the south of England, with the South East (£155,789) and South West (£125,769) having the second and fourth highest loan values, respectively.  

Despite accounting for around 15% of quotes issued during 2020-23, the North West’s average loan value of £92,920 was 40% lower than the South East, and 58% less than those in London.

The lowest loan values were found outside of England, with Scotland (£80,845) and Northern Ireland (£64,119) having the smallest buy-to-let loans of any region. This means that buy-to-let landlords in Northern Ireland typically receive loans that are 20% less than Scotland and 71% less than London.

Which age groups receive the highest buy-to-let loans on average?

Recent buy-to-let landlord statistics found that those aged between 35 and 44 receive the highest buy-to-let loans, on average. With an average loan value of £138,229, those in this age category also account for more than half of all buy-to-let loan quotes issued (52%) between 2020 and 2023.

A breakdown of the average buy-to-let loan value by age group

Age groupAverage buy-to-let loan valuePercentage of overall quotes

(Source: Uswitch)

Those aged 51-64 had the next highest loan value, with a total of £136,890 – 1% less than those aged 35-50. This age group was also second highest when it came to quotes, accounting for around a third (33%) of all quotes issued between 2020 and 2023.

The younger age groups tend to receive the smallest loans, with those aged 25-34 (£113,257) and 18-24 year-olds (£111,128) receiving the lowest average loan amounts overall. Despite being responsible for around 10% of quotes issued, those aged 25-34 typically received loans of around 18% less value than 35-50 year olds.

On what type of property do landlords receive the biggest buy-to-let loans?

Buy-to-let landlord statistics found that landlords buying a house typically receive smaller loans than those buying flats or maisonettes. Despite accounting for around two-thirds of quotes between 2020 and 2023, those purchasing houses receive an average loan worth £132,256 – 6% less than those looking to buy a flat.

A breakdown of the average buy-to-let loan value by property type

Property typeAverage loan valuePercentage of overall quotes

(Source: Uswitch)

Those looking to purchase maisonettes received the highest loans on average, with a total of £146,579. This was around 4% more than those buying a flat and 10% more than people buying a house.

How does employment status affect buy-to-let loans?

Buy-to-let landlord stats found that part-time workers typically receive higher buy-to-let loans than those working full-time. With an average loan value of £138,198, part-time workers' loans were around 3% more than full-time workers (£134,285).

Employment statusAverage loan valuePercentage of overall quotes

(Sources: Uswitch)

The vast majority of loan quotes are given to full-time workers, with around three-quarters (75%) going to people in this category. Conversely, part-time workers accounted for just under a quarter (23%) of overall quotes.

How much do people typically apply for on a buy-to-let loan?

Most people apply for less than £100,000 when seeking a buy-to-let loan, with over four in 10 (43%) people applying for loans in the £0-£99,999 range. The average loan received for these applications was just under £69,000 – around 31% less than the maximum value in this category. 

A breakdown of the average value of buy-to-let loans based on the amount applied for

Loan amount applied forAverage loan valuePercentage of overall loans

(Source: Uswitch)

The next most common amount applied for when it comes to buy-to-let loan was between £100,000 and £199,999, with around 38% of applications coming within this range. The average loan received for these applications was £138,752 – 30% beneath the maximum value of £199,999.

Less than 6% of buy-to-let loan applications were for fees greater than £300,000, with only 0.6% applying for loans in excess of £500,000. Those who did apply for loans above £500,000 typically received loans of nearly £660,000 – 32% more than the minimum amount requested.

Buy-to-let property statistics 

Terraced housing is the most common type of property owned by UK landlords in 2022. More than half (54%) own this type in comparison to 47% for individual flat units, and 44% for semi-detached houses. Almost one in five (21%) landlords own houses in multiple occupations (HMO). 

The least popular options are short-term/holiday lets (3%) and bungalows (9%). 

A breakdown of UK buy-to-let properties by housing type

Tree map showing UK buy-to-let properties by housing type

Buy-to-let stats show an increase in mortgages written for semi-detached housing. 40% of landlords surveyed, who were looking to purchase a new rental property in 2022, said they intended to secure a semi-detached house (in comparison to 39% for terraced housing). 

Minimum EPC rating for buy-to-let properties

Under the current guidelines, landlords must ensure that rental properties have a minimum EPC rating of E before advertising and letting their property to tenants. 

Green mortgages are also available on the market to offer buyers an incentive to make their property more energy efficient.  

However, you can register for an exemption if your property doesn’t meet certain requirements, such as:

  • If you exceed the maximum cost cap for improvements (£3,500 per property, including VAT, and any outside funding, such as grants) 

  • If any work would damage or devalue the property (with evidence from a qualified surveyor)

  • An inability to obtain third-party permissions.  

Any exemption is valid for five years, and a temporary six-month exemption is available for new landlords. 

infographic of the impact of a rising cost cap for EPC ratings.

An original plan was put in place to raise the minimum EPC from E to C. This was expected to come into play from 1 April 2025, for new tenancies, and April 1st 2028, for existing tenancies. However, this was scrapped in September 2023, as part of Rishi Sunak’s plans to ease a number of government environmental policies. 

The cost cap is also predicted to rise, from £3,500 to £10,000 per property. According to the UK Government, this would sufficiently bring 90% of D-rated properties, and 60% of E-rated properties, up to a C-rating. 

In addition, the UK Government is expected to introduce a ‘fabric-first policy’, which would regulate the order in which work is carried out. Improvements to the fabric of the building (such as insulation, windows, and doors) would be required before additional measures, like new heating systems, are installed.  

What are the best areas for renting to university students?

A new Uswitch study identified the best areas for landlords looking to rent to university students, as well as the worst. 

This study involved collating data for each UK university based on: 

  • Average house price of the surrounding area 

  • Average student rent per week of rental properties in the town/city (and calculating the resulting annual income for landlords)

  • The percentage of students (both total and international) who privately rent. 

Finally, the universities and corresponding towns/cities were scored and ranked out of 10. The average house price and weekly rent were double-weighted in the final score, as these were deemed to be the most important factors.

According to the study, the top five UK universities for landlords to buy, and rent to students, are all located in Scotland. 

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCoS) comes in first place and is crowned the best buy-to-let area to make a purchase, with an overall score of 8.05 out of 10. It’s by no means the cheapest university city in the country to buy a property, as the average house price will set landlords back just under £200,000. However, it could generate a return of £180 a week (almost £9,400 a year). 

A breakdown of the best buy-to-let areas for renting to university students

 UK map showing the 10 best buy-to-let areas for renting to university students
UniversityCityAvg. house price (£)Avg. student weekly rent (£)Student yearly rent (52 week tenancy estimate) (£)Total renters %International students %Final score
Royal Conservatoire of ScotlandGlasgow198,7471809,36052.331.58
The University of EdinburghEdinburgh324,80122211,5445239.77
Abertay UniversityDundee173,9301809,36049.913.37
Robert Gordon UniversityAberdeen192,9301809,36048.116.47
The University of GlasgowGlasgow198,7471608,32045.730.57
University of CumbriaCarlisle147,8861728,94452.83.27
Imperial College of Science, Technology and MedicineLondon691,0181909,88055.650.97
Glyndŵr UniversityWrexham192,3211527,90460.88.17
The University of LancasterLancaster192,6851357,02050.431.17
Glasgow Caledonian UniversityGlasgow198,74719610,1923511.87

(Source: Uswitch via Save The Student, Rightmove, and Higher Education Statistics Agency)

Narrowly in second place is The University of Edinburgh, with a final score of 7.43 out of 10. Average house prices here are £125,000 more expensive than the RCoS, yet will generate £222 a week (or £11,544 a year). 

This is the second highest amount for landlord earnings in the country, beaten only by The University of Greenwich, which doesn’t even make the top 10. The average house here will set you back £691,000 – more than double compared to the University of Edinburgh – yet weekly earnings are only £16 a week (or £832 a year) more. 

The University of Cumbria, in sixth place, is the first English university to feature in the top 10. At £147,000, average house prices here are the second most affordable in the country, after Teesside University (almost £144,000), and will generate the average landlord just under £9,000 a year. 

Despite more than half of Carlisle University students (53%) choosing to privately rent, for international students, it is just 3% – one of the lowest in the country. 

By contrast, of those students from London’s Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine in seventh place, almost 56% of their overall student population, and 51% of international students, will privately rent – the third highest percentage in the country. However, average house prices here are around £691,000 (more than four-and-a-half times dearer than Carlisle), yet will only generate an extra £936 a year by comparison. 

A breakdown of the 10 worst buy-to-let areas for renting to university students

UniversityCityAvg. house price (£)Avg. student weekly rent (£)Student yearly rent (52 week tenancy estimate) (£)Total renters %International students %Final score
Keele UniversityKeele4279991115772366.92
Brunel University LondonLondon69101811057202327.62
Oxford Brookes UniversityOxford54904211559803615.92
Newman UniversityBirmingham254425100520033.90.72
London Metropolitan UniversityLondon691018108561664.89.23
The University of SurreyGuildford588197114592843.428.23
Anglia Ruskin UniversityCambridge538726106551262.615.33
Bath Spa UniversityBath589242128665659.663
Harper Adams UniversityNewport22709898509644.85.23
University of GloucestershireCheltenham375584128665650.96.23

(Source: Uswitch via Save The Student, Rightmove, and Higher Education Statistics Agency)

According to the study, Keele University ranks lowest of all UK universities, for landlords looking at buying property and renting to students. 

With a score of 1.83 out of 10, average house prices are fairly expensive around Keele University, at virtually £428,000. However, properties will only generate £111 a week (or £5,772 a year) in rent, on average, for landlords. Just over a third (36%) of its student population are renters, followed by nearly 7% of international students. 

Whilst these figures are not alarmingly low, or the worst in the country, Keele University’s final score is the product of scoring relatively low across all variables in our study. 

Brunel University ranked second lowest, has an average house price of £691,000 – more than 1.5 times greater than Keele University. Despite only 23% of their student population turning to private renting, almost 28% of their international student body do, giving them a larger captive rent audience in comparison to Keele. 

Harper Adams University in Newport, Wales, has the most affordable housing in the bottom 10, at £227,000. Yet, average weekly earnings here are the sixth lowest in the country at £98 a week (a little over £5,000 a year). 

Buy-to-let investment statistics 

A landlord’s level of experience is split into two categories: 

  • Non-portfolio (fewer than four buy-to-let properties)

  • Portfolio (more than four buy-to-let properties). 

Almost 40% of landlords have been operating lettings for between 11-20 years – the highest proportion of the surveyed landlord demographic. 

Around a third (30%) of portfolio landlords have been letting properties for 21-30 years. This is roughly the same percentage of non-portfolio landlords who have rented to tenants for 0-5 years.

In Q1 2022, a typical UK landlord held a portfolio with an average of eight properties, totaling about £1.38 million. Each property was valued at an average of £172,625, generating £635 per calendar month. In terms of gross annual rental income, this would constitute £61,000. 

A breakdown of the number of properties owned by UK landlords and tenancies

A breakdown of the number of properties owned by UK landlords and tenancies

Buy-to-let landlord statistics obtained from Paragon show less than half (43%) of UK landlords rent out one property, compared to 39% who have between 2-4 properties on their books. The numbers then drop fairly quickly, with more than one in 10 (11%) owning between 5-9 properties, and less than one in 20 UK landlords (4%) responsible for 10-24 lettings. In contrast, the figures for companies and organisations are far more evenly distributed. Almost a third (32%) have between 2-4 properties on their books, followed by a fifth who only have one. 18% have between 5-9 properties to rent, compared to 16% who have between 10-24. Around one in 10 (11%) letting agents have 25-100 rental properties in their portfolio, with 3% having in excess of 100. 

Landlords who have been letting out longer often have a larger portfolio. Over two-thirds (68%) with 11+ years experience had two or more properties on their books, compared with 45% of those with four to 10 years. Comparatively, this was less than one in five (19%) for those with three years or less experience in the buy-to-let market. 

A breakdown of the percentage of landlords in the UK broken down by years of experience

Years of experiencePercentage of landlord population (%)
Three years or less8.60%
Four to 10 years38.50%
11 years or more52.90%

(Source: English Private Landlord Survey)

Over half (53%) of landlords have 10 years or more experience in the PRS, compared to around one in nine (8.6%) who have been doing the role for less than three years. 

One of the main advantages of a buy-to-let mortgage is that they’re often provided as an interest-only mortgage. This allows lower monthly repayments compared to a repayment mortgage, providing landlords with more freedom and financial flexibility. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, therefore, buy-to-let landlord stats show borrowing is popular with property investors, with almost two-thirds of landlords choosing at least part of their portfolio through this method. More than a third (36%) have opted to self-fund or purchase the property outright. 

Source of fundingPercentage of landlords (%)
Owned outright36%
Owned on a buy-to-let mortgage35%
Some owned, some buy-to-let29%

(Source: BVA BDRC via Paragon Bank) 

The typical number of buy-to-let mortgages per borrowing UK landlord is 4.5, increasing to 11.1 among those with 11 properties or more. In terms of buy-to-let borrowing, the average UK landlord owed almost £420,000. 

In addition, according to ONS figures, one in three (33%) landlords with a buy-to-let mortgage owned just one property, in contrast to nearly two-thirds (62%) with other types of loans. Incidentally, just over half (53%) of landlords with no loans were single-property owners. 

A breakdown of the percentage of landlords in the UK who agree with various statements

StatementPercentage of landlords who agree with the statement (%)
There is enough information online to make my own decisions14%
I value advice but tend to balance it with my own research73%
I fully rely on financial advisers to inform my decisions13%

(Source: Paragon Bank)

Only 14% of respondents agreed that there was enough information online to make their own decisions. This implies that 86% don’t believe online information is sufficient on its own, and might help to explain why almost three-quarters (73%) of landlords supplement online info with their own research before making any decisions. Likewise, only 13% fully relied on the services and advice of their financial advisers, suggesting landlords tend to get their information from multiple sources before deciding to purchase a buy-to-let property. 

A breakdown of factors that influence a landlord’s decision-making and the percentage who selected each factor

 Bar chart showing factors that influence landlord decision making

According to a survey by Paragon Bank with their member landlords, more than half (54%) of landlords are influenced by interest rates when it comes to buy-to-let purchases. 

Four in every 10 landlords also indicated that recommendations by an intermediary was an important deciding factor in their decision-making process.

Around one in six (15%) said they would make decisions based upon the reputation of the lender, compared to just over a quarter (27%) who said they were guided by their previous experiences with a lender, in this case, Paragon. 

A breakdown of the percentage of landlords who use various media outlets for industry updates

Years of experiencePercentage of landlord population (%)
Three years or less8.60%
Four to 10 years38.50%
11 years or more52.90%

(Source: Paragon Bank)

In the face of a dynamic property market, UK landlords need a space they can turn to for industry updates, and to exchange knowledge within their communities. Many are turning to social media to achieve this. 

Facebook appears to be the most popular option (38%), followed by just a third (32%) opting for LinkedIn. Nearly a fifth (19%) will head for Instagram, whereas around one in six (15%) will use Twitter. 

However, for news updates, landlords are likely to turn to news outlets, with over three-quarters (77%) choosing the BBC, followed by almost a third (31%) for Sky News. 

A breakdown of the business topics UK landlords were most interested in

Business topicPercentage of landlords who selected this option (%)
Tax planning48%
Finance and investment38%
Market conditions and trends37%
Property refurbishment and adaptation35%
Regulatory changes33%

(Source: Paragon Bank)

Landlords were also asked by Paragon Bank as to what business topics they were most interested in reading about. Tax planning was the most popular, with almost half (48%) selecting this option. This was followed by finance and investment (38%), and market conditions and trends (37%).

Buy-to-let landlord FAQs

How much deposit for a buy-to-let?

The required minimum deposit for buy-to-let mortgages is usually 25% of the property’s value, although this can vary between 20-40% depending on the lender.

How many homes in the UK are buy-to-let?

Roughly 20% of all homes in the UK are part of the private rental sector (PRS). This equates to around 4.5 million households.

How many landlords are there in the UK?

According to the number of people who declare income from a property on their Self-Assessment tax returns, there are around 2.74 million landlords in the UK.

Who are most landlords?

Most UK landlords are white (88%) men (55%), aged between 55-64 (31%). They also tend to be individuals (94%), rather than part of a company (5%).

Can I rent out a property without a buy-to-let mortgage?

In most circumstances, if you wish to rent out a property and require a mortgage for it, you will need a buy-to-let mortgage. The terms of your existing mortgage may not allow you to rent out your home unless you obtain a consent-to-let agreement. Renting out your property, or even part of your property, without the permission of your lender could be classified as mortgage fraud.

Is it worth buying a buy-to-let property?

As with any investment, there are always risks involved. With rising property prices alongside rising taxes and interest rates, property investment appears to be riskier in 2023 than in previous years. 

However, investing in a buy-to-let is still an excellent opportunity to earn income and generate capital growth as the property value increases. For those with a more optimistic outlook, it could be perceived as short-term pain for long-term gain.

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