UK landlords hold onto property for longer: Average time to sell a rental home rises to 17 years

Landlords are holding on to properties for longer than they were before the last recession, with the average time between a landlord buying and selling a property rising by five years since 2007, according to lettings giant Countrywide.

The company, which runs 1,300 branches under 48 brands including Hamptons International, said that as well as causing a slowing in the rate at which people sold property, it has also widened the gap between landlords and homeowners.

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Research released today alongside its monthly lettings index found that landlords who sold a property this year had owned it for an average of 17 years compared with 14 years for the average homeowner.

Johnny Morris, research director at Countrywide said: “As landlords trade less often than homeowners, the growth of the private rented sector weighs down on the number of housing transactions.”

He added that an extra 100,000 property sales might have taken place if the private rented sector had not grown since 2008.

Countrywide separately posted a 4.6 per cent rise in rents in July, from 3.8 per cent in June. The average rent now stands at £937 per month.