‘All the decent houses have now gone’

Some research has gone as far as to suggest around a fifth of landlords were considering to abandon their portfolios.

Nottingham Building Society found tax changes and increasing regulation meant the number of landlords planning to sell now outnumbered those planning to buy more properties.

But whilst he admitted there were some headwinds, Rowntree thought landlord confidence was high. “It’s not as bad as we thought it could be. Exiting is a bit of an exaggeration.”

He added many of Paragon Bank’s clients owned well-seasoned portfolios which had already experienced previous cycles such as the 2008 financial crash, and the 90s house price crash.

Meanwhile Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and former RICS residential chairman, said the continued shortage of stock was “surprising”.

“We expected a faster vaccination rollout would encourage more people to put their properties on the market,” he explained.

“The big question now is by how much will activity fall? And what impact will that have on prices? Signs so far are that no great change will happen, as we are finding on the ground that buyers and sellers are welcoming the opportunity to move in less frenzied circumstances.”

The government has launched various new build schemes in a bid to help supply catch up with demand. One includes the ‘First Homes’ scheme, which offers first-time buyers 30 per cent off buying a new build home. 

But the market is yet to feel its impact. “Newbuilds are being sold out much further ahead,” explained Accord’s Jeremy Duncombe.

“It used to work on a 28-day exchange. But now stock is being sold well ahead of time. People are just buying a plot, and builders are forward-selling.”