The number of buy to let homes on the market to rent has slumped by more than 10% in a year, according to new data.

Only the North East has seen an increase in homes available for private rent – and most other regions saw an above average reduction in housing stock.

In the North-East, renters saw the supply of private rentals rise by a third.

Research by home.co.uk suggests the anomaly dates to home prices collapsing in the region after the credit crunch.

“This regional property market has stagnated ever since values plunged after the credit crunch and many vendors resorted to letting out their properties rather than sell at a loss,” says the report.

Seven out of 11 UK regions saw a fall in rental homes to rent more than the UK-wide average including:

  • -24.6% in the East Midlands
  • -20.8% in the South East
  • -16.7% in the West Midlands
  • -11.9% in East Anglia

The research suggests three factors are impacting the number of homes for private rental:

  • Changes in the way landlord rental profits are taxed introduced from April 2017
  • An increased administrative burden for licensing buy to lets and shared houses in many areas
  • The 2016 stamp duty surcharge making homes to rent more expensive to buy for landlords

Home.co.uk director Doug Shephard said:

“It is ironic that the government’s justification for tax changes in the private rental sector was to ‘level the playing field’ for wannabe homeowners. The result of this barrage of red tape and taxation, at both local and national government levels, has meant that the supply of rental properties has fallen behind demand in most regions thereby driving up rents.

“Record low mortgage interest rates have driven unprecedented landlord investment over recent years. Simply put, those already with significant home equity have been able to come up with deposits for properties intended to let while aspiring homeowners are as cash-strapped as ever as they pay out huge sums in rent.”