Buy to let landlords who sold their rental homes during the last year pocketed an average gain of nearly £90,000.

But private owners earned £93,000, mainly because they owned their homes for longer than the 8.7 years a landlord held on to a buy to let.

The buy to let gain was up around £350 on the year before, said a report from letting agent Countrywide.

Actual gains depended on where the rental property was located – gains were just £24,000 in the Northeast, but £254,000 in London.

Johnny Morris, research director at the letting agent, said:

“House price growth has driven investor gains.  Landlords selling in 2017 owned their homes for nearly nine years.  In eight of those last nine years, house prices have risen.  Even in areas where price growth has lagged, most landlords have made a profit from rising prices.”

Meanwhile, a separate report from financial firm NFU Mutual warns landlords could face hefty capital gains tax bills if they sell a buy to let property.

The firm explained many of the country’s 1.9 million landlords are thinking of selling properties because of increased stamp duty and the scrapping of mortgage interest relief.

“It’s likely the number of landlords will start to plateau or fall over the next few years as property investors start to feel the pinch from a series of tax measures that have already come into force. If more people sell their investment properties, there are likely to be more tax charges to pay,” said Sean McCann, a chartered financial planner with NFU Mutual.

“Many of our customers work in partnership with their spouse or civil partner to reduce their combined tax bills, taking advantage of everyone’s income tax and CGT allowances by transferring shares and property between them. It often makes sense to transfer income producing assets to a spouse or civil partner if they pay a lower rate of income tax.”