More than half of professional landlords plan to expand their property portfolios in the year ahead, research suggests.
It comes amid concerns of a house price slump and the impact of higher mortgage costs and rising interest rates on the property market.
Despite these issues, the latest Handelsbanken professional landlords survey – based on nationwide research among large UK investors with an average of 29 properties worth £14m each – found that 59 per cent plan to expand their portfolios in the year ahead.
The bank said this shows confidence in the long-term value of UK property as an asset class.
Just 14 per cent expect to sell some or all their properties.
Geographically, three-fifths of respondents expanding their portfolio are also planning to buy in new regions.
London was cited as the most attractive region over the next 12 months, followed by the south east.
Areas seen as less attractive for property investment are Yorkshire and the Humber and the West Midlands.
The research found that half of those looking to buy more properties also plan to diversify into new sectors, with offices attracting the most interest as investors look to take advantage of depressed valuations.
The majority of respondents expect the value of their portfolio to increase over the next 12 months, with 39 per cent predicting it will grow by more than 20 per cent.
Only eight per cent thought it will broadly stay the same.
“The bottoming out of commercial property prices in the first quarter of 2023 corresponds with reasonably positive sentiment expressed towards the sector in this survey,” said James Sproule, UK chief economist at Handelsbanken.
“Commercial property values saw a major correction in the second half of 2022 as a direct impact of the higher interest rate environment.
“In addition, there are the ongoing considerations around post pandemic working practices and retailing habits which, until they are more settled, will be weighing on commercial property valuations.”