The number of landlords looking to increase the number of properties they own has jumped by 71% according to research by The Mortgage Lender.

The survey, conducted between 1 July and 8 July this year, revealed that 19% of landlords intend to increase their portfolios over the next 12 months compared to 12% who were looking to add buy-to-let properties in April last year.

Even though 35% of landlords see COVID-19 as a problem, the research suggests that it has made no difference to the investment plans of half of investors, whilst 25% said it had changed their plans somewhat and another 25% said it had changed their plans completely.

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Overall, the number of landlords seeking to reduce the number of properties they own has gone down from 16% in April last year to 14% now and those looking to maintain has also gone down from 72% to 67%.

The research also found that three in ten landlords see the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity.

Steve Griffiths, sales director at The Mortgage Lender, said: “We’ve seen the evidence in our own application figures that many landlords see COVID-19 as a blip rather than a reason to change their long-term plans and our research bears this out.

“And it’s important for those landlords and their brokers that there is a competitive specialist market for their business that comes with strong financial backing.

“With a strong funding line, we have been able to operate in the buy to let market throughout the pandemic and help those landlords who want to capitalise on what they see as an opportunity.”