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&#39Buy-to-let investors should survive slump&#39

Buy-to-let investors should be able to survive a property slump although they may struggle to match the profits achieved in the recent boom years, says analyst Mintel.

Its survey of 1,969 adults carried out last month reveals that 46 per cent believe property is a safer investment than stocks and shares.

Fifth-one per cent of men think that bricks and mortar are safer than equities compared with 41 per cent of women.

Mintel says even in the event of a full-scale property crash, it believes the long-term future of the buy-to-let market will be assured.

It says strict loan-to-value limits and the added security of rental income mean that most existing landlords should be fairly safe from repossession. Mintel points out that the rental sector often prospers at difficult times in the housing market as people choose to rent rather than buy a home in a falling market.

But its survey found that only 40 per cent of people would consider buying a buy-to-let property, with the rest put off by what they see as the hassle of being a landlord. Only 29 per cent of men said they would strongly consider such a purchase compared with 24 per cent of women.

Financial consultant Toby Clark says: “It would appear that practical elements in the letting market are more of a worry than financial concerns, with more than a third of adults stating that they would worry about renting a house out to strangers.”

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