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Buy to let 'dying', expert says

The buy to let sector is dying as house prices fall, Firstrung has suggested.According to the first-time buyer specialists, investors are falling in to negative equity due to the decline of the UK property market.This point of view is supported by recent figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which revealed that just two per cent of the private landlords were planning to sell up in the current market.Rising inflation - with the consumer price index standing at a 16-year high of 4.4 per cent - is also likely to put many buy to let entrepreneurs already struggling to make their mortgage payments under financial strain.Paul Holmes, chief executive at first-time buyer specialists Firstrung, said: "Buy to let is a relatively new phenomenon. It really only caught people's imagination three or four years ago and as we're watching now that illusory profit can be wiped off very quickly…[buy to let is] going to die."He added: "People have to stop thinking of property as a sexy investment where they can make money by doing nothing and start to think as somewhere to live - not a buy to let portfolio."

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