A sample of 501 intermediaries were asked their views on how the buy-to-let sector was measuring up and the results proved to be optimistic.
Two-thirds (67%) of the brokers who took part in the survey said that they had experienced an increase in buy-to-let business during the last three months of 2013. Three in 10 (29%) said that business had remained stable with just 4% having seen a drop.
Looking forward to 2014 the picture was even more emphatic. Just under three-quarters (74%) of brokers believed that they would write more buy-to-let mortgage business this year, with a quarter (24%) expecting to do about the same and just 2% thinking they will do fewer buy-to-let cases.
Graham Felstead, head of NatWest Intermediary Solutions, said: “The survey results are not a surprise as the recovery in the buy-to-let market has been well documented. In the last two years it has made steady progress in terms of the value and volume of applications submitted.
“What is perhaps unexpected is the very high expectations for the sector’s prospects. There are certainly good signs of balanced growth being witnessed, which means both landlords and lenders will be viewing the market positively. This optimistic outlook is consistent with the research we conducted on the mainstream residential market which showed that confidence in the market had increased significantly from six months ago.
“We anticipate receiving more buy-to-let business from intermediaries this year. Last October, we improved our rental calculation, simplified our criteria and increased the proc fees for completed buy-to-let cases, making it more appealing for brokers operating in the ‘amateur landlord’ sector.
“We will continue to apply more focus on buy-to-let business as part of our overall intermediary mortgage proposition. Our BDMs are armed with the knowledge and information to help brokers and their clients to thrive in this market.”