August 21, 2013

Phil Rickards is head of BM Solutions


The recent figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders on activity in the buy-to-let mortgage sector in the second quarter of the year tops of the flurry of good news we have had about the market over the past few weeks.


It doesn’t half get you thinking about how far this particular sector of the mortgage market has come since the all time lows experienced in 2009.


Clearly this has been covered extensively – I know – but it’s worth reflecting on some of the figures which show the journey that we have been on.


Buy-to-let gross lending totalled £5.1bn in Q2 2013, the strongest market performance for five years (Q2 2008).


This year alone, the market size increased by £0.9bn in Q2,2013 compared to the previous quarter. 


Evidently a large proportion of this will be new business; however, we are seeing remortgage activity picking up – increasing by 29% in Q2 compared to the previous quarter.


In contrast house purchase increased by 19%. Remortgaging now accounts for over half of all buy-to-let gross lending in the market – all of which should be great news for Intermediaries who’ve built up solid client banks over the years.


There have been many critics and much debate in the media about the impact of the buy-to-let sector over the past few years, with some suggesting that its growth has been at the expense of potential first time buyers.


Well it’s great to see just how these two important sectors can operate side by side with the first time buyer market in June the strongest since November 2007, with gross lending of £3.5bn to over 25,000 first time buyers.


Both sectors clearly have a very important, and different, part to play in supporting a strong UK Housing Market.


So we’re in the middle of Q3 – what are the predictions for the final part of the year?


I for one am optimistic.


At half year, the buy-to-let market is at £9.3bn and if it continues on this upwards trajectory it could exceed the market expectation of £19bn if the tail wind were to keep on blowing.



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