Buy to let market continues to grow

Nia Williams

November 10, 2011

Over the same period, the value of mortgages advanced in the sector grew by 19%. The data shows that the pick-up in buy-to-let lending that began in the second quarter has continued.

In the three months to September, a total of 34,500 buy-to-let loans were advanced, an increase from 29,700 in the preceding quarter. The value of lending totalled £3.8 billion, up from £3.2 billion. On both measures, buy-to-let lending was at its highest level since the final quarter of 2008.

The number and value of outstanding buy-to-let loans also continued to grow. At the end of September, there were 1,378,700 loans outstanding, worth £157 billion, up from 1,296,700 (worth £150 billion) 12 months earlier.

In the third quarter, there were 18,580 loans for the purchase of buy-to-let properties, accounting for almost 12% of all house purchase loans.

But the proportion remains significantly lower than the former peak in the first quarter of 2008, when 32,650 mortgages for buy-to-let property purchase accounted for 19% of all loans for house purchase.

In the third quarter, the number of buy-to-let mortgages more than three months in arrears declined from 28,300 (1.57% of the total) to 26,300 (1.45%). There was, however, a small increase in the number of buy-to-let properties taken into possession (from 1,500 in the second quarter to 1,600) although, as a proportion of all buy-to-let properties, the figure remained unchanged, at 0.08%.

Commenting on the latest data, CML director general Paul Smee said: “With tenant demand remaining strong in the rental sector, some existing buy-to-let landlords have been expanding their portfolios and the growth that returned to the sector in the preceding quarter has continued.

“The recovery of buy-to-let from its low point in 2009 has helped improve supply and choice in the rental market. Despite recent improvements, however, buy-to-let lending volumes are still only around one-third of their former peaks.”

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