Buy-to-let recovering

Sarah Davidson

August 12, 2010

Annually, buy-to-let lending improved by 15% up from 21,600 loans made in Q2 2009.

The value of buy-to-let lending in the first quarter was £2.4 billion, of which £1 billion was remortgaging.

Although business is only just over a quarter of its level of three years ago, both the number and the value of buy-to-let loans were at their highest level since the fourth quarter of 2008, other than in the fourth quarter of 2009 – where demand was artificially inflated by the end of the stamp duty concession.

As at the end of June, there were 1.26 million buy-to-let mortgages outstanding, worth a total of £149 billion. By value, buy-to-let mortgages accounted for 12% of all mortgages, the highest proportion since records began.

The CML data also showed that in the buy-to-let market, arrears cases have improved markedly.

Repossession rates remain higher than in the owner-occupier market, however, which the CML put down partly to the extended forbearance that lenders extend to home-buyers to try to help prevent them losing their homes.

CML director general, Michael Coogan, said: “The buy-to-let market has continued to grow, albeit slowly, throughout the period since the credit crunch. And with fewer people able to afford the entry costs to home-ownership, as well as the pressure on social housing, tenant demand for private rented property will remain strong.

“Finance for private landlords, whether institutional or individual, is crucial if the UK is to have enough homes to meet the needs of the population. Funding conditions for lenders remain tight, but there is every reason to expect the buy-to-let sector to continue to make a powerful contribution to helping meet the country’s varied housing needs.”

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