Speaking at the London Financial Services Expo 2015, he said that buy-to-let has taken a bigger share of the overall mortgage market post-credit crunch with the help of lower rates compared to the residential market.
He said: “Going forward buy-to-let will be supported by a low rate environment but as rates start to increase we do expect buy-to-let to decrease as a share of overall lending.”
While the first-time buyer market has taken a greater share of the market since the credit crunch Silvestrin reckoned activity is still limited by affordability constraints. He claimed: “Things haven’t recovered as much as they could have considering the pent up demand that built up over five years.”
With homemover lending standing around 50% below pre-credit levels, Silvestrin admitted Nationwide wasn’t exactly sure why activity hasn’t picked up. He suggested that the lack of activity has resulted in a lack of stock, in turn making it harder for homemovers to rightsize.
He said: “There is a bit of a chicken egg element going on at the moment.
“Homemover activity is expected to increase gradually mainly when first-time buyer activity increases.
“When first-time buyers come to the market in bigger numbers that will kick off the housing chain and allow more homemovers to move.”