Commenting on the quarter, Paragon Group chief executive Nigel Terrington said: “Landlords enjoyed a strong end to the year and enter 2010 with a solid platform on which to build. Last year was one of stability after the volatile events of 2008 – arrears declined, tenant demand grew, and rental incomes strengthened. And the spike in supply caused by ‘accidental landlords’ – those homeowners forced to let their property because they were unable to sell – started to subside.
”Landlords also reported growth in the value of their property portfolios, whilst the level of tenant arrears fell. Confidence in property investment can be seen in the number of landlords looking to expand their portfolios this year. PRS Trends shows that one in 10 landlords is planning to purchase in the first quarter of 2010, but unfortunately investors continue to be hampered by a lack of available buy-to-let mortgage finance.
”The recovery of the buy-to-let lending market is largely dependent on the recovery of the wholesale funding markets, and it was encouraging to see a handful of successful residential mortgage-backed securities deals completed in the latter half of the year. We now need to see momentum in the number of new issues, and only then can we truly say that we are emerging from the credit crunch.”