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December 11, 2007

Buy-to-let lending remains buoyant

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by Gill Montia

Buy-to-let lending remains buoyant

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has published October data on mortgage lending that reflects the impact of both higher interest rates and rising house prices.

During the month the number of new mortgages approved for house purchases made up only 39% of all loans secured on residential property, which is the lowest proportion for nearly three years.

However, the number of buy-to-let mortgages approved rose to 991,600 in the three months to the end of October, up by 53,100 in the previous quarter.

The increase means that buy-to-let borrowing now accounts for 10% of all home loans in existence the UK.

In addition, the percentage of buy-to-let mortgages in arrears by three months or more stands at 0.61%, which is only around half the level recorded for all types of mortgage.

The CML is, however, expecting a decrease in mortgage lending; Michael Coogan, its director general explains: “October is the last month we expect lending volumes to be higher than a year ago as lenders and borrowers will behave more cautiously in an uncertain and slowing market environment.”

He also expects the lending figures “to be driven more by supply factors rather than lower consumer demand.”

However, the October figures should at least challenge fears that the buy-to-let sector will be particularly vulnerable in an economic slowdown.


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