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Buy to let mortgage brokers are among the most resilient optimists as more than half expect to help property investors purchase more homes to let this year.
This forlorn hope is against a miserable back drop of a stalling economy, tax and interest rate uncertainty and lenders unequivocally stating they will not lend more in 2011 than last year.
Despite this, 46% of brokers expect to write more buy to let loans and half considered buy to let mortgage availability improved in the last quarter of 2010.
These astonishing claims at a time when lenders admit mortgage funding had dropped back to the lowest level for a decade are trumpeted as a sign that the buy to let mortgage market ‘return to health is continuing to gather pace’ by specialist landlord lender Paragon Mortgages.
The figures come from Paragon’s latest Financial Adviser Confidence Tracking Index (FACT), a panel-based survey of mortgage brokers.
Brokers arrange 90% of landlord loans
On closer inspection, the figures disclose two out of 10 advisers (17%) expect to see an increase in buy to let business of 10% or more during 2011, with 29% expecting to do up to 10% more business.
John Heron, Paragon Mortgages managing director, said: “We are clearly now in a more buoyant phase for the buy to let market – 2010 was the turning point for the sector and it enters this year on the front foot and with confidence.
“As approximately nine out of 10 buy to let mortgages are introduced via intermediaries, it is extremely encouraging that nearly half of brokers expect to increase business levels in 2011. This, in turn, should attract a greater number of lenders and borrowers to the market.”
The true extent of the buy to let market in the final months of 2010 will be revealed by the Council of Mortgage Lenders – the trade body for all major mortgage lending banks and building societies – on February 11.
If these figures follow the trend of residential mortgage data already published, December lending was the lowest on record for 10 years.
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