10:28 AM, 30th April 2011, About 10 years ago
Landlords are reporting a continuing demand for rented homes as mortgage lenders keep a tight lid on borrowing.
Signs are that the market is shifting away from first time buyers in favour of buy to let as the UK’s largest property investment lender, the Nationwide, called for more tax breaks for landlords.
The Nationwide – which lends to investors under The Mortgage Works brand – said they would rather lend to an established landlord at 95% loan to value than a first time buyer.
Nationwide group distribution director Matthew Wyles: “The buy-to-let market is now a fundamental and important segment of our housing solutions and it is set to grow. It is an opportunity for the young to rent in a flexible, low-risk way.”
“We would rather lend at 75% loan to value on a buy-to-let to a hardened, experienced investor than to a 22-year-old plumber who wants a 95% loan.”
Meanwhile, around half of landlords reported tenant demand went up in the first three months of the year, with only 5% claiming demand was down, according to buy-to-let mortgage specialist Paragon.
The survey also revealed 52% of landlords expect more people will rent a home in the coming year.
Two thirds of landlords (64%) agreed buy-to-let mortgages were difficult to find – but recently several new lenders have come to the market.
Nigel Terrington, chief executive of Paragon, said: “Landlords are experiencing high levels of tenant demand, and this is expected to rise due to a number of factors, including social housing reforms, lifestyle choices, low numbers of first-time buyers and wider demographic changes.
“We are seeing evidence that strong tenant demand is feeding through to higher rents. A lack of available mortgage finance is restricting the sector’s ability to expand and needs to be addressed to create a healthy and vibrant buy-to-let market in the UK.”
Paragon also disclosed their average landlord lets 13 properties.
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