The Buy to Let market which was all but killed by the credit crunch is beginning to shows signs of life. Although it is still difficult to obtain a mortgage, mortgage lenders are beginning to dip their toes back in the water and there are signs that the 25% minimum deposit to obtain funding is gradually being reduced back to 15% In other good news, buy to let lending grew for the second consecutive quarter during the final three months of 2009 as the market continued to show signs of life, figures have shown a total of £2.4 billion was advanced to investment landlords during the three months to the end of December 2009, this is 14% more than during the previous quarter. These figures come from the Council of Mortgage Lenders. Other figures show that in the whole of 2009, just 93,500 mortgages were advanced, less than half 2008’s figure and a huge reduction on the 346,000 loans advanced in 2007.
This is good news for all, rentals are starting to creep up and there are signs of increased demand, for rental properties, particularly from persons unable to raise the required deposit for a first home. Many other people are unable to move because of an inability to sell their own property and where necessary, many are now turning to rent property whilst the markets stabilise. There has been a worry that the inability to raise a mortgage on Buy to Let property was driving many would be landlords away from the market. Certainly, since the middle of last year, many have considered equities to be a better option for investment. It is hoped that over the coming months, restrictions will continue to fall and the number of products ( and their competitiveness) will start to re-ignite interest in the market. There is no doubt a need for buy to let property exists in the United Kingdom, with now some 3.1 million people renting property from landlords. Changes in lifestyle will continue to fuel the need for this type of property and any easing in lending conditions will be very welcome.