Mortgage lending rose for all borrowers, including buy-to-let landlords, in May, although there is a possibility that the drop in lending after the stamp duty changes last year may have flattered the latest lending figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, buy-to-let investors borrowed £2.9bn in May, up 16% on the previous month and 12% higher than the same month last year.
Overall, 19,100 buy-to-let loans were secured in May, which is a 16% increase on the previous month and 15% compared with May 2016.
Looking at the wider mortgage market, home movers borrowed £6.2bn – up by 11% on April and 22% year-on-year, while first-time buyers borrowed £4.7bn, which was up by 12% both on a monthly and annual basis.
Homeowner remortgage activity also rose – up by 10% by value and 9% by volume on April’s figures.
Reflecting on the latest mortgage lending figures, Alastair McKee, managing director of One 77 Mortgages, said: “It is first-time buyer borrowing that continues to put in a strong performance here. They don’t need to be asked twice to step in take advantage of reduced competition from landlords whose borrowing is pretty flat in real terms, and depressed since April last year.
“The buy-to-let brigade have suffered a raft of unfavourable changes over the last year or so. Most recently they began to see the amount of mortgage interest tax relief drop from April. This coupled with falls in prices in some areas has encouraged some firs time buyers not to miss an opportunity.”