The buy-to-let market in London and the South East has seen stronger levels of activity since the start of the year after a very quiet end to 2017, according to Commercial Trust Limited.
The latest report from the specialist buy-to-let broker shows that mortgage applications from BTL investors in the capital increased for the first time since the second quarter of last year, growing from 12.4% in Q4 of 2017, to 16.5% in Q1 2018.
Data from the broker shows that overall the South East still leads the way, having also grown its market share from 17.2% in Q4 of 2017, to 19.2% in Q1 of 2018. This means that London has also closed the gap on the South East’s overall market share.
But the biggest increase in market share, quarter-on-quarter, was recorded by the East Midlands, which saw a 5% hike in the first three months of this year.
Scotland and Wales also saw an upsurge in market share over the corresponding period by almost 2%.
Overall, London and the South East still make up a significant proportion of the buy-to-let application market share.
Andrew Turner, chief executive at Commercial Trust Limited, commented: “From our latest quarterly data, it is clear that property investment in London and the South East is very much alive and kicking – and if anything, growing.
“The report perhaps also reflects the effect of the introduction of the 3% stamp duty surcharge in April 2016, which of course would have been more keenly felt by investors in the more expensive properties found in this part of the country.
“London and the South East remain regions of high demand for rental property and a recent article from City AM indicated that property prices in the capital have continued to fall, perhaps creating something of a buyers’ market for investors.
“I think the data also reflects a regained sense of confidence in London and the South East, among landlords with capital to spend.
“Similarly, the North West continues to see significant infrastructure investment and projects like HS2 will have the potential to further enhance opportunities for economic development in the long term. This in turn may attract more businesses, creating jobs, migration and further rental demand, whilst at the same time potentially contributing to property price growth.”
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