Buy-to-let mortgages accounted for 13.9% of new lending during the first quarter of this year, new figures reveal.
Fresh data from the Bank of England shows that new mortgage commitments agreed by lenders fell to their lowest level for two years as the share of first-time buyer home loans fell.
But overall new loans increased by 3.3% year-on-year to £62.4bn, the data showed, with buy-to-let landlords securing 14.1% of new loans, up from 12.6% the previous quarter.
Liz Syms, CEO at Connect for Intermediaries, said: “Despite a raft of changes hitting landlords in the past couple of years, the sector is incredibly resilient. The reason for this is there are still very good returns to be had in the buy-to-let market – this is despite changes to the tax regime, portfolio landlord, EPC and the forthcoming tightening of HMO rules.
“Some people who are not serious about buy-to-let and not prepared for all the changes will have left the market; however landlords that have well run properties, kept to a good standard will still be making profits and, as a result, are continuing to expand their portfolios, so I think this is what we are seeing in these figures from the Bank of England.
“We could well have hit the bottom of the market and be on the way back up again now.”
The reduction in the proportion lent to first-time buyers when buy-to-let investor borrowing increased for the first time in more than a year may be a sign that the government’s intention to ‘level the playing field’ between the two groups “is not working”, according to north London estate agent Jeremy Leaf.