Buy-to-let mortgage activity remained sluggish in March with landlord investors taking out just 5,000 new buy-to-let home purchase mortgages, down 9.1% on the same month last year, according to the latest data from UK Finance.
The figures also reveal that there were 14,400 remortgages in the buy-to-let sector, 3.9% more than in the corresponding period in 2018, with buy-to-let remortgaging increasing year-on year for the second consecutive month.
“The number of landlords adding to their portfolios, or investing for the first time, has inevitably fallen again due to the tough tax and regulatory changes which have hit the sector,” said Mark Harris, chief executive of SPF Private Clients.
Since 2016, the number of new buy-to-let mortgages issued by banks has dropped by over 50% and this trend is unlikely to change any time soon, according to Simon Heawood, CEO and co-founder of Bricklane.com.
He commented: “A swathe of tax penalties in recent years means more and more part-time landlords are deciding that buy-to-let just isn’t worth their while.
“The upcoming Tenant Fees Ban also appears to be the opening salvo in a push to professionalise the rental market. Those who remain can expect to face increased costs and hassle.”