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CML reports second quarter buy-to-let results

Published: 12 August 2010

The freezing up of the buy-to-let mortgage market that emerged as an unwelcome side-effect of the credit crunch appears to have eased a little, according to the latest buy-to-let survey results from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

While buy-to-let lending still remains very subdued and ongoing challenges remain, in the second quarter of 2010 the number of buy-to-let mortgages taken out was 24,900. This was13% up on the 22,000 in the first quarter, and 15% higher than the 21,600 in the second quarter of 2009.

The value of buy-to-let lending in the second quarter was £2.4 billion, of which £1 billion was remortgaging. Although business is only just over a quarter of its level of three years ago, both the number and the value of buy-to-let loans were at their highest level since the fourth quarter of 2008 (other than in the fourth quarter of 2009 - where demand was artificially inflated by the end of the stamp duty concession).

As at the end of June, there were 1.26 million buy-to-let mortgages outstanding, worth a total of £149 billion. By value, buy-to-let mortgages accounted for 12% of all mortgages, the highest proportion since records began.

In the buy-to-let market, arrears cases have improved markedly. Repossession rates remain higher than in the owner-occupier market, however, not least because of the extended forbearance that lenders extend to home-buyers to try to help prevent them losing the homes in which they live. In the buy-to-let market, a "receiver of rent" may also be appointed, instead of the lender taking possession of the property.

Commenting on the performance of the buy-to-let market, CML director general Michael Coogan said:

"The buy-to-let market has continued to grow, albeit slowly, throughout the period since the credit crunch. And with fewer people able to afford the entry costs to home-ownership, as well as the pressure on social housing, tenant demand for private rented property will remain strong. Finance for private landlords, whether institutional or individual, is crucial if the UK is to have enough homes to meet the needs of the population. Funding conditions for lenders remain tight, but there is every reason to expect the buy-to-let sector to continue to make a powerful contribution to helping meet the country's varied housing needs."

Notes to editors

1. The Council of Mortgage Lenders' members are banks, building societies and other lenders who together undertake around 94% of all residential mortgage lending in the UK. There are 11.4 million mortgages in the UK, with loans worth over £1.2 trillion.

2.  The CML buy-to-let press release for the third quarter of the year will be published on 11 November 2010.

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