BTL sector remains 'resilient': L&G

The latest data from Legal & General’s Ignite platform has revealed that activity in the private rental sector continues to bolster the wider mortgage market as landlords look to maximise rental income.

Related topics:  Landlords,  Property,  mortgages
Property | Reporter
17th July 2023
To Let 733
"It’s positive to see that market activity is still being driven by specific sectors including buy-to-let, overseas buyers, and by increased demand for particular property types"

Newly released figures from Legal & General have highlighted a 32% increase in searches for ‘multi-unit freehold blocks’ and a 38% increase in searches for rental income, showing that landlords remain a key driver in the market.

These buyers could be looking to maximise rental income, as rents across the UK continue to rise, according to the report. Similarly, searches for top slicing rose by 49% in June, while searches about regulated buy-to-let increased by 15%.

Overseas buyers continue to invest in the UK property market

Overseas buyers also continue to invest in the UK property market and are helping to bolster its growth. June saw searches on behalf of overseas customers increase by 16%, while searches on behalf of customers with a permanent right to reside or indefinite leave to remain increased by 38%.

Borrowers taking advantage of the full range of mortgage options

The most common search term in June was for interest-only mortgages, seeing an increase of 53%. This highlights that borrowers could be looking to reduce their monthly costs for some time before switching back to a capital repayment mortgage if rates become more favourable.

This coincided with a 40% increase in searches for Help to Buy. Although the deadline for home purchase completions under the scheme closed on 31st May 2023, there is a strong demand for similar Government-backed schemes to tackle affordability issues.

There has also been increased demand from first-time buyers, despite ongoing economic volatility, however, affordability remains the key barrier to their homeownership aspirations. June saw an increase of 14% for searches on behalf of first-time buyers, while searches about affordability also increased by 21%. Similarly, searches about minimum income requirements also increased by 17%.

These increases point to resilience in the market and among first-time buyers, however, more must be done to address affordability issues for the demographic.

Ex-council properties increase in popularity

Searches about a number of other property types also increased in June. Searches about right-to-buy and right-to-acquire increased by 17% in June, while searches regarding ex-local authority properties increased by 29%.

If a property is purchased under the right-to-buy scheme buyers could get a 35% discount on a property’s market value if they have been a public sector tenant for between 3 and 5 years.

Jodie White, Head of Mortgage Products & Transformation, Legal & General Technology, said: “It’s clear that the mortgage market remains robust despite ongoing affordability issues, rising interest rates and stubborn inflation. It’s positive to see that market activity is still being driven by specific sectors including buy-to-let, overseas buyers, and increased demand for particular property types.

“During this time, it’s vitally important that advisers implement new technologies to best manage demand for mortgage advice across various sectors. Advice is incredibly important right now and advisers have a crucial role to play in supporting buyers and ensuring they have access to the full range of options available to them.

“The recent launch of the enhanced Legal & General Ignite platform is another step towards joining the human expertise of advisers with the power of data insights and technology. By implementing this technology across the industry, advisers will be able to save time on each case which can be spent improving customer outcomes.”

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