Buy to let sees measured growth in February

New data from from the Council of Mortgage Lenders has revealed that gross buy-to-let advances during February hit 15,900 loans, a figure 13% down against January's total but up 11% when compared year-on-year.

Related topics:  Landlords
Warren Lewis
14th April 2015
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These loans represented £2.2bn of lending - down 12% from January but 16% up compared to February 2014.

The number of buy-to-let loans for house purchase was 7,400 in February, down 3% on January but 1% up on February 2014. These loans represented a value of £900m, a decrease of 10% month-on-month but up 3% year-on-year compared to February 2014.

The number of buy-to-let loans remortgages fell 19% in February from January to 8,400, but this was an increase of 23% on February 2014. The value of these loans totalled £1.3bn, down 13% month-on-month but 31% compared with last February.

Paul Smee, director general of the CML, commented: "As with January, seasonal factors have played their part in dampening house purchase lending activity in February. This typical seasonal trend may also be exacerbated by uncertainty ahead of the general election, but we still expect to see an upturn in the spring and summer months. Buy-to-let, in contrast, has shown year-on-year lending increases, due almost completely to remortgaging which is typically strong in the buy-to-let market.

We this month launched the CML buy-to-let statement of practice which reflects what responsible lenders already do and offers a clear explanation of how buy-to-let lenders operate. We hope it will help in people's understanding of the buy-to-let lending environment and the transparency of the statement of practice can give confidence to landlords that clear and consistent lending policies are being undertaken."

Adrian Gill, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, comments: “We’re witnessing a slightly more measured mortgage market, but this should be no cause for concern in the midst of a set of extraordinary circumstances – following an exceptional year of progress and regulatory reform to the lending process, and preceding one the of most uncertain General Elections in living memory.

Cameron has set off quite a flare in the property market today, with an election pledge to help over a million social housing tenants get on the property ladder. However, following the implementation of lower stamp duty costs, pension revisions, and the recent announcement of the Help to Buy ISA, any additional rockets to demand would need to be matched with new homes available to buy, or the pent-up pressure in the market will just grow, propelling prices along with it. Tory proposals to unlock brownfield land for housebuilding could perhaps have more far-reaching tremors through the market, but many will be speculating today whether 400,000 homes over a five year period is truly enough to abate our current housing shortage.”

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