Landlords are taking out fewer buy to let mortgages to purchase property, according the latest official data.
UK Finance, the trade body for all the UK’s leading mortgage lenders, says buy to let borrowing to purchase homes to rent out is shrinking. Landlords took out 5,200 new mortgages in October – down 18.8 per cent year on year. Borrowing amounted to just £700 million – a drop of 22.5 per cent in the year.
However, landlords completed twice as many buy to let remortgages. UK Finance says 12,300 loans worth £2 billion were switched – the figures are still 0.8 per cent down from October 2017.
Jackie Bennett, director of mortgages at UK Finance said: “Overall remortgaging for both residential and buy to let properties have levelled out after a period of strong growth. This reflects the number of fixed rate loans reaching maturity.
“Buy to let home purchases have eased again in September, suggesting lending in this market remains subdued as a result of recent tax, regulatory and legislative changes imposed by the government.
“Demand for house purchases for both first-time buyers and home movers has also lessened, as affordability constraints continue to bear down on consumer demand for new loans particularly in London and the South East.”
UK Finance has also updated buy to let mortgage arrears data. The number of properties with arrears of 2.5 per cent or more of the outstanding loan balance was 4,660 homes in the third quarter of 2018 – a 1 per cent drop on a year earlier. Among that number were 1,150 buy to let mortgages with arrears of 10 per cent or more of the outstanding balance – an increase of 3 per cent year on year. Lenders repossessed 500 buy to let properties in the third quarter of 2018, 17 per cent down on 12 months before.