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March 7

2019
by Millie Wickens
Buy to let mortgage choice hits a 12-year high. What does this mean for landlords?

Landlords shopping for a buy to let mortgage are spoilt for choice in today’s market, with banks and building societies offering a huge range of loans.

Despite interest rates rising higher than at any time in the past two years, not to mention Brexit uncertainty worries, lenders are still eager to sign up  landlords.

Comparison site Moneyfacts list 2,162 buy to let products – the highest level the market has reached since the financial crisis struck in October 2007, more than a decade ago. Then the market hit an all-time peak of 3,305 products for landlords.

Data from buy to let lender trade body UK Finance shows that landlords are entrenching rather than expanding by remortgaging.

The number of new buy to let mortgages for purchasing a property dropped by 11.5 per cent from 74,606 to 66,400 loans last year. The market was worth £9 billion – a 15 per cent fall from 2017.

The trend for remortgaging is however going the opposite way.

Last year, the number of remortgages increased 11.2 per cent from 152,068 to 169,100 loans worth £27 billion.

Meanwhile, the average rate for a two year fixed rate loan is 3.12 per cent, higher than the 2.92 per cent average six months ago and 2.96 per cent seen in March 2018.

Five-year fixes return a similar trajectory, from an average of 3.43 per cent 12 months ago, to 3.46 per cent six months back and a current rate of 3.61 per cent.

Finance expert Darren Cook at Moneyfacts said: “It is encouraging buy-to-let landlords have more mortgage choice than they have had in almost 12 years. Total product numbers have increased by 397 over the past year and by 706 over the past two years.

“Despite ongoing uncertainty in the property market, providers are not shying away from offering landlords a greater choice, although it is also evident from our research that heightened competition to try and attract BTL business has not resulted in a fall in interest rates.”

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