Two-thirds of brokers predict rise in buy-to-let lending

As strong tenant demand continues to keep rental returns high, it seems a growing number of landlords could be seeking buy-to-let lending in order to invest in more properties.

This is reflected in the latest figures from the building society Nationwide, which found that almost two-thirds of brokers (64 per cent) expect to do more mortgage business with landlords this year than they did last.

Furthermore, the survey found that 69 per cent of brokers said they saw 24 or more buy-to-let applications in 2011, up from 31 per cent of brokers who reported 16 or more buy-to-let applications in 2010.

“While the volume of buy-to-let lending is nowhere near the volumes seen before the credit crisis began in 2007, last year’s buy-to-let lending reached more than £14 billion,” said Ian Andrew, managing director of group intermediary sales at Nationwide and its subsidiary the Mortgage Works.

“This is an increase of 40 per cent from the previous year and we expect it to rise again in 2012. It suggests buy-to-let is climbing its way back up, which is welcome news for landlords and brokers.”

While the increase in lending may be down in part to current landlords expanding their portfolios, many mortgage applications come from those investing in the market for the first time.

And, according to the survey, 71 per cent of brokers predict the number of new landlords will increase further in 2012, compared to 51 per cent a year earlier.

“The outlook for first time landlords in 2012 remains positive, with two thirds of brokers seeing a rise in first-time landlord business in the past six months,” said Mr Andrew.