UK Finance found that buy to let mortgage market activity declined in November, partly due to the base rate rise and increasingly tough lending conditions.
The new data found that the number of buy to let investment property purchase approvals fell to just 6,500 in November. This marks a 1.5 per cent decline year on year. This equates in value to £0.9 billion lending in the month of November, the same as the corresponding month the previous year. The increasingly tough mortgage conditions have forced some private landlords to reconsider their existing positions and investment plans, with many considering a reduction in the number of properties in their portfolio.
November saw 13,500 new buy to let remortgages. This is down 3.6 per cent year on year. By value, this works out at £2.1 billion of lending in the month of November, down by 4.5 per cent year on year.
Head of Mortgages at UK Finance, Paul Smee, spoke out about the data: ‘Declines in buy to let lending reflect the changing regulatory and fiscal environment for landlord businesses, where some landlords might be inclined to reappraise the viability of their portfolios.’
However, although there was a decline in buy to let mortgage activity, there was overall growth in the level of mortgage lending during November. The number of mortgages taken out by first-time buyers, home movers and those remortgaging was up by around 13 per cent on a yearly basis.
CEO at Hope Capital, Jonathan Sealey, added: ‘Confirmation of activity in November today shows an upbeat end to the year. Negativity that arose from the public’s nervousness around Brexit negotiations appears to have abated, and despite a rise in interest rates there are still plenty of good deals on offer. As the figures bear out, people are now taking advantage. Although buy to let has suffered under new regulations, the opportunities are still there for specialist lenders to provide funding as landlords look to improve their housing stock, rather than increase their portfolios.’