After the confusion of the last few years, the buy-to-let market seems to be on the up once again.
The past few years have been a perfect storm for the buy-to-let sector. We’ve had increased taxes, changes to legislation, and the political and economic uncertainty of Brexit. All this has proved too much for many landlords, with many selling up and leaving the sector.
However, the so called “Boris Bounce” seems to be generating more confidence in the housing market, including in the buy-to-let sector. This is backed up by the latest mortgage figures which show that 2019 ended on a high.
The figures show that 5700 buy-to-let mortgages were granted in Dec 2019 up by 3.6% on Dec 2018. The number of remortgages (13,300) also increased but by a slightly lower 2.3%.
Shaun Church, London mortgage broker and director of Private Finance Ltd, told the property press:
“The last few years have seen pretty much continuous decline, but now the buy-to-let sector is showing signs of regaining strength. This is great news for everybody, landlords and tenants alike. It means more housing stock and more competitive prices.”
The stricter regulatory framework and more complex mortgage applications have had pros and cons for the sector. While it’s more difficult for people to break into the market and turn a profit, those that manage it will be far more viable long-term businesses. Mr Church points out that the sector has had to shape up and formalise. The result that we’re seeing is a new, streamlined buy-to-let sector which is more organised and will be better positioned to weather the storm of market fluctuations in the future.
According to Mr Church, we are also seeing a greater degree of specialisation among mortgage lenders. The days of a one size fits all solution are over.
The buy to let sector is not an easy option, it never was, but at least now we are seeing a bit of positivity as the industry emerges from the dark days of the past few years, renewed and stronger because of it.