Boom in buy-to-let mortgages could lead to unsustainable house price bubble
Mortgage availability at a five-year high as amount lent topped £5bn in second quarter of 2013
Lending to people looking to buy houses in order to let them out has topped £5 billion in the second quarter of 2013, marking the strongest level of mortgage lending since 2008 and signalling what some fear could be an unsustainable housing boom.
Around 40,000 buy-to-let mortgages were advanced in the period, up from 33,000 in the first quarter and representing the highest number for five years.
Government schemes such as Funding for Lending have seen lenders slash their rates and a sharp rise in mortgage availability generally, revitalising the housing market.
Continued strong demand from tenants has encouraged more aspiring landlords to consider the potential returns they could get for investing in the rental sector, at a time when low interest rates are giving poor returns on savings.
The CML's head of policy, Jackie Bennett, said: “Strong rental demand is contributing to the continuing expansion of the buy-to-let sector, but growth is also being helped by improved conditions in funding markets and more widespread availability of mortgages.
”These conditions are creating more opportunities for landlords to remortgage, as well as helping to fund increased activity in the mortgage market more generally. This spring, we have seen the highest levels of lending to first-time buyers since 2007, alongside the continuing recovery in the buy-to-let market.“
But there are fears that the availability of credit will turn into a pricing boom. Stephen Lewis, chief economist at Monument Securities, told the Guardian: ”The danger is that, when a flood tide of mortgage finance meets a chronic shortage of housing, the result will be an escalation of house prices.“
And David Whittaker, managing director of Mortgages for Business, said: ”Demand for rental property remains red-hot. Landlords are refinancing in their droves to raise enough capital to make further additions to their portfolios.“
Matthew Pointon, a property economist at Capital Economics, said that many would-be first-time buyers living in the rental sector are still finding it a ”challenge“ to make the jump onto the property ladder, which is helping to keep rental demand up. Low mortgage rates are also making the potential returns landlords could make more attractive.
He said: ”Alongside a gentle recovery in overall mortgage lending, buy-to-let lending is also likely to continue its upward trend.
But he added that a return to the boom buy-to-let years of 2006 -2007 remains “a distant prospect“.
Mr Pointon said that tenants' squeezed budgets will prevent landlords being able to impose a ”substantial“ increase in rents and house price increases are unlikely to be enough to attract a ”surge“ of investor interest.
Independent Partners: Get fee-free expert mortgage advice and find the right mortgage deal for you.
Questions of Cash: What are my rights if my leak is caused by neighbours’ roofs?
Pension mortgages: 'The advice I was given was wrong and now I face losing my home'
Best savings rates are not all they might seem
How to start your own internet business
Mark Dampier: Maybe boom, maybe bust, but we'll probably just muddle along
- 2 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 3 Andy Murray takes to Twitter to show off his Christmas jumper
- 5 Top 10 travel destinations for 2015: From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
iJobs Money & Business
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...
Day In a Page
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens