Buy-to-let: Landlords build their empires as rental market prospers

Click to follow

Investors are rushing to get a piece of the buy-to-let action as the static housing market leads to a rise in the number of people renting.

Mortgage lending for buy-to-let deals totalled £24.1bn in the second half of 2007, up from £21.2bn in the first half and £20.8bn in the second half of 2006, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has reported.

The number of loans (including remortgages) made to buy-to-let landlords was up from 171,800 in the first half of last year to 179,100 in the second.

"We expect to see a continuing healthy appetite for buy-to-let finance this year," said Michael Coogan, director-general of the CML. "Buy-to-let has remained resilient in the face of funding constraints, and consumer demand for private rental property is expected to continue."

But the number of landlords falling behind with their mortgage repayments was also up slightly by the end of 2007. Around 0.73 per cent of buy-to-let loans were in arrears of three months or more in December, compared with 0.63 per cent in the first half of the year.

The proportion of buy-to-let mortgage holders who have had their properties repossessed was also up for the year as a whole – to 0.18 per cent from 0.13 per cent in 2006.

Looking for credit card or current account deals? Search here