Buy-to-let mortgage lending 'soars'


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The Independent Online

Buy-to-let mortgage lending has soared by 10 times since last year, fuelled by the booming rental market, the Co-operative Bank's broker lender reported today.

Platform, the dedicated intermediary lender of the Co-operative Bank, said it is currently lending at a rate of £650 million a year for buy-to-let mortgages, a tenfold increase on 2010.

This type of lending has rocketed from 10% of its applications last year to reach 80%.

Platform put the growth partly down to first-time buyers struggling to raise deposits, as the cost of living remains high.

Lee Gladwell, business development director at Platform, said: "Growth is undoubtedly driven by some first time buyers' inability to raise deposits, but there are other factors.

"Uncertainty around the economy, employment and house prices is fuelling demand for the rental market and creating opportunities for landlords."

Average rents climbed to £720 a month in October, the ninth monthly increase in a row, according to figures from LSL Property Services.

The rising costs have been put down to a shortage in supply combined with large numbers of trapped renters who want to buy but are unable to get on to the property ladder.