Buy-to-let purchases down as remortgages rises

While buy-to-let house purchase activity continues to contract due to tax and regulatory changes, buy-to-let remortgaging has increased year-on year for the second month in a row, UK Finance’s Mortgage Trends Update has found.

Buy-to-let home purchase mortgages dropped from 9.1% from March 2018. Meanwhile there were 14,400 remortgages in the buy-to-let sector which 3.9% more than in the same period last year.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: “Buy-to-let remortgaging is also strong as landlords make the most of their portfolios and ensure they maximise as much profit as possible.

“The number of landlords adding to their portfolios, or investing for the first time, has inevitably fallen again due to the tough tax and regulatory changes which have hit the sector.”

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, added: “It is no surprise either that buy-to-let mortgages are continuing their downwards trend as landlords face an onslaught of tax and regulatory changes with more on the way.

“We are finding buy-to-let remortgaging increasing is down to properties having to work harder in order to maintain profit levels so this is likely to continue.”

Gareth Lewis, commercial director of property lender MT Finance, said because buy-to-let purchase numbers are down investors are looking at alternative ways of funding their purchase which aren’t reflected in these figures.

He said: “On the specialist lending side, we are seeing an increase in investors looking at bridging loans in order to refurbish a property and add value before remortgaging onto a standard buy-to-let further down the line.”


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