Let’s Focus on The Positives of Buy-to-Let
In the media, it’s often easier to focus on the negatives, rather than to highlight the positives, especially it seems when it comes to the buy-to-let (BTL) market.
BTL has had its fair share of critics and naysayers in recent times amidst talk around tax and regulatory changes potentially stifling activity and demand. First and foremost, it’s important to recognise that some landlords have departed the market and others have struggled to get to grips with the many challenges experienced across the buy-to-let landscape. However, it’s far from doom and gloom. Thankfully, the vast majority of landlords have taken a good, long hard look at their portfolios and expectations to reposition themselves accordingly within the new BTL ‘norm’.
This has led to greater optimism throughout the sector, a trend reflected in recent UK Finance figures which showed that the number of purchases using buy-to-let mortgages has risen every month, except for one anomaly in June, for the past seven months. The latest data showed that August saw 5,900 borrowers purchase a rental property with a buy-to-let mortgage, almost a quarter (23 per cent) more than the 4,800 who did the same in February. The figures also showed that the value of new buy-to-let mortgage lending had increased from circa £6bn in February to £8bn in August.
This data has not resulted in the raft of positive headlines you might expect. In fairness, growth has been slow and steady rather than dramatic but in the current political and economic climate any kind of forward-momentum should be heralded. And lenders who are providing highly competitive and innovative BTL products should also be lauded as they continue to generate a range of available options for landlords of all shapes and sizes.