Buy-to-Let Mortgage Availability is at its Highest for a Decade

Landlords have faced some real challenges of late, with the introduction of new tax laws, not to mention the changes in stamp duty. However, while some landlords may think it is all bad news, there is at least some good news regarding buy-to-let mortgage availability. Recent reports have confirmed the total number of deals available for landlords between August and September hit 1,735. This represented a rise of 7% month-on-month. The figures come from the Moneyfacts UK Mortgage Trends Treasury Report, and they confirm the rise from 1,613 the previous month to 1,725 in September. This is in stark contrast to the number available in September 2016, when just 1,339 buy-to-let mortgages were available. A recovery for landlords? “This is good news for anyone looking to invest in a buy-to-let property with the help of a mortgage,” said Darren Pescod, CEO of The Mortgage Broker Limited. “Landlords have experienced some real challenges recently, so it is refreshing to see a rise in the BTL mortgages available for them to choose from. “We saw a notably tougher time earlier this year, thanks to the more stringent affordability rules that were brought into effect for landlords. That led to a drop in the number of buy-to-let mortgages that were available. But as we can see from the latest figures, that seems to be changing, and the situation seems to be improving for landlords as we approach the final months of 2017.” Encouraging news for anyone wanting to get a buy-to-let mortgage While the tax changes and stamp duty have indeed made life more challenging for many landlords, it is good to know there are more deals to choose from today than there were some months ago. The market has also reached its highest point since December 2007, when 1,942 buy-to-let products were available. While the current number is still some way off that total, the rise of 7% in just one month does show how competition among lenders is influencing mortgage availability. Research also shows rates are in good shape, with the average fixed-rate deal over two years coming in at 2.91% in August 2017, and dropping to 2.86% in September. However, with the Bank of England considering a rate rise soon, it may only be a matter of time before these low rates start heading in the opposite direction. Is this the ideal time to purchase a buy-to-let property? Many landlords are considering switching to limited companies to manage their properties and pay less tax. Others are reducing their portfolio size, while more are still considering their position. But in a market where good news has been thin on the ground of late, it is reassuring to realise there are at least lots of mortgages available for anyone looking to purchase a buy-to-let property. While lenders must ensure they adhere to the new affordability rules, they appear to have struck a balance between doing just that, and offering decent mortgages to landlords.