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BoE: Buy-to-let lending outstrips first-time buyers

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Buy-to-let mortgage borrowing has outstripped first-time buyers for the first quarter since the crisis, according to new figures from the Bank of England.

New buy-to-let mortgages were 21.1 per cent of all lending in the first quarter, while first-time buying was 16.9 per cent.

Remortgages were 25.3 per cent of all lending, other mortgages made up 34.2 per cent and further advances were 2.6 per cent.

Buy-to-let borrowers took out £13.5bn in the period, while first-time buyers borrowed £10.8bn.

The first quarter of 2015 saw landlords borrow £7.7bn, while first-time buyers took £8.6bn.

The rush of buy-to-let mortgages in the first quarter is the result of trying to beat the March deadline for a stamp duty rise.

Hampshire Trust Bank commercial mortgages managing director Colin Bell says: “We believe buy-to-let lending volumes will continue to increase in 2016 and the reason for this is twofold.

“Firstly, it is becoming more difficult for people to buy their own homes because of rising house prices.

“At the same time, there is a changing attitude among 20 to 30 year olds, who are becoming a populous of rent not buy, including movies, cars, clothing as well as property. Therefore buy-to-let landlords will become an increasingly important part of the housing market.”

SPF Private Clients chief executive Mark Harris says: “Buy-to-let lending increased substantially as one might expect in the first quarter. However, we expect these numbers to be more subdued in the second quarter as investors brought forward buying decisions from later in the year.”

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