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At least the outlook for B2L is positive

While there’s been little to smile about since the credit crunch hit a few years back, the upward trajectory of the buy-to-let market has offered some comfort.

Bob Young

In fact, if you compare the current health of the private rental sector to the dark days of the downturn in 2008, it has been something of a phoenix from the flames for the beleaguered mortgage market.

It’s not just lenders and landlords that are benefiting from this resilience either – brokers are writing more buy-to-let business than they were a year ago and expectations are that this trend is likely to continue.

Research by Paragon Mortgages indicates that buy-to-let accounts for 23.3% of brokers’ business now, up 4% from 19.3% a year ago.

The findings also revealed that it wasn’t just seasoned campaigners that were helping the sector remain buoyant either, with the number of first-time landlords increasing by a fifth in Q4 2011.

Brokers are also optimistic about funding prospects for the coming months, with half expecting availability to improve and 41% forecasting stability.

Compare this with a few short years ago when some experts were ready to give the sector its last rites and we can see just how wrong they were.

Marry these statistics to the fact that demand for rental property is soaring, arrears are reducing and there seem to be a number of new entrants and old stalwarts returning to the sector and it all makes up a positive picture for buy-to-let for the year ahead.

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