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Avoid past mistakes and B2L is a good bet

It is no secret that buy-to-let is showing strength at present and the latest data on rates from Moneyfacts.co.uk shows just how promising the picture is.

Bob Young

Although the price of residential mortgages has been driven up by economic uncertainty and funding constraints, buy-to-let rates have tumbled.

The comparison website’s figures show that while the average two-year fixed rate residential mortgage sits at a six-month high of 4.27%, the buy-to-let average is presently 4.79% – 0.21% keener than 12 months ago and 0.51% cheaper than two years ago.

Separate research shows 25 lenders are offering 442 deals – a marked rise on the 298 loans from 19 providers a year ago.

The increased competition that has led to a sharpening of rates and improved choice of products is good news for investors and adds further credence to the view that buy-to-let will continue to develop positively in 2012 while the residential market remains flat.

Factor in reports from LSL Property Services that rents rose in January for the first time on record and landlords could be forgiven for feeling heartened right now.

But with the last bubble burst still fresh in the memories of most property investors, no-one should get too carried away. However, it would be churlish not to enjoy the strong spell we are experiencing.

If we can heed the mistakes of last time, this improvement in the fortunes for buy-to-let has every chance of being a more sustainable venture for all stakeholders.

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