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Landlords breathing new life into market

JOHN HERON, MANAGING DIRECTOR, PARAGON MORTGAGES
JOHN HERON, MANAGING DIRECTOR, PARAGON MORTGAGES

A recent report by Datamonitor makes for gloomy reading. UK Mortgage Market In 2011 And Future Outlook warns the mortgage market will not experience growth until 2014 and it will remain difficult for consumers to get a mortgage this year.

But the report did offer some positives. For example, it claimed buy-to-let would be the only sector that would see significant growth in 2011. It could be argued that this is from a low historical base, but any advance on the 22% increase in buy-to-let gross advances recorded last year has to be welcomed.

We will have to wait for the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ Q1 lending figures for confirmation, but survey evidence suggests a basis for Datamonitor’s assertion.

In our quarterly survey of brokers nearly half reported an increase in buy-to-let business in Q1. Nearly one in five 18%saw an increase in buy-to-let business of more than 10% in the period, while 13% saw increases of between 6% and 10%.

These figures show brokers’ growing confidence in buy-to-let. Landlord demand is strong and finance is becoming more readily available.

Although we are not operating at normal levels, buy-to-let is on the road to recovery. We have seen an increase in buy-to-let lenders’ advertising spend as they compete for business, while offers such as free legals and valuations have also crept in to attract business.

Wider choice and competition benefits both landlords and brokers and is proof that the market is not all doom and gloom.

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