Since the credit crunch began in 2007, the buy-to-let market has taken a steady, but definite, nosedive.
In 2011 it was worth £14bn to the economy, a considerable sum you may think, but nowhere near the £44bn it was valued at four years ago.
A recent round table debate involving a number of seasoned industry professionals suggested the sector will grow to £20bn during the next three years – a refreshing forecast in what has been a miserable few years.
This sentiment has been echoed in recent quarterly data by Paragon Mortgages, which revealed that 35% of intermediaries described landlord demand as strong, while 46% believed it is stable.
What is more interesting is the rise in the number of first-time landlords. Is this an indication that there is a renewed confidence in the housing market which is not just limited to experienced landlords?
Such positive views raise the potential for greater collaboration between brokers and landlords and, indeed, for us solicitors to work with both.
But there is a cautionary tale – buy-to-let is not like a standard mortgage.
Because of the greater risks and sums of money involved, lenders tend to impose tighter restrictions, so it is important to obtain the services of a legal specialist who understands the process and can work with landlords and their advisers to ensure the right level of service is provided.