The total number of buy-to-let mortgages taken out was 24,900, compared to 22,000 in Q1 and 21,600 in Q2 2009.
The value of buy-to-let lending in the first quarter was £2.4bn, of which £1bn was remortgaging.
Michael Coogan, director general of the CMl, says: “The buy-to-let market has continued to grow, albeit slowly, throughout the period since the credit crunch. And with fewer people able to afford the entry costs to home-ownership, as well as the pressure on social housing, tenant demand for private rented property will remain strong.
“Finance for private landlords, whether institutional or individual, is crucial if the UK is to have enough homes to meet the needs of the population. Funding conditions for lenders remain tight, but there is every reason to expect the buy-to-let sector to continue to make a powerful contribution to helping meet the country’s varied housing needs.”
Although business is only just over a quarter of its level of three years ago, both the number and the value of buy-to-let loans were at their highest level since the Q4 2008, excluding Q4 2009 which was inflated by the end of the stamp duty concession.
There were 1.26 million buy-to-let mortgages outstanding, worth a total of £149bn, accounting for 12% of all mortgages, the highest proportion since records began.