Buy-to-let grabs rising share of broker business

The buy-to-let market now accounts for the highest proportion of mortgage brokers’ business in over three years, research from Paragon Mortgages shows.

Buy-to-let made up 21% of mortgages introduced to brokers in the fourth quarter of 2010, up from 17% for the previous three months and the highest figure since the third quarter of 2007.

This growth appears to be at the expense of the residential market, with loans of this type falling to 71%, the residential sector’s lowest share since quarter two of 2009.

John Heron, managing director at Paragon, says: “Buy-to-let is clearly an important source of business for the broker community and, given the growth in tenant demand and expected expansion of the private rented sector, it can play an even greater role going forward.”

He believes the intermediary sector is well placed to assist landlords, who appreciate the support and advice brokers offer.

Heron adds: “The good news is that competition and innovation is slowly but surely returning to the buy-to-let market and that is likely to continue throughout 2011.”

According to Paragon’s Financial Adviser Confidence Tracking Index, 45% of buy-to-let business handled during the three months to December 31 was for experienced landlords expanding their portfolios, while 34% was for remortgaging purposes, 18% for first-time landlords and 3% for property substitution.