Dragonfly Property Finance has seen a 20% rise in agreements in principle by value, with £337m in applications received in the first four months of the year compared to £280m over the same period in 2011.
By number, AIPs rose 28% from 390 in the first four months of 2011 to 500 in the first four months of 2012.
The company says that the jump up in AIPs, from an already high level, is yet more proof that professional property investors and landlords remain extremely active within the increasingly flat residential property market.
With property prices under continued pressure and many prospective homeowners unable or unwilling to purchase property, buy-to-let was the single biggest driver of the surge in AIPs.
Mark Posniak, marketing and operations director at Dragonfly Property Finance, says: “With residential property prices falling and high street mortgage criteria tightening quite dramatically, it’s no surprise investor demand is rising by the day. It’s been well documented that buy-to-let is booming and these numbers drive home how big the sector has become.”
But Posniak says the rise in AIPs has not just been limited to London, either, with applications coming from all areas of the country and are on loans of all sizes.
He adds: “Both amateur and professional investors see a major opportunity in the market at present and they are becoming even more active as the market falls. Their view is that the owner-occupier market could be flat for years to come.”