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Landlords turning to remortgaging to fund home improvements

Landlords are increasingly turning to remortgaging to finance property improvements, according to Countrywide.

Countrywide says in the 12 months to the end of March 2018 there were 171,421 buy-to-let remortgages, of which 9,523 landlords, or 5.6 per cent, used the cash for home improvements.

In the 2017 calendar year the figure was also 5.6 per cent, or 8,459 out of 152,100.

But in 2016 only 1.9 per cent of landlords used remortgaging to help fund house renovations. This represents 2,967 landlords out of 153,000 remortgaging.

The greatest increase was in the East of England. In the last 12 months one in ten remortgaging landlords used cash on home improvements, up 6.8 per cent in the last two years.

Landlords in London took out the most money to spend on buy-to-let improvements, £35,470 on average.

This is over three times the amount an average landlord in Yorkshire & the Humber withdrew (£11,150).

Across Great Britain as a whole, the average landlord remortgaging to make improvements took out £22,850.

Countrywide research director Johnny Morris says: “A record number of landlords are remortgaging to release money to spend on their properties instead of trading up.

“The additional transaction costs incurred from the stamp duty changes for second-homeowners means more landlords are choosing to invest in their properties, refurbishing and improving them and holding on to them for longer to maximise gains.”

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