Number of BTL products hits three-year low, says Mortgages for Business

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The average number of buy-to-let mortgage products available in the market has fallen for the first time in three years, according to the findings of the Complex Buy to Let Index.

The Index, compiled by Mortgages for Business, found that in Q3 of this year there were an average of 1,120 BTL products on the market, down 5 per cent on Q2 and the lowest level since Q3 2013.

The results also revealed that remortgages again outstripped purchases in all categories of BTL, as landlords move to avoid reverting onto their lender’s standard reversion rate.

Mortgages for Business managing director David Whittaker says: “Although product numbers have fallen slightly there is still in excess of 1,000 products out there – plenty of choice for landlords.

“I imagine product numbers will remain fairly stable for the next 12 months, at least until we see some new lenders enter the market.”

Over the five years since the index was launched, the study found little change in the average loan to value from quarter to quarter, the current average being 67 per cent across all property types.

For vanilla buy to lets, average property values and loans amounts continue to rise in proportion with each other, whilst the reverse was found for HMOs and multi-units, which have both seen the average loan size decrease in the last five years.

Whittaker says: “I can see two main reasons for this reduction in loan amount, one of which being that smaller, less expensive HMOs and multi-units are being financed in areas of higher property prices. The second reason is that in areas of the country where property prices remain low, there has been an increase in purchases and subsequently refinancing of HMOs and multi-units.

“I’ve no doubt this increase in HMO and multi-unit purchases comes down to the growing demand for smaller, less expensive rental accommodation accompanied by the higher yields they tend to produce.”